Spiritual Journey: The Cold Season

minnesota winterIt’s that sudden fall from winter to winter that always catches me off guard.

We live in Minnesota, and it happens every year. It really shouldn’t surprise me all that much when the ticker on my phone tells me it’s -12 but it feels like -26 and we won’t get above zero today. But it always does.

We haven’t had a measurable snowfall since that magical December blizzard, and the whole world feels raw, exposed without its thick blanket of white.

The trees are stripped bare, and the homemade hockey rink on our pond is empty, and we have to pile on the layers and run fast from the warm car to the warm grocery store because the air all around is break-you-open cold.

These are the days I think about running away.

All the riding toys are inside. Dane is working his balance bike down the hall, bare feet smacking on the floor. Liam is pushing the Thomas riding toy fast and slamming into the patio door. There is a small chunk of paint missing from our wall, and I don’t know how it happened, but I can’t stop seeing it – this mark of our restlessness.

Sunday I sat on the couch in the middle of all the chaos, and I thought seriously about sticking my kids in the van and just driving south. I tried to figure out if we knew enough people along the way who would let us stop. Eat. Play. Crash for a night before moving on.

In my desperate, half-froze mind, 1600 miles with two small boys seems completely manageable. And I feel like if I could just get us all to the edge of the world where there is water and sun and seagulls…if we could just run far and fast without all of these bulky layers…maybe we’d be alright.

*

This weekend, I finished reading the first book on prayer – the one that was making me so crabby.

There were a lot of times that I almost gave up on the whole thing. It was touch-and-go for a while when he turned the word breakthrough into prayer through…and then, as if that wasn’t fun enough, introduced the term praise through. Nothing makes me crankier than a cutesy pun applied to a profoundly complicated spiritual truth.

There was a time when I would’ve just put the book down. Not for me. But I am aware lately that there might be an unhealthy hypersensitivity about my bullshit detector. It’s a result, I think of my own angry season, of all that leftover angst. I read one thing that sits wrong with me, and I’m prone to write off entire books, entire people.

I come across reductive phrases that leave me feeling Minnesota-January Cold – Spell your miracle! And God does not answer vague prayers! – and I want to run away again. I want to chuck the whole thing and get the hell out of Dodge.

But.

The truth is never quite so simple.

This weekend, I sat in the upstairs hallway with my book and my glass of wine. I kept one eye on my son’s first ever sleepover and one eye on The Circle Maker, and I discovered something: Underneath all of that bravado, all of the hyperbole and the fighting-words, there is a person who loves God. Who loves people. Who prays with an intensity that I have not yet figured out.

And who am I to say that there is not something for me here? I am turning these phrases over in my mind. I am figuring out what prayer isn’t and something of what it is and if I only listen to the voices that sound like mine, I might miss something true about God.

*

It is end-of-the-world cold in Minnesota. When you walk onto the deck, what’s left of the snow is sharp and brittle under your feet, calcified by the cold.

On the bad days, I feel weak and I feel lost to it, like I’ve fallen through a hole in the ice and I’m sinking.

But then, some mornings, I wake up and I know the truth: I am strong.

I live in Viking country, and I am from Prairie people, and I am a survivor. I walked in my insulated boots through my own Mad Season, and the love of God makes me enough.

I can read the book that might have shattered me two years ago, and I am strong enough now to calmly disagree. I am learning to quiet my inner cynic, to note my own reactivity, and to listen for that which might be true.

It is January in Minnesota. I am learning to walk through the break-you-open cold of the world without breaking open. Every day, we get a little closer to spring. Every day, I am becoming a little more whole.

61 thoughts on “Spiritual Journey: The Cold Season

  1. Well, it’s only -2 here in Chicago, so pack up and come here. Your kids can run around with mine, I’ll have hot coffee and cold Diet Coke along with the cupcakes I made last night that don’t have any frosting. And we can talk about that book, and I’ll talk about the book like that that drives me crazy and makes me feel like I suck as a Christian and chat and I might even make dinner.

    All that to say, I’m really enjoying you talk about prayer….it’s been gnawing at me too as of late so I feel so encouraged knowing I’m not the only one.

