uealse Trust - Dr. Dina Evan's Columns

Archive for the ‘Trust’ Category

Good Morning. Who are you?

Is being married better than not being married? Apparently so – or not – at least to the thousands of gay men and women who have jumped on the bandwagon to marital bliss. At a time when divorce is at it’s highest, 93% of all Americans still long for a walk down the isle and a happy union with just one partner. In 2000, 56.1% of women and 52.3% of men, older than 15, were married. Now let’s add gay unions to the mix. Are we a country addicted that that little piece of paper? The current national discussion of gay marriage, in the midst of what I call a revolution, or shall we say an evolution of marriage, will surely be credited with pushing some other issues to the forefront as well.

Clearly there are legal benefits to gay marriage. But there are also pitfalls to marriage in a country that has no idea about the meaning of commitment. In an MSNBC survey of 7000 people in 2002, 60% of those surveyed did not consider cyber-sex with another person as infidelity. Emotional affairs between people are not seen as necessarily detrimental to many even though real love requires fidelity on every level. We are a country so afraid of intimacy and rejection, that we would prefer to have our relationships on the obscurity of the Internet. Roughly half of all heterosexual men and a quarter of women, have had affairs. Twenty-five years of counseling experience tells me a higher number of gay men and women are in the same sinking boat, given that society does not legitimize gay relationships and the majority of the gay community doesn’t either. Many have not yet learned to treat relationships as sacred contracts to be respected and honored.

Before any of us rush to the alter should we not first be capable of communicating at meaningful levels; resolving differences without arguing, moving out into the ocean of intimacy with boundaries that make real connection a possibility? Should we not have already discussed finances, shared responsibilities around the home, children and parenting,, shared visions and goals? Should we not know our partner’s vulnerable places and how to avoid the land mines that trigger them? Should we not know how to do soul work together and empower each other to grow? Should we be interested in our partner’s level of spiritual awareness and commitment to consciousness or the planet, or humanity? Should we get the tools for what constitutes a good marriage and how to keep it alive and well? I think good marriages are simply good for people but, not all, in fact, most marriages, are, unfortunately, simply not good.

Too often we lead with our bodies, we jump into bed with each other and in the morning, – or perhaps years later – we long to meet the person’s soul. Often we can’t find it or discover it isn’t exactly as our illusion had imagined. We design the invitations, we pack the garage with toys, we decorate the house, we fill up the bank accounts and then looking through vacant eyes and empty hearts, at some point after about 3 years, we ask, “Is this all there is.” We’ve got the cart before the horse, if the horse ever arrives at all. Is marriage the answer to the questions most of us are not yet aware enough to ask?

If we stop and look at these bleak realities, how could the end result be any different, given the foundation on which most relationships are based? Today we are selling relationships, gay and straight alike, in much the same way we sell used cars. You simply tell the customer what he or she wants to hear and let them deal with the truth later.

Something is terribly wrong with the way in which we all do marriage and commitment. It’s limited and superficial. We keep trying to fix all the externals. There is a huge error in our thinking. We have always thought if we could just get a partner who loved us, and many of us think we have found that several times a month, life would then be fulfilling and complete. Most of us have already found out that is not true. Big surprise! What good is there in finding partners if once we have them, we don’t know how to keep them? The bottom line is that we have not yet realized that the work to be done in relationships is work on our self. The real work of relationship is on the inside of us – not at the alter! It’s not about getting a mate, insurance, a house, money in the bank or kids. It’s about our own personal, spiritual, individual ability to be a loving, supportive, present partner. Without this capacity we cannot truly create what we say we want: long-term committed marriages that work – soul deep love and commitment. This is our spiritual work – and it’s well past time to begin doing it.

© Dr. Dina Bachelor Evan 2013

All rights reserved. No part of the intellectual property of Dr. Dina Evan may be reproduced, placed on mechanical retrieval system, transmitted in any form by electronic, video, laser, mechanical photocopy, recording means or otherwise in part or in whole, without written permission of the author. Contents are fully copyrighted and may not be owned by any other individual or organization.

Assume The Worst – Or Not

Legs that can’t stop kicking. Nails that continue to be bitten. A total lack of trust in anyone or anything. Sleepless nights spent ruminating. An inability to stop running, on the inside or the outside. These symptoms are not always the signs of a therapeutic or chemical disorder. They could be signs of -The Worst.

When THE WORST happens in your childhood, you can end up feeling as if THE WORST is always going to happen so you live life with an ASSUME THE WORST attitude. This assume the worst attitude becomes a protective mechanism that allows you to be more prepared for – you guessed it – the worst. If you don’t stop and remember at some point that you are no longer a child who needs this defense mechanism in order to survive, you could spend your life in flight or fight, always waiting for the other shoe to drop and feeling certain that something about you is causing each disaster.

People who assume the worst are hedging their bets, cushioning the fall and trying to anticipate and prepare for whatever bad thing is coming. It is a self-protective mechanism. However, while in this belief, you expend tons of energy and countless hours of worry and fretting over imagined consequences. You forfeit hours of joy. In addition, you, no doubt, have a compromised immune system that is working over time expecting that big boogeyman that seldom arrives…the worst. The worst already happened and you already survived it.

Never again will you be a 3-foot helpless child without any support system, without the power of language or body size and cognitive reasoning. Never again will you be in a position where you can’t find the answers or get what you need to be ok. You can take a breath. You can let your shoulders down. You can stop running. You already courageously survived the worst.

I know some of you are thinking, Well what about this bad thing that could happen? That would be the worst thing in the world for me! Perhaps there are still things in life that would feel terrible and difficult to overcome. However, at this point in your life, you are an adult who is not helpless and who is able to reach out for the support ant tools you need in order to survive whatever comes….unlike when you were a child. No doubt, over the past many years, you have put some additional tools in your tool bag and you have learned a thing or two. You are probably making different choices that are self-loving and self-respecting. You also probably have a good intuitive read when trouble walks through your door. All of which makes you safer.

Too many of us are living out of our red wagon of bad past experiences. These experiences of the past continue to control our decision making process today. They inhibit our willingness to take a risk, try something new or imagine the unimaginable. We look back at the times when we had an empty tool bag, were not as evolved spiritually and were less emotional equipped to handle life’s vicissitudes and challenges. With those memories as our defining factor we pass on opportunities to venture out and create new and better realities for ourselves. In other words, we remain stuck in our past waiting for the worst. We have forgotten what safety feels like, if we ever felt it.

It is important to give your mind and body the experience of safety on an energetic level. For instance, right now, put the paper down and just feel your surroundings. Notice that nothing and no one bad is coming. Notice your breathing and slow it down a bit. Let your shoulders drop and imagine what safety might feel like in your belly, in every one of the cells in your body. Become aware of the energy that surrounds you. Tell your body it can let go. Listen to chatter in your mind and thank that voice for working overtime to protect you. Let it know that you are finally safe and it no longer has to have that responsibility. Give it a new job, like being in charge of the fun quotient, and let it have permission to let go. It might just be that the worst thing happening in your life now, is getting rid of the worst.

© Dr. Dina Bachelor Evan 2013

All rights reserved. No part of the intellectual property of Dr. Dina Evan may be reproduced, placed on mechanical retrieval system, transmitted in any form by electronic, video, laser, mechanical photocopy, recording means or otherwise in part or in whole, without written permission of the author. Contents are fully copyrighted and may not be owned by any other individual or organization.