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The Change Table

Come to the Change Table

 

In the time it takes to read this column, approximately four billion five hundred million cells have died and been replaced in your body. Metathesiophobia is a phobia for fear of change. We are afflicted by it. We may have difficulty pronouncing the word, but we have more difficulty, even when the irrefutable facts change, coming to the table being open and comfortable with change. For instance, a wife whose husband has beating her for years, may tell me “But I promised for better or worse.” My heart might be breaking for her but knowing I have to change my response of “pack your bags,” allows me to quietly ask, “How long in your world must one be abused before change is an option.”

My life has blessed me with the wonderful awareness that I need to marry change, invite it in, serve it tea. At seventy-one things drop, lines form, necks wobble and restrooms become more important. The values of my children and grandchildren may not be the same as my values. I watch them flounder and remember that I too often resisted change. I too brought my self to my knees a few times with my own misguided decisions and unwillingness to change before I was able to make change a friend.

What might it be like if change was not a dirty word? Might we treasure it as the art form of transformation? Might we embrace the deeper meaning in “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I can not change, the strength to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference”? Could we perhaps see change as a pathway of self-discovery or would we continue to color only within the lines? Without change women and minorities still could not vote, there would be no computer for me to create these words on and we would still not be talking about addictions. We wouldn’t be examining our life styles and food intake and levels of toxins in our bodies. No, we’d still be slapping a buffalo on the fire pit and uttering guttural sounds.

It’s time to come to the table on this issue and let change create you and the kind of life you desire. The winds of change ore blowing our hair back and we are still trying to stand still. If we are to thrive, we must see change in the context of purpose, both individually and as a human family. We are not listening to the voices of our spirit or our hearts. Change will repair the separation we experience with our own souls/spirits and with each other. We can to allow the new parts of ourselves to be born. A change from radical individualism and “me-ism” to the consciousness that there is just one human family will heal the pain in the planet. We need a shift in awareness from this or that and either or, to a simply “and & both. In every moment, there is an end to an era and a beginning to a new one, just as precious and rich but for newfound and more current purposes.

What would happen if you never turned the page to your favorite book or listened to the next heart-warming song? Whether change is happy or sad it is movement to the next beautiful thing life offers. It’s a sacred experiment. We are stuck in lack, thinking that letting go of this or that and what we hold on to in the moment means a loss, when in fact it makes room for a new gift.

Have you noticed that even when you resist change it still comes knocking at your door? Our spirits call it in so that we can evolve our own souls, so it comes back repeatedly. Sit at the table with it without fear. I lived in eleven different schools by the time I was in 12th grade. That has given me experiences in life about people that are invaluable. I can recognize authentic loving energy before it walks through the door. I also, recognize instantly when a person is not authentic or loving and I can shut the door which allows me to create the quality of life I want and deserve. Great lessons and tools.

Embracing change gives you solid proof that you are capable of having your own back and being your own best friend with circumstances that may not be in your round house of experience. Embracing change creates continued growth, and increases your quality of life and empowers the strength of your courage and spirit. The next time change knocks, invite it in and wait to see the gift it brings.

 

© Dr Dina Evan 2013

Phoenix Arizona

(602) 997-1200

www.DrDinaEvan.com

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.

This or That

 

This or That

 

Life is seldom this or that. It’s really all of it. In twenty-five years of counseling, I have never met an all bad person, nor have I ever met an all good one.  One person’s story or perspective is never all right and the other person’s is never all wrong.  The bad guys we vilify in the news are never really all bad and the good guys are really never all good.  We should lose the words good and bad because they require a judgment from someone about someone or something. As Shakespeare says, “There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so.” Everything just is.

There is a great deal of difference between judgment and discernment. We might discern that someone or some activity is not in our best interest, however, if we are simply discerning, we make that decision, without judging the person or the activity. We might even wish that person or thing could be different, but we don’t make a judgment about the situation or the person’s value. Peace of mind comes from accepting things as they are. The foundation of all our unhappiness is a lack of acceptance.

Our boyfriend breaks up with us and the agony begins because we want it to be different. Actually, the longer we hold on, the more we are saying, I am willing to be with someone who doesn’t want and love me. We lose our house and we agonize over it feeling like a failure, never thinking the next one might be better. Someone dies and we hold on refusing to let life in because we cannot accept the loss, which is a natural part of life and being human. I am not implying we shouldn’t have feelings about these challenges in life. We will have big feelings because we are human and capable of feeling everything. However, at some point in order to live life fully we have to get to a place of acceptance. Life is not out to get us, life simply happens. Things come and go and so do we. What might change if you considered it all good?

