Category “love & relationships”

How to Survive a Breakup with an Addict and Heal Your Heart

“The positive cannot exist without the negative.” ~Alan Watts

My heart was empty. It had never felt that empty before. Sometimes I felt a gap gnawing at my chest making everything around me feel like half of a whole. I felt like a piece of me had died.

I painted my childhood bedroom grey that summer, picking out the color carefully after taping paint samples on the wall and pondering them for hours.

The old color gave me a headache; it glowed neon green and looked dirty now from years of feet on the walls. Hidden above the moldings, I …

What It Means to Love: 9 Steps to a Strong Relationship

“Be there. Be open. Be honest. Be kind. Be willing to listen, understand, accept, support, and forgive. This is what it means to love.” ~Lori Deschene

They say your heart pounds when you’re in love.

But the very idea of opening up and letting love in can bring on the wrong kind of palpitations.

Saying yes to love… that’s like standing naked, bare naked, every inch of you on show.

Completely vulnerable.

Or so I thought.

My Impregnable Force Field

 “Of all forms of caution, caution in love is perhaps the most fatal to true happiness.” ~Bertrand Russell

What Hurts Us the Most in Unhealthy and Unloving Relationships

“Once we make our relationship choices in an adult way, a prospective partner who is unavailable, nonreciprocal, or not open to processing feelings and issues, becomes, by these very facts, unappealing. Once we love ourselves, people no longer look good to us unless they are good for us.” ~David Ricco

One thing I particularly love is caring about someone and loving them. Being able to do so gives me a great sense of connection, satisfaction, and purpose. It’s fulfilling, life-enhancing, and simply feels wonderful.

All my life I’ve chased relationships so that I could get the love I need. …

Family Estrangement: 3 Stories and the Advice You Need to Hear

“Home is not a place, it’s a feeling.” ~Cecilia Ahern

This post is written by three people from different parts of the world who came together to share their story of family estrangement and their choice not to reconcile.

To the outside world, it seemed none of us were neglected. Our parents were well-educated. We grew up in decent homes, were given good educational opportunities, and had financial support. We looked like we came from perfect families, but….

Jen’s Story

On March 24, 2019, I received a chilling text from my sister that Grandma was found unconscious in her …

When You Don’t Like Being Nice: What to Do Instead

“Don’t trade your authenticity for approval.” ~Unknown

As a nice person, I am often conflicted because sometimes I don’t enjoy being nice. Sometimes I act nice out of moral obligation or because I’m trying to be consistent with my perceived identity.

Do you view yourself as “nice”? Do others describe you as “nice”? Do you always enjoy being “nice”? If you are unsure how you are perceived by others, ask friends and family to describe you.

I’ve been told how nice I am all my life, by family, friends, coworkers, and even bosses. It was a huge part of my …

The Most Important Lessons We Can Take from This Pandemic

EDITOR’S NOTE: You can find a number of helpful coronavirus resources and all related Tiny Buddha articles here.

“And the people stayed home. And read books, and listened, and rested, and exercised, and made art, and played games, and learned new ways of being, and were still. And listened more deeply. Some meditated, some prayed, some danced. Some met their shadows. And the people began to think differently.” ~Kitty O’Meara

While this pandemic is turning out to be a very confusing and difficult time for many people, it is undoubtedly giving humanity an incredibly rare opportunity to learn some …

Why I Want to Stop Judging and How This Opens My Heart

“The quicker you are in attaching verbal or mental labels to things, people, or situations, the more shallow and lifeless your reality becomes, and the more deadened you become to reality.” ~Eckhart Tolle

Things are hard right now, aren’t they? When I first started writing this article about my goal to drop labels so I could live without judgment, I was thinking I didn’t want to judge people at the gym based on what their T-shirts said.

Now I’m trying not to judge people in my local community and around the country for taking actions that make me feel …

How to Come Out Stronger After Heartbreak

“And when I thought ‘I can’t go on,’ the universe expanded, mother earth hummed and the moon whispered, ‘Yes, you can’.” ~Wicked Words

Heartbreak. The feeling that so many of us would pay big (BIG) money to skip through. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard (and heard myself say), “I just want to skip this part and fast forward to when I feel better.”

I fell in love unexpectedly, but when is it ever expected? I had just gotten through an awful breakup and this perfect man for me fell from the heavens. He made me feel …

Why We Feel Lonely and What to Do About It

“At the center of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want.” ~Lau Tzu

With social distancing measures in place in response to the new coronavirus, many of us have a lot more time on our hands, while also being isolated.

This may also mean you’re feeling loneliness more intensely than you’ve experienced it before.

This is a good thing! Challenges can help us to understand ourselves on a much deeper level than we would have if we weren’t challenged—precisely because our feelings are more intense.

Loneliness is not new. …

We’re All in This Together, and That’s a Beautiful Thing

EDITOR’S NOTE: You can find a number of helpful coronavirus resources and all related Tiny Buddha articles here.

“Lessons in life will be repeated until they are learned.” ~Frank Sonnenberg

Right now, I am living my life in lines.

