Photo by Engin Akyurt from Pexels

When we struggle with frustrations, overwhelm, anger, anxiety, our family members or keeping our socks together in pairs, there is this one advice we hear often:

Love yourself.

That is good advice. When we fully love ourselves, life becomes infinitely better. When we love ourselves every moment, we can handle economic crises, lunatic presidents and in-house tantrums with ease and elegance.

Question is: how the heck do you do this?

It is like saying: oh, just become enlightened and things will be fine.

I have to guess that this is true, because I have not been enlightened so far. But…

When I Learned That Wisdom Cannot Be Force-Fed

Photo by Alistair MacRobert on Unsplash

It is not like I am constantly preaching at my husband. It is just that I often seem to come up with brilliant insights and solutions for his problems. Loving wife that I am, I happily share them. Except my husband is not interested. For the longest time I wondered why.

Brazilians call it the dilemma of the saint, who cannot perform miracles at home. My words seem to have a wondrous impact on colleagues, clients, friends, and sometimes complete strangers. …

When Mind Returns to Body

Which one is reality? Photo by Manuela Adler from Pexels

My husband grew up in the Amazon rain forest.

Until he met me, he had never left the forest, let alone his country Brazil. His world is physical, raw, natural. He grew up with hard physical labor on the field and in the forest. Hunting and fishing was how he learned to provide for his family. Things were not thrown away and replaced by the next order on Amazon. They were repaired, mended, taken apart and reassembled. Conversations with other men were and still are centered around fish, boats, game and games, football and politics. Communication with women was and…

Why Shaming Is Not the Solution

Photo by Wallace Chuck from Pexels

About 150 years ago and lasting some decades, scores of women were labeled with a diagnosis of ‘hysteria’ which, as Mark Micale put it, described “everything that men found mysterious or unmanageable in women.”[1]

Fortunately, such a thing would be impossible today. What an outrageous idea! It doesn’t matter that some of the women’s behavior may, in fact, have been very challenging to deal with; it is clear that indiscriminately lumping together all kinds of behaviors into a single definition of pathology is not only unhelpful in creating a better environment for both women and men. Worse, it is completely…

Remembering the light

Note: I’m writing this in she-form, because it is based on my own experience and I am a female. The same applies to boys, of course, I believe.

It’s probably one of the worst nightmares a parent can imagine: your child comes home and tells you about her experience of sexual abuse she just suffered. All the warnings and precautions have failed to protect your child. You have failed. The unspeakable has happened.

How parents react to this situation is still subject to a lot of cultural beliefs and individual emotional and mental capacities. There are a thousand questions to…

The limiting benefits of labeling humans

When I was 17, I got into a relationship with a 24-year-old man [note to U.S. readers: this is normal and not illegal in Europe].

I had not been really interested in him, but he was very insistent and I ran out of arguments. 18 months later I ended the relationship without really knowing why. I just felt I had to get out of it. Years later I met him again and he complained to me how I had ‘spoiled him’ to the degree that he now only engaged in SM relationships with young girls, who had been heavily abused…

How do we have difficult conversations? Any time we expect a conversation to be(come) difficult, it is because we assume that either the other person will reject what we propose or they will be hurt by what we share with them. I want to talk about the latter.


I have had two conversations lately that I dreaded as potentially quite difficult. That is, they appeared difficult in my mind until the moment I had them. In both cases I anticipated the others to be hurt, upset or let down by me. The first conversation I had to have was with…

Shame spits into your romantic dinner. Shame coughs blood on the hands that reach out. Shame laughs its ugly cackle at your reflection in the mirror. Shame is the last door in your dungeon. Locked tight with a thousand padlocks, barricaded, fortified with thick chains and boarded up with massive wood. A door so deep down you have forgotten it was there. Except when you hear it spit, its coughing, its laughter it. When it spoils your moments of freedom, intimacy and expression. When it pops up like a jack-in-a-box before you make that courageous move.

You can keep that…

Photo by Nadir sYzYgY on Unsplash

Aren’t we the selfless ones?

“My husband could save so much time, if only he’d listen to me,” sighs Diane. She used to do what most of us do when the other fails to comply: she repeated her instructions. Maybe, somehow, he overheard her casually mentioning 348 times that if he cut all the veggies first he could save at least four minutes every time he prepared a meal? Or maybe he did not. Instead of happily taking up Diane’s advice and changing the way he operates in the kitchen, he firmly invited Diane to leave.

Diana is not alone…

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Most of us are primarily concerned with the question: what can I get?

That question is futile. You can have it all. The real question is: what are you willing to receive?

When I ask people that question I usually get some funny looks. “Why, of course, I’m happy to receive. After all, I’m asking for it! Who wouldn’t want to receive a check over $500,000 or a whole pack of orange-flavored chocolate?”

Think again. How do you react when someone praises your work? Do you take it in with a smile, say thank you and enjoy the message? Or…

Julia Pereira Dias

Writing about life beyond ego.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store