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Relationship Crisis or Wake Up Call?

Life has its way of giving us feedback and letting us know when we are going in a painful direction. The feedback shows up in many forms. One of the forms is a relationship crisis. Unfortunately, however, often when this occurs rather than this being seen as an awakening process, it is perceived as a relationship issue. The solution then looks like it is about fixing or improving the relationship or getting a new relationship rather than looking to the inner opportunity for growth. I have certainly fallen into this category.   The crisis is not a commentary on the relationship. It...

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How to Avoid Going Stir-Crazy When You Have To Stay Home!

I was reading recently how some gurus in India expect their disciples to become ascetics and recluses, while others encourage family life and duties. It was indicated that most gurus consider family life more difficult than renunciation, with family life suitable only for a balanced and mature personality.   I was reflecting on this as social distancing and stay at home measures are being implemented to help slow down the rate that people are getting sick from COVID-19. I listened to an episode of the New York Times Daily where a couple was going to be spending significantly more time together because...

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We Came Back From Being A Lost Cause Relationship

It can be very hard for couples to see that the other person is not responsible for their upset. I’m upset because she doesn’t want to have sex. I’m upset because he yelled at me. These look true. It looks like the lack of sex causes upset. It looks like the yelling is what causes the hurt.   It looks like the solution is for the other person to change. I wouldn't be upset if he or she were different.   That is often how couples come to Angus and me, thinking that with our help we will get their partner to change so they...

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Letting Go Of Blame

In relationships, it can be really hard to let go of blame. I can look true that someone else is responsible for our experience. It is assumed that certain actions automatically cause certain feelings.   Another reason it seems hard to let go of blame is the idea that if we let go of blame we are condoning the behavior.   But they don't go together!   I can see Hitler’s psychological innocence and not condone the holocaust.   Viktor Frankel can feel goodwill and compassion for his oppressor. It doesn't mean he agreed with the Nazi's.   A brother of a murder victim can forgive the perpetrator while not...

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Help For Relationship Reactivity

I’m working with a young man related to success and performance. However, as part of our conversations, his relationship came up. He was feeling bad about his behavior. He had a lot of insight into why he behaves reactively at times. He recognized that when he gets insecure he loses his temper and becomes controlling as a way to try and stabilize himself. When angry, he feels compelled to behave that way and feels justified. However, afterward, he is filled with shame and remorse for his actions. He was feeling discouraged because he hadn't been able to change his behavior....

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Would You Be Happier If Your Partner Changed?

The Answer Might Not Be What You Think   We just celebrated the Thanksgiving Holiday in the U.S. It is a wonderful reminder to look at what we are grateful for in our lives. The results of this are so heart-opening. For me, it was also a reminder to look at how I am giving in my life. What ways am I being of service?    In the area of relationships, we are often preoccupied with what we should be getting from our relationship and from our partner that we forget to look at how we are showing up in the relationship. It is...

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Beyond Fear of Intimacy to Embracing the Wild

There is an incredible depth of feeling and love experienced in intimate relationships. As Bruce Perry’s book title highlights, we are born for love. We are all drawn to the experience of love. That is our natural state. That is who we are.   If this is true, why are intimate relationships hard for so many people?    Just because we are born for love on the psychological level and our essence is love on the spiritual level, it doesn’t mean we always feel love. Our personal experience can feel like the opposite of this at times and when it does we often believe that things...

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The Myth of No Upset In Healthy Relationships

Healthy relationships have room for each person's humanness. We don’t need to improve ourselves. In fact, the more we allow ourselves to be with what is in the moment the more room there is for love to show up. This doesn’t mean we are going to be loving with each other all the time. But it will be more likely. The less we try to change what is, the less suffering we have. The less suffering we have the more likely we are to show up with an open heart. This is easier when you remember that experience comes and...

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Psychological Innocence

Everyone is doing the best they can at all times, and our best does fluctuate. Seeing this is what allows us to see our own and everyone else's psychological innocence. There is freedom in that. Judgment and blame naturally fall away and we drop into our natural state of love. Angus and I can find ourselves caught up in blame and judgment at times, but it is helpful to know that the freedom from suffering has nothing to do who or what we are blaming and everything to do with us forgetting who we are and that our wellbeing resides within. Whenever we...

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What Is The One Thing That Always Makes A Difference In Relationships?

In relationships, struggles often happen when we blame our partner for our upset. It can look like we need our partner to be different in order to be happy. The more we look in that direction, the more real that appears. And the more real it looks, the harder it is to enjoy our partner exactly as they are. But there is another direction to look in. The direction of wellbeing, the true self, your natural state. No matter what is going on in your relationship, looking in that direction is going to be of benefit. It naturally allows the personal mind...

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