Category “love & relationships”

Abandonment Wounds: How to Heal Them and Feel More at Ease in Relationships

“I always wondered why it was so easy for people to leave. What I should have questioned was why I wanted so badly for them to stay.” ~Samantha King

Do you feel afraid to speak your truth or ask for what you want?

Do you tend to neglect your needs and people-please?

Do you have a hard time being alone?

Have you ever felt panic and/or anxiety when someone significant to you left your life or you felt like they were going to?

If so, please don’t blame yourself for being this way. Most likely it’s coming from an …

Dealing with Unrequited Love: How I Started to Let Go and Love Myself

“If you don’t love yourself, you’ll always be looking for someone else to fill the void inside you, but no one will ever be able to do it.” ~Lori Deschene

I was a simple girl who met a complicated boy and fell in love. It was unrequited. I loved him with all my heart for six months, and acted like a teenager with her first crush. It was humiliating. I did things that I should never have done—the incessant texting, calling, arranging meetups, and what not.

Embarrassment doesn’t even cover the emotions I feel now. There is also a …

How Grieving My Parents’ Divorce (20 Years Later) Changed Me for the Better

“There are years that ask questions and years that answer.” ~Zora Neale Hurston

At the age of thirteen, my childhood as I knew it came to an end. My parents sat my brother and me down at the kitchen table and told us they were getting a divorce. In that moment, I could acutely feel the pain of losing the only family unit I knew.

Although my teenage self was devastated by this news, it would take another twenty years for me to realize the full extent of what I had lost. And to acknowledge that I had never …

How to Love Mindfully When You’re a Socially Anxious People-Pleaser

“It’s okay to care about what people think. Just know there’s a difference between valuing someone’s opinion and needing their approval.” ~Lori Deschene

My date—an attractive student in her twenties—talked away excitedly, but all I could think of was this:

“How can I make her like me?”
“How can I impress her?”
“How can I make her laugh?”

I agonized over every word that I said, every response from her, every moment of our interaction, and I poured every single detail that I could find—or imagine—under the microscope of my mind… and all of a sudden, the date was over!…

How I’m Overcoming Codependency and the Need to Prove My Worth

Everywhere you go, there you are.” ~Unknown

I have heard this quote many times throughout life, but that was it. I heard it, thought hmm, and moved on. Well, here I am at the age of thirty-nine, and I am really starting to see and understand it.

I first started noticing this idea showing up over and over again recently, at a time of a change in my career. I went from an ER nurse to an RN in the transfer center. So bedside nursing to office work.

I noticed one day, as I was sitting in …

Why I No Longer Chase Emotionally Unavailable People, Hoping They’ll Change

“Never chase love, affection, or attention. If it isn’t given freely by another person, it isn’t worth having.” ~Unknown

We met at a bar with Skee-Ball and slushy margaritas for our first date.

She was gorgeous. I noticed that as soon as I walked in. I still wasn’t sure whether we’d have anything to talk about though. The messages we’d exchanged had been minimal.

It turned out we did.

Conversation flowed from one topic to the next—meandering from her passion for biology in college to how I tried to master mountain boarding at summer camp as a kid to …

My Big Insight from Meeting the Woman Who Received My Daughter’s Heart

“I lay my head upon his chest, and I was with my boy again. I spent so long in darkness I never thought the night would end. But somehow Grace has found me…and I had to let him in.” ~From “Just Like That,” Bonnie Raitt

Bonnie Raitt’s surprise Grammy win for 2023 Song of the Year was no surprise to me. In “Just Like That” she tells the story of a woman who is unexpectedly visited by the man who got her late son’s heart. It’s a song that can reduce anyone to tears.

I have been that woman—that Donor …

Nothing You Do Will Be Enough If the Relationship Isn’t Right

“Relationships are like glass. Sometimes it’s better to leave them broken than hurt yourself trying to put them back together.” ~Unknown

A couple of months ago my dear friend and I were chatting over coffee.

The subject turned into past relationships and the reasons why they didn’t work. My friend shared a story about her ex-fiancé—one of those “this clearly isn’t going to work, but I sure will try my hardest since I don’t give up” ones. Yeah, that kind.

It’s the kind of story that, telling it now, with hindsight and time on our sides, seems absurd. It’s the …

How I Stopped Being Everything I Hated About My Parents

“The beautiful thing about life is that you always change, grow, and get better. You aren’t defined by your past. You aren’t your mistakes.” ~Unknown

When I was an angsty fourteen-year-old, I remember screaming at my parents that I never (ever!) wanted to become like either of them. And I meant it.

My dad was a workaholic who was never at home. When he was at home, he was emotionally unavailable, arguing with my mother, or he’d escape the stress of our house by going to the betting shop to gamble.

My mother had erratic mood swings, did not allow …

How I Learned the Power of Letting Go After My Father Developed Dementia

“There is beauty in everything, even in silence and darkness.” ~Helen Keller

When I was eleven years old, I would force myself to stay awake until the wee hours of the morning.

I was severely anorexic at a time when eating disorders were considered an “inconvenience” you brought on yourself. Anorexia was dismissed as a rich, white girl’s disease (although we were certainly not rich)—a disease that was easily curable with a prescription for a chocolate cake.

