change

Decisions Made in Places of Pain = No Good

I love working on and in relationships. It’s amazingly rewarding work and there is nothing more humbling to see a couple grow back together right in front of your eyes.

And yet, when most couples reach out, they’re in a place of pain.  I’d love for my work to be much more preventative, but the reality is that most people come to couple’s therapy when they’re hurting. 

Losing Our Needs

I’d say that 99.99% of all arguments are based on unmet needs.  Yes, even the ones about chewing too loud or forgetting to take out the garbage can be narrowed down to some attachment need not being met in the relationship.

And I realize that may sound like an intense overgeneralization, but if you really slow down to think about it, it’s sort of true.  Whether it’s our need for safety, belonging, acceptance or unconditional love, it all comes back to an attachment need.

And yet one of the hardest things in love is actually learning how to communicate our needs. We’re honestly really crappy about it. And it’s understandable, because communicating our needs is really, really vulnerable. And most of us don’t do vulnerability well.

Needing to Be Right Leaves Us Nowhere But Alone

I’d say the most common things couples call and ask for support around is communication.  Yes, intimacy and healing trust are close seconds, but the initial call is usually around communication.

And communication in and of itself is a tricky thing.  Because honestly, most communication is really up to interpretation…or perspective.  Unfortunately you aren’t built to be an accurate self observer and often times you leave a situation believing you were entirely right, when in fact your perspective has left you blinded to what really just went down.

Saying "I'm Sorry" vs. Asking for Forgiveness

I had the most amazing/eye opening conversation the other day and I simply had to share it.  It was this thought provoking discussion on the difference between saying “I’m sorry” versus asking for forgiveness.

As many of you know, I’ve worked hard to become a better apologizer in my own marriage.  As a middle child, I have some stubborn characteristics and admitting when I’m wrong is probably one of the places I’ve pushed myself to grow and change the most.  Because it’s honestly the place I’ve struggled the most.

Trying Doesn't Guarantee Success

I hate making mistakes.  I know that’s an odd way to start a blog post, but it’s the truth.  I don’t like making mistakes and I really don’t like letting others down.

But as a wife, mom and business owner I’ve learned that I do let people down.  It’s not intentional. I’m not trying to disappoint or drop the ball.  And yet it still causes hurt.  

I’m (still) working to accept that I’ll continue to let others down, especially those that matter the most.  Because at the end of the day, I’m only human.  And being human means that I can only do so much, be so much and try so much.

My Biggest Pet Peeve

I love learning about people’s pet peeves. I know that sounds odd, but I feel like learning about people’s pet peeves is super interesting but also helps me feel like I know them better. So depending on how well we know each other, there is a chance that I’ve asked you this question.

And to be fair, I’ll share one of mine with you.

I CAN NOT stand it when someone doesn’t try because they don’t believe that a little bit can make a huge difference.

I don’t know how I developed this pet peeve, but I have some ideas.  

Working Towards Understanding

Over the years of being a couple’s therapist, I’ve come to realize that I’ve chosen a very interesting line of work.  I feel blessed to have a job that I truly enjoy and humbled to have folks trust me enough to let me into the most intimate space of their life…their relationship.

One pattern that I see come up over and over again in the counseling room is this idea of agreement.  It’s amazing to me how stuck folks can get trying to find a place of agreement.  Simply put, love isn’t one of the places that we should be seeking agreement.

What Motivates You In Love?

I was listening to sports radio during my drive in the other day and the discussion was on maintaining motivation.  I am truly fascinated by sports (some would say fanatical) because the idea of someone dedicating their whole lives to perfecting a talent is amazing to me.  It takes a special kind of person to sacrifice the way athletes do. Yes, there are big pay offs, but there are also tremendous sacrifices made along the way.  And in order to justify the sacrifices, you not only need dedication to your craft, but you also need an ability to stay intensely motivated.

 Or you’ll simply fall flat.