The people who have empowered lives, filled with meaning, are the ones who get up everyday feeling that they love their lives and every challenge that life gives them. After all, aren’t those challenges the way we push our souls forward and hone our character? How else could we become who we came here to be? Thomas Edison said of things that didn’t go right, “I have not failed. I’ve just found ways that won’t work.” Edison had no concept of failure; only opportunities to discover what didn’t work.

 

The deeper lesson is to accept all things with a sense of reverence. A master stands, arms outstretched, in the middle of this and that and is attached to or attracted to neither. He or she simply says, ”Ah so, here is this, or here is that.” A master understands that life is filled with all of it. We have trouble and we have compassion and consolation. We have abundance and we have emptiness and loss. We have cold and heat, times up and times down and to remain in the flow and aliveness of life we must be willing accept all of it.

Ellen Bass, one of the authors of the Courage to Heal says, “…to love life, to love it even when you have no stomach for it and everything you’ve held dear crumbles like burnt paper in your hands, your throat filled with the silt of it. When grief sits with you,

Its tropical heat thickening the air, heavy as water more fit for gills than lungs;

when grief weights you like your own flesh only more of it, an obesity of grief,

you think, how can a body withstand this? Then you hold life like a face between

your palms, a plain face, no charming smile, no violet eyes, and you say, yes, I will take you, I will love you, again.”

Don’t miss it. Be your own best friend. Let yourself feel all of it, Cling to nothing. Embrace everything including every fear and feeling. Society will teach you to fear your feelings because they can kill you. In more than twenty-five years, I have never lost a client or seminar guest, family member, child or friend to a feeling. It does not happen. You will never leave the planet due to having a feeling, but you may leave wishing you had felt more of them with acceptance.

 

Dr Dina Evan

© Dr Dina 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.

Love Them or Leave Them?

What do you do when the person you love the most in your life refuses to grow? This is a question I hear in my practice every day, and the answers are as varied and individual, as are the people who ask the question. He refuses to stop demanding sex. She refuses to stop spending money. He won’t connect with me emotionally. She won’t tell me the truth. He’s having cyber-sex. She won’t stop flirting. He won’t stop hanging out at the topless bars with his buddies. He won’t stop drinking. She won’t stop berating me to her friends and family. The list goes on forever and at times I feel I as if I need a life raft in my office so I don’t drown in the myriad of mostly legitimate complaints I hear.

Clearly, being in a relationship with someone who refuses to grow is incredibly painful. However, in all fairness, didn’t we vote to be with that unconscious person because we were also unconscious at the time the relationship started? Didn’t we stay in that relationship, perhaps for years, because we thought that was what we wanted as well? Often one person in the relationship suddenly goes to therapy, reads a book or gets hit by a bolt of awareness and wakes up after being married 5-30 years. Now suddenly in a matter of weeks or months the still unconscious partner is required to get up to speed and begin acting in conscious ways without having had the training or the tools to do so. The contact that was heretofore agreed upon by both parties sudden gets changed unilaterally and the threat of divorce or abandonment is added to the mix and the anxiety.

Partner A says If you don’t change I am leaving. Partner B says What’s wrong with what we have been doing all these years? I have been happy. Partner A says, It doesn’t work for me anymore and I am not happy. Partner B says, I don’t get it. When did you get the right to tear our lives up and change everything? And so it goes. Partner A may be as right as partner B but they are now in separate corners and not speaking to each other because change is not being facilitated in a loving way. There has been no time for a learning curve. Both people are entrenched in their own positions of power or powerlessness.

There is a revolution or evolution going on in the area of relationships and when all the dust has settled I believe we will be better off for it. However, I am concerned about the number of relationships that are breaking up in the meantime because of this hostility, lack of patience and understanding. Many therapists may be adding to the problem in this age of independence by encouraging men and women who are waking up to leave their partners if change is not immediate. No one should stay in an abusive relationship especially if the other partner refuses to change but we also need to understand that for change to be meaningful, we have to give time for understanding and integration. Change never authentically occurs on demand.

