Throughout history, Love has been praised and adorned. To Fall in Love is supposed to be the ultimate experience of ecstasy, Being in love is offered as a profound goal for reach marriage. There is a worthy alternative to both of these experiences that can cheer the saddest moments and bring light to darkened lives. Continue reading

Pain needs a response. In childhood, the response to pain is often crying. However, there are many responses to pain in childhood. My granddaughter lies down on the floor and rolls. Some children stamp their legs, shake their head, or call out, “No No No.” Another favorite is to shrivel up and sink into the floor silently. Continue reading

It is a very awkward process as an adult to learn to believe in yourself. Get The Times of Israel’s Daily Edition by email and never miss our top stories FREE SIGN UP! There seems to be a belief that you should know everything you need to know by the time you are an adult. 

Believing you are such an important experience that awkwardness must be accepted. Continue reading

We all know that most of listening is about measuring.
When someone listens they might measure whether they agree with you or disagree with you. They might measure whether you know what you are talking about or whether you know anything at all. Sometimes they measure if they are interested in hearing what you have to say or
even if they are interested you as a person!
Measuring is not an exciting experience, and in fact can often be very draining. Many days we are exhausted at the end of the day because we have been getting measured all day long!
Listening can be a very different experience than measuring. Listening can be a visit to another culture, a look into another world filled with adventures and sweet drama. Listening can offer an ” I love you” or ” I value you ” to the speaker. We can smile while we listen and be saying your stories are fun to hear and your life is a pretty life! Listening can be an unselfish act, giving time, interest, attention, and kindness. Here is how to change listening from measuring to visiting! When the speak, put your world to the side, and make it less important for now. Make the important thing to open your ears, your heart and your mind to receive the presence of that speaker. Practice curiosity about the words they use and the worldview they are sharing. Taste their world, just a taste! Oh remember to say Thanks for sharing!

written by Chana Frumin

We each speak to ourselves all day long
We have thousands of thoughts throughout the day.
Some thoughts are about our own worth. Some thoughts are about other people’s worth. Many thoughts are criticism and complaints about our own achievements and others. Sometimes this self-talk is a punitive voice lashing out against our mistakes. Sometimes self-talk is mean or revengeful. Sometimes hopeless and despairing.
When we feel lousy at the end of a day often it is the product of our own perceptions. I have found that adults whose mothers nurtured them with words and offered positive feedback have more positivity in their outlook than adults whose mother neglected them or offered daily criticism.
We can not change our mothers. We can change our self-talk!
You can begin to like yourself. You can give yourself specific praise. You can greet your day like a good friend. you can notice how you are dressed and how you make your breakfast. You can smile to yourself in the mirror and be a good friend to yourself. When you make a mistake you can say, everyone makes mistakes, it is okay.
When you befriend yourself, you generate good will towards others. Your friendship with yourself sheds light on those around you who need a friend. Your positive self-regard will protect you from neediness and desperation. Liking yourself is a comfortable feeling. It includes laughing at your own jokes and giving yourself encouragement. This practice will spill over onto everyone in your life. the way
you befriend yourself you will befriend others.
You will also learn to protect yourself from people who do not offer you positive friendship. you will be able to walk away from those people who would dim your light. By protecting your own world, you will offer shelter for those who will be worthy of your friendship,
Try and let me know how this works for you!

by Rabbi Yosef Cornfeld

There comes a time in every therapy relation when it is time to end.  It is not the purpose of therapy to continue forever, to be a permanent fixture of the person’s life.  Our purpose in providing therapeutic help is to empower the person to be able to deal with his problems by himself.  That is why our approach is to decline to give advice, to offer our own ideas on how to solve the problems at hand.  Continue reading

There is an idea that thinking positive is the absence of reality, ignoring what is wrong in the world. This idea views thinking optimistically as either a lie or foolish; as if there is always something wrong and always something missing in life. This perspective suggests that an honest person is always in touch with negative information about what needs to be changed and/or improved.
There is another perspective that whatever is focused on grows stronger. This idea is used in educating children. When a child’s strengths are magnified, the child grows stronger. When the child’s weaknesses are magnified they become deviant.
In marriage we have an opportunity to grow in a new way. Instead of the viewpoint “that a person marries with all the baggage of their past”, we can focus on the present! Marriage can be about the present and two adults learning to support each other and practice respect and express encouragement. Marriage can create an opportunity to begin a new identity. This new identity is not related to baggage. By setting aside the notion of baggage or the ideas of unfinished business, we are focusing instead on creating a relationship with support , positivity and respect. What might happen when two adults marry and they speak a language of encouragement and respect from the beginning?
Is it possible that rather than baggage getting in the way, baggage will become obsolete. It will become outdated and forgotten just like bell bottom pants were forgotten. By focusing on their language and their respect for each other tow new adults will emerge, stronger adults whom believe in themselves.
Perhaps it is time to abandon truths that feed hopelessness in marriage and begin new ideas of marriage which can cause growth, newness, freedom from history and a positive life.

Making Your Marriage Better
Great relationships aren’t great because they have no problems,
they’re great because both people care enough
to find a rich way to share their lives
marital and individual counseling
Chanarachel Frumin MS CNT
Rabbi Chaim Tabasky
Rabbi Yosef Cornfeld MSW CNT
Ellen Cornfeld CNT
0544 799441

After many years of therapies, I still felt unheard and unacknowledged. One of my friends suggested I try another type of therapy.
It is called Narrative Therapy.

