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Category “love & relationships”

Shame

How to Stop Shaming and Start Loving Yourself

“Never bend your head. Always hold it high. Look the world straight in the face.” ~Helen Keller

It’s discouraging, isn’t it?

Walking around every day feeling as if you’re never enough?

Comparing yourself to others and continually coming up short?

You feel as if you’re not smart enough, talented enough, organized enough, or disciplined enough.… Read More

Couple Holding Hands

What It Really Means to Have a Supportive Partner

“The best possible thing you can get out of a relationship is that you’re with someone who encourages you to be the best version of yourself every day.” ~Nishan Panwar

Let me ask you a question. When was the last time you felt supported? When was the last time you felt safe, at home, encouraged, and able to be 100 percent yourself?… Read More

Man and Shining Sun

Take Off the Mask: 6 Tips to Let Your Authentic Self Shine

“Being who you are is another way of accepting yourself.” ~Unknown

Years ago, I struggled to be authentic. I was a consultant who worked with very senior people in big organizations. As a Black female fresh out of graduate school, I was frequently the youngest in the room, the only woman in the room, and the only minority in the room.… Read More

Little Girl Apologzing

The Power of Apologizing: Why Saying “Sorry” Is So Important

“Sincere apologies are for those that make them, not for those to whom they are made.” ~Greg LeMond

When I was growing up, every time I took my sister’s toy or called my brother names, my mother would grab me by the wrist and demanded that I offer an apology. What’s more, if the apology didn’t sound meaningful enough to her, I had to repeat it until my tone was genuine.… Read More

Happy Couple

How to Make Ordinary Relationships Extraordinary

“In the end, who among us does not choose to be a little less right to be a little less lonely.” ~Robert Braul

I’ve been married to my wife for almost ten years, most of them involving struggle and drama.

I had two failed marriages before that.

This qualifies me to give relationship advice because, well, let’s just say I’ve made every mistake someone could possibly make while attempting to be in a relationship, so I’ve definitely figured out how not to do it.… Read More

Girls Sharing

Why People Who Bring Enough to Share Are Happier

Joy comes not through possession or ownership but through a wise and loving heart.” ~Buddha

We all have these random little personal philosophies or rules that we live by. Oftentimes, these rules are hidden beneath the surface, not in a form that we are aware of or is easily expressible.… Read More

Woman Relaxing

How to Stop Tying Your Worth to Things Outside Yourself

“If you find yourself constantly trying to prove your worth to someone, you have already forgotten your value.” ~Unknown

There’s nothing like being one of the few black kids in your school to make you feel like the odd person out.

Well, that was my experience, anyway. I appreciate my parents’ desire to provide my brother and me with a safe neighborhood to live in and a good education, but growing up in a predominantly white area really affected me.… Read More

Friends

Why Being Real Matters More Than Being the Best

“We have to dare to be ourselves, however frightening or strange that self may prove to be.” ~May Sarton

Have you ever compared yourself to others on social media?

You’re not alone if you have. It’s human nature to compare, compete, and seek value in the opinions of others. To aspire to the heights others seem to have attained.… Read More

Conflicted Couple

You Don’t Need Other People to Validate Your Feelings

“When you give another person the power to define you, then you also give them the power to control you.” ~Leslie Vernick

It’s coming up on the anniversary of when I left a relationship that was both my unhealthiest and my greatest catalyst for growth.

While I’m able to see that he was a spiritual assignment I needed in order to evolve, I can’t help but feel resentful.… Read More

Two Friends Laughing

How to Tell When Someone Needs a Friend

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

When I was in high school I was shy, to say the least. I guess a more accurate description would be to say that I was insecure. Painfully insecure.

Looking back, I don’t know why I cared so much.… Read More

Couple Silhouette

How to Know if You’re with the Right Person

“Our lives improve only when we take chances and the first and most difficult risk we can take is to be honest with ourselves.” ~Walter Anderson

I’m not actually interested in telling you if you’re with the right person. I’m interested in you discovering who you really are. If you’re not in the right relationship, you probably shouldn’t try so hard to make it “work.” Sometimes the right thing to do is walk away.… Read More

Breaking Up

9 Thoughts That Give You Strength to End a Painful Relationship

“F-E-A-R has two meanings: ‘Forget Everything And Run’ or ‘Face Everything And Rise.’ The choice is yours.” ~Zig Ziglar

No matter how old I get, no matter how experienced I become, ending a relationship is agonizing.

It represents a loss, and losses hurt.

Deep down, I know if I go through with it, I’ll feel freer—well, not right away, but in a little while anyway—but I’d rather crawl under a rock and ignore the whole thing.Read More

Happy and free

Releasing Labels: Be What You Love, Not What You Do

“Authenticity is the daily practice of letting go of who we think we’re supposed to be and embracing who we are.” ~Brené Brown

I thought I was supposed to have a shiny job, the kind that makes people envious at cocktail parties.

We had moved with my husband’s job again.… Read More

Woman Thinking

6 Things to Do Instead of Comparing Yourself to Others

“Do not judge by appearances; a rich heart may be under a poor coat.” ~Scottish Proverb

I grew up believing I was never enough. Ever. Not when I got all A’s in school. Not when I was in the talented and gifted program. Not when my father made more than enough money for me to buy whatever I wanted.… Read More

Finger Art

70 Ways to Make Others Feel Special

“Be the person that makes others feel special. Be known for your kindness and grace.” ~Unknown

There is someone in my life that has an extraordinary talent for making people feel special. I would call him out by name, but he’s a fairly private person, so we’ll just call him “E.”

It’s not that E makes people feel that they are somehow greater than others.… Read More

Hand Heart

Practicing Loving-Kindness Even When (Especially When) You Are Hurting

“Have a heart that never hardens, and a temper that never tires, and a touch that never hurts.” ~Charles Dickens   

All of us have been hurt or angered by someone’s words at some point. Some words are blatantly cruel, and others are deceptive, appearing to be in our best interest but only ever leading us astray.… Read More

Friends Laughing

Transforming Shame Into Love, One Good Deed At A Time

“No one is useless in the world who lightens the burdens of another.” ~Charles Dickens

A few years back, I saw a sticker that read, “Be the change you wish to see in the world. –Gandhi.”

My knee-jerk reaction was annoyance because the sticker was affixed to the bumper of a car that turned left in front of me.… Read More

Stressed Man

How to Stop Feeling Inadequate and Let Go of Heavy Expectations

“No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.” ~Charles Dickens

When I was seven years old, my parents had me take an IQ test for an application to a private school near our new home.

I vaguely remember sitting with the proctor, answering question after question about vocabulary and spatial recognition.… Read More

Free Woman

How to Free Yourself from Bitterness by Forgiving Others

“Forgiveness is not an occasional act, it is a constant attitude.” ~Martin Luther King Jr.

“Stop the world, I want to get off!” I felt like screaming this phrase at the top of my lungs during a difficult period of my life. Obviously, stepping off terra firma into outer space was not an option; what I desperately needed was to be free of chronic fatigue, stress, anxiety, and negative emotions and behaviors.… Read More

Silhouette of a Couple

The Key to Finding Your Ideal Partner in Life

“The most perfect relationship is the one that supports you in fulfilling your destiny—the one that empowers you to be everything you are meant to be in this world and beyond.” ~Jan H. Stringer

As I was sitting up in my bed, reviewing my “Ideal partner wish list” from six years ago, I was a little appalled.… Read More

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