The Blog

When it comes to wisdom, I’m not fussy about the source. That’s one reason, when offered a chance to talk with a psychic, I took it.

What an adventure!

I’ll spare you the details. For now. Except for this. I got the suggestion -- it was more like an order -- to take better care of my feet.

This wasn’t an in-person consultation, by the way. I was quite sure nothing about my voice suggested I (sorely) needed new shoes. And I’ve often wondered what kinds of problems I’d be having now, had I not paid attention to this advice back then.

There’s no downside to babying your feet, the same way nothing bad will happen if you pay attention to good advice -- regardless of how it’s packaged.

How much someone hurts is not your call. It isn’t your job to decide how quickly that person should feel better, accept your apology, and move on.

An apology, when proffered too quickly, can backfire. It isn’t a box you check on a form you fill out so you can get on with your day. It starts with finding out just how much someone hurts. Once the wounded party gets that, your apology’s almost a bonus.

People want to feel heard.

It takes time to clean up the mess you made, granted. So don’t make another one as you mop up.

On the flip side…

Have you ever been on the receiving end of something like this? “I said I was sorry. What do you want?” It’s the first clue you’re dealing with someone who’s filling out the form I just mentioned.

Now what? You might be better off getting closure elsewhere. Not everyone’s on a quest to be a better person. A lot of people, especially past a certain age, just want to get by. Proceed accordingly.

If there’s anything less satisfying than someone who refuses to feel your pain, after all, it’s the suggestion this is actually your fault for noticing!

How are you peopled?
September 3, 2019

It’s a fascinating question, and it’s courtesy of Maybe You Should Talk to Someone author Lori Gottlieb. She doesn’t tell you what it’s like to be in therapy. She shows you, by sharing the stories of a few of her patients. And at least as importantly, by sharing what it was like to be a patient.

She keeps things confidential, by the way, in the usual ways. I’ll let her explain how.

I felt a wave of recognition when she talked about what an experience, what a privilege, it was to spend an hour a week in conversation with people. That’s what I’ve been doing on the talk show for eleven years, and to say I’m not the same person I was before I started is one definition of understatement. I mean, really. How many times have Darrell and I joked with our guests that no matter what the topic, it amounts to therapy? I find people I want to learn from, whom I love or at least admire from afar, and invite them on the show. Many of them become good friends. Real friends, not just internet friends.

“We grow in connection with others,” Lori says. Here’s hoping! I’ve long thought I’m the swirl of every person I’ve ever known, and given how careful I am about the company I keep, that’s a good thing.

What remains after we’re gone? Even the skeptics concede we live on in the people who love us.

I’m peopled with the sort that makes me think I won the cosmic lottery. Their voices, their laughter, their ways of being here make me glad I’m still here. It’s such a lovely feeling, as one pal put it, to be forever friends.

And these otherwise ordinary days? Still more chances to thank the heavens for the company I keep.

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