December 2, 2015


Some emotions cause an almost physical pain, and shame is one of them. I’ve heard people describe it as a knife in their gut; a slave driver wielding a whip; or a gray blanket weighing them down. It’s also lonely—despite being a common feeling and p...

November 12, 2014

I’ve noticed a theme in the movies and TV shows I’ve seen lately: a man fighting against malevolent forces, but most importantly, he’s doing it alone. Sometimes this character (occasionally a woman, but not often) starts out cowardly, but then grows...

August 28, 2014

The saying “No pain, no gain” has never made that much sense to me. After all, if you have no pain, you’ve already gained something, right? Most of us choose the “No gain so I can avoid pain” route much more often. Skip the workout so I can get some...

March 1, 2014


There are a lot of books and articles out about what shame is and how to heal it. They have fancy definitions and origin theories about why people feel embarrassed and self-loathing about certain actions, memories or feelings. This is not one of tho...

May 15, 2013

Is there anything more cutting than rejection? A boss says we’re not working out. A lover prefers someone else, and leaves. An acquaintance decides they don’t like us, for whatever reason. In those situations, it’s tempting—and natural—to think we’ve...

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