The good things in life can be just as destabilizing as the difficulty

The good things in life can be just as destabilizing as the difficult things.

I’ve found this out– the good way.

Norton Publishing released my book on April 11th and within a few days it had sold over 1000 copies.

People have written to me about the positive effect the book has had on them.

One person brought the book to her therapist only to find out her therapist had already bought one for herself. They then used the skills in their sessions to support their work. 

Another person wrote me that the book was earth-shattering, changing how she experienced attachment healing. It was as if she was just learning the earth is round when she always thought it was flat.


Shakes me up. To know that my history and all the pain and suffering I’ve been through can be helpful to others. 


For days, I found myself in somewhat of a muddle even as my body was centered and grounded. It was hard to focus and prepare for my upcoming keynote at the Harvard Conference on Meditation and Psychotherapy (which I really want to be ready for!)

So, once again everything I taught myself – and teach you –  came in handy. I had to put everything I knew into practice. 

It was so clear to me that the tools I learned, and teach, to deal with the complexities of trauma are just as critically important in good times as in bad.

I’m saying this because it’s worth preparing now for the good times ahead of you. Practice now so that you’re ready then.

Maybe that means that healing our trauma is really about preparing for a better life, not exclusively dealing with the pain of the past?

Healing trauma is a modern day bodhisattva training

I’ve often thought that healing trauma is the modern day bodhisattva training (a bodhisattva is someone motivated by great compassion who deals with suffering as a doorway to greater good for all.)

[as a total aside, this will be one of the main concepts we’ll explore in the upcoming Meditation for Trauma online course: how to transform our pain into healing for ourselves, and for others]

We put our bodhisattva training into practice in simple ways.

Last night I went to a wake for one of my brother’s college friends. I saw how important my simple gesture was for our friend. It meant even more that my brother drove through almost seven hours of dreadful weather to get there.

We don’t even have to take extreme measures like my brother did. In fact, research shows how important simple friendship gestures can be, building adversity in difficult times. 

Dr Rebecca Garber researched 75 socially-isolated adults who used online social networking sites to find that (best) friendships “are a protective mechanism supporting the development of psychological resilience in adults.”

My hope, my dream, my purpose….

One of my main goals is to find ways for us to have community, where we know we are not alone, where we have ways to support and be supported. I don’t quite know how this will unfold, but I know that when we feel less alone, less isolated there’s greater chances for healing. 

Keep the faith!

Learning to trust the good things in life can definitely feel shaky. I’m certainly in the stew with you on that.  And yet, the more we do, the easier and more fulfilling life is.

How are you learning to trust good things?  Have friendships helped you?  Do you agree that you’re in a bodhisattva training? 

Leave a comment below. Let’s grow a community of goodness, support, and compassion.




















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13 Responses to “The good things in life can be just as destabilizing as the difficulty”

  1. Amy April 22, 2017 at 4:00 pm //

    (Still) Learning to trust the good things


    • Deirdre Fay April 22, 2017 at 4:47 pm //

      I’m right with you, Amy!


  2. Lynn April 22, 2017 at 5:32 pm //

    Definitely agree that this IS Bodhisattva training.( might even be Bootcamp Bodhisattva training. ( wink, least that is what it feels.. Like to me at times.) None the less training: i try to have that same compassion for myself ss i would have for others Learning a new way!
    Ive learned that connection/community is the start .. The Key actually! Trust until recent years was not in my vocab. Over the years in this training healing: ive learned its ok to play around, experiment with the word trust n action it takes for use, Ah… Do friendships help. Id say they do, it also comes with risk. Tis a process… And what PERFECT TIMING this article comes. I am trying to Trust Clearing/Cohesion after so much chaos. Good Things are happening. To trust them as you said .. Well is a new journey. Community/Connection is a nesscary part n a needed tool to continue healing. ( at leadt in my journey) To continue reaching, in the overehelm or uncomfortable part is key. One breath,one moment in the Fact of the moment, one action,., Connection helps me do that… Though often in my life its been frightening to reach for ; im reaching these days, when i can, where i am, with what i have. So NEED this community you speak of n know there is much that my experience can add to support others. As scary, as uncomfortable as community : connection can be… That on my journey iswhere Healing began!
    Sorry Soo long winded. Thank you fir this article at this time


    • Deirdre Fay April 23, 2017 at 5:39 pm //

      Definitely a bootcamp, Lynn! Great term!!

      Yes, we all have to be exploring what trust in connection is. Such a complicated topic — but essential. Trusting to reach… I’m glad you’re doing so, Lynn, bringing yourself to us and allowing us to be with you.


  3. Flo April 22, 2017 at 6:28 pm //

    I’ve now read your book’s Foreword and Preface, and feel as if I’ve curled up on the couch with a friend, one who’s all ears and heart and wisdom. Together we nod – ‘there is a place of grace and ease’. Together we’ll walk through nightmares.

