Couples Therapy Boulder

How We Heal Our Deep Relational Wounds

“Forget your perfect offering. There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in” Leonard Cohen

How many of us have seen Season 1 and 2 of Big, Little Lies, or have read the book?  Wow… it seems to catch on like crazy for some reason.  Of course, the brilliant cast, excellent production of a powerful story of such suspense and complexity is without a doubt. The unfolding and tragic weaving of stories of abuse, violence, and tragedy command our hearts, intrigue, and pain. Each character brings forth such a compelling story.

I  believe there are triggers in memory of our own, often untold, stories that reach deep into our personal narrative which cause our relational wounds. We may not have suffered in the same ways or to the same degree, but certainly we all have stories of pain, betrayal, brokenness, and regret that we all endure contribute to our common humanity. On a relational level, we now have more permission to reveal our stories of shame and vulnerability.

It also connects, thankfully, with grit, courage, and authenticity which are the rising skills that allow love, friendship, justice, humility, compassion, forgiveness, faith, and resilience to win. “Glasshouses” are broken and the light gets in.

Here are a few considerations and steps toward increasing consciousness, recovery, and healing:

Be gentle, brave and compassionate toward yourself.

“If your heart is broken, make art with the pieces.” Shane Koyczan

I believe that memories surface because we are ready to take the courage to heal. We don’t need to go digging around for past episodes of hurt. There is enough that surfaces on their own. It’s important to have support to tackle the challenge of awareness and conscious living.

Let it Be- Name the emotion.  It is important to experience the loss, the regret, the impact. We cannot “numb” these emotions without also numbing our joy. (Brene’ Brown) Rather than turning away or turning against ourselves through distraction or addiction- (overworking, eating, drinking, social media ‘ing”, etc) we can turn toward with love, forgiveness, faith, and compassion. (John Gottman)

Speak the unspeakable.

“The truth shall set you free.” (John 8: 31-32)

When feelings and memories occur, we can learn to face them from our own core leadership. If we don’t face them, they will “own” us and carry their toxic power into our relationships in all spheres- at home and at work. It’s that important to dig in and do the work. Bring in your caring and courage to gain resilience and healing over the shadow parts.

Let It Go.

I believe that facing our “shadows” requires great courage. So then does the process of letting go. You really don’t want to carry that baggage any longer.

Let It In.

Make amends by taking responsibility and seeking forgiveness. Our forgiveness of self and others for pain and regret is a huge step. Rather than BS (blame and shame), we can learn better ways to “stand our sacred ground”, speak the truth and demonstrate authenticity. Rather than pitting ourselves along with gender, racial, economic lines, let’s heal “toxic” patterns and stop the blame game.

“Let in” compassion and forgiveness and let it absorb and stick. Stand for respect, integrity, mutuality, a value of what emotion, heart, diversity, and inclusion bring to the table and high moral ground.

Meryl Streep shares an interview with InStyle, May 29. 2019. On the topic of “toxic masculinity”

“Sometimes, I think we’re hurt. We hurt our boys by calling something toxic masculinity. I do. And I don’t find [that] putting those two words together … because women can be pretty……. toxic,” Streep said. “It’s toxic people. We have our good angles and we have our bad ones. I think the labels are less helpful than what we’re trying to get to, which is communication, direct, between human beings. We’re all on the boat together. We’ve got to make it work.”

“You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it.”  Margaret Thatcher

Focus on what we have in the middle. In these times of great division, caring, civility, and respect are the core values we have in common.

Celebrate our similarities and allow for our differences.

We are experiencing a loneliness epidemic:

“Three-fourths of Americans experience moderate to high levels of loneliness, said the study, published this week in International Psychogeriatrics. Previous studies found loneliness rates of 17 percent to 57 percent. Men and women were equally affected.”

Choose carefully the people that belong in our “inner circle”.

Not everyone belongs in your most precious, trust-worthy, intimate family or friendship space. There is nothing more healing than the connection of kindred souls and the strength of unconditional love- those that stand with you when you “win”, when you fail and when you fall.

Discern the quality, commitment and trust, then nurture and prioritize these most important people in our lives. Seek a therapist and/or a support group. Shame disconnects while empathy and compassion connect.

“The secret to happiness is freedom… And the secret to freedom is courage.” Thucydides

When we are free from pain, we have greater energy and joy to embrace a deeper sense of meaning, purpose to pay it forward.


Big, Little Lies

Brene’ Brown,

Rick Hanson

Kristen Neff

Meryl Streep

John Gottman

Terry Real




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