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Why Won’t We Forgive Ourselves?

The short answer to why we won’t forgive ourselves is, we’re afraid.

Afraid we don’t have the right, afraid it might incur the wrath of the people who taught us about right and wrong, afraid it means we’re not sorry, afraid if we forgive ourselves the evil within might finally gain control and we’ll hurt someone we love.

It is okay to forgive ourselves for our mistakes. We absolutely have this right.

We’re grownups now, remember? We make the rules (and the consequences). Take responsibility for how you think and feel about yourself.

Also, have you ever considered that not having forgiven yourself could be what is keeping someone from forgiving you? If you can’t forgive yourself, why should they?

If someone taught you doing something wrong meant you’d never be forgiven, I am so sorry. I really, really am.

It must have been terrible growing up believing any wrong move would mean a lifelong sentence of shame and isolation. That kind of burden must have forced you to contort yourself in innumerable ways as you tried and tried to do what was right.

Please know there is nothing you could have done differently to get it right. Not because you are bad, but because getting it right simply wasn’t possible. The game was rigged, the deck was stacked, the dice were loaded. There was no way to win. I know you know this on some level. Forgive yourself for trying, and for failing.

Forgiving ourselves does not mean we are not sorry.

It means we’ve learned from our mistakes and have allowed the pain of them to change our heart and mind. Let’s feel regret or remorse, apologize if we can, and then let the knowledge we did wrong guide us to do what is right the next time.

If we forgive ourselves the evil inside will not win.  It feels like it will, but it won’t. You will not become a bad person when you let yourself off the hook. I promise you that.

Not forgiving ourselves is not keeping anyone safe. It is keeping us feeling isolated and from loving each other as we constantly change, learn, and grow. Sure there are people like Narcissists who will never change but don’t forget Narcissism is a mental health issue, and everyone deserves compassion.

We all do bad things sometimes. Doing something bad doesn’t mean we are bad. Bad is something we did, it is not something we are. (Here’s a post on something bad I did that I had to forgive myself for)

I’m still making mistakes (probably some grammatical or spelling ones here), but hey, we’re human and we’re both doing the best we can, right? Let’s be proud of ourselves for trying, for recognizing our mistakes, and for letting them change us so we can do better next time.

Love,

I Kicked Him Out of Bed

You are good!

Maybe you’ve done some bad things in your life, but that doesn’t mean you are bad.

When I was 20 years old I did something really, really bad.

Something that made me feel like I was a rotten human being and almost no one knows about because I hate remembering I ever did such a thing.

To tell you the truth, I’m only talking about it now because I can’t think of a less revealing way to illustrate my above point: we’ve all made mistakes but we’re all still good!

So, at age 20 I moved in with my boyfriend. One night, we got into a heated argument as we were getting ready for bed. I wasn’t much for yelling, and we had roommates who slept in the room next to ours so we had to keep it down, but I was angry at him and I wanted him to know it.

So, I kicked him out of bedA bed he’d paid for in a room he paid half of the rent for.

Not only did I kick him out of bed, but I kicked him out of our room! Why? Because I was angry and because I knew it would be embarrassing when our roommates found him on the couch in the living room in the morning. I wanted him to feel bad.

Sweet Danielle not so sweet now, huh? Yep, I can be kind of a jerk sometimes.

Looking back 18 years later, I don’t know why I did such a thing. I certainly hadn’t seen that behavior modeled at home. Maybe I picked it up from a movie? Who knows.

At any rate, the next morning I felt terrible about how I had behaved. I don’t remember if I apologized immediately, but I do remember I made a decision never to do that again.

Kicking someone out of their own bed is no way to treat another human being, especially someone you love (and who owns at least half the bed). I’d let anger consume me, and I’d lashed out in a way that was hurtful. I did something bad, but that doesn’t make me bad.

The first layer of loving yourself so ferociously that you can survive anything that happens in life (even divorce) is to remember YOU ARE GOOD, no matter how many times you have screwed up.

You’ve done some bad things, but you’ve learned from them and done better since then, right? Forgive yourself. We’ve all made mistakes (and will make plenty more). Just do your best and remind yourself that those mistakes have made you who you are now.

You are still good. (I promise it’s true)

Love,

The TELEVISION Debut of the GROW Formula for Dating Apps

The GROW formula is growing.

This week I traveled from Washington DC to Phoenix Arizona to talk about finding love after divorce ON TELEVISION!

