An even more accurate title for this post would be: How Not to COMPLETELY LOSE IT When Someone Serves a Sucker Punch to Your Self-Esteem. That title felt a bit too long though.
As an example, one of my strongest memories from kindergarten was the feeling of absolute devastation after my teacher told me not to climb into our classroom playhouse before my classmate, who was there first. To the frazzled young teacher who spent her days chasing after wild and crazy five year olds, this most likely was a completely forgettable moment in her day. To me, it felt like the end of the world. The teacher had chastised me. I was a good kid. I was not someone who did anything wrong, ever. From my worldview, accidentally misbehaving in class just once was not something that good kids did. Her passing comment dug a giant hole of doubt into my self-image.
My memory then flashes forward several hours. I was sitting in the passenger seat of my mother's car, crying hysterically, still consumed by the fear that I was becoming a bad kid. In case you have forgotten, this was all due to my teacher casually telling me not to do something, which I immediately obeyed.
It is in light of that memory of five year old Caroline that I invite you to jump forward 22 years to 2014.
Thursday, March 6, 2014
Thursday, February 20, 2014
I currently am near hour six of today's cross country flight. Having read the inflight magazine, a few chapters of my Kindle book (A Beginner's Guide to Investing - highly recommended!), and seemingly dozens of saved articles on Pocket, I finally realized that this is the perfect time to touch base with my readers.
Today, I want to share with you a lovely, free app for iOS that I recently started to use, Happier. The premise is both incredibly simple yet brilliant - it's a social network designed to record and share your happy moments. It functions as a fabulous tool that reminds you to remain mindful of the positive in your life. Not only does it motivate you to notice little happy moments, but reviewing past posts can be a wonderful way to realize the magnitude of the good that exists in your life. I have been feeling particularly stressed and grumpy for the last week, but a quick glance at the app reminds me that I was able to witness a beautiful snowfall, have a fun lunch with colleagues, help an acquaintance with her job search, and receive praise for bringing happiness to other people through my work on my office's social committee. Each of the 160 character posts can get a tag, which should allow for some nice searches in the future. Who wouldn't want to be able to have a curated list of positive memories at their fingertips during an unpleasant situation?
The other feature that I really enjoy is the social aspect of the app. It's hard to feel grumpy when you see the simple joys that others are experiencing. Further, I often have found other posts to be motivating. It can be difficult to be mindful of the positive in your life; seeing others post about things that you are experiencing but not appreciating can help shift your perspective. Remember the moment I mentioned earlier about appreciating the beauty of freshly fallen snow? I hadn't even realized how lovely it was until I saw that someone else was enjoying it.
I want to add that I am not being compensated for this review - it is completely spontaneous and sincere. However, I do hope that the people behind Happier read this and are happy to see the positive impact that they are having!
I have my Happier account set to private, but you are welcome to friend me so that you can see my posts. Just send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I would be happy to send you an invite or share my username with you.
Your Internet Friend,
[This post was written on 2/13/14 - I waited to post it until I returned home.]
Thursday, January 30, 2014
In light of this, I have been doing a lot of reflecting about how I reached this happy place. When one receives a diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder, it often can feel like a black mark on future relationships. Even readers who do not have a diagnosis of BPD may have struggled with maintaining healthy relationships.
While I am very happy in my relationship, I make no claims about its perfection. We are both real humans, flaws and all. Rather, we both have worked hard and made sacrifices that have allowed the negative to bring us closer rather than push us apart.
In light of this new sparkly addition to my left hand, I have been doing a lot of reflecting about what we have been doing to make our relationship work. While there are a million little things, I think that I have distilled it down to four general categories. I hope you find them useful in maintaining and strengthening your own relationships!
Tuesday, December 31, 2013
One of the best things about the new year is that is gives us an opportunity for a fresh start. If we struggled during the last year, we get to put a period on that time and take action to make the next year better. If we had a good year, we get to reflect about why it was good and continue to focus on those positives.
Do you have any particular resolutions this new year? I always find formal "new years resolutions" to be so stressful, particularly if they involve lofty goals. Making a giant change can be intimidating! Instead, I like to be reflect on the previous year and be mindful of how the next year can be a positive progression.
Here are a few things that I plan to do to make 2014 even better than 2013:
- Continue to work on my mindfulness skills.
- Apologize when I wrong someone - or myself.
- Continue to actively try to be kind to myself.
- Search out happiness in the mundane.
- Frequently remind my friends and family how important they are to me.
- Save more and spend less - without being too frugal when it comes to things that truly make me happy.
- Have fabulous sex.
- Be generous to others - but only after being generous towards myself.
- Engage in physical activity because it is fun.
- Work hard to do my best, even if that does not mean being perfect.
What else can you add to the list?
Happy New Year!