Jun 10, 2022Liked by Jan Peppler, PhD

I can relate to feeling hurt when others don’t recognize my (hidden) pain. Thx for a lovely post. Peace.

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I think your point about being more honest about how our mental health is being impacted can be important in helping others to know they're not alone. For those that do struggle with sharing the fragile parts of their lives, simply knowing another person has those feelings can be a big relief. One thing I would caution is that you don't need anyone to validate your feelings for your expression to be considered valid. If everyone in the comments was bitter and disagreeable it still wouldn't change the fact that you feel that way and that those emotions need to be processed. People can be in two totally different emotionally states regarding the same subject, but it doesn't make either one's emotions invalid. It's how that expression manifests itself in our relationships that we need to be careful about, and from what I've seen you've handled those interactions very respectfully.

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Connection is the most essential element of home. Yes, indeed. I wrote about that this week, too. There's something in the air.

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Jan, for you:


- Wislawa Szymborska, trans. Stanislaw Baranczak and Clare Cavanagh

I prefer movies.

I prefer cats.

I prefer the oaks along the Warta.

I prefer Dickens to Dostoyevsky.

I prefer myself liking people

to myself loving mankind.

I prefer keeping a needle and thread on hand, just in case.

I prefer the color green.

I prefer not to maintain

that reason is to blame for everything.

I prefer exceptions.

I prefer to leave early.

I prefer talking to doctors about something else.

I prefer the old fine-lined illustrations.

I prefer the absurdity of writing poems

to the absurdity of not writing poems.

I prefer, where love’s concerned, nonspecific anniversaries

that can be celebrated every day.

I prefer moralists

who promise me nothing.

I prefer cunning kindness to the over-trustful kind.

I prefer the earth in civvies.

I prefer conquered to conquering countries.

I prefer having some reservations.

I prefer the hell of chaos to the hell of order.

I prefer Grimms’ fairy tales to the newspapers’ front pages.

I prefer leaves without flowers to flowers without leaves.

I prefer dogs with uncropped tails.

I prefer light eyes, since mine are dark.

I prefer desk drawers.

I prefer many things that I haven’t mentioned here

to many things I’ve also left unsaid.

I prefer zeroes on the loose

to those lined up behind a cipher.

I prefer the time of insects to the time of stars.

I prefer to knock on wood.

I prefer not to ask how much longer and when.

I prefer keeping in mind even the possibility

that existence has its own reason for being.

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Jun 11, 2022Liked by Jan Peppler, PhD

Jan, thank you, thank you! For being so open in sharing your musings, your fallibility, your truth. You make the essential connection between us as individuals and us as a society. And this is why I fervently believe in the power of personal narrative, such as yours, and memoir. The paragraph that summed it up so beautifully in your piece: “ Maybe someday we’ll evolve enough to always be gentle and kind, without having to know the particular struggle another person is enduring. But it’s also possible we’ll never get there unless we begin by being honest with ourselves first. Then we can be honest with each other.” How can we be honest and accountable as a community if we are not prepared to do that as individuals?

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Lovely, Jan. Such beautiful and important words: "Honesty is the highest form of intimacy. Intimacy is necessary to truly connect. And connection is the most essential element of home."

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Jun 18, 2022Liked by Jan Peppler, PhD

I shared you previous post with some friends who, along with me, have been feeling much the same about many of the specific things you mentioned. They were profoundly affected, as I was. You're an eloquent writer, but your honesty was important and soul affirming to many as I think you sense. Thanks for being brave.

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Jun 24, 2022Liked by Jan Peppler, PhD

I think comments are a difficult way to communicate. It’s hard for me to imagine our world becoming more kind when we’re communicating this way more and more. How we read someone’s words is usually more often about how we’re feeling than how the person writing them is feeling - unless they are blatantly telling you. I try to reread comments I initially thought were unkind in different ways in my mind before responding. Like reading it in a joking manner or in a sweet loving tone...just to get the negative thought out of my head before responding.

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