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Confessions and Lessons from a Former Approval Addict

Lonely Woman

“It’s not your job to like me. It’s mine.” ~Byron Katie

I’m short. I’m stumpy. My nose looks like a pig’s. My inner thighs touch when I walk. My gums show too much when I talk. I have to change the way I look. Maybe then you’ll like me.

I obsess. I overanalyze. I get caught up in my head. I dwell on things I should let go. I can never simply go with the flow. I have to learn to be laid back. Maybe then you’ll like me. 

I’m shy. I’m anxious. I’m dependent on reassurance. I ask for advice way too much. I look for validation as a crutch. I have to be more confident. Maybe then you’ll like me.

Day in, day out, plotting away—that’s how I spent my life. I didn’t like who I was, so I hoped you’d do it for me.

If only you’d tell me I was okay. If only you’d confirm that I didn’t have to change. If only you’d give me permission to be myself. Maybe then I’d like me.

It’s what led to more than a decade of self-torture.

I’d cut myself to feel relief and create a physical representation of the pain I feared no one else could see.

I’d stuff myself with food to the point of bursting, then hide myself away to purge it, up to thirteen times day.

I’d curl up in my bed and cry for hours, hoping maybe my tears would wash away the most offensive parts of me.

I remember once, when I was in a residential treatment center for bulimia, an art therapist asked me to draw a self-portrait.

I drew a bag of vomit with me curled up inside. That was how I saw myself.

I know why I grew into this needy, insecure person. I can trace the moments that, bit by bit, eroded my self-esteem and caused me to question my worth.

But it doesn’t really matter why I learned to feel so small and insignificant. What matters is how I learned to tame the fears that once imprisoned me.

Notice I wrote tame, not destroy. For some of us, the fearful thinking never fully goes away.

I have never seen myself as a before and after picture, because it’s never felt black and white to me.

There wasn’t a distinct turning point when my life went from painfully dark to light.

It’s been a slow but steady process of cleaning layers of grime from the lens through which I view myself—and sometimes, just after chipping away a massive piece of dirt, I caught a splash of mud in the spot that was briefly pristine.

I live, day in and day out, in a messy mind that, despite my best efforts, has never been fully polished.

But it’s far clearer now than it once was, and I have the tools to clean it a little every day—and to accept the times when I simply must embrace that it’s still dirty.

Perhaps you can relate to the lost, lonely younger me, desperately seeking approval. Or perhaps you’ve come a long way, but you still struggle with confidence every now and then.

Maybe you sometimes feel like a fraud because you’re human and imperfect.

Maybe you still want to fit in and belong—who doesn’t? We’re social creatures, and wired to seek community.

But there’s a difference between looking for connection and looking for permission to be.

There’s a difference between depending on people for support and depending on them for self-esteem.

Here’s what’s helped me shift from seeking praise and approval to knowing I deserve love and support.

Become aware of the layers of grime on your lens.

You may see yourself as someone else once saw you, years ago when you were too young and impressionable to realize they weren’t viewing you clearly.

Or perhaps your grime built up later in life, when people close to you projected their own issues onto you and convinced you that you were somehow lacking.

Most likely, a combination of both led you to form a harsh, critical view of yourself, backed up by caked on beliefs, reinforced through consistent self-critical thoughts.

Understand that, much like those other people, you are not seeing yourself clearly—or fairly.

You may see small mistakes as evidence that you’re unworthy. You may interpret your challenges as proof that you’re incompetent. Neither of these things is true, and you don’t have to believe them.

Learn how to clean your lens daily.

While I wish I could say I know how to power wash that lens, I’ve yet to discover such a process. But I can tell you how I’ve slowly chipped away at the mud:

Change your beliefs.

Once you identify a limiting belief—such as I’m not lovable—you can start to change it by looking for evidence to support the opposite belief.

Once upon a time I believed I was ugly. I truly believed my face was offensive when not covered in makeup, because I have light features.

I know where this belief came from—when I was a kid, someone told me light-skinned blonds are homely. And because this person valued physical appearance, and I desperately wanted them to accept me, I started caking on layers of paint.

Over the years I’ve met people with varied looks who I found to be incredibly beautiful, and it had nothing to do with the color of their skin, eyebrows, or eyes.

It had to do with the light in their eyes and the joy behind their smile.

