what happens in Texas

July 2nd, 2013

6C8055389-tdy-130626-wendy-davis-shoes-3p.blocks_desktop_mediumOf all the things I could share, what matters is that you are not alone, and I will never judge you.

All things pass but not all pass gracefully. Years ago I found myself easily, impossibly, pregnant. I was not alone, but I was unmarried. It was the year that what I thought was true love had come and then spun around and left.  It had not yet left on the day suspicion overcame doubt and I mouthed the most shocking of certainties when I came out of the bathroom with the telltale pink strip.  He had smiled. To me, he looked boyish. This had happened to him before, but it had never happened to me. I felt suddenly and totally on my own.

I’ll support you in whatever you decide to do, he said.

Encouragement had never sounded so feeble, not that I was listening.  Before my belly had bloated into the slightest round I had turned against it, mean and quick, making furtive calls to a yellow-page ad answered by a receptionist who counseled, Honey, you have to wait at least six weeks.  When that day came, I drove myself to the clinic and back to work, making false excuses but taking no blame, making no apologies, seeking no comfort and giving none in return.  It was August 27.  And I had thought then, too, that I had my life back again, in charge, in control, to do all the right things in my own time and my own way.  Then everything else happened instead, because things are never what you think.

We make of our life what we must, and we learn from it. But we do not judge, because we are always doing our best, and no matter what, it hurts. I hope this helps someone.


  1. Beautiful Karen. And so brave of you to share that.
    I needed a daughter to tell me: “But mom, I am doing my best. ” For me to realise that we are all doing our best, always.
    My husband is a scientist, in science, nothing goes wrong, because finding out that your hypothosis is wrong, is a discovery as well (just not the one you were looking for).
    But it is sad when people are doing their best and are breaking their heart in the proces.
    I wish you a wonderful day, despite the heat.

    Comment by Simone — July 2, 2013 @ 11:08 am

  2. My head is spinning after reading this. It reminds me of this quote by Byron Katie: “It’s the minds job to be right, no matter what it kills.” (I also realised that maybe the heat doesn’t neccesarily bother you as much as it would bother me.) I’ll shut up now.

    Comment by Simone — July 2, 2013 @ 11:23 am

  3. Yes, Maezen, it really helped me this morning – it reminded me that I’m not alone in the hurt.
    Deep gassho.

    Comment by Emma — July 2, 2013 @ 12:58 pm

  4. Lovely.


    Comment by adam fisher — July 2, 2013 @ 1:49 pm

  5. You always, and only, help me.

    Comment by Jena — July 2, 2013 @ 3:16 pm

  6. Wow! Karen, you always light a candle in the darkest places in my soul and invite new prayers, this time, fo courage…… Thank you!

    Comment by Daisy Marshall — July 2, 2013 @ 6:10 pm

  7. You are not alone, and I will never judge you.

    Comment by Kim Piper Hiatt — July 2, 2013 @ 6:30 pm

  8. Beautiful (and courageous) post. Thank you.

    Comment by Robin Gaphni — July 2, 2013 @ 8:39 pm

  9. Thank you for your honesty & acceptance, this will help me on the days when I question my decision – I also did what I thought was best but sometimes I am filled with misgivings. Your words help me to understand & forgive myself. Thanks

    Comment by Lisa — July 2, 2013 @ 11:12 pm

  10. “And then everything happened instead” . . .including Georgia.

    This article may be of interest to some readers:

    Comment by Laura — July 3, 2013 @ 4:21 am

  11. A brave and important reflection. Thank you.

    Comment by Kris — July 3, 2013 @ 4:36 am

  12. Me too. Drove myself to the clinic, made false excuses, sought no comfort. Received none. I was doing my best, and it hurt.

    Comment by Dawn Downey — July 3, 2013 @ 4:54 am

  13. Wow. Very powerful.
    Thanks for sharing.

    Comment by Paul Brennan — July 3, 2013 @ 5:48 am

  14. Karen, beautifully done. including the sneakers. Thank you for speaking to this powerful truth.

    Comment by Louise Altman @The Intentional Workplace — July 3, 2013 @ 7:07 am

  15. Your honesty and courage are so inspiring. And I love the part about not judging.

    Comment by Clare Kirkconnell — July 3, 2013 @ 8:30 am

  16. Karen,
    I cannot thank you enough for sharing this. I also experienced the termination of a pregnancy, when I had just turned 16 years old. It changed me forever. It became my private shame for most of my teen and adult life, and almost stopped me from taking my refuge vows in the Tibetan Buddhism tradition because I felt like I had committed an unforgivable crime. It has taken me years of practice before I finally have started to realize that I am not what I did, or what happened to my body, or what choices I made or did not make, but that I am an eternal Spirit who has had certain life experiences. It has taken me years to feel worthy, maybe just a little but worthy, of my refuge vows. I sat with you in Kansas City a few weeks back, and you taught me so much. I really, really needed your brave and courageous words around this issue today. Thank you, from my heart to yours. Namaste.

    Comment by Lisa — July 3, 2013 @ 11:42 am

  17. Yes, yes, certainly and wholeheartedly forgive. That seems effortless to me now. But forgiving Texas? That will take me the rest of my life, given what keeps happening in Texas. Love to you.

    Comment by Karen Maezen Miller — July 3, 2013 @ 11:46 am

  18. I, too, have been down that road. Not as a teenager, but a married woman with two young daughters. I just couldn’t see having another, we were so short of money, no work.
    Years of pushing it out of the way, then finally realizing, thanks to Buddhist teachings, that I cannot change the past. It’s over, no amount of guilt or sorrow will make it different.
    Even so, I still feel strongly that women must have safe choices. We must never return to the old days, before Roe V Wade.

    Comment by Jude Smith — July 3, 2013 @ 2:28 pm

  19. Thank you for this. Thank you.

    Comment by Meghan — July 3, 2013 @ 5:45 pm

  20. Karen – this is such a gift…a reminder to me that sometimes helping others is simply just being willing to expose those parts of myself that I struggle to love and accept.

    Comment by Deborah Boettcher — July 4, 2013 @ 9:25 am

  21. there is something about just putting it out there that touches us humans we all suffer so much from past guilt I met a young man at an aa retreat years ago and he said: “Just tell me the worst thing that you’ve ever done and you’ll feel better” I was astounded. But I did. He didn’t judge me, only listened supportively. And I have felt much better for all the years since.

    Comment by daniel — July 5, 2013 @ 2:18 pm

  22. I love you.

    I haven’t walked this particular road, but, oh my, did this ring true: “When that day came, I drove myself to the clinic and back to work, making false excuses but taking no blame, making no apologies, seeking no comfort and giving none in return.”

    Comment by Michelle — July 8, 2013 @ 5:25 pm

  23. What I meant to say was, I don’t know what to say. This is so beautiful and true. And your words about yourself on that day sound like looking in the mirror. And I’m just doing my best.

    Comment by Michelle — July 8, 2013 @ 5:41 pm

  24. Your best is damn good enough for me, sweetheart. Thank you.

    Comment by Karen Maezen Miller — July 8, 2013 @ 5:57 pm

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