They Tell You to Love Yourself First, But Support Systems Are a Huge Advantage

4 hands spelling out "L-O-V-E." The hands appear to all belong to different people
Image by Pixabay / CC 0

“If you can’t love yourself, you can’t love anyone else” is something that other people basically never stop saying. Only people with high self-esteem (positive self-regard) can truly engage in healthy, long-lasting relationships, people claim. The rest of the world is out of luck. Doomed to failed relationships and/or a life alone.

And like anything that gets said over and over again,  » Read more

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What Happens When a Non-Participant Starts to Participate

a potter's hands working a pot on the wheel
Image by Barb Ignatius / CC BY

“Look with your eyes, not with your hands.”

I can’t remember how many times I heard that growing up. Particularly as I walked through stores with my mother.

The warning was warranted of course. Stores were inevitably crammed full of things I found fascinating. And like most small children, I felt an urge to reach out and touch things that captivated my interest.  » Read more

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For Better or Worse, You Don’t Get to Control How Other People See You

a closeup of a pair of glasses
Image by Brett Bolkowy / CC BY

I’m sitting in a pew, attending mass at the church I attended growing up.

It’s been 7 years since I went to a service here, on another visit to my hometown, but surprisingly little has changed since then.

Actually, surprisingly little has changed from 30 years ago, when I was a small child doing my best to remain quiet and tolerate the unending boredom,  » Read more

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Pain Never Gets Any Better Unless You Confront It & Even Then It Still Takes A Very Long Time

a lit candle burning
Image by firemedic58 / CC BY

“What you do,” he said, “is just lie there with your thoughts. Don’t judge them. Just let them happen. Let yourself feel everything you’re feeling. Think everything you’re thinking. Without distraction.”

He didn’t call it mindfulness then. I wouldn’t learn that word until much later. From someone else.

Instead, my first fraught dance with my own mind wouldn’t have a name.  » Read more

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