July Column-Gayle 2014
Q: I love my toddler’s mother unconditionally, but she doesn’t want to be a family. I don’t know how to let go. The messed-up part is I know she still loves me. She tells me that when she spends the night and we cuddle so I don’t understand why we aren’t getting back together. I feel as if I’m falling apart. What can I do?
A: Believe her when she says she doesn’t want to settle down although she cares for you. Consider that you love the dream of family—Mom and Dad and Baby—more than you love the actual rebellious person. It’s crazy-making to continue bonding actions. I’d treat her like a drug addiction. No touching, no spending the night that keeps the addiction going. It’s like an alcoholic can’t go in a bar. I call it paper clipping, as a clip will break if you bend it back and forth, but not if it stays in one position. Exchange your daughter someplace other than your home, such as preschool or a park, as discussed in 50/50 Parenting. Post this quote from Margaret Mead on your refrigerator: “We are continually faced with great opportunities which are brilliantly disguised as unsolvable problems.”
Q: I can’t stop worrying. Any way to stop?
A: Snap your fingers, clap your hands, or snap a rubber band on your wrist every time you catch yourself worrying. Take a deep breath, exhale an extended breath to expel the habit, and say a prayer or affirmation to replace the worry. Post the Serenity Prayer:
“God [or higher power or inner wisdom], grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.”
Q: I’d like to learn more about holistic medicine. Are there schools?
A: Dr. Andrew Weil’s program offers courses for medical professionals with degrees and other online courses for the general public.1 Search “integrative medicine training online” and American Holistic Medical Association for many other university online courses. Read books by Weil and by Dr. James Balsch to start and then my Essential Energy Tools. Check the Lotus Guide directory for local programs. Check out my monthly Mind Power workshop.
Q: My husband has lost interest in sex and me. He just comes home from work and wants to sit by himself in his chair and watch TV. We’ve been married a long time and I don’t want to have to break in a new man. Any hope for us?
A: Encourage him to have a medical checkup and let him know how you feel. Request a weekly date night where you get out of the house to spark romance. Don’t depend on him for sparkle in your life; perhaps take a dance class where you’re getting some male contact. Read Mantak Chia’s book Taoist Secrets of Love: Cultivating Male Sexual Energy. Life is short; if he declines to try to correct his inertia with the help of a counselor and doctor, you may want to do a trial separation.
Q: I lost my joie de vivre after my boyfriend betrayed me to please his mother. I lost all my happiness as if eternally. I am deeply grieved and am fighting for my confidence, my existence, my faith in myself. After a year apart, we got back together but I’m still struggling to feel OK. How can I regain happiness?
A: Erich Fromm in The Art of Loving says love is a verb—it takes action.2 It’s the same with happiness. I would suggest regular exercise because it enhances endorphins in the brain, the best natural remedy for depression. It could be dancing, walking in nature, or whatever interests you. It’s useful to join a gym and have a regular schedule. I’m not disciplined enough to do something such as Pilates by myself for an hour, but I happily follow a teacher. Also keep a daily gratitude journal. Dr. Robert Emmons’s studies proved it does enhance well-being.3 Also, help others, watch funny videos, listen to happy music, and pay attention to what pleased you.
Your boyfriend has been programmed to obey and care for his mother, so I wouldn’t be too harsh or ask him to choose between you and her. She must have done something right to produce someone you love. You’re going to need to forgive him to heal yourself and the relationship, especially because no one is perfect.
Q: I’m still suffering over a divorce I didn’t want. How can I stop the pain?
A: Meditate on Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet: “Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding. Even as the stone of the fruit must break, that its heart may stand in the sun, so must you know pain. And could you keep your heart in wonder at the daily miracles of your life, your pain would not seem less wondrous than your joy. …
Express gratitude for the good years you had with him and focus on what you want to manifest now and in the future. Remind yourself the past is water under the bridge. It’s not coming back. The best technique for clearing stuck negative patterns is acupressure tapping such as the emotional freedom technique. I can show you how at our weekly energy clearings at 1010 Mangrove, Suite D, or in a private session.
Post this from Alan Wilson Watts: “The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.”
Q (From a 22-year-old female student from India): The gender inequality has suffocated me, while awake, while dreaming, while bathing, while eating, while laughing. … I cannot tolerate dependent and household women who have no stand of their own, no boldness.
A: Sexism prevails everywhere, even in Scandinavia, which has the most egalitarian countries. Look at the thousands of stories of sexism in the West on The Everyday Sexism Project and #YesAllWomen. Perhaps your karma or dharma is to help elevate the status of women and to have compassion for how they were socialized. You might find work with an NGO that works with women, such as the 50 Million Missing campaign. Realizing we live on a kindergarten planet helps us to be less judgmental about the less evolved, especially when they were brainwashed into their dependency. So shift from judgment and sadness to resolve to make a difference in the lives of younger women. Are there girls at your school who need your encouragement to think for themselves? I imagine so.
Q: I have a new friend who is always creating drama, up and down, back and forth, and she’s controlling as well. What’s up?
A: Read about borderline personality disorder and read Wilhelm Reich’s personality typologies, including “psychopath”—he uses the term differently from the usual meaning. You’re not going to change her.
Q: I love my boyfriend, but he’s very stubborn and not willing to work through our problems. Should I stay with him?
A: The bottom line of a relationship is the willingness to compromise and work through issues. If he’s not able to do that, the relationship is not going anywhere. If he won’t go to counseling, you should explore codependency to find out why you stay in an unsatisfying partnership.
Q: My grown children are like mice nibbling on my resources, asking me to bail them out. I’m getting irritated and depleted. How can I stop them and still keep good connections between us?
A: Every time they ask for money, say, “You’re an adult. I trust that you will find a solution on your own.” Ongoing rescuing prevents them from learning their lessons.