Despite recent 120-degree temperatures in Phoenix, when Arizona Daily Mix host Danielle Williams invited me to be a guest on her show I immediately booked a flight.

It was so much fun to be back on TV, and I’m excited to report the show’s producer eagerly invited me to return to share about my book, Dear Self, I Love You! Keep Going!, so you’ll definitely be seeing me on AZTV again later this year.

Here we are, Danielle Watson and Danielle Williams (the double D’s), talking about GROW and how to use dating apps to find love after divorce.

If you have single friends frustrated with dating after divorce share the GROW formula with them. The first class is free and it’s easy to sign up right here.

Love,

 

 

Are you ready to start dating again? 10 signs you should wait

Dating can temporarily relieve the pain and emotional distress we all feel when a relationship ends.

But, when we start dating to relieve sadness, loss, and rejection instead of to share the happy life we’re living, we end up participating in a cycle of emotional dependence that does not lead to happiness or a lasting relationship. (I know you know this but I’m reminding you because a broken or lonely heart makes us do strange and irrational things sometimes.)

The difficult emotions that accompany the end of a relationship are an opportunity to build our inner strength, for personal growth, and to develop our ability to self-soothe and practice emotional independence that few people chose to fully explore.

If you’re experiencing the signs below you’re definitely not ready to start dating again. Consider this a friendly sanity check just in case you were thinking about launching yourself out there before you’re really ready.

10 Signs You’re NOT Ready to Start Dating Again:

  1. You haven’t yet let yourself really feel all you are feeling because you are afraid of your emotions.
  2. You can’t imagine anything other than being in a relationship feeling normal or desirable.
  3. When you go to bed at night it still feels like the empty space beside you might roll over and crush you.
  4. You haven’t gone out socially with old friends or attempted to make new ones.
  5. You’re worried no one will ever really love you or want to be with you.
  6. You feel disconnected from the things that once brought you joy.
  7. You wonder if your single status is some kind of karmic punishment.
  8. You’re willing to have sex with someone who says they are not looking for a relationship in hopes that sex will change their mind.
  9. You swipe through dating apps not really sure what you are looking for.
  10. Happiness feels like something only someone else can bring to your life.

It’s tempting to jump back into dating as soon as a relationship ends, but there is so much wisdom and inner strength to be gained from waiting until you’ve had the chance to grow from that experience before starting to date again. Don’t miss out on this opportunity.

Being single isn’t always easy, but the feelings of confidence and self-love you will experience when you first succeed at finding happiness without depending on anyone else to make you happy are massive personal achievements. Trust me, these not only feel great but are sexy as hell, too!

Take the time to make yourself happy before you start dating again.

When you’ve done that, you’ll be ready to meet someone who is as wonderful to be in a relationship with as you are. I promise you will LOVE how that feels.

Are Dating Apps a Waste of Time?

You may have heard your single friends complaining that dating apps like Bumble and Tinder are a waste of time and that they’ve been using them for months but haven’t connected with anyone decent. What you need to understand is that this is happening to them because they are using dating apps incorrectly.

Dating apps are a powerful tool that almost no one understands how to use to meet the right person. This leads to wasting hours trying to meet someone (to no avail) which results in users feeling jaded about dating apps and even dating in general.

What this pint-sized anthropologist in a dress has noticed is people are using a tool that is as powerful as a magic wand as merely a back scratcher or a toothpick.

A dating app can perform the almost magical feat of delivering someone amazing and who wants to have a relationship with you right to your phone; but ONLY when you understand how to use it the right way!

It’s not the apps’ fault if people fail to recognize the power it holds or doesn’t use it correctly.

You can use a dating app to meet someone who would be an amazing partner for you and who will hold your hand under the table at dinner, text you first thing in the morning, and stand beside you through life’s inevitable ups and downs.

Some of the reasons your friends are not connecting with anyone decent:

  • They are missing the boat on when to ask for the date (timing is crucial) 
  • Their communication style is ineffective 
  • They don’t know what they are looking for (or looking at) when they swipe 
  • They are trying to play a game instead of being warm and genuine 
  • They are blaming the reason they are not meeting someone great on the lack of good people out there instead of realizing that the problem might be their own behaviors

Dating apps are not a waste of time. When you use my formula for dating apps, your worst problem could end up being having to choose which amazing person to meet in real life first.

There are 4 simple steps to using dating apps effectively and I have outlined these steps in my GROW formula.

Step 1: Give

Step 2: Receive

Step 3: Offer

Step 4: Win

When you go to make the offer to meet in Step 3, how you make it is the most crucial step. I’ll get you started connecting with the right people by providing you with Step 1 (Give) for FREE below.

