Another FREE book February 13, 2020

I missed one, BookRunes had a FREE suggestion this morning too.

Maybe it’s a good thing I missed it. It heads off in a much different direction from the rest of this morning’s offerings. Maybe it deserves the attention of it’s own post.

Beggars Daughter is a true story based on one woman’s life, sharing her struggle with a difficult but very real subject.

Beggars Daughter

Amazon quote:

If you think pornography is just a “guy thing” you would be wrong.

Jessica Harris was 13 years old when she was exposed to pornography. After four years, her use was out of control and when she went to find help, it became apparent that this wasn’t a thing many women do. All of the resources were for men, and when she got caught, she was told “Women don’t have this problem.” That sent her on a downward spiral and nearly landed her in the adult industry.

Spoiler alert: that didn’t happen. Instead, she found freedom, hope, healing and worth in the love and grace of God.

Beggar’s Daughter is a candid look into her story, how she struggled and eventually how God set her free. It is a narrative on grace suitable for the women who struggle and those who want to understand them. Through it all, the message is that no woman is ever beyond the grace of God.

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Free and bargain books January 28, 2020

BookRunes has a FREE suggestion for us this morning.

Paper Roses, book 5 in Serenity’s Plain Secrets. An Amish Mystery series appearing in my reading list since 2015. All five books have been read and enjoyed by me, and hopefully others too.

Paper Roses

Amazon quote:

Some Amish communities aren’t so cozy.

Paper Roses is the electrifying new addition to the Serenity’s Plain Secrets’ mystery/crime thriller series.

While an archeological team digs up Blood Rock’s sinister past, a forbidden romance begins, and Serenity races to stop a serial killer before he strikes again.

When the mutilated corpse of a young Amish woman is discovered in Blood Rock, Sheriff Serenity Adams embarks on her most terrifying case yet, facing a killer unlike anything she’s seen before. Law enforcement and the Amish join forces to unravel the truth and find the person terrorizing the community, and just when Serenity thinks she’s solved the case, she finds out that the nightmare is far from over.

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BookBub has a bargain suggestion ($0.99) from frequently appearing, prolific author, Joy Ohagwu,

The After (Books 1-3) Christian Inspirational Series

The After books 1-3

Amazon quote:

After – Series Book 1

All she had was a stunning voice, but he plotted her downfall and the loss of her faith. Will she let shame win or fight back with the faith he despised?

Sixty thousand people watched as Candace Rodriguez literally fell off the stage while performing the national anthem, wrecking more than her self-esteem. Is her music career over? Now, weighing 350 pounds and jilted by her fiancé after the shame of her public fall, can she find another chance at true love? Will her new Christian faith anchor her future hopes?

Former highbrow stock trader, “JB” Patrickson has had enough of life making mockery of his best laid-out future plans. His father insisted he’d never make it more than selling ” chickn” stock in Kentucky. Proving him wrong, JB succeeded at the NY Stock Exchange, becoming one of the best US traders…until the market crashed in 2008. Seven years later and mired in debt, he can’t shake the urge that God is leading him down a different path. Has he fallen low enough to toil with his hands to eke out a single meal? What future could God plan for him on a farm?

AFTER 2 – Series Book 2

I almost drowned…then I lived.

Blossom Daniels lost her job moments after she reported to work, because she couldn’t climb the stairs for mail delivery, thanks to a permanently broken down elevator. Her day was only beginning. Little did she know, before it ended, she’d be fighting for her life in the chilly grip of the Potomac. 

Josh Miller was running late to his sister’s baby shower–a shower she pressured him to attend, refusing to hear his complaints of, “men don’t attend that sort of event.” But after a slew of traffic mishaps, neither his sister’s baby shower nor the traffic comprised his agenda. He was diving into the depths of the Potomac River to save a person he’d never met. 

Blossom knew her weight would challenge anyone attempting to save her. She prayed desperately, “God, if you save me, I will lose this weight!” First, she must overcome the rough waves determined to sink her. 

