Nobody is Perfick

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When I was young, one of my favorite books was a collection of four short stories called “Nobody is Perfick“. I liked the first three stories, but it was the fourth one, called Nobody is Perfick, that captivated my attention. It was the story about a perfect boy named Peter Perfect. He always had sharp pencils. He always dressed perfectly. He received perfect scores on all of his tests. He had perfect manners and all of the adults in his life adored him. It’s only on the last page of the book, when a drawing of a boy with a wind-up mechanism in his back is revealed, that we realize that Peter Perfect isn’t real. The last line of the book (which I still remember perfectly to this day) is, “Nobody’s perfect, Peter Perfect.”

I remember feeling simultaneously disappointed and relieved by the moral of this tale. … Click here to continue reading...

Fear is a Friend in Disguise

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There’s a common concept in our culture – one that I’ve adopted myself at times – that fear is our enemy. When we’re caught in fear’s offspring of anxiety and panic, it certainly feels like we’re been taken into enemy territory and are being held hostage. It feels like someone wraps a gloved hand around our throat and is sitting on our chest with a fifty pound bag of bricks. Anxiety in any form around any storyline – relationships, health, impending loss/death – is an unmanageable state that feels like torture.

I’ve learned so much over the many decades that I’ve become intimately acquainted with fear’s many faces in my own psyche, the mind’s of my kids, and the inner worlds of my clients, and one of the lessons that stands out the most is that fear is not, in fact, our enemy. Just like one of the main tenets … Click here to continue reading...

10,000 Hours of Love

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Alongside the adolescent view of love we hold in this culture that says that love is a feeling, we also believe that love should be easy. Of course, this attitude of effortlessness and ease extends far beyond the bounds of love; more and more, people seem to believe that life itself should be easy. We shouldn’t feel pain or discomfort, jealousy or frustration. We shouldn’t struggle through transitions, or should only feel happy emotions around death-and-rebirth thresholds like becoming a wife/husband or a parent. In short, we should, somehow, always be fine (“How are you?” and “I’m fine.”), which is another way of saying that anything uncomfortable is pushed underground and we shouldn’t have to work for wellness.

I have a feeling this expectation of effortlessness is connected to modern technology, where everything is easier and faster. From the automobile to the vacuum cleaner, from online shopping to texting, modern … Click here to continue reading...

“What If I’m Too Young?”

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The spike of the week from my clients and readers who struggle with relationship anxiety comes in at: “What if I’m too young? What if I haven’t met my match yet and I’m just deluding myself to think I could have met my person at a young age? What if there’s someone better out there for me and I just need to be patient?” As one reader expressed in a comment on this post:

I felt like I was making so much progress while reading your posts until I realized that my fear-based self was telling me that I’m an exception towards all your blogs because I’m still young (currently in my first year of college) and because I’m still with my first boyfriend (I will have been with him for two years in November). I always see people saying that people as young as me should … Click here to continue reading...

“I Wish He Was Funnier”

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Oh, the list of thoughts that try to prevent us from taking the risk of loving wholeheartedly is quite long, but there are a few that always top the list, buzzing and darting in and around your ears like mosquitos in summer. I recently wrote about the “I wish he was taller” thought, and I’ve written extensively about the “I’m not attracted” thought. This week’s thought that topped the charts of my sessions was “I wish he was funnier.”

Here’s an excerpt from a client (published with permission):

“Over the past few weeks, I feel that I’ve been picking C apart in my head, specifically when we are with groups of close friends and family. I’ve recently been attaching this anxiety to his sense of humor, and how he may not be as funny as I wish he were. Sometimes he doesn’t laugh at my family’s jokes and vice versa … Click here to continue reading...