It has taken time, but now all that’s left is the love and the scar

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Photo by Alfonso Scarpa on Unsplash

I broke a glass in my hand once. It was a thin, crystal glass and it sliced the inside of my thumb below the knuckle. The gash required stitches, and because the doctor could not staunch the flow of blood, he was unable to see that he was stitching a tiny shard of glass into my thumb. It was now a part of me, whether I liked it or not.

From then on, whenever I grasped something, it sent a shock of pain through my thumb and up my spine, reminding me of the original trauma. Sometimes I would run my index finger over the raised scar, feeling the sharp pain of the sliver still beneath the skin. Yet, over time I had become accustomed to it being there. …

Throw away the rules when it comes to your personal journal

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Photo by Luz Saldaña on Unsplash

For years I had an on-again-off-again relationship with my journal. I would start a journal and because of the rules I created about how my journal had to look, my effort would flop. I would write for a few days, or a few weeks, then get off track, unable to meet my self-imposed perfectionistic standards. I had rules for how often, what, and how neatly I wrote in my journal.

The problem was, I was making journaling hard because I had set up expectations that were totally unrealistic and unnecessary. It didn’t help that I I was reading articles about how to do it “right.” …

There are similarities in the reasons for both

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Photo by Moises Alex on Unsplash

As the mother of an estranged daughter, I’ve been thinking about the connection between running away from home as an adolescent and choosing to estrange yourself from a parent as an adult. When adult children cut off a parent, are they dealing with conflict the only way they know how?

When children run away from home, it is usually an indication of faulty problem-solving skills, according to James Lehman, a social worker who works with behaviorally troubled youth. Kids run because they don’t know anything else to do.

I ran away from home once. I was maybe 8 or 9 years old and I spent a good part of the day sitting up in a tree feeling misunderstood, mad at my mother for something. I hoped that she would be sorry and would address whatever was bothering me when she realized that I had run away. …

And how to find support from people who do

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Photo by ActionVance on Unsplash

When I first became estranged from my youngest daughter 10 years ago, I did what I always do when faced with a question that needs an answer: I went to the library. Guess what? There were no books about family estrangement in the library. None. There was one book about difficulties in parent-child relationships, but it didn’t have much about estrangement.

I was at a loss. I knew no one else whose child had cut them out of their life. I was confused, hurt, and above all, deeply ashamed. How could this have happened? It was the last thing I ever believed would happen to me. …

Won’t my child think I have abandoned them?

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Photo by Cristian Newman on Unsplash

When your adult child estranges themselves from you, the first thing most parents do is go into overdrive trying to reach out, reconnect, let them know that you are still there and you still love them and want them in your life. This is the natural response to losing someone you love in this way.

But when the estrangement goes on for months or years, even though you have reached out over and over again, should you stop trying? Will your child feel like you have abandoned them if you stop attempting to reconnect? Will they think you don’t care anymore? …

Recognizing our pain is the beginning of healing our connection

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Photo by Pam Sharpe on Unsplash

Imagine this scenario. Mom and her adult daughter are talking on the phone. Mom is trying to tell a story about a recent event. Daughter has missed some of the details — either she was distracted or Mom is not explaining it very well. She stops Mom and says “Wait. What are we talking about?”

Mom circles back and tries to explain again. Adult daughter is not satisfied. She still cannot follow what Mom is trying to tell her. She gets frustrated and her frustration builds to exasperation and anger. She unloads on Mom. …

Home resides within. Tap into it to create the sense of peace you need.

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Photo by Amy Humphries on Unsplash

Home. Because of the pandemic we have all been spending more time there than we normally do. Being in my home almost an entire year with very few times of venturing beyond my little plot of land has sent me on a path of self-discovery. I have been thinking a lot about what home means to me. I have been thinking about what makes a house a home.

I am remembering homes from my past, and sorting out why home has always been so important to me. Home, for me, is so ingrained in my imagination that it has become a strand of my DNA. Home has been the organizing principle of my life. All roads lead back to home. I find that the word HOME shows up on all my vision boards. …

Curating memories and making peace with the past

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Photo by sarandy westfall on Unsplash

I opened a box yesterday that was filled with little scraps of paper, notes to self, pages torn from magazines, quotes I love, photographs, and various other bits of detritus from a lifetime of trying to make sense of the world. That is when it occurred to me that I am at the stage of my life that I have become a curator of my experiences.

I can now see everything with the eyes of someone who has survived it all. I can look at the ugly parts, the painful parts, the messy parts and see the beauty in all of it. …

We cannot escape the fact that we all depend on one another

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Photo by Elias Morr on Unsplash

There is a lot of information on the internet and in books about how to become self-sufficient. I have to admit I have always been drawn to the idea. Growing our own food and preserving it for later has an appeal to me that I attribute to my grandmother. She always had a big garden and canned and froze the bounty so that we had homegrown food to eat all winter.

Another early influence on my desire for self-sufficiency was the magazine ‘Mother Earth News.’ It always had articles about how to make your homestead self-sufficient, how to become food independent, energy independent, etc. When my children were young we bought 30 acres and started a big garden almost before the furniture was moved in. We were going to live off the land. …

Slowing down and paying attention brings richness to life, lowers stress and creates great memories

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Photo courtesy of the author — Beth Bruno ©2020

Whether it’s a feeling of joy or a piece of pecan pie — when you savor something, you enjoy it to the fullest.


When was the last time you slowed down to savor something? Maybe it was a piece of chocolate that melted on your tongue setting off pleasure sensors in your brain. The word savor elicits thoughts of enjoyment, even ecstasy, that makes your eyes close and your mouth say “Mmmm.”

We often see the word ‘savor’ applied to food and eating, but many of life’s experiences lend themselves to being savored. Walking outside on a bright fall day, finding a $20 bill in a coat pocket, the light streaming across the room and lighting up your loved one’s face. These and hundreds of other moments daily present themselves to us to be savored, but we often rush right past them. …


Beth Bruno

Human learning to be human. Writing in hopes of getting there. You can follow me at

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