  2. Ummmm…I really need to read this just now. I just got done sending an email about my desire to write someone off because of not-even-so-atrocious grammatical errors in facebook statuses. “But I am aware lately that there might be an unhealthy hypersensitivity about my bullshit detector… I read one thing that sits wrong with me, and I’m prone to write off entire books, entire people.” Being cynical wears me out. Thanks for admitting things first; you always put words to my heart and help me say them afterward.

    1. I can be quite the grammar snob myself. (Were you an Alpha tutor at NWC?) I love how you said “Being cynical wears me out.” Yes, me too.

      1. Nope, not an Alpha tutor (but I probably should have been). I can handle the bad grammar most of the time, but this time, it was in regard to a man and I nearly snapped. And then wondered how on earth I’ve gotten to this point. Tall, handsome, love Jesus, loves kids, and…can’t use a comma? IT’S OVER.

  3. Oh my… I put that same book on the shelf, not able to read any more of it because of my cringing and eye-rolling and cynicism. Perhaps I should pick ‘er back up and read the rest, and we can have a good discussion about what we loved and hated and learned over a glass of wine one of these days. 🙂

  4. The only prayer book I ever read was the chapter on prayer in BBT’s “An Altar in the World”. Her approach to prayer, as a priest even, is that she sucks at it. She doesn’t start out from behind a barricade of certainty about how God thinks and operates. She starts by being vulnerable. She starts with empathy.

    As I sit here procrastinating, knowing that soon I need to bundle up and go out to start my car and let it run long enough to thaw the oil out and warm the -12 driver’s seat to something my butt can tolerate on my way to work, I am examining my own prayer life. Well, not examining, really. It’s more like watching the movie. I’m not left-brained enough to tear open, pick apart, and scrutinize. I’m not comfortable following step-by-step, stage-by-stage instructions on how to have a deep, loving relationship with my Creator. My right-brain squirms and fidgets and wants to leave the room.

    And as I watch that movie, I am seeing on the surface a relationship that isn’t that much different that the one I have with others I love. I don’t set aside any special time of day to talk to God. I don’t do that with my friends, either. My walk with God is visual, mostly. I see myself asking a lot of questions and then watching and listening and, on my good days, responding in faith.

    And I guess what comforts me is that I don’t care if I don’t do it “right” or as everyone else does. Whatever I do, I can do while grabbing my keys praying that the car will start, while empathizing with a friend in my arms, or while greeting customers in the check-out line. And when the car DOES start, albeit reluctantly, and the friend wipes the tears from her eyes and says “Thanks” and I bring some laughter into the life of an anonymous customer whose eyes just told me she was needing a giggle today … when all those things happen, I guess that’s about as “right” as it gets.

    1. Beautiful reflection, Jim. I’ve not read “Altar” yet, but it’s on my list. I love how you do prayer, and I don’t think that there’s really a “right” way at all. I’ve found in my life that when I talk to God throughout the day, it’s a lot of desperation (“Help me get through this”/”Please let him nap”/”Please don’t let those underwear that Dane just flushed down the toilet clog the pipes.”) and not a lot else.

      I guess, just for the year, I’m letting my left brain in on the whole thing. Part of why I’m reading these books is give me a way in the whole, mysterious thing. To help me ask the right questions and figure out what might be the most organic and simultaneously intentional way for me to approach prayer. We’ll see.

      Thanks, as always, for sharing. I love your insights!

  5. Keep looking under the bravado and the abrasive. No come to Tulsa, but not in the summer. Because then, I will be coming north.

  6. Well, we don’t know each other that well, yet, but I feel like I want to tell you how what you’ve said makes me feel proud of you, like a mom seeing something bloom in her child she wasn’t planning on. It’s just that your Jericho post was good for me. Because I’m leading women through that book and forgot that they might react to it like you did, unlike me. Like you said: I am figuring out what prayer isn’t and something of what it is and if I only listen to the voices that sound like mine, I might miss something true about God. I needed to hear that. But I also love your courage to press through those buttons that make you want to throw the book across the room or leave it to freeze in the cold. I think there is some blooming taking place in you underneath, just waiting to pop through that frozen ground. And I live on the ocean with those seagulls, sun and warm breezes. You have a respite here if you choose to come south! 🙂

    1. Thanks so much Shelly. It’s definitely a new realization — that I’m well enough now to read things that would have undone me before. I’ve been thinking a lot about why I reacted the way I did, and I think, as I said in my Jericho Walk post, it has to do with my past baggage and the way his language echoes the language that was so prevalent in my life as a teen. I’ll be posting more on all of that later this week.