Peak to Peak Principle

Picture yourself standing on one peak and being able to easily see the other peak in the distance. Now begin making your way from one peak to the other.  As you dip into the valley, you begin to lose sight of the peak you’re heading towards.  As you descend, the fog thickens, the trees become taller and denser. You try your best, but despite all you’re looking up, you can hardly see the peak you’re walking to any longer.  You begin to feel defeated and slow your pace, wondering if you’re even going the right direction.  You begin to doubt yourself and even wander off course.  Eventually you decide to just sit and wait for the rescue party, because it’s not worth trying on your own.  You’ve completely lost perspective of where you needed to be headed.

 

Are You Making Decisions Based On Your Past Or Present?

I’ve been diving into all sorts of different learning these past few months and challenging myself to learn from other helpers and healers, not just other therapists.  In order to be the most dynamic helper to the folks I work with, I feel it’s my role to also challenge myself to hear other voices and perspectives, especially when it comes to all things love.

 

I was watching a webinar by a woman who does energy healing through flower essences…(told you I was expanding my learning)….and she was sharing about this continual pattern we get stuck in of making decisions based on the past, not the present. 

Buckling Up In Love: Are You Practicing Good Seat Belt Safety?

I mean an unfastened seat belt does nothing for you.  And lord knows, racing to buckle up mid-crash doesn’t do anything to minimize the injury. 

 

So with that logic, I have to ask if you’re practicing seat belt safety in love? Are you putting on the seat belt mid-crash or did you secure your belt well before you started the journey?

Be Free

 

In lieu of a blog entry this week, I decided to do something different.

With Independence Day coming later this week, I want you to take on a challenge…..a freedom challenge.

This week, I want you to be set free.

I know that in this life we all have things that weigh us down. Worries.  Fears. Challenges. Obstacles.

Love: Oil Change or Engine Rebuild?

You know that sticker on the upper left hand corner of your windshield…..the one that reminds you  to get your oil changed.  Well… do you use that sticker as a way to track your next date of service, or do you glance up every now and again, shout an “oh sh*t” and race to the nearest Jiffy Lube realizing you’re 5,000 miles overdue?

Funny enough, these two responses are really similar to how couples approach their relationships.  The oil change couples versus the engine rebuild couples. 

Let me explain….

Change is Meant to Grow You, Not Kill You.

This sweet little train ride immediately took us into what seemed to be a quite dark and long tunnel...no easing in here folks, right to the scary part.  I looked back at my little one's to see their response to the unexpected and abrupt darkness and I noticed both of them leaning forward, almost perched in their seats searching for light ahead.  

Are You In?

As a mom of young kids, I don’t find myself reading much like I used to.  Sure I’ve read Charlie the Ranch Dog and Hound from the Pound about 800 times in the last year, but gone are the days of leisure in catching up on the latest celebrity gossip from a good ol’ People magazine.  The closest I get to celebrity gossip these days are when I’m standing in line at the grocery store and reading the covers.  But lately it seems every headlines is about deceit, betrayal and drama in some poor celebrity’s intimate relationship.

Don't Be Afraid to Glance Up.

I'm recently back refreshed and rejuvenated from a great vacation with my husband....which was kid free and pretty amazing!

Now for the record, I'm the type of vacationer that likes to sit, read and catch up on rest and relaxation.  My husband on the other hand is the explorer, adventurer type.  Well this time around, I decided to step outside my usual vacation MO and spend a day with him exploring, hiking and experiencing what the destination had to offer.

Why Is Change So Brutal?

Ok..I get that the title of this might be a bit extreme, but for anyone that has had to go through change recently...brutal might just be the perfect word to describe it. I work in an industry ie. working with people, that is so full of change and growth that sometimes it almost gets overlooked of just how hard it really is to face. Being forced to deal with change is often one of the most challenging experiences we undergo. Accepting change is essentially accepting the unknown and trusting that the "change" will work out in the long run. I don't know about you, but the whole thought of change can often be anxiety producing in itself and that's usually when it is "good" or "planned" change!