Lounging in bed with the love of my life this morning, sipping coffee and reading, I looked up from the book I was immersed in. Give me back my covers, you – see where my covers are. It was a sweet, love filled moment. Her warm eyes had that familiar twinkle and we both smiled with recognition and gratitude for one another.

That left me thinking about how much pain and suffering there is in the world for those who have not learned how to transcend the pain of being emotionally distant from the significant others in their lives. I see this pain and the anxiety it engenders every day in my office. When the most essential element of human existence – belonging – has turned toxic; when there is acute separateness, the pain, fear and anxiety is devastating. And yet in spite of the devastating consequences of such isolation, many people never get help in changing. Much of the time they merely do more of the same – “I know” they say! I know!! Translation, don’t tell me anything I don’t want to hear, don’t disrespect me or think I will let you control me. I don’t trust you.

Marriages fall apart and become war zones, children grow up feeling not good enough or safe in their own homes, in corporate environments and the supermarket, people fight to get ahead and on the highways the emotionally separate, afraid and aggressively angry act out their internal suffering with an attitude of absolute entitlement – “get out of my way!!!”

The only answer to this human dilemma is found in love. Not the illusion of romantic, erotic love, which does provide a momentary escape from separateness, but open minded, open hearted committed and generous loving. Giving respect, compassion, kindness, affection and yes – the covers too – is the way.

I lifted my arms, she pulled the covers back in her direction – she was correct – they were too far over on my side of the bed and we smiled that wonderful smile only genuine and dependable love produces.

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Jeff Levine

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