Falling in Love with Other People

Let’s blow the cover off of another taboo topic in our culture, one that causes my clients to barely be able to whisper their experience loud enough to share it with me: “falling in love” with people other than your partner, including bosses, celebrities, religious figures, and even your therapist.

I’ll start by reiterating something I often express on this blog, which is that I deeply wish that we, as a culture, were more educated about the normal thoughts and feelings that the vast majority of people experience. It saddens me that there are still so many aspects of our inner terrain that remain hidden. I’m not sure where these kinds of conversation need to be happening – perhaps in school or university – but I know that the vast majority of the shame that people feel about their normal thoughts and feelings would be eradicated if they simply knew … Click here to continue reading...

Lack of Desire

I hear a lot of whispered truths from women about their sex lives. I hear that they don’t like kissing, that they haven’t had sex in months (or longer), that they would be perfectly fine never to have sex again. But the statement I hear more than any other is: I don’t feel like having sex.

What they mean when they say this is that they’re experiencing a lack of desire and they’re bumping up the expectation that they should feel hot and bothered by their partner more often, sometimes, or even vaguely. They’ve been flooded by the dysfunctional messages about sexuality that permeate the culture and have formed the belief that if desire isn’t instantly and frequently coursing through their body there’s something wrong. Like all forms of anxiety, the “something wrong” usually takes the form of “there’s something wrong with me, my partner, or our chemistry.”

There’s nothing … Click here to continue reading...

Sacred Sexuality: Now More Than Ever

With the latest exposure of sexual assault, abuse, and violation in this country, there can be no doubt that our culture suffers from profound sexual dysfunction and illness. Many of us, especially women, have been privately aware of the toxicity for a long time and we now know publicly that there’s hardly a woman in America who hasn’t suffered from some sort of sexual assault, but it seems to take a revelation of this magnitude for the awareness to rise up from the underworld of whispered stories and reach the collective consciousness.

What we’re seeing in the media is the opposite of sacred sexuality. We’re seeing a sexuality based on power, lies, and cruelty, a sexuality that treats women like objects and uses sex to achieve domination. Sexuality isn’t the only sphere where the domination model shows up; we’ve lived in a world that is predicated on competition instead of … Click here to continue reading...

Invisible Lines of Hope

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing
and rightdoing there is a field.
I’ll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass
the world is too full to talk about.

Rumi

When we’re being asked to unpack a new layer of wound that will lead to healing, it can feel daunting, overwhelming, and hopeless. The questions circle and dart like bats in the dark of night. The doubt eats away at serenity. The physical symptoms can cause you to want to withdraw from life and ball up in bed, and sometimes you do. In the darkness and suffering, it’s so easy to forget that the questions will resolve and that the new layer of healing with unshackle and shake itself to the surface like bulbs emerging in spring. In the dark of winter, we often cannot see the shifting that’s occurring underground. It’s during this time that we must … Click here to continue reading...

Unpacking Intrusive Thoughts

Over the years, I’ve worked with many clients who have suffered from the intrusive thought, “What if my partner is gay?” (or “What if my partner is straight?” for those in a same-sex relationship), and while I’ve written several posts on the “What if I’m gay?” spike I haven’t written about what is, in some ways, a corollary thought. As my work largely centers around shedding the light of conversation and consciousness on taboo topics, it’s time to bring this thought out of the dark chests of the unspoken mind, where, in silence, all it can do is become grown over by the moss and dust of shame.

It’s extraordinary how much shame a single thought can grow. I’ve had clients tell me that they’ve been able to share many intrusive thoughts with friends but when they share the question, “What if my partner is gay?” they see panic flashing … Click here to continue reading...