New YouTube Video: The Inside Track

Dear Friends, When someone speaks, what do you hear… and what do you feel? There are two levels to every interaction. On the surface, we exchange pleasantries and share data with each other. But much more is actually flowing between us. Below the surface are emotional undercurrents of how each of us feels physically, emotionally, and spiritually. This deeper content is rarely mentioned, but if we tune into it, we feel what the other is …

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Love Actually IS the Answer

Poets and mystics have said, “Love is the answer.” That rings true, in a lofty, abstract sort of way. But when the world is going up in flames, metaphorically and literally, an abstract answer isn’t what we need. And still, love actually is the answer, a very real, down-to-earth answer. The trouble is, we can’t see it that way until we’re willing to recognize the real problem, and until we’re willing to solve it. Hang …

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Pleasure: A Hidden Test of Love

It’s obvious to everyone that difficulty puts love to the test. But who suspects that pleasure also tests our love? Almost no one. And that’s why we’re blindsided when we’re tested by pleasure, and we so often flunk the felicity test.  We’re not used to thinking of pleasure as a test of love. Isn’t love a wonderful source of pleasure, and a great pleasure in itself? Absolutely! There’s nothing wrong with pleasure, and it’s completely …

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Possessiveness: Selfishness Disguised as Commitment

I still feel a twinge when I think of my high school best friend, Sharon (not her real name). After graduation life pulled us in different directions, and we lost track of each other. But we managed to find each other several years later, and we had a visit I’ll never forget. Sharon told me about her successful professional life and her marriage, which she claimed was a happy one. But later in the conversation …

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Wooden blocks that spell selfish or selfless depending in what position the last block is

Martyrdom: Selfishness Disguised as Service

We human beings are kind, generous, and serviceful by nature. It’s in our DNA to give freely to those we love, to those in need, and ultimately, to everyone in our lives. When done in the right spirit, it’s our pleasure to give. And the pleasure is mutual. But some people are literally “generous to a fault.” They carry giving too far. They exhaust themselves; they go overboard on service, giving beyond what they can …

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Manipulation: Selfishness Disguised as Sincerity

It’s a classic movie plot: A couple falls in love, but there’s a dark cloud on the horizon…. The courtship begins with a misrepresentation or misunderstanding, which is kept up through most of the movie. But somewhere near the end, the relationship gets serious enough that the deception can no longer be maintained. The pretender admits the truth, hoping that it won’t end the relationship. It very nearly does. In real life, when a pattern …

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New YouTube Video: “Revising the Blueprint for Love”

Dear Friends, The usual approach to love and relationship is to find a special someone to love, and focus our love and attention on them primarily. Others are not “supposed” to matter as much. But we’ve all experienced what a lie that is. In “Revising the Blueprint for Love,” a talk recorded in 1983, David Truman says: “In theory, it should not matter that people blow hot and cold. In theory, one moment when your …

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Collusion: Selfishness Disguised as Support

It’s your happy day when you discover that your house is infested with termites. Wait a minute! What’s so happy about that? Well, it’s truly fortunate to find out about a serious but hidden problem that is threatening the very foundations of your home, so you can promptly take care of it. And it’s the same if you’re unknowingly doing something that’s bad for your love relationships—like collusion. You need to know, so you can …

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Just Added to YouTube: “Apology Is Golden”

Dear Friends, All human beings do things we feel legitimately guilty about — things we know better than, things below our personal heartfelt standards, things that cause someone else a pain or a problem. At such times our guilty feelings are the natural response of our heart, drawing our attention to our wrong turn, asking us to correct it. But typically, people react badly to guilt, and separate from others in shame. That unhealthy reaction …

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Cover of guide

Announcing “How to Handle Wrongdoing”

Dear Friends, Great news! “How to Handle Wrongdoing,” a new study guide based on the Wrongdoing Card, is now available for free download on the Cards for Living website. Guilt and wrongdoing are such challenging experiences for people — and how we handle those experiences is crucial. When we do wrong it can be hard to face, but if we don’t handle it well, our peace of mind and our relationships suffer. “How to Handle Wrongdoing” helps in …

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