The Illusion of Safety and Avoidance of Fear

When I lived in South Africa, the one thing I was told over and over by the natives was “Don’t travel after dark.” I said “okay,” and I really did try my best to accommodate that recommendation. Errands, particularly those that required a vehicle, were done in the morning or afternoon.

One day an out-of-town visit for some of the fellow missionaries and myself took longer than expected, and we were late getting back. The road that led to the very rural town we were staying in meandered through sugarcane fields, and there were no street lights. For the most part, there was no electricity of ANY kind where we were staying. (Living without a fridge was a new experience!)

Night fell.  Soon the headlights of the car were the only lights to be seen for miles around. Sugarcane loomed on each side, growing right up to the edge of the narrow, two lane road.

Suddenly and almost out of nowhere, there appeared a very large tree trunk in the road.  It was lying perpendicular to oncoming traffic and completely blocked the lane we were driving in.  We swerved the car to avoid it, but in the OTHER lane there was a small wall of boulders stacked to block traffic.  It was close – the sidewall of the tires scraped the edge of the rocks on one side – but we managed to navigate through.
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The Danger of Comparison – Building Your Worth On The Backs Of Others

I wonder if Eve thought she was fat.

You know, THE Eve.  Adam’s love, the woman that lived in the Garden of Eden.  THAT Eve.  The first woman around, the first woman created.  I wonder if she thought she was fat.

Regardless of your religious stance, whether you believe the story to be God breathed or purely fiction, take a minute to think about it.  I can see it perfectly in my head.

Eve wakes up for the first time, freshly formed from Adam’s rib, formed by the hand of God Himself, takes her first breath of God-filled air, looks down at her body, and says, “HOLY HIPS, GOD.  WTF.  Looook at how fat I am.  And this pudge.  (grabs skin around middle)  I am SO ANGRY.  THIS is what you dealt me?  I could have been ANY SHAPE, and THIS is the one you pick.  ARE YOU BLIND?  LOOK AT ME.  No one in the world is ever going to want me, I’m DISGUSTING.  You might as well name me the same as that thing over there.  (points to brand new cow)  (looks around, sees Adam)  Hey you, what’s your name?  Adam?  Hey, Adam, do you think these leaves make me look fat?”

[And yes, I know the leaves came later, but you get my point.]

In my mind I can see Eve, acting out the words and thoughts I’ve had with regard to myself and my body, and I can’t stop shaking my head.

I just don’t think she’d do that.
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Foreign Currency – How to Get Your Point Across to Someone Who Doesn’t Understand

Have you ever had a really bad boss?

I’m sure that if we all sat down and compared notes we could come up with some great stories.  Bad bosses are what movies are made of.  We love to hate them, and we all relate because we’ve all been there.  We’ve all had at least one.

My “bad boss” story is actually rather boring.  Her name was Karen.*  She wasn’t BAD, per say, we just didn’t get along.  She was good at her actual job, I think… she must have been, since she was promoted regularly and earned routine bonuses.  Still, though, she was not a good boss for ME.

…and if we’re honest, that’s how it is, right?  Conflict is not just about that one person you have it with, it’s about the dynamic between TWO.  Both of you.  A bad relationship isn’t just about one person, it’s about two people.  My mom always used to say “It takes two to tango,” and she was right.

And Karen and I tangoed.  A lot.  Over the course of several years we had a couple big blowouts, some of them epic in tone and size.

One specific confrontation in particular comes to mind, a confrontation for which the mere memory makes steam roll out my ears.
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The Human Currencies

This list of Human Currencies explains some of the most valued character traits among people.  While this list is not exhaustive, it is quite encompassing and covers most traits that are felt by most people.

To learn why these traits matter, and to figure out how to use them, read here.

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“Selfish” is NOT a Four Letter Word. GET YOURS.

A very, very long time ago I made a hugely big-girl decision and put myself on birth control.

I did it even though I was married and he didn’t like it.

I did it even though I was a “natural family planner.”

I did it even though (according to religious doctrine) it was a no no to prevent conception, even though it supposed to be a mutual decision, even though I was supposed to be submissive to my husband’s direction, even though I had more or less committed to having four kids and not just three.

I did it without anyone else’s permission, without anyone else’s input, and without anyone else’s blessing.

Even though I never thought I’d be on birth control again after I stopped to have my first baby, even though I knew for sure I wanted more kids, I did it anyways.

I remember the day I made the decision.  I was nervous, excited, kind of sad.  I remember the rush of adrenaline that came with putting my foot down, and how much stronger I felt to take responsibility for my sexual identity and reproductive system.