Although my emaciated body was a dead giveaway of my condition, it was school that noticed the change in me first. My once …

How ‘Griefcations’ Helped Me Heal from Loss and How Travel Could Help You Too

“To travel is to take a journey into yourself.” ~Danny Kaye

The brochure read, “Mermaid tail, optional.” What forty-something mom doesn’t have a shimmering fish tail tucked in her closet for just the right occasion? Not me. I live in Minnesota. I’d borrow one when I got there.

I took a flight from Minneapolis to Panama City, and then a water taxi to a backpackers’ resort. Not the kind with frozen cocktails and bad DJs. The next thing I knew, I was on a sailboat, swinging from an aerial circus hoop suspended over the sparkling Caribbean Sea, dressed as a …

Everything I’m So, So Sorry About (and Why I Think Apologies Are Hard)

“There’s the way that light shows in darkness, and it is extremely beautiful. And I think it essentializes the experience of being human, to see light in darkness.” ~Emil Ferris

I was leading a yoga training in a small village in Greece near the Aegean Sea. One of the trainees was practicing a mindfulness workshop she designed. She led us through a guided meditation based on a beautiful Hawaiian practice for reconciliation and forgiveness called Ho’oponopono. As we sat in the yoga space, she repeated over and over:

I love you.
Please forgive me.
I’m sorry.
Thank you.

There was …

7 Lessons from My Father That Have Made Me a Better, Happier Person

“A father is neither an anchor to hold us back, nor a sail to take us there, but a guiding light whose love shows us the way.” ~Unknown

I couldn’t understand his grateful mindset, especially given his obvious rapid decline. My dad was dying. None of us could reconcile a life without our mentor, hero, spouse, brother, uncle, friend, and champion of cheesy dinner table games.

But it was coming, and we all knew it. Still, he’d tell us he’s “counting his blessings, not his struggles.” This from a man with a failing liver and ammonia on his brain.…

How Sensitive People Can Stop Taking Things So Personally in Their Relationships

“The truth is that the way other people see us isn’t about us—it’s about them and their own struggles, insecurities, and limitations. You don’t have to allow their judgment to become your truth.” ~Daniell Koepke

As a child growing up with a highly sensitive mom, I often noticed her go quiet at the dinner table after my stepfather would make some little comment. Looking back, I know he was just tired and a bit grouchy from a long day at work, but my mom felt hurt by his words.

Over the years, the comments didn’t lessen, but I noticed …

The Art of Nurturing Self-Talk: How to Tell Yourself What You Need to Hear

“You will never speak to anyone more than you speak to yourself in your head. Be kind to yourself.” ~Unknown

Talking to ourselves in a nurturing way can be a challenge if we rarely heard nurturing words in the early formative years of our lives. In fact, if we were often criticized or neglected, we probably learned to criticize and neglect ourselves instead.

When I was growing up, my mom was a dedicated wife and mother, but she suffered from deep depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem. She didn’t know how to be encouraging or nurturing because she was never …

9 Things I Would Tell My Younger Self to Help Her Change Her Life

“You are one decision away from a completely different life.” ~Mel Robbins

At twenty-six years old, I lost my dad to suicide. I was heartbroken and so angry.

My dad was not the best. Ever since I was little, he would criticize everything I did. I was never good enough for him, and I was a place he discharged his anger through emotional insults.

It never stopped, and I was always on high alert around him. Right until the moment he took his life.

He could also be loving, kind, funny, and warm, but my nervous system could never …

If You’re Feeling Judged: One Thing You Need to Understand

“Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding.” ~Albert Einstein

Most of us feel judged at times. We might feel judged for the way we look, the things we do (or don’t do), the things we say (and the way we say them), or for the things we believe.

We might respond to feeling judged by retreating inside ourselves, hiding, and silencing our voice, or we might react in defense or retaliation as if we’re being attacked.

It doesn’t feel good to feel judged. It can hurt, make us feel like we’re not good enough, …

How I Stopped Feeling Embarrassed and Ashamed of Being Single

“Be proud of who you are, not ashamed of how someone else sees you.” ~Unknown

“When was your last relationship?” my hairdresser asked as she twisted the curling wand into my freshly blow-dried hair.

“Erm, around two years ago.” I lied.

“Why did you break up?” she asked.

“Oh, he had a lot of issues. It wasn’t really working out.” I lied again.

I had gotten quite good at this, lying to hide my shame over being in my early thirties and never having been in a serious relationship. I had learned to think on my feet; that way, no …

All the Things I Didn’t Tell the Men I Dated Because I Was Afraid

I’ve recently been reflecting on my relationship history and how often I did things I wasn’t comfortable with instead of speaking up.

It would be easy to solely blame the men I’ve been with, but I’ve recognized I played a role by remaining silent instead of communicating my wants and needs and telling them when they were pushing my limits.

I have played a role in my own disrespect by swallowing my truth and showing a smile when I really felt uncomfortable.

I realize that everyone’s experiences are different, but if you can relate to what I wrote, perhaps you …

7 Ways Childhood Trauma Shows Up in Your Romantic Relationships

“Love is the greatest miracle cure. Loving ourselves creates miracles in our lives.” ~Louise Hay

When you are unlucky in love, you tend to blame yourself for not being enough and maybe blame fate for not giving you a break already! Everyone else around you is in happy, long-term relationships, but you just can’t get there.

You might come to the conclusion that there is something wrong with you—you’re too old or too fat—and all the good ones are already married, and you will just die alone! You never think for one moment that your relationship history is playing out …