If you find that the way I teach you to execute Step 1 feels good, I know you’ll be eager to buy the rest of the formula so you can learn the right way to offer to meet someone in person. But, start with the free class so you’re confident that this way feels more natural than what other people are telling you to do, ok?

There’s a lot of advice on how to date out there, but this formula absolutely works with dating apps and it will feel more comfortable and natural for both you and your match.

Someone amazing is just waiting for your swipe. Take the free class here because success never stopped meaning having someone to share it all with, did it? You’re ready, and I’ll bet it’s high time you put yourself back out there.

Love,

 

What Is The Difference Between Dating Apps and Online Dating?

Dating using an app today is different from dating online just 3 years ago.

If the last time you dated was before dating apps became popular in 2014, you may feel scared to create a profile, clueless about what to say about yourself, or frustrated by the endless messaging that doesn’t lead to meeting in person.

So, how are dating apps different from conventional online dating?

Technically, the difference between a dating app and online dating is that a dating app exists solely within the app on your phone or tablet instead of serving as a supplement to a larger website.

Dating apps like Tinder, Bumble, and Coffee Meets Bagel do not have an associated website, while conventional online dating sites (like Match) do.

Don’t be fooled into thinking that this is the only difference.

Learn what else you need to know about the difference between dating apps and online dating in this FREE class for people reenter the dating pool.

Dating apps are no longer just for hookups, and plenty of people use them to find meaningful relationships successfully.

Many people reentering the dating pool post-2014 feel confused about how to meet the right person using a dating app, not to mention afraid to set up a profile because of the stigma associated with apps like Tinder.

It’s 2017, my friend!

Not accepting that dating apps are no longer just for hookups is making you look and sound old.

Finding a new relationship is an adventure and you can quickly learn how to use dating apps to meet someone who wants to enjoy the delights of a committed relationship (like sharing quiet morning coffee and late night conversation) with you.

When you’re ready to meet the right person using dating apps, try the first class of my GROW formula for dating apps FREE here.

The first step to meeting someone who gives you the warm fuzzies is writing an inviting profile in the limited space allowed by dating apps. You’ll learn how to write a great profile in under an hour.

Included you’ll find:

  • Do’s and Don’ts for writing a great profile that makes starting a conversation easy and feels more natural
  • What photos to include (and not include) in your profile
  • The best order to arrange photos so they tell your story
  • How to spot someone just looking for a hookup so you don’t waste your time

If you find this FREE class helpful, the rest of the GROW formula will make your life so much easier and help you in using dating apps to meet someone who you can build a great relationship with much faster than you ever thought possible. Start by taking the free class here.

Love,

3 Tips to Writing an Online Dating Profile for Professionals

For the professional man or woman, posting an online dating profile can feel risky and far too revealing for comfort.

Can colleagues (or your ex!) potentially see your profile?

How much personal information can you share without risking appearing unprofessional?

What kinds of photos should you include?

Your answers are here.

Your Profile is NOT Private

The first thing you need to know is that you’ll have no control over who sees your online dating profile. Anyone who is participating in online dating, from a colleague, to an old flame, to your ex could potentially see your profile. There can be no reasonable expectation of privacy with online dating.

Don’t let that scare you away, but consider carefully what you’ll share and how you’ll share it.

Tip #1: Imagine your Grandmother seeing your profile. My profile shares plenty of personal details about me, but it contains nothing I would not be perfectly comfortable showing my grandmother (this includes my photos).

 

Your Profile is NOT a Résumé

The second thing you’ll need to consider when writing an online dating profile is who you are OUTSIDE of your career accomplishments.

Your professional accomplishments are a significant and important part of who you are, but when you’re out there in the dating world, remember you’re looking to connect with someone you want to spend your time away from the office with.

Not sure where to start?

Tip #2: Try sharing something you’re interested in learning about. How to cook a pot roast, how to fold a fitted sheet, what a meme is, or the next place you’d like to explore in the great wide world.

 

Your Photos Matter

Third, I know it’s tempting to hire a professional photographer to take photos of you for your online dating profile, but don’t. I could explain why, but just trust me on this one for now. Do NOT include your professional headshot or the photo from your badge either.

Tip #3: Be sure your profile includes a Selfie as well as a full body shot.

Bonus Tip: The order in which you arrange the photos in your profile will make a difference in how people perceive you (and the kind of matches you receive), so give some careful consideration to that as well.