Some questions you might want to ask yourself are, Have I stopped seeing all the good things about my mate because I am now focused only on his or her limitations? Have I given ample time for my partner to gain understanding and new tools? Have I created an environment that is not supportive to my partner changing because of my belittling, accusations or constant negations? Have I truly owned my own unconscious behavior and contribution to the current state of our relationship? Am I delivering the news of this change in contract in a way that is not threatening and allows for loving support? Have I really faced the reality and effect of a breakup? Is there enough good, enough history and enough love here to make it worthwhile to work on this relationship?

In addition, since we are just on the edge of this revolution and many people are just beginning to get conscious you also may want to ask yourself if you are really ready to be alone. It may take you a while to find someone new who has the same level of awareness you have achieved – if you can find them at all. I believe that we create exactly the right lessons we need for where we are on our spiritual paths. So when asking your self the question – is it time to leave ‘em or time to love ‘em… take a minute to look at the whole picture. Toughing out the rough times in a relationship may get you to the exact kind of long term commitment you desire and deserve.

© 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.

What Matters Most?

You might not know it, but today what matters most is not in our stock portfolio, nor is it parked in the garage, or in our bank account. The thing that matters most are matters of the heart, the things that create a sense of fulfillment and connect us to each other. Before you write this column off as just another touchy feely concept, ask yourself when have you been most happy and what was it that made it so? Happiness is damned important and it’s finally becoming more important in public awareness and psychological discussions.

According to the December Family Therapy Magazine (Draeger-Muenke, Horowitz, Shaham), the Declaration of Independence’s right to the pursuit of happiness may have created a culture of takers rather than promoting the qualities that create long term happiness in us. We have been pursuing happiness and ignoring healing, personal growth and spiritual awareness.

In my world of psychotherapy, the New Age concepts of just think positive and happy thoughts, has not been helpful. It has helped people right into denial and repression. All those nasty feelings that raised their hands and were seeking attention just got sublimated into passive-aggressive nasty actions frosted with a loving façade but were never dealt with. I own being a New Thought, New Ager myself, and I can tell you that if you don’t get to the core values and character strengths to heal core issues, thinking positive is simply not enough. There is great value in having a positive attitude, however one must also sit in the dark places of the psyche and honor them in order to heal them. Thinking happy rather than dealing with what is and working through it, simply creates more pain in the long run, Every time we put on blinders and ignore the parts of ourselves that are asking to grow, be more authentic and caring, we deny our own happiness.

Victor Frankel, the renowned psychiatrist suggested that we build a statue of responsibility next to the statue of liberty. Liberty comes with a need for responsibility and ethics. It comes with the need for consideration of others. If that is not there, then it simply becomes selfish, personal material masturbation, another quick fix. Everything needs balance.

So, does all this mean that we should not sit in the lap of luxury? Absolutely not! Have all the luxury your little heart can handle. The point is not the material itself, but rather, how you feel about it, what you are wiling to compromise to get it and what you do with it once you have it. It’s about putting matters of the heart and soul first. It’s about staying awake and keeping your desire for more – of anything – in balance and in perspective.

What have you given the control in your life to and what brings you alive, because everything else is too small for you, as David Whyte says in his poetry. It’s about checking in with you and doing a soul or character inventory. What is your level of wisdom and your commitment to greater knowledge? Are you growing, creative, curious, open to new perspectives and possibilities, or are you standing still in the status quo?

Where do you rate yourself when it comes to courage, speaking authentically, standing up for what you believe and stepping into leadership roles that may make you a pioneer rather than just part of a crowd that goes along. What is your level of bravery, consistency, persistence and commitment?

What is your level of humanity, your ability to be openhearted, forgiving and caring? What portion of your time, energy and money is spent helping others, caring for others? Are you aware of what is going on in the world and making an attempt to change it in some way?

Are you committed to justice, balance, integrity and honesty? Do you have a voice inside that knows these qualities are only about you and the quality of your own character and no one else?

And, importantly, are you having fun? If you are not having fun and enjoying your life you are out of alignment with yourself. Life is grand. It’s a great experiment in finding our best selves, in fact, that is the only reason for being here.

This is a great time, at the beginning of the year, to take stock and get real about who you are and who you know you can be. Being in alignment with you is the most empowering and joyful place to be. Try it and see.

© 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.

