Accept Your Flaws and Rejoice Over What You Have to Learn from Them!

Everyone is flawed. It’s a simple fact of life. In some Eastern cultures flaws are seen as opportunities to make yourself more valuable, more beautiful. But that’s seldom the case in the Western world. We see flaws as things about ourselves to be ashamed of, to hide, and we use them against ourselves. We give so much personal power to our flaws that we live in constant fear that someone is going to discover them and expose us to the rest of the world.

Being fearful over flaws is a form of insanity. What is there to be fearful about when everyone on the face of this planet is faced with being flawed? Nothing. Fear is a misuse of our imagination.

Instead of worrying about flaws, I now choose to look at them as opportunities for personal growth, and in owning my flaws, I feel REAL. I don’t feel like a fraud anymore. In fact, I stand before large groups of people and publicly admit to my flaws in order to teach them to do the same.

Once we accept our flaws, we take away their negative po…

Life’s Enchantment Is of Your Own Making When You Accept Yourself Just as You Are

Intro: This is a reworking of a previous post that I believe is often overlooked and needs to be read. 

“What’s there really to be sad about? The secret is that you love each other. You have a gift of sight not granted to other people. Cherish it. Keep the fire of your love burning and you’ll never be anything but fair and handsome to each other. That’s the charm, the only enchantment the cottage holds, and it’s of your own making.” Mrs. Minnett, The Enchanted Cottage
The Enchanted Cottage (RKO, 1945) is one of my favorite movies. This film is filled with tremendous emotional power—on behalf of the actors and the audience. The primary characters are Oliver Bradford (Robert Young) and Laura Pennington (Dorothy McGuire). Both face tremendous personal struggles with self-acceptance as the movie unfolds.
Laura’s began as a child when it seems she was dubbed an ugly duckling. Believing herself to be ugly, Laura grew up to be the homely old maid of the small New England town where she was born.…

Stop People-Pleasing: Let Your Yes be Yes and Your No be No!

Many people with addictive personalities, especially codependents, spend a huge portion of their lives people-pleasing. People-pleasing is actually nothing more than lying and manipulation. We lie to ourselves and others about what we like or don’t like, what we’re “happy” to be doing for them and what we believe— all for the express purpose of gaining their approval, of manipulating them into liking us.

I used to be a real pro at people-pleasing. I didn’t believe I had any worth or value in and of myself, so I people-pleased anyone who would throw me crumbs of their attention. I tried my hardest to seduce them into liking me, even when it meant doing things I hated doing.

Recovery has rescued me from this behavior. I don’t need anyone’s approval to have value in this life. I don’t have to say “yes” when I want to say “NO.” I don’t have to bend my beliefs or ideals or values to gain anyone else’s approval.

And when I stand up for myself, own my personal power, and say “NO” to someone…

Self-Acceptance is the Key to Healthy Self-Love

There can be no self-love without self-acceptance. The two are directly linked and self-acceptance— complete and unconditional— must come first. It’s our ability to accept ourselves 100%, just the way we are, that produces a healthy self-love.

So what are you refusing to accept about yourself? Is it your face, your hair, your body size? Is it your personality, especially if you are an introvert and are often uncomfortable around others? Is it your level of intelligence? Is it your perceived lack of creativity or talent? Is it the color of your skin, or your gender or your sexual orientation? Is it your past or current behavior? Whatever you choose to dislike or even hate about yourself blocks your self-acceptance. And prevents you from loving yourself just the way God created you.

My self-acceptance was never based in my “self” from childhood forward. It was always based in what other people told me about myself: “Your too fat,” “your too thin,” “you’re lacking in intelligence,” “you…

Hey, Drama Queens! Put Out Your Own Fires Now. I’ve Got Better Things to Do!

I no longer allow myself to get caught up in other people’s drama. The need to be the great rescuer, to feel responsible for everyone else’s issues and problems, has left me. And it feels great.

I don’t need to get involved in other people’s chaos to avoid myself. I’m facing my own issues, I’m learning to stop creating my own chaos as well, and I’m liking me and my life better than I ever have before.

Recently I walked in on a drama-in-process at work. Two people were caught up in a disagreement and one of them immediately seized hold of my arm and wanted me to take her side. I shook it off and said “Not my circus, not my monkeys”— and kept walking. Whatever the problem was, I had no intention of getting caught up in it, or owning any part of it.

If people at work, home or anywhere want to create drama and chaos I have no intentions of participating in it anymore. I don’t think the woman at work appreciated my comment or the fact that I walked away, refusing to engage in the chaos I’…

I’m Changing My Thoughts and Choosing to Be Happy

I am tired of choosing to be miserable by choosing to feed negative thoughts. I’m tired of looking at complete strangers, who have scowls on their faces, and thinking their expressions are about me. I’m tired of wasting my time wanting things I can’t have, like being younger, being better looking, being perfect or not being alone. In other words, I’m tired of fighting reality and losing. I’m exhausted by years of negative, self-deprecating thoughts that make me emotionally miserable. So no more negativity. I’m going rogue. I’m becoming an optimist!
I didn’t choose to be raised in an alcoholic household. I didn’t choose to become an addict. But I did choose— at a very young age— to adopt the negative, fearful thinking that consumed my mother and hastened her premature death. I will always be a recovering codependent. I can’t change that. Once we develop addictive personalities, we can’t eliminate them, but we can learn to have power over them. A big part of changing them involves chan…

Stop Living Your Life to Please Others

I’m giving a series of talks at a church in the Phoenix, Arizona, area this week. The theme of the talks is “Feed Your Faith, Not Your Fear.” Last Sunday I spoke at all of the services to promote my series of talks this week. I overwhelmingly received positive feedback from the people in the pews— with the exception of one curmudgeon.

He walked up to me outside the church, verbally insulted me, and then threw his ugly theology into my face. I was gracious and told him that I was willing to agree to disagree with him, but that his personal attacks weren’t going to change what I know is right in my heart and conscience. He walked away grumbling.

I had already planned to go to the nearby Arizona Renaissance Festival that afternoon because I had free time before the evening service. And as I drove to the Festival, I left that man and his arrogant negativity behind. It was a first for me. Once I arrived at the Festival, I never once thought about that man or his abusive behavior. I thorou…