Finding True Love and Passion Again

December 8, 2015

The show mentioned below is now available as a podcast.

Would you like to know the secret to true marital happiness? Check back here and on my website: http://www.coupleswisdom.com. Soon I will post the true secret to long term sexual joy, and finding true happiness together.


Fear of Obama

September 7, 2009

Labor Day, 2009.

Across America today, families and friends will gather to enjoy the last of summer and each other. Barbecues will sizzle. Children will laugh. Wise adults in Maine and Kansas and Alabama and Hawaii will be grateful to live in the land of the free and the blessed.

Last night on a cable TV show, I saw a young blonde mother become tearful as she spoke of having her children “forced” to listen to President Obama as he speaks to children across the nation to encourage them to work hard and stay in school. The mother seemed sure our President would use his speech to somehow harm or brainwash her child. Astoundingly, that woman has lots of company.

It’s stunning to me that now that we finally have a president of character and integrity, his opponents want to paint him as evil. One evangelical minister has used his pulpit to declare that he wants the President dead because “God hates Barack Obama.” This is free speech gone amuck. In a county with a history of assasinations such as ours, no one should be allowed to incite unstable people by speaking so irresponsibly.

Why does this President evoke such hate and fear? He walks the talk of family values; he’s a faithful husband and loving father and son-in-law. Without hesitation, he has declared his mainstream Christian faith. He has displayed kindness and heart over and over again.

Unconscious racism is the only explanation that makes sense to me. Uneducated white people who demand to “take our country back” seem unable to adjust to the idea that our President is a bi-racial American who identifies as African-American. Our President is black. He is liberal. He is brilliant. He is a Democrat.

To some who are none of these things, having a President who is all of them is unthinkable and, it seems, deeply frightening. Fear has to be the source of the birther-fringe movement. Fear is at the root of refusing to allow your child to hear the President of the United States on the first day of school. Fear is the basis of ludicrous political attacks about death panels and killing grandma instead of engaging in appropriate political debate about policy.

I really mean to say that fear is the fuel that causes so many to join these fringe movements.  Those who began them and try to legitimize them are using shameless political exploitation to further their own agenda. What better way to stall health care reform than by convincing a lot of ignorant people that the President wants to take over health care and force early death on seniors?

I’m convinced that these tactics would be much more difficult to use if the President were a blue-eyed blonde.

As a psychotherapist, I have seen many situations in which people sink to a low point before they begin to heal. I hope and pray this will be the summary of our nation’s political process in years to come. Once health care is a reality, once the economy has recovered, Americans who may always oppose President Obama’s belief that government should take massive action to improve the life of its citizens, will at least be able to see that our President is a good and courageous man.

We are blessed to have the President and his wife in such leadership positions in our country. Hearing about new death threats and the fear behind them can’t be easy for them. On this national holiday, may all of us who still believe in “the change we need,” use any opportunities we have to speak up for our President and ease the fears of those who can’t yet see him for who he is.

Rumi says,

….the dark thought, the shame, the malice.

Meet them all laughing at the door and invite them in.

Welcome whoever comes.

For each has been sent as a guide from beyond.

Blessings to you, dear visitor. You may respond with a post here or email me at drvlee1234@aol.com.


Health care: we must all help make it happen.

July 23, 2009

As my regular readers know, I rarely post on political subjects. However, our President has asked bloggers to help, and I want to do my part.

I watched the HBO documentary on Ted Kennedy recently. It showed him giving a passionate speech about the need for health care reform thirty years ago! Tonight Rachel Maddow showed President Truman speaking about our urgent need for health care reform 61 years ago.

Like most Americans, I’ve been poorly informed. I’ve only recently come to understand that “special interests” are very real regarding health care. They include huge insurance companies and other corporate groups whose gargantuan profits come from the fact that we have allowed health to be a business in America. Business means profit and loss; it means the bottom line must be served.

