by Anne O'Connor
The brutality of sexual violence seems unbearable. But here’s the thing about seemingly unbearable parts of life: we still have to bear them. How can we help one another bear life’s tragedies, big and small?
There’s a ton of talk now about resiliency: the ability to overcome—especially quickly. The research is clear that we can build resiliency even after the worst of circumstances. But I wonder if this hopeful perspective is helping us do some thing we humans are already so good at: rushing past the hard parts of recovering from a traumatic event.
Timing and support is everything.
There are times when resiliency is too much to ask for. Sometimes, the weight and the cost of the assault is so heavy and high. How hurt is too hurt? Are there some of us who just won’t be able to stand back up? What do we do then?
There is a way to help deeply hurt people. But we don’t...
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
For me, this is a day to remember my ancestors and to celebrate Ireland, the green island of my grandparents.
My father’s name was Patrick, and maybe you know that Catholics are fond of celebrating their saint’s “Feast Day.” This is a day on the calendar that the Catholic Church assigns to a particular saint—the patron saint of Ireland. And while I long ago left behind the shame and the guilt and the abuse of the Catholic Church, I’ve had to make peace with the guy who raised me in that church.
So St. Patrick Day in my household always had the fanfare of the holiday—parades and shamrocks and wearing green and a celebration of all things Irish. And the deeper meaning of it being my father’s day. Now, it seems that everyone loves to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. I was reminded of how prevalent this is when I looked at the Google icon today:
Google is using the triskelion in a beautiful tribute...
I have this thing I do when I notice myself feeling grumbly and irritated. Because most of the time my complaints are minor in the grand scheme of the world, so I like to shake myself out of complaining. And even when the complaints are straight-up legit, there’s always more than one way to look at a situation.
So, I make a list. Right there, on the spot, of all the things that I can genuinely appreciate about the thing I was grumbling and complaining about. The only rule is that the appreciations have to be real. Sometimes it’s difficult to get to 10. But I do it and it always gives me a better perspective.
Today, I decided to do my list out loud and in public, because I’m thinking that some of you could use this list today too. Snow shovelers unite!
Without further ado:
It’s a familiar feeling for women in these United States. We live in the best of times, we live in the worst of times. We live with a president who shows little respect for women. We see violence and division grow each day.
But then we see the faces of the winners in the 2018 mid-term elections and oh! We are so powerful--we are making the changes.
Women made history in this week’s elections: Our new U.S. Congress will have more women than ever before in the history of our nation.
Great, right? So how many of our 535 seats available will now go to women? Half--the percentage of women in the country--would be 267.
But the best we've ever done is more like 22 percent
Results are still coming in, but we know it will be at least 118—up from the previous high of 107.
It’s great! We are right to celebrate our progress. It’s also not enough.
If the numbers were to reflect the composition of our country, half women and half...
There’s been a bit of a dust-up in my small town since town leaders decided that all plantings on the boulevards have to go: no flowers, no shrubs, no bushes, no rocks—everything has to be pulled out. A group of residents is working to get a more reasonable stance negotiated with the city.
When it comes to women, we hear a lot about “that time of the month.” Not much of it is any good. Women are a mystery to many men, and, hell, we’re a mystery to ourselves much of the time. But I’ve been wondering why we can’t talk about the other “time of the month”: ovulation.
Ovulation: the time when our hips move a little more fluidly, when our voices become a bit elevated, when we wear more revealing clothes, when we look good, and even our smell is enticing. This is the time of the month when women feel strong and clear and beautiful. When women are ovulating, they can do just about anything. This is also the time when we women want to jump our partners—or any man passing by, frankly—and get down to it.
Yeah, why don’t we talk about this more often?
As in: “Oh, it’s just that time of the month,” says the sultry woman as she...
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