“Good relationships don’t just happen. They take time, patience, and two people who truly want to be together.” ~Unknown
In the past, whenever I heard someone say that relationships take effort, I assumed it was a person who wasn’t in a happy one.
When it’s right, it shouldn’t feel like work; it should be effortless—or so I thought, ironically, in a time when I had few relationships.
What I didn’t realize then is that things change over time—we change over time—and that we need to choose each day to see the people we love with new eyes.
I’ve been …
Editor’s Note: The winners for this giveaway have already been chosen. Subscribe to Tiny Buddha to receive free daily or weekly emails and to learn about future giveaways!
Have you ever formed a friendship with someone whose beliefs differ from yours only to realize you have quite a bit in common?
This is exactly the type of friendship I’ve formed with Alex Blackwell. We’ve had many of the same experiences, and formed many of the same insights, but we’ve found peace and comfort in different understandings of spirituality.
Alex runs The Bridge Maker, where he …
“When you stop trying to change others and work on changing yourself, your world changes for the better.” ~Unknown
There are certain relationships that we don’t want to end; we just want them to improve.
Sometimes it might seem like that will only happen if someone else starts acting differently—with more kindness, respect, thoughtfulness, compassion, understanding, or consideration.
Years ago, a therapist told me we can’t ever change other people; we can only change how we respond to them.
At the time, I found this incredibly frustrating because I didn’t know what I could do differently. I only knew I …
“The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good.” ~Samuel Johnson
Some people say there’s no such thing as a selfless act—that any time we do something to help another person, we get something in return, even if it’s just a warm fuzzy feeling.
I’ve spent a lot of time playing with this idea in my head. It doesn’t really bother me to know it feels good to help someone else. That, to me, is a completely acceptable type of selfishness. What give me cause for concern are the underlying expectations …
Hello friends. I’m writing this quick post from my family’s house in Massachusetts after flying home on the red-eye on Saturday night. My grandmother, who was a hero to many, including me, passed away on Monday morning. Despite being a writer, and being asked to write a eulogy, I find myself somewhat at a loss for words.
For this reason, I may not write anything this week, though I will surely be writing about grandmother soon. I will aim to publish two posts from the community each day, but I may miss a day or two.
If you submitted a …
“Before someone’s tomorrow has been taken away, cherish those you love, appreciate them today.” ~Michelle C. Ustaszeski
Most of us are really good at finding reasons to wait.
We wait to call good friends we miss because we assume we’ll have plenty of time.
We wait to tell people how we really feel because we hope it will someday feel safer.
We wait to forgive the people who’ve hurt us because we believe they should reach out first.
We wait to apologize for the things we’ve done because we feel too stubborn or ashamed to admit fault.
If we’re not …
As you may have noticed, this was the first week I did not publish a blog post featuring two poll questions for my next book.
Previously, I published 10 of these posts, each with a giveaway for an autographed copy of my first book, Tiny Buddha: Simple Wisdom for Life’s Hard Questions.
I’m pleased to announce I’ve chosen 10 winners:
I emailed the winners last night. If you are on this list and did not receive that email, please contact me …
“I’ve discovered that you can’t change people. They can change themselves.” ~Jim Rohn
We all want to be loved and accepted, just as we are. We want people to honor our interests, value our needs, and respect our choices in life.
So why, then, do we expect other people to sacrifice theirs for us?
Why do we hope people will change their goals, habits, and values to better align with ours when they haven’t given us any indication they’d be happier for doing it?
Sometimes we think we know what’s best for others, but if we’re honest with ourselves, we’ll …
Note: The winners for this giveaway have already been chosen. Subscribe to Tiny Buddha for free daily or weekly emails and to learn about future giveaways!
Have you ever felt like your mind was controlling you, dragging you along for a persistently bumpy ride?
Research shows the majority of us feel this way, but the good news is that we can do something about—and Karuna Cayton’s book The Misleading Mind teaches us how.
A psychotherapist and practicing Buddhist, Karuna has written an easily digestible book that offers solutions to the mental anguish we often perpetuate …
“Relationships are like glass. Sometimes it’s better to leave them broken than try to hurt yourself putting it back together.” ~Unknown
At the end of my first long-term relationship in college, when it was clear there was nothing left to salvage, I told a mutual friend that I “had to make it work.”
The idea of moving on seemed incomprehensible. I’d invested three years. We’d loved each other, laughed together; hurt each other, grown together. I was young and I made him my everything. How could I possibly let go of us when my own identity was inextricably wrapped in …
Before I found this Flickr image, I had never read this Irish blessing before. What a beautiful idea!