This is not code for something philosophically abstract or profound. I am literally living my life in lines.  Lines with approximately six feet between me and the woman in colorful exercise clothes; the man in Carhart jeans, hoodie, and baseball cap; and the young mother with her rosy-cheeked toddler bobbing up and down in a seat in the cart, singing …

When Someone I Respected Violated My Trust…

This above all: to thine own self be true.” ~William Shakespeare

Though I appeared pretty high-functioning and what you might call “normal” as a kid, I was a ball of self-doubt and insecurity from an early age.

Overthinking, scrutinizing my actions, and generally worrying about what people thought came as naturally to me as breathing. Life felt like a great balancing act between who I thought I should be and who I actually was—and it was pretty exhausting.

You can imagine my relief when, while browsing for a textbook in the library at eighteen, I discovered the self-help …

HumanKind: A Book That Will Inspire You and Help Change the World

I have always believed that kindness is the truest measure of beauty. And I need only think of my grandmother to confirm that this is true. Giving, nurturing, understanding—she was all these things till the day she died, undeniably radiant, at the age of eighty-four. She smiled with her eyes and loved out loud, and that’s who I want to be.

If you’re fortunate, you’re close to someone like this, a person who exudes warmth and meets you with gentleness and compassion, even when you’re not at your best.

If you’re observant, you’ll see people from all walks of life …

Disconnected and Strong in the Face of COVID-19

EDITOR’S NOTE: You can find a number of helpful coronavirus resources and all related Tiny Buddha articles here.

“Distance sometimes lets you know who is worth keeping, and who is worth letting go.”
Lana Del Rey

As COVID-19 started to change my life I found myself thinking about my family. My parents who I haven’t really spoken to much since 2007, and my sister. I wondered how they were doing and what they must have been feeling at that moment.

Then I stopped myself and reminded myself why I had cut connections with them in the first place. …

What to Do If You Can’t Forgive

“Your heart knows the way. Run in that direction.” ~Rumi

“I know I should forgive but I can’t.” I squirmed in my seat as I said this to my teacher.

I said this immediately after I explained all that I’d experienced during our meditation exercise.  In the meditation I’d had a vivid recollection of the constant verbal and emotional abuse I’d received from my dad.

It had been ten years since I’d lived at home, but I was still angry, still carrying all of those emotions from years ago. Instead of telling me all the virtues of why it’s important …

How Being in a Toxic Relationship Changed My Life for the Better

“Getting over a painful experience is much like crossing monkey bars.  You have to let go at some point in order to move forward.” ~C.S. Lewis

My ex and I split up about five years ago. We had been married for seventeen years, and after that long, I figured we were home free, as far as lasting marriages go. Needless to say, when it happened, I was devastated. Over all those years of being a couple, I had lost a big part of myself. Without that relationship, who was I anymore?

I was terrified of being alone, which led …

How Conflict in Relationships Can Be a Catalyst for Growth

“The mind is the place the soul goes to hide from the heart.” ~Michael Singer

“You think you’re so much better than me!!”

As this phrase—laced with contempt—exited my mouth, I recognized the familiar words. I had grown up hearing this phrase often. The “rich people,” the girl who won the competition, the inconsiderate neighbors, the rude supervisor… “They think they’re so much better than us.”

So, I diligently spent my childhood trying to prove them all wrong.

I wore myself out trying to be the smartest, the best, the prettiest… you name it. I wasn’t going to let all …

The Power of Social (Media) Distancing

“Less social media, more everything else.” ~Unknown

It’s been a long time since I’ve engaged personally on social media. A while back I made the conscious choice to stop scrolling online and start focusing my time IRL. I was shocked when I did the math. Scrolling for just twenty minutes a day adds up to fifty days over ten years.

As a busy mom of six, my time is precious, and I don’t want to spend my minutes, hours, days, and years getting sucked into the social media vortex.

I admit, however, that social distancing has me wanting to reach …

How I Overcame My Relationship Anxiety and Doubts


“To love is to risk not being loved in return. To hope is to risk pain. To try is to risk failure. But risk must be taken because the greatest hazard in my life is to risk nothing.” ~Leo Buscaglia

It was the day after my boyfriend proposed and I felt sick with anxiety. I couldn’t understand this feeling. I loved my boyfriend; we were living together, and I didn’t want to break up with him, so why was I so anxious?

I googled furiously in search of answers. I worried this was a sign that the relationship …

Why You Should Love Your Imperfect Self

“Love yourself first and everything else falls into line.” ~Lucille Ball

If you were to ask me ten years ago what self-love meant, I would’ve probably said something general like “being happy.” But self-love goes way deeper than that; it involves accepting the past versions of yourself and your present challenges, while giving yourself credit for how far you’ve come.

While we may have an idea of the “perfect person” we want to be, sometimes we are so hard on ourselves that we forget to appreciate who we are right now. The notion that we won’t be the …

If You’re Hoping They’ll Change, They’re Not Right for You

“Love is the ability and willingness to allow those that you care for to be what they choose for themselves without any insistence that they satisfy you.” ~Wayne Dyer

When I married my ex, he had the potential to be a fantastic husband.

If I’m to be honest with you, that’s why I married him—I thought he could eventually be everything I wanted in a partner. I’m not proud of it.

To be fair, he had a lot going for him. He was handsome and creative. He was generous and romantic. My ex was a true gentleman. He dressed …