I remember feeling sad, a little, that my body had to be “taken back” from the role of wife-mother-child-bearer, like the name tag I had worn on my chest for so long needed to be changed from all those other things to “Just Erin,” but I ALSO remember how right it felt to have a grain of control over my life and my body.

For the first time ever, on that day I took OWNERSHIP of myself, my destiny, and the trajectory of my life.

For the first time ever, I did something just for me.

My body, my rules, my life.

Sounds selfish, right?
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How to Resist a Binge – Find Strength at the Tipping Point


I think I beat the Binge Monster.

Even if just one time, that’s saying something.

Yesterday I went grocery shopping. I was in a rush. It was almost dinner time. I had three kids with me. They were hungry. I was not thinking clearly or straight because I was REALLY hungry, because I had missed lunch, because I had been eyebrows deep in numbers for six hours, because work, because “the SBA loan refi needs to be done two weeks ago.” I was wrung out.

I put milk, eggs, cheese, meat, meat, vegetables, meat, vegetables, fruit, and more vegetables in the cart. Then I looked at my list.

On my grocery list was “black licorice.” (Gross.) It was not for me, it was for The Mister. Mostly mindless, I pushed my kid-loaded-full-of-vegetables cart down the candy and cookie aisle.

You see where this is going, I bet.

Hungry + Tired + Stressed + Candy-Cookie-Aisle = TROUBLE.

Even for someone that is not bulimic, that’s a recipe for bad choices.

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If You’re the Parent, it IS Your Fault

One morning at the end of May, I stopped at the grocery store to buy a last minute snack for my son’s preschool.  Seriously… “last minute.”  As we were getting in the car to drive him to school, the four year old piped up from the back seat.

“MOMMY, today is my snack day.  Do you remember?  I just forgot, but now I remember.”

UM NO I DID NOT REMEMBER.  Turn off car, bolt to front door, unlock door, race up the stairs two at a time, check the calendar on the fridge.

Yep, it was written right there.  Right in between “Kinder Registration Due,” “Meet Aubrey at 9.45,” “Meet Silverlake @ 11.00,” “Book Fair 12.00,” and “Parent Teacher Conference 1.30 – 3.00,”

Can’t imagine why I missed it, right?
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Emotional Control – Growing the Heart of a Lion

When I was a kid, whenever I would get upset about stuff at school, whenever I would say “so-and-so is mean” or “Sister is being a butthead,” my dad always replied in the same way.

“No one can make you feel anything unless you let them.”

I called “bullshit.”

My reaction was the same every time he said it.  “BULLSHIT AND WHATEVER.”

If someone does something shitty, I REACT.  I react hard, and usually I react ANGRY.  Anger is my go-to emotion.  I like angry.  Angry is safe.  Angry is mental jet fuel, and it pushes me past and over all the crap that stands in my way.  To say “no one can make you angry unless you let them” was just crazy talk. I was SURE of it.

except…  I’ve been thinking.  And I think I’ve figured something out, and I think I need to share it with you.

I think that he might be right.
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The Choice of Suicide – How to Cope with the Stupid Choices of Others

Sometimes life gets heavy.

Sometimes life gets REALLY, REALLY heavy, and all you can do to keep going is to get pissed.  GET MAD.  It helps.  The adrenaline and fury are like rocket fuel inside your head, and they will carry you through and over a lot of obstacles.

Just like any tank of fuel, though, it does run out eventually.

Yeah, the last week or so has kind of been like that.

I used to be married.  For ten years I was married.  On the outside our relationship looked great.  We attended church.  We had good friends.  We WERE good friends.  I was a good wife.  I kept the house clean, cooked, did laundry.  I did not complain about my position or station in our relationship; he was the head of the family and I was second-in-command.  All major decisions were made by him, financial, religious, spiritual, family, work.  I followed the Christian Creed, “wives submit to your husbands.”

I am a forgiving person.  I am a trusting person.  I let things go easily, as long as we’re willing to talk about it.

I let MOST things go easily.

Some things I just have a hard time with.  Some things I can’t easily let go of.
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Saying Goodbye to Bulimia, FOR REALS – Owning Your Body

Okay guys, here we go.

(This is Mace, by the way.  He’s my trusty sidekick.)  :)

mace is the best support ever.

mace is the best support ever.

I’m embarrassed to post this picture. I’m ashamed to post it. Not because I’m ashamed of how I look, but because I feel like I’m letting all of you down.

I’m so, so sorry.  I’m sorry that this is what I look like.  After nine months on the program, I’m sorry that my physical self does not represent my progress.  I feel like I need to confess, ask for forgiveness, and repent.
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