Medical insurance companies continually improve their bottom line through practices we have come to think of as normal: “pre-existing conditions” make you uninsurable. If you are really ill, and therefore expensive to cover, your insurance company can drop you. Whether or not you choose it, losing your job means you loose your health insurance. Insurance companies want your money if you’re healthy, and not if you’re sick.

The special interests are spending millions of dollars per day waging a charm offensive on Congress: “We see the light. Trust us. We see the need to cover everyone now.” They’re desperate to save their gravy train. Above all, they say, just don’t put in a public option, and don’t regulate them. That would end the world as we know it; President Obama would personally intervene between you and your doctor. Please!

Unfortunately, a group of very vocal Senators and Congresspeople have financial and political ties to those who want to “slow down.”That’s code for “I’ve got mine. Let’s keep things as they are.” These people are using every fear-mongering trick they can think of to convince the public that health care for all will somehow destroy the American way of life. Don’t let them go unchallenged.

Those of us who live for poetry and service and spiritual growth have a real chance to make a difference now. We must tell Congress and everyone we know that we demand a health care plan with a public option and availability to everyone. Contact the Huffington Post and the Obama White House, and the journalists you admire. Let them know we demand the change we need in health care.

Barack Obama says: “The true genius of America is a faith in the simple dreams of its people” and “This is our moment! This is our time!”

__________________

You may post a response here or email me at drvlee1234@aol.com. Blessings to you dear visitor.


Thank God for this most amazing day!

December 31, 2008

e. e. cummings says:

I thank You God for most this amazing

day: for the leaping greenly spirits of trees

and a blue true dream of sky:and for everything

which is natural which is infinite which is yes


(I who have died am alive again today,

and this is the sun’s birthday; this is the birth

day of life and of love and wings:and of the gay

great happening illimitably earth)


how should tasting touching hearing seeing

breathing any–lifted from the no

of all nothing–human merely being

doubt unimaginable You?


(now the ears of my ears awake and

now the eyes of my eyes are opened)

I pray to wake with these words of e.e. cummings on my mind and heart each day.

Like you perhaps, I found yesterday difficult; rude and cold treatment by someone who matters through me off course, and made me forget the lessons the green hills and California poppies I would see this morning would teach me once again.

It’s a perfect California winter day. My bruised heart reminds of the world’s bruises–the tragic wars and violence being carried on as I write and as  you read these words. At the same time, within every tragic circumstance, human kindness, courage and sacrifice shine as luminous as diamonds in mud. Parents look into the eyes of newborns and see beauty and hope. Soldiers on opposing sides of conflicts catch glimpses of the real person behind the “enemy” garb.

It’s a new day in American politics. A new leader has made courageous efforts to form the building blocks of a new, inclusive, pragmatic way of improving the lives of American and world citizens. Godspeed Barack!

“May all beings be happy,” goes an ancient prayer. May you be happy, dear visitor. May you see behind the eyes of the humans, may you find it in your heart to forgive the unforgivable, and thus find peace. May this day bring you a loving touch, a good meal and a good laugh. As Mary Oliver says:

Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,

the world calls itself to your imagination….

over and over announcing  your place in

the family of things.

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To respond or to offer  your own post to this blog, email drvlee1234@aol.com


Gratitude

December 16, 2008

I love the practice of starting everyday with gratitudes. On my best days, I start counting my blessings as soon as I wake up, precious humans first.  “Thank you God, for Patrick,” I begin.
“Thank you for Ava, Ben, Evan, Adam and Drew; thank you for their parents.”  Then I name other precious people who’ve touched my life: relatives, in-laws, friends, mentors, spiritual leaders, poets, musicians, even my kind neighbors.

I give thanks for the safety and warmth of last night and every night, and for the invaluable opportunity to make something beautiful out of this one and only December 16, 2008. I give thanks for Barack Obama; I pray for him and his family while I celebrate the audacious hope he has brought to me and to millions.

