I appreciate those of you who acknowledged my birthday publicly and in private messages.

Being in the Bay Area still, I am away from my family. I know I would have done something with my daughter and husband, who are so faithful to nurture our family. So I don’t feel bad that I spent the day alone. I got to be with Jesus–and nature. I went to Ocean Beach and Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. I walked many miles, and punctuated my walk by reading the book, Can You Hear Me, Tuning Into The God Who Speaks, by my favorite Christian teacher, Brad Jersak.

I have spent the past 3 months in the Bay Area. I find it amazing how many people have been so excited about what I am doing in various areas of my life including supporting Brad Bradley Johnson, exposing DxE, starting vegan community, getting Community: Connect! off the ground, and re-writing my book, Travels to the East.

yet 99.99 percent of those people have withdrawn their enthusiasm in one way or another without really telling me why. I am finally learning that is this a common behavior of most people. They are conflict avoidant. I am learning to have compassion for them, rather than resenting them for abandoning me for whatever reason.

I used to get so excited when people were excited about me! Now, I realize that enthusiasm means nothing without trust being built.

I know I have done this myself–been so enthusiastic, and then for some reason, I’ve lost interest. I will do my very best to temper my enthusiasm so that I don’t become just another person who is all words and no actions.

And of course, I did lose 99.99% of my friends in DxE because of my decision to help reform DxE and in the process, exposing their weaknesses.

So, here in the Bay Area, I had only one friend who I would have spent the day with. And we are having our challenges. But we are healing, I am happy to say, with the help of a therapist who is super supportive.

I think that it is so hard to have healthy friendships because we come to relationships with so much baggage–aka–trauma. Unless we have an intention to have a therapeutic relationship–one where we acknowledge that we have our shadows that inevitably will come up–it seems that relationships, romantic and platonic–will eventually fail. or be superficial and unsatisfying.

On my 65th birthday, I think I have finally learned the lesson that pleasing people is not the goal of life. Making friends, having a sense of belonging, working on projects together–all mean nothing unless I am being true to my values.

The lessons learned ever since I got involved in DxE, and thinking that I had finally found a healthy community I could devote my life to–have been invaluable.

I still have close friends and family who love me. They may not be sharing that on Facebook–because that is not where they choose to show up–and even though I chose solitude on my birthday–I know that I am loved.

Being loved by Jesus is the most important thing to me. I am depending my relationship with him as I lose my need to compromise my values in order to have friends and have a sense of belonging.

As I go home to Arkansas, leaving this Tuesday, I feel a sense of completion with the Bay Area,
–where I have learned so many lessons.

I feel peacefully excited. (is that possible?) about creating community based on values that I believe, if everyone lived them, would create a world where all life can thrive.

I believe that is ultimately what we all need to do–find those values which we believe are the highest and best–live them, and find others who align with them and who want to help us live those values in community.