Category Archives: Love

Are your thoughts helping or hurting you today?

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IMG_1996When a relationship is in trouble there’s a tendency to want to blame someone and to focus on the faults and wrong-doings of the other person. This not only doesn’t work, it’s destructive. The correct choice is to focus on yourself—your thoughts, feelings, attitude, and actions—not the thoughts, feelings, attitude and actions of your partner. Focus on what you need to be giving (as difficult as that might be), not on what you’re not getting. Take responsibility for your part in the relationship that has contributed to its unhappiness.

In Living Successfully with Screwed-Up People, Elizabeth Brown writes: Do you really want to bring about positive change in your relationship? If so, you must be willing to change first. Unless you change first, it is unlikely your relationship will do anything but sink deeper into distress. 

And Robin Norwood tells us: At the bottom of all our efforts to change someone IMG_1782else, is a basically self-centered motive, a belief that through his changing we will become happy. There is nothing wrong with wanting to be happy, but to place the source of that happiness outside ourselves, in someone else’s hands, means we are denying our abilities to change our own lives for the better and refusing to take responsibility for doing so. 

When you change how you treat yourself, you change your life. Your happiness and enthusiasm comes from within you. Your happiness isn’t dependent on something or someone else. Your happiness depends on you. How you feel is up to you.

No one is happy by accident. It requires self-awareness of where your thinking may be inaccurate. If you’re unhappy, you need to explore what it is that you’re doing to cause that unhappiness. If you’re unhappy, that’s your deal—your responsibility. It isn’t up to anyone to make you happy.

Relationships are to add to your happiness, add to your life. Relationships are IMG_1312not a substitute for your own life. Another human being cannot make you whole and complete. You’re the only one who can do that. The daily conversation that you have the most is the one you have with yourself. You talk to yourself more than everybody in your life combined. If that conversation is degrading, unloving, and critical, is it any wonder that your self-esteem may be zero?

Are your thoughts helping you or hurting you today?

Think about it. In caring, Sandy

How could loving someone be wrong?

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He loves me. He loves me not. He loves me. He loves me not. According to folklore, small daisy petals plucked one-by-one hold the mystical fate of the female heart.

IMG_2277For the female heart that loves too much, the desire to be loved causes a defective analysis of the relationship, even for the intelligent and mature woman. Love conquers all, the saying goes, so a woman who longs for a man’s love tries harder and gives more in the relationship, and discounts his emotional distance, compulsive behaviors or broken promises. In an attempt to be “the one” who really understands him, the woman who loves too much sympathizes with a man’s current inability to love her back because of his past hardships or current struggles, and sees in him the man he could be with her love.

The woman who loves too much convinces herself that this man just needs someone to help him, to show him what love really is. He just needs to be understood and supported, and then he’ll be able to give the deep expressions of caring and commitment she longs for. She simply has to show him that her love will make the difference.

How could too much love be unhealthy? One would think that loving another person too much would be an attribute in a relationship. Sadly, that’s not the case. When women love too much they ensure painful relationships overflowing with great hurt, uncertainty, and disappointment.

Are you a woman who loves too much? A woman loves too much when her partner consistently mistreats her and yet because of a faulty analysis she can’t leave the relationship or change it.

In the New York Times Best Seller book Women Who Love Too Much, Robin Norwood writes: When being in love means being in pain, we’re loving too much. When most of our conversations with friends are about him–his problems, his feelings and nearly all IMG_0972our sentences begin with “he…,” we’re loving too much. When we excuse or tolerate his bad temper, moodiness, indifference, or put-downs as problems due to an unhappy childhood and we try to become his therapist, we’re loving too much. When we read a self-help book and underline all the passages we think would help him, we’re loving too much. When we don’t like many of his basic characteristics, values, and behaviors, but we put up with them thinking that if we’re only loving enough he’ll want to change for us, we’re loving too much. When our relationship jeopardizes our emotional well being and perhaps our physical health and safety, we’re definitely loving too much.

