Speaking vs. Stuffing Your Truth – By Andrea Wachter, LMFT

Most of us do not easily speak our truth. Our behavior is determined by years of conditioning. We are told, “Be nice and polite,” and “Don’t hurt anyone’s feelings.” We may be so bogged down with shoulds and shouldn’ts that we find it hard to identfy our true feelings and needs, much less respectfully and responsibly communicate them to others. There are basically four options when it comes to speaking vs. stuffing your truth: Option number one is to stuff our truth down — also known as passivity, and this can potentially lead to problems with substance abuse and/or feelings of depression. Option number two is to blast our truth out — also known as aggression. This can be seen as violence, yelling, road rage, or even being sarcastic or mean. Option three is a combo plate, which is known as passive-aggressive. It might seemkind, but it is really aggressive. For… Continue reading

My Relationship with Relationships – Kyczy Hawk

As last year was drawing to a close I pulled a few old diaries (now called “journals”) from my shelf. It has been years since I looked at them. Some years due to fear and shame, other times avoided in disgust for the sheer repetition in the pain, but this time I pulled some down with compassion and curiosity. Almost every page is filled with the pains of unrequited “love”. What I found was informative, enlightening and somewhat heartening. These books chronicle a young woman’s struggle for wholeness and autonomy over years (one of the early entries begins “Here I am, twenty four year old. There have been so many changes over the past year and I am lost again.”) Each entry has that same unmoored quality, desperately trying to find foothold for a spirit that is lost. Most often I looked for safe harbor in relationships. I won’t start… Continue reading

What to Say When You Don’t Know What to Say By Andrea Wachter, LMFT

In a recent blog, I wrote about speaking your truth when you are upset with someone, rather than stuffing it down or blasting it out. To that end, I wanted to share some practical one-liners for those times when you are caught off-guard. Many of us feel like a deer in headlights when someone says something insulting, hurtful, or presumptuous, and we have no comeback prepared. Like learning any new language, the language of assertive yet respectful communication takes practice. So here are some ideas for you: What makes you ask that? What makes you say that? I’ll have to get back to you on that. I need to take some time and think about it. That’s not going to work for me. Ouch. That hurts. I know I agreed to do that, but I changed my mind. I’m very sorry. I understand that’s how you feel. And this is… Continue reading

Rigorous Honesty: The Key to Healing an Addiction-Damaged Relationship By Robert Weiss LCSW, CSAT-S

As addicts, we damage our relationships. And sadly, the more important a relationship is to us, the more damage we tend to do. Once we enter recovery, beyond the work of staying sober and pulling our lives back together in a general way, a primary goal for many of us is healing our damaged connections—especially with our spouses and partners. Most of the time, the most significant and painful damage, in the minds of our loved ones, involves the loss of relationship trust. As addicts, we lie, we keep secrets, we manipulate, we gaslight, and we just plain violate every aspect of relationship trust. These behaviors are part of the denial of our addiction. We lie to and keep secrets from ourselves and everyone else as a way of protecting (and continuing) our addictive behavior. Much of the time, we’re not even aware that we’re doing this. Our lack of… Continue reading

Genuine Surrender – By Andrea Wachter, LMFT

  Having been around the spiritual book block a time or two (umm, make that more like 2,000!), I am no stranger to the concept of surrender. If you’re anything like me, you’ve heard it and read it a thousand times too: “What you resist will persist,” “Let it go and see if it flies back,” etc. I don’t know about you, but when I want something, the last thing I am inclined to do is let it go and see if it comes back. And yet, everything I have ever read regarding the laws of attraction and the foundation of spiritual principles has led me back again and again to this: Obsessing and excessive efforting equals misery and usually does not help in attaining my goals, whereas letting go and surrendering brings peace and is often accompanied by some pretty magical experiences. (And if nothing magical happens to occur, if there… Continue reading