Five Ways to Present Your Best Self and Create Harmony in Your Relationships

Have you ever stopped to just listen to yourself?

Do you communicate well with others? Do you show love and support through the way you talk and act? Do you even recognize how you show up for yourself, and whether you are doing yourself a disservice in those moments? Consider the idea that when one chooses bad behavior, in part or in whole, it is a reflection of one’s character.

If you find yourself yelling at someone, saying things you regret, or barking foul language, you eventually will be remorseful. That is, of course, if you have a conscience.

Look, everyone has bad days, bad situations, and hard luck. I know I do. There are times when I’ve had regret on how I presented myself, what I’ve said, and what I’ve done. Although we all must move beyond those moments, forgiving each other, how we handle ourselves in those situations, and whether or not we realize our flaws, is what makes all the difference. Our future depends upon it.

Here are five ways to show up for yourself and salvage those relationships:

  1. Make a happier you. If there’s only one thing that comes from presenting yourself well, it is that you create a happier life for yourself. You do this by showing up for yourself; choosing your reactions. Since you’re more aware of what you say and do, you won’t get all worked up in the emotional end of a situation. You know how to think on your feet. Obviously, that doesn’t mean there won’t be pain in the process, but how you react to that pain can change the scenario dramatically. In time, you figure out how to make every situation work a little bit better.
  2. If you owe one, give it. With relationships comes disagreements; it’s normal for most people…and apologies soon follow. If you owe one, give it. However, open ears and an open heart can only hear the words “I’m sorry” so many times. The receiver must believe, without a doubt, that you are truly sorry, and that you understand how you hurt them. Then again, if this situation is one that continually happens, chances are your words will be ignored. The belief that things will change will not be an option.
  3. Create a plan and make a vow to shine. Make a vow to pay attention to yourself. Recognize your trigger points, ahead of time, and figure out what you can do to avoid potential conflict that comes your way. Remove yourself from negative conversations, and most definitely refrain from stirring the pot, so to speak. Promise yourself going into situations that you will show up in the best version of yourself.
  4. Look for the solutions. Take the time to look for positive remedies for when issues arise. Find ways to combat conflict without a negative tone. Being mature about the outcome can create solutions that you never thought of before now.
  5. Do your homework and make good choices. If you believe with all your heart that the relationship is worth salvaging, then go after it. If the connection was not meant to be, and is not important to your future, then let it go. Holding on to combative relationships, or the resentment, remorse, and bitterness that comes with the territory will only destroy you in the process.

In the end, relationships created out of love or respect usually overcome the small details of petty issues. Connections that don’t have at least one of these two ingredients, love or respect, may very well discontinue once conflict arises. Even with the words of apology, there’s a strong possibility that one or the other may not want to continue the relationship.

We only have so many love connections in this world. Do your part to find ways to keep those connections alive and well. Be the hero, take a chance, and be vulnerable with your heart. Let others know you care. You might be surprised how many hearts will open through your actions.


Kimberly Mitchell
Author of Loving with Purpose

To read more on dating, relationships, family and friends, check out my book, Loving with Purpose, or go to any of the following links…

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Paying Attention to Each Present Moment – the Attitude of Gratitude

Car on Drugs

Our Presence is Required


By Mary Cook, M.A., R.A.S.

Trauma and addiction teach us defensiveness, despair, distraction, fear, neediness and offensiveness.  Rather than paying attention to our current circumstances, we’re running away from or chasing after something to relieve pain.  Rather than noticing who we are in the moment, we are repeatedly seeking ways to artificially alter, numb or heighten who we see ourselves to be.

Abstaining from active addiction and living without current trauma does not stop the mental, emotional and physical habit patterns from the past.  We continue to carry fear and false beliefs and their corresponding defense mechanisms and character defects, into our current circumstances and future probabilities, until we heal.  In our struggles with problems and our quests for answers, our energy is often scattered.  Our minds can get very busy with possibilities, scenarios, fears and wishes.  Many times our minds multiply problems rather than solve them, or create solutions that are worse than the original problem.

Past physical violations and abuse commonly lead to psychological disconnection or disassociation with our bodies.  Symptoms from these defenses include presenting the body as an object to be used, neglect of the body, re-enactment of abuse, fear, shame and hatred of the body, and unhealthy measures to protect and obtain control over the body, the latter often seen in various eating disorders.

Mental and emotional trauma typically results in denial and repression of painful thoughts, feelings and memories.  This then leads to chronic feelings of confusion, anxiety, depression, fear and anger, as well as emotional constriction, rigid thinking and intellectualization.  Intuition, discernment and even common sense can be deficient, causing significant instability.

Understandably we don’t wish to feel pain, powerlessness and emptiness.  Yet, when we are living in safe, sane and sober conditions, resistance to these emotions prevents their resolution.  Paying attention to each present moment as it appears and disappears, and becoming more aware of the observer part of ourselves that doesn’t think or act, and is not attached to human willfulness, brings a spiritual perspective to learning and maturing.  Facing and processing emotions and experiences from the past, with healthy support people, and the goal of insight and healing, brings us positive energy. This enables us to increasingly release the energy from past trauma and addiction and find our true selves.

When we have conflict, we often perceive ourselves to be struggling with external forces.  Our blaming of others serves to reinforce negative energies inside of us.  If we are more psychologically evolved, we see how external struggles also reflect internal conflicts.  Internal strife without loving insight however, also reinforces negative energies.  If we are spiritually evolved, we understand that every conflict is an opportunity to learn something new and expand our understanding and active demonstration of spiritual principles.  When we cease resisting the lessons, stop disconnecting from ourselves, and when we exchange negative energies for compassionate inquiry and commitment to personal growth, we begin to realize the blessings within us.

Inner Child Healing

Boy & Sea

Boy & Sea


By Mary Cook, M.A., R.A.S.

Rigidity is a sign of aging, illness and death.  It can be hardening of the arteries or the prisons of addictions.  Our eyes can be glued to pornography, and miss the loving affection from our own child.  We might attempt to escape fear by imposing our will upon others.  We can be stuck in a whirlpool of unending desires or carry the carnage of resentments on our back.  Lives can be lost behind walls of isolation, or in busyness pridefully pretending to be productivity.  These are all ways of attaching ourselves to the edges of life, afraid to let go of our primal pain and its’ defenses.

In contrast, healthy children are focused on loving, learning, playing and evolving.  They are flexible, resilient and immersed in the natural flow of life.  They fully engage with the moment, which births the newness of the next moment.  Their play is devoid of judgment and self-consciousness.  It is children jumping up and down or babbling and squealing to the sound of music.  It’s free, spontaneous, relaxed, joyful, creative inner expression.  The feelings that accompany this kind of playfulness are often missing in adults.

A stressful or traumatic childhood leaves our inner child self frightened and stuck in dark places.  Lack of healthy bonding removes the lightness of life, in exchange for the stagnancy and emptiness of obsessions and compulsions.  As adults attempting to heal our inner child, we can visualize and surround this child with compassionate love and understanding.  We can know the child’s pain without becoming, denying, judging, resisting or fighting it.  We can show them that we will not drown in their torrent of tears, nor abandon them in response to their rejection, confusion, fear and emptiness.  Nor will we become defensive, offensive or die from their feelings of rage.  This patient, consistent acceptance and deeper awareness ultimately frees the inner child from pain and defenses.  Inner child bonding and healing creates a new sense of safety which stimulates flexibility, resilience and growth for our adult self, bringing a sense of hope, lightness and vitality that softens suffering, promotes happiness and puts us in the fullness of life.