Wake Up! (June 2007)

OK, so imagine this. The freeways in Los Angeles, Phoenix, Chicago, San Francisco and New York are without a single car,  still, quiet, no traffic at all.  All trucks that transport food and goods across the country are sitting back at the docks. All the planes are grounded. The U.S. and indeed the world is at a standstill. You can’t get to work and even if you could, your company can no longer function, there’s no oil, no gas, and no way to fix the problem.

That is the scenario that CNN tells us will actually happen by 2009, if nothing changes, and our fuel consumption continues at its current rate because we cannot produce fuel fast enough to meet the demand. At some point, in the not too distant future, we will be out. The U.S. uses one-quarter of the available fuel today.  That is why your gas prices are so high. The oil companies know this and are raking in the profits while they can. That is why they refuse to put ethanol pumps at their stations.

Meanwhile we are also continuing to ignore the issue of global warming as if it isn’t real, or it’s someone else’s problem.   So we still use regular light bulbs, we continue to buy baggies, canned aerosol sprays and all the other polluting materials and products and we feed our egos with Hummers and  “ the bigger the better” choices for transportation. Instant ego gratification and ease are more important than the future of our children.

Some say, those who see the problems are simply naysayers, predictors of doom and gloom. Check the facts for yourself. It’s time to wake up.

We are living on this planet as guests and we have not been good guests. We have not taken in to account the needs of our neighbors or the needs of our future generations. But I believe in us. I believe that we can still turn the tide and begin to be responsible. Here are the reasons I believe in us.

This is a huge, ripe opportunity to create things the way we really want them to be if we wake up.  We are learning about the power of manifestation in nearly every best seller, on Oprah and in DVD’s and movies. There are more awake people on the planet than ever before.

Globalization, the Internet, is our effort to grow out of a hostile win/lose economics   into a global family that works for everyone. Every country for the first time in history was united in prayer before the war started.  We are cooperating in other ways; communication, interfaith dialog, travel, money exchange, space stations, international treaties.

Our youth have unprecedented power to create a better world through Internet communication and they have little interest in racism, warfare, prejudice or greed.  They have set up sites like, Youth for Environmental Sanity, The Indigenous and Non-Indigenous Youth Alliance, The World Spirit youth Council.

In places where there is no money, people are creating their dreams- China with the red flag canal, in Africa where schools are being held in Quonset huts, in countries where people are relying on insight, intuition and inner wisdom that matches the earth frequency.

Economies and personal lives are beginning to be measured by quality of life. More people are feeling the dissonance that comes from acting out of harmony with one’s inner truth and what is best for the planet.

We have the know-how to shift to clean sustainable economies that work for everyone with new technologies that are nontoxic and recyclable.

At the same time that global warming is a looming threat that already effects everyone, it can become the greatest peace process as well for the same reason.

When I first began teaching in the late 70’s and during the 80’s there were less than 200 websites on anything spiritual. Today there are:

  • Spirituality                 96,100,000 sites
  • Consciousness           90,400,000 sites
  • Global warming       110,000,000 sites
  • Enlightenment           51,800,000 sites
  • Awareness                423,000,000 sites

We are learning more today about sacred geometry, energy systems, our relatedness to the planet and every other sentient being, healing, reincarnation, simultaneous time and other realities.  Science is now proving all the things that metaphysicians have been saying for ages. The scientific community has made a 180-degree turn around about the issue of consciousness and they are now positioned to prove the things that spiritual teachers have been teaching.

So the issue becomes that we are beginning to understand that we are participants’ not just passive receivers of reality.  Every decision we make counts. Every thought we have counts, and all of it is creating our future here, right now. There is no doubt that we can fix this.  The question is what kind of world do you see—and are you willing to create 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.

Wake up! (January 2006)

It is at the edge of each new beginning that miracles await. There are certain milestones or benchmarks in life that signify a new beginning. Death. Rebirth. Birthdays. Graduation. Marriage. Even divorce can sometimes be a new beginning. And of course, every twelve months there is the beginning of each New Year.

These are opportunities for a paradigm shift in awareness. This shift in awareness, although available at any moment in time, seems to have added energy during these special times. Perhaps it is because we give ourselves permission to do it better, start over or begin again. Albert Einstein once said, “There are two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” What is the difference? Could it be as simple as a change in perspective?

I have a friend who died this month. An unfortunate mistake made by the hospital caused her to have a seizure that damaged her brain to the extent that there was no hope for recovery. Two weeks prior, she was a vibrant woman warrior. Today she is gone.

