When Houseplants Are Zombies of the Apocalypse

Last night, after I finished packing for a long trip, I decided to move all my succulents outside for the duration of our weeklong vacation. I have nine pots of various sizes on the bookshelves in our front room: one tiny barrel cacti, four plants that look like desert seaweed, and assorted echeveria in dark […]

Dear Portia: The Spiraling Journey of Forgiveness

How Do We Know When We’re Done Forgiving? Dear Portia, What does forgiveness look like when you work through the process and do your best, but either the offender never acknowledges their sin or they continue to offend? Not asking about boundaries, that’s pretty clear to me, but how do we know when we’re done? […]

Dear Portia: How Do I Stop Desiring Bad Stuff?

Dear Portia, How do you stop wanting what you REALLY want, when what you want isn’t good for you? How do you create desire for something you should want, when really you are craving the opposite thing? Craving Dear Craving, When I was in my teens and twenties, I drank at least a can of […]

Without Hope the Soul Is Unwell

I told my husband I felt like shattered pieces of glass lying on the floor with no one to help me, no one who knew how to put me back together. The cracks in myself, in our marriage, in my parenting had come to a pressure point, and the pieces that were held in tension […]

Books Can Keep You Stitched Together

The first book to ever hold this type of “keepin” power for me was, Maya Angelou’s I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. I slept with this book under my pillow every night. I was even willing to pay the “lost” fine fee that my middle school library would eventually charge me for not returning it. […]

I’m Ready to Lighten the Heck Up

My first time in any serious therapy, my counselor told me I was depressed. I laughed. It was kind of high-pitched, as if someone had twisted a treble knob too tight. “I’m not depressed,” I tittered. “I’m the happiest person I know! I’m happy all the time!” Thinking back to my cockeyed optimism, I wince, […]