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Category “love & relationships”

Conversation

The Most Important Thing to Do Before a Difficult Conversation

“You are your choices.” ~Seneca

After four years of radio silence, a former flame appeared in my inbox.

We set up a time to talk later that week. And when the day came, right on time, he called.

We talked. I had many questions. He explained the best he could. The conversation eased into Taoism and Twitter.… Read More

Happy

Taking a Chance on Happiness and Knowing We Deserve It

“Life is inherently risky. There is only one big risk you should avoid at all costs, and that is the risk of doing nothing.” ~Denis Waitley

I like to tell the story of how I changed my mind about myself and what I was worthy of, and how that change almost immediately led me to my husband—or, rather, how it led him to me.… Read More

Arms Outstretched

Why Self-Compassion Is the Key to Being Our Authentic Selves

“To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh

I was raised in a family where outward appearance and reputation were important. Standing out was only encouraged if it was within the bounds of what was considered “normal.”

No one ever explicitly told me, “What other people think of you is more important than being your true self,” yet that’s what I learned to believe.… Read More

Holding Hands

Simple Ways to Improve Our Relationships, Starting Today

“My experience is that the teachers we need most are the people we’re living with right now.” ~Byron Katie

I never had a good relationship with my father when I was younger.

Sometimes he expressed his opinions in a rude way, sounding more like an attack than advice.

Many times he apologized after being rude, but I was too cold to forgive or listen.Read More

Couple Holding Hands

Conscious Choices We Need to Make to Attract Healthy Relationships

“When you have a choice to make and don’t make it, that is in itself a choice.” ~William James

I have been single for most of my life; sometimes it would seem by choice, and sometimes not. In that time, I have learned and experienced a lot. Some of the things I had thought I wanted changed, and some of the things I thought I didn’t want have become things I do.… Read More

Hiding

Sharing Yourself Without Worrying About Being Accepted

“Happiness is really a deep harmonious inner satisfaction and approval.” ~Francis Wilshire

Acceptance.

This is a word we often toss around, but what does it truly mean? Perhaps the meaning of it ultimately resides within its beholder. I know I have certainly achieved my own understanding of what acceptance means to me and for me, and so far, this definition is ever evolving.… Read More

Boy Sunset

You Have Nothing to Prove: Knowing You’re Good Enough

“You alone are enough. You have nothing to prove to anyone.” ~Maya Angelou

I sat on a big, cold stone on the beach next to Lake Ontario and watched as the waves lapped upon the shore.

To my right, there were swans and ducks floating on the water. The swans were graceful and beautiful as they glided along the shoreline, and the ducks were being their usual kooky selves.… Read More

Running Toward

Finding the Strength to Leave: Run Toward, Not Away

“You don’t need strength to let go of something. What you really need is understanding.” ~Guy Finley

It was 11PM on a Monday night and yet again I was chatting online with my friend about the woes of my failing marriage. “I just need a knight in shining armour to take me away from all of this,” I said.… Read More

Flying Free

Why We All Benefit When We Give Each Other the Freedom to Choose

“You must love in such a way that the other person feels free.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh

I’ve read a lot of articles about loving without attachment and respecting other people’s choices, but it wasn’t until one day that I truly got it. And I will tell you what happened to me that day.… Read More

Healing

How to Heal a Broken Heart and Wounded Spirit

“We do not heal the past by dwelling there; we heal the past by living fully in the present.” ~Marianne Williamson

My life fell apart on a warm August evening a few years ago. It had been a full summer: family visits, plans for a cross-country move, barbecues, and plenty of travel.… Read More

See the Light

Releasing the Fear That Keeps Us Feeling Unlovable

“Love is what we were born with. Fear is what we learn here.” ~Marianne Williamson

I have suffered for as long as I can remember from a chronic case of lacking in self-love. But that isn’t where this story begins.

It begins in a bright hospital in Cape Town on the hottest day of the year, when I came into the world twenty-eight years ago.… Read More

Peaceful Couple

How to De-Stress Dating and Stop Tying Your Worth to Relationships

“Forget past mistakes and forget failures. Forget everything except what you are going to do now and do it.” ~William J. Durant

I’m all too aware that dating can feel like a grinding, painful roller coaster to nowhere.

If you’ve hit your head against the wall as many times as I have, you know how frustrating, depressing, and downright disheartening it can be.… Read More

Hugging

How to Receive Gratefully Instead of Rejecting Kindness

“Giving is virtuous, but so is accepting gifts gratefully.” ~Doe Zantamata

I’ve learned that how well you receive determines how happy you are.

When I was committed to loving myself more, I started to be more aware of how I treated myself. What opened up for me was that I did not know how to receive.… Read More

Keep Calm and Let Go

Letting Go of the Lies That Make Us Feel Bad About Ourselves

“Genuine forgiveness does not deny anger but faces it head-on.” ~Alice Duer Miller

The man who I thought was my soul mate walked out on me fourteen years ago. He immediately remarried a lovely, beautiful woman who was everything I was not.

I am desperate to fall in love. I’m thirty-eight.… Read More

Healed Wound

How Pain from the Past Can Be a Gift in the Present

“When something bad happens you have three choices. You can let it define you, let it destroy you, or you can let it strengthen you.” ~Unknown

Don’t hate your past. No matter what it contained or what it did to you, the past shapes who you are, not just for the things you felt damaged you but for the lessons you can take from it.… Read More

No Act of Kindness

25 Ways to Be Good for Someone Else

“Don’t wait for people to be friendly. Show them how.” ~Unknown

When I was a teenager, right around the time I knew everything, my mother used to tell me I only remembered the bad things.

When I told stories about my family, they didn’t revolve around family beach trips, barbecues, and vacations; they focused on painful memories and all the ways I felt my mother had “ruined my life.”

The same applied to friends and milestones in my life.… Read More

Carpe Diem

3 Vital Lessons on Living a Life That Won’t Lead to Regret

“I now see how owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing that we will ever do.” ~Brene Brown

Even though I’m a psychologist who has been working in the field of development and assessment for the last thirteen years, sometimes it still takes more than reading a theory in a book, or even seeing something work with a client, to make it real for me.… Read More

One Act of Kindness

How to Change a Life and Make the World a Kinder Place

“There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up.” ~John Holmes

Have you ever been stressed and cranky and having a terrible day when someone was unexpectedly kind to you?

When this happens, it lifts your mood and changes your state of mind. You want to hold on to that feeling of goodwill.… Read More

Me Time

Why It’s Okay to Be Self-Centered Sometimes

“We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men.”  ~Herman Melville

I grew up with a faith that encouraged personal sacrifice for others. Putting myself before others or desiring what they lacked was sinful. So there I was, during my teenage years, trying to be a saint, completely unselfish when thinking or interacting with others.… Read More

Happy and Free

Reclaim Your Power: Stop Waiting for Other People to Make You Happy

“You alone are enough. You have nothing to prove to anyone.” ~Maya Angelou

My knees hit the pavement, unable to hold me up as I watched my entire life purpose drive away.

I had put my entire heart and soul into that relationship. I had sacrificed everything—my family, my friends, my career, my hobbies.… Read More

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