Knowing life is uncertain, I remind myself to look up and be here while I can

It has been 563 days since the world shut down. Even longer since the first murmurs of a pandemic, a deadly disease, a life-altering global event pierced our consciousness. And here we are, still dealing with the fallout of the coronavirus and Covid-19. I remember when we all thought it would be gone in a matter of weeks. We were all willing to sacrifice for a short time. But when it became clear this disease was going to hang around a while people got testy. …


Why forgiving yourself is not the same as letting yourself off the hook

Self forgiveness is a way of looking at yourself with compassion, accepting that you are fully human, and extending grace for the ways you have failed yourself and others. However, it is not meant to justify your mistakes or the harm you may have caused. It does not let you off the hook without taking responsibility for the ways you have screwed up and hurt others. Rather, it enables you to more fully embrace your imperfections and softens you in a way that allows you to face what you have done without denial, justification or shifting blame.

When you can…


An ordinary life is nothing to be ashamed of. The best things can happen in an ordinary life.

Your world is deep and rich and full of miracles. -SARK

Sometimes I think books and articles that encourage us to reach for our biggest dreams and live an extraordinary life miss the fact that many of us just want to live an ordinary life and be happy with it. The premise seems to be that if we aren’t constantly striving toward a big goal we are not living up to our potential. If we aren’t reaching for the stars we lack imagination and the will to make our lives shine. …


Our wounded parts present as demons, but they just want your attention

We all have demons. They always show up when we are triggered. Someone says or does something that pushes our buttons and a metaphorical door swings open and releases one or more of our demons. In that moment, we go unconscious and they barge right in and take over. The problem with this is that our demons usually make a royal mess of things and we are left to clean it up. We need to learn to recognize our demons and head them off at the pass.

We need to get to know our demons and befriend them. Our learned…


I don’t need a friend like this

The global pandemic has made me realize a lot of things, but one thing I would never have guessed before now is that I am a person with a lot of anxiety. It’s pretty ridiculous that this never occurred to me before. Looking back I see the signs so clearly. Anxiety has been a near constant companion on my journey through life. The thing that has become clear to me is that it is a pretty shitty companion, even though I know it wants to be my friend and take care of me.

When I first realized that I have…


Using the practice of acceptance when things seem unacceptable

Someone I love has decided he does not need to get the Covid-19 vaccine. This is not an anomaly, I know, as there are millions of people who are refusing to get it. But the fact is, I’m worried. And angry. And just so very, very tired of the whole damn thing. But this is someone I love and I am having to make some very hard decisions about how I am going to respond to this.

I have tried to talk to him, but he is rigid in his beliefs surrounding the vaccine. In conversation he jumps ahead to…


Searching for silence, stillness and quietude in a clamorous world

I miss the stillness. It is an antique in this shrill, intruding life, an all-but-forgotten thing of no real value, like inkwells. Rick Bragg

We were sitting on the hill enjoying the sunset and listening to the birds chatter softly as they found their roosts for the night. We nearly jumped out of our skin as our neighbors suddenly decided to invade our quiet by blasting their music at rock-concert decibels. My husband and I looked at each other and sighed. We folded our chairs and retreated to the house before the grand finale of the sunset. As I walked…


You don’t have to be happy and positive all the time

Have you ever felt guilty because you were feeling sad, angry, or disappointed? Have you berated yourself because you don’t believe you have a right to feel a certain way? Telling yourself that others have it worse, that you really have nothing to complain about, that you need to buck up and get over it are all ways we have learned to dismiss our difficult emotions. So we try to force ourselves to just smile and be happy. Most of us learned this as children.

When I was growing up, “negative” emotions were snuffed out as soon as they were…


Accepting our life as it is sets us free to move forward

15 years ago I sat in my counselor’s office struggling against the way things had turned out in my life. My marriage would soon end, my children were battling their own demons, I was losing everything I had spent my life building. How could I let it all fall apart? But I was tired. Tired of trying to hold it all together, tired of trying to please everyone at the expense of losing myself, tired of trying to be happy in this life that was not at all what I had expected. …


How to live large in a small space

I sit down in the little wooden rocker and tip it back just far enough to elicit a ‘squonk’ and then a thump. It is a sound that is both familiar and comforting. When I was little, my grandmother rocked me in this chair, and as she worked up a rhythm she kept the beat by patting my back each time she rocked back. The chair squonked and thumped reliably with each motion. I love this little chair, with it’s barn red antiquing that has rubbed off on the arms to reveal the warm tones of the wood beneath. It…

Beth Bruno

Human learning to be human. Writing in hopes of getting there.

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