We live in a relational universe. Our lives revolve around relationships with others, nature, the world, the past/present/future, and our countless interior selves, memories, and habits.
If you want enduring bliss, you need to know how to repair injuries back to love! This of course begs the question, “What are the secrets of successful relational repair?”
I always love the worldcentric vibes of the holidays. Peace and love for all, New Year’s Eve around the world, and the brotherhood of man are staples of the season, and seem to be more easily shared this month than the rest of the year.
It’s a running gag in America that holidays generate emotional conflicts like the Caribbean generates hurricanes. Red/blue political arguments, intoxicated relatives, old family wounds exposed, social obligations grudgingly met, and on and on.
Do you ever feel like there’s a barrier between what you know about how to have a good relationship, and what you actually do? How do you take what we know about the science of relationships, combine it with the wisdom of our hearts and our quest for deeper meaning, and integrate it into something practical?
Suicide has been in existence as long as self-aware consciousness has been in existence. The gift of self-aware consciousness included the capacity for humans to anticipate and understand the inevitability of their own deaths, and all gifts come with a price.
Since I began studying psychotherapy in 1966, I’ve noticed that therapists generally fall into two categories — theory-driven and practical-change driven.
An intimate love relationship is composed of a friendship, a love affair, and different abilities to repair problems when they arise. Relationships progress through attraction, to affiliation, to romantic infatuation, to intimate bonding, to better or worse in the long run.
If we feel that we want a life partnership with a person, the commitment needs to shift from, “I’ll stay as long as,” to “I’ll do what it takes to make us work.” This is a massive change in commitment!
There is four times the rate of depression now than in 1987. We’ve essentially been doubling the amount of depression in this country for each of the last three generations.
Even considering an increased tendency to diagnose depression now than in previous years, this emerging 21st century culture is clearly not particularly conducive to happy care-free lives.