Category: Personal Growth

Own It, Feel It, and Heal It

I like to go walking with my friend who has a dog. We hike on a trail that allows dogs off leash after a certain point, and so we meet tons of off leash dogs on these hikes.  It is off leash dog central.  Usually, we can tell which dogs don’t want to interact with […]


Siblings in an Abusive Family

One day, my husband and I were snuggling on the couch. Something smelled awful, and I confess that I assumed it was him. Much later in the day, I discovered a dead mouse on the floor right under the couch where he’d been sitting. I’d attributed the stench of mouse corpse to my husband, and […]


Reclaiming and Embracing Your True Self

Recently, I witnessed the start of a dog fight that turned into a human fight. A large dog and a small dog met each other on a busy sidewalk. The large dog aggressively jumped on and pinned the small dog who was terrified, as were its owners.  After the dogs’ owners separated them, they started […]


Do You Really Have to Love Yourself in Order to Be Loved?

In my twenties, I was involved in an off-again, on-again relationship that I am certain made all who witnessed it feel a little crazy. This person and I broke up and got back together so many times over a period of three and a half years, I lost count. One day, I was finally done […]


The Difference Between Hard Work and Struggle in Relationship

I was once involved with someone who was quite lovely, and who wanted a much different sort of relationship than I did.  Our conflicting desires made the relationship unsustainable and rather painful. Unfortunately, we did not communicate to each other what we wanted our relationship to be until we were both too deeply hooked by […]


Learning to Love Your Broken, Injured Self

Learning to love yourself can be a messy, painful business in general, but even more painful and seemingly impossible if you were abused or neglected as a child.  If you grew up in this way, you grew to believe that certain parts of yourself were unlovable, undesirable, even disgusting or dangerous. When you are raised […]


Trusting Your Inner Authority over Your Primitive Self

We used to have unruly Dalmatians, one in particular who was extremely insecure and nervous.  She was aggressive and she barked a lot and sometimes she would bite.  We spent quite a lot of time, energy, and money on dog training.  Our trainer told us that in the world of dogs, the Alpha dog does […]


Trying to Fix Others to Make Yourself Feel Better

When I met my husband, he was going through a divorce. He’d recently moved with multiple pets into an old, crumbling house that had been a college rental for years.  The pets were insane and both the house and yard were a wreck which nobody had attended to for years.  The hedges were overgrown, the […]


Disengaging from the Silent Treatment and Engaging with Each Other: An Experiment for You to Try

I’ve written extensively about the silent treatment on this blog.  I wrote my first post about it because I was receiving the silent treatment myself, and I felt that my energy would be better spent writing about it than trying to get the attention of the person who was giving it to me.  The person […]


Empathy: What it Is, What it Isn’t

Years ago, a friend and I were walking across a street because the light was green and we had that little walking symbol saying it was our turn to walk. Midway through the intersection, the car we were walking in front of started forward for no apparent reason; the light had not changed. We yelled […]


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