Commitment

Empathy Makes All the Difference-Part 1

The better we listen, the less defensive our partner will be. Linda: Empathy is defined as “the psychological identification with or vicarious experiencing of the feelings, thoughts, or attitudes of another.” Empathy results from understanding another deeply. When we look at the world from our partner’s point of view, we begin to bridge the gap of understanding between us. When we are emotionally activated by tension, fear, and anger, it is extremely difficult to empathize with and understand the other’s perspective at first. We are too wrapped up in our own sensations and thoughts to think clearly.
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Commitment

Post Traumatic Growth

“All the world is full of suffering. It is also full of overcoming.” --Helen Keller Linda: Researchers have studied people facing all kinds of adversity: loss of children, spouses and parents, loss of health due to cancer, heart disease, paralysis, HIV, rape, assault, mental illness, war zones, plane crashes, divorce, infertility, domestic violence, betrayal, imprisonment, torture, natural disasters (earth quakes, fire, flood,
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Commitment

Partner as Healer

Rescue marriage is the antidote to falling into the well of grief.
Linda: Judith Wallerstein, author of The Good Marriage, taught me the phrase “rescue marriage.”  I immediately grasped that she meant that in a marriage, there is a vast potential for helping in the process of rescuing us from the pain of our past. So many people grow up in dysfunctional families of all kinds. There are families scarred by the ravages of addiction to alcohol,...
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Commitment

Guilty of the Sin of Outdoing

Linda: We all have invisible loyalties to our family of origin. And so many of us did not have inspirational models of partnership in the families we grew up in. Perhaps we come from a home where parents divorced, were mismatched but did not separate, or we were heavily impacted by addiction, mental illness, or depression. We may have witnessed disappointment, their sacrificing by staying together “for the sake of the children,” overt hostility in the form of arguments, or covert hostility in the form of silence and tension.
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General

Recovering from Adversity

When life bruises us.
A king once owned a large, pure diamond of which he was justly proud, for it had no equal anywhere. One day, the diamond accidentally sustained a deep scratch. The king called in the most skilled diamond cutters and offered them a great reward if they could remove the imperfection from his treasured jewel. But no one could repair the blemish. The king was sorely distressed.

After some time a gifted lapidary came to...
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Commitment

Making Room For It All-Part 2

There is room for shadow too, both ours and theirs. “Life is a pit full of pitfalls designed by a devious deity for our conscious evolution.” - Wavy Gravy Linda: When we engage in the process of making room for it all, there is likely to be some things that need to let go of so that we are not cramped, and there is space for the new to flow in. This may feel like a sacrifice, but what we are letting go of may just be confining images of who we think we are, and also of who we see our partner to be. It is so easy to get caught in the notion of the limited self that wants to look good, feel good, and be right.
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Commitment

Making Room for it All – Part 1

“You must understand the whole of life, not just one little part of it. That is why you must read, that is why you must look at he skies, that is why you must sing and dance, and write poems and suffer, and understand, for all that is life.” --J. Krishnamurti Linda: People these days are going into marriage with huge expectations of finding fulfillment. That is a worthy goal, but so many are not yet aware of the technology of what is required to obtain and co-create fulfillment in marriage. It takes longer than the mind believes it should take, and it’s harder than the mind thinks it should be. One significant part of moving in the direction of personal fulfillment is to create a larger space for both the marriage and both partners to evolve. Making room for it all is not about lowering the standards to allow for sloppy communication or disrespectful behaviors. On the contrary, a spacious relationship is characterized by curiosity, wonder, exploration, investigation, negotiation, dialogue, debate, feedback and learning.
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General

Love Can Turn The Ordinary into The Extraordinary

Your relationship can be a spiritual sanctuary.

Linda: Jim Williams spent over four decades of his life in search of something that would fulfill his longing to contribute to humanity, share his numerous gifts with others and satisfy his quest for spiritual fulfillment. Always a gifted and diligent student, he easily got accepted into medical school and has been a practicing pediatrician for over forty years.  A devout Catholic, Jim became increasingly immersed in the church and was ordained a priest in 1986. Yet Jim’s pursuit of fulfillment failed to be fully achieved in either the world of medicine or of religion.  Although he continues to be a skilled and respected medical caregiver, he no longer sees his roles as a doctor or a priest as a means of personal or spiritual salvation.
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Commitment

Myth: My Jealousy Shows How Much I Love My Partner

Learning to love with a light touch. Linda: The word jealous comes from the Greek “jeal” a valued possession that is in danger. This idea suggests that the possession requires action to be taken to protect it. It is the wise and mature person who understands when jealousy is present. Such turbulent feelings are our cue to look inside to find the places we feel weak and inadequate in order to strengthen them.
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Commitment

Self-referential Is Being Internally Self Referenced

Unhooking from the need for approval. Linda: There is a tendency on the part of those in strong relationships, that while they are able to coordinate and collaborate with their partner, they can also trust their inner experience. They listen and take influence, but they know who they are, what they want, and are guided in their choices by that clarity. While they are respectful of conventional wisdom, and open to personal input provided by their partner, friends and colleagues, ultimately they tend to make their life choices on the basis of their own experience and judgments, rather than defer to the opinions of others. This trust in the validity of one’s instincts or intuitive knowledge is distinct from the notion of “shooting from the hip” or just “going with your gut feeling.” It is the closeness of the partnership that has promoted such self-trust, and that self-trust enhances the partnership.
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