RELATIONSHIP REPAIR

RELATIONSHIP REPAIR

When we show up for one another, we wake up for ourselves.

It takes much grit to do the intimate work of being seen. Of seeing our own stories and patterns. Of accepting our selves and also our loved ones.

Relationships are hard work. Deep work. They open our souls to the old wounds that need tending and care and expose our most vulnerable parts in a tender, sacred, surrender.

The Somehow Theory

The Somehow Theory is a story that holds me. I hope it offers you some holding and hope too....

The first time I remember asking, I'm five years old and we're sitting in a flower print swivel club chair in the mirrored living room. It's the early 80s.

I sit on grandpa’s lap, cuddle into him and trace the green tattooed numbers on his left forearm with my index finger, over and over just the same as I locate each freckle on his arm. These are his markings. I know them by heart. Perhaps what I know even more than anything is the love I feel sitting on his lap as I trace. This is my safe space. “Grandpa, what do these numbers mean?”

The Somehow Theory

“These numbers,” he tells me, this time and countless times to come, “are my story. And you, are my reason for living.” These are big words to land on the shoulders and in the heart of a child still small and innocent enough to nestle into grandpa’s lap for a journey into the stories that follow all the “why’s” I so naturally provoke him with.

He tells me he has so many stories in him but he’s promised himself not to share most of them with me. “You don’t need to know it all,” he says gently. He can’t bear for me to. After all, I'm his reason for living.

Over the years he tells me his stories in small bursts; about how the family was separated immediately after getting off the cattle cars at Aushwitz. One of my grandfather's brothers was carrying their invalid father, a WW1 hero, followed by his mother and two sisters. When they arrived, they were all sent to the left. My grandfather, on his own, was sent to the right. He survived. Later that day, he asked another prisoner when he'd see his family again. The prisoner responded by shouting to him, “Look up, you see that smoke," he said. "There they are." And so he knew. Not even twenty fours hours after entering the camp, he knew what was in store for them all.

He also shared so many stories about liberation. My grandfather and his two buddies, whom he’d bonded together and survived with in camp, went looking for a sister who they had heard survived at Bergen Belsen. They didn’t find her. Instead they met three women, among them my grandmother. The women were still living in the camp when they met. The men told them they’d be back when they had a place for them to live, then they'd marry them. The women laughed. Who were these men? These three newly liberated men used their moxie and somehow managed to obtain new suits from a local shopkeeper and then came back to woo the women. Again and again. Each time in new suits. And in no time the three couples married.

Girls my age had princesses but I had liberation as my love story.

I hold onto this love story, passed down from my grandparents, two holocaust survivors who rebuilt their lives on The Somehow Theory.

That somehow, if you believe enough, if you hope enough, it will work out.

No matter how hard it is.

As we watched the results of our presidential election roll in, my husband looked me in the eye and said, "We have to live each day. That's it. Don't succumb to fear. Live. Love." And that's what I'm planning on. Living and loving as much as I can every damn day. It's exactly the medicine my grandparents would have recommended. I invite you to join me.

Adventures in Parental Monogamy | February 2016 Chronogram

If you regularly pick up the Chronogram, our 'regional magazine dedicated to stimulating and supporting the creative and cultural life of the Hudson Valley', you might happen to notice this article on page 28 of the February 2016 edition.

Adventures in Parental Monogamy

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I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Hillary Harvey, the Chronogram's Kids & Family editor, last month. And this article contains much of what we discussed. And I must add that I am flattered to be quoted alongside some amazing colleagues, Cyndi Darnell,Lily ZehnerEsther Perel (I'm a bit starstruck to say the least).

This topic, modern parental monogamy, is much of the focus behind the e-course I'm creating, {re}spark. If this intrigues you, I hope you will check  out the article and then come back to post here, or email me.

I want to know what you want to discover and explore about this topic.I want to help you answer your own big questions and gain a deeper understanding of the intimacy you desire and the struggles you experience.

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Or join my Valentine’s Day mid-day couples retreat in Accord, New York.