Thursday, December 10, 2009


This past summer I stayed on Puerto Rico for a couple weeks writing poetry. Every day, I would go to the beach for inspiration and write. I’d walk through the steamy streets of San Juan holding a manila folder in one hand, and an i-pod in the other. This trip was a wonderful experience, but it also meant that for a couple of weeks I would be separated from my sweetie. It was a great time to reflect and try to write something really heart centered, but also a time of missing my hunny.

One day while I was on the beach, I found myself experiencing a writer’s block; so with i-pod in hand I walked into the water. I heard the song Magnificent by U2. I was standing in aqua colored clear blue water, feeling the warm white tipped waves crash upon me, as I stared out into the clearest sunny sky, and felt the Caribbean breeze caress me. Though I had loved this song, the surrounding environment caused a deeper experience with the lyrics and the music.

I recall experiencing feeling free and peaceful; I thought to myself, “wow, this is what we all live for only love.” In this moment, I felt as if anything was possible. That is what love does for us, it make us feel and believe that anything is possible. Even if we have been hurt by relationships before, something in our basic human nature desires closeness with another human being.

For myself, I have had my fair share of relationships that lacked equilibrium and turned out to be painful, but some how-somewhere I still believed that there was someone for me. Though I became extremely close to being jaded, and may have experienced a few moments of that thinking, something still drove me when I thought of obtaining that type of connection.

So back to the song…why did it resonate so deeply for me? First of all, through the years I have had to learn skills, and I am still learning skills in healthy communication and connection with my partner. When my partner and I started dating, we both carried some deep wounds into the relationship (based on past experience), but we both had hope and desired to find emotional intimacy with each other. This leads me to the line of the song, “only love can leave such a mark,
but only love, only love can heal such a scar” (U2 Magnificent).

Getting close to my partner and trusting that we had something special was difficult, but I found that “falling into” what we had allowed for not only deeper emotional intimacy and connection, but also deep healing. However, I must say that you and your partner need to be on the “same page” and be willing to earn stepping into the gentle space of intimacy. It takes work from both parties. It will take challenging your fears, being open and vulnerable, accepting that love will at times cause you pain, and be willing to be authentically you. It really is work to get there and stay there, but if you can get there it is truly “Magnificent.”

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Power of Goodbye

The end of a relationship can be incredibly painful. In general, breakups are viewed as something negative. If a breakup occurs in a marriage it can cause a multitude of issues. Financial problems, or changing socio-economic status after a divorce are common. If children are involved, it can be incredibly painful trying to find a new routines and working out visitation. Lets not forget the personal and psychological pain associated frequently with break ups. The stress can do havoc on the body and the mind.

I am sure just about everyone reading this blog can relate to the discomfort of a break up at one time or another. It can hurt like hell and its immediate effects are stinging, but can it be a good thing? Is it ever a good thing? Absolutely! Frequently, many positives do arise after the process of grieving a past relationship is over.

Failures in relationships can teach us great lessons about learning to have a successful relationship with the next person. When we reflect on the past relationships and take responsibility for our role, it can provoke great personal evolution. It gives us the opportunity to change negative patterns, attract partners that we may be more compatible with, and certainly gives us a better idea of what we want and what we don’t want. Healthy communication skills are just that SKILLS; we learn them. Quite frequently it is the painful lessons in life that are our greatest teachers.

In addition to developing better skills to manage conflict in relationships, breakups can empower an individual to be independent. Leaving a relationship that doesn’t have an equal distribution of power, can help the person with “less power” realize they can be on their own. Becoming single can cause an individual to also explore new interests that have not been explored before. It is not uncommon to find a “new passion” during this time of personal growth. The end result can lead to a happier life.

Frequently, out of frustration after many failed relationships a person will be motivated to seek out new tools to inject into romantic relationships, because they are tired of the “same ole” situation happen. I once heard a dear friend of mine tell me that after a couple of failed marriages she had a revelation one night; she was out with a new beau and thought to herself “this is the same guy I always date-I’m sick of it.” She broke off the relationship with him, made some adjustments in herself, and is now is a successful relationship with someone she is crazy about.

Leaving a relationship or going through a breakup will not guarantee the next relationship to be better; however, if the person deeply reflects and develops a consciousness of how they relate in relationships, it is possible to attract a more positive situation. As painful as the initial impact of a breakup can be, it can lead to something powerful.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Please Don't Leave Me

For the past week I have been listening to the song Please Don’t Leave Me by Pink. In my listening “obsession,” a friend commented, “ If you haven’t seen the video…DON’T…it will ruin the song.” Well, in my naturally rebellious nature…I had to look at the video. I had a powerful response, but very different from my friends. I was fascinated by the visual story that the video communicated.

* Disclaimer * Some content may be disturbing to viewer.

I couldn’t help but think that this is what happens to our emotions when we start to engage in consistent negative communication and interaction with our romantic partners. Over time the wounding increases and eventually kills the relationship if new, healthy patterns are not created. The emotional wounds that partners create in constant verbal conflict do not visually appear, but I felt that this video gave an awesome representation of the destructive cycle of unhealthy communication patterns in romantic relationships. Though couples may not be using golf clubs to cause injury, every insult or verbal attack can break the heart and the spirit a little more.

RESPECT is probably one of the most important ingredients in a relationship. Even while engaging in conflict, if the goal and intention is to keep collaborating as a couple and not compete together, it can avoid such emotional injury. Conflict in a relationship is normal… and can create a positive growth for the couples. It is through constructive engagement in conflict that people begin to line up their values and goals.

Relationships will always have a never-ending evolutionary process. We as humans change over time. We may keep the same value system, though our priorities may reorganize several times in our life. So, when we think that two people who are constantly changing are trying to navigate together, conflict is unavoidable. However, how we approach the conflict can make all the difference in the world if the relationship is healthy or sustains through stressful times.

So next time you have disagreement of issue with your mate, think about how you are going to approach the issue. Is your goal to compete, or to mutually collaborate in finding the best solution for both people involved in the situation. Remember, communication is the foundation of all relationships. How one chooses to engage in communication will determine the direction that relationship takes. When BOTH partners inject such consciousness, who would want to leave?