So Michele and I left for a few days over Xmas and I asked my friend Courtney to house sit while we were gone. Well I get back and find that my friends Michelle and Courtney had a little fun with my Flip. Good help is hard to find these days...
I'm pleased to announce that U.S. News & World Report ranked marriage and family therapy as one of the 50 best careers in 2010. There is an expected 14% growth between 2008 and 2018, fueled by an increased acceptance of marriage and family therapy.
Early Xmas eve Michele and I will be driving up to the bay area to spend the holiday with her family. We'll get to spend a couple of days in the city, taking in some art and some just walking around. After that we're going to drive down the coast to Santa Barbara and spend a couple of days relaxing. I might post, I might not. Enjoy the holiday. I hope you're thinking about what a great year 2010 is going to be. I face many challenges and new adventures in the coming year but have faith that it will also be a year filled with many sweet and rich moments because of the challenges and adventures. Now I leave you with Tom Waits doing a Christmas Card From a Hooker in Minnesota. My gift to you, my loyal readers.
So I just finished reading this book where this guy is basically
running down his personal reflections about his spiritual journey after
getting sober, and how he has had to reinvent his ideas as he has aged.
I don't typically finish books, but this one I couldn't put down.
As I was getting toward the end I stumbled on this paragraph:
My Greatest hidden fear has always been of annihilation. If I wasn't careful, I would disappear entirely. If I gave myself in love, I would lose my identity. If I became a "team player," then where would I be? I would lose my identity. I had to control everything carefully. I had to control my feelings or I would be annihilated, my identity would disappear. - William Alexander
My spiritual practice is heavily geared toward letting go of the delusion of self, ego or identity.
But the truth is I'm really afraid of letting those things go
I'm not sure where I acquired these ideas but when I read that paragraph it was an AHA! moment for me. Giving myself completely in love did mean annihilation. Team player? What's that? I'm sure that's the real reason entrepreneurship really appealed to me. Easier to build a stronger identity that way. And control? I've only recently come to the realization of what a control freak I am.
Now what do I do?
No easy answers but I think it would help to continue..
Buried my friend Gail today. I've known Gail since the mid 90's, sobriety brought us together. She was always high energy and quick with a laugh. She was the kind of person that would walk into a room and take it over. She was no shrinking violet.
She started drinking again 3 years ago.
About a year and a half ago I didn't now if I would ever talk to her again. She got very mad at me. I had told some friends to reach out to her after I found out she was drinking. She took it as a break of confidence. I thought I was trying to help.
It was 6 months later when we spoke again. She called me crying, had heard that a mutual friend of ours had died. He had gone back to drinking. She wanted to know where his funeral would be. I still remember her face at the funeral. She was crying.
The last time I spoke to her was a month ago. She had just been released from Hoag Hospital in Newport after a month long stay. She told me her liver was failing because she had taken too many Tylenol's because of migraines. I didn't believe her.
As long as I had known Gail she always struck me as someone who though seemingly confident, was quietly uncomfortable underneath. I recognized it because I could identify. I know how tiring it can be, working so hard just to try and stay even.
I still have the last text she sent me; "That's ok, i had to go, wasn't feeling good. Great to c u and i hope to c u again soon"
Oprah asks the Obamas, “Is [yours] a marriage to be envied?”
And Michelle replies:
I think we have a wonderful marriage. I love my husband. He’s my
best friend. But I always like to talk honestly about it because I
think about other young couples who think there are no struggles to get
here. And there are. That’s part of it. The message is - work through
the struggles. Start out with somebody that you respect and that you
trust so that when you hit the bumps that are inevitable you always
have that foundation. I tell Barack as mad as he can make me I look at
him and I say, “I really LIKE you. I like you. and I like the way you
think and I like the person you. It’s hard to stray to far to stay mad
too long, when the person is someone you like.
For someone who never thought he'd get married and who's now well into his 12th year of marriage. I find that pretty solid advice.
There will be bumps and there will be struggles, but if there is mutual respect and trust and you just genuinely like the other person, it is hard to stay mad for too long.
"We know all too well by know the syndrome of the patient who is interminably in therapy, understands a great deal about himself, and doesn't change." - Augustus Napier
I'm asked often for my opinion about this and that. In the recent past I would be happy to give it too you. Not so much anymore. People want insight, but for the most part, that's all they want. It's a losing proposition for the advice giver.