AFTER 3 – Series Book 3

After she reached her limit, she stumbled into a miracle.

As far as former supermodel Rachel Song was concerned, her best modeling days–and the good cash it brought along–were over, thanks to her age and a medical condition beyond her control. Stuck with debt, and working a low-paying job, she finds herself doubting an opportunity to revisit her modeling days, was from God. Will she follow through on her promise to be part of this new venture, or will the rejections she’d suffered impact her obedience to God?

Since the day his late fiancee died, New York Times bestselling author, Al Dove had kept one promise to himself–to keep breathing until he died too–and to do nothing more. He was no longer interested in anything life had to offer him beyond breathing, eating and sleeping. 

When a knock at the door, and a sharp awakening led him to revisit his decision, he attempts to pick up the pieces of his life from shambles. Can he see a possible future with God and the people around him in it, or will he remain blinded by grief?

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One more bargain at $1.31. from another award winning author, Christy Barritt.

Clean Break (Squeaky Clean Mysteries book 15)

(I know… it says three on the cover but fifteen in the product description. I haven’t discovered why yet, so we’ll just go with it. It does work to search this way.)

Clean Break

Amazon quote:

Gabby and the Cold Case Squad tackle their most personal case yet.

Evie Manson’s foster mom vanished six weeks ago on a trip to Pennsylvania. The mystery surrounding her disappearance haunts Evie. Was it a blind date gone bad? Is she injured somewhere all alone? Why hasn’t anyone heard from her since?

With not a clue in sight, Gabby and the Cold Case Squad travel to Shady Valley to investigate. When no one will answer their questions and hostility abounds around every corner, the crew determines something is definitely shady in the valley.

News of a dead body found in the local park intensifies the search for Evie’s missing mother. Just what is the town hiding? Is Evie’s foster mom even still alive? Gabby and her team need to catch a break before time runs out. But will obstacles at every turn stop them?

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My current read is Gone to Texas

Gone to Texas

Happy Reading! Have a good day.

Podcasts, vlogs, and blogs

Podcasts and live videos have been capturing my attention lately and I am hooked. There is something about live interaction that makes the dissemination of information so much more attractive – at least to me anyway.

Podcasts

Carey Nieuwhof is one of the podcasters I’ve been following lately.    http://careynieuwhof.com/mypodcast/

Carey’s specialty is leadership training and everything he does revolves around that.  He has the gift of finding interesting guests and insightful questions for his podcasts. Every one I’ve listened to so far has been worthwhile and inspiring; even more interesting  than the titles suggested to this non-leader type  person. I examine the subject title and wonder how it could relate to me. It’s a surprise to find there is always something to catch my interest and keep me listening. Most of the interviewees have recently written a book and that’s always part of the conversation as well.

Today’s podcast was to be about organizing your calendar in a way that would make it possible to accomplish a daunting list of tasks without spending mega hours in the office. This guest is a busy man with an overwhelming mountain of responsibility  but somehow he manages to streamline his day and get it all done.  They discussed his methods for a while and then switched to the topic of his new book. It’s called The Road Back to You: An Enneagram Journey to Self Discovery, by guest Ian Morgan Cron. It’s based on an old psychological system with nine personality types. That’s a higher number than some of today’s more popular systems use, which makes it different before we even get started. They touched briefly on each of them in the hour long podcast. Carey had read the book and applied the test to himself so the informed discussion was enlightening.

The first order of business at the end of the podcast was to purchase my own  copy from Amazon. I’m always interested to see what I can learn about myself with any of these tools. I haven’t started reading the book yet but I’m sure I’ll be talking about it when I do.

Video Podcasts (Vlogs)

Anglican Unscripted is a video podcast/vlog I’ve been following for a year or so. They do a journalism show in live video. The subject is always news as it relates to the Anglican church and happens once or twice a week. I’m not Anglican, (although I am ecumenical –  does anyone even use that word anymore?) but I find their discussions interesting. It appeals to me because I like to have a feel for what is going on in the world.