I remember in college, I spent a semester abroad in the Netherlands. My school owned a castle there—a full-on castle with a moat and towers and everything. The school gave us all three-day weekends and two full weeks off so we could maximize our Eurail passes.
I didn’t bring as much money as other students did—I actually put a lot on my credit card and then worked extra to pay it off when I returned home—so I spent quite a few weekends …
“It is astonishing how little one feels alone when one loves.” ~John Bulwer
If there’s one thing we all want, it’s to feel loved.
We want to feel deeply connected to other people, fully seen and appreciated by them, and secure in those relationships.
We can have a million and one acquaintances online, but if none of our connections feel intimate and meaningful, we will ultimately feel alone.
There’s actually some interesting research that shows we tend to value physical possessions less when we feel loved and accepted by others, because relationships can provide a sense of comfort, insurance, …
“The journey is the reward.” ~Chinese Proverb
So much of our language about the things we enjoy in life revolves around getting ahead.
We wonder where our relationships are going. We plan to move forward in our careers. We talk about maintaining momentum with new projects.
None of these things are necessarily bad. We naturally crave growth to feel a sense of purpose and progress.
But sometimes we put so much energy into pushing and striving that we miss out on the joy of being where we are.
When we visualize ourselves taking a pause to fully absorb and appreciate …
“Whatever you fight, you strengthen, and what you resist, persists.” ~Eckhart Tolle
Have you ever exacerbated difficult feelings by responding to them with resistance?
Although I made peace with my recent burglary shortly after it happened, I started feeling down and anxious at the end of last week. In retrospect, I think there was a connection between that and the painkillers my doctor prescribed when my surgical site started hurting again.
But I suspect I was also feeling the residual effects of everything that’s happened over these past two months. At the time, I didn’t fully understand my feelings. I …
“Because of your smile, you make life more beautiful.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh
The other day, while I was getting cash from an ATM, I smiled at an adorable toddler standing with her father at the machine next to me.
She had this huge grin on her face, and she actually waved at me from two feet away, so I couldn’t help but smile in return.
Just then, she pulled on her father’s leg and giggled the words, “Why does everyone like me?”
He responded, “Because you’re a beautiful little girl!”
It was a simple, heartwarming moment, because I could tell …
“If you count all your assets, you always show a profit.” ~Robert Quillen
This weekend someone broke into my apartment and stole everything of significant monetary value that I owned.
They stole my jewelry box, with pieces I got from my boyfriend, his mother, and my sister, after she’d gone through a break-up and wanted to unload a vast collection from her past. They stole several purses in my closet, and confusing it for another, also took my makeup bag.
They took my laptop bag containing my new MacBook, my wallet, my passport, my glasses, and my boyfriend’s old iPhone, …
“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.” ~Winston Churchill
As someone whose profession requires me to spend a great deal of time alone, I’m always trying to strike a balance between solitude and connection; so yesterday I decided to write from this courtyard outside the activity center in my apartment community.
I ended up sitting next to two men who I overheard discussing something that sounded personal.
I didn’t stay for long, at the risk of being intrusive, but I quickly realized one of the men was coaching the other to …
“What we must decide is how we are valuable rather than how valuable we are.” ~ Edgar Z. Friedenberg
Just now I saw an ad on the right-hand side of my Facebook page promoting a webcast about purpose. The message reads, “Are you meant for greater things?”
This immediately caught my eye because it essentially appeals to our deep-seated need for significance.
We all want to feel that we’re important—that our lives matter—and that often comes down to feeling that we’re doing something special.
When I was younger, I wrapped my identity around singing and acting, and I hoped I’d …
“Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it.” ~Eckhart Tolle
Somewhere right now, someone out there feels exactly like you do.
Someone is thinking that things could be better and wondering if they’ll ever arrive. Someone is remembering how things were before and wondering if they’ll ever let go. Someone is missing someone they love and wondering why they had to know loss. Someone is radiating with hope and joy and wondering if it will last.
Somewhere right now, someone is struggling in much the same way as …
“Happiness depends upon ourselves.” ~Aristotle
Yesterday I wrote at Starbucks for the first time since my surgery, after my doctor cleared me to walk.
I felt an immense sense of relief to be outside my home, where I didn’t feel quite so isolated. And I was grateful for every nuance of that day—the fresh air, the feeling of life going around me, and the sense that somehow, I was part of it.
But the walk wasn’t easy. I get winded pretty quickly right now, and I simply don’t have a lot of energy.
I don’t yet feel like myself, mentally …