Forgiveness is Confusing

Milli Fox, Toronto based blogger focused on self help and self love ❤️ You know those times where someone accidentally hurts you and you feel a sudden rush of anger. Maybe they stepped on your toe or banged into your arm, and even though you know they didn’t mean too you’re still pissed. You didn’t deserve that, why were they so careless?

You know it’s illogical to be angry, but that doesn’t stop you from feeling the feelings. It’s almost an automatic response. I’m the victim, I have a right.

I feel as though this situation is parallel in so many ways to when people hurt us emotionally. There are so many factors that play into it, of course, but most of the time (even in the worst ways) people who hurt us emotionally never intended to. It’s the same carelessness, shortsightedness, and self-involvement that causes both types of inflictions.

The people who hurt us are being pushed and pulled by so many other forces that were almost just an unlucky canoe rocking in the wake of their “shit”. I can pretty much guarantee it’s not about you.

Even still, it doesn’t stop us from feeling the hurt, and being pissed.

So, we feel the feelings. We need to. We obviously can’t shove it under the rug. That can only make things worse.

But sometimes we come around to the point of wanting to let it go. We come around to the point of wanting to forgive.

Forgiveness, however, can be a tricky thing. It has been for me, anyway. On one hand, you hear things like “forgiveness will set you free”. But deep inside you fear that giving in and forgiving will dismiss the hurt that was caused.

It almost feels like letting someone off the hook.

Although if we return to the concept I introduced at the beginning of this blog, we can begin to look at it in a similar vein.

We can circle back around to logic, but instead of it all coming from the head- we can also pull from the heart.

In the bigger picture, forgiveness is seeing the situation as larger than just you and the person who hurt you. It’s recognizing that the person who hurt you is much more than all the programming that led them to do so.

Love is that the core of everyone, and to be honest, the most painful part of it all is believing anything otherwise.

Does it not instantly soften you to think of people as inherently good, but just subject to shitty conditions? It does for me.

Don’t get me wrong, there is a still a battlefield in my mind. My ego-self still wants to be pissed. After all, the person I’m working to forgive is the one that was supposed to be my foundational source of safety, my mother. Instead she spent her life derailing mine.

A huge part of me still feels the sting. But when I realize that it’s not just me as my “ego representative” forgiving her “ego representative” and that it’s not me losing, I feel relief. When I realize that it’s the deep seated self that lives at the core of me, under my thoughts, under my wild emotions fueled by hormones and external conditions. The one that’s there in those quiet spaces between the whirlwind of human existence, I feel relief.

When I know that the work I’m doing to forgive is me choosing love over anger, I feel the work is larger than the relationship between her and I alone.

Forgiveness is choosing to recognize that same core in another person, regardless of all the shit that’s built up on top of it over the years. Like a tumbleweed of ca-ca.

Forgiveness doesn’t mean you have to let that person have access to you in the same way ever again. In fact, probably best to learn a bit more about setting healthy boundaries from the experience.

Forgiveness doesn’t mean you have to be “nice” or “friendly” it just has to come from the heart.

Forgiveness is FOR YOU. But it’s also for everyone around you because anger and hate in your heart are never neutral. They ARE hurting someone. Believing people are inherently bad only puts a negative filter on your entire outlook on the world. And when a negative outlook or a bitter heart is your starting point, that will affect every interaction you have with every person you ever encounter, even if it’s just in the most minuscule ways.

I’m not saying you have to open your heart to everyone you pass by- in fact, quite the opposite. People need to earn your trust and the position in your life to have that kind of backstage access.

I’m just saying the work of forgiveness isn’t like a game of tennis where one person ultimately must lose. I think it’s noble work. It’s honourable work. And don’t forget, it is WORK.

It takes time, but all things that are worth it do. So as you rub your funny bone, even though it’s never funny; and you swear under your breath. Have a little chat with yourself about it, or 26463737 chats over several years. But I suggest you keep revisiting the idea, even if you only take tiny steps towards it. A step towards forgiveness is always one in the right direction.

Do you have someone you’re havinf tepuvle forgiving??


WTF is Surrender?

Some days I feel like crying but it’s not all bad. I feel sad, I feel overwhelmed. I have an ever apparent lump in my throat- but it’s not about my life.

It’s about the world and the complexity of it all. I feel overheleming gratitude, at the same time as the sadness. I feel powerlessness but also an incredible force within me at the same time.

I think this conflict comes from feeling myself both as an individual and as a part of something much bigger than myself at the same time. When I feel like trying to change things as the small, earthly fleck of a human being that I am, I feel so hopeless.

But when I tap into the undercurrent inside me, when I get quiet and I feel connected, then I feel like things are infinitely possible.

I can see why there is so much anxiety, because in my world, trying to force and DO makes me feel less powerful. The more I realize that surrendering to instinct and paying attention to the signs and guidance right in front of my face, the more hope and peace I feel.

