Life Advice


Health & Spirit

Troubled teen can't seem to forgive

By Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Your unwillingness (or inability) to forgive yourself is holding you back and keeping you stuck in a period of deep pain.

One perspective on this is to understand that you deserve to release and liberate yourself from this, because your guilt is holding you back and impairing your ability to give the world the generous and loving person that resides within.

Your choice to explore this in therapy and to face your actions speaks so well of you. The fact that you take responsibility for your actions and respect the process means that you will prevail. You already have insight. Now you need to cultivate gentleness, patience and self-love.

Meditation and daily self-affirmation can help you to uncouple your current self from the lonely and troubled young person you were.

I am currently reading "The Places that Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times," by Buddhist thinker Pema Chodron (2002, Shambhala). You are already "leaning in" to your scariest places. The next phase for you is to continue the hard work of forgiveness, detachment and reconciliation.

Dear Amy: I recently met a great lady on a dating site. I have been single for eight years, and I have never really felt butterflies until I met this girl.

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I think I tried too hard to impress her. She suggested I slow it down a notch.

I did, but then I started to go fast again. She has just told me she cannot go that fast (not yet), so she suggested that we stop seeing each other.

We had some great times together and she has said she is glad I am in her life.

I admit this is my fault, but we have so much going for us, I don't want to throw it away.


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