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Entries in couples therapist (4)


This is a Test--This is Only a Test.

What challenge are you facing in your life right now? Whether the challenge is related to finances, relationship, self worth, self image, health, career/vocation, please listen:

“This is a Test. This is only a test. Beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep. This has been a test of the Universal Broadcast System to see how you might respond to this challenge in your life. If you passed this test and responded with any of the following qualities: compassion, trust, love, forgiveness, empowerment, joy, equanimity, then you will no longer need to take this test. If, however, you continued to react in fear, worry, doubt, anger, frustration, resentment, or as a victim, then we will have to keep administering this test (because we love you too much to give up on you).”



The Secret to Living an Extraordinary Life

Jacob was not satisfied with his life. Just about every aspect of life, including his marriage, work, friendships, etc., felt stale and stagnant. He couldn’t even remember the last time he felt excitement and passion for something. He had heard about a wise old sage that could answer burning questions, so he decided to seek his counsel. At the meeting with the sage Jacob presented his dilemma, “Dear Sage, I have heard that you are wise and can help answer important questions. I am not happy with my life and need guidance. I ask you, how can I live an extraordinary life? Is there a secret you can share with me?” The sage looked curiously at Jacob, pulled out a large crystal ball, and peered carefully into its center. A look of alarm suddenly appeared on the sage’s face as he replied, “Forget about living an extraordinary life. I have seen your future and you will be dead by tomorrow morning!”

Jacob dashed out the door and began sprinting toward home as fast as he could. On the way he couldn’t help but think of all the time he had wasted worrying about trivial matters. When he arrived, he fell to his knees in front of his wife and proclaimed, “My dear, I sought the wisdom of the sage and his crystal ball foretold that I will be dead in the morning.” They both knew this was their last day together so they opened their hearts, cried together, and allowed themselves to forgive all past grievances. They openly expressed their love for each other and felt gratitude for the journey they co-created in this life. There was no reason to fear getting hurt anymore so they were able to look deeply into each other’s eyes and feel an intimate connection.   

Jacob looked at his children and suddenly realized he had been placing unnecessary expectations on them to be a certain way. Knowing this would be his last time with them, he let go of all the expectations and just loved them fully in the moment, and they played, laughed, and hugged each other for hours. He stayed up as long as he could because he wanted to make this night last, until finally falling asleep.

The next morning Jacob woke up and was surprised to be alive. He ran back to the home of the sage, burst through the door and exclaimed, “I am still alive! How could this be? Was the crystal ball mistaken?” The old sage looked at him and calmly replied, “You asked for the secret to living an extraordinary life. The crystal ball was not mistaken. It gave you the answer you were seeking.”



Grace Is a Knockin'--Will You Let Her In?

She loves to play hide-n-seek. But if you go searching for her, you won’t find her. If you try too hard she stays hidden in the shadows, just out of reach. And yet she is always there, knocking on your door in plain sight. Her gifts are more valuable than all the riches in the world and more powerful than nuclear bombs, yet they cost nothing and she bestows them with the lightest touch. The only way to receive her gifts is to drop the protective armor around the heart and provide the opening. She enters through the receptive heart—the door must be open. She knows exactly what you need and if you allow her, she will change your life.  It only takes one moment, this moment.



Listen to the Call of the Heart

In January of 1982, a plane carrying 74 passengers crashed into the icy waters of the Potomac River in Washington, D.C. Several of the passengers survived the crash but were stranded on wreckage and blocks of ice floating in the middle of the river. After nearly 20 minutes rescue workers finally arrived by helicopter and began to airlift the survivors out. A lifeline was lowered to one of the survivors, Arland Williams, Jr., but instead of holding on and saving himself he passed the rope to one of his fellow passengers. He did this several times, allowing for the others to be pulled to safety while he clung to the ice in freezing waters. By the time the helicopter returned for the final rescue, Arland was gone. He couldn’t hold on any longer and slipped away into the frigid water. I will never forget the profound impact this event had on my twelve-year-old mind. The idea that a man (or woman) could give up their life for the sake of another filled me with awe. For most people, this was a demonstration of courage and bravery to the highest degree. And it certainly was that, but it was also an act of pure love that touched something deep within my heart. It was the same way I felt when I thought about other heroic figures who personified love, such as Jesus or Mother Theresa. What could possess someone to make a decision to do such a thing?

I understand now that Arland was able to transcend the grip of his ego, which is based on fear and survival, and listen to the call of the heart. I don’t know exactly what transpired in his mind but my guess is that he surrendered to his Spirit, and let love lead the way. He was likely “possessed” by the Spirit of Love, which is indestructible, limitless, fearless, and knows we are all connected. And today, while his body may no longer contain life, that Spirit lives on and continues to inspire others, including me.

Most of us are not called to give up our life for the sake of another, but if we listen carefully we are called to set aside our ego for the sake of love every single day. The ego, in the way I am defining it, is designed to keep us separate and ward off any threats to the individual personality. The idea of genuine love threatens the ego because love recognizes oneness, togetherness, connectedness, openness, etc. Individuality can still exist in love but the ego doesn’t understand that. It tries to protect and defend itself, neither of which are characteristics of love. The heroes who can listen to the call of the heart, such as Arland, Jesus, and others like them, symbolize the willingness to transcend the ego for love of another. And it is in answering this call where we can all truly find our Selves.

This does not require some fantastic or life-threatening event, and we don’t have to go very far to search it out. We can do this every day and with the people that are right next to us. Our partners or spouses offer wonderful opportunities that challenge our ego’s stronghold on a daily basis. We tend to complain about these challenges, not realizing these are the very gifts that can lead us to our freedom. So listen carefully today, because your heart is calling.