Archive for the ‘Articles’ Category


Emotional Quicksand

November 11th, 2013

Have you ever felt like you were trapped in emotional quicksand? You’re moving along confidently in the world and then – wham! – your next step lands you in a quagmire of depression, anxiety, anger, discontent, loneliness, or grief. Or…maybe all of the above.

Being of the human persuasion, we have a lot of things happen to us in life, some of which are good and some of which aren’t so good. These latter events are the ones that often make us feel stuck and as though we’re sinking fast. Most of us struggle mightily to get out of the trap. It’s scary and it feels like we’re being sucked, down, down, and there is nothing we can do to get out to get out of the trap. We frantically flail and flail around, trying desperately to save ourselves, only to find that we’re getting pulled down even faster and the quicksand’s grip has become even tighter. When we are stuck in quicksand, our immediate impulse is to struggle and fight to get out.  BUT that’s exactly what we mustn’t do in quicksand—because as we put weight down on one part of our body (our foot), it goes deeper.  So the more we struggle, the deeper we sink—and the more we struggle.  Emotional_QuicksandIt’s very much a no-win situation.  With quicksand, there’s only one option for survival—to spread the weight of our body over a large surface area—lay down.  It goes against all of our instincts to lay down and really be with the quicksand, but that’s exactly what we have to do.  So it is with distress— we struggle and fight against it, but we’ve perhaps never considered just letting it be, and being with the distressing thoughts and feelings.  But if we did, we’d find that we get through it and survive and thrive far more effectively than if we’d fought and struggled.

Guess what? This is a hard thing to do because, just as our first reaction to finding our bodies sinking is to panic and thrash around to save ourselves, so our reaction is to sinking emotionally. It’s counter-intuitive and not very natural to relax and stop struggling when everything inside is yelling, “Do something!”

Truth be told, though, we are doing something when we stop struggling against our emotions. We are allowing. We are creating space for our emotions to just be rather than trying to suppress them or make them go away. We are floating with the quicksand and making the slow, steady progress we need to get to firmer ground.

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Being You

October 23rd, 2013

Being_Lovingis when another’s needs and wants are as precious and important to you as your own.  Not more important than your own because then your importance is diminished in your own eyes and in the eyes of your partner (how you treat yourself is how your partner may likely treat you).  Not less important than your own because that leads to being dismissive of the importance of your partner in your life.  It is when we refuse to use anything from the past against another in the present. We refuse the impulse to use another’s vulnerability against, leaving them open to feeling shame or worse yet, regret that they confided in another.


Being_Patientis to bear conflict with calmness.  It is the realization that life, day to day, moment by moment, is changing.  The only experience in life that is predictable is that it is unpredictable.  Everything comes and goes. Within every beginning is its ending.  And we, who hold on to constancy with dear life so we can have some sense of being in control, are called upon to develop an appreciation and acceptance of change in our lives a a fundamental characteristic of life.  My assumptions about others intentions are not necessarily correct.  And to live life as an art is to pause and consider the following:  our assumptions of course seem real to us because they are our own creations.  Whether they are correct or  not is, actually, coincidence.  It is always best to check out our assumptions with another.  Time and again, if we nurture patience and strength to do this, we will be amazed at what we find that we did not know; we will be amazed at what we see that we did not see was there to see!  It may do our hearts good to reflect on the words of the poet Rilke, ““Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.”

Joyce Lynne Juster, M.A., LP  copyright @2013.

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