This doesn’t mean I believe in doing nothing. It means the doing comes from a less feverish place. It comes from a deep well of knowledge with a very carefully laid out plan that I just can’t see in its entirety yet.

There was a time when I thought giving up my individual plans to just go with life as it comes to me made me feel very anxious. How could I have the assurance that I could become everything that I want for myself in this life time if I don’t exert force?

How can I achieve if I don’t grind?

I think the desperate energy that goes along with all of that ALWAYS puts a big halt on progress and leaves you spinning your wheels in the mud. From my experience, every single time I’ve let go of the desperate attachment to how things should be, and the exact path I felt I should take towards something I wanted, things started to show up on their own and everything started to fall into place and align as if it were magic.

Who knows why we always forget that surrender isn’t giving up, who knows why we always go back to tensing up all of our muscles as the default.

All I know is that there is a shift in the air. And as nervous as I am to start opening up about this side of me- and all the “woo-woo” (which by the way, science is really starting to support)- I know it’s for the good and I’m compelled to do it.

“Surrender isn’t about being passive, it’s about being open”

-Danielle LaPorte


All My Moving Parts

Milli Fox, self-help blogger focused on self-love and healing from trauma. Based in Toronto, Ontario. I’ll admit it, I think in black and white most of the time. Usually I’m classifying whether something is good or bad, right or wrong. You know, that super harsh kind of thinking that mostly leads to being hyper critical of oneself? This girl!

I recently began a new therapy journey. I’ve committed to go twice a week, ongoing, to help me deal with a lot of the trauma I dealt with as a child that’s lead me to some unhealthy thought and behaviour patterns (black and white thinking included). My therapist started using IFS (Internal Family Systems) with me to try to help me see all of the different coping mechanisms and their triggers that have formed over the years.

Up until now, I’ve been very ashamed of some of the parts of myself. I’ve judged myself pretty harshly for ways that I react to situations, even seeing it happen in the moment and not being able to stop myself. I know a lot of these behaviour patterns formed as protective mechanism in response to trauma and abuse that I experienced, but it doesn’t stop me from hating on myself for them.

I read recently that although these behaviours may have stopped serving us long ago- we actually shouldn’t hate on them, we should recognize the role they played in trying to protect us and show them some gratitude before we send them off for good. I think I like this idea, and the IFS therapy is showing me how that’s possible.

What we did was have me go through all the different “characters” that make up my entire self. My therapist coached me through it but then I continued the exercise on my own.

Then we dove deeper into one of my parts that I called the Bossy Teacher/Drill Sergeant and we broke down WHY this part of me comes out, what it’s aim is and what it’s biggest fear is if it doesn’t show up. (It’s the part of me that seems to show up most often and the part of me that I like and understand the least). Today I finally realized that this part of me shows up because I’m afraid if I don’t go into this mode, i won’t be able to handle life and everything with crumble around me, I’ll lose control and I’ll become my mother. Woah.

Basically my worst fear.

Logically, I know it’s so silly. I know I won’t become my mom if I’m nurturing instead of cold and tough-lovey. Logically, I know if I show weakness my entire world won’t come crashing down around me. But in my emotional, animal brain, I’m super duper afraid of this and it feels VERY necessary. It’s my go-to, knee-jerk reaction to other people’s needs.

Maybe I feel I can barely handle my own needs, so if someone else needs me I better toughen up and get shit done.

ANYWAY! Looking through all the different parts of myself like this, as if they are players in a cast, helps me feel a little bit less judgemental towards them. It helps me to see that just because they are a part of me, doesn’t mean they ARE me or define me. It also helps me to see how complex I am as a human being. Each of my parts has it’s helpful aspects and it’s hindrances and none can simply be labeled good or bad.

When I started therapy, just over a month ago, I didn’t have a clue how I would start to tackle these deeply engrained thought patterns- but I’m really starting to feel hopeful. That I won’t always have to carry these burdens and that my load can be lighter and I can let go of so much of this.

So much so that I’ve been feeling giddy after my sessions!

I’m really looking forward to the future in a way that I never have before. ❤️


I Do it For Attention

Milli Fox, self-help blogger focused on self-love and recovering from trauma. Based in Toronto, Ontario.

Let’s face it, the currency of our day and age is attention. Everyone and everything is doing their absolute best to steal even just a tiny bit of your attention, including me.

That old expression “Oh she’s just doing it for attention” is an interesting one to me. I’m not exactly sure when wanting attention became a bad thing, but if you look at children they have absolutely no shame over wanting lots and lots of attention. We are wired for connection, and we were born to vie for attention because the only way to connect is to first gain another human’s attention. In fact, they say loneliness is a bigger threat to your health than smoking or heart disease.

So, here we are feeling less and less connected and all of us are looking for more and more attention. Why?

Why is it that the people who seem to have the most attention feel the least connected and the most lonely?

