Flags Versus Red Flags

One of the most common questions I’m asked during a coaching session is, “What are red flags? You say that if I’m suffering from relationship anxiety and I’m in a healthy and secure relationship without red flags then the anxiety is a manifestation of pain that needs attention as opposed to intuition that I’m in the wrong relationship. But what exactly are these red flags?”

It doesn’t matter that I list the red flags explicitly in my course and succinctly here on my site; people need to hear directly from my mouth that whatever particular hook they’re struggling with doesn’t constitute a red flag. I understand this completely. When fear takes hold, one of the stories it spins is that you’re unique and that the messages that you’re reading about anxiety don’t apply to you. Fear can do this around health anxiety, money anxiety, social anxiety, any anxiety. When fear … Click here to continue reading...

Shrink Fear Grow Love

When the fear-fog clears, when the projection that has kept him separate from you and sealed a barnacle over your heart finally shatters, you see your partner as if for the first time. Not only do you see her clearly, in all of her sweet and simple splendor, but the delusions of separateness fall away, and you can see how under the hooks of

hair or

teeth or

height or

education or

ambition or

boredom or

do we have enough to talk about or

he’s wrong for me or

she’s not attractive enough or

I’m always irritated or

mannerisms or

humor or

social fluidity or

so-called chemistry

lives the voice that says:

I have loved you all along.

In those moments of clear-seeing, like sunshine after rain, it’s as if there is no “me” or “you” but only us, or maybe it’s fully me and fully you that makes the … Click here to continue reading...

Live the Questions

I recently came across the following in a book called “The Middle Passage” by James Hollis:

“What the frightened individual wishes above all is the restoration of the sense of self which once worked. What the therapist knows is that the symptoms are helpful clues to the place of injury or neglect, pointing the way to subsequent healing… As Jung asserted, ‘The outbreak of neurosis is not just a matter of chance. As a rule it is most critical. It is usually the moment when a new psychological adjustment, a new adaptation is demanded.’ This implies that our own psyche has organized this crisis, produced this suffering, precisely because injury as been done and change must occur.” pp. 36-7

You can see the philosophy from which I hail, yes? James Hollis is a Jungian analyst who writes from the depth psychological tradition, a field of psychology developed by Carl Jung … Click here to continue reading...

You Have to Love

“Life will break you. Nobody can protect you from that, and living alone won’t either, for solitude will also break you with its yearning. You have to love. You have to feel. It is the reason you are here on earth. You are here to risk your heart. You are here to be swallowed up. And when it happens that you are broken, or betrayed, or left, or hurt, or death brushes near, let yourself sit by an apple tree and listen to the apples falling all around you in heaps, wasting their sweetness. Tell yourself you tasted as many as you could.”

― Louise ErdrichThe Painted Drum

We’re wired to love. We are social animals and we need loving relationships around us in order to feel secure and seen in the world. We also know now from attachment theory that, even as adults, we’re particularly wired to … Click here to continue reading...

Nobody is Perfick

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...