    In response to the good things being destabilizing, yes. For instance, in recovery I’ve been redefining terms of friendship from false relationship beliefs to true ones. Beliefs most healthy people consider true were once beyond the scope of my imagination. Like this one: letting people (for whom feelings register, and who aren’t opportunistic) see your feelings increases warmth and caring from them. Stepping into these true beliefs feels destabilizing at first. I look forward to the day when a majority of all my parts, subconscious and conscious, knows that my ordinary, core self is appealing. What a wonderfully secure experience! I hope the experience of sharing from my heart and feeling affection back to me becomes commonplace.

    Heads up: I am buying two additional copies as gifts to my own and another therapist.

    Right now, I’m a little weirded out by the yoga and term ‘Bodhisattva training’. But I trust these will make sense in time.


    • Deirdre Fay April 23, 2017 at 5:37 pm //

      I love that you are experiencing my book that way, Flo! That instinctive nod is exactly what I was hoping for — that there’s a language we all speak and know so well we resonate when we read it.

      My own experience has been exactly as you describe. As I’ve changed inside, coming more from myself, then what comes back is aligned in the same way.

      Thanks for spreading the word, Flo. But, I really want to know — what weirds you out about yoga and the term Bodhisattva training? It would help me to know how that effects you. Really appreciate your letting me know about that.


      • Flo April 24, 2017 at 2:44 pm //

        The term Bodhisattva originates from a continent and culture other than my own north American continent and ancestral culture. Like everyone, I seek embodied safety and joy as “someone motivated by great compassion who deals with suffering as a doorway to greater good for all”. Whomever and whatever moves us toward secure attachment and compassion attunes and inspires us through the heart, body and breath. And through a resonating culture and context, wouldn’t you say? My own inspiration was Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, often performed a mere half mile from Kripalu. What amazing person could have written that? I asked. When I grew up nearby, Kripalu was a Jesuit seminary named Shadowbrook. Bodhisattva has many different names and appearances. I have one that speaks to my particular heart and opens me like a flower.

        As for yoga, its stillness has not appealed in the past. Dance and movement have. I have much to learn.


        • Deirdre Fay April 24, 2017 at 4:41 pm //

          That makes sense, Flo. Thanks for speaking that. I guess I’ve been so steeped in other cultures that they in part feel like my own! At the same time, you’re right, things like Beethoven’s 9th can be transporting. We need images and aspects of life that do as you say, “opens me like a flower.” (lovely.)

          I didn’t know you grew up right in the area of Kripalu. I remember when I first went to Kripalu I found the whole thing a little crazy. Also good for me to hear that you (and so many others) think of yoga as stillness and quiet. Many people tend to think of yoga as just movement, such as yoga postures.


  4. Cynthia Carlisi April 22, 2017 at 8:22 pm //

    Thankful for online community, I’ve studied Ayurveda, yoga, conflict resolution, & trauma recovery finding that isolation is a personal retreat & choice. Stepping out from intimate self-connection powerfully when centered, challenges flow all right. When off balance, social support & reminders to use tools focuses inner strength!


    • Deirdre Fay April 23, 2017 at 5:33 pm //

      Well said, Cynthia. When isolation is a personal retreat and choice we come back replenished.Thanks for stopping by.


  5. Cynthia Carlisi April 22, 2017 at 8:23 pm //

    Thank you


  6. Theo April 24, 2017 at 10:17 am //

    Thanks Deirdre! I really agree about the community. I have been writing some stuff about my experience with all this, and one thing I was surprised and really appreciated in so doing was how many times the words of therapists, friends, teachers, things I have read came into it. It gave me a sense that although I feel like I’m “doing it alone” that’s not nearly as true as I thought… I think that is something your book models as well, there’s a sense that you weave a community in the way you write about your healing, your work with people, and the work therapists do; it doesn’t feel split into the “experts” and the “terrorized” (to adapt from Adam Phillips). I wonder if community to helps as a place to contribute to; some of the sadness with attachment wounding is the feeling there is no world to help build, or that our helping felt useless or coerced.


    • Deirdre Fay April 24, 2017 at 12:35 pm //

      What an intriguing thought, Theo. I definitely resonate with not liking/wanting the split into “experts” and “terrorized” (thanks Adam Phillips). Having been in the skin of someone who needed healing I found it torturous to be around people who seemed to imply I was the one who had something wrong, rather than acceptance that suffering is our common humanity. I do think that anything that provides a way where we are seen, our contribution is valued, and even our silence is respected — that brings a sense of unity and connection.

      So glad you’re finding you’re not “doing it alone” as much as you thought! That’s wonderful.


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