Outside my back door, magenta bougainvilla, white calla lillies, and California poppies bring joy to my eyes. Last summer’s cherry tomatoes keep on producing and our winter vegetables are thriving. Indoors, the Christmas lights bring smiles to my inner child.

Doubtless, I will fall on  my face today. I will speak unkindly, complain about trivia, and fail to notice dozens of moments of beauty. I forgive myself and all the humans. I celebrate this moment and this day!

Rumi says:

How to say it to one who denies it?

We are made of the sky’s cloth and everything

is soul and flowering.


“There is some kiss we want….”

December 3, 2008

Rumi says:

There is some kiss we want with

our whole lives, the touch of

spirit on the body. Seawater

begs the pearl to break its shell.

And the lily, how passionately

it needs some wild darling! At

night, I open the window and ask the moon

to come and press its face against mine.

Breathe into me. Close the language door and

open the love window. The moon

won’t use the door, only the window….

….In the early morning hour, lover and beloved

awake, and take a drink of water.

She asks Do you love me or yourself more?

Really, tell the absolute truth.

He says, there’s nothing left of me….

With these enticing lines from two separate poems, Rumi invites us to slow down, be mindful, and focus on the light within.

How easily we forget the Friend. Life becomes all about tonight’s traffic, that column in the Times, the project that must get finished, the verdict of the scale this morning, the property tax bill, the relative we just can’t open our hearts toward, our partner’s refusal to change in the needed direction, how fast we seem to be aging, and endless, complicated emotions about our children; recently, for me, it’s been all about the election–the most important event in the outer world, it seemed. Now that I know that my children and theirs will have a world shaped by Barack Obama and his team–that’s you and me as well as all the people who’ve been officially nominated–I’ve begun to exhale.

Rumi would have us remember to be silent. Remember to pray. Remember to close the language door and open the love window.

Blessings, blessings, blessings to those who suffer from violence and fear at this very moment here at home and in far flung countries. May I begin tomorrow with the crucial question: How can I serve today?



Yes, we did!

November 6, 2008

I’m speechless with joy over the victory of Barack Obama! For those of us who were part of his army of volunteers, our vision of the future of America has begun. I’m more proud of my country than I have been in so many years, and I’m more optimistic than I’d ever hoped to be again. Our children and grandchildren will know a different America now.

For those of us who understand that President-Elect Obama is a transformational figure, this is a dream come true; it’s Martin Luther King’s dream realized after 40 years. We chose Obama for the content of his character, not for or against the color of his skin. We will have integrity in our White House once again. We will have transparency in government. We will have an inclusive society, where everyone realizes that providing health care and education for all of our citizens is mandatory. We will bring our soldiers and our treasure home from a misguided war.

I believe Barack’s greatest and most compelling message is that we all have a role in solving our formidable challenges. He will lead but we must contribute however we can–money, work, ideas, compassion. Our first task, it seems to me, is to heal our polarized country. Barack says:

“For those of you whose vote I have yet to earn, I hear your voices. I need your help, and I will be your President too.” This is our first opportunity to follow his lead by showing compassion to those who are mourning rather than celebrating right now.

Thank you Barack and Michelle and Joe and Jill. Thank you to everyone–from phone bankers to movie stars–who worked to make this happen. Thank you David Axelrod, David Ploufe, Valerie Jarett and the rest of those who ran this magnificent campaign.

Thank you media people who saw the quality of the candidate early on. Chris and Keith and Rachel and Gene and Brian and Luke and Anderson and David and Gloria and Roland and Campbell: I’ve come to know you well. For any who need this message: please start contributing to healing now, not to divisiveness.

Thank you God for a new day in America.

-Siegfried Sassoon says:
EVERYONE SANG

Everyone suddenly burst out singing;
And I was filled with such delight….

Everyone’s voice was suddenly lifted;
And beauty came like the setting sun;
My heart was shaken with tears; and horror
Drifted away . . . O, but Everyone
Was a bird; and the song was wordless; the singing will never be done.