My doctor told me a story last week about a man who was allergic to bee stings. He walked out in the back yard, without telling his wife, and was stung. As he lay on the ground with his throat closing, knowing he was about to die, he let go. In that moment of sweet relief, the last thought he remembered was, “Why did I believe everything had to be so hard?” Moments later, the paramedics arrived and revived him, but his experience changed his life. What life changing belief are you willing to transform…. now in this new beginning called New Years?

These are drastic examples, and you don’t need a drastic life-changing event in order to drastically change your life. Most people waste a lot of time and energy making resolutions they never keep. Just make one! One life changing decision that you can keep is all you need. One simple change in perspective and you can improve the quality of your life. Eat better. Love deeper. Tell more of your truth. Be authentic. Stay in gratitude. Wake up. Create meaningful relationships. Take a real risk and love yourself. One simple decision can change your entire life.

We are often held hostage by the status quo, the familiar and the known. Even when they are not working, at least we know how to deal with it. Right? But have you considered the cost of staying in the status quo? How many of our dreams do we have to kill to stay there? How much of our passion is denied in order to survive there? What is life not well lived worth? What is the point of coming here in the first place if you are not going to get the lessons, embrace the opportunities and create what you desire? This is your opportune moment. How many more moments, hours, days, and years do we each have? More importantly how many more are we willing to waste in the status quo? Ten minutes of a life lived well is worth a lifetime of mediocrity.

So here it is. This is your reminder that you are a powerful, intuitive, able spirit in human form and you have the capacity to turn your life around. Don’t make it hard. Just do one – one little decision that makes your life more meaningful. The world changes one person at a time. One day at a time. And in time, every life-changing event you create also creates a world event and a better place for all of us. We wish you a wonderful new year free of the status quo and filled with the excitement of the unknown…creating as you go.

© 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.

I’m Right. You’re Wrong.

Do you ever feel as if the people in your life live on a different planet and have a different reality than you do? Why can’t they get it? Why can’t they see it? Why can’t they understand your side of things? This affliction plagues most couples who come to my office for counseling. I call it the “I’m right and you’re wrong,” syndrome.

What is truth anyway? And, whose truth is more truthful than someone else’s?

The truth is, (pardon the pun), that no one really knows what the truth is. Since reality is changing so rapidly, what was truth when you began reading this article may not be the same truth you feel by the time you finish. So, what’s a girl to do?

It seems the bottom line is that if I want to be impeccable with my integrity, I need to make sure that I am telling myself the truth first, and then make sure that I am telling you the truth. But how can I know when I am being excruciatingly honest even with myself?

Dr. David Hawkins, author of Power VS. Force, would tell us that every truth, every word and every feeling has a vibrational frequency with a value from 0 to 1000. He would also tell you there is a way to test to see if you are standing in your truth called kinesiology. You can do it. It’s a good idea to start this test with two people. Here is how it goes.

1. Have your partner stand erect, right arm relaxed at his or her side and left arm held out, elbow straight, as if he or she were signaling for a turn.

2. Now you face your partner. Place your left hand on your partner’s shoulder to steady him or her and then place your right hand on your partner’s extended arm, just above the wrist.

3. Tell your partner to resist, or push up when you try to quickly and firmly push his or her arm down.

4. This will test the amount of spring or strength in the arm. Don’t push so hard that your partner’s arms gets fatigued. Just test for resistance or strength.

5. Now ask your partner to say his or her name and test again. You will notice that the arm remains strong.

6. Now ask your partner to lie about his or her name and say a different one. You will notice that your partner loses all strength in his or her arm. Your partner’s arm is easily pushed down.

Once you get proficient at this kind of test, you can perform it on yourself by making a circle with your middle finger and your thumb on your left hand and then using your right index finger to pull through the circle. When you are telling the truth your circled fingers will resist, not allowing your right index finger through. When you are lying to yourself, you will not be able to hold your thumb and middle finger together and your index finger will pull through easily because you are weaker.

What is the reference point against which we are testing all this truth? Well clearly, the strongest truth would be that which contains the least amount of dissonance and that which resonates the most with what I refer to as Spirit. David Hawkins calls it spiritus mundi or the database of pure consciousness. The more aligned we are with that database or resonance, the stronger we become.

