«

When You Lose a Piece of Your Identity

I am still every age that I have been. Because I was once a child, I am always a child. Because I was once a searching adolescent, given to moods and ecstasies, these are still part of me, and always will be. Because I was once a rebellious student, there is and always will be in me the student crying out for reform. This does not mean I ought to be trapped or enclosed in any of these ages, the perpetual student, the delayed adolescent, the childish adult, but that they are in me to be drawn on; to forget is a form of suicide; my past is part of what makes me the present Madeleine and must not be denied or rejected or forgotten.…

»

When Our Need for Approval Gets in the Way of Connection

What are you looking for in your relationships? I think most of us want to be seen and loved for who we really are. We want assurance that we don’t have to change ourselves in order to belong. Why is this so hard to find? Is it because we know the wrong people? Is it because there is something wrong with us? Is it something else? It often seems like people, even my friends, don’t really know who I am.…

»

Are You Willing to be Visible and Take Up Space?

If we want to put ourselves out there and share our work with others, we need to be willing to be visible and take up space. ~Fabeku Fatunmise I tend to try to take up as little space as possible. I’m fairly tall, but I often slouch and I stand or sit with my arms crossed. I even sleep curled up in a ball. I shy away from wearing bright colors or bold patterns.…

»

You Don’t Have to be Perfect to be Whole

Wholeness does not mean perfection: it means embracing brokenness as an integral part of life. Knowing this gives me hope that human wholeness—mine, yours, ours—need not be a utopian dream, if we can use devastation as a seedbed for new life. ~ Parker Palmer What does it mean to be whole? How would you describe your current level of wholeness? If you don’t consider yourself whole—what is missing? I’ve been pondering this idea of wholeness lately.…

»

Accept and Value Yourself: 11 Ways to Embrace Who You Are

I can’t remember exactly what it was she was trying to convince me I could do, but I had an argument to counter every bit of encouragement. There was no shortage to the ways I believed I wasn’t good enough. She was trying to help me see myself the way she saw me—as someone smart, capable, and full of potential. I wasn’t buying it. I’d been pretending for so long to be a better person than I really believed myself to be.…

»

Questions About Anger

Recently I’ve been making room for quiet in my life. This has opened up space for my thoughts and feelings around some difficult experiences to surface. There has been plenty of sadness and a fear that won’t quite let go. At times, there has also been anger. I’m angry that things didn’t turn out the way I hoped they would. I’m so angry that the people we counted on to help seemed to abandon us in the hardest moments.…

»

Letting Our Heroes Be Human

Sometimes I get caught up in thinking that if only people would stop expecting me to be a certain way, then it would be easier to be myself. We’ve talked before about how it’s not our responsibility to always meet other people’s expectations. I’ve realized, however, that, even as I resent the expectations of others, I also seek them out at times. I guess it’s only natural that I’d look to others for answers when I doubt myself.…

»

They Didn’t Like Your Answer… Now What?

It’s natural for people to feel disappointed if we decline their request. People may even be surprised at our no, especially if they’re used to us agreeing to what they ask. Most of the time when we say no firmly and kindly they’ll respect our decision, even if they wish we’d chosen otherwise. Sometimes, however, the other person might push back. If they use anger or criticism or blame to pressure us to change our minds, it might mean their request was actually a demand.…

»

How to Say No in a Way That is Firm But Kind

Sometimes no is the right answer for us to give, but how do we actually say no? The word itself is so simple—only two letters—but it can be a difficult one to say. Last week we looked at three reasons to say no when that is our honest answer. This week let’s break down a way to figure out what words we actually want to say. I know that when I’m nervous about giving someone a no I tend to go to an extreme.…

»

3 Reasons for Giving an Honest No

I have a hard time saying no when someone asks me to do something, even if I really don’t want to agree. Saying no can feel hard for any number of reasons… We’re afraid the other person will get mad at us… We don’t want to appear lazy or selfish… We don’t want to seem mean or rude… We take responsibility for making sure others are happy… We want to feel needed… We want to avoid conflict… We’ve developed a habit of always agreeing… We want people to like us… We don’t want to disappoint anyone… We’re afraid of missing out… Any of these sound familiar?…

»