What does this blog and a box of chocolates have in common? You never know what you’re gonna get.

unnamedIf you’re new to Stop Giving It Away, you’ll find here insight into the lives and behaviors of women … their families … their coworkers, their friends and their lovers — all tapped from my combined 20 years of experience first as a clinical social worker in child welfare agencies, sexual assault and substance abuse treatment programs, then as a psychotherapist, listener and counselor.

Today, I’ve assembled a few of my best blog snippets for both newcomers and regular readers alike. Feel free to share your insight too.

Family Occasions and Bumping Into Parts of Ourselves
Weddings, funerals, birthdays, holidays and special occasions — the gathering of families, including the relatively happy ones, evokes memories, rivalries and disappointments from our childhood. One of my mentors, Arlene Englander, LCSW, wrote an article about holidays, families and what triggers people in one of her newsletters at The Wellness Source. It’s so good, I wanted to share Arlene’s wisdom here again.

There we are, suddenly bumping into parts of ourselves we thought we had outgrown, unconsciously reverting to the role we once played, even though who we are now has little to do with who we were then.

But what if you could see a family gathering as a teaching experience rather than an upsetting reminder of the painful past.

It takes inner strength and grace to show love when you feel hurt, to see good when the energy is negative, and to hold your tongue when you’re being provoked but, when you control your reactions, you create an opening for seeing what needs healing in the family heritage.

Observe your mother’s compulsion to control every situation … watch your sister gossip incessantly … recognize your father’s patronizing attitude toward your opinions.

Then instead of churning in frustration, ask yourself, what do these people show me about myself, what do I have in common with them, what do they teach me about how to live?

You may discover that accepting your family’s quirks (and strengths) can help you accept yourself for who you are and, when needed, show you how to go your own way for a happy, healthier and more peaceful life.

A Busy Girl’s Guide to Self-Care

physical — professional — artistic — spiritual — sexual

Pick one of these categories and take a step each day to work on. Start small. Caring for yourself is important and challenging, especially in a world where women are encouraged to care for others first. Hold a mirror to yourself today and check in on your own self-care. Read more.

Top post at Nurse.com. The topic of resentment. Nurse or not, resentment is something we all feel from time to time. How do you balance care with self-care? Read more.

New at PsychCentral. When staying busy aids in denial. Helpful questions for relationships. Read more.

Take care,