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Tina B Tessina

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Books
· The Commuter Marriage: Keep Your Relationship Close While Youíre Far Apart

· Money, Sex and Kids:

· It Ends With You: Grow Up and Out of Dysfunction

· How To Be a Couple and Still Be Free

· The Real Thirteenth Step: Discovering Confidence, Self-Reliance and Independence Beyond the Twelve S

· The 10 Smartest Decisions a Woman Can Make Before 40

· The Unofficial Guide to Dating Again

· The Ten Smartest Decisions a Woman Can Make AFTER Forty


Articles
· Dear Dr. Romance: is it natural for a man to masturbate?

· Surviving Loss and Thriving Again

· Dr. Romance on Silver and Gold: secrets to making and keeping friends

· Dear Dr. Romance: I feel terrible about not keeping the promises I made

· Dear Dr. Romance: My girlfriend doesn't think she can handle this relations

· Getting Along With Each Other

· Dr. Romance on: It's a Dirty Job: Use the Silly Solution for a Healthy Rela

· When Love is Kind: Mutuality in Relationships

· Dear Dr. Romance: What I fear has happened the second time round

· Dear Dr. Romance: Are there dating guidelines for single parents?


Poetry
· The Shape of Peace

· Inspiration

· Eternal Dance - Christmas 2005

· On Mitch and Jackieís engagement

· On love

· Bitter lesson

· Redemption

· ANGELS IN DISGUISE

· Storytellers

· Vessels

         More poetry...
Tina B Tessina, click here to update your web pages on AuthorsDen.

Perhaps the most important lesson Iíve learned is that a meaningful life is about growing your soul, and it happens slowly, in the process of engaging life.




In this month of giving thanks, I am grateful for the lessons of my life. Perhaps the most important lesson Iíve learned is that a meaningful life is about growing your soul, and it happens slowly, in the process of engaging life.


My own soul was battered early, when all the closest people in family died during my teenage years, and I was left alone, terrified, without money, education or an idea of what to do. I just stumbled through the days, months and years, too afraid to feel what I feared was inside me, grasping at the wrong lifelines, and clinging to the wrong people until, divorced, bereft, suicidal, and single, at age 27, I entered therapy and began to develop my soul is through exploring my feelings. It would save my life, and be the basis for a personal renaissance. As I searched for meaning and purpose, I began to understand Iíd been put on Earth to learn and grow, and to use what Iíd learned in the process of healing myself to help others. Now that Iím about to turn 63, I find that sense of purpose is still serving me well, and has been the source of many blessings.


As a child with no religious training, but growing up in the beautiful surroundings of the Catskill mountains, I sensed a Power behind the workings of the Universe, which has inspired me to yearn and aspire, comforted me in times of pain, and provided clarity and direction when I needed it. Human relationships bruise, batter and comfort me and teach resilience and humility. Love urges my soul to blossom and glow, compassion causes it to blur at the edges, and so I learn to accept others as they are.


Every day, I have the delight and privilege of loving Richard, my husband, a real, human, fallible man. Weíre about the same age, heís losing hair, Iíve gained weight. But, after almost 20 years, we have fused our hearts and souls, if not our personalities. He makes it clear that he loves me, though I often frustrate him, and I am grateful for his presence in my life on a daily basis. Our intimacy is lovely, thank you, even if it doesnít match movie fantasies. We laugh together, we share the struggles of daily life together, and the thought that he might die before I do fills me with dread. It took me 37 years to find him, and no media beefcake image could replace my very own, live and kicking, formerly red-haired leprechaun. I am so grateful to share life with him.


My friends are equal blessing and challenge. We can be cranky, we occasionally carelessly hurt each othersí feelings, and we donít always say the right thing. But, we are here for each other when weíre really needed, we do our best to be caring and kind, and we forgive each othersí imperfections. I give thanks for friends daily.


Soul growth often comes out of crisis. Most of my clients come to me, not focused on gratitude, but on some crisis in their lives: a relationship disaster, marriage or family problems, lack of direction and motivation, some huge loss for which theyíre grieving, an emotional problem such as anxiety or depression, or perhaps even for help in recovering from an addiction. As we sort through the crisis, handle immediate problems, and get everything settled down, and then embark on an extended process of figuring out what happened and what must change, life gets easier.

