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Wishes for us

January 7, 2018

After receiving an unwelcome diagnosis, Nina Riggs wrote in The Bright Hour, a Memoir of Living and Dying: “There are so many things that are worse than death: old grudges, a lack of self-awareness, severe constipation, no sense of humor, the grimace on your husband’s face as he empties your surgical drain into the measuring cup.”

To that list I add my own worst things:  not knowing the difference between the small stuff and the big stuff, false pride, and missed opportunities.

Nina Riggs surprised me.  Something shifted – it felt like breaking open.  I don’t know what I believe about ‘soul’, but if I have one, that’s where I suspect the shift occurred.  It still feels seismic.

This post is my antidote for the worst things.  It articulates my hopes for myself, for humanity in general, and for you in particular.

That you recognize your inherent goodness.

That you boldly tell the truth, with kindness, and without apology.

That you love with every ounce of your being for as many moments each day as is humanly possible.

That you drop the false pride that creates facades to protect you from feeling pain – your own and others’.

That you bring all of yourself to each new day.

That you wake up to your strengths and your limitations, so they stop defining you.

That awareness of your strengths and weaknesses informs and shapes your most loving and authentic actions.

That you take what life hands you without blaming life, or others, or yourself, for what it dished out.

That you recognize that you may only be able to bear what seems unbearable through the loving support of others.

That you notice the support that is being offered, and take it in like water being offered to someone dying of thirst.

That you laugh from your belly and cry from your heart.

That you live earnestly and thoroughly, as though you only have today.

With regard to the constipation, eat your fiber!

Please add and share your own worst things, and more importantly, your antidotes and hopes for us.

Much love,


  1. Karen says:

    My dearest, Robyn. You have such a talent for putting words to behavior, hopes and fears.. I am so glad you can do that. Makes me so, so glad I have you to bring reality to all these “fake” feelings I refuse to face on a day-to-day basis. Keep up the good work.

    • Robyn says:

      Thanks Karen. I truly think we all do the best we can in dealing with the complexity of being human. Fake can maybe re reframed as an attempt to protect ourselves from feelings we’re not sure we can handle. Because boy, in any given day I have a ton of them. My hope is that, with practice, we will get better at trying them on so that we can discover they won’t get the better of us. We can allow them to have their life so that they don’t get stuffed down and collect in us only to leak out our ears when we just can’t hold anymore. Thanks so much for making the effort to share your thoughts.

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