Trust Your Gut

It happens in an instant: your partner comes to you for a kiss or sends a flirty text and your body tightens and recoils. Your habitual, culturally-conditioned mind interprets your physical response as “truth”: “This is my body’s way of telling me that something is wrong in our relationship. I’ve been told my entire life to trust my body, that my body doesn’t lie, so if this was the right relationship surely I wouldn’t have this negative physical response. Everyone tells me to ‘trust my gut’ and here it is. My gut is clearly telling me that this must be wrong. And now my panic button has been hit and I feel like I can’t breathe.”

If we understood how fear works, we would be able to offer another interpretation, which might sound something like this: “My body is registering fear right now. From what I know about fear, the … Click here to continue reading...

Shrink Fear Grow Love

When the fear-fog clears, when the projection that has kept him separate from you and sealed a barnacle over your heart finally shatters, you see your partner as if for the first time. Not only do you see her clearly, in all of her sweet and simple splendor, but the delusions of separateness fall away, and you can see how under the hooks of

hair or

teeth or

height or

education or

ambition or

boredom or

do we have enough to talk about or

he’s wrong for me or

she’s not attractive enough or

I’m always irritated or

mannerisms or

humor or

social fluidity or

so-called chemistry

lives the voice that says:

I have loved you all along.

In those moments of clear-seeing, like sunshine after rain, it’s as if there is no “me” or “you” but only us, or maybe it’s fully me and fully you that makes the … Click here to continue reading...

I Love You Go Away

Among the many misconceptions that people have about love – that it’s only a feeling, that the feeling of being “in love” should exist from day one, that attraction is static and based on external attributes  – the faulty belief that often gets swept under the rug more than any other is that love is ambivalent. What does this mean? It means that:

Love includes doubt Love includes indifference Love includes boredom Love includes numbness Love includes irritation Love includes the need for space Love includes doubt Love includes – dare I use such a strong word – hate

We live in a culture that thrives off of definitive answers, which essentially means that we squeeze life into dualism: you can either feel happy or sad (but never both at the same time). You can either feel attracted or not attracted, but certainly not both within the span of an … Click here to continue reading...

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...

Oh, So That's How You Love!

There have been countless times over the many years of my marriage when my husband will say something that makes me feel loved or do something that gets us back on track when we’ve been in a negative feedback loop and I’ll think, “Oh, so that’s how you love!” It could be something as small as walking me to the door to say goodbye instead of being satisfied with a kitchen goodbye or apologizing with a hug and an “I’m sorry” instead of just the words, and I’ll look at him with a certain amount of awe because he seems to know innately these simple ways of loving and repairing that I’ve had to learn. My husband has shared with me that he also marvels at certain ways that I intuitively know how to love.

This is how it goes in marriage: we teach each other how to love. We … Click here to continue reading...