Ask the Twins

You can have a smoother ride in life, but first, you’ll need to look Under the Hood.

That’s where we come in. We help you shine a light on your trauma. Move past it with forgiveness. Shift gears and tell a new story.

Write in and ask us your questions. We’re here to help.

Steering clear of negative town

Dear Twins:

 

I’m a 45-year-old single mother. My two kids are happy and healthy, even though this has been a challenging year. I’ve figured out a way to build a small online business for myself, so I have a steady income and I count myself lucky in these days when so many have so little. But there’s one problem. No matter what news comes my way, my mind goes directly to the worst-case scenario. I imagine the absolute worst of everything and everyone. This dreary habit of mine fills me with despair and anxiety, and I fear it’s going to lead to full-blown depression (See? Worst case scenario!) How can I stop myself from going there?

Signed,

Depressed & Despairing

Dear DD:

 

First of all, thank you for reaching out to us and cheers to you for recognizing this ingrained negative behavior, and looking for ways to nip it in the bud.

We want you to start your journey of healing by remembering to be kind to yourself and know that real change happens slowly. Sometimes, very slowly … like, sloth-level slowly. So, don’t be too hard on yourself.

Your mind is conditioned to go to negative town. So to help break the cycle, the next time you have that negative thought or dive into your dark imagination, practice switching it up by posing a question instead of stating a fear. Ask yourself:

  • Am I being realistic or are there other ways this can turn out?
  • If this happened to my loved one what advice would I give to them?
  • What if this all works out perfectly, what would that look like?

When you practice the art of asking a question you are opening yourself up to the myriad possibilities life offers each of us, every day. The possibilities that good will emerge, joy will find you, opportunities will reveal themselves. Asking open-ended questions like this can bring you HOPE, and we think that is the very best antidote to despair.

Good luck and much love,

The Twins

Why grudges are poison and how you can stop

Dear Twins:

 

I’m holding a grudge, and it’s lasted two decades. It’s a grudge against someone in my close family (my sister), so it’s not like I can avoid her, or walk away entirely. No, she will always be in my life and I just can’t shake this bitterness and resentment I feel toward her. I haven’t said a word about it in all this time, I just silently stew whenever I’m around her or even when her name comes up in conversation. My stomach twists into knots and it ruins my day, sometimes my whole week. What can I do? I feel like I’m poisoning myself.

Signed,

BeGrudged

Dear BeGrudged:

 

We know where you’re coming from. In the past we have both been expert grudge-holders. Our family specialized in grudges. Decades? Try generations!

We want to commend you for even considering breaking the silence, because it’s hard. The longer you hold the grudge the more difficult it is to break down the walls you’ve built in your head and heart. And you’re right, you ARE poisoning yourself. Forgiveness Is Freedom, we like to say. So good for you for being brave.

Here are two things we want to tell you: First, it is NEVER too late revisit reconciliation. Assuming your sister is open to the idea there’s many things you can do. But the second thing is, brace yourself, because you’re the one that will be doing ALL the initial work. It may seem arduous but we think it’s worth a try. Here’s what we think you should do:

  • Reach out in whatever way you can, but make sure you keep it neutral. In no way should this be a bitch session. That means no pointing fingers or throwing daggers. Remember your goal is reconnecting.
  • Don’t come to the table with a rule book or a list of past transgressions or wounds. Be open to what she has to say from her point of view, even if initially you disagree (and you will).
  • Start with a mea culpa. You might want to say: “I’m sorry for my part in this” … and yes, say it even if you believe you had no part. Saying “I’m sorry“ is acknowledging that the relationship is worth it to you. Swallowing your pride for a moment can make a world of difference.
  • As you change your behavior and offer an olive branch, understand that your sister may not be ready yet. That’s ok. We’re talking about healing YOU, not necessarily her. We know this doesn’t sound fair, and maybe it isn’t, but we believe you may be pleasantly surprised that as you change your way of interacting with your sister she may show changed behaviors right back at you.

As you do this work, you will begin viewing your sister through compassionate eyes. You might find yourself dipping back into your childhood memories. Perhaps she had scary experiences as a child. Maybe these were experiences you both shared. You will find so much freedom and love in your renewed compassion for your sister. And as you view her with more empathy, you will start seeing her positive qualities. Focus on those.

Healing can happen. Grudges can dissipate. Take it from us. We’ve been there and back.

Good luck and much love,

The Twins

Making peace with a packaged deal

Dear Twins:

 

I want to go to the next step in my relationship with my boyfriend, but I’m scared. I don’t’ know if I fit into his life – his family is so different from mine and I don’t really vibe with them, especially his mother and sisters. When I’m around them I feel on edge (I don’t think they like me) and I can hear myself being sarcastic and snarky (it’s been my defense mechanism for as long as I can remember). Will I have to change everything about myself to fit into his life? Is that what love is?

Signed,

The Outsider

Dear Outsider:

 

The biggest question to ask yourself is: Do I love him enough to work on this? If the answer is yes, then that is the most important thing to remember as you take this next step. You don’t have to like his family, his friends, or his dog for that matter, but you DO have to realize that, with most families, it’s a packaged deal. You’ll be seeing his relatives on holidays and funerals and birthdays – events all year long and for the rest of your life together.

Regardless of whether they like you or you like them, you all must treat each other with respect. That means no low blows or unnecessary sarcasm. If you feel they are disrespectful to you, we believe it’s your boyfriend’s job to set the limit… but make sure you stay away from ultimatums. Never make him choose between you or them.

All healthy relationships are built on respect. Look up the many definitions of that word. Choose one that resonates with you. Remember it and repeat it to yourself and apply it in your life every chance you get.

Never forget the age-old saying: you get more flies with honey than vinegar.

Good luck and much love,

The Twins

The silver lining of grief

Dear Twins:

 

I lost my wife. We’d been married for 42 years, she was the love of my life and my best friend and I just don’t know what to do without her. This grief I feel follows me around like a dark cloud. No matter what I do, I can’t seem to escape it, nor can I stop thinking about her. Our memories together, once so sweet to me, now feel like a punishment. Will I ever stop missing her? How do people cope with this kind of loss?

Signed,

Grieving

Dear Grieving:

 

We offer you our heartfelt condolences for your terrible loss. And we’d like to acknowledge that you’ll miss her forever, and there is nothing wrong with that.

When we are in a state of grief, we are often missing the company of that person. We miss the shared activities and conversations and even the disagreements. So, instead of trying to escape the grief or avoid memories of your wife, we want you to try something different. Continue your conversations with her, in your mind or even aloud. Bring out a picture of her, and talk directly to it.
Remember when Betty White in the Golden Girls baked a cake, set a table for two, and had a long, loving conversation with her deceased husband? Think of any activities you enjoyed with your wife and reenact it with her now.

It’s ok to cry. We encourage it. But we ask you to try to balance the tears with fond memories and laughter. Over time, we think you’ll begin to feel more content and at peace. You may start smiling again. You’ll have happy moments where you “forget” to think of her. No worries – that’s called HEALING.

Good luck and much love,

The Twins

Ask the Twins

A problem you can’t solve? A feeling you can’t shake? Relationships you can’t fix? Ask us ANYTHING! Write to us today.