March 22, 2008 
 HealingHeartPower Newsletter
 Reclaiming the Power of the Heart
In This Issue

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While I generally send out a monthly newsletter on the 1st of each month, every now and then, the creative forces of life conspire and it's fun to go with that creative flow.

My colleague, Margaret Paul, writes a wonderful e- newsletter, with articles that are often kindred in spirit to the ones I share here. And this past week, her article, 7-Step Foolproof Guide to Creating a Terrible Relationship, caught my funnybone and my attention.

While at one level, Margaret's article was written tongue-in-cheek, sometimes when delicate messages are viewed with such a lens, it is easier to see the deeper truths in the clever, even somewhat humorous presentation.

Margaret's article inspired me to write it's mirror article- -the yin to its yang or the yang to its yin. I am sharing both Margaret's article and my mirror article, "7- Step Guide to Creating a Really Grounded Relationship here side by side, since the two articles together do paint a very worthwhile pictures of what makes relationships work and what makes relationships not work.

Your comments and contributions are welcome, as always.

Heartfully, Linda

 7-Step Foolproof Guide to Creating a Terrible Relationship
 by Dr. Margaret Paul

Why randomly create a terrible relationship? By following my 7-step foolproof guide, you can make sure you do it every time!

1. Take no responsibility for your own feelings.

Make sure that you do not take responsibility for your own feelings and your own sense of safety and security. Make sure you ignore your feelings enough so that you create an empty black hole inside that needs to be filled by sex, things, or by someone else's love or attention.

2. Find someone to do it for you

Look for someone to fill your emptiness, someone to make you feel loved, happy, safe and secure. A good way to determine if this is the right person is if he or she comes on REALLY strong, promising you the world, or at least great sex.

3. Once you find the right person, be sure to behave in one of the two following ways:

a. Completely give yourself up

Completely put yourself aside, focusing all your attention on the other person's feelings and needs. our hope is that if you are wonderful enough and sacrifice enough of yourself, the other person will give you the love you are seeking. Be sure to completely ignore your own feelings and needs, no matter what the other person does. Be the best caretaker you can be or try to have control over getting the other person's love and approval.

b. Demand the other person live up to your expectations

Start slow, gradually building to becoming more and more demanding of the other person. If he or she doesn't meet your expectations, be sure to criticize, blame, chastise, berate, threaten, ignore, yell at, belittle, lecture, debate, and argue with your partner. Your job is to gain control over getting the other person to completely give him or herself up and focus only on filling your emptiness and needs with their love, approval, attention, sex, devotion, time, and adoration. Be the best taker you can be, making sure you keep your partner feeling guilty and responsible for your feelings of security and self-esteem.

4. Be the victim

As your relationship starts to decline, move more and more into thinking and behaving as a victim of the other person's choices. This will lead to more fights or to distance, lack of passion, lack of fun, and a complete inability to communicate about anything, even minor situations. In any discussions, be sure to seek to be right, win your point, and make your partner wrong. After all, this is a competition for who is the good one and the right one. Or, just collapse and give in, a great way to be a victim.

5. Withdraw

Start to spend less and less time with your partner, spending it alone or with other people, or in front of the TV. Convince yourself that your misery is completely your partner's fault, and that you picked the wrong person, again. NEVER EVER take any responsibility for your own feelings, needs, behavior and choices. Never forget that you are the victim.

6. Get your partner into counseling

Seek counseling to get your partner to change. DO NOT enter counseling to deal with your own controlling behavior of being a taker or caretaker. Rather, be sure to tell the therapist everything your partner does wrong, using the therapist's office as just another arena to prove that you are right and your partner is wrong, or you are the good one and your partner is the bad one.

7. You did it!

Congratulations! You have succeeded in creating a terrible relationship! Now you can miserably and righteously leave your partner and do the whole thing again! You get to complain to all your friends about what a terrible person your ex-partner is and get sympathy for all you've been through. What a reward for all your hard work!

To read more of Margaret's articles, go to.... 

 7-Step Guide to Creating a Really Grounded Relationship
 by Linda Marks

This article is Linda's response to Margaret's reflections.

1. Take responsibility for your own feelings.

We all get triggered sometimes. Often our partners, because they are such deep mirrors for us, trigger our difficult feelings. Appreciate the gift of your partner's presence and mirror. It's an opportunity to heal oneself in a deeper way that will allow more connection, intimacy, peace and quality relatedness.