There are three main participants in the show; Kevin Kallsun and George Conger in the US, (Connecticut and Florida) and Gavin Ashenden in the UK. The link to check them out is AnglicanTV Ministries – YouTube.

Gavin used to be chaplain to the Queen but parted ways with the Anglican Church over doctrinal issues. He is highly educated and has a wise way of expressing himself. George is an Episcopal priest and while he agrees with Gavin, most of the time, he has his own slant on things. I enjoy watching them discuss the issues of the day. Once in a while, we even hear interviews from Australia, Israel, Africa, or several other places.

This week Anglican Unscripted/Anglican TV shared six videos that captured my interest enough  to watch all of them three times. The speakers were polished, knowledgeable, and inspiring; workshop leaders at an Anglican’s For Life Conference in Washington DC. The conference was in conjunction with a Right to Life march happening there that weekend.

The speakers did touch on the subject of abortion, but only one spoke to it in depth. The others spoke on topics like terminal illness and its affect on both the patient and the family; the needs  that stem from this hurting community and how they can be met. Up to ninety percent of a persons support systems fall away after cancer diagnosis, mostly because as a society we don’t know how to deal with the issue and tend to run away from it. The challenge from each speaker was to step up and learn what we can do to be there for these people in our lives. They talked about post abortion devastation and the grief process that is being endured hopelessly, in silence, and about bringing hope to the elderly – their life isn’t over, it still has meaning and purpose, if they look for it.

On the surface the subjects sound depressing but each speaker dealt with their segment in a way that brought hope for a better future.

I found the speakers compelling and know I will be contemplating their thoughts for some time to come. If you would like to hear more, the videos are on YouTube on the Anglican TV channel. It would be well worth your time if you have a heart for hurting people.

The speakers I liked the best were Georgette Forney, Rick Berge, David Bereit, Aveda King (related to Martin Luther King Jr.), Ryan T Anderson, and Cathie Young.

Blogs

Last but not least, I have been following Dr. Perry’s blog at  makeitultrapsychology.wordpress.com.  I recommend his site if you are looking for safe and helpful input in your life. Check out his bio for a clearer idea of what his site is all about.

This time it was an excellent and helpful post about empathy; but what really caught my attention was a comment on the post. A reader mentioned a book she found helpful, by Alan Alda, one of my favorite actors in the old Mash TV series.

Alan is an intelligent, educated, and well-read man interested in all things science. He hosted a science show for over a decade and has followed some of his own ideas with an obsession. Communication is dear to his heart and he’s put much effort into testing and understanding his ideas for improvement. Empathy forms a large part of his strategy for good communication and he has a light-hearted way of sharing serious information so that it sticks. He’s written a book called If I Understood You, Would I Have This Look on My Face?  I’m half way through it and I have to tell you; he has a lot to say. This book is the literary equivalent of a well packed suitcase that must be sat on to be closed successfully.

Empathy is connection with another person. You learn how to notice what they are thinking and feeling. This takes communication, and relationships, to a whole new level. Empathy improves not only verbal exchanges but written ones as well. We can become better writers if we practice empathy. And practice is exactly what’s needed. the more we do it the better we become and our work will improve to show it.

If I understood you

There is so much more that could be said about each and every one of these examples but I wanted only to give you a taste, hoping you would explore these sites for yourself, and be enticed to follow them too.

Happy hunting.

 

 

 

Share Your Blog 2019

This post is inspired by the brainchild of a popular blogger, Paul, at  https://captain’sspeech.wordpress.com  Check out his post, Share Your Blog 2019, I could never express this idea the way he can.

I would share his post here for you but he received way too many comments in response to his challenge/request. If you do visit his site, you may end up joining his thousands of followers, which would be a good thing.

Basically, his idea is this – as a blogging community we need a shot in the arm. He claims most of us have been moving along sluggishly, if at all,  in 2018. He’s right, we’ve all seen it. Interest seemed to drop off dramatically and it’s been getting harder to find something interesting to read on a regular basis.

