“Conflict avoidance is not the hallmark of a good relationship. On the contrary, it is a symptom of serious problems and of poor communication.” ~Harriet B. Braiker
I walk on eggshells in my relationship. I have for the past ten years.
I try to design everything out of my mouth to lead to the least amount of friction between my wife and me. And you know what? It’s hurting our relationship.
You see, I’m afraid of confrontation. For me, confrontation leads to tension and tension can lead to stress and angst.
When I was a kid, tension, stress, and angst …
“A season of loneliness and isolation is when the caterpillar gets its wings.” ~Mandy Hale
I feel so alone right now. Like, crawling out of my skin, I’ll do anything I can do to not feel this way alone.
I haven’t felt this way in a long time. Thank goodness I have tools to take care of myself. Let me explain.
My earliest childhood memory is my mother’s empty bed. The sheets are white, untucked, and messy. The duvet cover is loose and hanging halfway on the floor. The room is quiet, there’s no sign of mom, and I …
“Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny.” ~C.S. Lewis
I was talking to a mentor of mine several months ago, and they cut me off midsentence and said, “Zach, it sounds like you’re trying to be extraordinary. How about you just work at being ordinary?”
I paused then promptly broke into tears. Yep. Tears. Not ashamed to admit that.
Tears because the meat of the conversation was about self-worth and being enough. In that moment my deepest childhood wound was tapped into, and ordinary sounded horrible to me.
Who wants to be ordinary? Not this guy.
My mentor …
EDITOR’S NOTE: You can find a number of helpful coronavirus resources and all related Tiny Buddha articles here.
“Meditation is the ultimate mobile device; you can use it anywhere, anytime, unobtrusively.” ~Sharon Salzberg
I came home from my doctor’s appointment last week and rambled off three to four different things that were happening in the world as a result of the coronavirus. By the fourth item my wife asked me to stop. She said please tell me something good.
I told her that my doctor said my pathology report came back negative. That the procedure on my neck had …
“Our thoughts create our beliefs, meaning if you think about yourself a certain way for a long enough period of time you will ultimately believe it.” ~Anonymous
You’re ugly. You’re stupid. You’re a loser.
Imagine thinking this way about yourself every day. No exaggeration. That was me.
When a girl didn’t want to go on a second date with me, I told myself I was ugly. When I didn’t know what someone was talking about, I told myself I was stupid. When my Instagram post only received two likes, I told myself I was loser.
I spoon-fed myself toxic …
“A comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there.” ~Unknown
I’ve been looking for a new job, so I recently decided to update my resume.
“Hun, can you please help me with that?”
“Of course, my love.”
Not only did my wife help me revamp my resume, she drafted me a killer cover letter as well.
“You’re the best, babe!”
“Happy to help, sweetie.”
I opened the cover letter the other day and found a discrepancy, something that immediately touched my deepest core wound.
There, at the bottom of the page, where my name, …
“As I began to love myself I found that anguish and emotional suffering are only warning signs that I was living against my own truth.” ~Charlie Chaplin
When I was eight years old my father burst into my room in the middle of the night, high on drugs, and threw my dresser drawers all over the place.
“Stop your crying!” he screamed. “Stop your crying!”
There was a crazy man in my room and I was terrified.
“Now clean up this mess!”
I was shaking. What on earth could I have possibly done to deserve this? With a slam of …
“Life is an endless process of self-discovery.” ~James Gardner
My thoughts lately have been so hurtful.
Things like: I’m not a good writer. I’m ugly. I’m stupid.
I’m not funny. I can’t carry a meaningful conversation. I’ll never be special.
The world is out to get me. People take advantage of me. I’m boring and don’t matter.
Like I said, hurtful. Crippling, demoralizing thoughts. One not-so-nice thing after another, and it makes me want to cry.
Why the pain? Why the negative thoughts? Well, recently I spent two weeks playing a video game. From the time I walked through …
“What other people think of me is none of my business.” ~Wayne Dyer
I got the call late one Sunday afternoon while sitting at work. “Babe, your toilet tub and shower are backed up.” What?
“It’s bad babe, and getting worse.” Okay, I thought, I’ll call my landlord.
“Hello, this is so and so and you’ve got my voicemail. Please leave me a message and I’ll call you back as soon as I can.”
Damn. Answering machine. Message left.
Text message time. Left that one too.
I wrapped up work and raced home. Yuck. It was bad. And like …
“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
Relationships are tough. Even more difficult is maintaining healthy boundaries within a relationship.
My head hurts and I feel like I’m going to throw up. Let me explain. I’m in a loving, healthy relationship with a beautiful woman, and I’m proud to call her my partner.
Great, so why do I feel like I want to throw up? Well, because last night was a tough night for us, for me, and today I have …