Category Archives: Psychology

Loves Imperfections

There is little perfection in love
For as much joy and happiness that fills us there is as much equal despair and disappointment. The magnetic pull that keeps us safe and warm equally drags us into a grief of cold loneliness.

The perfection of love is only marked by moments we have to cherish that infuse our hearts with memories and feelings that keep us moving forward with our hearts bursting. It is what drives us to keep going day after day.
Our education, our children and families, our cultures, our hard work in our jobs, all the sacrifices we make, the letting go of things we wanted, the compromises we make, the changes we want to make in ourselves.
And all the things we tell ourselves that keep us in a state of bliss or denial.
Nothing is anything without love.
Happiness is ephemeral.
Success is gratifying.
Wealth brings safety and freedom.

Without having love our existence is only grazing the surface of life.
It is the only thing there is that can fill the holes in our soul left by things we never had or never knew we missed.
It is the only thing that arrives and departs on its own accord.
Hard work doesn’t bring it to us
Money does not summon it’s call
Nothing is anything without it.
Love is fragile. Treat it and others you love as your best art. Put it in its best light, and hold it close.

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Sex..we all secretly want it.

Masters and Johnson once said

good sex begins while your clothes are still on

We cannot have a good sexual relationship with our significant other without having a good relationship. Of course, not all sexual roadblocks are a reflection of the relationship, some may be physical. That being said, intimacy, emotional closeness and being vulnerable are pivotal to every marriage. Self-disclosure, sharing personal information and feelings with your partner is essential to our ongoing bonding experience. Time moves forward and we grow and change as individuals. As we have new and different experiences, our personal views and feelings change. It is important for us to share current feelings and thoughts with our spouse to keep them in touch with our inner lives so they may share our inner life. In essence, this is intimacy. If we work on improving our connectedness with our partner, sexual intimacy will drastically improve; the quality of our relationship will improve and happiness as well as fulfillment will return. So many marriages lose this over time, and sex is generally the first indicator that the marriage is in trouble. Sex is a very important component of marriage.

We can create with our partner, whatever kind of sexual relationship we desire. But this requires TALKING WITH one another. There are so many marriages that neglect the elephant in the room.

I see couples that go several months and even years without having sex. Why is it that something so important and that feels so good can be so easily placed on the back burner for so long? I have heard many rationalizations:

We are too busy with the kids, we both work and are too tired, there is no time, one of us is not in the mood, women often say they are not happy with how they look or feel physically (I feel fat, I don’t like by body right now etc.) our timing is often off, kids are in the house, we have visitors, blah, blah, blah.

Of course there are always circumstances when these things are true. But if we allow ourselves to go too long without being with one another sexually it becomes like having to get your rugs cleaned.You know you have to do it, but you just keep putting it off because it starts to feel more like something you should do rather then something you want to do. Yet when we finally do have sex we say “ why don’t we do this more often?”

There are several things that you can do to bring sex off the back burner and into the open again:

