The Rapture of Love

We long for rapture. We long to be transported to an otherworldly place where the problems that weigh heavily into our souls and the pain that pierces our hearts lift away, if only for a moment. We long to feel profoundly alive and deeply fulfilled. We long for ecstasy.

Western culture conditions us from the time we’re old enough to absorb information that the rapture and ecstasy we long for can be found in romantic love. If you find the “right” person, you will be airlifted out of the human realm and set atop a sea of clouds where life is beautiful and serene. If you find “the One”,  you will ride off into the sunset and experience unparalleled bliss from first kiss to last breath. Some part of our minds know that this is a fantasy, that there isn’t one person who has the capacity to offer a lifetime … Click here to continue reading...

When Love Makes You Flinch

One of the common fear-lines that arises when the ego is trying to deconstruct the idea of relationship anxiety and convince you that your truth is that you’re just with the wrong person is: “If what Sheryl says is true, why don’t more people talk about it?”

It’s an understandable question, and I have many responses to it. But the best response is to inform the person who is questioning that those who are intimately familiar with the ins-and-outs of relationships do, in fact, talk about the interplay between fear and love in a very similar way as I do. Clergy, couple therapists, longtime married couples, and anyone on the front lines of real relationships know that love includes fear, that certainty is often followed by doubt, that love is action, and that falling in love isn’t a prerequisite for having a great relationship. It’s only the mainstream media – … Click here to continue reading...

What If I'm REALLY Not Attracted to my Partner?

The following question is one I often receive from my clients who are struggling with the specific spoke of relationship anxiety that contains the longing to feel more love, connection, and attraction for their partner (and let’s remember that I use attraction or lack of attraction in the broadest sense of the word to talk about all of the ways in which you believe your partner is “not enough” that then cause you to retract, judge and withdraw. This “lack of attraction” can focus on any perceived lack: physical, intellectual, humor, social, or simply “we’re not connected enough.”). The question is:

“What if my truth is that I’m not attracted to my partner? I understand projection. I get that there are unworked parts of my inner movie that I project onto the screen of my partner. But what if this one is really my truth and I’m just not attracted … Click here to continue reading...

The Antidote to Fear

I’ll always remember when my younger son broke through one of his major fears. The year before, after a fateful trip to Disneyland, he developed a severe case of separation anxiety. If my husband or I left him alone for even a minute to take out the trash or get the mail he would panic. Babysitters were out of the question. Our world became very small.

We honored the fear for a while hoping that, with time, it would dissipate. But month after month he continued to show the same level of panic surrounding separation, and we knew it wasn’t healthy for him or anyone else in our family to allow it to continue. We employed several tools and sought help, and soon he was ready to try to stay at our close friends’ house so my husband and I could have a much-needed date. We all rallied around him, … Click here to continue reading...

The Risk of Living and Loving

On our way home from a lovely Christmas day with my family who lives about an hour away from us it started to snow. At first it was a wet sleet, but within a few minutes it thickened to a snow storm, and before we knew it we were driving through a white-out. The temperature dropped quickly, the slick roads turned icy, and everyone’s speed slowed to a crawl. We were driving in treacherous conditions.

I doubt anyone enjoys driving in those conditions, but being from California I seem to have a particularly strong aversion to driving in snow and ice. So I sat quietly next to my husband, who was intently focusing on the road, and sent out prayers for us and everyone around us: Please let us all arrive safely at our destinations. We’re driving in treacherous conditions. We passed a car turned upside down on the side … Click here to continue reading...