The Soul selects her own Society —
Then — shuts the Door —
To her divine Majority —
Present no more —

Unmoved — she notes the Chariots — pausing —
At her low Gate —
Unmoved — an Emperor be kneeling
Upon her Mat —

I’ve known her — from an ample nation —
Choose One —
Then — close the Valves of her attention —
Like Stone —

~Emily Dickinson

I realize I have written on this poem before, but as it has continued to be a theme, I thought I follow up was in order.

I have recently read two posts that have so affirmed by path of deliberate choosing what comes in and out of the gate of my mind and heart. One I was guided to via the very affirming community of The Haven, facilitated by Andy Mort, who is an incredible musician among other things. The writing by Josie George titled Resistance perfectly describes my thoughts and feelings with her razor sharp yet gentle prose. I am so grateful to have read it and I think you will be too.

I think what struck me so powerfully about the piece was the author’s absolute stubborn refusal to give in to the despair that is swirling around us constantly. I really needed to read this to bolster my own confidence in my choice to live a small and hopeful life. It does matter, and I think does more to change the world than any of the loud campaigns that are coming over the loudspeakers at us daily.

Another post I read this morning was about disconnecting from unhealthy friendships. I confess that I have struggled with this one, because as a person of faith I feel that I am supposed to like everyone. The truth is that some people are just bad for us, and we may not be good for them either. In my case it is often something I cannot put my finger on, but all of the things add up to a relationship that just doesn’t work.

I have a couple of friendships that I have stepped away from because I noticed that time or conversations with these individuals always left me feeling worse, never lifted up. Several years ago, I had what was meant to be a low-key birthday celebration with a few friends. I spent the entire evening waiting on them while they talked to each other, ignored me, except when making subtle and overt demands about food,drink and the like. I love being a hostess, but it felt all wrong. I should add here that the friendships had been difficult ones for quite some time, and I had many warning signs along the way. It was just seeing this vivid illustration of the uneven nature of the relationships that particular evening that provided clarity. After everyone had gone home, my husband jokingly commented that I needed new friends. He was right.

This year, for my birthday, I invited four like minded women to celebrate with me. It was really one of the best nights of my life. Not because attention was directed toward me, but rather because it was so EASY. Conversation flowed in an organic and unforced manner, the food and coffee were good and we just WERE. It was a true hygge birthday which was my dream.

My therapist recently asked me why I felt the need to like everyone. Part of it is my faith, and I do still think I need to have love and respectful dignity for all people. But I am starting to realize that it doesn’t mean that I need to spend focused time in relationships that cause me to compromise my internal health.

Peace and love,


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