Author Topic: 30 Days - Love Heals Program  (Read 4896 times)

Erasmus_xlt

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30 Days - Love Heals Program
« on: May 24, 2016, 09:16:12 AM »
Upon the recommendation of the significant other (SO) of another porn addict (PA) here in the blogs, I was introduced to Dr. Mark Chamberlain of Suncrest Counseling and his blog http://markchamberlainphd.blogspot.com/?m=1 .  I needed his blog because it spoke straight to the heart of what I needed - learning to love.  Because of my background (which I have discussed in my other blog) I don't really know how to love myself - let alone others. Part of my journey away FROM the addiction of porn is TO a life of love and trust.

Dr. Chamberlain also has a web site called Love Heals Porn http://lovehealsporn.com/.  He has a 30-day challenge (its a program, not a challenge) that I am embarking upon in order "to keep life moving in a better direction."  I will log my progress for the 30 days as a way to keep up with the challenge and to not the improvements and changes that may occur because of them.

On to Day 1 of 30.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2016, 09:55:42 AM by Erasmus_xlt »



Erasmus_xlt

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Re: 30 Days - Love Heals Program
« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2016, 09:53:43 AM »
Day 1 of 30.  Do it:  Commit to Stop Hating Yourself

Ugh!  Just the title is enough to cause shivers that threaten to collapse my spine.  Already the good doctor is honing in on the target like a special forces sharpshooter.  So, let me see what the program entails for today...

For today's action I am to give a color to the part of me that is addicted to porn and talk to it.  The idea is to not hate it or fight with it.  Rather, I am to love that part of me also and help it to learn to live without being destructive to me. Basically, I said something like this:

Green (green is the color of poison, dragons, lust and jealousy), I'm sorry I haven't been taking care of you in the right way.  I know you have been fighting because of your pain and I have been fighting you to keep myself from your pain.  We have to stop fighting and work together.  I no longer want to live a life of shame, fear or regret.  I have decided to love you but not what you do.  From now on, I am not your enemy.  I am a friend and an ally.  I will love you and not fight you.  We will work together to get what we both need. Deal? (Green is also the color of new life and good fortune.)

I think the idea here is realize that the green thing is still part of me.  As long as I am at war with myself, I will never have peace with myself and, consequently, I can't have peace with others.  By understanding the part of me that wanted the empty promises of porn, I will better be able to feed the true need rather than using a broken coping mechanism that ultimately causes more pain and despair. 

Here's a thought: Green is my favorite color.  Funny that I would pick that for the part of me I don't like and what that part will look like later.  Forget Fifty Shades of Grey and that messed up ideology.  I have multiple hues of green!

Interesting enough, after I did this exercise, I felt pity for Green.  I wanted to cry for Green.  My heart got heavy and my eyes misted.  I feel a sense of regret for a life lost and opportunities squandered.  I feel sorrow for relationships trampled to protect my coping mechanism.  I feel heavy hearted when I think of what might have been.  But, then all of my past has brought me to where I am now.  I can't change what was, but I can change what is and what will be to make them better than I can even imagine.

Maybe having these feelings is good.  Perhaps that was the point of the exercise.  I'll know better down the road.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2016, 09:57:25 AM by Erasmus_xlt »



Erasmus_xlt

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Re: 30 Days - Love Heals Program Day 2
« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2016, 10:14:46 AM »
Day 2 of 30.  Resolve to Stick With This Program

We are asked to focus on four questions:
1.  Am I ready to take regular, real steps to increase love in my life and thus diminish my reliance on porn?
Yes, I am.

2.  Am I ready to take action in small, doable ways?
Yes, I am.

3.  Have I seen enough of this program to trust it might help me do these things?
No, I don't think I have.  Just being honest.