      And I am JEALOUS that you live on the ocean. And I’m going to remember that. It is the year of “Ask” after all! 😉

  7. Okay, okay, time to read the Paul Miller book on prayer. I know it’s in your stack. Can’t wait to hear your thoughts.
    You can blast down here to Texas if you need to…it’s our first winter here and I am missing the cold!!! (We’re from Boston.)
    Grace to you, Addie, and those little boys. I remember the long, cold, cooped-up days.

    1. Started Miller’s book yesterday, Kit, and can’t wait to get more deeply into it. Thanks so much for the kind offer (I’ll trade you straight up. You can have the cold, and I’ll take the…not cold) and the comment!

  8. Well said and nodding and yes.

    Baby is due any day, so I keep hoping he or she waits until this cold cold breaks. But I’m also thinking in metaphors. What can this wind teach us? How is this place I find myself in preparing me for all that waits? How does the wait itself lead to that sense of wholeness…

    Stay warm, Addie!

    1. I’ve been keeping an eye on your blog and wondering about that baby, Emily! I love the way you are able to think in metaphors about this terrible weather (you’re such a poet.) Trying to do that too, but I keep getting off-track because it’s so dang cold! Thanks for the great comment. Can’t wait to see that beautiful baby!

  9. There’s such wisdom here, Addie. I’m learning to temper my reactions and figure out how to extend grace to those who trigger my BS detector. It’s a messy work in progress, that’s for sure. I love seeing your progress in action.

    I wish you would have packed everyone up and driven down to Nashville for a few days of warmer weather. The door is always open.

    1. I thought about it…until my weather app told me that Nashville is only 32 degrees. We’ll see. If this negative-degree business continues, I may reassess.

      Glad I’m not the only one with a wacky BS detector. We’ll get it figured out. 🙂 Thanks for the comment love, girl.

  10. Sigh.

    I live in Texas. It was 60 degrees today, sunny and beautiful and perfect picnic weather. I took my 2, 3, and 4 year old outside for lunch because 5 more minutes in my house with them was going to push me over the edge. I told myself to keep breathing, keep moving, and remember that this stagnant, monotonous feeling that threatens to overtake me is just a part of this phase of life, a part that people failed to warn me about. I’ve told my husband, let’s just go, let’s move, wouldn’t Montana be nice? It’s so funny to hear you musing the opposite. As I walked into my kids’ rooms to see them crunching (CRUNCHING!) their goldfish into the carpet for the hundredth time this week I wondered if this restless feeling will ever go away. Or will it carry with me, transitioning through the different phases but always persisting? I don’t know, but I am relieved beyond words to know I don’t stand alone in it, the struggle is known by others. Thank you for that. If you ever come south, you’re welcome in my home, I’ll just vacuum up the goldfish first.

    1. I think it has to do with the little-ness of the kids…our desire to flee. That wanderlust that thinks it will be better somewhere else. (And if it makes you feel better about the goldfish-crunching, my kid flushed his underwear down the toilet yesterday.) (Also, when I read that, I briefly thought they were crunching LIVE goldfish. I was very relieved to realize you were talking about the crackers.)

      Thanks for the great comment and the invite. No need to vacuum for us though. We bring our own special chaos.

  11. I am very thankful to read this blog today. One of my personality is that I can be cynical and suspicious. When I’m analyzing an article for class, that can be positive, but relating to people and learning different things, as you point out, can mean missing out on something deeper there. “I am learning to quiet my inner cynic, to note my own reactivity, and to listen for that which might be true.” That is such a beautiful and honest way to put it, and I think I will remind myself of these words for a good while to quiet my own inner cynic and get to that something true.

    1. So glad I’m not the only one with that tendency, Faith! I’m not sure if mine is a personality trait or something that grew as a reaction to some of the religious baggage I have. Either way, I want to give a little less power to the cynical voice and more to the hopeful one. The believing one. The one that sees people like God does. Thanks so much for sharing here!

  12. Such wisdom in the perspective to still read a book that’s annoying you, Addie. I love the conscious remembrance that the author is a person who loves and is loved by God.

    I always hope for others to give me grace in my writing. I know that sometimes my BS meter on myself is not where it should be. That sometimes things leak through my posts that make faith sound more simple and reducible than they are. But I hope people can see my heart through the hard-fought and inadequate words attempting to explain a mysterious and beautiful and complicated God.