In spite of all its heartache and regret, loving too much is very common for women, and men, too. For many of us, it’s been a recurrent pattern that isn’t understood. In Love Smart, Dr. Phil McGraw writes: To get the relationship you want, you have to be willing to take an honest, even brutal, look at what’s going on and what’s going wrong.  love smart dr phil mcgraw

IMG_0968We need to look at the faulty analysis that causes so many women and men looking for love, to find unhealthy, critical partners instead, and why the qualities that initially attract us to a partner aren’t necessarily those that make the person a good partner. When we know a relationship isn’t good for us, why do we have trouble leaving it? Loving becomes loving too much when our partner is emotionally clueless, has an addiction, is critical, or controlling and yet, we cling to the partner he or she could be.

It’s an old cliche in the field of psychology that people are attracted to someone just like the mother or father with whom they struggled while growing up. This concept isn’t quite accurate. It’s not so much that the mate we choose is just like Mom or Dad, but that with this partner we’re able to feel the same feelings and face the same challenges we encountered growing up–we’re able to replicate the atmosphere of childhood already so well known to us, and use the same maneuvers in which we already so practiced and are comfortable with.

This is what, for most of us, constitutes love. We feel “at home” and comfortableIMG_1608 with the person with whom we can make all our familiar moves and feel all our familiar feelings. Even if the moves have never worked and the feelings are at times painful, they’re what we know best. We feel that special sense of belonging with the person, who allows us, as his/her partner, to dance the steps we already know. It’s with him/her that we decide to try to make a relationship work.

It follows that there really are no coincidences in relationships, no accidents in marriage. There’s no more compelling chemistry than this feeling of mysterious familiarity when a woman and a man come together.

Think about it. In caring, Sandy

©All rights reserved, 2014, Dr. Sandy Nelson, E-Couch.net

What are the secrets of successful people?

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The Seven Secrets of Successful People

Live with Self-Control
Self-control is the power to respond to other people and situations with self-controlmoral strength, self-command, and integrity. Getting upset at someone who is upset is the worse thing to do. Anger begets anger. When you frighten people with words or actions, you misuse your power and instead, insecurity is demonstrated. When you manipulate, mistreat, or intimidate other people, your power is misused and fragility is demonstrated. Success comes to those who are self-controlled.

Live with Responsibility
If you make other people or situations responsible for how you are going to feel, you will never be successful, or happy. Take responsibility for your thoughts, feelings, and actions and realize you alone create your experiences in life. Blamer’s and complainer’s are rarely successful.

Live with Respect
To experience success it is necessary to possess self-respect. You have self-respectrespect when you applaud your efforts, encourage yourself, forgive yourself, accept your mistakes and limitations, and refuse mistreatment. Demonstrating respect to others is also necessary despite differing agendas or customs. Expressing courtesy is expressing respect. Success is experienced by people who respect themselves and other people.

Live with Humility
The brilliant philosopher Socrates, did not pride himself on how much he knew—which was noteworthy in his era. Instead, he was humbled by the awareness of how much more he had to learn and understand. Success comes to those individuals who greet others as equal, not secondary; and live in awareness of how much more there is to learn and understand.

Live with Gratitude
It’s not possible to be successful unless you consciously value and appreciate what is already in your possession—the blessings you currently hold. You can not appreciate what you take for granted. God or The Universe will rarely bless you with more unless you’re cognizant of what has already been given to you. To be successful be grateful, and giving.

Live with Love
You can not hate yourself or others and experience success. Hate blocks the love4good that is yours to receive. Hate divides and lies. When you tell yourself that you are inadequate, flawed, or inferior, you tell yourself a lie. You were born with an instinctive and endless supply of self-worth and self-love. You can not love other people unless you love yourself. You can not be successful unless you believe you can be. Love yourself and love one another.

Live with Faith
Because you live what you believe, what you believe determines your level of faithsuccess. Truth is not relative and reality is not a free-for-all perception. An actual truth exists. What we think about expands. In As You Think, James Allen tells us, You will be what you will to be. And Marc Allen states: You have a powerful will, an offspring of a deathless soul, and it can find its way to any goal, regardless of the apparent obstacles. You have all you need within you. All resources are at your command—all you have to do is ask for them. A great visionary teacher said it all, very simply and clearly—Ask and you will receive. Seek and you will find, (Matthew 7:7).

To your success!

Think about it. In caring, Sandy

©All rights reserved, 2014, Dr. Sandy Nelson, E-Couch.net

Can love exist without getting hurt?