2. We are responsible for our own healing work.

A partner can walk with us on our journey. And with a partner we can co-create a shared journey. AND there is always our personal journey and our own inner work-- and that is ours to live, ours to do and ours to own.

3. Once you find an earnest, sincere person you can connect with--whose company you enjoy--and where there is a mutual desire to co-create a meaningful relationship:

a. Be yourself. And know that to be loved by your partner is to be loved for who you are in the most essential ways. This does not mean being sloppy and being expected to have your partner look the other way. It means being sincere, honest, human...honoring and communicating your own feelings and needs. Sometimes you and your partner will be on the same page and things will go smoothly. Sometimes you will disappoint your partner because no two people are always on the same page. Sometimes your partner will disappoint you because no two people are always on the same page. And there will be enough good will and love that you can take those moments where you disappoint one another and say, "oh well--just one of those moments..." and keep going forward, appreciating all the moments when you do connect and can dance gracefully with one another.

b. Have your own desires and dreams and articulate them.

If your partner loves you, s/he will want you to realize your desires and dreams, just as you will want your partner to realize his/her desires and dreams. And develop commonly defined desires and dreams you can articulate and co-create together. This is very different than focusing on filling a voide, focusing on "what I can get" (the "taker" language Margaret writes about), or giving out of fear rather than sincere love and spaciousness. Do what you can to honestly love, see and honor your partner each day rather than criticize, judge or blame your partner. And do this because you feel good about yourself and have the space to love your partner because you fundamentally love and honor yourself.

4. There are no victims.

We are all human. Open, honest communication from the heart--with a listener trying their best to hear from the heart can get underneath misunderstandings, miscommunications, mistakes--the human foibles that we inevitably find ourselves in sometimes, just because we are human and works in progress. Focus on good will. Try to put yourself in your partner's shoes so you can have empathy for both yourself and your partner. Both of you are good people. Honor your own truth and don't give yourself up. And don't beat up your partner with your truth either. There is a balance of honoring yourself and your partner--and both of your truths.

5. Stay engaged.

If it is hard, don't withdraw or abandon your partner. If it is hard, go get help. Or better yet, put a third party facilitator in place early on, so you have the help there for when you need it. Better the third party get to know you when you don't need the help, so they know you both when you hit your trigger points and need to do your inner work and relational work. Take responsibility for your own feelings, needs, behaviors and choices. Make the commitment to one another that neither will be the first to leave. And learn about both taking space to get grounded in yourself when you need it--which fuels your connection to yourself and provides more space to appreciate your partner...and having relational space, where you focus on and deepen the connection by being with each other.

6. Don't make your partner wrong.

Have your own counselor for your own self-work out of self-love--out of a commitment to have the support, feedback and space to keep growing, healing, learning and being a better human being. This is a gift you give yourself out of self-love. And because you give yourself this gift, you also give it to your partner.

7. Keep working your relationship.

It takes a lifetime to know your partner and love them all the way. Stay with your partner. Walk together on your joint journey. Keep walking along your own path towards personal learning, growing, healing, expression and fulfullment. And learn about how two "I's" can also join to be a "we"--strengthening both the "I's" and the "we."

I remember Margaret saying that intimate relationship is the PhD in the school of life--in the school of being human. Enjoy the good moments and learn from the hard moments. And in time, a solid, safe, stable foundation for the relationship grows. Be a good gardner and take care of your relationship each season. It's worth it.

Share your thoughts.... 

 Upcoming Groups, Workshops and Programs

The next Healing the Traumatized Heart workshop is May 18 from 1 - 5 pm in Newton. Register and you can bring a friend or loved one for free.

EKP opportunities in Newton include:
  • Being a guest client in the Student Clinic
  • Apprenticing in EKP
  • On-going Thursday night EKP Body Psychotherapy Group
  • On-going Sunday EKP Monthly Process Group

To find out more.... 

 About Linda

Me and Flora Linda Marks, MSM, is pioneer in body psychotherapy who has developed, taught and practiced Emotional-Kinesthetic Psychotherapy (EKP) for more than two decades. Author of LIVING WITH VISION and HEALING THE WAR BETWEEN THE GENDERS, she co-founded the Massachusetts Association of Body Psychotherapists and Counseling Bodyworkers and is the founder of the Boston Area Sexuality and Spirituality Network. She holds degrees from Yale and MIT, and has a vital 12-year-old son.

To find out more about Linda... 

The Boston Area Sexuality and Spirituality Network programs for the 2007-2008 season are posted on www.sexspirit.net.