Fear

It serves a good purpose in the right context. Fear of being flattened by a semi prevents me from texting while driving.  I consider this fear to be healthy.

And yet, I am aware of the destruction unhealthy fear can wreak on a life.

Fear is the root of anxiety, worry, stress, and busyness.  The blocker of vulnerability, honesty, humility, and ultimately: intimacy.

Fear. The absence of trust.

What do you fear? Do you fear not mattering? Falling behind? Failing? Being alone? Rejection? Being hurt again? I see folks who fear crying because they may not be able to stop. We fear losing control. We fear our own emotions and other people’s, too! We fear sharing who we really are. We fear other people’s opinion of us.

I urge you to try and understand your fears, because only then will you be able to talk to yourself  (and others) with more with love and logic. After all, the only thing we have to fear is fear itself, right? (thanks, FDR!)

Some tips for discovering your fear:

–       Write down how you spend your time

–       Write down who and what matter most

–       Does your time and energy accurately reflect what you value most?

  • If it does, awesome–keep up the good work! Balance is a continual journey.
  • If not, why not? Is there a fear that holds you back? I understand bills must still be paid, but is there anything you can change or do to have your life reflect your values more?

We are not guaranteed tomorrow. And so I ask you, what would you do differently if you weren’t afraid? Who or what would you stop wasting your energy on? Who would you apologize to, forgive, or make time for? Who would you call? Hug? Thank? Share your feelings with?

Check out this amazing article written by a nurse about the top 5 regrets of the dying.

If it doesn’t change your life, read it again.

Victory!

Victory!

Love,

Lauren

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is it possible to find true love on “The Bachelor”?

I have a lot of justifications for watching this show: “it’s my guilty pleasure”, “it’s my only trash TV show”, “I know it isn’t real and it’s a lot of video editing so I’m not losing brain cells if I know what’s really going on.” I love it and hate it all at the same time. But my reason for watching the show is simple: It’s entertaining. I love to see the beautiful places they visit, and I like trying to guess who he’ll choose. It also provides an unparalleled opportunity for me to explain Borderline Personality Disorder to my husband.

And despite all that’s so utterly wrong with the show, I am fascinated. Not because I enjoy people’s embarrassment, truly I wish the best for these folks. It’s just that I know most of them will not find lasting love simply because the way they are looking for it is a terrible idea.

Here’s why:

–       Believing that “you’ll just know” and “following your heart” can be a dangerous thing since our hearts and feelings are fickle. Lasting love requires choice and commitment. See more in my blog post on love.

–       They are “falling in love” with the experience: excitement and adrenaline. (And the high of being chosen over others). You will feel “in love” when you do adrenaline producing activities together, people tend to attribute that rush of good feeling to the person they’re with rather than what is actually happening…their bodies response to the high.

–       The bachelor or bachelorette doesn’t have time to fall in love with one person; instead he or she begins falling in love with several people and never get to fully develop and intimately know one person well enough to make the choice to commit for a lifetime.

–       For the participants: if you make one mistake, you’re out! Or if you have an off night…see ya! How can people feel free to truly be themselves with that kind of performance pressure?

–       The destructive idea that if you don’t like the one you’re with, you can just trade him or her in for another one.

–       Staying up all-night and drinking all day with little food will make anybody act crazy.

–       Practicing fidelity only after you’re engaged is never a good idea.

I could go on, but instead I’ll ask you. What other reasons can you think of that make it nearly impossible to find lasting love on the Bachelor?

the secret to a happy marriage

Ok, the moment you’ve all been waiting for… you suffered through reading alarming divorce stats. And why most marriage therapy fails. Now, you are ready for the secret.

And here it is: happily married couples share a deep friendship. This means they enjoy each other’s company and share a mutual respect for one another. They like each other.  In other words, their positive thoughts about each other override and outweigh their negative ones.

“In the strongest marriages, husband and wife share a deep sense of meaning. They don’t just “get along”– they also support each other’s hopes and aspirations and build a sense of purpose into their lives together” (Gottman, p.23).

Does this sound like your marriage? If it does, awesome! Keep on doing the things that keep you close and feeling mostly positive about each other!

If it doesn’t sound like your marriage, I pray you’ll consider doing something about it. Now, it doesn’t have to be therapy (although I’m sure you have picked up on my not-so-subtle hints that good therapy can help). It can also be through a group, classes, and workshops or even reading this book (the “Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work” by John Gottman) together.

Life is hard. Raising a family is even harder. And it’s just a darn shame when you and your partner don’t feel like much of a team. The good news is, there are a lot of resources out there that can help. Let me know if you’d like help finding them.

I wish you blessings in your journey, friend. Good luck!