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Songs in the country music arena are often tuneful soap opera’s. Or, perhaps it’s that these particular song writers touch on the heartbreak reality that millions of people endure each day. Maybe you’ve seen this list of actual song titles that represent the jilt of love:

How Can I Miss You If You Won’t Go Away
Get Your Tongue Outta My Mouth ‘Cause I’m Kissing You Goodbye
I Don’t Know Whether To Kill Myself Or Go Bowling
If You Don’t Leave Me Alone I’ll Go And Find Someone Else Who Will
I Still Miss You Baby But My Aim’s Gettin’ Better
She Got The Ring And I Got The Finger
If I Shot You When I Wanted To I’d Be Out By Now
And my personal favorite: I’m So Miserable Without You It’s Like Having You Here

love2Funny, uh? Creative individuals make reflective writers, poets, and artists; and thanks to the dynamics of love relationships, our culture has been successful in producing sit-com’s, movies, music, plays, and books that portray the triumphs and tribulations of personal relationships. When it comes to a union between a woman and a man, along with a pledge of love, the promise of hurt is also guaranteed.

love3When someone is hurt or disappointed by the person he/she loves, there are various ways that wound is communicated: disbelief, anger, silence and sadness. When something is expected to happen, and it doesn’t, hurt and disappointment result. When something isn’t expected to happen, and it does, hurt and disappointment is experienced.

We’re hurt when an outcome isn’t what we anticipated. If we don’t care if something happens or not, then we don’t experience hurt. If we don’t have a preference, then we don’t have disappointment. The remedy then, to dodge heartache, seems to be clear—don’t expect.

But, is it realistic to think that relationships can exist without expectations? Is it possible to experience a love relationship that won’t disappoint?

Think about it! In caring, Sandy

 

©All rights reserved, 2014, Dr. Sandy Nelson, E-Couch.net

Need a brilliant idea? Hold a grudge.

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Hold a grudge. Now there’s a brilliant idea!

Yeah, cling to memories of betrayal and hurt. Ruminate over unfairness and CAPUPVE5CARS043CCAOF72XDCA75Z6V9CADGWZF6CAOBVH8ICANMHFYZCATKRO9PCA9XJ8MACAUZ5MIOCA45A0SUCA0R2TBZCAN0OEEQCAZF83JVCAI62Q52CAQ6I7R1CAP6RTDMCAF1ZI92injustice. Hold that bitterness close to your heart so that your entire attitude in life sucks and be sure everyone knows it. Feel entitled to take your anger out on other people—be mean, be blaming, be a bully. Yeah, hold a grudge and think that by doing so you’re somehow getting even. Don’t let the person off the hook–be sure to constantly remember the wrong-doing. Really mess up your head.

The only good holding a grudge has ever produced is the good hold it has on you going down. The wiser you are, the more you refuse to dwell in the toxicity IMG_0717of anger, bitterness, grudges, and resentment—the malignancy of emotions. Animosity eats away as you cling to injustices against you until you’re consumed with rogue anger and bitterness. Marriage to grudges and resentment has put many people in an early grave. The enormous energy connected to the emotion of hate changes the blood chemistry in a person to one that is favorable to disease. You lose power. You lose respect. You lose character. It’s not pretty. You won’t look cool. You won’t even recognize yourself.

Hate is a painful state of self-destruction because the mind is not intended to hate. It goes against the pure core of every human being. We were each born with an incredible expression of our inner purpose—to love ourselves and to love others.

If you’re holding a grudge, the release of that bitterness and resentment needs to be the priority for your own good health–physical and mental. Any period of time spent resenting man-439916_150someone else is time that you have chosen to feel miserable. The more occupied you are in disliking another person, the less occupied you are with pursuing your own happiness and success. You can’t resent or hate someone and feel any happiness or enthusiasm for life. Resentment, bitterness, anger, and grudges are all very expensive and costly to YOU, not to the person who caused it. These negative feelings don’t damage the other person, they damage you. So now you’ve doubled your pain.

The cure is forgiveness. Let it go. Move on. Get back to living. Regain your power and self-respect and loving nature. You can apply the healing balm of absolution and bask in the state of being emotionally malignant free. Only the foolish hang on to bitterness like a trophy. One can only hope that a day will arrive with the insight that the trophy is not an award, but actually a gravestone.

