Leaf in the Wind Syndrome

“I’m always comparing my relationship to other people’s relationships. Why does everyone else look like they’re so in love?”

“I have such a hard time making decisions. Sometimes I can’t even decide what to order at a restaurant!”

“I worry about whether or not my family likes my partner. I always care so much about what they think.”

“I believe every anxious thought that enters my brain. It’s exhausting.”

“What if I’m gay? What if I’m a pedophile? What if I have a terminal illness?” 

All of these statements are symptoms of the same core issue: lack of self-knowledge and self-love which result in a lack of self-trust. In other words, when we’re filled up inside – when the waters of our well of Self are full – we have a strong and solid sense of ourselves and so we naturally stop caring what others think, stop comparing, stop needing … Click here to continue reading...

Sleep Anxiety: Guest Post by Carrie Dinow

As many of you know who follow my blog, Carrie and I met in graduate school over twenty years ago, and we both agree that our friendship was the best gift to come out of that program. We have grown together as friends, wives, and colleagues, shaping each other in every way possible and holding each other as sisters along our twin paths. I cannot imagine who I would be without her by my side every step of the way, from conceiving on the same day (our kids are two weeks apart) to growing our counseling practices to learning about what it means to be consciously married. And, as I know that many of you suffer from sleep anxiety, it is with deepest respect and gratitude that I share her words of wisdom and compassion with you here. 

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“Please let me sleep!” you plead, either silently or aloud. But … Click here to continue reading...

Intrusive Thoughts

As much as I talk about intrusive thoughts on this site and in my courses, I’ve never formally defined them. And, truthfully, in all of my training over the years I’ve never come across a precise definition of intrusive thoughts. Furthermore, despite the fact that I’ve never met someone on the anxious-sensitive-creative spectrum who hasn’t suffered from intrusive thoughts at some point in their life (usually starting in childhood or adolescence), most therapists have never heard of intrusive thoughts, so when they encounter them in their therapy office they either try to dismiss them by telling their poor clients to stop thinking those thoughts (as if that’s possible) or they take them at face value: “Oh, you’re wondering if you’re with the wrong partner? That probably means you’re with the wrong partner [because everyone knows that doubt means don’t].” Or: “Oh, you think you might be gay? Well, then … Click here to continue reading...

The Voices in Your Head

Photo by Victoria Russell

 

“There is nothing more important to true growth than realizing that you are not the voice of the mind – you are the one who hears it. If you don’t understand this, you will try to figure out which of the many things the voice says is really you…

“If you watch it objectively, you will come to see that much of what the voice says is meaningless. Most of the talking is just a waste of time and energy. The truth is that most of life will unfold in accordance with forces far outside your control, regardless of what your mind says about it. It’s like sitting down at night and deciding whether you want the sun to come up in the morning. The bottom line is that the sun will come up and the sun will down. Billions of things are going on … Click here to continue reading...

Is There a Better Match for Me?

Alongside the thoughts, “Maybe I’m just trying to convince myself to stay”,  “I don’t know if I love my partner enough”, and “Do we have a strong enough connection?“, the question of finding a “better match” is at the top of the relationship anxiety list of questions. The culture encourages the belief, of course, that there’s one person who is your perfect match, but the thought also plays directly into the mind of the anxious-sensitive-perfectionist psyche. After all, thinks the anxious-perfectionist mind who’s looking for a fail-proof person with whom to take the risk of committed relationship, if I’m going to marry or am already married, shouldn’t I wait for my perfect match? This thought can be particularly debilitating when you’re already married and you think, “Maybe if I had just waited a little longer…”

As always, there are many spokes to the wheel of an intrusive … Click here to continue reading...