 

Busy and Need Help?

If you’d like me to show you the best order in which to post your photos or help to optimize your profile so that you maintain your professional image (while maximizing your chances of meeting someone you can really connect with) you can hire me for that.

Send me an email here to find out how soon I can work you into my calendar and for information on pricing for each of these services.

A Good Hard Cry

I’m not entirely sure this is appropriate to share…but it felt important to my soul to write this down today, so here goes nothing!

This is a long-running emotional fantasy of mine that involves the future Man of My Dreams, and it goes something like this…

I’m feeling overwhelmed and a bit ragged around the edges. The kind of ragged where you can’t seem to put your eyeliner on quite right so one eye ends up looking bigger than the other, and no matter how many hours of sleep you log, you still feel tired.

The kind of tired no amount of sleep, or yoga, or eating better is going to make a dent in because you are emotionally drained and what you really need is a good hard…CRY.

In my fantasy world, when I’m feeling like this here’s what would happen next.

Man of My Dreams would notice I haven’t quite been my usual smiling and cheerful self today and at that realization, a knowing grin would slowly creep across his face.

He’s grinning because he knows exactly what I need and that he’s the one who can provide it.

When he knows he can provide something I need, he gets this amped-up, supercharged feeling of excitement inside because providing something for the woman who loves him and cheers him on (even on the days it feels like the rest of the world is trying to flatten him), just does something to his insides that he could never put into words. He can’t wait to do something for me that he’s pretty sure only he can do!

While I’m in the bathroom (probably still trying to get that eyeliner on right), he sets the stage.

He begins by rearranging the couch cushions so there’s room for both of us to recline on it, and then, he strategically places a tissue box and a glass of water within arms reach. Finally, he lays down on the couch and calls out to me,

“Hey, sweetie can you come here for a minute?”

From down the hall, I answer,

“Sure, just give me a sec to finish this eyeliner.”

Eventually, I give up on the eyeliner and move towards the living room where I see that he is sprawled out on the couch with his strong arms wide open.

He says,

“Hey, there. Get over here. Get into my arms!” (a soft smile on his face)

What woman could resist that face and that invitation (even if she is still annoyed about the eyeliner), am I right?

As I half collapse, half fling myself into his arms he says to me,

“Hey, I’ve noticed you’ve been a little tired today. Is everything ok?”

I mumble some well-worn lines about “everything being fine, just busy lately, blah-blah-blah,” but I’m already starting to feel rejuvenated because there’s something about his soft t-shirt and the way he smells that just makes me feel all warm and gooey inside.

He listens to my mumblings about being busy, and when I’m done sweeping my emotional fatigue under the rug he says,

“I think what you might need is a good cry. Would it be okay if I just held you here and let you cry until you feel better?”

At that point in the fantasy, I’d pretty much dissolve into a heap of tears and sobs for at least the next twenty minutes, letting all I am feeling (and even things I didn’t know I was feeling) bubble to the surface and flow out. And you, dear reader, I’m embarrassed to admit, would not want to be anywhere near that couch because it would become a hazmat scene of snotty and tear-filled tissues, but OMG would I feel like a whole new woman ready to take on the day!

Of course, I’d look a hideous mess when I’d finished crying (and all that wrestling with the eyeliner would have been for naught), but I’d feel 10 years younger, 10 pounds lighter, and like I must be the absolute luckiest girl in the world to be nestled in the arms of such an amazing magical beast of a man.

And The Man of My Dreams?

Well, he might be a tad concerned that someone so tiny could produce so many tears in such a short amount of time, but he’d also feel like he’s just won every award and medal in the history of man-dom for being the manliest of men because when I finished crying I would look up at him and smile a happy smile and he would know that he has the magical ability to make the woman he loves feel all better!

I don’t know where this fantasy first originated, but boy does it make me excited to think about a man who would know that what I need is an emotional release when my instinct would be to sweep my emotional fatigue under the rug! Do you ever wish for this, too?

I wonder how many men out there know that sometimes all it takes to become the forever hero in the eyes of the woman he loves is a pair of strong arms and a box of tissues?

 

 

Celebrating Groundhog Day!

Happy Groundhog Day!

Okay, so I guess we don’t actually “celebrate” Groundhog Day, but in the spirit of the movie Groundhog Day, I thought I’d be cheeky and review some things we’ve talked about before that bear repeating.

First, be nice to yourself. It’s so easy to forget this in the hustle and bustle of the day, but seriously, be nice not just to others, but to yourself, too. The rest of us need and love you, and we don’t want you to feel unhappy (yes, I’m talking specifically to you).

