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Links of the Week – April 17, 2015

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* 18 Puppies On Their Way To Their New Homes!

* The Great Garden Gnome Massacre

* Long Exposure Light Photos – (Gorgeous!)

* Doctors To University: Fire That ‘Quack’ Dr. Oz

* Defeating Polio: The Disease That Paralyzed America

* Anne Lamott Shares All That She Knows: ‘Everyone Is Screwed Up, Broken, Clingy And Scared’

* MLB Teams Boost Mental Health Support Systems

* Love Is Not Supposed To Hurt… Then Why?

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* New Study Says Tylenol Numbs Emotions – (Rushes to weekly grocery list…)

* 7 Things To Do When Your Kid Points Out Someone’s Differences – (Great stuff!)

* Hidden Cameras Reveal Airport Workers Stealing From Luggage – (Why are people so sorry?)

* Yogi Berra, Ready For The Game!

* Mindfulness Meditation Can Help Relieve Anxiety And Depression

* How To Trust Again

* What Self-Love Means: 20+ Ways To Be Good To Yourself

* Anne Lamott – Becoming The Person You’re Supposed To Be: Where To Start

* How To Get To Know Yourself In 5 Fool-Proof Steps

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* Baddest Mother Ever: Ten Signs I’ve Found The Right Biscuit Joint – (Link of the week!)

* A Boy and Her Dog: Owning My Shame – (I feel so much of this.)

* Fisticuffs And Shenanigans: Pride, You Made Me Proud

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“You can only go halfway into the darkest forest; then you’re coming out the other side.”

— Chinese proverb
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Unpacking Boo

Clearly the time has come to work through all the issues surrounding my “relationship” with Boo. No one should absolutely lose their shit because somebody they work with is moving to a job across town. But my shit I did lose. The very real, desperate pain I felt over the weekend was incredibly out of proportion to the actual event.

I have to figure out why this has such a hold of me – why I can’t let it go. I can’t allow this delusion to continue to control my life, obsess me, and craze me. I think the easiest way to work through it is with some lists with occasional narrative thrown in for explanation.

delusion
Who Is Mythical Boo?
*Emotionally available
*Caring
*Attentive
*Sensitive
*Committed
*Accepts me
*There when I need him
*Open

Who Is Real Boo? – The Good
*Funny
*Sweet
*Inquisitive
*Handsome
*Sexy
*Manly
*Best first date EVER!
*Never completely lets me go (no matter what dumb shit I do)
*My friend?

sex

Who Is Real Boo? – The Bad
*Emotionally unavailable
*Wrapped up in his work
*Undependable
*Not there when I need him
*Never completely lets me go
*Closed off
*Coming out of a BAD divorce
*Mean streak disguised as humor

Why I Deserve Better
*???

Clearly, the real Boo and the Boo I make myself sick over are not really the same person. That’s not fair to him. That’s not fair to me.

So why do I continue to cling so desperately to my delusion of “SuperBoo” and to my efforts to forge a romantic relationship with him?

Why Do I Continue To Fight To Keep It Alive?
*I’m desperate for male approval.
*I need to know that I am desirable and lovable.
*I don’t want to be alone.
*He’s my only option. He’s the only straight, single man in my life.
*I need to win, not fail.
*I can’t stop believing I can make him love me if I say and do the right things.
*I need to prove that I can “do anything I put my mind to.”
*I can’t accept that I can’t control him or the relationship.
*I want to fix him and heal his emotionally broken places.
*I want him to cherish me for fixing him and showing him how to love again.
*Letting my hopes for SuperBoo go means giving up on the hope for love, acceptance and companionship.
*If I stop looking at him, I have to look at me.
*I have no intrinsic identity.
*If I stop chasing this, I don’t have anything else to concentrate on.
*I have no other goals or dreams or desires for my life. (Sadly, I’m serious.)