4.  Am I ready and willing to give it a sincere try?
Yes, I am.

In today's reading, he comments on the fact that guilt, shame and frustration are not enough to motivate a lasting desire to be free of porn addiction.  I know that in 1 Corinthians 15 in the Bible it talks about all the things that will fail and pass away, but not love.   Mark (if I may be so familial) reminds me that my brain won't cooperate, my life won't cooperate and people in my life may not cooperate (even close friends and/or spouses) as they all have their own agendas and needs.  But, true love does not require the object of that love to respond in kind.  Love will still prevail - it just might not be the way you thought it would.

At the conclusion, Mark recommends that we make a resolution to stick with the program.  I made that resolution when I started it.



Erasmus_xlt

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Re: 30 Days - Love Heals Program
« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2016, 08:21:32 PM »
Day 3. Record a Healing Selfie

For today's action, I  am to step into the role of the part of me that wants the porn.  I did not want to do it.

Then I was to record a selfie (a first) that described:
     1.  What I cared about
     2.  What I want
     3.  Why its important
     Extra, can ask how I've been hurt or deprived

I did not like the idea of this exercise.  I did not want to do it.  But, I did.

Basically, I ended up saying that I cared about being cared about.  I just wanted to know that someone cared about me or what happened to me.  It's important because I wanted to know that I mattered.  What hurt me is that I felt neglected. 

I made that take about a minute to say.  The problem with this exercise, is I don't know if that is the truth or just what I thought I was supposed to say.  Yes, I was the middle child of two sisters and the only boy.  They excelled at doing things and getting me in trouble for them or making it so that I would have to do their chores.  (To this day, I vehemently detest washing dishes.)  I didn't think it bothered me, but maybe it did.

I felt weird and out of place talking to the phone.  I also think that I had already accomplished the goal of this exercise through prayer and meditation.  But, now I am to see if I can develop a sense of solidarity with that part of me.  Face the needs together.  Eventually, the feelings are supposed to flow. (?)  Get in tune with the feelings we have inside. Ahhhhhhh!

That's why this feels so alien to me.  Paying attention to feelings.  Letting myself feel.  I don't do well with feelings - neither my own nor someone else's.  I remember being told that emotions should never rule you.  Don't make decisions based on emotion.  It doesn't matter how you feel, you just do what needs to be done.  Your feelings are misplaced and your emotions are wrong.  Typical stuff you tell boys, right?

But, since I am here to learn to love, I will deal with the feelings and see what that part of me has to say for myself...



Erasmus_xlt

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Re: 30 Days - Love Heals Program
« Reply #4 on: May 27, 2016, 06:14:04 AM »
Day 4: Ask for Support About Something Stressful

Today's activity required me to talk to someone about something stressful and to listen without trying to fix the problem.

I have two handicaps against me on this one: I am a teacher and I am a technician.  Hence, my wife says that I am always correcting her.  I have always felt that the reason someone would bring something up is because they were looking for a solution.

I was looking forward to doing this with my wife when I got home from work.  But, she had to go to work this evening.  I received a call from one of my customers (I do computer repair for people) and wouldn't be going straight home either.  So I decided to try this with her.

My customer is well into her 60's and has difficulty with her computer regularly.  She had just replaced her laptop and needed me to set it for her (shortcuts and programs).  While accomplishing this task, she proceeded to tell me all about her family and who was dying and other family dynamics.  She would talk for a while and I would repeat back.  But I never really got to a point where I could share what was going on with me.

Part of me wanted to say that I had done good enough.  I had listened actively and learned something about being present.  But that wasn't the point of the exercise.

When my wife got home from work, we sat down in the den with the TV off, and over some late night watermelon, I asked her how was her day.  At first, she responded with the regular short required answer.  Then I told her that we were told today that we would be working for a different company by the end of next month and we really had no idea what that would look like.  She was concerned and asked questions and I felt better.

That's when the floodgates opened.  She then opened up about her physical pain, interactions at work and studying for her insurance license.  It was good to be able to listen without trying to think of a solution. But, my fear is that I would seem disingenuous.  But, I really was listening.  I summarized what she said.  I used interjections and asked questions. She related some stories from her past and we had a good time.

