“With nothing to compare yourself to, aren’t you perfect?” ~Byron Katie
I have never liked competition. Every time I compete, I feel pressured and disconnected from others. I love harmony, peace, collaboration, and win-win situations, kind of like “me happy, you happy.” I don’t need to watch another person lose the game to feel good about myself. I don’t need to dominate or put someone else down in order to feel superior and worthy.
In some cultures, competing is perceived as a sign of ambition, power, and strength. Most of us grew up hearing constant comparisons, which turned into …
“The moment that you feel, just possibly, you are walking down the street naked, exposing too much of your heart and your mind, and what exists on the inside, showing too much of yourself… that is the moment you might be starting to get it right.” ~Neil Gaiman
The road seemed to go on forever.
Although it was only about 8:30 a.m., the summer sun was already blazing in the sky, shining down with such intensity I felt like an ant under a merciless magnifying glass.
Seven miles into an eight-mile run and growing more and more tired with …
“We accept the love we think we deserve.” ~Stephen Chbosky
A few years ago I was completely heartbroken, and I thought I would never find love. I’d gone through a string of painful breakups over a number of years, but I thought I’d finally met someone I could be with for the long haul. I’d been dating this guy for a few months, and everything seemed to be going smoothly, until one day he stopped calling. Just like that, he disappeared from my life. It was as if we had never met.
What was worse, he didn’t tell me why …
“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” ~Eleanor Roosevelt
A phenomenon most of us only notice once we lose it.
If you’re like me, you’ve had (and could still have) a love/hate relationship with significance. Simply because it often seemed so elusive. Just out of reach.
Our journey together started as far back as I can remember.
As the youngest of three siblings, I often felt unheard. Overlooked. Ignored. Insignificant.
I thought it was normal. Didn’t all little sisters bear the same cross? Apparently not…
As a young adult, I looked to my friends to …
“In the midst of movement and chaos, keep stillness inside of you.” ~Deepak Chopra
When I was younger, I was always referred to as “the quiet one.” I didn’t mind it; I knew I was much quieter than most people I met. Not speaking and spending time on my own was natural for me.
Friends and workmates recognized this but would still often ask me if I wanted to join them when they were going out, even though they knew I would usually say no. They understood me as quiet, but they didn’t really understand just how much I disliked …
“Whatever purifies you is the right path.” ~Rumi
I’m tired of being good. It’s time to be deliciously free.
How I wish I could say that without rushing in to assure you that I promise I’ll still be good.
The truth is, I worry. Less than I used to, but still, I do.
I’ve probably had every kind of worry you could imagine. There’s the kind about things that haven’t happened yet, things that didn’t but very nearly could have, things that are highly unlikely if not impossible, things that are commonplace; I’ve worried about the things I want and …
“Sometimes the most uncomfortable learning is the most powerful.” ~Brené Brown
Seems impossible, doesn’t it?
How can you look at your breakup as an opportunity when it feels like someone cut your right arm off and ripped out your heart?
Breakups can be rough. When you open yourself up to another person, love them unconditionally, and compromise your own needs for the “betterment of the relationship,” you put yourself all-in. It’s no surprise that you feel lost, confused, and unwilling to move on when that connection is torn away from you. You gave everything to your relationship and now it’s …
“Forgiveness is not always easy. At times, it feels more painful than the wound we suffered, to forgive the one that inflicted it. And yet, there is no peace without forgiveness.” ~Marianne Williamson
Twenty-seven years ago I made a terrible mistake that led to losing the friendship of someone important to me. I was twelve and I very vividly remember that I was at her front door, asking for her forgiveness and she was telling me she couldn’t do this.
Friendship is one of those areas of my life that I have always felt I need to work on. I …
“All I know is that my life is better when I assume that people are doing their best. It keeps me out of judgment and lets me focus on what is, and not what should or could be.” ~Brené Brown
My favorite principle is this simple truth: Everyone is doing the best that they can with the resources they have. Adopting this belief has radically changed my relationship to myself and to others.
This idea has been explored by a constellation of religious, spiritual, and wellness practitioners. As Deepak Chopra said, “People are doing the best that they can from …
“We often give our enemies the means of our own destruction.” ~Aesop, The Eagle and the Arrow
We can sometimes have difficulty accepting our friends, family, and loved ones as they are when their habits, quirks, or behavior annoy us. Our natural tendency is to try to change what we don’t like about them, which often leads to resentment. Nonetheless, given their importance and presence in our lives, we are usually willing to make an effort to accept them as they are.