The self-identity piece of this fascinates me. Boo is not the first man who I’ve gotten super-crazy about like this. First of all, I didn’t date growing up. I had a boyfriend for two weeks in 9th grade and then a couple of short term boyfriends in college. And then I got married when I was 25. So I never practiced relationships. I’ve always been so desperate for them that I clamp on like a bear trap as soon as a possibility arises, and my hopes shoot through the roof. That’s the biggest problem. I can NOT control my expectations. And inevitably the disappointment CRUSHES me. I can’t just brush it off and let it go.

But none of this started happening until I started graduate school. I got there and it turned out I WASN’T the smartest person who ever lived. I was out of identities. So I started looking for a man to define me – to put the socially-acceptable stamp of approval on me. I didn’t know how or who to be without an extrinsic label. I still don’t

So Who Am I Now?
*Not an athlete
*Not a scholar
*Not a runner

So Who Am I Inside?
*???

who-am-i

So What Does That Mean I WANT To Be?
*Someone’s girlfriend so I can prove to the world that I’m straight, loveable, and OK being me.
*Someone’s girlfriend so I can be protected and appreciated and loved.

What I Probably Need To Be
*Alone until I learn to define myself without a man, and learn to know who I actually am inside and not just as defined by the things on the outside – the things I do or wear or how I cut my hair. (I don’t wanna! *sniff!*)
*A woman learning who she is and why she’s OK.
*A woman who likes herself without needing any external approval to do so.
*A student (literally) of casual dating who doesn’t lose her emotional shit over one dinner.

And so here is the stupid postscript to all this. How do I deal with my ongoing relationship with real Boo in light of these admissions and realizations? Is there a way I can step back and start over again looking at him with new eyes? Can I unravel these emotional ties I’ve woven? Will any kind of relationship with him continue to bring me grief and disappointment? Can I ever get to a place where we can just be friends without me wanting him and feeling jealousy and hurt? I’m just not sure what to do. I don’t want to cut ties with him. But is that just a symptom of the problem at hand?

Hahahahaha! I can’t believe this is a song!

Links of the Week – April 10, 2015

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Bike lane – Roberto Clemente Bridge – Pittsburgh

* Study: People Who Love Grilled Cheese Have More Sex, Are More Charitable

* This Dog Was Adopted After Five Years Of Waiting When His Photo Went Crazy On Facebook

* Longtime Couple Found That Clothes Didn’t Make The Man

* Gay Boy Scout Leader Hired In New York: “We said yes to him irrespective of his sexual orientation”

* White House Says It Supports Efforts To Ban Gay Conversion Therapy

* Gay Conversion Therapists Claim Most Patients Fully Straight By The Time They Commit Suicide

* PostSecret: Saved

* PostSecret: Pray

* PostSecret: Unbroken

* Now Who’s The Moral Majority?

* Where Did Heaven Come From?

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How I feel this week. Thanks, pollen!

* If Single People Honestly Updated Their Facebook

* Everybody Hit Somebody – (A season with the Carolina Phoenix women’s football team)

* Houston Astros Sweater – (Gorgeous!)

* Philadelphia Phillies 1915-1919 Cap – (This will be mine. Oh yes!)

* John Hart May Never Make A Better Trade – (See ya’, Melvin!)

* Reeses Chocolate Peanut Butter Tart

* FLOTUS Michelle Obama Says Malia And Sasha Are Not Influential And I Love It

* We Need Star Trek Back On TV

* Shout Out To T’Pring’s Hairdo

* When My Friend Is Obsessing Over Her Crush Even Though He Clearly Doesn’t Like Her

* Obsessed

* Love And Anxiety

* Seven Big Signs You May Be Too Clingy

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cry

GodDoesntCare-web

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“I’ve come to realize that what I always thought was my feeling of falling in love, feels very much like my feeling of anxiety.”

– Deanna Dennis


“[Y]our life is yours and no one else’s.”

