“There are plenty of difficult obstacles in your path. Don’t allow yourself to become one of them.” ~Ralph Marston
I recently had a personal conversation with someone who was describing some struggles they were experiencing. In passing, they mentioned “It’s okay for you, you’ve fought your battles” and went on to talk about how I’m married, I’m working in a career I love, and I’m “successful.”
Listening to them, I could feel my heart breaking, partly for them: I know what it’s like to compare my insides to someone else’s outsides and find myself severely wanting.
But I …
“Remember, you can’t reach what’s in front of you until you let go of what’s behind you.” ~Unknown
After recently relocating from the UK to Central America, I found it hard to focus my energy and attention again. The upheaval had been all consuming and I was now in a new environment with new routines, new challenges, and a new way of life to adjust to.
I had so much I wanted to do, and I didn’t know which area of life to focus on first. The stuckness I felt affected several different areas …
“Conflict is inevitable but combat is optional.” ~Max Lucade
I used to do everything I could to avoid having conversations that could potentially be challenging or difficult—even resorting to lying or obfuscation if I really felt backed into a corner.
I didn’t have a good template for what healthy conflict looked like, so every challenging conversation felt like a minefield where I could be attacked, blamed, or shamed at any moment.
As I got older, and especially as I started dating and getting involved in longer-term relationships, I realized that conflict was actually an inevitable, even necessary, part of co-existing …
“The heart is like a garden: it can grow compassion or fear, resentment or love. What seeds will you plant there?” ~Jack Kornfield
Comparison is something we all struggle with at one point or another. Although it’s something that conventional self-help wisdom urges us to avoid, it’s also a way of gauging where we fit in the world.
Usually, when we engage in comparison, we do so from an ego-based perspective and find ourselves (or others) lacking. This approach doesn’t benefit anyone involved, but, until recently, this was my predominant experience of comparison.
I also had the belief that healthy …
“To wish you were someone else is to waste the person you are.” ~Sven Goran Eriksson
How many times a day do you use the word “should” in reference to yourself or other people? I don’t know about you, but I used to use it a lot.
The word “should” has become a fixture in our everyday dialogue. We use it in conversation with others, as a way of motivating ourselves or keeping ourselves in check, and to express a myriad of feelings, including frustration, guilt, and regret.
As I’ve become more interested in my internal dialogue and how …
“You must welcome change as the rule but not your ruler” ~Denis Waitley
My name is Hannah, and I find it hard to deal with change.
As much as I used to want to think of myself as flexible and easy-going, I struggle to live up to these ideals. I like to know where I am, what I’m doing, where I’m going, and to have my near future mapped out in lists, to-dos, and ideas. In short, I do whatever I can to minimize the level of uncertainty in my life.
My discomfort around uncertainty means I am usually …
“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” ~Eleanor Roosevelt
It’s a voice we’re all familiar with, and one that we all find challenging. Yes, the inner critic is the part of our internal dialogue that can make or break our day.
At its best, our inner critic helps us live in a way that’s true to our values, questioning decisions that we might regret later and keeping us on the straight and narrow. At it’s worst, however, an inner critic rampage can bring down our mood, self-esteem, and sense of self-worth.
Much of my own self-work has …
“Have respect for yourself, and patience and compassion. With these, you can handle anything.” ~Jack Kornfield
I find it hard to do things I know are good for me, harder than anything else in my day-to-day life.
Yoga, meditation, journaling: these have all been invaluable tools during my personal journey, yet I have to will, sometimes fight myself in order to do them.
It’s not that the activities themselves are hard (although yoga can be intense). It’s the motivation, the internal debate that starts up every day that I struggle with. Afterward, I feel great, more in touch with …