Thursday, December 22, 2016
It was a poorer time, it was a simpler time. It was the time when imagining was free and easily available, but doing was not affordable. The boxes under the tree did not come from Tiffani's, but the anticipation was gigantic. The gifts did not empty the bank, but they did fill the heart with something wonderfully transcending. The apartment in Brooklyn may have been cold, but the spirit of the Holidays burned brighter and warmer than ever.
Years have past since, but the memories still burn bright. May you all make memories to warm you for the rest of your life.
Sunday, December 11, 2016
The cracks is where the light comes in
The hard blows life delivers to us, wound us deeply, yes, but mostly they open us up. They crack the hard shell of invulnerability and hubris and let the soft light of empathy pour in.
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune remove our blinders, if only temporarily, and life takes depths and colors unknown before.
It is being said that it is only the wounded healer who can really heal. This year, once again, I came face to face with the old Lady Fate. In her deep, all knowing eyes I saw the threat of death, and the fear of suffering. And then she raised her hand and her old knurled finger pointed to so much more: The love of family, the support of friends, the kindness of strangers, but most of all I saw, I saw the boundless empathy and kindness of other wounded healers. My heart lifted like a feather, and opened like a cherry blossom in the midst of a February storm to welcome the mystery that is Life.
So, this year I have a very special and very personal wish for our magic tree: Please keep all the wounded healers healthy and strong so we can continue to shine the light of hope even in the darkest nights of the soul.
Monday, July 4, 2016
In my 25+years of treating victims, or I should more correctly say survivors of childhood abuse, there invariably comes a moment when the crucial question is asked: should I forgive my abuser, and how do I do this.
But, the question that needs to by asked first, is what does it mean to forgive? So, here are some thoughts for serious consideration:
Forgiveness is to fully and unequivocally acknowledge the harm done to you and the burning rage it causes and yet accept that revenge or punishment is not yours to deliver, because the need for revenge ties you inextricably to your abuser, for ever.
Forgiveness is to let go of the often hidden desire to get your abuser's love, acceptance, and apology. This need too ties you to him/her with chains of steel.
Forgiveness is to truly understand your abusers limitations to meet your needs and finally grieve the death of the hope or illusion that he will change, "see the light". There is no light, there never was.
Forgiveness is to let yourself off the hook for what you fantasize you could or should have done to stop the abuse. These fantasies are also based on your need to believe that your abuser is a good person and he could still be rehabilitated if you could only find the right way, if you were a better daughter, son, wife.
Forgiveness is not accepting your abuser back into your life or confronting him, especially if you are not in therapy. This will more likely than not lead to more abuse, more hurt.
Forgiveness is a process not an one time event. It is not a decision made in one moment of magnanimity, it is the outcome of healing and it takes time and often the care and safety of a skilled professional.
Finally, and most importantly, forgiveness is the gift of freedom you give to yourself not an absolution of wrongdoing for your abuser.
May you find freedom and healing.
Sunday, February 14, 2016
New patients often asked me what therapy is and how it works. Veterans ( anywhere from a month to a year) have already figured it out.
It's a unique kind of a relationship, I tell them. It is mental alchemy: Two souls/minds coming together, and forever changing each other.
So, what exactly is it?
It's the most intimate relationship with someone you will never get to know personally, but who will know your innermost essence.
It's about talking about everything without concern that you are boring, because she sees not just your conscious mind, but also your unconscious, and IT is infinitely amazing, and endlessly fascinating.
It's about finding the mother you have always dreamed of and learning how to lovingly re-mother your own self, because this is how you really begin to forgive.
It's about finding your wings and surging to new heights.
It's leaving someone you loved deeply and felt equally loved by and knowing at the same time that it is OK, that she will always by an indelible presence in your heart.
It's an Odyssey of the heart and mind that brings you to an Ithaca of wisdom and peace.