That David guy! I had no idea when I picked up his books that I would now have to muscle test every article I write and every weekly message I send out for it’s level of truth. (To get weekly messages, sign up at DrDinaEvan.com).

This muscle testing seems to take care of the personal or individual integrity issue, now what about this my truth- your truth dilemma that comes up between two people? Well, as I tell my clients, you just have to start with the premise that what you each offer is true. Your truth is true for you and my true is true for me. Once we accept that we can get to a resolution that works for both of us. Amazing how much blame, shame, wrong right, good, bad and power, and powerlessness energy just seems to dissipate when we realize that.

Gosh if we aren’t careful we could get out of a ton of judgment and all that right/wrong or good/bad stuff and simply begin to ask, Is this the highest vibration of truth and if not let’s get higher together. This one is safe and beneficial to your soul.

© 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.

Half Baked Truth

Is truth in the eye of the beholder or is the beholder half-baking the truth? Can there really be many perspectives of the same truth; yours, mine and the objective truth or reality?

Today, we embrace being a victim more than we embrace truth. We had no choice but to bomb Iraq.  I wouldn’t be cheating if my partner was giving me what I want. I didn’t have an affair, my penis never touched.his… Of course it takes every stain out.  I never told anyone about that. He’d cheated on all his previous partners, but, I knew he would never do that to me.  I’m really not staying for the money. You are more important than my job. She’s really just a friend. No, an adjustable rate is better. I was at the gym.

Not only do we have a problem telling the truth but we also have a real issue with how to respond to the truth. Maybe that is because we don’t get truth very often. How can we make accurate judgments and respond in effective and appropriate ways when we don’t know if what we are being told is even factual?  The truth is easily manipulated by advertisers, pollsters, those in power, historians, dictators, politicians, corporate marketers, and yep, family and partners. We tell reconstructed, finessed and finely edited truth, not the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Sometimes, we simply withhold the truth altogether, which is the biggest lie. We do this with yet another lie, this one to ourselves, “I don’t want to hurt her,” or “He can’t deal with the truth.”  This is the lie we tell ourselves when we don’t want to deal with the fallout from telling the truth. So, now we have thrown up our hands and thrown truth to the wind. Who cares?

We ought to care. Truth telling is not about the other person, it is about you. It’s about a sense of power and belief in your self. When you are unwilling to tell the truth you are saying that you don’t matter and neither do your feelings and needs. If life, as Charles Swindle says, “…is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we respond to it,” then our character and ability to tell the truth is crucial. In fact, it’s more than that, it’s everything. Without truth you can’t have love, without truth you can’t have integrity, without truth you cannot have wisdom. Without truth relationships can’t last and without it you and I can’t evolve our own souls or our character and values. This liberation from the truth is simply a new form of bondage to our ego. Instead of growing up emotionally and spiritually, we are becoming existential narcissists, with an excuse for every character flaw we choose not to address. We are addicted to safety and the status quo. As long as things remain the same, we are happy. But, there is something deeper. It’s a longing to be fully who we can be and there is a greater joy and freedom in becoming that person.

So where do we begin? Initially, become aware of when you lie just out of habit, perhaps about your age, what you ate for lunch or why you are late. Stop and ask yourself why you are lying, and what is the fear under the lie? Are covering up yet another flaw, are you afraid of being vulnerable or afraid of being judged? What would the outcome be if you just told the truth? Chances are, people know when you are lying anyway, and the end result of telling the truth would be building greater trust in your relationships. If you prefer to keep some things private, and you do have that right, simply tell people, “That’s private information,” rather than tell a lie.

Then, look at the lies you tell because you are doing something that you are ashamed about, something that is illegal, self-abusive, dishonest or self-sabotaging. Once you are willing to face whatever that behavior is, you can also figure out what you need in the way of support to fix it. The shame and grief you are causing yourself is worse that any pain the truth would inflict.  If you are having an affair, maybe it’s time to look at the issues in your current relationship or be honest enough to move on so you and your partner can both find happiness. If you are abusing substance, or are into other addictive behavior, maybe it is time to get help. I know you can’t be feeling good about any of the things you are doing. In case you haven’t noticed, the truth is always healing. It’s not always comfortable but it is always healing. The real truth always eventually comes out and the lies you pile on top of lies result in the people you love feeling incredibly more betrayed than they might have with the truth. So let’s begin with a simple truth. You always know when you are not telling 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.

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.