Second, look at the bright side. This isn’t always easy in the moment, but how many times have you looked back on a time you felt miserable and realized you wouldn’t be where you are today without having been through that seemingly awful thing (a broken heart, a lost job, an unwanted move?). Think about how future you will benefit from what you are experiencing now.

Third, (one more after this and I’ll stop, I promise), but third, disrupt your own life once in awhile by making the decision to change things up. It’s easy to want things to stay the same, but really, it’s in doing things differently and having new experiences that we live a FULL life.

In fact, the more comfortable you get with initiating change the more comfortable you will be with navigating the inevitable changes in life. This is why I’m always trying new things and encouraging you to do the same.

Finally, never let disappointment in others make you bitter. Okay, maybe I haven’t exactly said this one before, but I hope that you get my drift when I encourage you to keep moving forward and try to be loving, even when people act like jerks. Don’t let what other people do shape who you are.

When in doubt, try this tactic I use on myself. The next time you get upset about something someone did just remind yourself, “that person is not ACTUALLY a jerk…they just play one on TV.” This works well for me!

You were born loving, kind, and generous and I hope you’ll stay that way, but I also understand that life can be a rough ride. If you think you’d be happier if you understood more fully how to love yourself and how to love others more, too, I hope you’ll join me for Love U, Love University.

February is the month of love, it’s also my birthday (I was born February 14th!)! If you act fast, I’m giving the gift of Love U for 30 days FREE. You’ll find everything you need at Love U to become at least 10% more loving by the end of the month. Don’t you think becoming even just 10% more loving this year would make a difference?

Happy Groundhog Day and let me know if you need anything from me. My inbox is always open.

All the love,

D 🙂

P.S. If you want more inspiration or to chat with me, I host a LIVE daily show called The Danielle Daily. You can tune in here weekdays at 3:00 pm ET/ 12:00 pm PT to ask me questions or just soak up the good vibes. If you do pop in, be sure say hello in the comments. I don’t know who is watching unless you comment, so you can join me incognito if that’s your style. See you there sometime.

My Secret Trick to Staying Inspired

Who doesn’t love the natural high that comes with feeling inspired, right? But how to maintain it…that’s always the rub. That feeling of inspiration seems to fade away faster than Frosty in a greenhouse.

It’s natural for the feeling of inspiration to wax and wane, but it’s easier than you think to set yourself up to feel inspired on a regular basis. I have a whole arsenal of tricks up my sleeves that I use each day to keep myself feeling inspired. I’ll share one of my favorites with you here because I think it is one you can use right now, no matter where you are reading this.

Learn something new.

I don’t care what it is, Google a new keyboard shortcut, learn a new way to drive to the store, learn a new way to make toast, learn a new dance step on YouTube, learn a new word on Thesaurus.com, etc.

There’s nothing like learning something new to remind yourself of all the amazing opportunities there are to experience life in new and interesting ways. Give learning something new a try! (I’ll wait why you Google)

Have you ever wished you could learn to become more loving? If so, I invite you to pop over and check out my just opened Love University.

February is the month of love, it is also my birthday (I was born February 14th)! Love is in the air this month, so If you have ever wished to learn to become more loving towards yourself or others, I really hope you will join me for Love University. (If you act fast you can get in for 30 days FREE)

At Love U you’ll become more loving by learning:

  • How to Fall in Love with yourself
  • How to stay with yourself (even when people compare you to others)
  • How to offer love to hostile people
  • How to love friends and family members  (even when they disappoint you with their beliefs or say hateful things)
  • How to decide if it’s for the best to end a relationship (and how to do it gracefully)

I know there is a lot of hatefulness going on in the world right now, and it seems amplified through social media channels such as Facebook…SO many people expressing things that make it really hard for us to love. I’m going to show you how to love anyway and it is going to feel so inspiring, empowering, and downright awesome.

Pop on over and check out my Love University. Use coupon code LOVE at checkout this month, and join me for Love University absolutely free for 30 days.

See you at Love U!

All the love,

Danielle 🙂

P.S. If you want more inspiration or to chat with me, I host a LIVE daily show called The Danielle Daily. You can tune in here weekdays at 3:00 pm ET/ 12:00 pm PT to ask me questions or just soak up the good vibes. If you do pop in, be sure say hello in the comments. I don’t know who is watching unless you comment, so you can come incognito if that’s your style. See you there sometime.