Paul’s idea also appeals to every blogger’s need for better stats; more views and more followers. Today’s challenge is something proactive to increase our numbers.

Apparently there was a time when WordPress promoted community by encouraging the idea Paul is suggesting, and it worked. Now, we need to take the initiative to promote community this way.

Paul invited his followers, and anyone else who happened to stumble upon his blog, to introduce themselves and promote their blogs in the comment section of his.

I’ve gone back several times to see what the response has been like. It has been amazing. Many of us have never commented on his site before but many did this time. You could see that the introductions were getting lots of attention too, and conversations were  sparked when like minded bloggers discovered each other.

Paul always encourages comments and interacts with people when they do, which is entertaining in itself.

Comments have never taken off on my site, probably because of my tendency to hide where it’s safe. Also, I’m an introvert and struggle with stilted small talk. Honest reactions though, I can handle. I’m looking to change it up a bit in 2019 and encourage  conversations. If I manage to inspire you in someway, hopefully there would be a little bit of conversation to be had with some honest feeling in it.

So, here’s today’s challenge: introduce yourself in the comment section. Tell us a little bit about yourself and your blog. What is it about and how/why did you get started?

I don’t know if Paul’s stats improved any in this exercise but I know mine did (Welcome! to the new followers) by speaking up on his site. I know yours will too, if you comment here.

So don’t be shy, speak up, you never know who you will get to meet and, your stats will get a shot in the arm. What have you got to lose?

I would value the opportunity to learn more about my followers, so I’m personally  looking forward to seeing your comments on here too.

Go for it!

Janette  (I’m coming out of hiding in 2019)

P.S. I’m grateful for those of you following me on this blog, you keep me posting.

Wilma Derksen – writer, communicator

I want to share another awesome writer with you.

We were privileged to have a local celebrity, Wilma Derksen, as speaker at two of the writer’s events I attended this spring. Hearing Wilma was a first for me, and I was impressed. She is wise, has a sweet spirit, and relates well to her audience. I can see why she is popular and in demand.

Wilma’s writing career started with a tragic event in her life, the disappearance  and murder of her young teenage daughter, Candace. The purpose of the first book was to help her make sense of the tragedy, and to assess it’s effect on her family. Publishing and making it publically available brought help and healing to many of those facing similar circumstances. It was also found to be a good resource for those working with victims of serious crime.

The first book was Have You Seen Candace. It was followed by three others, all dealing with other aspects of the coping process. Wilma is tenacious and forgiving, willing to share her secrets with us – and did, in these books. The Way of Letting Go, Confronting the Horror, and Unsettled Weather.

Have you seen Candace   The opportunities as a result of these books have been amazing. She’s had invitations to speak in unexpected places. Her books have been used as educational and training resource material. She’s been given many, and varied, teaching opportunites. There have even been awards.

I’ve had the privilege of reading two of her books, so far, but will list the rest of them for you anyway.

The Way of Letting Go   The Way of Letting Go: One Woman’s Walk Toward Forgiveness

Confronting the Horror   Confronting the Horror: The Aftermath of Violence ….. The Victim’s Journey Through the 15 Elements of Serious Crime

Unsettled Weather  Unsettled Weather: How Do I Forgive . …. a group study on forgiveness using a story telling method

 

The next two are the ones I’ve read, and will probably read again. Unlike the first books, these two are novels. Story seemed to be a good way to share some of the wisdom she’s  gained walking through this life of hers. In case you are wondering, these books are not biographical. I know, it feels like they are.

Path of the Heart  Ava Series – Path of the Heart book 1 …..  is the beautiful story of a neglected little girl who loves and feels loved, by her grandmother, a wise woman sought out by many in the community. They come by way of a special path through the forest, knowing she can help them because she has seen an angel.

Echo of the Soul  Ava Series – Echo of the Soul book 2 ….. there is oppression in the community. An overbearing man, and his wife, have moved in and taken over. The man, secretly a liar and a cheat, has bullied people into following his dictates. The path has never seen this much traffic, so many coming to see the wise woman who has seen an angel. She has had many answers for them in the past, they are convinced she will have an answer for this too.

