As women, we are all going through the same life, albeit in divergent times and tracks. Some lead lives of quiet desperation, to paraphrase a famous book. Some are like Martha and some are like Mary, as parabled in another. Some feel fully alive, bristling with possibilities and portent, while others feel sunk in their shoes.

In truth, making one step at a time is not all that difficult. If a woman has support.

A sister came to visit us in our home; she was a guest for a week. From her oddly-new suitcase she presented a “Thank You” chocolate bar labeled dark chocolate thoughts.

As the week progressed I slowly surmised that this phrase communicated a subliminal malevolence, as described in my Girl Games post. She was bitter and seemed to view me as better – she was riled beyond thought.

She came with an agenda to tie me in Nots. 

As an example, it is generally considered not okay to look at and smile, hug and speak with one person who greets you at the airport…when there are two sweet hearts.

Yes, the agenda was there in the first instant of recognition, not needing to be unpacked. Her heart was on her sleeve, and in it I was not.

What would you do? Gasp? Silent Shriek? Sigh? Keep calm and carry on?

Stay within bounds, close the gates, and batten down the latches. Guard your lonely heart.

Do not let her rankle your ankles and pound your bright feathers down. Walk away as all teachers advised when accosted by a playground bully, especially when she climbed in your sandbox.

Leave the covert narcissist be (people who adore themselves and hate you because you are all they are not); let her toddle by herself. Time out.

I’m sticking with my selected sisters, the ones who have no cause or need to play the hatred game, who love themselves enough to love me, too. Ones willing to empathize, to walk in another’s shoes as benevolent Christians and friends. We are each other’s soul

There is no nutritional value in dark chocolate thoughts.