Death of the Heart

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"Where there is no memory, there has been death of the heart" -R. Nachman I often sit with someone and they tell me that they do not remember much from their younger years. That despite having had a "good childhood", the particular memories remain elusive. It appears that the beautiful person in front of me has had to turn off his heart. Emotionally lonely and unseen, the heart goes into hiding.…

Unconditional Love? No Such Thing

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There is no such thing as "Unconditional Love" Love is by definition unconditional and can be nothing else. If it's conditional it is not love, it is approval.

Playing Dominoes with Shevy

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One of the Shabbat (Saturday) morning activities that Shevy (5) and I enjoy together is setting up long trains of dominoes and watching them fall. It's a lot of work (and often frustration) for a couple of moments of "WOW" but it passes the time together and we have a laugh. Is life like those domino trains? Does each moment knock into and automatically cause the next? Or is life more…

Pain as Intimate Guide

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What if the most important work we have to do in life is to experience the meaning of loss and allow it to guide us toward the only thing we truly have? What if suffering is intended to nudge us towards parts our selves that are needed to experience the wonders of healing and the joy of reunion? What if everything and everyone is moving in the direction of wholeness? What if…

Looking Through the Window

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Looking through the window Recently, I was sitting on my back porch and as I glanced through the closed window, I watched my wife interacting with my children in the kitchen. They were not doing anything exceptional; typical family stuff - eating, talking, smiling; one of the kids was kind of just spacing out. Yet, my heart immediately became filled with such immense joy, compassion and gratitude. Funny…

Traumas of Pain and Pleasure

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Traumas of pain and pleasure Negative Trauma = Experiences that overwhelm one's system with PAIN. They cannot be processed as they happen and are therefore held down as condensed pockets of pain to be AVOIDED at all cost. Positive trauma = Experiences that overwhelm one's system with PLEASURE and are therefore held in constant awareness and CRAVED at all cost. Perhaps our psyches…

Guilt is Good?

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Guilt is a confusing for many of us. Some define it as an important human experience that can lead to personal growth and the deepening of relationships. Others see it as overwhelming and destructive. A force that inhibits their ability to engage meaningfully with life. Which is it? It can be both, but only one of them is healthy and useful. The unhealthy form becomes very obvious when you begin to…

Your Inner Nesting Doll

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Solving inner disturbances is less about problem solving and more about self expanding. It's about seeing the distress in its proper context. As that context expands, broadens and deepens, the issue does not need to go away, it is simply seen for what it is: Your earlier best attempt at living.

KNOW YOUR STYLE - How You Handle Stress WILL Affect Your Relationship

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What is your reaction to (emotional) stress? What is your partner's reaction to (emotional) stress? If you tend to turn UP the Volume to connect, feel seen and supported, while your partner's tendency is to turn DOWN the volume to maintain a status of "OK" and focus on solutions, then.... One of you will regularly feel NEGLECTED One of you will regularly feel ATTACKED One of you…

Stop Hitting Yourself

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Most people I have discussed this with admit that they have a pretty healthy inner voice that can be critical, judgmental and sometimes downright abusive. This voice developed very early as an adaptive strategy to a an unsettled environment. And life itself is unsettling. The more chaos there was in the environment, the greater the need for control and the stronger the voice. Consider: Would…