Commitment and Freedom

I could've easily titled this blog togetherness and space, anxiety and avoidance, close and far, fire and ice, certainty and variety, light and dark, yin and yang, safety and adventure...you get the idea. We want both ends of the spectrum deeply and yet somehow in relationships, we have to reconcile this paradox. We have to hold both in balance.

And who really knows how to manage that balance? I believe that this imbalance is the cause of all the heartbreak. Let's start with when we were growing up. We wanted a safe, predictable, nurturing home life. We needed unconditional love and acceptance. We also wanted to explore, be independent, and feel free. Parents are the first ones who have the deep responsibility to find this balance for their children.

You already know what happens when we're neglected or abused emotionally or physically at home. We learn to link pain with intimacy. We learn that we can't trust people who "love" us. We learn that we have to protect ourselves and not...

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Let's Play the What If Game

anxiety fear guilt shame Aug 28, 2018

Oh you know the what if game. That's the one where we torture ourselves with endless questions like: What if it'll never get better? What if I did the wrong thing? What if I'm wasting my time? What if I never get out of here? What if this is how it is? What if he/she never changes? What if I'm being played? What if I run out of time? 

The what if game is usually accompanied by a state of panic, overwhelm, maybe shame, guilt. You might feel tension in your neck or nausea in your gut. You believe that if you think of everything, you should be able to cover your ass no matter what bad thing happens. Just when you think you've got worst case scenarios covered, you think of another one. You try to think of solutions but none are coming. It's almost as if you're in a haunted house where each floorboard you uncover leads to another one. 

Why do we play this game for hours? We believe that if we think of everything, we can protect ourselves from getting blindsided, caught unaware,...

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F*CK MEDITATION (no, not really)

Raise your hand if you know you should meditate but you hate it. As a child, my parents took me with them to see their guru. I believed that there must be something to it because both of my parents and all of their friends believed in it so strongly. I started attending satsung by choice and went all the way through the process and learned the techniques of meditation. 

I would sit and try and try and try to practice the techniques, to focus on my breathing and not my thoughts, and to experience the inner peace that I had heard so much about.....and nothing would happen. I would get fidgety and antcy and restless and then I would feel like a failure for not being able to meditate and then I would quit.

I had tried to love yoga many times and always left with the same frustration: this is too slow, this is pointless, this hurts, this is boring, I can't sit still, I have to get out of here immediately. When I was pregnant with my first son, I thought that I could try it again and...

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When You Feel Trapped in Your Skin

anxiety depression ptsd Aug 06, 2018

You know that feeling of an endless pit in your stomach filled with sludge? It's heavy and deep and you can't lighten it or clear it no matter what you try? You know rationally that there's no reason for you to feel bad, but emotionally you can't shift it. Yeh, me neither.

My mother taught me that I had control over my emotions. It was as simple as choosing to be happy. "Turn that frown upside down." "Pull yourself up by your boot straps." "Wallowing in misery is self indulgent." This way of thinking came with many messages: You're weak if you're upset. You are only worthy of attention when you're happy and accomplished. When you feel bad, you should shove it aside quickly.

So I learned that if I couldn't snap myself out of a bad mood, that there was something wrong with me, that I was deficient, weak. I was ashamed about my lack of control. I carried this through my adulthood, believing that we could be happy most of the time. We just had to try harder to control our focus. 

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