Monday mornings often create this jarring emotional space in me. I am never fully prepared for the alarm and especially on weeks that are looming with large events, I wake with uncertainty and sadness. I don’t always know where my sorrow comes from, sometimes I have a clear and ready story about some injustice perpetrated or received. But more often lately it is just another color that lives in me that needs space to breathe and a compassionate regard.
Just as the book, Love that Works debunks the social mythology of soul mates and perfect partnerships that distract us from the real work of loving, the Love That Works blog will offer an ongoing interactive conversation about how to approach and heal the loving work in your own life.
The blog will be categorized around the same elements found in the book, so that you can easily find fast and easy solutions to the problems you face every day in your relationship. These include how we think (ground), how we communicate (air), how we show up (water) and how we share sexual intimacy (fire). We work with the premise that each piece of the ecology only functions as well as the whole.
“This is a moment of suffering. Suffering is part of life. May I be kind to myself in this moment. May I give myself the compassion I need.”
Self Compassion is an eloquent mix of strong social science research and her own personal stories of discovering the power of self- kindness during the discovery and healing process with her son’s autism. She was drawn to the idea of compassion early in her career when she began a Buddhist meditation practice and she witnessed the powerful shifts that came through practicing compassion. This experience lead her to create an empirical system to measure and research compassionate behavior.
“The master was unmoved. To all their objections he would say, ‘You have yet to understand that the shortest distance between a human being and Truth is a story.” -Anthony de Mello
Having the courage to tell your true story changes the world. The novel and recent film adaption of “The Help” has captured the hearts of so many because it depicts the civil rights struggles of millions into memorable and heart- breaking stories of characters so rich in detail that they are people we have all known somewhere in our lives. All of the facts I had learned of this time: Separate but equal, Jim Crow laws, and the Ku Klux Klan came alive in the context of these fictional, yet very real lives.
The first time I learned of the idea of self soothing, I was reading a parenting book and trying to let my first child settle herself to sleep. I was more upset than she was that evening, gripping the door knob, willing myself to not open it and go in to soothe her. Awash in my own inability to self soothe, I cried as she whimpered herself to sleep. That night provided only a glimmer of the power that comes from being able to hold onto and soothe yourself in your own pain and suffering.
I believe in passionate marriages, even as more and more books come out in support of the idea that monogamy is nothing but a political structure; I beg to differ. Done right, making love to the same person for decades can be an exploration of depth and surprise that is literally mind blowing. I know this is not the norm in our culture but I also feel it is important to bear witness to the wonder of love that works.
Last week I was stood up on my weekly radio show by Violet Blue, a well-known sex educator and author. This was the second time she no-showed, except this time there was no warning- just no guest right when the show was about to begin. I switched gears quickly, although a bit awkwardly at the start. It was the first time I have ever done a whole hour of talking to myself, but I was surprised at how fast the time flew by as I traveled through the elements that make love work.
“We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children. “ ~Native American Proverb
I was just at the GreenFest in Seattle over the weekend where we were selling our organic and all-natural love products. Some people were surprised to see a company like ours promoting sustainable love. Some people walked by averting their eyes as though we weren’t there. More than a few people openly admitted to the demise of their intimate lives. It is tragically not uncommon for people to co-exist with no shared intimacy for years.