You Are Not The Bad Thing.

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When we are with those we love who are suffering, we see their humanity shine through all the pain. And that vulnerability makes them more, not less, beloved. And regardless of whether or not it’s a thing that happened to you like cancer or the thing that’s happening around you like a plague or a divorce or a broken relationship, it is a privilege to see pain close up.

So, no, you are not hard to love. You are not too much. You are not the bad thing. In an American culture that is obsessed with individualism and an exhausting triumphalism, we need each other. We belong to each other. The fact that we are delicate is nothing to hide.

Gwen, who is part of my team, designed this beautiful graphic that you can print and frame or use as a screensaver as a way to remind yourself of this truth:

You are not the bad thing. 

Bless you, dear one.

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Hi, I’m Kate. Let’s untangle our culture’s obsession with toxic positivity and self help, shall we?

I am a Duke professor, podcaster, and author with a single mission: giving you permission to feel human. (And letting you have whatever weird or boring hobbies you can’t explain to strangers. Do I love roadside attractions and exotic potato chip flavors? Yes. More than I should say.) 

I believe that the world would be a better place if we took apart the well-meaning clichés we use when life is hard. (What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger? Maybe what doesn’t kill you might try again tomorrow. 🙂 ) 

After years of being told I was incurable, I was declared cancer-free. But there’s no going back. I am forever changed by what I discovered: life is so beautiful and life is so hard. For everyone. 

My team at Everything Happens and I create free resources like this one with you in mind. We are determined to create a gentler world for everyone who wants to admit that they are not always “living their best life.” If that’s you, bless you. You’re in the right place.

Kate Bowler sitting in front of books