I felt good about our conversation, but I don't know how she felt about it.  My first thought is that she may think I am just trying to act good to get out of trouble.  But, like she told me it's going to require a record of consistent and positive change to right this ship.  Well, here is to the beginning of righting the ship.

May God give you strength to do the right thing.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2016, 08:47:48 AM by Erasmus_xlt »



Erasmus_xlt

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Re: 30 Days - Love Heals Program
« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2016, 05:25:06 AM »
Day 5: Obedience School for your Brain.

For this day's task I am to  pick a change that will help keep me away from porn and implement it.  My challenge with this task is selecting something I am not already doing.

I would love to say to avoid highly emotional situations but, I don't have control over that. 

I guess I can try to call someone when I feel tempted.  This will be difficult as I really don't want to.  I really don't think that people really want to help and they will use anything and everything against me in the court of public opinion.  But there it is.
« Last Edit: May 28, 2016, 06:01:21 AM by Erasmus_xlt »



Erasmus_xlt

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Re: 30 Days - Love Heals Program
« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2016, 08:31:06 PM »
Day 6.  Vividly Imagine the Future Self You Hope to Be

This exercise is to reimagine myself 5 to 10 years from now as a person who has successfully kicked my pornography habit and is thriving in my life. I enjoy the freedom of living according to my values and being less haunted by the struggle with this problem. Think about myself five to ten years from now as someone who enjoys my freedom from compulsion.

Now I am to answer the following questions in writing: What was the first thing that came to mind when you thought about the image of your future self having successfully moved on from pornography?
My first thought is of me in a suit running my own company with a smile on my face.  My wife is standing beside me, also with a smile on her face leaning on my shoulder.

Write out some of the details of your future self's appearance in the image that came to mind. How are his relationships?
My relationships have improved.  People trust me a naturally gravitate toward me.  They see me as a person of integrity.

 How is he doing spiritually?
Spiritually, my relationship with God is better than ever.  I am able to do some of the ministry that I wanted to do before but, God would not allow me because of my sin.

What is his general health?
I am working out again.  My body looks and feels like I did when I was 25 .  My diabetes is under control and I no longer suffer from PIED or PE.

Energy level?
I have all the energy I need to do what I want throughout the day.

Attitude toward life?
My attitude toward life is that God is good and He directs me into green pastures and beside still waters.

What are his achievements?
I am running my own cyber security business and consulting with local medical offices, legal offices and medical practices.  I have written several whitepapers on cyber security.  I am also a sought after evangelist.  I have helped many people break the chains of pornography and be led into the path of new life.

Write about anything else that came to mind.
The biggest thing is my relationship with my wife.  She trust me (at least most of the time) and loves me.  I love her and have learned how to let her know in an authentic way.  We have a level of intimacy that others only dream of.  Our physical love life is better than ever and more often than I could have dreamed.  She is my trophy wife and I am the man she only dreamed I could be.



Erasmus_xlt

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Re: 30 Days - Love Heals Program
« Reply #7 on: May 30, 2016, 11:37:35 AM »
Day 7: Anchor Back to Love

Instructions for today are to: "Put one or both hands on your heart. Take two or three minutes and turn your attention from all the action going on. Listen. At first it might seem unclear exactly how to go about this. What is my essential self, really? How will I know if I'm in touch with my essence? Rather than worrying too much about all that, simply quiet yourself and attune inwardly in a respectful, loving way. Adopt an open mentality, perhaps with a hint of curiosity."

So, I did.  My first sensation was of my heart beat; very strong and very powerful.  My next thought was of the quiet.  I tried to see myself in the darkness.  I tried to hear a voice from God.  I got neither of the above.  Just blackness.  I told myself that now was the time, let me know what you want me to know.  Now, there was a sense of loss, but nothing else. 

I'll work on this again, but I think I can't anchor back to something I don't know.  To me, love was always a sense of comradarie, accepting someone as they were, mutual respect, co-existence, the act of love, and romance.  There are other words that could be used, but my argument was always, why not just call it those words?  What makes love different?

