Alright my loves. I have a friend having a Very Very Bad Day. Which all of us with precarious health or circumstances understand.

I have my own rules for Very Bad Days. Please feel free to share your own.
1. Listen to beautiful, soul-filling music. Only comfort listens and old favorites are nice. No "I Wish I Had a River" lyrics here. Sorry Joni Mitchell.
2. Early bedtime. My mind goes from Disney to Nietzsche after 7 PM. If you can't trust your mind, give it a break. It might feel different in the morning.
3. Do some absorbing work or reading. I love to research. It's why I got tenure while dying. I just needed something to do instead of dying, which is very boring.
4. Focus on someone else's problems. I would recommend anyone with a bad boyfriend, whose faults can be catalogued and re-enacted. Someone's pain can be a gift in the midst of your own.
5. Gratitude lists. I put a giant one on the wall and wrote down small things. The taste of basil. Nothing that makes you feel like you have to be a miracle or nothing is wonderful.
6. Entire television series that you can swim in. Did I mention that Jennifer Garner spoke 10,000 languages in Alias? How is her Punjabi? Let's find out.
7. Be outside as long as you can. Something about the air staves off the great abyss.
8. Prayer. I loved it when people would put their hand on my shoulder and pray for me. But if you don't like crying, maybe give that one a break. Also ask first on this one. But I appreciated that people could hope for me without embarrassment.
9. Angry hobbies. When life is terrible, please give me a chainsaw.

I'd love to hear what helps you.

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More from @KatecBowler

15 Oct
A blessing for believing your gifts still matter.
o God i feel disengaged, discouraged, and yes,
actually embarrassed that I even have to ask:
have I misunderstood entirely what i am good for?

o God give me some meaningful work to do,
where the gifts you have given me can do some good.
God have mercy.
Christ have mercy.
Spirit have mercy.

“take heart; get up,
he is calling you.”
Mark 10:49
Read 10 tweets
8 Oct
A blessing for when they knew and didn’t tell us.
o God, they knew months before
how lethal this virus could be, but didn’t tell us.
their lies made us scramble for our safety and survival.

o God, give us courage and strength
and leadership that will steer us through this calamity.
God have mercy.
Christ have mercy.
Spirit have mercy.

blessed are we who say God,
it’s hard to pray for miracles
when we shouldn’t have needed this many.

blessed are we who lament loudly
that the truth was hidden from us,
downplayed, stalled, and politicized
Read 8 tweets
7 Oct
4 anniversary of Trump's Access Hollywood audio and we Christians still have a lot to do to challenge the narrative that all pain - even pain we CAUSE - is a test

Take Billy Bush, for instance, describing how God may be involved in his part in Trump bragging about sexual assault
“I was kind of bopping along, and I don’t know if it was God or what that said, ‘OK, you’ve developed. You’re a pretty good guy. Let’s see how you handle this.’ And ka-boom! It all comes apart.”

- Billy Bush
On Twitter this was one of the great moments of reckoning for evangelical women leaders. Do they run the risk of "being political" and alienating their readership or do they take a public stand.

We know that many who chose to speak up lost a great deal of support and followers.
Read 5 tweets
6 Oct
Why criticizing "positive thinking" in Trump is not simply "negativity."

I answer this question a zillion times a week so here goes.
"Positive thinking" is a shorthand for a movement that took shape in late 1940s as a response to WWII and the economic optimism that shaped the new American middle class.

Its popularizer was a man named Norman Vincent Peale in his 1952 classic "The Power of Positive Thinking"
Positive thinking is a metaphysical tradition, meaning that it rests on deep RELIGIOUS beliefs that the mind is more powerful than the body.

It doesn't just mean "having happy thoughts" or "expressing confidence."
Read 9 tweets
5 Oct
What happens when sickness is mistaken for failure? And honesty for negativity?

This is the great exhaustion of having cancer or COVID or ANY kind of a fragility in a bootstrapping, science-fearing, positive thinking world. To the delusional go the spoils.
Megachurch pastors and televangelists have been (rightly) criticized since the late 1980s for their uncritical promotion of the power of "positive faith" for as a bid for power.

But I would love an honest reckoning for the MANY who have allowed this narrative to go unchallenged
The number of times when I have been asked to make my cancer into a "miracle" or a "failure" (where I have lost my "battle") shows the lack of textured language in this bizarre WINNER TAKE ALL approach to the human condition.

We don't need winners. We need truth.
Read 5 tweets
2 Oct
We need each other. Even now. Especially now.

We are scared + under threat.
We are fractured + destabilized by forces of hate and disturbingly smart tech which keeps us from building trust and compassion

We are at the lowest levels of trust in institutions in 60 years (Pew)
So what can we do?

The pandemic offers us a window into our shared humanity. We are tied to one another. Our health and our futures depend on our ability to love our neighbor as ourselves.

But to create any sort of unity, we need to begin with seeking out sources of trust.
Trust is the most precious commodity we have in the information age. Who has earned our trust? Will I hold them to account if they risk of losing it?

It will feel absolutely dumb to care enough to be disappointed. But now is the season to recommit to deep, selective trust.
Read 6 tweets

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