Do I Matter?, by Jacqueline DeSelms-Wolfe

Do I Matter?, by Jacqueline DeSelms-Wolfe

I received a postcard the other day. I was excited. I thought a friend had visited a cool and exotic place and had thought of me while there. 

Then I read it. 

Dear Jacqueline,

My name is Brent* and we don’t know each other. I have been praying for you morning and evening for the last 30 days. 

May the peace and goodness of the Lord be with you and all you love. 

Brent (Awaken Nashville)

At first, it confused me. Then a strange “invaded” sort of feeling came over me, not unlike I’ve experienced when something of mine has been stolen. That invaded feeling turned into anger.

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Ongoing Life...Ongoing Therapy, by Jacqueline DeSelms-Wolfe, MEd

Ongoing Life...Ongoing Therapy, by Jacqueline DeSelms-Wolfe, MEd

I have been in therapy for over 20 years, most have been here at the Estuary. I’m still coming and I now get to write for this place. It is a blessing and a curse. The blessing is that I get to write, something my soul has been longing to do since I was a young child. The curse is that I have to write and now I’m being held accountable. 

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Forgiveness, by Susan Austin-Crumpton

Forgiveness, by Susan Austin-Crumpton

“Forgiveness is nothing less than the way we heal the world".

   -- Desmond Tutu, The Book of Forgiveness 

I was a terrible oldest sister.
 
In our dysfunctional family filled with addiction and anger, yet held together in intense love and loyalty, I raged and cried and felt isolated.

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Truth Tellers, by Susan Austin-Crumpton

Truth Tellers, by Susan Austin-Crumpton

I have been watching a special “comedy” routine by Hannah Gadsby. She is a wonderfully strong person who is intelligent, funny, well educated, and successful. She taught me lots about feeling connected in a way we all long for, beyond gender and power.
 

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My Stories, Myself, by Susan Austin-Crumpton

My Stories, Myself, by Susan Austin-Crumpton

Driving into Arches National Park in Utah, I have this joyous feeling: I have never been so happy in my life! I am with my beloved husband and two glorious grandsons. It is a precious time.

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It Was Me All Along, by Susan Austin-Crumpton

It Was Me All Along, by Susan Austin-Crumpton

I was backpacking alone in Utah, carrying a huge pack on my skinny hips that looked like raw meat.  I felt invincible, capable, with every step validating that there is nothing I can’t do. I loved it! That was many years ago.

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Who Are You Answering To? - by Maureen Doyle, MAT

Who Are You Answering To? - by Maureen Doyle, MAT

This year, let your true self plan for the year instead of letting others make that choice for you…

I ran a workshop earlier this year, Make it Happen in 2018!, and it was filled with enthusiastic participants. There was an energy that filled the room that was palpable. It seemed to say – “Look out 2018, here I come! This year is going to be big!”

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Still Crazy After All This Time, by Susan Austin-Crumpton

Still Crazy After All This Time, by Susan Austin-Crumpton

I have many times over my lifetime worried about being “crazy.”

That was a word we heard often as I was growing up.  My mother called her older sister “crazy,” her sister in law “sick.” My ex-mother-in-law held her head and cried and cried daily over the death of her sister that occurred years and years earlier.

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A Full Experience of Myself, by Susan Austin-Crumpton

A Full Experience of Myself, by Susan Austin-Crumpton

I, too, have many faults.  I have spent a lifetime trying to rid myself of me.  Many religious teachers told me I could change me and find God.  Many spiritual teachers taught me that I could “transform” me into these powerful virtues.  I used to have the fantasy that I could finally change myself, become more likeable, more kind, more good, more successful, more organized, more loved . . .MORE!

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