One day, I hope to find out.



Erasmus_xlt

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Re: 30 Days - Love Heals Program
« Reply #8 on: May 31, 2016, 09:39:53 PM »
Day 8: Get Daily Doses of Touch

Do It: Touch Someone
In the next couple of minutes touch someone.

Well, I was able to hug my wife for a few moments yesterday.  As I was hugging her I wanted her to feel comfort in my embrace.  I don't know if I succeeded.  But, the touch happened - and that was before reading the assignment. I was glad to be able to embrace her.  I was happy that she allowed me to embrace her.  I want to embrace her more.

I read a study about this while I was in college.  Then, when I became a teacher at a private school, I encourage appropriate touching with my students.  Unfortunately, the administrator forbade it and said it would lead to sex among the students.  Ugh!

Not much more to it than that.  Hopefully, as my relationship gets better with my wife, we can practice this together.  I realize the importance of touch and my need for touch as part of intimacy.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2016, 06:24:16 AM by Erasmus_xlt »



Erasmus_xlt

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Re: 30 Days - Love Heals Program
« Reply #9 on: May 31, 2016, 10:20:58 PM »
Day 9:  Love Your Misguided Brain

Do It: Start a Loving Dialogue
Put one or both hands on your heart and start a firm, loving dialogue with the porn-seeking part of your brain. Seek to better understand what role he's trying to play in your life, what he thinks you need that he's trying to help you get.

I told the porn seeking part of me (that was divorced and previously buried but had to be brought back to do these exercises) that using porn as a replacement for emotions was no longer necessary.  I am going to work on feeling the emotions; Experience the pain; Deal with the stress; Process the anger.  The child that he was protecting has grown up and needs to know how to handle these feelings in a mature, acceptable way.

Anyway, that's what I did.  Not sure how much these exercises are helping.  Just going with the process for now.



Erasmus_xlt

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Re: 30 Days - Love Heals Program
« Reply #10 on: June 01, 2016, 09:31:30 PM »
Day 10: Support Yourself When You Need It

Today's activity is to Practice Supporting Your Struggling Self. 

Dr. Chamberlain reflects on a technique where you practice talking to yourself now so that when a situation arises when you need to, you'll be able to.  We are to repeat phrases that cover the areas of self compassion:
1.  Mindfulness, or being open to the reality of the present moment.
2.  Recognizing our common humanity.
3.  Self kindness, or being as caring with ourselves as we are with others.

So, here goes: (with hands on my head):
1.  Ouch.
2.  Everyone puts their foot in their mouth.
3.  That's part of what makes me who I am.



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Re: 30 Days - Love Heals Program
« Reply #11 on: June 03, 2016, 09:36:01 AM »
Day 11: Show Your Brain Who's Alpha

Pick three or four potential self-control moments you'll face in the next 24 hours. What are a couple of good things you're intending to do, but are unsure you'll be able to follow through? What are a couple of actions you'd like to avoid that you might find tempting?

Put your hand(s) on your heart and commit to yourself to exercise 10 seconds of willpower in those moments.

1. Work my shed
2. Work on my greenhouse
3. Plant seeds in my garden
4. Do homework for school

All things that I need to do.  Exercise and nutrition are things I should be doing too, but they will come.  I am a diabetic and just found out that my A1C is at 6.9 so that's good.



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Re: 30 Days - Love Heals Program
« Reply #12 on: June 03, 2016, 09:50:28 AM »
Day: 12: Find Your Center of Gravity Within Yourself

Do It: Accept Some of What You've Been Working So Hard to Avoid

Identify an aspect of life over which you wish you had more control. Perhaps an aspect of an important relationship that's not going the way you want it to. Is your lack of acceptance in these areas causing you grief? Consider your behavior when it comes to dealing with these issues: has it become controlling?

Write down 1) the element of this situation you have the hardest time accepting and 2) one outcome you dread and have been trying to avoid.

