Posts in Life

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,

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?

 

 

The Science Behind Staying Inspired

I’ll admit that sometimes I like to see if there is research to back up my beliefs about something and sometimes I deliberately ignore what “experts” might have to say because I am certain the usual rules don’t apply to me. Do you do that too?

In my experience, there are two keys to staying inspired.

The first is to focus my attention on the things, people, and experiences that cause me to feel good as often as possible.

The second is remove my focus from the things, people, and experiences that cause me to feel bad whenever I have that option.

I don’t always have the option to remove my focus from what feels bad (anyone else working on taxes right now?), but when I do, I take it.

This way of approaching life has not always made me popular, but it has been a reliable way to keep myself happy and feeling positive and inspired by life.

Research has shown that some of the best ways to stay inspired are to:

  • Exercise
  • Read
  • Meditate
  • Play games
  • Zone out
  • Do something creative

It seems to me, that the main reason so many of us feel uninspired by life is because we spend more time focused on what makes us feel bad than we do on what makes us feel good. A simple (I didn’t say easy) change in focus would lead to spending more time feeling positive, happy, and free.

This makes complete sense to me, but hey, I could be wrong and I’d love to hear your thoughts.

This weekend, practice spending more time focusing on what feels good and when you have the option to remove your focus from what feels bad, take it. Let me know how you did and how it felt.

Have a wonderful weekend and I’ll be back on Monday with some resources to help you stay inspired.

All the Love,

Is this the most adorable thing you’ve ever seen?

This is Tennyson Rose, also affectionately known as baby T. I have permission from her mommy to use this photo of Tennyson (thank you, Tori!).

When I saw the look of excitement and happiness on baby T’s face I couldn’t help but feel inspired by her zeal for the unknown and I can’t imagine a more shining example of why a positive focus matters.

Baby T isn’t even 2 yet, so it wasn’t that long ago that she was struggling to sit up, suffering through her first cold, or falling on her bottom while learning to walk.

In spite of all that, her enthusiasm for the unknown remains undiminished and her focus remains positive. Good things happen in life and painful things, too no matter what our age.

Each day really is a mixed bag of experiences and emotions, isn’t it? Happiness, laughter, tears, and wondering if we’ll ever recover or if things will really all will be okay in the end.

It’s so easy to let the yucky stuff cause us to forget that good happen each day, too.

What I love about baby T is that she hasn’t yet learned to dwell on the painful stuff happening in the world or worry about what uncomfortable experiences might be in her in the future, she simply takes life as it comes and expects that something exciting is always around the next corner.

If that’s not the right way to live, I don’t know what is.

No matter what uncomfortable or painful experiences we’ve experienced or will experience, a positive focus ensures that we are present for and participate in the fun, exciting, and joyful ones, too.

Note: A positive focus does not mean we stop acknowledging that bad things happen (last time I checked denial wasn’t healthy or an effective strategy). However, a positive focus does mean we refuse to allow the bad to keep us from acknowledging the good, and that my friend, is POWER.

Today when we’re faced with the unknown, let’s think like baby T and take life as it comes. I mean, how many awesome moments have already happened in your life? Why stop believing there will be more moments like that around the corner?

I’ll be back soon with another inspiration-packed blog.

All the love,

 

 

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. See you there sometime!

The Ineffective Truth

Nothing frustrates me more than feeling like my actions are ineffective and I’m spinning my wheels.

All that energy put into something, and yet, the result is no change in the status quo. Grrrrr!

Sometimes this happens because I don’t know what I’m not “getting.” If someone would just PLEASE tell me what to do and in what order I. Would. Do. It. IMMEDIATELY.

We’re happy to do the right activities in the right order, but sometimes we simply don’t know what they are, right?

But sometimes (okay, most of the time) it only seems like no change is happening and our efforts feel ineffective because we’re too focused on the outcome to see the micro-accomplishments and changes that are happening as we move closer and closer to accomplishing our goals.

I remember one hot August afternoon last year when I almost gave up writing my 365 Notes to Self book. At that point, I only had about 40 entries left to make to complete it. Quitting would have been crazy, right? Inside it felt like I’d been working on it for SO LONG (and still had so far to go), but the reality was, I was nearly done.

The only reason I didn’t give up was because my Mom encouraged me to Keep Going! I’m so glad I did because my book is doing exactly what I hoped it would do: inspiring people around the world by filling them with strength, hope, faith, and infusing them with the certainty that they are enough.

I know making your way towards an achievement can feel like a long hard road, really I DO, but keep going. Your actions are not ineffective (even though it can feel like it), and you’ve likely already put in the bulk of the effort and the outcome will make a difference for you and countless others.

Today I’m here to remind you that if you are tired rest, but don’t quit. Okay?

Remember what that feeling of accomplishment feels like? Take a rest and then use that feeling to DRIVE YOU ON.

You are capable of anything. (I know you know that I’m just reminding you in case you temporarily forgot)

I’ll be back with more reminders and encouragement tomorrow. Look for my email around this same time.

All the love,

 

 

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. See you there sometime!

Isn’t she BEAUTIFUL?

I’m so excited to announce that my baby girl is ALMOST HERE! My Notes to Self have been a more than a year-long labor of love, and the eBook edition will be released later this month.

Earlier this week I signed off on the final draft of the cover, and today I received the completed cover. I had to share it with you because it is just so dang pretty!

If I haven’t said so lately, thank you so much for going on this journey with me. Your enthusiasm for the project and your words of encouragement have meant the world to me. I’ll keep you posted on when the book becomes available for Kindle later this month (just in time for holiday gift-giving).
All the Love,

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