Think about it. In caring, Sandy

©All rights reserved, 2014, Dr. Sandy Nelson, E-Couch.net

Divorce is a death, ready?

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Divorce is a death. It’s the death of a marriage and the death of a family union that impacts many relationships within the family core. Emotional pain, sadness, and uncertainties vibrate through every family member with rippling effects extending to the children.
divorce3Divorce is a crippling experience for adults, and a very, very long nightmare for children. Children do not possess the coping skills and problem-solving skills that even we, as adults, struggle to locate within us. Take the worry, fear, and hurt that an estranged husband or wife experience, and multiply that times 50–that”s the impact on children in a divorce situation. Even when children say they’re fine with it, they’re not fine. Children will think in some way they’re the reason mom and dad are divorcing–that’s it’s their fault.
The following info is a set of rules I’ve written for divorcing or separating parents to assist in healthy adult behavior and reduce the nightmare for their children.

THE DIVORCE BILL OF RIGHTS AND WRONGS

Do not tell the other what to do, or how to parent

Neither of you are in a position to expect or request the other to parent in a specific manner. Each of you have control over the parent you are only. You may not approve of the parenting style of the other, but unless the parenting method presents a physical or emotional harm to your children that can be substantiated in a court of law, you have no right to attempt to control the other’s method of parenting, or control the other’s life.

Do not fight in front of the children

Your children do not belong in your divorce. Upset feelings must be addressed divorceprivately with each other, alone. Never insult or bad mouth the mother or father of your children in their presence. It deeply hurts your children; it shames them. You will be tempted to do tell your children that their mother or father is a loser, or worse. DON’T DO IT. Your children love and need both their parent’s regardless of your opinion.

Do not place your children in a surrogate adult position

Adult responsibilities belong to adults. Don’t request your children to fill the role of your ex-spouse. Boys should never be expected or encouraged to be the man of the house. Girls should never be expected or encouraged to be the lady of the house. If your children are assuming adult responsibilities that your ex performed, stop them. It’s your job. You’re the adult.

Do not punish the children for the situation

If you think you’re worried, devastated, and upset, your children are 50 times more worried, devastated, and upset. Refrain from taking out your frustration on them. They need your reassurance and encouragement. Remember, they are living in a situation that resulted from their parent’s choices and decisions. They had no say or control over whether their parent’s would divorce or remain married.

Do not place your children in a position of having to choose one parent over the other

divorce2Children are not weapons or tools to use to get back at your ex; nor are they pawns for manipulating or punishing your ex. If you need your children to love you more than their other parent, that’s an unhealthy issue that your’s, not theirs. Your children love and need both of their parent’s. Encourage that and never interfere with the relationship with their other parent. Never ask or demand that your children side with or against a parent.

Do not lose self-control

If you feel compelled to yell, scream, rant and rave at your ex, do so where your children can’t hear or see you. Your children are learning from you, and you want them to learn self-control and healthy, correct ways to handle anger, right?

Do not dodge responsibility

Your thoughts, attitudes, feelings, and behavior are your responsibility; and belong to no one else. Stop blaming. Stop complaining. The situation may be unfair and not of your choosing, but it’s here. How you deal with it is your responsibility now. You own your life and your choices. Seek adult support. Wise people seek help. It takes about two years to recover from a broken relationship.

Do not get lost

Whether you want to be or not, you’re a role model and mentor to your children. They are watching you. Your children are learning from our words, divorce1moods, attitude, body language, behavior and priorities. They are learning whether a family has value, how to treat each other, how to resolve conflict, and how to handle disappointment, hurt, and frustration. They are learning how to, or how not to, endure and survive. They are learning what’s really important in life, about honor, and what self-respect is. They’re learning all this from watching you and listening to what you say. Keep your head up, remain in self-control, and display integrity.

Do not refuse to keep new rules

Follow any and all rulings of the court. New and appropriate boundaries need to be implemented and respected. There are privileges your ex no longer has and privileges you no longer have. You have no right to know or ask anything about the other unless its about your children. Honor new boundaries and treat your ex with courtesy regardless of how you are treated.
Feel free to contact me for any support and guidance you may need.
Think about it. In caring, Sandy
©All rights reserved, 2014, Dr. Sandy Nelson, E-Couch.net

A Star is born and guess who it is?