  • The bedroom is for sleeping and sex. Nothing else, no electronics allowed  (Smartphones, tablets, TV, computers, PS3, etc.) Leave those things in the kitchen or in another area of the house before bed. How often do you find yourself along with your spouse while in bed looking at your phones, at Facebook, working on your laptop, reading emails, texting or playing a game? Stop it! Really look at each other, talk about your day, connect, touch one another, and remind yourself what it is about your partner that you love so much. And it’s ok to be affectionate WITHOUT having sex.
  • Don’t always wait to be in the mood. Sometimes just go for it and stop over thinking so much, and try not to be so serious.
  • Don’t go to bed angry. This is a tough one, and requires each of you to keep your side of the fence “clean” and not hanging on to things that may have upset you for weeks on end. An exercise I ask couples to do who struggle with taking the time to connect, is to take 15 minutes one day a week, to talk about how the week was, if there was anything that occurred that was hurtful, bothersome, or even positive and share it with one another. This cannot turn into a marathon discussion, or you will lose the goal just connecting. One at a time each of you talks and the other listens. Listening means listening, not defending or making excuses why you did what you did or said what you did. It means hearing your partner’s feelings and thoughts to try to understand how they feel. This simple exercise can dramatically purge things that weigh on you or your partner and not only free you up emotionally, but bring you closer.
  • Remember Romance. Even simple gestures such writing a love note, giving a random long hug, offering a backrub, scrolling a heart on the shower door or bathroom mirror with an ‘ I love you’, feels adoring to the receiver. The next time your partner gets in the shower he or she will see it and smile. How about a kiss to wake him/her up? Or a random text or email during the day that says “ I’m thinking of you” Flowers and small gifts for no special occasion are always a nice surprise but buying things isn’t always necessary to communicate your love.
  • Compliment or praise her/him more often (if you have children you can do this in front of the kids, this is especially powerful to the receiver) you’re a wonderful provider and hard worker, you’re a good father or husband, you’re a loving and special mother or wife, you’re a reliable partner and friend, you’re so talented at what you do for a living. We all need and want to hear these things from the person we love and cherish the most. It makes a difference and goes a long way.
  • Teach your spouse what you enjoy and what feels good to you sexually. Teach them about your body  When a couple comes in for issues surrounding lack of sexual activity, I ask with both partners in the session, if they know what each of them like sexually. Where do they like to be touched? Where do they not like to be touched? How do they like to be touched? The neck? The ear? The chest? The belly? etc. These are the areas where foreplay comes into action. Most of the time, believe it or not, the answer is, as he or she looks at their spouse sheepishly “ you know.. I don’t know”. Learn all you can about your partners body. Spend time touching one another asking questions, experimenting, discuss one another’s sexual fantasies, try different positions, TALK to one another. I can promise you there will be things you will learn and experience that will surprise you and this will open a new area of your relationship.
  • Look at each other. In supermarket psychology this has been called “soul gazing”. It is not staring it is looking. Look in your partner’s eyes, for a few moments in a quiet place. This is not an intellectual exercise it is an emotional one. What do you see? What color are his/her eyes, what sense do you get of them? How do you feel? Experience them. Many people who struggle with intimacy struggle with this exercise because it feels awkward or uncomfortable. They are looking for a specific “thing” instead of having the experience itself of connecting on a non-verbal,         non-sexual, level. Remember it is the inner experience you feel and the emotional experience     that occurs when you both really look into one another

Research is consistent with reporting that there is a link between feeling satisfied sexually in our relationship and overall quality of the relationship. I think we should all not only start talking about the elephant in the room but doing something to make ourselves and our marriages more of a priority. We make time to work out, we make time to get our nails done, we make time to watch football, we make time to go the salon, we make time to do things that are important to us.

Make your partner and your marriage a priority. When we don’t, we only drift away from one another   and there is way too much of that going on nowadays.

“The Truth is…

..Everyone is going to hurt you,
You just got to find the ones worth suffering for” Bob Marley

William James once said
“Wisdom is learning what to overlook”.
Yet when we are in a relationship with a person we love so much how do we know exactly what to overlook or when to step up or put the breaks on?
If something is hurting us, do we overlook it as something that may be Insignificant or inconsequential?
Is it transient? Or do we convince ourselves we are being loved, so it’s ok? And very often that really seems like a fair trade.
Do we allow ourselves to get in so deep that when the door closes behind us, and we find ourselves in menacing places, or even being in situations that we would normally make an effort to avoid what do we do? Hope it’s not there with the new morning sun?
Does “crazy” look the same when you love someone then when you aren’t involved? How does love enslave us to a point where we loose our sense of self? Or better, our sense of what love is or should be for us? Do we deserve better?
Chaos, lies & deceit, rejection, broken hearted hurt can so easily be intertwined that sometimes, we just can’t find the end of the string. Where does the love end and the hurt begin? Is it love at all ? Do we call it love because it is what we know love to be?

Sometimes our hearts want to be loved and held so close that we often take risks against our better judgement. Then suddenly we feel,
we are randomly dumped alone in a dark place with nothing but ourselves and our seething pain to keep us company. We have no idea how we got there or how to compartmentalize the pain and figure out how to find our way back. You may have found yourself in a situation such as this. Your hurting but somehow the hurt isn’t as bad as the love you feel on the other side. So you decide not to get out.

