“During childhood, I always felt ‘different,’ that I didn’t fit in. Many nights I’d gaze at the stars and fantasize that a spaceship would land on our front lawn to take me back to where I came from. I felt like an alien who’d landed in an unfamiliar world that wasn’t my own.” – Judith Orloff, M.D. Emotional Freedom: Liberate Yourself From Negative Emotions and Transform Your Life

I had similar moments as an adolescent and a young adult. I would stare up into the night and wonder what I was doing here and why I was in the situation I was in. Wrapped up in my own drama and plagued by my problems, I retreated inward. Never did I feel so isolated and utterly alone.

What struck me as I ventured outside my inner world, is that every situation I have ever experienced has been experienced by someone else. Maybe their story is slightly different. Maybe they coped in a different way. Maybe their circumstances were worse than my own. But the more I open up and let down my guard, the more I realize how similar we all are and how we’re never truly alone.

If you’re feeling lonely in your current situation, you’ll appreciate this week’s post. You’ll learn what you need to do to make and keep meaningful friendships, improve your current relationship, and know that while you’re in the thick of it, others are going through or have gone through what you’re struggling with now.

{Photo from here.}

{Photo from here.}

5 Ways to Start Growing into Your Best Self
(Your Best Self) – How do you get from where you are to where you want to be? In this post, Joe shares the stepping stones that will lead you on a path towards personal growth.

Genuine Love: Four Mantras to Calm Storms (& Feel Safe Enough to Remain, Present & Connected )
(Neuroscience & Relationships) – Renowned Zen monk Thich Nhat Hanh shares the loving practices that can transform your relationship in the areas of loving kindness, compassion, joy and freedom.

Defining the Life You Want to Live: Relationships
(The Emotionally Sensitive Person) – You want stable, supportive, long-term friendships, but are you willing to do the work to have them? Karyn Hall, Ph.D. reveals the difficult, but necessary challenges that you must face if you want meaningful friendships.

Photography: Art and Healing
(The Creative Mind) – Art can be used as a tool for creative expression and healing. This post looks at the beautiful and extraordinary ways artists and therapists have used photography to powerfully share, communicate and interpret their lives.

Whether Biology or Trauma, Mental Illness Requires Care not Cure
(Trauma Informed Systems) – Is nature or nurture involved in mental illness? Does it matter? Why this blogger believes our energy should be focused on care rather than cure when it comes to mental illness.