I, too, possess the capacity to shine from within and exude joy. More importantly, I feel good about myself when I access my inner spark, and how I feel about myself matters far more than what I look like.

Challenge your thoughts.

While you can identify evidence to support a new belief, it’s likely you’ll get stuck in engrained thought patterns from time to time. It’s a process, not a one-time choice.

My mind will occasionally formulate reasons I am not good enough.

You aren’t where you should be professionally.
You didn’t respond to that conflict wisely.
You reacted too emotionally.  

As often as I can, I catch these thoughts and challenge them with compassion:

There’s nowhere you should be professionally—and you’ve done a lot more than you give yourself credit for.
You could have responded better to that conflict, but that’s okay; this is an opportunity for growth.
You reacted emotionally, but that’s okay too—you’re not a robot. And at least you’re self-aware enough to recognize when there’s room for improvement.

You may not catch every self-critical thought, but over time you’ll catch more and more, and tiny bits of progress add up.

Slow your thoughts. 

It’s all well and good to challenge thoughts, but if they’re coming at you like baseballs from a pitching machine, you’ll probably end up feeling too overwhelmed to be effective.

I’ve come up with a list of mindfulness practices that help me find relief from my loud, persistent inner monologue. These are the ones I’ve found most effective:

  • Five minutes of traditional meditation or deep breathing
  • A five to ten minute walk, focusing on my senses and the experience of being in nature
  • A yoga class or five to ten minutes of deep stretching, synced with my breath
  • Listening to music (on YouTube) with subliminal messages for confidence
  • A repetitive creative outlet, like crocheting
  • Anything that gets me into a state of flow, like dancing

Take a little time every day to clear your thoughts, and it will be a lot easier to tame the fear-based voice that makes you feel bad about yourself.

Change for the right reasons.

With all this talk about accepting yourself and taming the voice that makes you feel unworthy and dependent on approval, you may assume you should never again strive to change.

When I considered that possibility, I came up against a lot of internal resistance. But it wasn’t because I felt I needed to become someone else to be lovable. It was because I realized growth provides me with a sense of possibility and purpose.

In much the same way I wouldn’t berate my child, if I had one, for having more to learn, I didn’t have to motivate change from a place of self-disgust; instead, I could encourage myself to continually grow into a stronger, wiser version of myself.

I could regularly identify areas for improvement without concluding I needed to change because I was intrinsically flawed.

If you’re not sure how to tell the difference between change rooted in shame and change rooted in self-love, ask yourself: Do I want to make this change because I know I deserve the results, or because I fear I’m not good enough unless I do this?

Take power back from others.

I still want you to like me. I do. I want you to think I’m witty, and funny, and wise, and interesting, and worthy of your attention.

But these days I focus a little more on you and a little less on your approval. I think back to times when you were witty, and funny, and wise, and interesting, and I’m grateful that I get to give you my attention.

And if you don’t feel the same about me, well, it can hurt. On days when I’m at my strongest, I’ll acknowledge the pain and let it run through me.

Then I’ll remind myself that I can like me even if you don’t. Because that’s what happens when you learn to view yourself through a clearer, more compassionate lens: You start seeing how lovable and wonderful you really are.

I am imperfect in so many ways. I’ve made more mistakes than I can remember or count. I have struggles that I sometimes think I should have completely overcome.

But I’ve been through a lot. I’ve been beaten down. And I’ve risen up every time. I’ve kept playing my hand when it would have been easier to fold. I’ve learned and grown when it would have been easier to stagnate.

I am no longer ashamed of where I’ve been; I’m proud of the journey through it.

I am no longer ashamed of being imperfect; I’m proud that I’m brave enough to own it, and humble enough to continually grow.

That shift in perception has helped me accept that you may or may not accept me.

I’m going to show you who I am, in every moment when I find the strength and courage to be authentic. Maybe then you’ll like me. And if you don’t, it might hurt, but that’s okay. Because I’m going to love myself through it.

Lonely woman image via Shutterstock

Profile photo of Lori Deschene

About Lori Deschene

Lori Deschene is the founder of Tiny Buddha and Recreate Your Life Story, an online course that helps you let go of the past and live a life you love. To strengthen your relationships, get her new book, Tiny Buddha's 365 Tiny Love Challenges. For inspiring posts and wisdom quotes, follow Tiny Buddha on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram..