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-18184/8-life-changing-lessons-i-learned-from-seeing-a-therapist-in-my-20s.html

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St. Mark Daily Lenten Devotional – April 5, 2015

by Kate Morrison

ScriptureJohn 20: 1-18

It’s here! Finally, Easter is here! Through this Lenten season, it sure has been a roller coaster of emotions. We have followed Jesus throughout the final days of his ministry. We have cheered triumphantly as he entered into the city of Jerusalem. We have partaken of the Last Supper. We tried to stay awake with him as he prayed in the garden, jeered as he was arrested and handed over to Pilate. And we wept bitter tears as Jesus was crucified and buried. We have waited in the uncertainty, scared, not yet understanding what Jesus was trying to tell us in his last days. 

But now, now we understand. Jesus is alive! Jesus has risen from the grave! Jesus has overcome death! No more crying. No more sadness. If we cry, let it be with tears of joy because our Savior has had the final say. Death rules no more. Let us rejoice on this triumphant day! The Lord has risen! Alleluia and thanks be to God!

Prayer: Lord, on this Easter day, we thank you for sending your son, Jesus, the Christ, into the world to overcome death and redeem the world of our sin. We are so grateful to you and for your infinite love of your people. Thank you God! Amen.

Saint Mark United Methodist Church

St. Mark Daily Lenten Devotional – April 4, 2015

by Deanna Dennis

Scripture“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet he did not sin.  Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” – Hebrews 4:15-16

This is perhaps the darkest day of the Christian year. Jesus has been crucified. He lies silent in the tomb. He is dead. Yet this day of silence, which we often pass over in the story of Easter, is crucial to our understanding of Christ’s resurrection.

Jesus could have tap-danced and jazz-handed out of the tomb immediately after He was interred. “See, you fools! You couldn’t kill the Son of God!” But this day of darkness and sorrow affirms his physical, human death.

We can’t pretend we don’t already know how the story ends. Death is overcome. Love wins! But Holy Saturday proves that all of our own darkness, shame, self-doubt, and grief will be overcome. Tomorrow holds the assurance of the rebirth of our fully human, fully divine Christ. We are saved!

Prayer: Thank you, three-in-one God, for knowing us. There is nowhere we go, physically, spiritually and emotionally, that you don’t know us, hold us and love us. Give us the faith that throughout our struggles, the promise of our own rebirth through your mercy and grace is true. Thanks be to God. Amen.

Saint Mark United Methodist Church

Links of the Week – April 3, 2015

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* Shatner Pays Tribute To Nimoy

* Takei Calls For Boycott

* Astros Unveil The Eat-On-The-Go Chicken And Waffle Cone

* We Need A Middle Class President

* 5 Charts That Show How The Middle Class Is Disappearing

* Can We Guess What Your Reading Habits Say About Your Love Life? – (Mine was FRIGHTENINGLY correct.)
readinglovelife
* How Old Do You Actually Act? – (I got 5-years-old. *sigh*)

* Angry Little Garden Gnome

* What My Zodiac Sign Says About Me – (Again, correct.)

* “I Thought I Was Bipolar” Shirt – (Need)

* PostSecret: Jazz Hands

* PostSecret: I Feel Like A Hostage

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* Monkey Meets Puppies For The First Time, Wants To Snuggle Them As Badly As Anyone Else – (Ow! My heart just exploded!)

* Tim Cook: Pro-Discrimination ‘Religious Freedom’ Laws Are Dangerous

* Moist Chocolate Cupcakes with Ganache Filling – (Proof that God loves us. He’d love me more if he’d magic these to my house.)

* The Problem With Cars And Self-Absorption

* The Spirit Of Atlanta: A Quest For Context Of 1920’s Atlanta – (Awesome old pictures of the city!)

* The Scandal Of A Crucified God (A Good Friday Reflection)

* The Importance Of Doubt (A Holy Saturday Reflection)

* When The Right To Discriminate Collides With The Rites Of Holy Week

* The Right’s Made Up God: How Bigots Created A White Supremacist Jesus

* How ‘One Nation’ Didn’t Become ‘Under God’ Until The 50s Religious Revival – (My favorite read of the week!)

* You Don’t Have To Go To Work On Opening Day Because The Brewers Wrote You An Excuse Note

* Watch Guys Attempt To Explain How Periods Work – (Hysterical. And a little sad. 🙂 )

* What The Hell Is That Tribble Doing?