The one thing that comes to mind is that I really want the love and respect of my wife and to make love with her frequently.  What I dread and have been trying to avoid is dealing with her emotions because that results in an abstinence from making love.

I accept that my wife does not want to always make love physically.  I look forward to my wife expressing her feelings as these are opportunities to be intimate with her.



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Re: 30 Days - Love Heals Program
« Reply #13 on: June 04, 2016, 12:55:16 PM »
Day 13: Connection is Emotional Oxygen

Do It: Connect Today

What's one simply thing you can do today that will increase the sense of connection you feel with those around you? Put your hand(s) on your heart as you ponder the following ideas and decide which is a good fit. Or come up with one of your own. Then do it.

Go to a social activity like one of these.
Offer to help someone in your life who could use it.
Help out at a charity near your home.
Invite someone to go for a walk.
Share a meal with your family or friend.
Write someone a thank you note.
Touch base with a friend you haven't seen in awhile.
Offer a kind gesture to someone?
Loan or buy someone a copy of a book you've loved recently.

I made breakfast with fried egg, bacon and toast for my wife and I.  When i asked her if she wanted breakfast, her reply was along the lines of fine if you do, fine if you don't.  I did it anyway.  Later, I gave her a kiss on the cheek and a quick run of her back as I gathered her soiled dishes. 

 You might be thinking, "what's the big deal about that?" Well, I am not trying to connect with the rest of my community.  I just want to connect with my wife and everyone else will come later.



Erasmus_xlt

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Re: 30 Days - Love Heals Program
« Reply #14 on: June 07, 2016, 09:01:35 AM »
Day 14: What do you love most? Find your Value Anchors.

For the "Do it" exercise, I am to imagine my 80th birthday bash.  A large party that is well attended.  Then, the following scenario plays out:
Place your hand(s) on your heart and begin now:

You feel loved and supported by the crowd that's gathered around you. One of your loved ones stands up, smiles, and raises their glass to you...

"The quality I appreciate most about him is _____________." He was always showing this by ____________ and I'll never forget the time he ____________. You feel a sense of deep gratification. You have managed to personify the values that mean the most to you!

I want to fill in the blank with integrity.  Always showing this by being counted on to do the right thing at the right time and in the right way.  The example she would never forget could be that she knew of a situation where I could easily have compromised myself, but I stood strong and was an excellent example of true Christianity.  Instead of taking advantage of a young woman in distress, Iqhere no one would have known, I called her and we were able to find her the help she needed.

2nd quality would be my heart of compassion as evidenced by my community service.

3rd quality would be my dedication to my family as evidenced by the intimacy with my wife and care and concern for my children.

The purpose of the exercise is to remind me of the important anchors in my life so that when I am tempted, I remember what I type of person I am becoming.



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Re: 30 Days - Love Heals Program
« Reply #15 on: June 10, 2016, 07:54:32 AM »
Day 15:Create Your Value Menu

Activity is a follow-up to yesterday.  We are to expound on the values we identified.

Integrity
Telling the truth even if it causes me trouble
Doing the right thing even when no one is looking


Compassion
Helping others without selfish intentions
Not being critical of others
Being able to sympathize and/or empathize with others

Dedication
Being know to stick to tasks
Not doing anything that would cast criticism on a loved one



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Re: 30 Days - Love Heals Program
« Reply #16 on: June 12, 2016, 12:05:51 AM »
Day 16: Do It: Be Yourself for a Minute or Two

Look over your Value Menu and pick an activity you can carry out in the next two or three minutes. Put your hands over your heart, consider briefly why this value matters to you, and then go do it.

Today was the day that our church goes out into the neighborhood to let the community know about upcoming activities and to let them know that they have an open invitation to visit with us.  Well, today was a bit too hot for that (heat index over 100° so we stayed at the church and planned.

Afterward, the leader of the CR group was supposed to call his wife so she could leave her job to take him home before going to work.  I offered to give him a ride home instead.  We had a good talk during the ride.



