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…

Abraham's Journey

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Abraham's journey... had very little to do with his actual steps toward a new geographic location. It's truth was an inner journey from unconscious conditioned fears, desires and thought patterns to the open expansive space of Divine consciousness. His first encounter with an open awareness that transcended his limited conception of the Divine. The shift from complete identification with objects (physical…

The Burden of Responsibility

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When God places Adam in the Garden to guard and serve it, the verse states: "And the Lord, God TOOK Adam and PLACED him in the Garden.." Apparently Adam did not want to go on his own. What was in the way? Was not the garden glorious? The answer our sages give is that Adam feared responsibility. Responsibility. Service. Sacrifice. Love. What if I fail? What if it's too much…

Would You Like to Live Less Guarded?

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Would you like to live less guarded? If so, what's holding you back? Or more importantly... Who's Holding the Keys? Often the one holding the keys is elusive, he's hiding, because he believes that the keys are his only hope, his only protection. And he doesn't even feel good about hanging on to them so strongly, but.....what will happen if he sets them down? Who will he be then? Until…

Stop Blaming Your Parents

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Stop Blaming Your Parents. כִּי־אָבִ֣י וְאִמִּ֣י עֲזָב֑וּנִי וַֽיהוָ֣ה יַֽאַסְפֵֽנִי׃ Though my father and mother abandon me, God will take me in. During this month, Jews have a custom to read chapter 27 of Psalms where the above verse is found. I believe that on one level, King David is speaking of a moment that every human…

My Teenage Tears, Toxic Shame and Hakuna Matata

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I recently had the pleasure of watching the Lion King with my daughter and nephew. I originally saw it in the theatre when it came out in 1994. I was 18 at the time. It had me in serious tears and I had no idea why. It was actually quite embarrassing because I couldn't hide the tears. It was one of those cries where as hard as you try, the tears won't go back in. Anyway, I liked the original…

Are You Avoiding Me?

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Yesterday a friend asked me if I was working on Tisha B'Av. I answered "no". I later thought about how nice it would be to work, or better yet, to sleep. To go unconscious and wake up Friday morning not having to worry about it until next Summer. What am I trying to avoid? It is not as if I have experienced the Temple or anything directly associated with it to feel the loss I am supposed…

My False Self

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One of the best metaphors I have heard for the "false self" we unknowingly come to inhabit is that of an espaliered tree. Espaliered trees are saplings that are made to grow into a desired shape. To make this happen, the soft, delicate branches of the developing tree are bent to a desired shape and then held in that position by wires or a trellis. New shoots that don't conform are pruned away. The…

Lovers Facing Each Other and the Beyond

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Working with couples, the most significant shift I get the privilege of witnessing is when husband and wife turn to one another and share intimate emotional space. She may share her loneliness and how her angry attack is really a fearful, fear laden attempt to try and find him. He may share his fear of failing and disappointing her (again) and how withdrawing is his way of protecting himself and not…

Why You're So Hard on Yourself and What You Can Do About it

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“What’s wrong with you?” “Why are you so lazy?” “Look at how much better and more successful he is than you.” If these judgments were lodged at a child, we would be up in arms in defense of his dignity and her sense of self. And yet, we routinely file these evaluations and many others….against ourselves. If you are not familiar with the inner judge that I describe, good on you, stop…