Wednesday, April 28, 2010

A link, if you want it

Well, I promised I would let you know how to find the link to the talk I gave in San Antonio, so here it is: Just click on "Resources" and scroll down to my name. I have mixed feelings about this--things never sound as good out of context and you can't feel the energy that was in the room. Also, this isn't my normal teaching style. Also, I hate the sound of my own voice. But anyway, here it is.

Wondering . . .

I wonder sometimes: what would we be like if our emotional wounds showed on the outside? What if, when we hurt, we bled? What if, when you were embarrassed, a hot rash of humiliation spread across your skin? What if, when I hurled harsh words at you, a bruise appeared on your cheek? What if every racial epithet left a scar? What if lonely people walked with a limp? Would we be kinder? Would we be braver?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

"In Treatment" on HBO

I'm in love. I'm completely infatuated with the HBO series "In Treatment." (We don't have HBO; I'm watching DVDs from Netflix. But I might be calling our cable company.) Here's the premise: psychotherapist Paul Weston sees clients. That's it. One client (or couple) per episode. All the action takes place in Paul's office. Actually, there is very little action. And it's absolutely riveting. Every fifth episode or so, Paul is actually the client in a session with his supervisor, sessions in which he is every bit as petulant and resistant as his own clients are with him. I'm in love with this show.

I'm also insanely jealous. In every episode, the session ends on time. In fact, it is almost always the patient, not the therapist, who says, "Our time is up." At least so far, no matter what kind of drama is unfolding, no matter how upset the client is, Paul walks him/her to the door and says, "See you next week." In real life, at least in my real life, that's wishful thinking. Maybe I have some boundary issues. Yep. Probably.)

Monday, April 19, 2010

A little melancholy

I'm melancholy today, missing Mowgli more than I have since he left home almost two years ago. I'm not sure why today. The gray skies and cold temperature don't help. Neither does the fact that he'll be spending most of the rest of the year in Tibet and India. I'm so proud of him . . . but I miss him. Some of you know exactly how I feel and that helps. So, just a little blue today . . . but okay.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

First-ever recipe on the blog

This is one of my favorite new dishes--it's so easy, so healthy, and so GOOD! You can find the recipe here.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

This week's adventure

A year ago, I was asked to be a keynote speaker at a large mainline demonination's conference in San Antonio. I never knew where the invitation came from but I definitely knew, as my friend JTH said, that I would be "standing in some tall cotton." So, of course, I fretted about it all year and also looked forward to it with all the mixed feelings that these things always stir up in me.

As always, I piddled around getting the talk written and let myself get paralyzed with anxiety until it actually came together and then I was awed by how much I loved what I had been given to say and how grateful I was to get to say it.

When people have asked me, "How did it go?" I haven't known exactly what to say. The two things I most dreaded the night before--that there wouldn't be a lectern on the chancel for my notes and that only two people would come to my breakout session--both happened.

On the other hand, I grabbed a music stand for my notes at the last minute and it worked fine and the two people who came to the breakout were lovely and we had a really nice conversation that I think was helpful to them.

I think the best answer to the question is "I had a lot of fun" because I really did. The things that made me panic, like being told minutes before the session started that my talk was actually supposed to be on a different topic (it wasn't), turned out to be okay. I enjoyed being part of the conference and getting up to say what I had to say was exhilarating. The church's pastor (who I later realized was the person who invited me) told me, "That's exactly what I knew you would do" and a leading expert on family systems said publicly that I "did a wonderful job." That kind of affirmation feels great.

But really, when it comes right down to it, it was so much fun. I met some great people and got to see what God is doing in another part of the Body of Christ. I got to talk about my favorite things about Jesus with people who knew what I meant and I think they were blessed. C and I attended the worship service together that night (something we never get to do) and got to worship without responsibilities with a wonderful choir and orchestra and we got to hear a gifted African American woman preach. We stayed in a lovely hotel and had some rare time together, knowing Boo was fine at home with my mom and dad.
I know how blessed I am to get to live this life and I know that the only thing that can steal it away from me is my neurotic, anxious self-centeredness . . . and yet, even that is okay, because it eventually got me exactly where I needed to be.

Oh, and by the way, what you can't see in these photos are the three ginormous screens behind me. I didn't look.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Getting a little help from my friends

Thanks for all the offers of milkshakes! Some of you even offered (by email, mostly) to let me beat up on you a little bit if it will make me feel better. And thanks for understanding that I wasn't writing about ordinary conflict or defining self or advocating for important values or "saying what's so." I'll keep trying to learn to do all those things maturely and appropriately and courageously . . . when it counts. In the meantime, I'll try to stay out of brawls and arguments!

A friend called me to point out the incongruity of the last two posts . . . "I'm tired of people and I want to fight with them" juxtaposed with "I have the best friends in the world--in two cities!" There you go--that's my life!