    If I hope others will do that for me, then I should try to do that for others. Besides, God sometimes does his best teaching through broken vessels. Sometimes an entire book can be about the one sentence He uses to do a work in our hearts.

    (P.S. If you’re looking for another book on prayer, I’ve heard good things about Philip Yancey’s book on the subject. I believe he does a lot of wrestling with the frustrations of prayer. http://www.amazon.com/Prayer-Does-Make-Any-Difference/dp/0310328888/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1358891230&sr=8-3&keywords=prayer)

    1. Loved this comment and this line: “Sometimes an entire book can be about the one sentence He uses to do a work in our hearts.” Lovely. And yes, Philip Yancey is on my list. I’ve only read one other book by him, but I find his honesty disarming and inviting. I’ll definitely be reading that one. 🙂

  13. Addie, I was so glad to read this post and hear your desire to find what God might have to say to you about prayer even from someone who makes you bristle with sensitivity and cynicism. I was saddened when I read your first post on Circle Maker because Mark is a friend who sincerely loves God and is striving to honor Him. I felt your words would discourage people from reading. Even if I don’t agree with everything he says, God can use him to challenge me and shake me up… to bring a different perspective. For me, my background didn’t include being a Jesus freak or taking a “Jericho walk”, but rather, the tendency to make God too small. Too comfortable. Too status quo. Mark reminds me of the power of God I too often forget.

    Prayer confounds and confuses me. It is not easy or neat and is at the top of my list to have a chat with God about face to face. But until then, I look at the variety of voices in the Bible – bold and quiet, desperate, pleading, rejoicing, grasping – and I think that we need them all. And we also need fellow strugglers on the journey adding their voices today. Including both yours and Mark’s. I’m thankful that both of you are “in the arena”.

    1. This is such a beautiful comment Laura. (The thing you said about the different voices of prayer in the Bible gave me chills. And not just because it’s a balmy 5 degrees here!)

      I went back to the Jericho post and reread, and I see now that there were lines there that were a little bit reactive. I apologize for that. That’s never really how I want this blog to feel. I had only read the first section when I wrote that, and something about the way Mark speaks about God and prayer in those first sections tapped into my baggage and all my most insecure places.

      His voice in those pages sounds so much like the voice of the boy that I loved in those on-fire days, but who always made me feel like I didn’t have enough faith. (It’s another story for another time, but it’s always there, at the back of my mind, influencing things, changing how I hear things.)

      I plan to go more into all this later this week in one final post on the book. I’m thankful for the book because it’s forced me to ask questions that I haven’t wanted to think about. It’s brought me toe-to-toe with that cynical voice in my head and made me realize that the cynic doesn’t always have the final word.

      Anyway, more on all that later. Thanks for these kind, gentle words, Laura. And thanks for sticking with me and reading even still.

  14. I think I’m still a bit stuck in anger, and what you said about easily writing off entire people resonates with me, sad to say. I’m trying to figure out when to let go of things that generally cause me to feel frustrated (right now church falls into that category), and when to hold on, while still maintaining an attitude of openness toward people. I probably miss a lot of good things because of certain phrases that get under my skin….sigh. I really enjoy your posts, Addie, and I’m excited for this series on prayer.

    1. Thanks so much for this comment Emily. And yes, that’s so much how the anger (and cynicism) feels: like being stuck. Thanks for sticking with me during this messy process of trying to get myself unstuck! Hopefully we’ll both figure some things out about what openness looks and feels like and find a way to plant our hearts there.

  15. I loved The Circle Maker. The take-home I got from the book had to do with softening my heart toward the goodness of God. I’d somehow subconsciously decided that any good longing, or good hope for my future, certainly wasn’t from God. Circle Maker helped me work through that toxic theology. And it also helped me realize that just because some of my dreams and hopes didn’t fall into my lap, that didn’t mean I should pray for them and work toward them anyway. In the past, I’ve heard Christians teach on prayer in a way that reminds me of the short story, “The Monkey’s Paw”. The theory often seems to be that if you ask God to help you, he will do the opposite. If you pray for patience, he’ll bless you with a crabby coworker, etc. “Be careful what you pray for!” That whole mentality. I don’t like books that try to simplify a relationship with God into some kind of code I’m supposed to crack in order to be loved or blessed.