* Rape Suspect Had Burns At Court Appearance – (I would get on a plane right now, given the opportunity, and go to Ohio and beat this fucker to death with my double wall Miken. PLEASE let me do it!)

* Transgender Elders Show Us The Meaning Of Survival

* ‘Child Abuse’ For A Girl To Dress Like A Boy? – (Sigh…)

* Man Thinking About Just Packing Up And Making Exact Same Mistakes Someplace Far Away

* What To Do When You Hate Yourself

* Me On My Future Plans

* How I’m Going To End Up

* Sex Doesn’t Sell…

* It’s All About Falling In Love With Yourself…

* The Girl Who Struck Out Babe Ruth And Lou Gehrig

* Girls Baseball Team Wins Championship At Boys’ Tournament – (Not just a little local tournament, a USSSA NATIONAL tournament!)

* Menswear Dog: The Most Stylish Dog In The World – (THIS! Blog of the Week!!!)

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“And when she is done, she will head for town, center, she will board the first bus she sees. Find a seat by a window, ride to the end of town.

And then? She stops. She does not know. She has not thought this part through. But it occurs to her then she can just keep on riding. It is possible, yes. She will just stay on the bus and ride. To some other place, some other town. She will look for it out all the windows. And when she sees it at last, she will know.”

Some Other Town, Elizabeth Collison


“Death will get us all. Moreover, astrophysicists tell us, even the earth and the solar system will one day be destroyed as the sun explodes in its dying gasp. On a more finite level, life is filled with threats to our existence: accidents, disease, violence, unemployment, poverty. Life easily looks threatening.

If we do see reality this way, how will we respond to life? In a word, defensively. We will seek to build systems of security and self-protection to fend off the hostile powers as long as possible.”

The Heart of Christianity, Marcus J. Borg


“It’s less embarrassing for people to think I look stupid when I intentionally look like a boy, than for them to think I look stupid when I’m trying my best to actually look like a woman.”

Deanna Dennis


“I am also learning how to feel. I’m learning that it can be safe to experience emotions. Running away – literally and figuratively – only temporarily removed me from the pain I was feeling. In order to exercise in a healthy way, I had to learn how to feel without searching for a way to self-destruct. It’s been a massive struggle to learn to accept myself. I’ve had to work to believe that I am OK exactly the way that I am, that nothing needs to be ‘beaten’ out of me.”

– Kenzi Rome, http://twloha.com/blog/making-my-workouts-work-me


“[L]ook more closely at the hard things in life: They’re trying to tell you something if you’ll listen.”

Tomboy, Liz Prince

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St. Mark Daily Lenten Devotional – April 3, 2015

by Don Clarke

ScriptureJohn 18:1 – 19:42

All through these many years, on this day of death and darkness, the lyrics from a folk rock musical continue to haunt me as, once again, I consider and contemplate the tremendous love and sacrifice Jesus made for me. I cannot get these words out of my heart and my head.

JUST TO THINK OF THE CROSS
Long ago in a faraway place
Rough rugged timbers were raised to the sky
There hung a man suspended in space
And though He was blameless
They left Him to die
Just to think of the cross
Moves me now
The nails in His hands
His bleeding brow
To think of the cross
Moves me now
It should have been me, It should have been me,
Instead I am free, I am free!
He put an end to my guilt and despair
Turned bitter hating to sweet peace and love
Even the men that put Him up there
Were offered forgiveness and life from above

Just to think of the cross
Moves me now
The nails in His hands
His bleeding brow
To think of the cross
Moves me now
It should have been me, It should have been me,
Instead I am free, I am free!

“Just to Think of the Cross” by Kurt Kaiser from the folk musical “Natural High”

Prayer: O Christ of the Cross, on this day may I once again allow the haunting horrible story of your death move me to holiness, propel me to service, and ignite me to embrace with your transforming love all persons who I meet who are hurting, crying, yearning, groaning and even dying.   Amen.

Saint Mark United Methodist Church