Love is not the Absence of Fear

Love is not the absence of fear. Like joy and sadness, love and fear are dualities that live in the same chamber of the heart. When we love another deeply, fear will rear its head. Designed to protect the vulnerable heart, fear is the sentry who guards the sacred entrances. The way past fear is not to engage in battle; that’s a war you’ll never win. The way to enter into love’s passageways is to call fear by name. We all need to be seen and heard, and fear is no exception.

When we call fear by name, we befriend it. And when we befriend it, it’s no longer the enemy, something to be avoided or conquered. Befriending fear means allowing love to make room for all of fear’s manifestations: doubt, disconnection, uncertainty, lack of attraction, irritation, lack of the feeling of love, fantasizing about the perfect partner or an … Click here to continue reading…

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Turning Five

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“Were you in labor at this time five years ago?” my husband asked tonight as we were cleaning up the kitchen after our early Passover dinner.

“No, not yet. I didn’t go into labor until 4am.”

April 14, 2009 – 4am

I’m awakened by a puddle of warm liquid gathered around me. Although unlike anything experienced in normal life, it’s familiar, as it’s exactly how I was awakened by the onset of Everest’s labor, and at the exact same time: 4am at 37 weeks. My body seems to gestate babies like clockwork. I get out of bed slowly so as not to wake up my sleeping four year old and husband and walk downstairs. My entire body is trembling, shaking with the terrifying and exhilarating awareness that I’m about to enter the fire of labor and be initiated into the dark and magnificent forest of childbirth. My second son has Click here to continue reading…

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Dealing with Disappointment

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The theme of disappointment emerged last week in my sessions with clients. Some were disappointed by the reality that there’s no such thing as a perfect relationship. Others became aware of how scared they felt about the prospect of disappointing their partner. Others felt disappointed that their child was different in some way from their fantasy child. They covered the range and types of disappointment: the type disappointment that occurs present-day as a result of what’s happening right now – ie. My partner is half an hour late or Oh, shoot, I just dropped my ice cream cone – and the disappointment that results when our expectation of how things “should” be doesn’t match up to reality.

How you deal with disappointment is directly correlated to how your disappointment was handled when you were a child. If you learned that disappointment was a normal part of the human spectrum emotions … Click here to continue reading…

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You Are Whole

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I have several clients currently pursuing their graduate degree in counseling. While they’re enjoying their studies and learning a lot, they’re also coming up against the rigid and, at times, judgmental model that informs most Western-based schools. For the foundational textbook for all accredited programs is the DSM-V: the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. As evidenced by the title, the main purpose of the manual is to learn how to diagnose your clients, which basically means looking for what’s wrong.

We all have plenty of things “wrong” with us; it’s a sign of being human. But we have so much more that’s right. And what I know in my bones is that people are inspired to change and grow in an environment where they feel accepted and loved. We are intrinsically whole, and that place of wholeness dwells undisturbed beneath the walls and wounds of our defenses and … Click here to continue reading…

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So Precious It Hurts

As my dear friend drove our two families up to Walker Ranch for their quarterly homestead day a few weeks ago, I looked in the backseat at our three sweet and precious boys. Their faces were alive with excitement at the prospect of “going back in time,” as my little one said. Three beautiful, kind, creative, alive boys. The angles of our hearts. And, knowing that we would be driving up a steep and winding road seven miles into the mountains (not my favorite kind of road), an awareness of their vulnerability pierced through me. An awareness that one wrong move, one random boulder, one unaware driver careening on the other side of the road…

“They’re so precious,” I said to my friend. “Why does anyone do this? To love them this much and to know that something could happen to them… sometimes it just feels like too much.”

“I … Click here to continue reading…

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