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  • Sri Purna Widari

    Hi Lory,

    What a touching and moving story.
    I am sorry that you have been through such pain. I can imagine how challenging and frustrating for you at that time to deal with it.
    We have been corresponding a few times and I think I have shared with you my own struggles.
    I did not struggle with bulimia, but promiscuity and material obsession.
    We both are highly sensitive people and it makes us both compassionate and empathetic towards other’s pain and this specific trait is what drives your to create Tiny Buddha and you are able and successful at making a difference in the world.
    The fact that you have bounced back every time you faced your adversity deserves my respect.
    Imagine, that in my island, I can confidently say that no one dares to share their vulnerability the way you do and you can imagine how lost, confused, and lonely I have felt.
    It is considered shameful to do such a thing
    Lucky enough I am a bilingual and I have internet.
    I kept searching of answers for all my issues and connection with people who have been through and I must find it in other countries.
    Thank you for using your super power for good Lori.
    It means a lot for me.

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  • Lori thank you so much for this, definitely needed today 🙂

  • Hi Lori,

    I came across a person saying all this:

    “I’ve slowly chipped away at the mud ….

    I catch these thoughts and challenge them with compassion:

    There’s nowhere you ‘should’ be professionally—and you’ve
    done a lot more than you give yourself credit for.

    You could have responded better to that conflict, but that’s
    okay; this is an opportunity for growth.

    You reacted emotionally, but that’s okay too—you’re not a
    robot. And at least you’re self-aware enough to recognize when there’s room for
    improvement….

    I’ve come up with a list of mindfulness practices that help
    me find relief from my loud, persistent inner monologue.

    These are the ones
    I’ve found most effective:

    Five minutes of traditional meditation or deep breathing
    A five to ten minute walk, focusing on my senses and the experience of
    being in nature
    A yoga class or five to ten minutes of deep stretching, synced with my
    breath
    Listening to music (on YouTube) with subliminal messages for confidence
    A repetitive creative outlet, like crocheting
    Anything that gets me into a state of flow, like dancing…

    … growth provides me with a sense of possibility and purpose.

    I could encourage myself to continually grow into a
    stronger, wiser version of myself.

    I can like me even if you don’t …

    I’ve been beaten down. And I’ve risen up every time. I’ve
    kept playing my hand when it would have been easier to fold. I’ve learned and
    grown when it would have been easier to stagnate….

    I’m going to love myself through it.”

    I would feel privileged to know such an honest, insightful person. : )

    Best,

    Joel

  • Loving

    Beautiful and moving!

  • aj1880

    Thank you for such a beautiful article. When I read this, I thought of a line from The Color Purple: “Everything want to be loved. Us sing and dance and holler, just trying to be loved.” It is those times over the course of our lives when someone makes us feel not good enough that can add up to become a deep fear of, “What if I am not lovable?”

    On a good day, it is easier to think — well, I can’t control another person or what they think, so I will not pay attention to that and I will be happy with myself. But on a bad day — perhaps when feeling ill, or work is crazy, or there’s major stress, or whatever — it can be much more difficult to pull out of such negative thinking.

    I appreciate how you describe how your personal feelings ebb and flow and share very specific actionsfor turning around your thinking when you’re not having the best day. I find these to be extremely helpful and will work to employ them all. Thank you!

  • Anne Price

    Wonderful article! I, at fifty, am finally learning to undo all of the grime that has built up on my lenses. I’m so happy for you that you are getting there at a younger age, but I’m also learning to accept that we all move at our own pace. The important thing is that we get to self-awareness and begin to practice loving kindness toward ourselves! Blessings!

  • Shelley

    Thank you for this moving article!

