The Intimacy of Vulnerability

The Intimacy of Vulnerability

Holding HandsThere are few things that bring two people closer together than vulnerability. Being physically, emotionally, or spiritually vulnerable with someone is a powerful force welding two hearts together. And the more times you’re vulnerable, the stronger the bond. There is a certain intimacy of vulnerability that can become precious between you.

It’s scary to be vulnerable. You might get hurt! There are many times where it’s not appropriate to be vulnerable. But where two people of good will are in a relationship together, being vulnerable is one of the most intimate things they can do.

When either Al or I are feeling bad in some way we are free to share that with the other. On one particular evening I was especially tired, both emotionally and physically. I had worked some long hours, and was feeling anxious and weary over several professional issues. Al took me in his arms and

Continue reading...
When You Feel Anything but Grateful

When You Feel Anything but Grateful

Our world is messed up! And for that I’m feeling anything but grateful.

And you shouldn’t be either.

This week we will all see and hear everyone talking about what they are grateful for. Many will gather with family and friends for food and more. For some, as in our household, that “more” will include football. (Oh well: perhaps football does have some redeeming qualities. Feel free to enlighten me!)

For some, the holiday season is only painful. Once in a while it helps to put our gratitude against the backdrop of what is truly dark in our world.

Here’s a short list of a few things I’m NOT grateful for:

Continue reading...

Intimacy is about YOU TWO, Not Performance

Couple Looking in Each Others EyesI often have to remind couples of this truth as I am helping them through the journey of infertility.

By the time they come to see me most of these couples are frustrated, disappointed, anxious, and tired. Tired of counting cycle days, tired of watching the calendar, tired of hoping again every month only to be let down once more.

And tired of always having to perform in the bedroom.

If you haven’t experienced that pressure it may be hard to understand how difficult it can be to have sex on demand. Sex becomes an act on a stage. Trying to create life becomes a chore. Feelings of shame or blame flow between partners. Much of the joy and spontaneity is often lost.

And of course that’s not what sex is about. Or at least shouldn’t be about.

Continue reading...

The Benefits of Anxiety

Anxious Young ManAnybody out there want to be anxious? Probably not.

Anxiety is a very unpleasant feeling. Your heart may race. Your stomach may be in knots. You may have trouble sleeping and trouble concentrating.

Medical doctors see a lot of patients with anxiety. About 20% of patients seeing a primary care doctor actually have a diagnosable anxiety disorder! They may have many different symptoms, but anxiety is the underlying issue for many.

Untreated or longstanding anxiety is certainly not good for your health. It’s a marker of stress, and we all know what long-term stress can do.

But there IS something very positive about anxiety.

Continue reading...
5 Times to NOT Care What Anyone Thinks

5 Times to NOT Care What Anyone Thinks

Happy FarmerI might not say it in quite those words, but it’s really true: “I don’t care what you think!” In fact it HAS to be true, or I’m no good to you or anybody else.

For a people-pleasing person like me, that conclusion is a hard one to come to. I learned very well how to please professors, bosses, and other superiors. I learned how to read the reaction of patients and respond in ways that they could understand. Most people liked me.

But I was comparatively useless.

It’s my unique understanding that makes me most valuable. And it’s YOUR unique life experience and perspective that someone else – or the world – needs. If you care too much what others think of you, your ideas, or your way of doing things, you won’t be any good to anyone.

Continue reading...