By Chandrama Anderson
E-mail Chandrama Anderson
About this blog: About this blog: I am a LMFT specializing in couples counseling and grief and have lived in Silicon Valley since 1969. I'm the president of Connect2 Marriage Counseling. I worked in high-tech at Apple, Stanford University, and in ... (More)
About this blog: About this blog: I am a LMFT specializing in couples counseling and grief and have lived in Silicon Valley since 1969. I'm the president of Connect2 Marriage Counseling. I worked in high-tech at Apple, Stanford University, and in Silicon Valley for 15 years before becoming a therapist. My background in high-tech is helpful in understanding local couples' dynamics and the pressures of living here. I am a wife, mom, sister, friend, author, and lifelong advocate for causes I believe in (such as marriage equality). My parents are both deceased. My son graduated culinary school and is heading toward a degree in Sociology. I enjoy reading, hiking, water fitness, movies, 49ers and Stanford football, Giants baseball, and riding a tandem bike with my husband. I love the beach and mountains; nature is my place of restoration. In my work with couples, and in this blog, I combine knowledge from many fields to bring you my best ideas, tips, tools and skills, plus book and movie reviews, and musings to help you be your genuine self, find your own voice, and have a happy and healthy relationship. Don't be surprised to hear about brain research and business skills, self-soothing techniques from all walks of life, suggestions and experiments, and anything that lights my passion for couples. (Author and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Calif. Lic # MFC 45204.) (Hide)
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In the first few seconds after awakening, I am taking in the morning. The sun shining. My dog's little noises. My breath. Stretching and rolling my shoulders.
Then the current reality of this pandemic comes zooming into consciousness again.
It reminds me of grieving. Again, waking, and having those seconds of my previous normal. Then suddenly remembering my loved one has died (my daughter, several miscarriages, several deaths in a five-year period, my mother-in-law, Natalie, who is the mom of my heart).
We are creating a new normal right now. All of us. I want to encourage you to create or enhance a new normal with your beloved. I want to challenge you to love each other unconditionally. What does that even mean?
This might be an odd comparison, but think of dog love.
My dog, Bixby, is always happy to see me. He always welcomes me when I get home with enthusiasm and exuberance (not that we're going anywhere right now other than food shopping or to the pharmacy). He shows his affection freely and often. He snuggles with me a lot (he's small, so he's a lap dog). If I accidentally step on his little foot, he yelps a bit and I apologize and check to be sure he's okay. He doesn't hold it against me. He's over it before I am! He's loyal. He's happy and excited to do things together. Doing everything together would be fine with him (and as adults that might not be your thing).
When you treat each other well, you will feel better, despite what's going on outside your doors. When you are in the moment together, you are fine. You are healthy and content. Happy even. Small moments of breathing, slowing down, making eye contact, having belly-to-belly hugs.
All of this creates a safe emotional environment for you two, and for your family. It creates a secure roof over the heads of your kids. You are resilient. Remember that. And even more so when you're resilient together.
Inhale, exhale. Repeat. Think of dogs.