“I would argue that nothing gives life more purpose than the realization that every moment of consciousness is a precious and fragile gift.” ~Steven Pinker
He was splayed out in the middle of the road. The paramedics had yet to arrive. That was the scene on our way to meet some friends.
Over dinner, they relayed the tragic story of their neighbor’s twenty-something son who was killed recently in a motorcycle accident.
Two others lost their lives in an instant on a nearby suburban road.
An acquaintance told me about the fatal hiking accident of a young man who was …
“If your compassion does not include yourself, it is incomplete.” ~Jack Kornfield
It seemed like the natural thing to do.
A middle-aged man had dropped his keys near me. I jumped up, hopped over, picked the keys up, and gave them back to him.
Not so unusual, except I had a badly twisted ankle after slipping on a walking holiday and needed to rest it while the pain and swelling went down. I struggled back to my seat, wincing.
It was a small incident but symbolic of my rescuing, codependent instinctive habits at the time. If something needed doing, I …
“We forget what we want to remember and remember what we want to forget.” ~The Road
“Okay grandma, we’re going to run away!” I wheeled my grandma Jeanne in her wheelchair into the sunlight, through the courtyard, after we exited her nursing home. She knew though that she couldn’t leave, but she went along with the game. She knew she was stuck there. But we had fun with it, nonetheless.
I really did want to run away with her. I’d had a dream the night before that she told me, “I’m at the end of my life. You will be …
“The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed.” ~C.G. Jung
Everyone says it. They say chemistry is a must. I know I say it. But why do we say this? What exactly is chemistry, and is it really the best indicator of a good partner?
The man I had the most chemistry with (we’ll call him Tim) treated me like an option and was never particularly concerned with my needs, desires, or feelings.
I remember the day I met him, and he opened the door and flashed …
“There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up.” ~John Holmes
As someone who people often come to seeking help or advice, I recently encountered a new situation for me: one in which I chose to stop helping someone and walk away entirely because I determined it wasn’t good—for the other person or myself.
It felt like the wrong thing to do, but once I had some distance, I knew I had made the right decision. Throughout the helping, I soldiered on and helped and helped and helped until it no longer felt good, …
As she stood there watching the puppet show, our eyes locked. I was instantly attracted.
After what felt like the longest fifteen minutes torn between the desire to talk to her and the fear of rejection, I mustered the courage to introduce myself.
She gave me a smile, then without saying a word, walked away.
“What just happened? How can such a beautiful lady be so rude?” I stood there in disbelief, overtaken by embarrassment, pretending nothing had happened.
Two weeks later, as if by pure serendipity, a mutual friend reconnected us. That was the beginning of a relationship I …
TRIGGER WARNING: This post deals with an account of physical abuse and may be triggering to some people.
“There remains what seems to be an impenetrable wall of silence around violence, and we must all play a role in breaking this silence.” ~Reese Witherspoon
The other day my brother sent me some rare old photographs of my family. In the middle of those aged images, I found a picture of a seven-year-old girl, so cute! She was wearing two perfect long braids and a smile. Oh, the smile of this lovely girl!
There was also an image of a man …
“Freedom is taking control of the rudder of your life.” ~Yukito Kishiro
“What’s for dinner?” It’s a simple enough question. Yet it’s one that has made me lose my mind at my husband on more than one (or ten or twenty) occasions.
It’s not the question itself. It’s a valid question and one that needs an answer (at least by one of us).
A trigger of mine is being asked to answer a question when I’m already in the middle of something, feeling overwhelmed, emotionally exhausted, or just sick of answering questions.
So then I snap and overreact.
I’ve come …
“Yes, love is all about sacrifice and compromise, but it’s important also to establish a limit. You shouldn’t have to throw your whole life away to make a relationship work. If you have to lose yourself to please your partner, you’re with the wrong person.” ~Beau Taplin
When I was twenty, I fell in love with a man who became my everything. My close friends watched me becoming someone else because I found myself trying to ceaselessly knead myself into someone who would perfectly fit into this man’s world, even if it meant betraying myself in the process.
I changed …
“To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.” ~Oscar Wilde
The journey to meeting, loving, and re-parenting my inner child was a long time coming.
In 2018, I went through a devastating breakup. I’d been through breakups before. They suck, they hurt, some of them left me in deep abysses of sadness for a long time, but this one was something different.
I can honestly say I felt levels of pain I did not know were survivable for a human being. Many days, I did not want to survive; I couldn’t imagine continuing to be in that …
“Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.” ~Rumi
Three years back was the first time I dared to set a boundary and be assertive in a friendship, and guess what? She blocked me off her phone, and we stopped being friends.
It came as a rude shock because I was quite invested in the friendship. Not only did we have good times together, I had helped her search and find a job and even babysat her kid for a long while free of charge. I felt betrayed …
“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?
If your partner creates a safe space for you to do this, then you are truly blessed. If not, have you ever wondered why you don’t feel safe, supported, and loved?
Two years ago my best friend …
“How people treat other people is a direct reflection of how they feel about themselves.” ~Paulo Coelho
By nature, I am a happy, optimistic, idealistic person. I have always been one to look on the bright side and see the good in people. My usual philosophy in life is that the world is full of brightness, love, and possibilities to seize.
Recently, though, my philosophy began to fade in the face of a mild depression.
I began to cry a lot and retreat into myself rather than being social and opening up, which only furthered the problem. I felt …
“Never feel sorry for choosing yourself.” ~Unknown
I was eleven years old, possibly twelve, the day I first discovered my mother’s betrayal. I assume she didn’t hear me when I walked in the door after school. The distant voices in the finished basement room of our home drew me in. My mother’s voice was soft as she spoke to her friend. What was she hiding that she didn’t want me to hear?
I leaned in a little bit closer to the opening of the stairs… She was talking about a man she’d met. Her voice changed when she spoke of …
“A friend is someone who gives you total freedom to be yourself.” ~Jim Morrison
When I left my full-time position at an ad agency and ventured out on my own, I had a clear goal in mind—to connect with likeminded people who align with my highest good. As far as how I was going to do that, I had little clue.
My life was full of relationships built from forced, sometimes toxic circumstances where we found each other out of need or convenience. I am grateful for each of those people because they were there when I needed them most, …
“Your inner critic is simply a part of you that needs more self-love.” ~Amy Leigh Mercee
We all have that critical and judgmental inner voice that tells us we’re not good enough, smart enough, pretty enough, etc.
It tells us we don’t do anything right. It calls us stupid. It compares us to other people and speaks harshly about ourselves and our bodies. It tells us all the things we did or said “wrong” after communicating or connecting with someone.
Sometimes it projects criticism outward onto others so we can feel better about ourselves. Other times we try to …
“As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.” ~Maya Angelou
Growing up in Africa, I was told that the virtue and worth of a woman lies in her ability to take care of everyone around her; that a woman was considered good or worthy when everyone around her was happy and pleased with her. I took this advice to heart, especially since I watched my mother meet this standard to a T. Putting everyone else, including strangers, above herself.
Most of the Things We Learn as Kids
“You don’t have to rebuild a relationship with everyone you’ve forgiven.” ~Unknown
It’s natural, when you’re hurting and lonely, to want to reach out to people you’ve been close to in the past.
Especially if there’s unfinished business with someone. And especially given the added isolation that comes with a global pandemic.
Whether or not you do reach out is entirely your prerogative. For what it’s worth, I don’t necessarily think it’s a bad idea to try—in most cases, a “Whoops” is better than a “What if…?” Whatever the result, you’ll learn something. It might be …