When You Want to Apologize for Existing

“I say ‘I’m sorry’ a LOT, usually when it’s not necessary. I apologize for existing.” “I’m so tired of fighting myself … For the last 17 years I spend my days in service to precious elders and give all that I can, yet inside me I feel like I am never, ever enough. The perfectionist in me doesn’t seem to be silenced.” “I’m so very, very, very tired Caroline! …. I’m at war with myself and know deep down I don’t have to be.”* …
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Completing the Party: Thoughts on Grace

Once upon a time in 2008, I was on routine at L'Arche*, feeling downcast. Most of the assistants on our house team were leaving that summer. Yet even as I dreaded saying goodbye, I saw a silver lining: I'd build stronger relationships with those who remained. You can't always get what you want ... I wanted to mark this place and time when I decided against despair. So I asked Theresa** and Cassandra** if they'd like to do Sidewalk Chalk. Neither was remotely interested. (It's one of the beautiful things about L'Arche: if someone isn't interested, they'll likely...
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Breaking News: Your Birthday is a Big Deal (As Are You).

In my book, a birthday is a Big Deal. I realize that this may make me sound a bit naive or child-like. After all, isn’t making a fuss over birthdays something you’re supposed to, well, outgrow? Many of us claim to have outgrown birthdays, but I don't think that's true. It's more that we've metered our expectations. We've lived long enough to know that many celebrations don't turn out as planned, that high expectations are a setup for disappointment. We've had friends and family members forget our special day, and, in turn, we've forgotten the special days of others. We've...
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Shine On ‘Til Tomorrow (4 Illuminating Questions To Ask Today)

I went on a retreat this weekend, and in the final hour we did yoga while "Let It Be" played. We'd been invited to move as we desired. I felt happy, flowing from one pose to another. My practice has grown a lot in the last year. And then this voice started up from within. It said:  "Who are you to be showing off like this? Who are you to be doing these pretty poses? You're being disruptive and selfish. Everyone will resent you, and it will be all your fault." I managed to push the voice aside and keep...
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