I Feel Like I'm Lying When I Say I Love You

These are statements I hear quite often in my practice: I feel like I’m lying when I say I love you to my partner. I feel like a fake, an imposter, like I’m leading him/her on. If I don’t feel love, how can I say it? And I’m not always feeling it. In fact, it seems like more often than not I’m not feeling in love, or loving feelings at all. So how can I be genuine and say I love you?

When you say I love you even when you don’t feel it you’re acting from who you really are. Yes, you are lying: You are lying to the fear-based part of you. You’re lying to the gatekeeper that wants to protect you from getting hurt… again. You’re being untruthful to your small-minded ego who is defined by its separateness and, thus, is terrified of losing itself in the oneness … Click here to continue reading…

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A Manual for Love

I wish I had been given one. I wish we all had been handed a Love Manual in a class in high school, and taken levels two and three in college. For there are basic laws and practices we could have learned that would have made the path of intimate relationship so much easier had we only been given the proper roadmap.

I don’t believe that there’s one manual that would apply to every aspect of every relationship. That would be like saying there’s one parenting book that applies to all parent-child configurations and would resolve every child-raising difficulty. It sounds alluring, but when that promise is made I turn the other way, as relationships of all kinds are far too complicated to be simplified into a one-size-fits-all formula.

But what I have learned over many years of being in intimate relationships and guiding others through them is that there … Click here to continue reading…

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Love Cannot Be Measured

Love cannot be measured. It cannot be placed in test tubes in a science laboratory or placed on the great scale of life to determine whether or not there’s enough. The anxious/sensitive mind longs for a definite answer to the questions that swirl through its brain - Do I love you enough? What is enough? Do I love you as much as you love me? - praying that a divine hand will reach down from the heavens and seal the relationship with a stamp of approval. But love is not an exam you take in school where you can receive a letter grade. It’s not a handful of precious jewels you can place on a scale to determine its worth. It can’t be quantified, graded, or weighed. Love cannot be measured.

You long to measure love because the hypervigilant part of you wants to make sure that you have what it … Click here to continue reading…

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Yes and No

Sometimes an anger surges up in me about how abysmally this culture guides and takes care of its members around transitions. We expect engaged women and men to put on a happy face from proposal through honeymoon, ignoring their innate need to grieve the loss of their singlehood and honor their fears about getting married. We applaud pregnant women and new mothers for not allowing their baby to interfere with their regular life. (My heart sinks when I see a mother with a one week old baby at the grocery store.) And just when the body wants to turn inward to slow down or come to a complete stop at the year’s end, the culture orchestrates an overwhelming time filled with the outward energy of consumption and socializing.

The theme in my work with clients last week was exhaustion. Despite all of them knowing that their bodies needed rest, … Click here to continue reading…

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The Holy Days

There’s a vulnerability on the planet during the holiday season. I see it in people’s faces: beneath the stress and tightness and frantic pace lives the softness of an open heart, as if the emissaries of grief travel from broken heart to eyes and softening the edges. I see the longing for connection, the most basic human desire to break through our isolation and sit comfortably in others’ company. I see the desire for peace. I see the longing for love.

It happens in small moments as I walk through my day. I catch the eyes of a driver in the parking lot and smile. She smiles back. A meeting of strangers. I drive out of the parking lot and wave at the homeless man on the corner. “Can we give him anything, mommy?” my son asks. I know I don’t have any small bills. I reach into my wallet and … Click here to continue reading…

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