Happiness is really a deep harmonious inner satisfaction and approval.~Francis Wilshire
As humans, interconnected in more ways than we realize, we place a great deal of pressure on each other to act in a certain way. The belief is that if other people act in a way that better suits us and our needs, it’ll be easier to find peace and happiness.
When I was in high school and entirely consumed by my relationships with my peers, any type of conflict — especially the kind that made me believe someone else was in control — shook me to my core.
So when a ten-year friendship hit rocky ground over a difference in opinion about my boyfriend (something I can’t help but laugh about now), I was devastated. I always wanted others to agree with my actions and decisions, and when they didn’t, I searched for ways to convince them that I was right.
I remember brooding over this particular fight for hours, recounting the details to anyone willing to listen, and impatiently waiting for the apology phone call. I thought, If she just calls and admits she was wrong, I can stop thinking about this and move on. But if she doesn’t, our friendship won’t recover.
Real difficulties can be overcome; it is only the imaginary ones that are unconquerable.~Theodore N. Vail
Like most young girls, I dreamed of having a fairytale romance when I grew up. I wanted the declarations of love, flowers and breathtaking kisses in the moonlight. He would be handsome, appear at just the right time and whisk me away to my beautiful new life.
What actually happened in my romantic life turned out to be very different from what I dreamed of as a girl. My journey included many dating mishaps, a few relationships, one marriage and over a decade of single parenthood.
When I look back, I see that much of my heartache stemmed from expectations that were unrealistic. It’s easy to absorb romantic myths and think that they are true, but doing so can hinder your chances at real love.
If you believe any of these myths, your love life won’t be all it can be. Take a look and consider whether any of these beliefs are affecting your expectations in relationships.
Nothing builds self-esteem and self-confidence like accomplishment.~Thomas Carlyle
About a month ago, I finished knitting my first sweater. I’m so proud of it; I think I’ve worn it more often than anything else in my wardrobe since then. When I tell people I knit it, most people — even some of the knitters — say “Oh, there is no way I could do that.”
I used to feel this way too. About sweaters and novels and 14-mile hikes and much more. I think a lot of people, including myself, look at a big project that is seemingly over their heads and decide they will fail before they even begin.
But tackling something you think is huge isn’t about having loads of time to dedicate to it or even all sorts of ambition. It’s about stamina and persistence. Sure, you might only be moving an inch every day, but a year from now, you’ll be a lot farther ahead than if you never started at all.
In the past few years, I have worked on loads of different “big” projects. I’ve knit an afghan. I wrote a novel. I saved money for several big vacations. While they all have different outcomes, I looked at every one with similar attitude and approach.
The most important thing in this world is to learn to give out love and let it come in.~Morrie Schwartz
Every school day, mere seconds after the lunch bell would ring, my peers and I would pile into long tables in the cafeteria and eagerly examine the contents of our lunch boxes. Aside from the much anticipated fifteen minutes of recess that would follow, most saw it as the most exciting part of the day.
Not for me.
I already knew what was in my bag, seeing as how I was the one who packed it. And, starting from the young age of six, my main goal in packing my lunch had more to do with speed then creating a culinary masterpiece.
My mom wouldn’t spend an extra five minutes cutting off the crusts of my PB&J or writing me a note on a napkin reminding me to have a great day. That just wasn’t her thing.
Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.~Mahatma Gandhi
A few years ago I was walking to the car, about to jump in the passenger’s side so my husband could drop me off at my job on his way to work. Suddenly my stomach was in knots; my esophagus felt like it was on fire.
This had been happening regularly for a few months, but we’d just gotten back from two weeks of blissful vacation, road tripping up the Pacific Northwest coastline. I had sort of forgotten this misery … until I returned to my job.
The cause and effect were so clear to me at that moment. How could I continue working somewhere that caused me physical pain?
Highly sensitive people are too often perceived as weaklings or damaged goods. To feel intensely is not a symptom of weakness, it is the trademark of the truly alive and compassionate. ~Anthon St. Maarten
Not everyone is familiar with the term Highly Sensitive Persons (HSPs), but chances are you probably know someone who fits the definition. To generalize, we can say that HSPs experience life on a larger spectrum than the average person — both highs and lows.
This is neither inherently good nor disadvantageous — it all depends on how well an HSP manages his or her sensitivity. As an HSP myself, I can say one of the greatest challenges is handling big emotions.
And if you’re in a relationship with an HSP, it can also provide a challenge for you! Ultimately, everyone must own their personal responsibility to grow self-awareness and manage their emotions.
But for any of you supporting someone with big, sensitive emotions on their quest to learn and grow, here are some tips from my own experience as an HSP.
When deeds and words are in accord, the whole world is transformed.~Chuang Tzu
After muscling through a variety of work-related changes, I began to grow frustrated with the upheaval and lack of respect that I perceived I was getting from my coworkers.
I felt as if I possessed the skills required to do the job I was hired to do, but my ideas weren’t receiving the attention they deserved and often times, my presence went completely unnoticed.
The experience pushed me to grow a thick skin, a kind of “I don’t care what you think” attitude. And I was ready to battle anyone that attempted to question my competence or step on my toes.
So when a new team member asked to meet with me after a few incidences where we passive aggressively tried to redo each other’s work, I spent the night going over my responses to the attacks I was sure he was about to wage.
I was confident that I knew what was coming. And I was ready to fight.