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Best of Our Blogs: May 20, 2016

I've been a quitter most of my life. I've quit the small things (e.g. diets and projects) and big ones too (e.g. jobs, and friendships). But as I got older, I realized that the really good things in life were worth sacrificing. Besides, you couldn't quit when things got hard during pregnancy, in labor, a long-term relationship or when you have children. You couldn't just hold up your hands, wave that white flag and say, "I give up!"

I remember a pivotal moment when I realized it. I was sitting in my living room, two kids in tow and felt myself starting to self-pity. I was tired. They were sick. I just didn't think I had it in me to take care of them. I wanted to give up. When a wave of discouragement started to crash down on me, I realized I had two options. I could surrender to what is or I could make the situation harder on all of us by worrying, complaining and thinking about all the other things I wish I could do.

The house didn't get cleaned that day. But surrendering to the mess, my situation and the kids by being present and not quitting on myself, changed me. It taught me I had superhero strength. If I was never forced to test it, I would never know it existed.

That's what I believe of you too. Just when you think you can't go on, when raising an ADHD child or dealing with mental illness has got you down, it'll be there, waiting for you to tap into it.
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Best of Our Blogs: May 17, 2016

It's amazing. You could be going along with your business and not even know it. Unconsciously, you're in awe and full of compassion for a friend's struggles. You find yourself gossiping about a co-worker's shockingly distasteful behavior.

You're working the outside world without checking what's going on in the inside. There's a gap there. There's a disconnection. Maybe it makes you feel invincible. But on a deeper level, it makes you feel isolated and alone.

What you don't realize is you play a huge role in what you're experiencing. It took some time until I realized everything that was triggering me-the courageous lady who endured a painful past, the really bossy boss-were all different sides of myself that I hadn't yet acknowledged. Swimming right below the surface, they were begging to be seen.

If you grew up feeling unheard, it may take you awhile to recognize what's missing. Sometimes all it takes is reading someone else's story for it to click. Whether it's your sensitivity or your long lost emotional needs, our following posts on may just help you reconnect and remember.
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Best of Our Blogs: May 13, 2016

You wouldn't continue to take the wrong exit home. If something you ate didn't treat your stomach right, you wouldn't have it again. An allergic reaction would make you avoid it at all costs. But when it comes to your emotional health, you keep running your head against the wall.

If that's you, you're going the wrong way to get the right answers.

Maybe you're doing it out of habit. Maybe it's unconscious. Or maybe the truth, that the person you love is incapable of change or being there for you the way you need them to be, is a hard pill to swallow.

The answer isn't to get creative and think of different angles to get them to change their mind. The answer is to adjust your expectations, learn to accept them for who they are, and find other people who are capable of being there for you.

If you're struggling with accepting your loved one or yourself, this week's posts will give you a reality check. Through learning about their anxiety, depression or alcohol abuse, you might develop compassion and understanding that you didn't think was possible. You may even cultivate self-compassion for that person who wanted so much for their life or childhood to be normal.
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Best of Our Blogs: May 10, 2016

Mother's Day has come and gone. While some relish the day, you're glad it's over.

It's difficult to leave childhood unscathed. Our needs were not always met. We felt like we were parenting our parents. Our mothers were either non-existent physically or emotionally. As a result, Mother's Day doesn't inspire us to run out and buy flowers, chocolate and a sentimental card. It leaves us angry, hurt and feeling scarred.

If you're still recovering from Sunday's holiday, read our top posts this week. Our bloggers are discussing everything from practicing self-love to learning how to be more assertive. Each posts are like individual gifts of compassion, information and understanding you wished you received.
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Best of Our Blogs: May 6, 2016

Your mouth gets dry. Your palms are sweaty. Your bestfriend is going through a tough situation. Your uncle is grieving over a loss. You don't know the right thing to say or do to help them.

If you get nervous thinking about it, here's some good news.

I read here about a 2011 study published in Social and Personality Psychology Compass. The research stated that just being near a loved one can minimize their suffering. While we all want to try our best to alleviate our love one's pain, not having the perfect words needn't stop you from the greatest gift you can give them-just be there.

If you want to go deeper, this week's post will give you information on what to ask a loved one who might be suicidal. You will also learn what not to say to an anxious child and develop empathy for yourself and others who are suffering.

When you love someone and when you've built a trusting relationship with them, your presence and not your advice will be what heals and soothes them most.
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Best of Our Blogs: May 3, 2016

Some will tell you to "get yourself together." Others will dole out advice. A few will pretend like it doesn't matter.

They can ignore it and try to talk it away, but your illness is real. What they have the luxury of imagining doesn't exist is your day to day.

Don't let their disbelief and discomfort become your suffering.

May is mental health month. Share your story, offer a compassionate ear to someone struggling and find others who understand what you are going through.

