Healed by a Dying Woman

As I face the challenges coming up lately, it is very easy to go directly into a negative reaction. Yet around the corner keeps coming a greater desire to love. As I let it in, I feel soothed and calmed. It helps me understand where others are coming from without getting emotionally involved. I can choose my stance in the situation with greater strength and even-mindedness.  And it reminds me of when I first discovered how helpful it is for me to love and feel my love received.

I had just spent over two months in an isolated and tense situation where I felt very disconnected, even from those right around me. I was sitting in the living room in a foreign country of a family my friend worked with. The conversation revolved around complaints about politics I knew nothing about. I had no interest in engaging. I also had a growing headache.

I did not have a headache for a long time but used to get them frequently. Headaches were always a sign something was really off in myself. When...

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A Backpacking Trip Leaves Its Permanent Mark

Feeling my usual sense of adventure and independence, I took off on a weekend backpacking trip. I had gone on many backpacking trips by myself with great ease and pleasure.

With the warm climate and short length of the trip, I packed light; just a tank top and shorts. A light sleeping bag and open net tent. For the first time, I wore hiking sandals instead of sneakers so I could be lighter and faster on my feet. Just enough food to make it through the weekend but lots of Gatorade as it was hot.

It was a short walk, maybe a mile or two to the creek where I would set up camp. Just a flat, straight and forested trail leading into the valley. Eager to get started with my long dayhike, I hung my backpacking pack from a tree and took my small backpack with all my emergency supplies, a good amount of water, and some snacks.

Slowly the forest opened up as I reached the hill. I had about a ten mile hike to make it around a loop to return to my campsite. The trail was to head straight up the...

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