I Never Saw It Coming: A Story of Self-Forgiveness

Something miraculous happened to me recently. The other night, I was typing at my laptop, responding to emails, ordering gifts for friends, and ignoring the drifts of cat fur that grow larger by the day. Nearly a half an hour went by before I stood up and walked toward our kitchen. It was only then that I remembered: I’d left a pot of rice cooking on the stove. “Oh no!” I yelped. “I forgot about the rice! Shoot and sugar muffins!” (If you hang around me long enough, you’ll hear creative alternatives to swear words; it’s a holdover from growing ...
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Embarrassing Secrets of a Recovering Perfectionist

During my first month as a freshman at Vassar College, one of my hallmates caught me folding my dirty laundry. Yes, you read that right – I folded my dirty laundry before placing it in the collapsible navy-blue mesh hamper at the foot of my bed. It was a nervous habit that gave me a sense of control in an unfamiliar place. Of course I didn’t want anyone to know about my odd practice, so I flushed with embarrassment when my hallmate said, “Caroline, did you seriously just fold those pajamas before putting them into your hamper?” My hallmate’s tone ...
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The Healing Power of Animals: You Need to Read with Julie Barton (Plus a Dog Medicine Book Giveaway!)

If you love your pets and believe in the healing power of animals … if you were a child who treated your stuffed animals as sentient beings … then you won’t want to miss this interview with Julie Barton, author of Dog Medicine: How My Dog Saved Me from Myself. When I read the last chapter of Dog Medicine, my husband found me curled up on the couch sobbing. He tried to take it away from me, but I said, “No, no, it’s good crying!” …
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When You Want to Apologize for Existing

“I say ‘I’m sorry’ a LOT, usually when it’s not necessary. I apologize for existing.” “I’m so tired of fighting myself … For the last 17 years I spend my days in service to precious elders and give all that I can, yet inside me I feel like I am never, ever enough. The perfectionist in me doesn’t seem to be silenced.” “I’m so very, very, very tired Caroline! …. I’m at war with myself and know deep down I don’t have to be.”* …
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Stop Believing Shame’s Lies (and a Giveaway to Help!)

Let’s face it, shame is sneaky. You want to stop believing shame, but it engulfs you like one of J.K. Rowling’s Dementors, those terrifying wraiths that drain happiness. Soon you’re locked in what author and researcher Brené Brown calls a shame spiral. …
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Lessons from the (Emotional) Arctic Tundra

Have you ever struggled with a weighty sense of failure, a belief that no matter what you try, you’ll make the wrong move? Have you ever found yourself feeling uncomfortable in a group, thinking: I don’t belong with all these happy people. I’d like to cheer up, but I’m just tense and miserable. Wish I could be like them … ? If so, dear friend, you are not alone. I could talk about our current survey all day — 58 of you have filled it out as of this writing! — but I’ll just share these findings: 53 out of 58 ...
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On Accepting Yourself (Even if Self-Checkout Tries to Shame You)

Once upon a time I was at a Walmart in Alabama, doing my best not to be a Jersey girl. That is, I was trying not to rush and dash and move at twice the speed of other shoppers. (Talk about accepting yourself.) Every checkout line was long, so I headed to self-checkout. My pragmatic husband loves self-checkout: the efficiency! The autonomy! The lack of interaction! I would rather go to a cashier, though. I like cashiers. They’re people, which means they’re family. Self-checkout and I … we just don’t get along. I try to be careful, but I always ...
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