  • Sarah

    Oh my gosh, Lori!!! I am so proud of you for sharing this!!! I remember when I was finally, FINALLY to the point where I could share my story of addiction and know it was a part of what made me what I am today (and I actually like who I am today). You are one brave and beautiful woman and what a gift you are giving to SO, SO many people by sharing your story with such intimacy!!! I have been following your blogs for a number of years now and amaze at your growth. Well, I just have to say again, thank you! Thank you so much for sharing your story. Such beautiful evidence of what a wonderful mom you are … With all of this experience, you will be able to be a living example to your children. There is nothing better than that! Love and light to you and yours!!! ~ Sarah

  • Brian

    Lori, this is the kind of blog that helps me continue each day. I think “I can’t deal with this, I shouldn’t have to deal with this, love me LOVE ME” when I know factually that only I can create the lasting happiness. Life has been very difficult for me for the past 3 weeks, and I reached out to a friend–she couldn’t deal with my stuff. She’s not an uncaring person; she just can’t deal with it. It hurts, but somehow I get up every day and keep going, meditating, breathing, making myself do things that others do without emotional incident. Body image issues, anxiety that can cripple me if I let it…I feel like I need constant reassurance that I’m ok, that I’m loved.

    I wish my own mind could say to myself “I love you” and have it have the weight of a special wonderful person. It always seems so believable coming from someone else.

    Anyway, for what it’s worth, your nose doesn’t look like a pig’s 🙂

  • Hi Sri Purna,

    Thanks so much for the kind words! I’m glad you have internet and we’ve been able to connect. It’s so reassuring and comforting to connect with other sensitive souls and to realize we’re not alone and there’s nothing wrong with us.

    So many people consider it shameful to be honest, but that just leaves us feel isolated and bad about ourselves. And no one should have to feel that way just for being human.

    Thanks for commenting!

    Lori

  • You’re most welcome. I’m glad it was helpful to you. =)

  • You’re most welcome, and thanks for taking the time to write!

  • Thanks so much, Joel. I’m touched. =)

  • Thanks so much!

  • I remember watching The Color Purple years ago. It’s so true – we all want to be loved. There’s a quote, I think from A Course in Miracles, that conveys that all human behavior is either love or a call for love – and that also rings true to me. Everyone wants to be seen, accepted, understood, and supported, and I suspect a lot of “negative” behavior comes from people who are trying to meet healthy needs, but in a very unhealthy way.

    I too find it easier to let go of someone else’s opinion if I’m having a good day. But on days when I’m feeling more sensitive than usual – maybe a lot has been going wrong, or I haven’t gotten enough sleep, or I’ve been feeling under the weather – it definitely hits me a little harder.

    I’m glad you found this helpful, and I appreciate that you took the time to comment! =)

  • Thanks so much, Sarah! I don’t write as often these days, but I am always grateful, when I do, that people receive my stories with such kindness and compassion. While I’m not a mom yet, I might be one day – and I hope you’re right, that I’d be a good example for my children.

    Love and light to you and yours as well! =)

  • Hi Brian,

    I’m so sorry to hear about what happened with your friend. I know it’s never easy to open up – it’s even harder when you do and the person can’t be there for you.

    For what it’s worth, it sounds you’re a pretty special, wonderful person – to be able to deal with body image issues and anxiety and keep getting up every day and doing the things you know are good for you. =)

    Thank you for the comment on my nose. I thought it was pig-like all growing up!

    Lori

  • private

    Hi, a very good article and comments but what had the person who treated her that way gone through and learned in her earlier life.

  • Sri Purna Widari

    Your welcome Lori.

  • Oh Lori! I cut myself once, too. It was scary. Because once you knew you would actually carry out the dark fantasy in your head, you get scared about all the other dark things you could bring to life.

    And drawing a self portrait? I literally painted myself out of depression by painting selfies 🙂

  • Hi there. I’m not sure I understand what you’re asking. Can you rephrase?

  • I’m so sorry to hear that you’ve cut yourself too, Lucy. I know how scary that can be!

    Painting selfies sounds like a wonderfully empowering experience! I actually used to model for life drawing classes. It really helped in my journey of self-acceptance, as all I had to was show up and be – in stillness – with nothing to hide behind.

  • Brian

    She’s been a longtime friend, too. Thank you for the kindness. I’m crying cuz I need to hear that I’m worth something. I do the things that I need to be doing, but it’s like trying to climb up a sheer wall with no handholds. And yeah I think you look great. Don’t let my praise get in the way of your own self-praise, now 😉

  • LOL I won’t! And you’re most welcome. I hope you’re having a relaxing weekend. =)

  • Oh you did? I adore our models. And I didn’t know how beautiful the human body really is until I started going to life drawing. Usually we hide behind the bagged clothes, but there’s nothing to hide behind, when bare and vulnerable, we are really really beautiful!

