Life's Most Valuable Lessons

 

And How to Make Sure They’re Helping You!

By Mary R. Dittman, M.B.A.

 

My greatest heartbreak occurred when the man I’d been dating for a year told me he wasn’t ready for marriage.  I’d met him when he was separated and finalizing his divorce - a scenario that made me nervous, but he seemed like he had completed his emotional business with that failed marriage.  When he told me he didn’t know what he wanted, I said I needed a break.  I figured some time apart would have him ready to get engaged. 

It worked: six months later he was engaged to another woman.  They married shortly thereafter.

I immediately jumped back into online dating.  I met a schoolteacher who was marriage-minded and excited about me.  But something felt “off.”  I uncovered his recent - and disturbing - criminal record, so I ended the relationship.  He proceeded to stalk, harass, and terrify me...

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How to Make Peace with the Past

 

How to Move On and Get Different Results in Life

By Mary R. Dittman, M.B.A.

Regret.  We all have at least one relationship we look back on and wish we’d done things differently.  Or wish things had been different.  Or wonder what we could have done or not done to cause things to turn out differently.

Sometimes, that regret is hard to shake because we keep repeating our mistakes.  We start to feel like it’s just the same heartache over and over.  Actually, that’s valid.  Sometimes we truly are experiencing the same heartache, just with different people, because we are doing the same things over and over.

One of the best ways I have learned to make peace with the past is to use a tool from Alcoholics Anonymous: the Fourth Step.  In the Fourth Step, the alcoholic makes a “searching and fearless moral inventory” of herself.  This is where you write down everyone you’re resentful towards, why you are...

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Forgive Your Parents

 

They Probably Did the Best They Could

By Mary R. Dittman, M.B.A.

 

Most of us can look back on something our parents did - or didn’t - do and wish it had been different.

My mom confided to me recently that watching my brother and his wife raise their two children is very different from the way she and my dad raised us.  

“We just didn’t know what you know now,” she said.  “We followed the most current advice and the best practices at the time, but now there’s so much more knowledge and information I wish we’d had.”

It’s true.  Forty years later, people raise their children differently than many of us were raised.

Maybe you don’t have any issues about how you were raised - that’s great.  This may not be for you, or you may be able to apply it to another situation in your life.

I’ve had a number of men complain about women’s baggage - it’s the bitterness and the drama they are...

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Dealing With Disappointment

 

 

What To Do When Things Don’t Go Your Way

By Mary R. Dittman, M.B.A.

 

Part of life is dealing with the disappointment we feel when things don’t go our way.

Maybe the promotion we’d hoped for went to someone else.  Or we never heard back from that cute guy after 3 dates.  Or you made an offer on a house and it was rejected.

Even though we know things aren’t always going to turn out how we want them to, sometimes disappointment is harder to get over than we expect.  We hash and rehash it over in our minds, hoping to figure out where things went “wrong.”  

If you’ve ever had disappointment grow and take on a life of its own, you understand how important it is to keep your perspective so that you don’t slide down into an emotional pit of despair.

Here are some ways to keep the disappointment contained so that you can move on:

1. “This is what is supposed to be happening.”

Marie Forleo suggests...

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Forgive Your Parents

 

They Probably Did the Best They Could

By Mary R. Dittman, M.B.A.

 

Most of us can look back on something our parents did - or didn’t - do and wish it had been different.

My mom confided to me recently that watching my brother and his wife raise their two children is very different from the way she and my dad raised us.  

“We just didn’t know what you know now,” she said.  “We followed the most current advice and the best practices at the time, but now there’s so much more knowledge and information I wish we’d had.”

It’s true.  Forty years later, people raise their children differently than many of us were raised.

Maybe you don’t have any issues about how you were raised - that’s great.  This may not be for you, or you may be able to apply it to another situation in your life.

I’ve had a number of men complain about women’s baggage - it’s the bitterness and the drama they are...

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What Does “Love Yourself” Mean?

 

 Self-Respect Makes You Sexy!

By Mary R. Dittman, M.B.A.

 

One of the pieces of advice that has always confused me is when someone says, “You just need to love yourself.”

What does that mean?

For me, self-love is a tough concept to grasp.  But, it seems to be a recurring theme so I wanted to understand it!

I started to see that one way to define self love is “self respect.”  If you love something, you value it.  If you value it, you take care of it.

If you love yourself, you take care of yourself: physically, mentally, emotionally.

When you love yourself, you don’t put yourself in harm’s way.  You don’t place the other person’s wellbeing ahead of your own (unless they are your child). 

You don’t do things that devalue yourself (like being hungover at work or dating married men).  You don’t let other people devalue you or disrespect you. 

What’s interesting is that men find...

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Victim or Hero?

 

Which Role Are You Playing?

By Mary R. Dittman, M.B.A.

 

As women, we frequently like the fairy tales where the princess is rescued by Prince Charming.  While it’s fashionable to bash these damsel-in-distress stories, there is some biological basis to them.  As women, we want community and connection, and we want a man to provide for us.

In many ways, our culture supports us in identifying ourselves as victims.  While it’s out-of-vogue to use the word “victim,” it’s very much “in” to talk about your past trauma, your current drama, and how you were messed up by your dad or mama.

But, who are you rooting for in an action movie?  The hero or the victim?  The hero, of course!  

“Wonder Woman” was a blockbuster hit in 2017.  Nobody’s waiting for “‘Why Me?’ Woman” to come out!

If you have suffered a major trauma, then it’s time to deal with that.  And...

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Why You Don’t Get to Skip Life Lessons

 

And How to Make Sure They’re Helping You!

By Mary R. Dittman, M.B.A.

 

My greatest heartbreak occurred when the man I’d been dating for a year told me he wasn’t ready for marriage.  I’d met him when he was separated and finalizing his divorce - a scenario that made me nervous, but he seemed like he had completed his emotional business with that failed marriage.  When he told me he didn’t know what he wanted, I said I needed a break.  I figured some time apart would have him ready to get engaged. 

It worked: six months later he was engaged to another woman.  They married shortly thereafter.

I immediately jumped back into online dating.  I met a schoolteacher who was marriage-minded and excited about me.  But something felt “off.”  I uncovered his recent - and disturbing - criminal record, so I ended the relationship.  He proceeded to stalk, harass, and terrify me for months.

Between the...

Continue Reading...
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