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Re: 30 Days - Love Heals Program
« Reply #17 on: June 12, 2016, 12:17:42 AM »
Day 17: Do It: Consider Going Without Sex

Well, I don't have to consider this because I have been going without sex for a while.  Initially because my wife had some health considerations.  Then, because my porn use was brought to light.  I've been trying to talk to my wife more about my feelings.  I've also been trying to pray about my feelings.



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Re: 30 Days - Love Heals Program
« Reply #18 on: June 12, 2016, 12:37:40 AM »
Day 18: Do It: Explore Her Pain

Instead of trying to"fix" my wife, I am to get her talking about her feelings as a way to open up and facilitate healing.  The author suggests some questions:

What has it been like for you to have the sacred trust you placed in me betrayed by my choices?

How do you experience your days differently now than before the discovery of my behavior? What ongoing events or activities trigger painful feelings for you?

How have my choices impacted your beliefs and feelings about intimacy in our relationship? What boundaries would you like to establish or change about intimacy?

What fears do you currently have about me or our relationship? What helps reduce your fear? How do you physically experience fear (headaches, tension, restlessness, etc.)?

What aspects of our relationship need to be reorganized in order for you to feel more safe? What things need to change in order to you to feel like you could begin to start trusting again?

What aspects of my behavior were most offensive or painful for you?

What aspects of this problem am I closed about? How do I shut you down from expressing your feelings? What is one thing I can do differently to help improve our discussions about difficult topics?

To what extent do you feel trapped because of my choices? How can I help you feel like you have options and choices?
What impact have my choices had on spirituality in our home or in our relationship?
What has it been like for you to have the sacred trust you placed in me betrayed by my choices?
How do you experience your days differently now than before the discovery of my behavior? What ongoing events or activities trigger painful feelings for you?
How have my choices impacted your beliefs and feelings about intimacy in our relationship? What boundaries would you like to establish or change about intimacy?
What fears do you currently have about me or our relationship? What helps reduce your fear? How do you physically experience fear (headaches, tension, restlessness, etc.)?
What aspects of our relationship need to be reorganized in order for you to feel more safe? What things need to change in order to you to feel like you could begin to start trusting again?
What aspects of my behavior were most offensive or painful for you?
What aspects of this problem am I closed about? How do I shut you down from expressing your feelings? What is one thing I can do differently to help improve our discussions about difficult topics?
To what extent do you feel trapped because of my choices? How can I help you feel like you have options and choices?
What impact have my choices had on spirituality in our home or in our relationship?
As I work towards restoring trust in our relationship, what are some specific things I will need to pay attention to? What things can I change that would give you some hope?
What do you see as being the most important priority for our relationship at this time?
In all that has happened, what has been the most painful aspect of your experience?
What do you need most right now in our relationship?
As I work towards restoring trust in our relationship, what are some specific things I will need to pay attention to? What things can I change that would give you some hope?

What do you see as being the most important priority for our relationship at this time?

In all that has happened, what has been the most painful aspect of your experience?

What do you need most right now in our relationship?

These are tough questions to ask.  I would imagine that they are also tough to answer.  However, many of these have already been answered for me as my wife is quite adept at expressing her feelings.  I will work toward asking some of the other questions at another time. ???



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Re: 30 Days - Love Heals Program
« Reply #19 on: June 12, 2016, 01:00:57 AM »
Day 19: You're Built to Win at Love

Do It: Look Lovingly
One of the things mentioned for this day is to Give up and Give in.  Biblically speaking, this is what it means by dying to oneself.  Husbands are commanded to love their wife as Christ loved the church h and gave himself for it.  This is not easy.

It seems I spent all my life trying to establish me.  To be my own person.  To not be defined by my circumstances.  But, I'm told to die to my wants and desires.  It seems like a losing proposition
  But, supposedly, by dying to myself, I am going to get more out of it in the long run.  It goes against everything that the world teaches.

In trying to work on this one, I have washed dishes.  I know.  It sounds like no big deal.  But, I hate (not supposed to hate); I loathe washing dishes.  I'd rather eat fecal matter laced with shrapnel and tainted with cyanide than wash dishes (childhood thing).  But, she's important enough that if that's what it takes...

