Posts in Self-Love

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,

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.