You tell yourself it’s ok while in between you find yourself immobilized by fear confusion combined with passion mixed with disappointment and sadness. Then the tears come that no one sees. The knots in your stomach, the laying awake at night wondering if it’s real love or maybe something is wrong here. Then we stay, knowing full well where we are headed and what’s coming.
How is it that our little tiny hearts over take our big brains every time? We all have experience in these matters we just choose not to use our brains. We just don’t want to. Knowing full well in the end we will crack or break and suffer and create more pain.

Does love or loneliness have the power to move us into places we never thought we would be?
Some of the chaos is familiar and although exasperating at times we continue in the relationship
because we love that person. LOVE.
The pain we feel doesn’t outweigh the pleasure we feel. And as I always say;

when the pain or angst or sadness begin to take up MORE space in your
heart then the love, happiness & warmth it’s time to consider letting go.

If you don’t you may find that you eventually burn one another out fighting
about things that don’t really matter.
One will get broken hearted and loose what they tried so very hard to keep.
The love
The whiteness
The feeling that no one else or nothing else matters.
Love takes us and we are more then happy to oblige.
Because that’s all anyone ever really wants. And somehow even in the darkness we convince ourselves it was all worth it. Because if even for a little whIle we floated. It found us. We experienced it. We felt happy. We belonged.
Even while our brain was screaming at us we closed the window, plugged our ears and just floated.

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How does it feel…REALLY?

To experience such intense private desperation inside that you want to end your life? To be such a tortured soul that not even a pin of light can be hoped for or any chance of ever getting out from under yourself. You become the source of your own darkness and despair. You blame yourself. A hostage to your sadness with no end in sight. How does it feel to be so profoundly depressed?
I suppose It would be like you finding out that you just WON 100 million dollars: OR that you just LOST everything you have. Your reaction would be exactly the same. Complete indifference to either scenario. That’s a glimpse into the sheer flatness of the way you feel and experience the world. Nothing matters anymore. Nothing.
Your compass is broken, you are so swallowed up by your own distorted thoughts and hopeless cognitions that your perception changes. Completely.
Those who suffer from depression try anything for relief. Robin Williams, and so many others famous or not, (who suffer from bipolar disorder, depression, or another mood disorder on the spectrum) use alcohol or drugs to self medicate, and try to escape from this feeling. Robin Williams did this with cocaine and alcohol. Then of course a secondary problem of substance abuse or addiction emerges, then you end up with two problems. Depression and substance abuse or addiction. This is called being dually diagnosed, and requires care from those who are trained in both addiction and mental health. One feeds off the other. For those who have never really experienced what it’s like to hit an emotional wall it’s similar to a huge truck going 70 mph striking a piece of glass shattering it into pieces. Then you learn you have glue all those hundreds of shards and broken pieces back together with no tools or template, and your can’t see very well. It’s overwhelming, it can be just too much. In the wake of Robin Williams suicide, by asphyxiation (hanging) watching news coverage, hearing the reactions of fans, journalists and celebrity physicians, it makes me sad how often those who appear so happy and so put together on the outside, can be so very distressed. Depression comes from the INSIDE not the outside. It does not matter how wonderful or fortunate the individual appears to be. I always tell my clients who compare their insides to other people’s outsides that you never really know anyone’s private hell. Its not always the ones who look like crap, or don’t go to work, or have few outlets or friends. Mental illness crosses money lines, class lines, cultural lines, religious and spiritual lines, right wing, left wing, in the center. The homeless guy down the street, the well put together woman in the cubical next to yours at work, or the amazingly gifted and loved comedian and actor, Mr. Robin Williams.
Very often it is a person you never thought was troubled by life at all. Suffering happens deep inside and most often can’t been seen.
There is always hope. There is always a way out, there is a way to get beyond it. For some, they just couldn’t make it or see it.
Be compassionate to the angry bitchy woman who you interact with in the workplace, or your neighbor who can never move her head to make eye contact with you. You just don’t know the private pain people carry around everyday.
Being nice or reaching out with a kind word can make a difference in their life. Even if it’s just a moment. I have heard that those moments can change a persons day or even their faith in humanity. 

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