My fear is being taken advantage of.  I have to make myself vulnerable and trust her to do the right thing.  I'm not saying that this is all happening automatically.  I have to grow into it.  But, if that is what love is, than to get the love and intimacy i hunger and thirst for, I GIVE UP.



Erasmus_xlt

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Re: 30 Days - Love Heals Program
« Reply #20 on: June 14, 2016, 09:46:43 PM »
Day 20: Understand Her Even Better

To get to know my wife better, I am to answer these questions about her.  Then I am supposed to discuss them with her. 

What is her favorite kind of tree?  A cherry tree

Who was one of her earliest childhood friends? Family

How does she hope to be spending her time on a typical day five years from now? Working with her insurance customers.

What's one of her fondest memories from early in your relationship? Our trip to Boston

What's one of her favorite creative outlets? Painting

She was not in the mood to talk tonight so I may have to do this with her later.



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Re: 30 Days - Love Heals Program
« Reply #21 on: June 14, 2016, 10:06:31 PM »
Day 21: Consider What It's like for a Woman

The exercise is to read the story of a 60 year old wife who's husband is always checking out other, younger women.  While reading, with your hand on your heart, you are to empathize with her.

My initial thought was that he could look all he wanted but, at the end of the day he was coming home with me (her).  But, as I thought that, I wondered if having his body without his mind or heart was worth it. 

Then I couldn't help but empathize with my wife.  I tried to see myself as she sees me.  I could feel the hurt and pain and loneliness she has spoken about.  I could feel her anger and her sense of betrayal.

As that wasn't exactly what this exercise was about, I also tried to think about what if she were starting a relationship with me now, would it be different?  The answer is that it would be different and so much better. 

I would live by practicing her presence as I would also practice the presence of God.  Kinda hard to do some of what I did with both of them always with me...



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Re: 30 Days - Love Heals Program
« Reply #22 on: June 14, 2016, 10:18:05 PM »
Day 22: Create Safety Through Emotional Foreplay

Text your wife or girlfriend now: "What's making you laugh today?" A bit later text and ask, "What's weighing you down today?"

This is a great idea for developing intimacy and emotional connectedness.  I may be wrong, but I don't think that this is something that my wife would want to engage in right now.  I will have to get back to this later.



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Re: 30 Days - Love Heals Program
« Reply #23 on: June 14, 2016, 10:32:30 PM »
Day 23: Be Her Emotional Hero

Put your hand(s) on your heart and imagine how it might go the next time your wife or girlfriend comes to you in distress. If you're single, you might imagine it's a female friend, family member, or someone from work. Notice any impulses you have: to bolt, to stammer, to defend, to minimize, to take on her distress or try to eliminate it by swooping in to fix the situation. Then take a nice full breath, pay attention to what you feel in your heart, press your hand(s) a little firmer against your chest, and simply sit with whatever you feel inside. Then hold your feelings aside and pay attention to what you imagine she might be feeling. Spend a few moments sitting with her emotions. She's coming to you for a reason: she trusts that you can give her the support she needs. Take courage and trust yourself that you can do just that, if you'll just hang in there and not pull away.

Im imagining her coming with her anger and hurt.  I try to imagine what she is feeling.  I want to listen between the lines so I can know her heart.



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Re: 30 Days - Love Heals Program
« Reply #24 on: June 20, 2016, 12:16:31 PM »
Day 24: Get Hooked on Generosity

The actionable item for this day is doing acts of kindness towards others.  Funny this should come up.  I've spent the last week or so helping someone out that was trying to get their life back together.  A former drug addict that was even on Intervention.  After a whirlwind of a weekend, I helped him catch a bus on Saturday because things weren't working out for him here.

He was very grateful for my help and claimed that I was the only one he could trust for help.  While I don't believe that to be true, it was good to bee able to help someone out.  My wife knew what I was doing and also met him.