Relationships

What to Say to Someone Who is Grieving

What do you say to someone whose life comes crashing down around him or her; whose life, as they knew it, is forever and profoundly changed?

The first thing to really recognize is that when someone experiences the death of a loved one, the loss is so pervasive, the pain so excruciating, that there are no words that will be particularly helpful or meaningful to hear.

You see, grieving is a wholly feeling experience. The intellectual recognition that someone has died is present inside us immediately, and is very different from the emotional recognition that someone has died; really getting that you will never see his face again; never hear her voice again; never be able to throw your arms around each other and share a bear hug.

The emotional recognition is a normal, natural and necessary process we call grieving.

Recognize that people who are grieving the loss of a loved one – even the death of an elderly person who had a good life and whose death was expected – are experiencing something that is incomprehensible. Inexplicable. Unimaginable. Inconsolable.

And in fact, sometimes people say the most stupid things to people who are grieving – even with the best of intentions.

Don’t Say This to a Grieving Person
Continue reading

Does More Time Really Equal More Fun?

Most of us have a lifetime of responding to the signals of others without regard for who we are or what we need or want. The “art of being” is the order of the day; the art of knowing and accepting yourself; living in passion and joy; embracing and valuing fun and leisure.

Every day we are bombarded by erroneous and damaging messages in the culture that tell us that personal happiness, having fun, and self interest are bad and wrong, evil in some way, not worthy or valuable pursuits.

There must be a balance of work and play, seriousness and fun, activity and rest. Being in harmony with your true nature and living the life you were meant to live, means you must reconnect with that natural self and honor and affirm that self on an on-going basis. It means cherish your own desires, formulate your own values, and remain true to them.

Begin to take time for yourself without deciding that each moment has to be spent productively. In the beginning you may have to schedule this time to ensure that you take it. Many adults never become completely comfortable playing or even with the idea of having fun or spending leisure time.

Here is an exercise you can use to help you uncover and discover underlying beliefs about fun, deserving to have fun, spending money to create the opportunity to have fun, and wanting to be with others or by yourself when you have fun.

Continue reading

Divorce is a Legitimate Choice

For many men and women in a wide variety of situations divorce is a legitimate and appropriate choice.

Getting divorced is a process and consists of 3 main elements:

  • Emotional
  • Financial
  • Legal

Healing from divorce is not easy. It is often a long and excruciating process and always brings out strong emotions. The divorce process frequently leaves people feeling lonely, flawed, enraged, undesirable, helpless, empty and emotionally raw and overwhelmed.

If you or someone you know is going through a divorce, the best recommendation I have is to put together a team of knowledgeable, experienced professionals who will work on your behalf for the best possible outcome for you!

Lawyers, mediators, therapists, coaches, accountants, clergy and financial planners all have valuable points of view to consider. If you have children, stay in close communication with your children’s teachers and the parents of their friends.

An important part of the repair process is learning to honor and heal the many emotions of divorce. Please remember that all these emotions are a normal and natural response to divorce: Continue reading

Spring Cleaning of Your Mind, Body and Soul

It’s that time of year again! Spring cleaning is the annual ritual of cleaning a house from top to bottom in the first warm days of the year—typically in the spring. Historically this was done in the spring as the cold weather was giving way to warmer temperatures, because, it was widely held, houses are more difficult to clean during winter.

The origins of spring cleaning probably date back to the Iranian Norouz, the Persian new year, which falls on the first day of spring. Iranians continue the practice of “khooneh takouni” which literally means “shaking the house” just before the new year. Everything in the house is thoroughly cleaned, from the drapes to the furniture.

Another possible origin of spring cleaning can be traced to the ancient Jewish practice of thoroughly cleansing the home in anticipation of the spring-time holiday of Passover. Observant Jews conduct a thorough cleaning of the house, followed by the traditional Passover festivities.

In Greece and other Orthodox nations, it is tradition to clean the house thoroughly either right before or during the first week of Great Lent, which is referred to as Clean Week.

During this spring-cleaning season, I invite you to join me and check out what’s dusty, out-dated, or has been over-looked within yourself. Let’s take a trip into your inner attic or basement; look around and decide what should be cleaned up, put away or tossed into the trash altogether.

Let’s start by identifying the 8 Major Life Categories that will form the framework of your spring cleaning efforts:  Continue reading

Self-Esteem is Created Consciously with Intention

Self-esteem is a term that many people toss around, and I bet that the vast majority of you don’t really understand what in the world Self esteem really means.

For a moment, I invite you to consider that Self-esteem–esteeming one’s Self–is really code for the conscious knowing that you are at choice every minute!

Self-esteem is your willingness and ability to honor your legitimate needs; to say your real “yes” and your real “no”; to set and maintain your boundaries; and to act on your own behalf.

Self esteem is the willingness and ability to positively impact, affect and influence people and events around you.

You have an inner guidance system that drives you and guides your choice-making whether you are aware of it or not. Your system includes:

  • Vision
  • Life-purpose
  • Mission
  • Needs/Values

Your Self-esteem is deeply informed by the level and the extent of your awareness of your inner guidance system, and your deliberate intention to live consciously and be at choice.

What so many people forget is that lasting happiness, peace of mind, deep and joyful love, abundance, physical and emotional health are created primarily through who you are being rather than what you are doing or having.

You create your life and your love life through your beliefs, intentions, and the actions you take in the world.

Let’s look at each of these separate yet inter-related parts of the four corners of your inner life:

1. Your Vision is your idea of the world you want to live in and be a part of; what you want your life to be.

When you think of your “vision,” think of your personal world of family and friends, your community, work and colleagues…everything in the world that touches you in some way every day and how you want that to be. Continue reading

Dr Jackie Black Newsletter


Hello. I am Dr. Jackie Black, your Couples in Trouble Expert. Since 1999, I have guided many formerly frustrated and desperately unhappy Couples in Trouble to happiness, closeness and having more fun together than they ever imagined. My years of experience combined with your commitment to your personal growth will enable you to welcome the results you have always wanted and never believed were possible in your marriage.

Learn more at DrJackieBlack.com