When a promising relationship ended recently, I knew I needed help understanding what was at the bottom of its tumultuous ups and downs. A trusted therapist-by-day and friend-by-night suggested I read up on attachment disorders, in particular the damaging patterns created by mothers who are emotionally ambivalent toward their babies.


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An editor once remarked after reviewing the third revision of an essay I was trying to perfect, “You’ve rewritten this so many times it’s turned brown.” Her analogy to children who color and recolor the pictures in a coloring book was spot on. I had tweaked the essay too much. Instead of a simple message that floated off the page, it was cluttered with unnecessary descriptors and meanderings.


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It had been nearly a year since I had seen my friend Gerry at church so the news that I had recently lost my job and been left at the altar (figuratively) came as a surprise. “But let me guess,” he said without waiting to hear the details. “You didn’t give up.” Not knowing what else to say, I agreed.


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