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When we are unprepared, our vulnerability gets triggered, which is a good thing in terms of growth and learning for the next time. But if we take the time to really learn, and prepare to better handle what threw us off center the last time, the more opportunities we will have to risk and bring our vulnerability to our partners by choice.

Change is destabilizing -- and for most people, destabilization is very triggering. When people are emotionally triggered or feeling insecure, relationships suffer. Sometimes, sadly, they cannot withstand the stress, and people grow apart. But does that make personal growth an adversary to good relationships?

Growth is a part of leadership. Sooner or later, you will have to trust someone else to do the jobs that you can no longer (or were never really able to) do.

When people are under the gun, unless they are super clear on what their job is, they may unconsciously resort to four main default "jobs," while what they are actually contracted to do takes a close, sometimes distant second.

On a recent summer day, a large group of family and friends were enjoying a picnic at a local state park. After eating, the kids jumped up to play, while the parents hunkered down at the next table for some adult time, which was abruptly interrupted.

Everything of high value requires your protection: Your sentimental objects, your iPhone, your children, your health, your IRA. So why not your dear, dear heart? Counter to popular new age philosophy that being open with and about everything is the key to living well, I am going to counsel you to protect your vulnerability.

You can’t always choose how life is going to go, but if you pay attention to the roles that simply take over and lead you nowhere, you can begin, as Katherine models, to select what roles you want to play. And that enables you to steer the relationSHIP to safety in rough waters.

Katherine got into the car, and immediately felt Steve’s lousy mood suck all the air out of it. “Oh no,” she thought. She knew Steve wasn’t thrilled about going to visit her brother’s family. It was a chilly winter Sunday. He wanted to lounge about, watch the games, and stay put. But she expressed it was important to her and he had agreed to go. Does he always have to punish me with his mood? she wondered, agitatedly. She was...

I asked the CEO about some of the beliefs he tried to live by, and he revealed that one of the main goals of his traditional practice was to attempt to Rise Above Praise and Blame. He tried very hard not to blame his employees when they screwed up. But he never praised them, either.

I usually go for seltzer water or fermented grapes, but sometimes you get the kind of news that is better swallowed with real spirits.