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You were born with an instinctive, endless amount of self-acceptance, and self-love. It’s innate. Think about it. You were created with ten fingers and toes, billions of brain cells, a specific DNA, a heart that would pump gallons of blood babyfor years, and an endless supply of self-acceptance, and self-love. When you came into this world, you possessed no fear of disapproval. As a baby in the hospital you didn’t compare yourself to the other babies next to you. You didn’t stay awake in your crib worrying that you might not measure up. You didn’t lie in the arms of adults wondering “Are you mad at me?” As you started to explore your world as a toddler, you existed in glory. You freely showed goofiness and laughable antics. You weren’t concerned if your actions would make you look stupid. You weren’t hung up on avoiding mistakes and appearingbaby1 better than others. You believed you were the Cat’s Pajama’s–fantastic, important, and special! You were open, free-spirited—full of enthusiasm. You didn’t fret over your appearance. You weren’t concern with what someone was thinking about your dance moves or your conversation with toys. You believed in who you were. Your self-love wasn’t shown in self-conceit—it was a sincere and humble certainty that didn’t need to knock others to feel good about yourself. You believed you were special and significant and that others were too. Your world was one of self-love and because you loved yourself, you treated others the same way—with love, value, and acceptance.
Then it started. It was unintentional, of course, yet it shook your world of self-love and slowly, little by little, that self-love dimmed as you believed what some well-meaning adults were saying about you when they were upset, angry, or frustrated.
Children don’t know what is right or wrong, good or bad until an adult tells them. The methods that some adults use to tell kids what’s wrong and bad often, unintentionally, crush a child’s self-love. To avoid raising self-centered, baby2narcissistic kids, well-meaning adults quickly criticize kids who think of themselves first and what they like, want, or need. These kids are told that to seek what pleases them is selfish. When kids express their self-worth by stating their wants, ideas, opinions, and thoughts, they are often scolded. These kids then, sadly, grow up listening and believing what they are told, and conclude that there must be something wrong with them for wanting what they want, liking what they like, and needing what they need. The free-spirited child who once beamed from self-love fades into self-doubt and fear.
What surfaces is a child (and later, an adult) who’s set on pleasing everyone else to avoid rejection, disapproval, and possible withholding of love. Some adults indirectly destroy children’s inborn self-love and teach them to love others instead; not to love others and themselves, but others instead of themselves. Children are taught to honor teachers, ministers, coaches, but not themselves. They’re instructed to respect the neighbors, but not themselves. They’re taught IMG_0684 - Copyto love their parents, siblings, Gramma and Grampa, but not themselves. To be kind to their pets, friends, babysitters, and cousins; but not themselves. They’re told to be gentle with toys, books, pillows, and clothes, but not themselves. They’re taught to remember their mittens, homework, and library books, but not themselves. These children learn that the correct thing to do is to forfeit themselves, give up their own needs, and ignore their own opinions for the approval of other people.
I want you to plow through all the Childhood Programming you received growing up, set it aside for just a minute, and remember who you really are. You’re special and significant, and deep inside yourself you know that’s true. No matter what someone says about you, there’s an inborn part of you that wantsstar to take a stand for what you say about you. You want your own approval. You want dignity and self-respect. You want to stop needing others approval and start wanting your own. Deep inside, you know you deserve more in life. Self-love is the source of all other love.                                                                                
A Star is born and it’s you. Think about it!  -In caring, Dr. Sandy
©All rights reserved, 2014, Dr. Sandy Nelson, E-Couch.net

When it comes to love relationships, how many of us want to modify a few things about the other person?