This year Mental Health America is spreading awareness by tagging social media posts with this hashtag: #mentalillnessfeelslike. I hope you'll join the cause by courageously sharing what it's really like living with mental illness.
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Best of Our Blogs: April 29, 2016

You're awaiting a diagnosis, or maybe a correct one. The fear of knowing is almost equally as excruciating as knowing. You feel like the rest of your life is dependent on this one moment. It all feels so final. You're on the precipice of change and you don't know if you're ready or capable of dealing with whatever it is.

It's one of the hardest things to go through. People often think getting a diagnosis is difficult. And it is. But it's also the waiting, not knowing, and sense of helplessness that can feel intolerable. Once a diagnosis is made, you can take action. But what do you do while you're waiting?

To end the week, our top posts will provide positive distractions on everything from addictions to teaching you how to cope with anxiety, and incorporating a childhood activity that could alleviate some of the pressure you're experiencing currently. The key to coping with the unknown is to focus your energy on controlling what you can, and you can do this by being fully present in the moment right now.
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Best of Our Blogs: April 26, 2016

Stressing over a friend's disapproval? Upset over your relative's rejecting comment? Furious about your co-worker's insensitive response?

Your suffering isn't because of them. It's a direct result of the stories you tell yourself.

Her eye roll or his hurtful remark could reflect their feelings about you. But it's easy to read into people's reactions. Sometimes what feels personal has nothing to do with you.

This week, you'll learn to deal with your emotions in a healthy way so it won't color what's true. Instead of hitting send on that text or email, read our top posts to help you stop brooding over what he or she did. It'll give you the space to focus on you instead.
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Best of Our Blogs: April 22, 2016

It's Earth Day.

I'm reminded of the guy who threw his trash out the window. I was shocked. It didn't just tell me what he thought of the earth. It told me what he thought of himself.

I'm a big believer in the saying, "how you do anything is how you do everything." People who care about themselves, don't trash the earth.

People who are critical of others are often critical with themselves.

Who you are at the core will always seep out. You can try to cover your truth with false kindness, insincerity and people-pleasing ways. But it will be the thing that ends your relationship(s), and severs your relationship with yourself.

As you'll read this week, the one thing that's hurting you is an inability to surrender the story you've been telling yourself. It's not about winning. It's not about appearing perfect. It's about being conscious of the person you want to be and letting that color everything you do.
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Best of Our Blogs: April 19, 2016

There are things you would say if you weren't held back by your upbringing. There are things you would do if you weren't held down by societal expectations. There are places you would soar to if you weren't held behind by fear. Instead you stuff your dreams, beliefs, and emotions with food and other substances. When they finally float to the surface they reveal themselves as addictions, depression and anxiety.

If you're struggling with freeing your inner voice, this week's top posts will reveal what you need to do. Whether it's talking to a therapist instead of a friend, correcting thinking errors or feeling gratitude instead of envy, each will teach you the courage to be you.
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Best of Our Blogs: April 15, 2016

There is a deficit in this country. People are starving for it. Countries are warring over it. The greatest need we have is compassion. It takes effort to put yourself in the shoes of your judgy mom or the aunt who thinks you’re making up your illness. But if you were to see things from their perspective, you might not take it so personally. Most times people are critical and harsh because they’re critical and harsh with themselves. The key to peace isn’t stretching outward to find it, its finding love, understanding and empathy in your self.

In Whatever Arises Love that, Matt Kahn says the following:

“When I’m sad, I deserve more love, not less. When I’m angry, I deserve more love, not less. When I’m frustrated, I deserve more love, not less. Whenever I’m hurt, heartbroken, ashamed, or feeling guilty, I deserve more love, not less…No matter the past that I’ve survived, I deserve more love, not less. No matter what remains up ahead, I deserve more love, not less. On my worst day, I deserve more love, not less.”

But isn’t it true that when we’re depressed or struggling with addiction, we’re the cruelest to ourselves? It’s at the moment when we decide to speak our mind, follow a dream, or express a hidden emotion that we deserve and need support most. We often look outside ourselves for it. But we won't buy into it unless we've given that to ourselves. Good or bad, we must as Kahn says, “love that.”

Our bloggers are talking about everything from being a step-parent to dealing with relationships and addiction. No matter what you're going through, respond with love.
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Best of Our Blogs: April 12, 2016

You keep searching for the key thing to make it all better. You spend more moments than you'd admit looking for the perfect thing to fill that vacuum. I know the place. I've been there before.

The pain of feeling unworthy, and unloved feels like a slow, dying. You think no one else is going through what you're going through. And the only energy you have is focused on how to escape it.

If I could talk to myself back when I was struggling, I would say, "There is hope. There is light. There is happiness, joy and love beyond what you can picture for yourself. More people love you than you realize. You matter and you will find your way. It takes courage to get through one moment at a time."

If you're struggling, surround yourself with supportive people including friends, family, and a good therapist. Our posts this week will also deliver this important message: whether you're struggling with loneliness, emptiness, or addiction, you're definitely not alone.
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