The past has a strong hold over many of us and yet at the same time we long to be free of it. Each time we relive the past in our thoughts we keep it alive even though it's extremely painful. It might be a recent communication from an ex that reminds us of the power they once had over us.
Another New Year has arrived and though this is traditionally a time to assess our goals and aspirations for the future, I prefer to focus my attention and intentions on the present moment. In reality, we can only make changes right here, right now in this instant in time.
For this upcoming year 2016, I have decided to choose a gift for myself instead of a traditional New Year's resolution; because let's face it, I am that lesbian who always chooses the road less travelled.
Remember the supervisor who refused to move her performance appraisal score from 3.9 to 4.0 and so cost you a sizable bonus? How about that "boss from hell" who yelled you out in front of the entire department and made you feel smaller than the bug scurrying along the floor?
Here are four (or five, for you overachievers!) steps to help you be a good friend to yourself even when you've missed the mark and fallen short of your own expectations: Identify, Unify, Pacify, Emulsify, Clarify.
Looking back, maybe you did some things in life that you're not proud of; maybe you made some poor choices or unwise decisions; maybe you did some dumb shit that sabotaged you or hurt others; maybe you acted impulsively, or didn't act at all when you should have.
When we behave in ways that allow others to feel seen, heard, valued and safe, we are doing what we can to make things "as right as possible" and can move on toward making tomorrow better than yesterday. That is Atonement.
For many of us the battle to forgive is fraught with difficulty. Whether you're forgiving a friend, relative, work colleague or simply a stranger who was nasty to you, it takes a lot of strength to say, "I forgive you." Even if you just murmur the words under your breath.
Whether we are looking for greater harmony in our family relationships, more meaningful friendships, greater purpose and satisfaction at work, or more engagement in our community, the end goal is usually the same -- happiness.
Before the news about Bill Cosby surfaced and broke my heart, to me, he was a parenting rockstar. He was the one who made us laugh and feel that this whole parenthood thing wouldn't be so bad after all.
I knew I could never make any sense of this depthless horror. But now I can say, 25 years on, that I'm able to understand a bit better what it was that killed my dad, the path his death propelled me down, and the healing that would happen in the most unlikely of ways.