So being who I am I started seeing someone who does this. I also joined the group to learn the ins and outs of how it works. For the first time in many years I felt better about myself and my situation. I built up my confidence to drive again and to start working outside the home.

But just like when we take anti-biotic and start feeling better, we start thinking we don’t need it any more. Mr. Sabotage doing his job!!! I stopped going for a few years and things began to get much worse, especially since I had most of the kids out and more free time to feel my feelings. Well thank G-d I was smart enough to recognize this phenomenon.
Then one day I found the strength to make a decision that ABUSE is not allowed in my marriage. We had both suffered enough. Abuse had attached itself to our marriage for too long. It has caused much pain and has destroyed the quality of our life together as a couple and as a family. With the resources of love compassion and empathy, I pray and hope that together my husband and I can finally be rid of this Villain.
Today is my husband’s birthday and my gift to him is my conviction to eradicate Abuse once and for all in our family. He has agreed to see this therapist somewhat reluctantly. Yet with time and this method of externalizing the problem I believe we have hope in finally actualizing our dream and working on the tikun that Hashem gave for us!

For me, my work is to get rid of the sadness and resentments of the past. Hashem commanded us on how we are to mourn, and excess mourning isn’t healthy, and neither is holding on to the resentments. I once heard that hanging on to resentments is like pouring poison down your throat .. It really only hurts oneself. I will continue this time to go to therapy and hold on to the hope of a better future. I will need to be very patient and persevere, which are strengths I have acquired raising a special needs child. With G-d’s help and a good therapist we will get there!.

by Chanarachel Frumin

Living closely with others creates a fertile ground for seeing what we consider the dark side of another person. We also feel invited into thinking of “What we are putting up with in this relationship!” We sometimes feel sorry for our-self or angry at the other for having weaknesses at all! Many times we create a feeling of resentment and silent complaint about our predicament.

Sometimes we complain loudly, forcefully and even fight about the situation. Our complaints,whether silent or voiced, pervade and create a flavor our environment. Can you imagine having dinner with a person who is thinking throughout the meal “I wish you would lose all that weight.” or “Why do you leave your clothes around?” or “I think you are the laziest person I have ever met.”

They did an experiment in a doctor’s office where they placed an actor in the waiting room with other patients and his job was to sit and judge everyone in the room without them knowing. They filmed the results and saw that people began to act impatient and uncomfortable and even the babies cried. Then the actor was sent in to think loving thoughts about the others in the room. The result was that people began laughing with the children and asking each other’s name!

There is however another approach to the living with weaknesses or differences of our spouse. Hashem in his great love and mercy gave us the spouse we have. These trials and challenges are really for our well being and provide an opportunity to find ways to spiritually respond maturely and compassionately. When we approach their weaknesses by seeing the possibility of our own spiritual growth then resentment does not have to be the result. Instead we can ask ourselves what midah could I strengthen in response to what is annoying me? Maybe I could offer to help? Perhaps I could practice Caf Zechut, giving them the benefit of the doubt.

First we have the possibility of praying daily for our spouse as a way of saying I am with you. Even if our spouse never knows that we are praying for them the taste of these prayers pervade the house.
Secondly as in the experiment we can focus our thoughts on the kindness and the positive attributes of our spouse again whether or not this is voiced it creates a feeling of appreciation. We also are in a wonderful position to offer encouragement to our partner, helping them grow in their courage and feelings of confidence.

Finding the strengths in our partner can offer a high point in someone’s day and make them feel noticed and cared for. This form of kindness is specific for creating Shalom Bayit, a feeling of wholeness in the home.

Next time we want to look DOWN on our spouse we can take a moment to realize they are the perfect person tpo help us become everything we were created to be in a spiritual world.

by Yosef Cornfeld

We are now counting the days of, or from, the Omer. We count them one day at a time. “One day at a time” is a popular expression. It connotes stability, continuity. It’s comforting.
AA groups have adopted it as one of their main slogans. They strive to be sober “one day at a time”. It’s a lot less scary than thinking that you have to be sober for the rest of your life. You only have to work on today. When tomorrow comes, then that will be the day that you have to work on. It’s enough today to work on today.
“One day at a time” also says to us something about the nature of time. “Time takes time” is another favorite slogan of AA and self help groups. We have to take time as it comes to us. We can’t hurry it, neither can we delay it.
This is in contrast to most other indulgences in our lives. People join AA, or Overeaters Anonymous, or other self help groups, because they feel that they need the help of others in controlling their desires and urges. Eating and drinking are good things in and of themselves. They just have to be taken in the right amount, the right proportions, and in the right time. People get into trouble when they get carried away. “That drink was so good, I’ll have another one”. And another, and … The end up overdoing it. Too much of a good thing.
What if time was like that? Imagine a world in which you had control over how much time you could live at any one time. That you could spend your time like money – a little bit at a time, or all at once. This could get us into serious trouble. Let’s say you were having a good time. A very good day. You would be tempted to spend more of your days on today. Instead of this good day being only one day, you might want to make it two or three days, all at the same time. It would intensify the experience. It would seem to make your days better, by spending them more on the good ones than on the bad ones. But then you might find that you have no days left in your account to make it to the end of the month. Or that your life would be significantly shortened by spending all of your days on the good times.
So G-d, in His great wisdom, created the world in such a way that we have no control over time. We have to take time as it comes, and have no power to manipulate it. This is the lesson of “one day at a time”. Just like all of our days come each of them in their right time, so must we strive to control our urges, and instead of indulging in them all at once, to enjoy them, each in their right time.

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