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One View of Relationships That Needs a Proper Burial

The belief that no one can make us feel anything is an unrealistic belief that can increase isolation and suffering. Personal growth means engaging with how we affect each other.
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Meditation Can Improve Your Relationships

Cultivating inner quiet through meditation allows us to contact our truer, deeper feelings. Expressing these more subtle, nuanced feelings creates a climate for intimacy to grow.
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The Feelings That Underlie Our Criticisms

The tendency to be critical is very human, yet it often has destructive effects in our relationships. Uncovering our truer, more vulnerable feelings is a powerful way to connect.
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The Best Way to Apologize

Being human, it is unavoidable to hurt people sometimes. Yet it’s not always easy to recognize this an offer a genuine apology to repair the damage when we’ve injured or offended.

What Does Intimacy Have to Do with Spirituality?

Being human means having a soulful longing for intimacy. This article discusses how this impulse comes from the same place as our desire to live a spiritual life.
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What Does Mindfulness Have to Do With Intimacy?

Mindfulness can help our relationships by connecting us with what lives most deeply within ourselves.
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If You’re Feeling Stuck, This May Be Why

Many of us are quietly plagued by a nagging sense being flawed or defective. We secretly believe that we’re a failure, which stifles our energy and prevents us from being free.
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An Inauthentic Apology Can Be Maddening

Why is apologizing as difficult as a root canal for some people? This is how we may respond when we're protecting our image rather than sincerely apologizing.
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Do You Feel Guilty or Ashamed?

This article helps us find a language to differentiate between how we feel when we make a mistake or fall short of our ideals from the paralyzing shame of being a mistake.
flickr image by Harold Heindell Tejada

Re-Envisioning Commitment

Many of us seek commitment in order to create safe, lasting relationships. But a deeper inquiry might suggest that we need to fine-tune what we're actually committing ourselves to.
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The Power of Healthy Shame

While toxic shame is destructive, healthy, friendly shame can offer a path toward seeing more clearly how we are affecting others. Friendly shame can get our attention.
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Are You Addicted to Perfection?

We want to excel in our lives, but how can we differentiate the pursuit of excellence from a shame-driven desire for perfectionism?
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Can Shame Be Your Friend?

Shame is often destructive and toxic. But can shame have a healthy aspect? This article explores how a light, friendly sense of shame can serve our lives and relationships.
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Why We Like Being Appreciated

We all likening appreciated, but what is it about receiving gratitude that touches us? This article explores five things about gratitude that warms our heart and lifts our spirits.
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Have You Been Falsely Accused?

Being falsely accused is a painful emotional experience. The pain and shame of not being seen as we really are creates deep heartache and frustration. How can we deal with this?
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What Is Real Strength?

We often carry misconceptions about what it means to be strong. This article offers a deeper view of what strength looks like and why it's important for ourselves and society.
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How Religion Can Disconnect Us from Ourselves and Others

We're familiar with common addiction, but might we consider how religious beliefs can become an addition?
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Do You Expect Too Much from Yourself?

We burden ourselves when our expectations are unrealistically high. Being human means having limits and sometimes failing. But failure can be a doorway to future success.
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The Hidden Emotion That Sabotages Our Lives

Shame is an insidious emotion that quietly sabotages our lives. The article offers ways to become more mindful of the shame we carry.
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How Shame Suffocates Love and Creativity

Shame is a master emotion that stifles our aliveness and creativity. This article explores toxic shame and offers ways to heal the shame that often lurks in the background.
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The Hidden Reasons We Don't Let Love In

While the fear of rejection is understandable, the fear of acceptance is less visible. Being mindful can open a deeper capacity to receive the love that is available.
flickr image by Tony Gladvin George

The Neglected Art of Receiving

We're told that it is better to give than to receive. We may strive to love, but to what extent do we allow ourselves to be loved? People who are narcissistic do not know how to lovingly extend themselves to others. But narcissism can also take the form of being so guarded and self-absorbed that we don't let love in.
flickr image by joebart

What It Really Means to Love Yourself

We often hear that it is important to love ourselves. But what does this actually mean? This article explores ways to love and care for ourselves in a deeper way.
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We Want to Accept Our Feelings, But How Do We Do It?

Focusing was developed through research into psychotherapy effectiveness. Eugene Gendlin found that those clients who were attending to their bodily felt experience in a caring, gentle way were making the most progress in psychotherapy. This article describes Focusing as a path of befriending our experience just as it is.

Living with an Open Heart

It is part of our human nature to be sensitive to life and other people. But oftentimes, we're criticized for being too sensitive. This article differentiates between being sensitive and being reactive. As we become more aware of our triggers, we can heal the wounds that lead to reactivity, which allows us to live with a more open, accessible heart.

The Blessings of Shyness

Shyness is often criticized by our society. But if we distinguish shyness from social anxiety, we might honor being shy as a tender and positive part of ourselves. If we can become more empowered in our shyness rather than feel shame, it can be a doorway to connecting with people in a more deep, sweet, and tender way.

Is Unconditional Love Possible?

We all want to be unconditionally loved, but how realistic is that? Partnerships require mutuality, where we each have certain basic minimum needs and requirements, such as for respect, understanding, and nurturing. Our children require unconditional love, but adult relationships ask that we be mindful of how we affect each other.
Devaint Art image by ClassicSonicSatAm

If You Love Cats, This May be Why

Many of us love cats, but we may not have considered one major reason why we find them so irresistible. This article explores how cats have an uncanny ability to surrender to affection. We humans would do well to be more like a cat in the sense of deepening our capacity to receive love and affection.
Flickr image by Pedro Ribeiro Simões

Three Vital Differences Between Pride and Dignity

While maintaining a delicate sense of pride for our achievements in not necessarily a bad thing, it can easily solidify into an arrogant pride that distances us from others. We might do well to get clearer about what we're really wanting. Differentiating pride from dignity can help orient us toward what really nourishes and sustains us.

Why Pride Is Nothing to Be Proud Of

We may pride ourselves on our achievements and accomplishments, but clinging to pride can become a trap that disconnects us from ourselves and others. In contrast, cultivating a sense of dignity can free us to honor and be ourselves just as we are. We create suffering for ourselves when cling to a sense of superiority. Dignity allows us to more more freely through life.

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