|  Blog Post   |  Words matter.
Stress Management Skills Graphic

Words matter.

Shit and gifts.

Not shit but at least gifts.

Words matter.

Yesterday, I broke a tooth really bad on the Trigeminal neuralgia side of my face at lunch, on the third dang bite. Shit. And (not at least) I was with one of the best, most loving, sees me and gets me people in my life.

I called my dentist immediately, who happened to have had two back-to-back cancellations that afternoon and could get me in. The news wasn’t the good version upon examination. The tooth had to come out right away. Shit. And (not at least) I trust my dentist* and his team with everything, and they are genuinely some of the kindest people, especially when it comes to dealing with my significant medical and dental trauma. Plus, they do it all in the healthiest way possible.

And (not at least) I have two weeks off of speaking events to recover well.

And (not at least) we have the financial means to have an emergency biological dentistry procedure.

And (not at least) God showed up and made sure I felt cared for and loved.

Life is a bunch of shit and gifts.

No need to at least the shit into a gift.

They both exist, often in the exact same moment.

Words matter.

So, from my couch, with ice on my face, feeling and doing all I can not to allow the pain to steal my head and heart space, with a very happy Winston** on my lap, we get a lesson in The And. That damn And.

*I cannot recommend Rehme Dental Care more. They are incredible.

**Little Winston & His Big Feelings releases a week from today! Do you have a calendar reminder set? Here’s one of my favorite pages from the book.

***Of course, there are no curse words in the book. ?


Justine is a Licensed Professional Counselor with more than 25 years of experience in traditional mental health and personal and professional development. Justine has been certified in the work of Dr. Brené Brown for ten years. Justine is the author of eleven books, including five Amazon bestsellers covering subjects such as infertility, faith, and grief. She has been honored to do two TEDx Talks, The Permission of the And and The Donut Effect. She travels nationally and presents virtually to global audiences delivering keynotes, workshops, retreats, and trainings on topics such as leadership, courage, resilience, mental health, preventing and coping with burnout, and courageous and curious conversation, especially in creating cultures of belonging and diversity, equity, and inclusion. Justine lives in St. Louis with her husband Chad, their three dogs, and for four months of the year hundreds of monarch and swallowtail butterflies.

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