These last two books are already available on Amazon. It’s hoped the rest can be made available soon; as well as the new book that’s about to be released.

I hope these books will inspire and encourage you in your journey.

Happy reading, for a brighter tomorrow.

Some things need to be talked about

I am convinced there are some things that need to be talked about. There could be a number of reasons for this. Maybe someone shares a similar experience and needs encouragement. Maybe  someone feels lumped in with the abusers and needs reassurance. Maybe someone has the false impression that all abused women hate men and need to know that’s not true. Or, maybe it’s just to help me figure out some things. It could be for any number of reasons that haven’t even occurred to me yet. Whatever the reason, I feel pretty confident there will be some good come out of a discussion.

This post is a continuation of some things I have shared recently, regarding men and my trust issues. Men have been both a blessing and a curse in my life. In spite of the good, I’m still left with trust issues that creep up on me in a way that makes no sense sometimes. Although, maybe it would make sense if I could uncover the old memories triggering these reactions and deal with them somehow.

Today was one of those days. My niece has the sweetest young husband and I met him for the first time. They stayed over night with me as they are travelling back to Western Canada, they were easy to have around. We found lots of interesting things to talk about, it was a great visit. In the morning though, when it was time for them to leave, it was awkward. I wanted to hug them both good bye but I just couldn’t bring myself to initiate a hug with him. I cannot explain to you why that was, there was just something holding me back.

I am still beating myself up over it.

He could have hugged me and I would have responded, but he didn’t know that.

This is an ongoing issue with me, it happens all the time with my son-in-law, whom I love dearly. I want to hug him like I do the rest of the family, but I just can’t. He could hug me but I sense he has some of the same trust issues I do. It seems we end up hugging with a look.

So, getting back to the initial thinking behind this new post.

There is a question I have been asking myself for the last couple of weeks – how can I have empathy and distrust all at the same time? It seems like it should one or the other. Black or white.

For a short while, I was worried there was something emotionally wrong with  me, and that was distressing because I didn’t want it to be true. The concern over this idea was quickly relieved when someone shared a video on Facebook about a five year old brother comforting his little sister. In a flash, it struck a deep cord with me. I realize I learned to love at a very early age, even while I was learning to distrust.

I am the oldest of three with two brothers. There are five years between the oldest and the youngest and there has always been a strong bond between us.  Until now I have never really questioned why that is. I can see that I need to start asking more questions.

When I was thirteen or fourteen, living with my grandparents, I was asked to babysit, briefly, for several families with young babies. These were people I had never met. At the time I wondered why they would consider me, but it didn’t occur to me to question why I felt like I could do the job. Now it occurs to me to ask the question.

Why did I feel confident I could comfort a crying baby or change a dirty diaper? Why did  Grandma have enough confidence to allow me to take the job? There were no babies in our life with her, any experience I had with them would have come from another time.

At this point, looking back on our family dynamics, I can see my mother pressing me into service with my youngest brother. I’m sure Grandma would have been aware of this fact. I have no memory of any of it, but then, I don’t remember a lot of things. It turned out I did indeed know how. I still do.

me and Jax may 2017 WPG

My youngest brother’s great grandson Jax. We’ve just met for the first time (a year ago). His mother took this picture.

There’s more….

Lately, I have been having conversations with my older brother about our life in the early years. He remembers some things I don’t (my mind has buried all of the painful parts) and hearing what he had to say tells me – life was even worse than I imagined. Among other things, he said Dad was not a nice man.

He told me a number of things about those days but there was one story that shook me.

It was about Dad driving on the railroad tracks running behind our property, he was playing chicken with oncoming trains. I had heard these stories for years  and used to laugh, thinking it was something my crazy risk taking father would do. What I didn’t  realize at the time – my brother was with him, scared out of his mind. That’s one of the reasons why Dad did it, it was his perverse way of trying to force this kid to grow some courage. It finally stopped  when my 10 year old brother made up his mind he wasn’t going to let his fear show anymore. I’m horrified Dad would do that to a kid.

