I am grateful to the couples who agreed to let us be a fly on the wall watching them wrestle with issues from self-medication with alcohol, porn, shopping or work, to childhood trauma; and less than nurturing upbringings that were making intimacy a real challenge.
A couple I have been seeing for a little over a month jumped right in and signed up after their first week with me. Terry worked with them on day 2. I was admittedly nervous and each time they mentioned their therapist "Gisele" I made up stories in my head that "oh oh what did I say? I hope it was relevant".
The husband repeated one of my therapy stories about how his wife (who had recently discovered that he was self-medicating) was like Toto pulling the curtain and revealing that the great and powerful Oz was just a man behind a curtain.
At the end of his session with them, Terry congratulated the couple and said he felt confident that although they were still on the "bunny hill" with respect to the self-medication issue and re-building trust and intimacy - that they appeared to be on a pretty solid path. He even threw in a few fairly complimentary comments my way about the solid relational life therapy work I had done with them over the last month.
What the weekend triggered in me was how similar I was to the 12 brave souls working on their marriages. I mean...all of them were competent successful people ranging from physicians to retired inventors.
But lets be honest...like them...one minute I can be teaching a terrific yoga class or making people laugh during one of my workshops and the next minute an old wound can be triggered and I can go into "unbridled self-expression" or some level of self-righteous pouting because....wait for it....I'm not the great and powerful Oz - I'm just a human being human.
What I've learned is that real intimacy is being able to show our flaws to our partner and have him/her show them to us....no masks, no great and powerful Oz just the person behind the curtain.
...because I love you and love me and love us...I vow to work real hard to replace my old losing strategies with winning strategies so that we can be strong enough and skilled enough to move from the bunny hill to the moguls.