But what about people we dislike—people who cause us grief? For example, an overbearing boss, a scheming …
“The place to improve the world is first in one’s own heart and head and hands.” ~Robert M. Pirsig
One day while grocery shopping I was reaching for a head of lettuce when I heard a shrill, high-pitched wail from a few aisles over. It sent shivers up my spine. It was one of those sounds that grabs your breath and pulls it to your heart.
It brought me back to a time I had long forgotten—a memory engrained in my brain from about twenty-two years ago when my children were toddlers. I remember those days of being exhausted and …
“You must learn to love yourself before you can love someone else.” ~Sonja Mylin
It’s tough being out there.
I remember myself some years ago embracing the world of online dating. Everyone kept telling me “be yourself” (and I kept telling myself that), but when I was actually on a date, “myself” would fly out the window.
I’d go hard on the impressing, second-guess myself, drink too much, look for every little thing we had in common (even if the person did not feel right), feel devastated if I was rejected, and utterly lose sight of what I was …
“Pain changes your life forever. But so does healing from it.” ~Kayil York
In 2012 my mum got diagnosed with cancer. After an operation, she was cancer-free for some time when in March 2017 it was discovered that the cancer had returned and had spread everywhere, notably to her lungs.
She was adamant that she did not want further treatment, which would have been palliative at best anyway and would have had significant side effects. Nobody was able to make a prognosis regarding how much longer she had left. Being seventy, there was a chance that it would develop slowly.…
“Stop criticizing yourself for everything you aren’t and start appreciating yourself for everything you are.” ~Unknown
Are you your own best friend, your own worst critic, or somewhere in between? Do you tend to focus on what you see as your flaws, mistakes, and imperfections, comparing yourself to others you think are better than you? Sometimes, do you even wish you were someone else?
It’s easy to get trapped in that way of thinking, especially in today’s consumer culture. From magazine ads to TV commercials, we are trained to compare ourselves to others and are subtly told we are not …
“One reason people resist change is because they focus on what they have to give up instead of what they have to gain.” ~Rick Godwin
Dave and I met earlier this January. I was immediately attracted to his aquamarine eyes and his tattoos. I met him on the eve of my twenty-sixth birthday and, based on our interaction, I assumed we’d have a casual fling. Things didn’t end that simply, to my surprise.
When we were lying in bed together that first night, holding hands, he turned to me and asked if there was any chance we could get to …
“People come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. When you figure out which it is, you will know exactly what to do.” ~Anonymous
About five years ago, I learned the biggest lesson of my life about self-love and losing oneself in a relationship, through a breakup that almost killed me.
After going through another night of three hours of sleep, I drove myself to the ER to save my own life. I hadn’t eaten or slept much in three weeks, and the scale pointed to ninety-seven pounds. I felt weak, malnourished, and unloved.
Three weeks …
“We don’t know what’s causing it,” I say to friends for what feels like the hundredth time. My boyfriend has been unable to walk or stand without pain for two years. And no doctors can seem to figure out why.
We were in our early twenties and had only been dating for a few months before his leg issue started. What ensued was a harsh transition from a highly active couple hiking mountains on the weekends, to a sedentary couple that needed to take an Uber to a coffee shop just a few blocks away.
Our identities as individuals and …
“We come to love not by finding a perfect person, but by learning to see an imperfect person perfectly.” ~Sam Keen
When we fall in love, we feel excited to experience some of the most joyful moments of our lives. Because love is supposed to be the source of the best feelings, right? But what about when that relationship churns up some hard stuff and leaves you feeling hurt, annoyed, sad, and irate?
For many of us, especially deep-feelers like me, when we start to experience these inevitable lows in our relationship, we may conclude that something is inherently wrong …
“If you spend your life pleasing others, you spend your life.” ~Cheryl Richardson
Looking back on my life, I came to realize that I spent quite a high amount of my precious time trying. Trying to be perfect. Trying to be appreciated and liked by everyone else around me. Trying to fit in with different groups of people so that I could feel accepted and approved of.
I can recall many situations in my life when I did things I didn’t really want to do to comfort or please others. I was a master of people-pleasing and, to be honest, …
“Daring to set boundaries is about having the courage to love ourselves, even when we risk disappointing others.” ~Brené Brown
I was a serial dater for a decade.
Dating can be fun and exciting, but it can also come with lots of disappointment and emotional pain.
All those rejections, ghosting, and shattered hopes had a huge impact on me.
They left me feeling exhausted and heartbroken. Probably because I dated too much but also because I didn’t do much to protect myself and my energy on these dating adventures.
I’d say yes to many men who were …