self love

Finding Real Belonging

Finding Real Belonging

Feel like you don’t belong in your family? In society? In the world?

Me too.

I used to think it was just me. That something was terribly wrong with me. I was flawed, broken because I felt disconnected. Everyone around me seemed content, loved, successful. They were all normal and happy. Why wasn’t I?

Then I convinced myself that there must be a place, an actual physical place, where I could feel all of that- where I genuinely belonged.

So I went looking. First I crossed the country, from Boston to Portland. Then I went to Asia- Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia. I even tried the Middle East and Europe.

I thought I’d found it in Bali, but no…

It took fifteen long years for me to clue in.

Self Love or Shame?

Self Love or Shame?

I’m a big fan of Brené Brown because she’s willing to research topics that no one wants to talk about, like shame. One of my favorite books of hers is Daring Greatly.

In it, Brown says that shame needs three things to grow: silence, secrecy and judgment.

We all have shame, those places inside where we feel bad about ourselves, unworthy, embarrassed, ashamed.

Living the Dream

Living the Dream

Have you ever had a person in your life who saw your inner beauty, your soul radiance?

I have.

One of the first times this happened, was when I lived in Hong Kong. I was in my early twenties, struggling to find my way as an adult, and living 10,000 miles away from my family, friends and culture.

I admit it, I was lonely and scared.

Hello Beautiful!

Hello Beautiful!

I watched a video over the weekend that a college student posted on YouTube. As she explains, she did a little social experiment in which she called different young men and women ‘beautiful.’

Seeing their faces transform at her words, I was reminded of the same thing happening to me not so long ago.

As a girl and young woman I never felt especially beautiful.

From the time I can remember, I struggled with being overweight. My parents were always on my case about what I ate, how much I weighed and, being sensitive, even a drop of criticism was too much for me.

I saw myself as flawed.

What My Anxiety Taught Me About Love

What My Anxiety Taught Me About Love

It’s never easy when you come up against your ego.

Or to be more specific, when your shadow behavior is pointed out to you by someone you love and trust.

Recently I had a conversation with my husband in which he shared that over the past year I’d demonstrated more controlling behavior. He gave a few specific examples, some I agreed with and others I wanted to immediately reject.

My insides squirmed listening to him.

I just wanted him to stop, to go away and leave me alone.

Didn’t he understand anything?

It wasn’t that I was being more controlling it was that I was finally coming in to my own, doing what I wanted as opposed to what other people were telling me to do.

I felt hurt and rejected. Because that’s the only way an ego can feel.

My husband was infinitely kind, loving and soft when he spoke to me but what I heard was, “You’re a controllingbit** and I don’t want to be with you.”

My ego had been bruised. I felt raw, almost like a frightened little child.

Is This Really the World of Dating?

Is This Really the World of Dating?

My friend Heidi posted a link to a Huffington Post article, My “Naked” Truth yesterday. It's Robin Korth’s account of dating a man who enjoyed her “head and heart” but not her body.

He told her he couldn’t get turned on by her physically because she was “too wrinkly.”

After reading the piece, I found that I couldn't stop thinking about it.

The Ugly Twins – Guilt & Shame

The Ugly Twins – Guilt & Shame

Probably two of the most painful culprits in the emotional arsenal are guilt and shame. These two can seriously wreak havoc on us. It wasn’t until I read Brené Brown's work that I fully understand the difference between them AND how to let go of one and positively utilize the other.

Guilt is the feeling we have when we know we’ve done something wrong or hurt another. We feel bad about our actions. Perhaps I yelled at my daughter in an unkind way or I forgot to leave a tip for the waiter. My action results in me feeling guilty.

Enough is Enough!

Enough is Enough!

Growing up in a family where conditional love reigned, it was easy to never feel good enough. My job was to be perfect and then I’d receive love. My sister was the "problem child" so consequently, the message I got was that I wasn't allowed to be in need, melting down or falling apart. I had to be together so I became a master at pretending I was while underneath felt totally insecure and inadequate.

 

Be Mine Valentine?

Be Mine Valentine?

Happy Valentine's Day everyone! Today is the day we are supposed to express love and, ideally, receive love. So how's that going for you? 

Being a romantic, I have always loved Valentine's Day, or at least the idea of it. I have had my fair share of disappointing holidays and I am sure I am not alone. I remember in high school sending many roses and cards to boys I had crushes on without even getting a nod.