  • Patsie Smith

    Love you Lori, you’re one of the most beautiful person I know in the world, both inside and outside, if even there’s such. Beauty is just complete, no inside nor outside. Didn’t even realize until I got to the end of the page that it was your article! The most exquisitely beautiful and compassionate people are usually the ones who have been polished to perfect shine through life’s wounds and scars, and that you are. Thank you for an intimate and powerful article about you xo

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  • Thank you so much, Patsie! That means a lot – in general, and especially coming from someone I respect as much as you. =)

  • Thanks so much, Anne! I’m so happy for you as well. Blessings back to you! =)

  • Hi there,

    My heart broke for you in reading your comment because I can tell you are in so much pain, and I have felt these same things before, so I understand how hard it can be. I don’t think for a second you caused his love to turn to hate. Someone who loves you, or once you loved you, wouldn’t treat you critically or “kick around the pieces” when you feel broken.

    In the past, when I thought really poorly of myself and struggled to forgive myself, I often attracted men who didn’t recognize my value. In retrospect, I believe I was looking for confirmation that I was unworthy and not good enough, so I sought men who would reinforce my beliefs. To be fair, I wasn’t a healthy person to be around – but my choice of men didn’t do anything to help me heal.

    I don’t mean to assume you’re in the same boat, but it seems possible you are. And if so, this is actually a good thing. It’s a chance to recognize a pattern so you can heal, grow, and eventually be in a good mental place for a healthy, loving, mutually fulfilling relationship.

    Please know you won’t always feel this way. I know it can be overwhelming, but it won’t always be. And you don’t have to do this on your own. You can lean on friends, others who’ve been through the same things (on sites like this, for example), and even get professional help through therapy (something I highly recommend). True, you are the only one who can choose to help yourself, but that doesn’t mean you can’t seek help from others. You are not alone, and you don’t have to go through this on your own.

    Incidentally, therapy was life-changing for me. It helped me get to the root of my deepest pains, and though it wasn’t a fast process, I credit it with saving my life. Perhaps it could be equally as helpful to you.

    Sending good thoughts your way…

    Lori

  • Tamara Suber

    Thank you so much Lori. You are absolutely right about how I’m feeling. I feel guilty sometimes because it feels like I have been struggling with this so long it’s hard to see the light. And I often feel my insecurities and shortcoming cause things to be worse. I think I do seek men who end up causing me heart ache. Initially they are wonderful and slowly things go south. I often ignore the red flags and hold on for dear life to the good times and love. I get nervous and feel guilty for leaning on those who do love me such as my family and friends because I’ve been struggling with this for so long. I’ve hated and feared being alone since a little girl. I struggle with anxiety and add which undiagnosed I thought I was flawed because I struggled so much to accomplish things but those things held me back. I have been in therapy for years and continue to seek treatment. I also take medicine for my anxiety and add to help ease symptoms. The add medicine helps me focus but adds to me anxiety it’s a balancing act. I’ve always tried to stay fit and medicate. I know this is a life long process but the hurt and disappointment I feel with myself is sometimes dibilitating. Part of me knows it’s not healthy and then I feel sad for thinking that and the other thinks I’m making excuses and am just stuck on feeling good which causes my disappointment and being so critical of myself and others. It holds me back so much. This morning was hard to get out of bed. I have so much I should be doing right now instead of being sad. I feel physically sad. And know I’m not a joy to be around right now. I could be spending time with my family or helping others right now working on the long list of things I need to complete today. This is how I feel most days. It’s like I have to close my eyes and jump. And I think about all those who have it so hard and I have so many blessing it’s shame I feel this way. This young man lost his life today to stupid violence and he had a hard life but was so optimistic and bright. It seems unfair that I’m still here. Or the elephant who lived in chains alone her whole life holding her own tail for comfort. Breaks my heart and I want to be whole enough to help spread love and end violence and help people and animals who feel that lonely because of nothing they have done. I sometimes think I’m moving though life trying to make sure i make the right moves and often choosing the easy ones out of fear. And diminishing my accomplishments. A lot of people see me and my life and don’t understand. Sometimes I don’t understand why I feel this way. And why I’m so stuck. I’ve read so many self helps things and tried everything and I know it’s me who has to make it happen and be patient. I just hope the universe understands. I’m always trying to please others which is why I read this article and really I just don’t know how to love myself. I hope this made sense. Thank you for your love compassion and support. I’m going to workout right now try to get one with my body and give my mind some space.