    Batterson’s book never felt like gold stars and check marks to me. I believe all books are subjective, so if someone hates it, I think their opinion is 100% as right as mine. But, after reading the book, I started to pray much more candidly than I had before. And I would pray through the dreams and longings I had, and I realized it was okay to do that. Even more, I realized there was such a closeness in that place where I was telling God exactly what I hoped, feared, and longed for – no longer coating my words in churchy catchphrases to make them seem more holy.

    When I look back over the past year, I’m blown away by how God has answered my prayers – not always the way I wanted (but sometimes!). That has nothing to do with the book, I realize, but I think the book did inspire me to pray differently, and more fervently, and to pray believing. And even though “name it/claim it” theology can get wackadoodle, I do believe there’s something to be said of checking inner dialogue, and the general tone of the way we speak; about others and about ourselves, about our identity and our future. And I believe expectation, and hope, are wonderful, powerful conduits to change. Last year was a doozey for me – in good ways and bad ways. The Circle Maker was a book that gave me some serious encouragement, and I’ll always be grateful for that. (I LOVE Laura’s comment; I love that there are so many styles of prayer in scripture.)

    I relate so much to the second part of your post. Because even though I liked Batterson’s book, I can certainly relate to how easy it can be to generalize books and authors and jump to quick conclusions. That seems to happen more when I read non-fiction geared toward women. Last year, I read a book in which the author candidly shared her struggles and sorrows and how she found God in the midst of them. But, conveniently, finding God always seemed to include: 1.) finding comfort from her husband (a comfort source that doesn’t exist in my life yet), 2.) going to her beach house (which is also not a possibility), and 3.) waxing poetic about indie bands and art and wine. Basically, it seemed like the author had a very charmed life. And it seemed as though, more often than not, she had to drudge up drama in order to have a full chapter.

    In retrospect, I don’t know if my disdain for the book had anything to do with a sensitive BS detector. I think I was just jealous that her life seemed so sunny-side-up. But I still came to the same realization you did – there were still good things to be found in there. Most of what I didn’t like about the book probably spoke to how I’d felt excluded or left out, somehow. Or maybe it had to do with the season I was experiencing.

    With a small amount of reflection, I could see that so much of what she wrote would encourage so many women. And she had a knack for writing her reflections so beautifully. Like you said, that’s a good moment when you realize you can take away the good, disagree with some parts, and then move on without becoming angry. There’s real maturity in a moment like that, I think. I don’t want cynicism to be my default. I want to be able to look and see the beauty in anything, always. I’m still learning to choose that, even when it’s not my first instinct.

    Sorry to leave such a long comment! Your post stirred me up in a good way 🙂 Thanks for sharing your heart on here.

    1. Great comment and insight Natalie. It’s so good for me to see what other people have taken away from the book and what I might have missed.

      I wonder if I had read this book later in my prayer-discovery journey if it would have felt different to me. I’m going to write about that more on Thursday, but I think a lot of what he wrote about was butting up against my deeply held fears about God and shame about my lack of faith. It hooked things that I haven’t dealt with. It skipped over the “messy middle” of prayer, when that’s where I need the most help. I wonder if I had come to it after I had sort of wrestled through all of that stuff, if it would have struck a different note with me?

      Anyway, more on that later. Thanks for these insights and the graceful, kind ways you disagreed here. I LOVE hearing other points of view and the ways these posts can turn into good, productive discussion. So cool.

  16. You might like my book on the walk with Him in the inner realms, I certainly don’t have all the answers but I couldn’t find anyone who even saw it the way I thought it was supposed to be.

    Stories, not lectures.
    Love, not burdens.

    http://www.amazon.com/Places-Abiding-Experiencing-Christian-ebook/dp/B009088ASC/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1345705127&sr=8-7&keywords=Places+of+abiding

    Extract from a poem of mine in the book

    To fail is better than to win
    In failing we need more of Him

    Blessings
    Anne

  17. Hi Addie,

    I usually get notification of your blog late… so you have to scroll down some in order to ever reach me.

