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January 3, 2016

If I’m Being Honest

kindnessquote{illustration: Jen B. Peters}

Hello friends and HNY! I know it’s been awhile since I’ve written something personal. After a life-changing adventure in India then holidazzling for days, I sort of couldn’t find my blogging bearings in all of the emotion and commotion. It’s a familiar challenge for me, overwhelm followed by total paralysis. The dirty little secret that I’ve eluded to here and here but never fully admitted to anyone, including a therapist (ummmmm), is that I am not very kind to myself. I’ve been living a lie in this department, albeit one that looks very loving and even luxurious from the outside. It goes something like this: When I feel sad/lonely/tired/confused/depressed I have a way of piling on more trips, more massages, more happy hours and more projects to make myself feel happy and productive. Instead, I wind up anxious, exhausted, and utterly depleted on a soul level. I am only now starting to take seriously my need to slow down and be still, not as an experiment or a resolution, but as essential to my well-being. In order to carve out this time for rest and reflection, I will face the biggest challenge of them all: Believing that I’m worthy of self-love for no reason other than I exist. With rare exception (and oh, these are the most joyous, peaceful days), I’ve been living in a way that only values my career achievements. When I’m not high as a kite on one of those, I start judging myself to the point of abuse. I hate myself for not being more successful, for not knowing EXACTLY what I want to do next and EXACTLY how I’m going to do it, and for not having all of the skills, knowledge and contacts I need to change the world. Yeah. There it is. Just typing that makes my skin crawl it sounds so crazy and self-destructive. For the record, I DO go through most days with a smile on my face, and it is genuine because I’m so grateful for the amazing people in my life. But inside I feel like a failure. Rationally, I know that’s ridiculous. I don’t think anyone else is a failure. I don’t care what anyone else does for a living. I care about how they treat and interact with others, the energy that they share with the world, the way that they love. But as you can see, I am yet to convince myself that I deserve that same respect. This is where I begin 2016, with full awareness of the ways in which I hold myself back from living and loving and just being. Wish me luck and please, share your own story below if it feels right. Those help more than you know!


  • Elizabeth Dehn
    Born and raised in Minnesota by surprisingly low-maintenance parents, beauty writer and lifestyle editor Elizabeth Dehn (aka Bets) spent her awkward years buying Mood lipstick and whipping up DIY face masks before founding Beauty Bets in 2009.
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