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As a kid, I didn’t have good role models to learn what was healthy in a love relationship. I didn’t observe any affection or compromise in a marriage. I did witness daily arguments, a lot of bantering about who was right, and daily IMG_0908 - Copy - Copy - Copyrescue-control tactics to conform who was wrong. So by the time I reached dating age, I was ready to start my own search and rescue operation with men. 
As Robin Norwood says so spot on, “How can we explain that it isn’t the person he is that we find so attractive, but the person we’re convinced we can help him become? How can we admit to ourselves or others that we’re in love with someone who doesn’t yet exist, and enchanted with our power to make him appear?”¹
The truth about love is we don’t love instinctively. We learn to love. What has IMG_0200.JPG (2)become instinctual for men and women isn’t to love and respect each other. The far and few between male/female relationships throughout history that were based on love and mutual respect have not been enough to leave us footprints to follow on the relationship path. There are too little cases of love’s ideal union. There is an abundant history, including Adam and Eve, of conflicts, disappointment, criticism, blaming, rejection, resentment, betrayal, death sentences, and historical lines of broken hearts.
The past tells us that’s it’s not an initial impulse to demonstrate acceptance of one another, and that’s what we’ve learned, and learned well. It’s more intuitive for us to debate and fight in relationships, than to demonstrate love. When men disappoint us, our first urge isn’t to look at the situation through the eyes of love, understanding, and forgiveness. We don’t make compromise our first task. No, our first impulse is anger–to argue. We’re more comfortable clinging to self-righteous anger than we are around hugging or paying tribute to our partner. Either way, or even both ways, isn’t this screwed up?
What have been your dating experiences? C’mon say something!
Thanks for your time and replies. -In caring, Dr. Sandy

©All rights reserved, 2014, Dr. Sandy Nelson, E-Couch.net

¹Daily Meditations for Women Who Love Too Much, Robin Norwood

What are you getting out of relationships?

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If you view yourself as a loser, or a flop, because a marriage, friendship, or other significant relationship ended, you don’t have the correct view of yourself. There’s a difference between a relationship failing and a relationship ending. If you view past unhappy relationships as failures, you will create more unhappy relationships in the future.

If you acquired wisdom from past relationships, you will create happier IMG_0536relationships in the future. Life is a series of relationships. We’re drawn to friendships and love relationships to make us wiser and add to our lives. But sometimes that’s the problem—we often don’t learn from relationship experiences. Instead we become more bitter, more resentful, more distrusting, more self-degrading, and deeper in self-pity. We get stuck in the hurt and repeat poor choices in relationships rather than look at the lesson from the experience and learning what to do differently. Author Alan Cohen wrote, “We form new relationships according to the way we think about old ones.” You want to break that any cycle.

A relationship can only be defined as a failure if you didn’t learn from the experience – if you didn’t look at your role that could have contributed to IMG_0363its ending. For instance, if more than one person tells you that you fail to pay attention, that’s an area you should give thought to since it would be a positive trait that’s necessary in a good relationship. If you have a trail of dumped relationships with individuals who are part of a rock band, what’s that telling you? If you acquire information about yourself that you didn’t have before the relationship, then you have successfully gained wisdom to use in future relationships. Sometimes we want the truth to fit the situation. When it doesn’t, it’s easier to ignore the truth than to change the situation. Ignoring the truth when it comes to relationships, will prevent happiness in your life.

It’s helpful to see past unhappy relationships as learning experiences. And you need to be aware of what exactly you learned about your choices, attitude, and behavior and make adjustments where necessary. Take responsibility for improving your life. Every person in your life has something to teach you. Listen. Observe. Successful relationships are those in which both individuals are happy with themselves first, and therefore, possess self-confidence and a healthy independence.

What are the relationship mistakes you feel best prepared to avoid today? -Dr. Sandy

 

What did the adults in your childhood tell you about yourself?

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Fred Rogers tells us, “The roots of a child’s ability to cope and thrive, regardless of circumstance, lie in that child’s having had at least a small, safe place (an apartment? a room? a lap?) in which, in the companionship of a loving person, that child could discover that he or she was lovable and capable of loving in return.”¹ 

What did the adults in your childhood tell you about yourself?

IMG_0418We were born with an enormous amount of self-love and love for others. Our enthusiasm and joy for life was clearly apparent as we began to explore the world.  Whether those attributes were able to grow within us, and thus enable us to believe in ourselves, depended a great deal on how the adults in our lives handled our individual needs and how they dealt with our mistakes.

If we were encouraged to be great and if we were not shamed when we were not, then it is easier for us to believe in our abilities. If the adults in our childhood believed in us and trusted us, then we are more likely to believe in ourselves and possess self-confidence

It is never too late to have a happy childhood. Today, provide to yourself the love and acceptance which may have been missing in your childhood. -Dr. Sandy

¹From Mister Rogers Talks With Parents by Fred Rogers