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Category “love & relationships”

3 Ways to Help Someone Who’s Recovering from Trauma

“Feeling safe in someone’s energy is a different kind of intimacy. That feeling of peace and protection is really underrated.” ~Vanessa Klas

I’m now fourteen months into my recovery from complex post-traumatic stress syndrome (c-PTSD aka complex trauma). I’d been …

How I’m Honoring My Values Even Though I Have Conflicting Priorities

“No matter what kind of stuff you tell the world, or tell yourself, your actions reveal your real values. Your actions show you what you actually want.” ~Derek Sivers

I need to be a productivity rockstar if I stand a …

3 Painful Consequences to Overgiving and People-Pleasing

People-pleasing, overhelping, overgiving—we can give it lots of different names, but the consequences to putting yourself last all the time are generally the same.

You may have been raised to see giving and helping as virtuous things. And hear me …

Every Day Away from My Abuser Is a Step Toward Reclaiming Myself

“Don’t waste your time and energy trying to convince people to value you. If you have to fight for their attention and respect, it’s time to move on.” ~Lori Deschane

“Well, maybe if you didn’t make stupid decisions you wouldn’t …

5 Questions I Ask Myself Nightly Since My Father’s Sudden Death

“Life is for the living. Death is for the dead. Let life be like music. And death a note unsaid.” ~Langston Hughes

Nine years ago, I was sitting mindlessly in my office cubicle in Omaha, Nebraska, when the receptionist called …

The Enduring Pain of Losing Someone You Love to Suicide

“The reality is that you will grieve forever.” ~Elizabeth Kubler-Ross and David Kessler

March is always hard for me. Has been since March 21, 2017. That’s the day my eldest son, then twenty-seven, found his father hanging in our basement. …

If You’re Afraid to Ask for Help Because You Don’t Trust People

“Ask for help. Not because you are weak. But because you want to remain strong.” ~Les Brown

I sat in the doctor’s office, waiting—linen gown hanging off me, half exposed—while going through the checklist in my mind of what I …

3 Things I Realized When I Stopped People-Pleasing and Let Myself Receive

“Until we can receive with an open heart, we are never really giving with an open heart.” ~Brene Brown

The honest truth about needing to please is that we do it to make other people happy. We will sacrifice everything …

How I’m Coping with Grief by Finding Meaning in My Father’s Death

“Life has to end, love doesn’t.” ~Mitch Albom

Before we dive into the dark subject of death, let me assure you, this is a happy read. It is not about how losing a loved one is a blessing but how …

20 Inspiring Acts of Kindness and Giveaway Winners for HumanKind

Last week I ran a giveaway for Brad Aronson’s HumanKind: Changing the World One Small Act at a Time—a heartwarming book that highlights ordinary people doing extraordinary things and offers practical tips for everyday kindness.

I had ten books …

Sick of Toxic Relationships? Love Yourself Enough to Walk Away

“There comes a time in your life when you walk away from all the drama and people who create it. You surround yourself with people who make you laugh. Forget the bad and focus on the good. Love the people

HumanKind: The Inspiring, Uplifting Book We All Need to Read (Giveaway!)

A while back I shared a quote by an unknown author that reads:

“You know who’s going through a lot right now? Literally everyone. Just be kind.”

It got me thinking about all the struggles we assume other people don’t …

4 Simple, Heart-Opening Exercises to Fill You with Joy, Love, and Light

“Why are you so enchanted by this world, when a mine of gold lies within you?” ~Rumi

Happiness, love, and joy—we spend our lives in search of them. We often look to external things to fulfill our desire to …

7 Lessons That May Help You Find a Fulfilling Long-Term Relationship

“You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” ~Buddha

“You’re not in love with me, you’re in love with the idea of being in love.”

Ouch!

Kate (not her real name) and I …

Why Other People’s Comments Hurt Us and How to Let Them Go

“It’s not the events of our lives that shape us, but our beliefs as to what those events mean.” ~Tony Robbins

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.

Wow. That one takes me waaay …

Why I Never Let Anyone Support Me Until the Day I Almost Died

“Why don’t you get up and make the coffee, while I stay in my sleeping bag and plan our ascent route?” I half-heartedly ask my climbing partner Hank.

He just looks at me with that unassuming, “give-me-a-break Val Jon” look …

A Guide to Saying No Without Guilt: 7 Steps for People-Pleasers

“You can be a good person with a kind heart and still say no.” ~Unknown

Why is it so hard to say no? The uncomfortable buildup of emotion I felt while contemplating dropping the ‘n’ word used to have me …

The Chaos of Life After Loss and the Love That Never Dies

“We need to grieve the ones we’ve lost—not to sustain our connection to suffering, but to sustain our connection to love.” ~Jennifer Williamson

Ken was only forty-seven years old when he met his untimely death.

It was surreal, my …

How to Feel Comfortable Setting Boundaries and Why We Need Them

“Avoiding certain people to protect your emotional health is not weakness. It is wisdom.” ~Unknown

The word “boundary” often conjures up negative thoughts. After all, it’s usually an indication of something being restricted.

However, deciding to set boundaries is one …

How I Stopped Shrinking to Please People and Started Reclaiming My Space

“A woman in harmony with her spirit is like a river flowing. She goes where she will without pretense and arrives at her destination prepared to be herself and herself only.” ~Maya Angelou

For as long as I can remember, …