  • Crystal Witkowski

    Thank you so much, Lori. I emailed you earlier in the week thanking you for your website. I can say that articles like these have change my life in such a big way. With your help I’ve been able to overcome so many obstacles. I can’t even begin to express my gratitude. I wish I could pay you back somehow. This post was the ultimate help I needed from this tough week.

  • Callisto88

    I see so much of myself in this article. Though I never cut or was bulimic, I have been capable of doing other things to numb away my emotional pain. I had planned on making an appointment with a therapist tomorrow, now I know for sure that I should. This cannot go on.

  • Patsie Smith

    Beautiful you! Lori we’re exactly the same… arisen out of the ashes of suffering to realize the reflections of all aspects of self, then the crumbling of them all. Love and deep respect for you too xo 🙂

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  • Jeevan/Mirthu/Gupt

    Hey Brian….I’m so sorry to hear about your struggles as well & for what it’s worth..there are a lot more of us going through similar struggles –you are not alone…

    If I may make a suggestion, if u have the means…talking to a psychologist/therapist could be helpful in having someone to open up about your difficulties & maybe even getting to the underlying issues buried beneath… Anyways, hang in there!

  • Jeevan/Mirthu/Gupt

    In an age of photo selfies…it’s refreshing to hear about “painting selfies.” 🙂

  • Thank you, Jeevan. Yes, I’m an artist. Painting selfies is very different than clicking a button and snap a shoot in a split of a second. You get to spend at least 30 minutes or hours with yourself, observing yourself through a mirror, looking deeply. It’s very healing.

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  • I loved that about modeling – that every drawing looks beautiful, and it has nothing to do being thin or having certain physical features.

  • I’m so glad this inspired you to take that step! Did you make the appointment already?

  • You’re most welcome, Crystal. There’s no need to pay me back. Just knowing I’ve helped you is enough. I hope your week gets better!

  • You’re most welcome. Working out sounds like a great idea! When I was at my lowest, taking card of my body, through exercise, and my mind, through meditation and yoga, helped a great deal. They gave me some clarity and helped me feel stronger. I find it’s toughest to do the things that are good for me when I need them the most – but if I can push through my resistance, it’s worth it.

    Do you meditate? It could help a great deal with both your anxiety and your insecurities. It also helps me to listen to music with subliminal messages for peace and confidence. You can find a ton on YouTube.

    My main advice to you is to be gentle with yourself. None of this is easy, and you’re doing the best you can. If you can be good to yourself as you move forward on this healing journey, I have no doubt you’ll be able to help spread love, end violence, and make a profound difference in other people’s lives. The beauty of having endured great pain is that you have great potential to empathize with others and make a difference in their lives.

    Love,
    Lori

  • Jeevan/Mirthu/Gupt

    That’s really cool & I’m glad to hear that its been very therapeutic to u as well! 🙂 Lucy, do u have an online site to some of your artworks?

  • Or if you search Lucy Chen Fine Art, you’ll find me.

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  • Angela

    Thank you, Lori, I so ‘get’ this. It’s taken me a long time and it’s still a work in progress, it’s a journey after all, but yes.

    ‘But there’s a difference between looking for connection and looking for permission to be.

    There’s a difference between depending on people for support and depending on them for self-esteem.’ Absolutely.

  • You’re most welcome. It took me a long time, as well – and I’m also a work in progress!

  • Jennifer Ortega

    This article resonates so much! This process is new to me, I have also felt all that you described and it’s very reassuring knowing that it is a process. Sometimes it feels impossible and overwhelming but I usually find so much inspiration from the tiny Buddha website, I am so grateful to have come across it. I had an experience this last week that surprised me tremendously because it was the first time I leaned in to pain and discomfort instead of numbing it as I have in the past. You wrote ” On days when I’m at my strongest, I’ll acknowledge the pain and let it run through me.” I didn’t even see myself as strong for doing it, I did get relief almost instantly once I acknowledged the pain but didn’t see the strength in leaning in to it. Love, love the website!!!! Thank you!

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  • You’re most welcome! I didn’t see it that way for a long time either. I thought pain was a sign of weakness. I’ve realized, though, it’s a part of being human, and denying it is what weakens us.

