Life Lessons

The Letter

I was looking through some old family photos the other day and I happened upon an envelope with an old letter inside. It is brown around the edges, deeply creased with holes in places.

The Letter


In short it is fragile, but still in relatively good shape. It was a letter from my father to my mother. My mother and I were some three thousand miles away visiting my grandparents and the rest of my mother’s family in Pennsylvania. The year was 1953.

The emotion and connection in this letter is palpable. He misses my mother and me very much and he repeats this many times. He was so worried about our flight that he had to go out and water the lawn to think of something else. He asks about me crying when we left him and asks repeatedly if I’m okay now. In the end, he says he will not be separated from us again.

Reading this letter I realized that it could have been me writing it. The irony is that it took me till I was almost sixty and a serious brush with my mortality to find my voice to do it. Furthermore, as a relationship coach, it is an example of what I preach to others to do.

The reach of fate, the synchronicity, and the belief that we are all one small part of the whole that is mankind and all that is the universe is not lost on me. Indeed it was staring back at me in that sheet of worn paper written by the hand of my father.

The Letter



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The Bill

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The Price of Intimacy

EXTRA! EXTRA! Man loses everything in big intimacy swindle!!

The Price of Intimacy


What! Intimacy has a price? Can you buy it at the Safeway? Does it trade on the stock market? No, of course it doesn’t.

To go to the “heart” of the matter, the cost of true intimacy is vulnerability. Stop and think about that one: Without vulnerability there can be no intimacy. To find true and unconditional love, you must develop real intimacy. To create real intimacy you must become vulnerable.

Everyone wants to find their “soul mate,” but will you have the courage to lay your “soul” out for that special someone to see? Can you be as open to another person as you are to yourself? Are you open with yourself?

There is a “spectrum of intimacy.”  At one end you will be “friends,” close friends, but not the sort of relationship that can survive for a lifetime. You hold back some things mainly because of fear.  At the other end is that kind of relationship that seems as if you have known each other forever. The kind of connection that is sometimes a little scary.

Laurie and I have a friend; her name is Ferlie Almonte, who says “Do you love me enough to wipe my ass?” Just a little crude and direct, but I think it accurately describes what this is about and what I’m talking about. Does that person (and by extension, do you) have the courage to literally and figuratively wipe your butt, hold your hair while you puke, sob on your shoulder, stand there shivering with fear and all those other things we do when we are totally exposed to someone else and yet feel completely comfortable with? That’s it, total freedom to be you and to let the other person be him – or herself.

There are dangers.  Not all relationships will work out and that’s OK. Avoid blaming yourself. The reason it didn’t work out may have nothing to do with you. Remember, it takes two to tango. Do some honest self reflection and see if there is anything you could have done better, learn the lessons, and then move on.

Another is co-dependence.  Have the respect for the other person and allow them to be themselves without judgment and with love of their individuality. More importantly, respect and value yourself enough to be and feel worthy of respect.

All of this takes work to achieve and even more work to maintain. Our needs and desires change in time; the art of it is to change with them gracefully with respect and love.

Find out more about Ferlie Almonte’s story and jewelry line, Resilience by Ferlie™ at

The Price of Intimacy


Temptataion Presentation3