Then, frequently, they ask: "Now that I'm in charge of myself, and have a lot of extra energy, because life is a lot easier and my relationships are working, it feels like I'm missing something -- what am I doing here?"


This begins a spiritual search for meaning, which I've written about in The Real 13th Step, and The Ten Smartest Decisions a Woman Can Make After Forty.


Psychologist Abraham Maslow explained in his "Hierarchy of Needs" that once the basics of life are established, people need a sense of meaning and a higher purpose than just survival. When self-confidence and self-esteem are in place, we need a challenge to feel satisfied, a way to express our uniqueness and individuality to ourselves, to friends, and to the world.


But if your life's purpose is not evident to you already, how do you find out what it is? Where does a sense of purpose come from? It comes from within, and cannot be not imposed or chosen from outside. Your purpose may be your livelihood, or it may have nothing to do with how you make a living. Your purpose may be a simple one, like making a good, healthy life for yourself and your children, or it may be more dramatic, and based on what you learned by healing your own childhood experience. Inner purpose has the power to transform anxiety, anger, fear and rage into powerful, life-affirming action. A life purpose gives you the means to control your destiny, no matter what the force of the hardships you have incurred.


Most of the worldís spiritual thinkers have said that the wisdom guiding each of us is available if we just listen and trust what we hear. Purpose may make itself clear in one instant flash, or gradually, by following clues, one at a time. Whether you get it all at once or a piece at a time, it will still take work and experience to bring it about. Inner wisdom is not rational or practical in nature, but more intuitive and spiritual. It can provide a way to see the big picture, or a more detached and objective viewpoint of the issues and problems of life. Each new idea must be tested through practical use, to see how it works. Step by step, using both intuitive wisdom and clear thinking, you can bring your inner motivation to the surface and use it to create what you want. A combination of inspiration expressed through action will develop the meaning of your own life.


Hereís how I expressed my own experience of it, in a poem called "Grace"


Life

is worked

On a wheel

Sloppy, slippery

Formless base clay

Rising coaxed, caressed,

Coerced and beaten into shape

Tested in passion's consuming fire

Until worthy to catch and hold

A bit of the liquid grace

Pouring unceasingly over us.


© 2006 Tina B. Tessina (adapted from It Ends With You and The Unofficial Guide to Dating Again)


Author Bio:

Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D., (www.tinatessina.com) is a licensed psychotherapist in S. California, with over 25 years experience in counseling individuals and couples and author of 11 books, including It Ends With You: Grow Up and Out of Dysfunction (New Page); How to Be a Couple and Still Be Free (New Page); The Unofficial Guide to Dating Again (Wiley) and The Real 13th Step: Discovering Self-Confidence, Self-Reliance and Independence Beyond the Twelve Step Programs (New Page.) Two new books will be out from Adams Press in 2007. She publishes the "Happiness Tips from Tina" e-mail newsletter and has hosted "The Psyche Deli: delectable tidbits for the subconscious" a weekly hour long radio show. She is an online expert, answering relationship questions at www.CouplesCompany.com and Yahoo!Personals, as well as a Redbook Love Network expert and "Psychology Smarts" columnist for First for Women. Dr. Tessina guests frequently on radio, and on such TV shows as "Oprah", "Larry King Live" and ABC news.

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Reviewed by MaryGrace Patterson 12/1/2006
Thankyou for sharing a part of your life with us. They say God never gives a person more than they can handle, but some times we wonder why so much happens. Your article gives much to think about.. A good write....M
Reviewed by John Martin 11/4/2006
Alas, the irony of it all. Just when you've got it all figure out, it's time to leave.

Books by
Tina B Tessina



The Ten Smartest Decisions a Woman Can Make AFTER Forty

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Money, Sex and Kids:

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The Commuter Marriage: Keep Your Relationship Close While Youíre Far Apart

Buy Options
Signed copy!
Amazon, more..




It Ends With You: Grow Up and Out of Dysfunction

Buy Options
Signed copy!
Amazon, Barnes & Noble, more..




The Unofficial Guide to Dating Again

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Signed copy!
Amazon, Barnes & Noble, more..




The Real Thirteenth Step: Discovering Confidence, Self-Reliance and Independence Beyond the Twelve Step Programs

Buy Options
Signed copy!
Amazon, more..




How To Be a Couple and Still Be Free

Buy Options
Signed copy!
Amazon, more..


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