I think a lot of it comes back to some seriously outdated views about how much attention we should give our children. It’s some Doctor Spock shit. I know attachment parenting is becoming more popular and I think that’s a great thing. However, I think there is still a lot of misunderstanding about attachment, how it develops and what it takes to create secure attachments. My favourite resource for info about this topic is from Gabor Mate and Dr. Gordon Neufeld.

I almost guarantee you that the super famous people who are lonely and depressed didn’t develop secure attachments to any caregivers as children. In fact, I once heard a quote by Marilyn Monroe (who allegedly commit suicide) that went like this:

“I need everyone to love me. I must belong to the whole world because I have never belonged to anyone or anything in my whole life. And I fear that I never ever will.”

I believe the sometimes we believe that if we get attention, we will feel connected but deep connection comes from secure attachments not just attention on its own.

When we feel attached and grounded to loving caregivers, we feel like we have a solid foundation in the world and we feel safe. Then we grow up and we know how to get into secure and healthy relationships. But when we don’t have a model for how that is supposed to look, many of us end up feeling isolated and lonely. I also think its a big reason that so many marriages today fail.

I also think a lot of people who feel lonely and isolated believe that not many people know the “real them”.

So, in comes social media and we all feel that maybe we can have just a piece of the coveted feeling of admiration. We put forward our best selves and we want to feel seen and heard and validated. We all want to feel seen, heard and validated- so we reach for attention.

My question is, why are we shaming people for *trying* (albeit maybe not in the healthiest ways) to meet this essential human need of connection?

I think it’s directly related to the fact that we still don’t view mental health/well-being as a top priority. There is still so much stigma about being “weak” if you share these vulnerable feelings. I am completely guilty of that.

Not so long ago, emotional people made me feel truly uncomfortable. Here’s an example, when I was pregnant with Rosen, George Micheals died around Christmas. My father-in-law and my husband got emotional about it because they had so many fond memories about him and his music. It made me angry. I couldn’t understand why the death of someone they didn’t even know could upset them so much. I chalked it up to them having had too much to drink. Their emotions made me uncomfortable because I didn’t have the coping mechanisms handle my own (working on that, but that’s another story) and there for felt it was weak to show them.

That might not be specifically related to attention and attachment but it just goes to show that from an emotional standpoint, we have a long way to go.

A few weeks ago I was watching The American Meme on Netflix and Kendall Jenner mentioned that people often accuse them of doing what they do solely for attention, and her response really got me. She said “ I just don’t see what’s wrong with that”.

I agree. I don’t see why there is so much shame surrounding wanting attention. Obviously the intentions may not all be the same, but it’s usually coming from the same need- to feel seen, heard, validated, and even loved.

So instead of shaming random people on the internet for wanting attention, why don’t we just focus on giving more attention to those we love and developing those deeper connections that we’re all hoping for in the first place?


Can We Have it All?

Mama Milli Fox self help blogger Toronto

As women, is it really truly possible to “have it all”???

This is a question that I struggle with often. But it’s not because I don’t believe we can. I truly (madly) deeply believe we can have everything we want in a lifetime.

I just don’t think it’s possible to have it all at the same time. I have to remind myself of this constantly.

Growing up I always envisioned myself having a serious career. I wanted 6 figures and I wanted a title.

I knew I could have it too. I had a serious scholarship, great grades, intense work ethic and drive. But life had different plans for me, and my priorities fell into place pretty quickly.

When I was 19 I met my husband. I was taking a bit of time away from school and was working full time as a waitress. I’m glad I did this because I graduated university with no debt.

Anyway- we got married when I was 23 and Junior and I had started to grow his business @gfoxco. But I always considered it his business, not mine. However, it was the main money maker (and still is) so it deserved more attention at the time.

I flopped around from personal training to nutrition to fertility nutrition and then to doula work. I was full force on the doula/fertility nutrition path prior to having Rosen.

I quickly realized I was not ok with putting Rosen in daycare and didn’t want to work trading my time for money in those positions or have to leave the home for work. I wanted to cherish these precious years with my baby.

I started Junior Foxes when Rosen was 5 months old and it’s been “relatively successful” I.e. not as successful as I want it to be but pretty good when measured to most people’s standards.

I get incredibly frustrated sometimes when I’m not working or producing or making money. I’ve battled with this vs. my self worth for years.

But I constantly remind myself that this is a SEASON in my life. I’m never going to look back and regret the time I chose to spend with Rosen.

I remind myself to have patience and go slow. It doesn’t change how agitated I am sometimes when I just want to get on the computer and work but I can’t. But it helps.

It helps to remember that next month, Junior will be less busy and I can set more time aside to work.

It helps to remember that my baby will go to school one day sooner than later and this season will come to a close.

It helps to remember that I’ll always cherish these days even I don’t feel like I’m contributing value to the world right now. It’s all so insignificant in the big picture, and I logically know I’m making the right choices.

Sometimes we just get so caught up and need to give ourselves a loving pat on the head and say chill the fuck out. You’re doing a great job. Enjoy your life ❤️

And balance in the day to day is ultimately a scam. Balance is cultivated over a lifetime.

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