We also talked about another time I do remember. It was Dad beating my brother with a piece of hose, in front of all of us. A tool was missing from his work shop and he was convinced it was my brother’s  fault. I can still remember the distress of watching this happen. I could never understand why Mom did nothing to stop it.

One thing I’ve learned, by first hand experience, boys suffer from abuse as deeply as girls. That is the genesis of my soft heart for men, surviving life alongside my brothers, recognizing the pain in their life.

My oldest brother is the reason I’ve left denial behind and have taken ownership of the abusive early years in my life. He adamantly insisted that I must, even if the memories were shadowy and I couldn’t remember the actual events. He wanted to know why I thought I would be the favoured one, to escape abuse.

All three of us have blocked painful memories, but deep inside, we will never forget.

Our story does have a happy ending in spite of the terrible years. All three of us have grown into well adjusted, productive, loving people. We’ve left behind the bitterness and rage. A miracle, really.

One thing I’ve loved about this process of discovery – the heavy load of old baggage seems to grow lighter with each breakthrough experience.

 

 

I want to tell you a story

I want to tell you a story, hopefully, one that will build on my last post, and clear up some misconceptions.

It’s about one of my cats. Kitty (as I called him – mainly because my landlord called him Sylvester, a name I didn’t like and didn’t have the courage to try to change), Kitty had been someone’s pet, an abused pet, one who learned to be terrified of all things human.

We discovered him living in the bushes across the back alley, wild and hungry. He could be coaxed out with food, if it was placed somewhere he considered safe, so we fed him.

I found it hard to see him in such distress and set out to woo him into trusting me. It worked, gradually his trust grew to the point that he was eating inside, then living inside – sleeping on the furniture, and finally, on my lap. His trust grew to extend beyond me to my husband, and to our landlord.

Kitty learned to trust the three of us but that was as far as it ever went. He was gone in a flash if anyone else came around, and he was like that for as long as we had him.

The thing is, he didn’t stop to make a judgement call. He had no idea if encountered humans were good or bad, and he didn’t care, he wasn’t taking any chances.

His fear was the result of what had been done to him in the past and had nothing whatever to do with anyone in the present.

That’s the spot I find myself in today. My trust issues and panic attacks are the result of what’s been done to me in the past. The present can inadvertently act as a trigger but other than that, it has no bearing on anything.

Triggers aren’t restricted to strangers, either, they often happen in the presence of people I know and trust, they can even happen when I am alone, maybe reading, thinking, listening to the news, any other activity, really. On top of all that, most of the time I have no idea why.

So, when my talk of trust issues has you worried you are being labelled as a bad guy, please, let that worry go. I don’t stop to make assessments and then act on my findings. Triggers happen when they happen, for reasons all of their own, and they create awkward moments.

Like the one that happened on a day when I was hurrying across a lobby. I spotted a man standing by the door and stopped dead in my tracks. I have no idea what that was about. I had to do some quick, and tough, self talk….don’t just stand there, keep walking.

I can tell you, there were no assessments made that day. He could have been a very good guy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Man He Never Was: A Modern Reimagining of Jekyll and Hyde

I have been thinking a lot, this week, about the good men in my life. I’ve never thought like this before, not really. It seems like the after-effects of the bad men in my life have completely taken over; you can tell this because I’ve mentioned them to you more than once with nary a word about any of the good guys.

I’ve never before thought to question how I knew from an early age that not all men  were bad. Now, I realize there has to be experience behind the knowledge, it doesn’t just happen.

There are very few childhood memories left to give me clues, however, I do have adult memories of Mom’s stories. She talked often about leaving us with Aunt Jenny and Uncle Donald. Uncle Donald was Grandpa’s brother. He was kind, smiled a lot, and cared about kids. I have teenage memories of him and can see how the little me would have loved being with him.  Grandpa was reserved and didn’t smile a lot but I felt safe with him too. I could let down my guard, and did, when we lived with him as young teens.