    Thanks for taking the time to write! =)

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  • Jennifer Ortega

    It really is, the more I read, the more I learn that our emotions are actually speaking to us giving us very important messages about life, if only we were taught from an early age to listen to them.
    Hope you have a great week!

  • Wouldn’t that be wonderful! If I have children, I will definitely make it a priority to teach them to understand, honor, and learn from their emotions. I hope you have a great week as well. =)

  • You are strong for striving that way. May you continue to do so in life 🙂

  • Thanks so much. =)

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  • Oh Lori, thank you for sharing your story. It is so recognizable. I’m a life coach that works around unconditional self-love. I have been through a lot of the same things and can totally relate. I wrote an article about this subject a few weeks ago.

    I went through an intense journey of change and self-actualization myself, that started 5 years ago when both my parents suddenly passed away five weeks from one another. After a rough and difficult childhood Ihad become a high-achieving perfectionist that needed to always be in control and that craved so much for the approval of others, in the hope of one day being worthy of love.

    When my parents died I took a good look at my life, realized I could no longer live like that, and eventually I learned to love myself. The change that followed in my lifewas so profound that I decided to help other women learn to love themselves too.

    I agree with you that the fear never totally goes away. That little voice will show up again, sometimes in the most unexpected moments, but when you love yourself life is so much more beautiful.

    I’m so happy you’re doing so well now and you deserve to be proud of yourself! What a journey!! <3

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  • Hi Murielle,

    I’m so sorry to hear about the loss of your parents, but inspired by all the positive changes you’ve made during these last five years.

    I am proud, actually. I don’t always stop to think about it, so it’s good to be reminded. Thank you. =)

    Lori

  • Hi Lori, I have so much respect for what you’ve done for yourself and what you are doing for others through Tiny Buddha and your books.

    Isn’t it amazing how many of us have lived through painful situations and how we question ourselves which brings even more pain? It can be torture. It’s so wonderful when we’re able to start breaking through and we can see the light.

    I remember long ago reading in one of books in The Celestine Prophecy series that we are all going to begin to help each other in the way you’re doing now.

    I believe there is a reason for the challenges we go through–it’s only by living through our own pain and working to overcome it that we can understand how to help others who are living through the same pain. Somehow that makes it almost worthwhile.

    It takes a lot of perseverance to come through to the other side, but it’s a meaningful journey.

    Thank you for sharing yours and for being a light to so many people. I love the way you express yourself. You’re very wise and you’re doing an incredible job.

  • Thanks so much for the kind words, Jan! Yes indeed, it does make it seem worthwhile.

    When I first started this site, my goal was to recycle my pain into something useful for others, and I’ve seen many people here do the same. There’s something rewarding and cathartic about leveraging your struggles to help other people – which, by the way, you also do incredibly well. =)

  • Thank you Lori, that means a lot coming from you.

  • You’re most welcome. 🙂

  • Meryem A

    Thank you. Thank you for this. Its crazy how I keep forgetting and how that makes me feel like ive never changed, havent learned anything through my own process. But I did. I just forget sometimes. Go back to old habits sometimes. But now, unlike then, I know. I KNOW that ive been hard on myself. I know i deserve love. I know im not useless. I know i dont NEED to do better to be worthy. I know i AM worthy. It took me such a long time to even believe that what i was telling myself and how i was viewing myself wasnt true or fair. Now i know. I just forget sometimes. I just need reminding how to talk to myself in a way to fight back properly against that crap mean voice sometimes. And this article did just that. It reminded me. Like a helping hand guiding me back to that place i had already found on my own but just forgot the way back to. Thank you. Thisbhas brought tears to my eyes. From the bottom of my heart i thank you.

  • You’re most welcome, Meryem! That’s a beautiful name, by the way. =)

  • Meryem A

    Thank you 🙂

  • Paulo S.

    I have stumbled upon tiny Buddha by accident and I have been reading so many articles, some really touched me but none like this one, made me cry my heart out because I can relate to almost everything… Im still new to the process of believing I’m worthy of being loved without the need of approval from others,it feels less scary to see other people have been there once too. Thank you for your words!

  • You’re welcome Paulo. You are indeed worthy, and you’re not alone with this struggle!