What I Know For Sure

A lot less than I did in my twenties!

My early intellectual certitude; born of a fine mind mixed with rebellion, anger and fear; has been transformed through the process of living through my heart in partnership with my mind.

The process and challenge of life has grounded me in humility, compassion and respect; most days, for everyone, including myself.

The privilege of being a psychotherapist for almost 40 years has expanded me; deepened my heart and mind and guided my soul.

I have actively participated in the physical, emotional and spiritual struggles of clients, family members, friends and my own, in order that we all become more truthfully alive.

I have enormous respect for the sanctity of living; its’ triumphs and tragedies.

And for the seemingly simple practice of being present as we put one foot in front of the other on a daily basis.

I am deeply aware of the complexities of most peoples’ lives; of the forces, seen and unseen that shape us and push us to act or not be able to act.

My heart breaks at times for the depth of our human vulnerability, which so many of us despise and I see as the path to our healing and divinity.

It is vulnerability that is an essential part of our shared humanity.

My early need to deny my own vulnerability, my belief in the myth that I was in control or should be in control of everybody and everything; made me feel very alone as a young person.

Fortunately for me, the theory that I was in control has been tested and found lacking many times in my life; to say I have been psychologically and spiritually brought to my knees on many occasions, is the truth. That I learned and changed from these experiences is also the truth

Now, the older I get and the more life experience I have, the less afraid I am to feel and utter the phrase, “I don’t know”; which is the ultimate expression of vulnerability for many of us.

Our individual and collective strength can be built on our willingness to not be so sure we know what we know or we know what ta to do or why something did or did not happen in our lives or the lives of others.

We open ourselves to our deep individual and collective strength when we ask our questions and than step aside until guidance, in whatever form it takes; shows itself to us and settles comfortably and deeply within us.

I know for sure that nothing true and lasting in life happens without trust.

I know for sure that trust is a major tool of our hearts and can be developed over time, dedication and the practice of love.

Thank you to Philip Seymour Hoffman, the loss and love of whom and many conversations about, guided me to write this piece.