Transitions: A Paradigm of Hope

A woman emailed me last week to thank me for this blog and tell me that my words give her hope. I felt humbled and filled with joy to know that I’ve brought hope to someone, and it was synchronistic as I had been thinking lately about how hopeful the paradigm of transition really is. As transitions follows the death (winter), liminal (autumn), rebirth (spring) cycle of nature, so we, in the struggles of our human lives, do the same. When we’re in the midst of the death or liminal stages, it’s hard to remember that the new birth always arrives in some form or another, that here has to be a clearing out in order for the new life to take form. It’s a law of nature, and when we remember it, we feel hopeful even in the midst of the struggle.

Years ago, when I was publicizing The Click here to continue reading...

The Faces of the Wounded Self

Matthew called me three months before his wedding and told me the following story: “I’ve been with my fiancé for two years, and until last month I was madly in love with her. I couldn’t wait to see her at the end of every day, I loved getting phone calls from her, I didn’t care what we did as long as I was with her; in short, I was in bliss. I never felt that way about anyone. I knew early on that I wanted to marry her and that feeling never wavered… until about a month ago.”

“What happened a month ago?” I asked.

“I don’t know. All of a sudden I developed this pit in my stomach and it hasn’t gone away. Now I dread seeing her. I feel like I don’t love her anymore. Sometimes I’m not even attracted to her. Is it possible that I’ve fallen … Click here to continue reading...

A Thought is Just a Thought

One of the most debilitating topics that my clients struggle with is that they have difficulty distinguishing between the truth and the thoughts that their fear-based minds shoot into their heads. For example, a client wrote to me last week and said that every time she’s about to tell her fiance that she loves him, a voice interrupts her that says, “You don’t really love him.” With her wedding on the horizon, this is understandably a distressing thought to have several times a day, and it’s left her, of course, wondering if it’s true. It’s not true. She loves her fiance. He – like almost every partner I hear about – is loving, kind, honest, responsible, and loves her completely. He’ll make a wonderful husband and a good father. So why the thought?

Love is scary. Transitions are scary. Our minds, which are full of fear, will shoot little fear-dipped … Click here to continue reading...

Real Love Versus Infatuation

Transitions are always opportunities for growth and healing. Sometimes we need to heal ways of being in the world that are no longer serving us – like my clients who realize, through the wedding planning, that they’re suffering from the disease to please and that they need to learn how to put themselves first. Sometimes transitions provide opportunities to expand our internal resources – like the new mother who thinks she doesn’t have enough patience to handle the needs of her newborn and yet, through time and the immensity of her love, her patience grows. And sometimes transitions require that we redefine an entire belief system that has governed our way of viewing the world and relationships – like the majority of my clients who realize during their engagement that a large portion of their anxiety is caused by their unhealthy and false beliefs about the nature of love.

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The Grass Is Always Greener Syndrome

When my grandparents got married in the 1930s, I’m quite certain neither one of them had the kind of engagement anxiety I see among people today. My grandmother did experience grief about leaving her mother and two sisters and the difficult feelings were displaced onto her wedding dress and veil (a mosquito net – so an understandable disappointment on her part!), but she didn’t spend a moment wondering if she was making the best possible choice or if she loved my grandfather enough or if he was her soul mate – or any of the other anxiety-based questions that wreak havoc on my clients’ minds. At the ripe old age of 21, she knew that it was time to marry. She had had a series of boyfriends in her teenage years so she knew what was out there. When my grandfather – who had grown up three miles away from … Click here to continue reading...