There were two separate camps in my early life. The good guys, and the bad guys. Now. as I take the time to think about it, I realize how blessed I was. Not everyone has the privilege of experiencing the good with the bad.

Since then, there have been other good guys in my life, too,  and I treasure them all.


I am going to leave you with just one book this time.

James L Rubart is a favorite author and I hope to do a feature on him soon. There are a number of his books in my kindle collection and I need to tell you about them sometime.

He has a unique style of writing but is not alone in it as there are several others sharing a similar style. Frank Peretti is one of them. There is always a bit of fantasy in his stories.

I hope you enjoy this as much as I did.

the man he never was  The Man He Never Was  – James L Rubart….. Toren Daniels wakes up one day and feels like a different person. And has no idea why.

He was a professional football player with a raging temper that finally got him kicked out of the league. Without the usual outlet, his family bore the brunt of his temper tantrums and they were about to kick him out too.

Toren disappeared one day, was gone so long everyone thought he was dead, and his family moved on with a feeling of relief. They were not happy to see him on the doorstep eight months later.

Now, he has two things to figure out:

  • Where was he for eight months and what has been done to him?
  • How does he convince his family he has changed, so he can get them back?

A story well worth the time.

Happy reading!

I hope you have some good people in your life too.

 

 

It’s complicated…but I feel better now

It really is complicated, and it’s causing discomfort – like a pebble in my shoe. The pebble moves around a bit and there are periods of relief, but lately it’s been sitting in a tender spot and doesn’t seem to be in any hurry to move on.

This latest state of discomfort started with a conversation back in December, just before I left on my winter road trip to British Columbia to spend Christmas with family.

I was telling a friend about some of the people I hoped to see along the way, including some of my work clients I’ve never met in person. I was startled by her quick response – but you are still married.

My instant reaction was an emotional – what’s that got to do with anything? I felt like I was being wrongly accused of something.

I haven’t been able to get this conversation out of my mind and it has become the proverbial pebble in my shoe.

There are two things troubling me about the conversation – the thought patterns behind her comment, and the trigger behind my reactive response.

My weak and ailing marriage fractured more than two decades ago and I have been on my own for at least half that time. The relationship is dead and buried. Divorce is not a reality only because I have been reluctant to address it, (the reasons behind that need to be explored, another day) so I am not sure why she thinks the lack of a divorce is a relevant issue.

Also, as I’ve shared in other posts, I have major trust issues with men and have been actively avoiding any chance of another relationship. My friend knows this too, so – where is her thinking coming from?

I feel bad about my reaction to her because it is not one she has ever seen from me. I expect she felt a little like she’d been punched. That’s the trouble with triggers, reactions to them are unpredictable and often painful to the person on the receiving end.

As I think about all of this, I am reminded of similar conversations with other people in other settings. Conversations that were distressingly perplexing because I couldn’t figure out the reasoning or motivation behind them. In every instance I felt like I was being wrongfully accused of something. And, in some cases the conversations became quite emotional.

Maybe that’s the trigger, feeling wrongfully accused. I will have to think some more on this, at a later date.

Now, after a week of letting all of these thoughts simmer, I expect my friend has moved on and forgotten all about this brief conversation, and I need to do the same.

The exercise of thinking and writing my way through this issue has been more than beneficial. The proverbial pebble in my shoe has ceased to be a bother. My original thoughts on this subject have been replaced by today’s much more coherent offering and I am left with new, and healing,  insights into both sides of the conversation.

It occurs to me that the thoughts expressed by the other party in these conversations may have stemmed from the space they are in personally, and had little to do with me at all. Maybe I need to stop making everything about me. Maybe I need to pay more attention to the pain of others and give greater consideration to things going on in their lives.

The benefits of understanding have also been reinforced. Understanding why seems to take the heat out of certain thoughts and emotions and allows me to move on to a healthier place.

This has been a productive exercise. It looks like I will be doing it again soon.