I'm frequently convinced that I don't like to write. I started posting notes on these embarrassments on my social media because I want this part of the story--this part of me--included along with the one that has me finally holding my completed article. The responses I've received have been so much more meaningful than the love emoji for a perfectly framed vacation photo. From the hang in there, honeys, to funny suggestions, to the commiserations of fellow writers, the post broke into a lonely place--for me, and perhaps for others--and offered company. On a larger scale, the internet can give voice to the disenfranchised. In the ten years since Introvert Power was published, those who felt different and weird found online communities; The #MeToo movement broke the isolation of those who had suffered sexual assault and harassment. This is the potential of social media. Just as use of these outlets can promote narcissism and alienation, they can also facilitate connection and integration. Social media use has the potential to enhance empathy and promote healing. And you would be okay if you did? asked the teacher. Yes, I really would, said the man, much more calmly. The teacher smiled at him. Sounds like you're ready to thank Anger. Only a moment ago you were uncertain about what to do, but your wise friend Anger has given you direction. The man sat for a moment. He was entirely calm now. He smiled and realized that his anger was there to teach him and that he was now at peace with his decision to leave his job. Consider personifying your emotions as older, wiser companions (because personifying something like anger without intentionally visualizing through the lens of wisdom might result in you picturing an impulsive teenager egging you on to make reckless decisions).

I asked her how hard it was to be part of such a big story in such a small town, something she touched on in her statement when she mentioned selling wool and being somewhat on display. She said that many women came to tell her that they, too, had lost a son. But some just wanted to chat or gossip. She would have none of it. One huge idiot I will never forget came in and leaned on the counter and said, So how's it going with your son's case? I didn't know her, she never shopped at my shop and I've never seen her since. I did kick some people out of my shop because all they wanted to do was talk about the case and Christopher. My response was to put my hands up in front of me and say, I'm sorry, I don't discuss that here. If you wish to purchase some wool, I would be happy to help you; Eventually, Ellen says, her tough approach worked. Here are some suggestions for resisting the hooks of the Edit Me: Recognize the price of quick rewards. Look at how much time you are spending online, and then look at what you are doing with it. If you're like me, you may have a circuit you reflexively run through--like a trained rat: Facearticle, Twitter, (insert other social media), email. Notice how you get pulled in and ask whether you really want to go there. How many times do you check for responses to posts? What rewards are keeping you hooked, and how satisfying are they? If you are engaged only in browsing other people's posts and comments, something researchers call social snacking, you may feel superficially engaged but subsequently more alienated. Change it up. The myth of Narcissus shows us the ways in which narcissism starves the host even as it keeps him entranced.

By visualizing your emotions as wise leaders in your life, you can learn from them. In other words, when the moment comes, you can be angry with Anger or you can learn from it, but the choice will always be yours. Get to Rigel Orion is one of the most easily recognizable constellations in the sky. Of all the arbitrary stars that make up Orion, the one named Rigel is the brightest. A fascinating reality is that if you were to travel to Rigel, you would not be able to see the constellation Orion, just as we cannot see the myriad of potential constellations in which our own sun resides. The constellation Orion does not visibly exist from everywhere, and neither do your problems. Seen from multiple vantage points, your own problems can morph, shrink, and even disappear. From the vantage point of your ego, problems are huge; travel to your authentic core, however, and all of a sudden problems like pride disappear altogether. Like so many in the early stages of grief, returning to a job--just putting one foot ahead of the other and concentrating on something, anything, besides the pain--was a great help, as it helped bring a semblance of her past normal life back to her. What Ellen's wool shop in Uxbridge was for her, my place behind the microphone was for me: it wrapped me in the normalcy of radio (a form of media whose participants are rarely called normal, myself included). The fact that I had something into which I could immerse myself gave me the illusion that I was living the life we had before the needle was pulled off of our sweet, sweet record. Every day I had to put on my face (both with cosmetics and a smile), be on my best and put on a show. It's not unlike the belief that if you curl your mouth upward, even when you don't feel like smiling, you'll fool yourself into thinking you're happy. We would do that occasionally in our yoga or meditation classes: eyes closed, smiling while we inhale. Somehow the brain translates that physical act of smiling into some form of happiness. It doesn't always work, but it's effective often enough to keep me trying. What do we have to lose? Ellen Hinkley's version of community support and fellowship came in the form of a shared passion.

Pull away from the reflexive circuit and feed yourself. You can do this by engaging in the world beyond your phone, but you can also change up what you visit online. There's an app for everything, and you can find a poem, look at art, read classic literature, learn just about anything, or engage in a nonpartisan political discussion--yes, this exists. Edit less. The best kind of editing actually helps us communicate better by assisting us in saying what is difficult to say. But unless we're writing a blog or essay or article, we are likely engaging in self-presentation editing. Try filling in the picture of who you are rather than limiting it to your best side--or your angry side, or your victim side, or whatever persona you put out front. I appreciate whoever advised me not to limit photos of our children to times they were smiling. One of my favorite baby photos of our boys captured a huge pout, and even the ones showing them crying help us remember a broader range of experiences with them. Consider, in your offline as well as online life, what parts of yourself you keep isolated. If you're stuck in anger, get to Rigel. If you want to help others get unstuck, help them travel to Rigel. Using your creativity in situations of conflict, whether it's through experiential exercises, metaphors, or teaching tales, is like opening a wormhole that can help people make the jump from anger to insight quickly, even if feels like it's light-years away. God's Job In the olden days, God lived among the people. He couldn't stay living there, though, because everyone in the land constantly bothered him day and night. They would knock on his door at all hours, complaining to him to do this or that: Make it rain! or Stop the floods! and every other demand as well. One day, a farmer went to God and said, Look, let me have your job, because I could end world hunger.

She found it odd, but comforting, that at one time she had five bereaved moms in her knitting group. She hadn't advertised it, but people came and found a safe place to listen and be heard. She says that when it was only the bereaved moms, they could talk freely about their children's passing and how they were feeling that day. Ellen adds that there was a bit of gallows humour, too, as you can only share that with someone who's been there. Few people can understand the pain of losing a child; Fewer still could begin to grasp the unique set of trials and reverberations Christopher's death and its aftermath would bring to Ellen and her family. Anger is something Rob and I were fortunate not to have had to deal with in overwhelming amounts. Yes, we were angry at the senselessness of being robbed of our daughter, of our future together and of all of the dreams that we held for that bright and happy future (especially if it had anything to do with taking a drug to aid breastfeeding as it was prescribed), but our overwhelming emotions surrounding Lauren's death, and the loss of her in our lives, were gutting sadness, bewilderment and depression. And as with numerous subjects of Dr Elisabeth Kubler-Ross's groundbreaking work surrounding the five stages of grief in On Death and Dying, we also dealt with denial and acceptance. But we came to understand that those stages do not appear or manifest themselves in any particular order, are not experienced in equal amounts, and do not apply in all cases. Where can you begin to include those aspects of you? What learning are you closing off out of fear or shame? Go offline. Solitude is essential for intimacy with the self, as are authentic, real-time connections. While social media can facilitate connection, its omnipresence can work like a drug: a too-easy and too-empty companion. Have a media-free time of day or day of the week--or take a leave of absence. A Danish study demonstrated that subjects who took a week off Facearticle experienced greater life satisfaction and more positive emotions compared to those who stayed connected. Set up lunch with a friend. Write freely in a journal to make room for what you've left unexpressed. I recently had the opportunity to meet in person someone I have gotten to know online.