Caring What Other People Think

flowers

How would your life be different if you didn’t care what other people thought? How might your relationship, your job, and your day-to-day functioning be different if you weren’t weighed down by others’ opinions? How might you peel and crack out of the shells of your insecurity and arrive more closely at the essence of who you are if you weren’t worried about others’ judgement? What would happen if you made decisions based on the inviolable knowledge of your intrinsic worthiness instead of based on the constantly moving target of external approval?

Caring what other people think is a common theme that shows up in my work, and it appears in a variety of ways both for those in a relationship and those who are single. For those in a relationship, especially those suffering from relationship anxiety, it most commonly shows up as caring what other people think of one’s … Click here to continue reading...

The Scariest Thing We Do

Every day that I work with clients struggling with relationship anxiety I find myself saying some version of, “Of course you’re scared. Loving is the scariest thing we do.” As I’ve written about several times on this blog, fear doesn’t always present as fear but instead shows up as irritation, annoyance, numbness, ambivalence, lack of attraction, and doubt. It’s a convoluted defense mechanism, the ego’s attempt to circumvent being left or rejected by convincing you that you don’t love or even like your partner anyway, but in the end these are all manifestations of fear.

And the client almost invariably asks, “But why is love so scary?” It’s scary because we’ve been hurt by love. It’s scary because underneath the projections (“He’s not intellectual enough”, “She’s not attractive enough”) lives the belief that you’re not enough in some way. It’s scary because when we love another person we’re handing them … Click here to continue reading...

The Tumultuous Twenties

*Note: If you’re past your twenties, I invite you to share your thoughts and insights in the comments section about what helped you get through that decade, what you learned, and what wisdom you can import to those still struggling through that difficult decade.

***

“Recently, I met a women in her early twenties who was deeply depressed. Looking at her, I saw myself fifteen or twenty years ago. I recognized every desperate feeling, every horrified thought. I asked her why she felt so sad. She told me she felt misunderstood by her father, who didn’t’ want to pay for her therapy or for her to move to another city. She said she was trying to make her way through the world but kept falling down. She couldn’t stay with any career for very long; she felt fat; she felt inadequate; she felt embarrassed and kept thinking that other people … Click here to continue reading...

The Cracks are How the Light Comes In

When discussing the concept that a root cause of relationship anxiety is the fear of being hurt by love, course members and coaching clients will often say, “I had a good childhood with loving parents. Why would I be so scared of love?” I’ve written other posts about how essential it is to peel the veil of perfection or idealism off of our parents or childhood if we’re going to heal, for there can be no doubt that, because we’re imperfect humans, there will always be places where our parents missed the mark, times when they didn’t attune, and incidences where they failed to honor our sensitivity or teach us how to feel our feelings. Very few parents of older generations possessed the emotional intelligence to raise emotionally intelligent children. It wasn’t their fault; they simply didn’t have the healing tools at their disposal that we do today. The fact … Click here to continue reading...

Entering Midlife: A Personal Post

Dear Readers: In the early days of this blog, I would share more frequently about my personal life, specifically around raising my children. As the blog evolved and my audience grew, I felt more private about sharing my day-to-day experiences, and also felt a need to protect my sons’ privacy. But now, as I’m entering midlife, I feel called to share a bit about what’s happening in my inner world. This is my next transition, and it’s a big one and a long one. When I turned 43, I felt like I had walked through a portal, much like I felt when I got married and became a mother. Something inside me was turning upside down, and, as always, I needed to write about it in order to make sense of it. 

Everything I’ve learned over the past two decades about transitions is buoying me as I walk through this … Click here to continue reading...