juliette lewis, yellowjackets

Yellowjackets actor Juliette Lewis.

Not that she ever really left the spotlight, but the iconic Juliette Lewis has recently reached a new chapter in her stardom thanks to her role of Natalie in Showtime’s obsession-worthy new series “Yellowjackets.”

Her social media is filled to the brim with excited fan theories, juicy behind-the-scenes questions and enthusiastic character appreciation posts. There’s no question about it; people love her performance as the tough, haunted, shotgun-savvy Nat.

But fun “Yellowjackets” trivia isn’t the only thing Lewis talks about with her following. She recently posted an Instagram Q&A with the caption, “I know some things ‘bout livin, love-ASK ME.”

One fan wrote, “ a lot of times I feel alone and like no one is there for me.”

Lewis’ advice for overcoming loneliness is something I think bears repeating.


“The only cure-all for this feeling- is being there for another,” the actress replied.


In times of helplessness, being there for someone else might feel impossible. Counterintuitive even. But research has repeatedly shown that acts of altruism can help us live longer, lift us from depression and fulfill our very basic psychological need to belong. There’s a reason why loneliness feels so awful, and why generosity is a gift that keeps on giving.

In other words, Juliette Lewis is onto something here.

Lewis really does walk the talk with this. It only took a few seconds of searching on Google to see that she regularly supports charities, including (but not limited to) Little Kids Rock, an organization dedicated to providing music education to disadvantaged schools.

But working with charity organizations isn’t the only avenue. Lewis added that a generous act needn’t be a grand gesture. Your act of kindness could be as simple as “show[ing] up for another in [a way] they’d like–a phone call, give food, give them kindness and show care/interest…chat with them…make them feel less alone…make them feel heard or happier.”

There’s an added benefit of making someone feel heard, too. According to a study published in 2017, by helping others manage difficult emotions, we enhance our own ability to self-regulate and therefore improve our own emotional well-being. Think of it as psychology's way of saying “what goes around comes around.”

As Lewis advises, the person you help can be someone you know or a complete stranger. The only real caveat here is that it should be “a person you are not trying to get something from in return,” to prioritize “connecting without expecting.”

Odds are, those words of affirmation you long to hear … someone else longs to hear them as well. That longing you have to be surprised with a random bag of goodies … someone else feels the same way. Fulfilling another person’s wish opens us up to our own power.

As Lewis writes, “once you know you can give love to another generously I assure you [that] you will open up this energy flow. And might even notice you are not ‘needing’ as much.”

Shifting our perspective to focus on others while at a low point might at first seem like pouring from an empty cup, but maybe the opposite is actually true. Maybe by realizing how we can affect the lives of others, our cups are then filled with the discovery of how influential we really are.

Next time you’re having trouble keeping your chin up, see how it feels to lift someone’s spirit. This article from Mental Health offers some great ideas to start. But odds are your heart already knows what to do.

Thanks Juliette Lewis for the sage wisdom.

… and seriously, what happened to Nat?!

Joy

Meet Eva, the hero dog who risked her life saving her owner from a mountain lion

Wilson had been walking down a path with Eva when a mountain lion suddenly appeared.

Photo by Didssph on Unsplash

A sweet face and fierce loyalty: Belgian Malinois defends owner.

The Belgian Malinois is a special breed of dog. It's highly intelligent, extremely athletic and needs a ton of interaction. While these attributes make the Belgian Malinois the perfect dog for police and military work, they can be a bit of a handful as a typical pet.

As Belgian Malinois owner Erin Wilson jokingly told NPR, they’re basically "a German shepherd on steroids or crack or cocaine.”

It was her Malinois Eva’s natural drive, however, that ended up saving Wilson’s life.

According to a news release from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Wilson had been walking down a path with Eva slightly ahead of her when a mountain lion suddenly appeared and swiped Wilson across the left shoulder. She quickly yelled Eva’s name and the dog’s instincts kicked in immediately. Eva rushed in to defend her owner.

It wasn’t long, though, before the mountain lion won the upper hand, much to Wilson’s horror.

She told TODAY, “They fought for a couple seconds, and then I heard her start crying. That’s when the cat latched on to her skull.”

Keep Reading Show less

Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy asked his Senate colleagues the questions millions of Americans have after a mass shooting.

Another school shooting. Another mass murder of innocent children. They were elementary school kids this time. There were 18 children killed—so far—this time.

The fact that I can say "this time" is enraging, but that's the routine nature of mass shootings in the U.S. It happened in Texas this time. At least three adults were killed this time. The shooter was a teenager this time.

The details this time may be different than the last time and the time before that, and the time before that, and the time before that. But there's one thing all mass shootings have in common. No, it's not mental illness. It's not racism or misogyny or religious extremism. It's not bad parenting or violent video games or lack of religion.

Some of those things have been factors in some shootings, but the single common denominator in every mass shooting is guns. That's not a secret. It's not controversial. It's fact. The only thing all mass shootings have in common is guns.

Keep Reading Show less
Joy

Man uses TikTok to offer 'dinner with dad' to any kid that needs one, even adult ones

Summer Clayton is the father of 2.4 million kids and he couldn’t be more proud.

Come for the food, stay for the wholesomeness.

Summer Clayton is the father of 2.4 million kids and he couldn’t be more proud. His TikTok channel is dedicated to giving people intimate conversations they might long to have with their own father, but can’t. The most popular is his “Dinner With Dad” segment.

The concept is simple: Clayton, aka Dad, always sets down two plates of food. He always tells you what’s for dinner. He always blesses the food. He always checks in with how you’re doing.

I stress the stability here, because as someone who grew up with a less-than-stable relationship with their parents, it stood out immediately. I found myself breathing a sigh of relief at Clayton’s consistency. I also noticed the immediate emotional connection created just by being asked, “How was your day?” According to relationship coach and couples counselor Don Olund, these two elements—stability and connection—are fundamental cravings that children have of their parents. Perhaps we never really stop needing it from them.


Keep Reading Show less