Like everyone else, I watched The Social Dilemma recently. I felt disturbed as well, but more so by the documentary’s framing of the issues than by the dystopian state of the world it so comprehensively portrays. I’m concerned that it presents a limited view that could adversely shape our perceptions and behavior in a lasting way, especially given the enormous impact it is having.
The documentary highlights the many ways in which social media is detrimental to society — affecting our mental health, hurting our sense of connection, fueling our base desires for external validation, to name a few. …
I wish I could offer you a hug. I’m sharing my own story of loneliness instead, because it has a happy ending. And because I did not know that there could be a happy ending, or even what it would look like.
This “happy ending” isn’t an achievement of some sort, or even an ending, for that matter. But there is love now. And hope. And grace. I’m sharing my story in the hopes that you find these things as well.
When I ended my marriage seven years ago, I was plunged into a loneliness I did not know was…
Psychedelic explorer Ram Dass and Objectivist philosopher Ayn Rand met each other on the dating app Hinge. A few pleasantries later, they decided to go ahead and meet in person for an afternoon stroll.
It was a gorgeous fall afternoon when they met, sunny but cool. The air was electric and filled with possibility.
He saw light around her frame even as she approached him. She felt glimmers of emotions she had hitherto suppressed into oblivion.
There was undeniable mutual fascination. They talked for hours. There was even an unbridled make-out session in the backseat of her car, an act…
I often meet people who tell me, implicitly or explicitly, that they have lost hope — hope of ever getting out of a pattern of bad relationships, hope of ever finding a partner, hope of ever feeling whole or vibrant again. Or that they simply find it dangerous to hope. Hopes can be crushed, after all.
I’ve been there and can understand what it’s like to feel stuck, like a better situation is forever eluding you, making you want to just throw in the towel.
Here I lean on a song and a pair of quotes that remind you how…
Letting go is especially difficult when you experience romantic heartbreak. Seemingly overnight there are new uncertainties, new voids in your life to fill, and difficult emotions and memories to boot. Anxieties and fears can pile on mercilessly.
And yet, it’s precisely at such times that letting go can help you to recognize your inherent wholeness and to move forward.
But what exactly is “letting go”?
I used to be skeptical about letting go, not least because it was completely foreign to me. Life had taught me to be a fighter. Subconsciously, I equated letting go with being irresponsible and defeatist.
That got your attention, didn’t it?
Well, for the past few years, I’ve had a pretty committed guy in my life. Here he is, pictured with me. I lovingly call him “Panda”. (I know, very imaginative.)
Now that I’ve set the stage, you know this isn’t going to be the racy article you were expecting.
It’s more like a few pointers that I want you to consider while you’re in that very vulnerable place after a serious breakup. …
When your heart breaks, you might feel you’re better off never weathering the uncertainties of love or bearing that kind of pain again. So you close off, numb your feelings, and build a protective shell around your heart.
But that is a robot-like existence, dear reader, one where “you shall laugh, but not all of your laughter, and weep, but not all of your tears.” It may seem like you have complete control, but something else is bound to come along and teach you that things are otherwise. So why not just love with abandon?
To learn how to love…
A TED talk on how to fix a broken heart has been making the rounds on many a forum devoted to heartbreak and divorce. The speaker, Guy Winch, is a psychologist who also recently authored a Scientific American article on how to recover from romantic heartbreak.
Guy advises his audience to take an active role in healing themselves from heartbreak rather than merely coping (via time, social support, or substances), a perspective that I heartily endorse.
The bulk of his advice on how to do that, however, is centered around just one technique — “negative reappraisal” as he calls it…
Recently, a young woman told me that she was feeling vindicated because her ex, with whom she’d had a bad breakup, had reached out to apologize for his bad behavior. His attempts to make amends comforted her because she took it as evidence that she hadn’t been crazy or unreasonable.
“So, will you forgive him?,” I asked her.
“Oh no, I see no reason to be friendly. We ended the relationship with a big fight. I haven’t talked to him since, and I feel pretty happy about that.”
Her response seemed emotional and edgy. It wasn’t a nonchalant dismissal.
In your darkest moments, when your heart feels tender and broken wide open, I hope you’ll turn to the wisdom of the poets. A good poem can act as a balm for your soul as well as prepare you for the truths you’ll rediscover at this time.
Such is the popular poem ‘The Guest House’ by 13th century Persian poet Rumi. Frequently recited in mindfulness circles, this poem is a reminder not to resist the thoughts and emotions passing through you but to meet them with courage, warmth, and respect. Heartbreak is like a cleanse. These seemingly unwelcome guests in…