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Roses and Thorns

The task in the beginning is to learn to love self. This is accomplished by the provision of healthy caretaker inputs from outside-in. A child must first be loved, in order to learn how to experience love, in order to learn how to love. Learning to love your self is a crucial developmental task for love to have experiential personal meaning. The root word of the root word in meaning is the first two letters or the word formed by “m” + “e” = “me”. Meaning is often self-centered, self-absorbed and self-aggrandizing because the focus is on “me”. With me, myself brings me to I ......
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“I Am Not A Man...”

For much of my professional career as a practicing clinical psychologist, I have articulated a sincere and explicit sentiment with virtually every adult female client and, usually by the end of the first session, that within the context of our professional relationship, “I am not a man but a doctor!” My reason has been to continually remind myself of what I will never know, as a man, about being female in the world! I am often fond of saying that “men live in the world of men but women live in the world of women and they must also live in the w......
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The Organ Grinder's Monkey

Emerson reminds us that while “one may serve many masters, he shall give himself to none.” Phrased a bit differently, we eventually need to choose to whom we will allocate our resources of blood, sweat and tears. It is my contention that, by deluding ourselves into believing that we can successfully serve everybody, we will eventually discover that, in reality, we can only succeed in providing a service, “good and true,” to nobody. In such a scenario, we are now condemned to the role of the organ grinder’s monkey such that whosoever can wind us up and turn the screws, so to speak,......
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The Dance of Relationships

Relationships between a man and a woman are like a dance. With a dance, we have been taught that “the man leads, the woman follows.” However, in my opinion, the man leads by following the woman to lead him. The woman follows by leading the man to follow her. Consider my version, on psychological grounds, of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Adam is created first, therefore, he leads; Eve is created second, therefore, she follows. (“Let he who would be first, be last and serve the rest.”) The ’deal’ is for as long as Adam and Eve do not parta......
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The Recital

The children squirmed anxiously, eagerly, bedazzled by the hustle-bustle flurry about them. Mothers worked at fever‑pitch, mending leotards, pinning tutus, making last‑minute alterations to hemlines. Expectant fathers fidgeted, and, as if a bit out of place, busied themselves by checking and rechecking their camcorders. Grandparents bounced babies on their laps or just waited, patiently. The lights flickered, then dimmed. Rehearsal after rehearsal behind them, the little dancers practiced and readied, the curtain drew open. The recital began.     Seated at the back of the theater near the exit, an elderly man and woman rested quietly. From how they were sitting, it m......
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What Are You Worth?

Many people I have encountered over the years erroneously believe they are “worth” what they want to be “worth,” what they hope to be “worth,” or even what they idealize themselves to be “worth.” Those who are extremely concrete and literal, incorrectly, assess what they are “worth” by the “bottom line” of their financial portfolio or the kinds of “perks” they have at work or the “pedigree” of their material possessions. In my opinion, however, “you’re worth what you settle for!” How many times have you heard someone proclaim that they would “never tolerate an abusive spouse” and yet, even if they divorce, may find themselves re-enga......
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Whole and Holey

When I think of the personal mentors in my life, I am reminded of their sage insights, their discerning candor, and the genuineness of their own “walk.” Mostly, I recall their unflagging commitment to me – guiding me forward, sometimes back, often up and down and around, and sideways a few times, to be sure, but always in service of me – and my personal growth and development.   My personal mentors took nothing for granted and were grateful for everything. They sought meaning every day, in every act, and within each moment - carpe diem. They engaged living with awe and wonder,......
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