The Poetry of Loss

My son and I are driving into town for our weekly Friday morning special time and Suzanne Vega’s song “The World Before Columbus” comes on. It’s a song she wrote for her daughter that I used to sing to Everest when he was a baby, and these lyrics made me cry every time:

 

 

Those men who lust for land

And for riches strange and new

Who love those trinkets of desire

Oh they never will have you.

And they’ll never know the gold

Or the copper in your hair

How could they weigh the worth

Of you so rare.

They still make me cry. As we’re driving, I look over at him, so tall, fourteen, a pilot, an adventurer, a light of a human being, and I see the gold and copper that still shine in his hair. I sing along, tears forming as they always do. … Click here to continue reading...

The Fear of Getting Old

We live in an ageist culture. It’s not only that we’re terrified of death and hurry to sequester the topic away under the nearest rock or stuff it into the closest corner; it’s that, in a culture that reveres youth, beauty, and physical perfection, we fear aging itself. We fear the lines that inevitably appear on faces. We fear the roundness and softness of skin and bodies. We fear the gray hairs that sprout out as if to say, “Welcome to aging! No matter what you do, you won’t be able to fight the passage of time.” But we live in a culture that encourages us to fight it: to dye, exercise, and Botox the signs of aging away as quickly as they begin.

Like caring about what others think, absorbing other people’s lives, the fear of failure, and the addiction to perfection, the fear of aging is another byproduct … Click here to continue reading...

You Can't Stop the Waves but You Can Learn to Surf

At the core of anxiety – whether health anxiety, death anxiety, relationship anxiety, or generalized anxiety – is the need for safety. As I’ve been writing about in my last few posts, left to our own unguided minds, the ego will latch onto our stories to try to gain a foothold into the ever-changing flow of an uncertain world in an attempt to create safety. This never works. As Einstein famously said, “No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.” This means that to try to soothe the anxious mind with a method devised by the anxious mind would be like asking your three-year old to comfort herself without the help of an adult. The mind’s ways of trying to create safety under the delusion of control are not only stemming from a primitive part of our brain – the part that feels the … Click here to continue reading...

Longing to Feel In Love

The Google search terms “how do you know if you’re in love” or “not in love with my partner” are some of the most common ways that people find their way to my work. Because our culture has sold us the bill of goods that romantic love is the answer to life and that when you fall in love with the “right” person you’ll have arrived at the golden elixir of happiness, when you don’t feel that feeling, it’s understandable that you would wonder what’s wrong.  The culture tells you that you should feel swept away, and when you’re not you assume that there’s a problem. How many healthy relationships and marriages have ended because one person says to the other, “I love you but I’m not in love with you.” Translation: You’re not making me feel giddy and alive, so you must be the wrong partner.

While the … Click here to continue reading...

Deciphering Suicide

I’ve been reluctant to write about suicide as it’s a vast and complicated topic that extends beyond a single blog post; to write about suicide from one perpective inevitably calls to mind another perspective, another angle, another mindset. But suicide is in the news due to the recent celebrity deaths and, as such, the topic is coming up with my clients and on the Break Free From Relationship Anxiety/Conscious Weddings E-Course forum, so I feel compelled to offer my perspective.

What I offer here is one lens through which to view the suffering that can lead to suicide. By no means do I mean to over-simplify this complicated topic or appear trite, but I share this perspective in the hopes that it will shed light for you or someone else who may be suffering. Sometimes one crack of light is what we need to create a shift that leads … Click here to continue reading...