    You have done a wonderful job (as always) to describe one of my pet peeves. It often comes down to how faith is expressed. If the expression is not quite original/artistic/organic enough, I lose interest.
    I lean toward a right-brained … less rule-bound Christian outlook. Whenever I pause attempt to express my beliefs, I am compelled to approach them as if composing a love letter. I therefore ardently follow authentic reads like yours Addie. You and authors like Donald Miller have been mentors to me. You have helped me avoid phraseologies that create cognitive dissonance – not only to the hearer, but to me as well. The cynical side of all this… is I expect everyone to express themselves the same level of authenticity.
    I don’t know how to fit all the loose pieces together. I’m coming to realize there are not only many conflicting views converging on one another, but expressions as well. All this diversity requires heavy doses of humility and self-examination.

    Vincent

    1. Very insightful. I think the phrase “cognitive dissonance” is so apt here. Yes. I don’t know how all the loose pieces fit together either.

  18. I just discovered your blog this weekend and am so thankful I found it. I’ve always believed in facing doubt head-on, that it’s the only way. Because nothing else sounds or feels real to me. I love the way you express yourself and I love that you’re letting others watch your journey to discover faith on your own terms. I love that you’re facing it head-on. I love your bullshit detector and wish more people of faith employed their own. My heart leaps with excitement to be able to explore alongside you, to find someone whose voice isn’t conventional. I’m writing a book on prayer right now, and it’s kind of unconventional, too, but the comments I read here helped reinforce my fundamental desire to be truthful and not gloss over the things that don’t make sense, the things that are a little too perfect… Thank you, Addie, and thank you to your readers for being willing to discard what doesn’t work but still hold onto parts that do.

    1. Thanks so much for the kind words, Kelly. I love the idea of a new, unconventional book on prayer! We need more of those! And yes…for me, the honesty is what makes the whole thing profoundly true. It is so much easier for me the “hear” voices that are willing to honestly explore the gray areas and the complications of faith than the ones who oversimplify. I’m so thankful for people who have done the hard work of wading into that hard territory.

  19. I love your open honesty about yourself, particularly your willingness to recognize what may be reaction to style more than content.

    Prayer – One of my favorite books on prayer is an old one, “With Christ in the School Prayer” by Andrew Murray.

    The book is divided into 31 Lessons rather than chapters and in the 24th Lesson Murray makes these statements “We see thus that everything depends on our own relation to the Name: the power it has on my life is the power it will have in my prayers….‘WHATSOEVER ye shall ask in my Name, that will I do.’ Jesus means the promise literally. Christians have sought to limit it: it looked too free; it was hardly safe to trust man so unconditionally. We did not understand that the word ‘in my Name’ is its own safeguard. It is a spiritual power which no one can use further than he obtains the capacity for, by his living and acting in that Name.” The entire 31 Lessons are packed with scripture based instruction in the areas of both personal and corporate prayer of this same caliber. It truly fits its subtitle “…Training for the Ministry of Intersession”.

    1. Personally, however, my concept on prayer is much more focused on hearing from God than speaking to Him. I’m an introvert, not good at initiating conversation. I approach my personal prayer in a similar way. I ask Him to speak, to raise the topics or questions that He desires me to consider or respond to.

      We so often forget that listening is a big part of conversation.

    2. Thanks for the recommendation, Kathleen. I’ll have to check it out. And I agree about the silence and the listening. A piece that I’m constantly trying to figure out in my own life.

  20. Right now I am sitting in your cold Minnesota as our semi is unloaded. I love your honesty. What keeps me going is that the days ARE getting longer and I know Spring will come! And no matter what the weather God is always waiting to hold me close. I don’t have to know how to pray, I just have to talk to my Abba. Yes, there are things I can learn from reading about prayer, but the best example I have for how to pray is Jesus himself. I too get frustrated with those who play with the words and make us feel less than ok because we don’t pray like they do. I encourage you to stop struggling and simple curl up in our Father’s lap and have a nice chat. I find that really helps.

  21. I loved this, Addie, because it tells me more of my own story…. Where I’ve been and who I am now. That is great writing, when you can make us all go “ah-ha” and feel connected too.

  22. Man! I feel about church the way you describe feeling about this book. Silly little things make me so angry, disgusted, and annoyed that I take months off at a time. And yet, I still believe that there are good things there.

    1. I’ve so been there. It takes time. And for a while it’s so murky…all that good and yuck mixed up together, and it’s hard to figure out if it’s you or them or both. All I can tell you is give yourself space. If you need to take a few weeks off, take them. But keep going back. Eventually it gets easier. And then easier still. And then it gets good again.

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