When Fear Meets Love

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When fear pricks the heart it flies in the face of every message about love we absorb from the culture: that love should provide a safe haven against the storms of life; that love should be easy; that love and fear are mutually exclusive, and that if fear enters the picture it means something is wrong.

Nothing could be further from the the truth. One of the most profound messages my life-changing therapist who I saw in my twenties shared with me is that the depth of the love is equal to the depth of the fear. In other words, each time you deepen the love – each time you move toward your partner and strengthen your intimacy – the fear deepens as well. Imagine that there are two wells living inside of you: a well of love and a well of fear. The well of love is filled with warm, … Click here to continue reading…

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The Well of Self

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We all carry within us a well of Self. We can’t see this well, but we know when the waters are clear and full or when they’re low and flecked with the dark matter of the lies we tell ourselves about ourselves. We know when the waters are warm from the time, interest, and compassion we pour into ourselves or cold from being ignored. Like a child, the Self thrives under the sunlight of focused and loving attention, and withdraws when you, as the loving parent, make everything else in your life more important.

When the waters are cold, dark-flecked and low, the sides of the well magnetically attract unwanted thoughts, worry, perfectionism, and self-doubt. A flame of thought darts into the well and, without the waters to absorb it, it clings to the side and burns there. Without a full Self to douse the flame with truth-waters, to turn … Click here to continue reading…

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Anxiety is Not an Accident

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If you follow my work you know that I view anxiety quite differently than most people. Instead of seeing it as something to eliminate as quickly as possible – usually with medication – I see it as the soul’s way of communicating, via the vessel of the body, that something is awry inside and is ready to transform. Eradicating the anxiety before you understand its message would be like stamping out a headache every time one appears and then realizing that the headaches were trying to communicate an imbalance in your brain chemistry that needed attention. And of course we do that all the time with our myriad of quick-fix band-aid solutions for getting rid of physical pain as quickly as possible.

Perhaps the biggest deterrent to healing from anxiety is the belief that it shouldn’t be happening: that if you were in a different relationship or lived in a … Click here to continue reading…

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Still Learning

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A few weeks ago my family and I spent five days up in the mountains. Overall, it was a lovely vacation, with much laughter, hiking, game-playing, and boating. But for some reason my husband and I were in one those spells when we bumped heads at some point each day. Perhaps it was hormones or lack of sleep; whatever the cause we weren’t in our best flow. On our last day we had a horrible fight in the middle of Garden of the Gods (oh, the irony of having a blow-up at Garden of the Gods!), in front of our kids, then drove back in silence until we arrived at our cabin and each retreated to our separate corners to continue to fester in our own dark projections. We finally, miraculously, found our way back to sanity, and after consciously choosing to express accountability in front of and to our … Click here to continue reading…

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It's Not What You Think

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One the many problems of living in an image-based, superficial culture is that we learn to take life at face value. You have a dream about having sex with someone other than your partner and you latch onto the most obvious interpretation that you secretly want to have sex with someone else. You find yourself obsessively thinking about your ex and you assume it means you still want to be with him or her. You bolt awake in the middle of the night with unexpected doubt about whether you love your partner enough and you assume that you don’t love your partner enough. Your child screams at you and you assume that he’s trying to control you or needs a lesson in manners and respect. These seem like reasonable enough interpretations, and they’re certainly supported by the mainstream culture.

By contrast, part of the reason that people respond to my … Click here to continue reading…

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