Dear Feelings Doctor: My husband and I argue constantly about money! We are a successful couple and really have nothing to worry about. Both of us have worked our way up to where we dreamed we would be one day, and now that we are here — it’s still the same stress! What gives?
— Karen in Paradise
Dear Karen: Money is one of the most potent exchanges in the world, simply because it is tied to our survival. Sometimes the habits we set in motion to lead us to our dreams remain even after we have reached them. There is an importance in life with having your basic needs met, i.e. food, shelter and clothing, along with the health and happiness of your family.
Having all of those taken care of and you two still nag and argue, it sounds like you both have developed this pattern as a way of communicating. If the two of you have remained close and are now truly able to share your success, I have two words for you: stop it!
Dear Feelings Doctor: My son seems to be preoccupied with cleanliness. He washes his hands, actually scrubbing his hands at least 75 times a day! Our home is clean and we are an organized family, and it feels unnatural to have this go on. Please give me some advice on how to ease his anxiety over this.
— Dana in Ventura
Dear Dana: I am wondering how long this behavior has been present. It sounds like your son may be a little compulsive with cleanliness, although I do not like labels when all of the information is not present. Keep an eye on his routines, and if he continues to spend more and more time with this, talk to him about what may be causing his anxiety.
Shame and secrecy are often elements that add to this type of behavior, so please talk with him as much as possible. Learning to meditate would be a wonderful, organic way to reduce anxiety and relax his body. Have your son start out in a quiet space and do some deep breathing for at least five to 10 minutes every day. There are other things that he may find helpful as well. This is a wonderful place to begin. Good luck.
Dear Feelings Doctor: I have a strong suspicion that my Aunt Lilly is being abused financially. What should I do? Please help, as I have no idea where to begin. Thank you.
— Paula in Ojai
Dear Paula: The elderly are often a prime target for financial exploitation. Whether it is happening by a family member or a caretaker, if you suspect that your Aunt Lilly is being victimized and abused in this way, report it immediately.
This is especially important if you notice that your aunt is not being cared for properly by the person hired to do just that. This is a huge red flag. Talk to her family doctor or a close friend and get information now. Many states have toll-free numbers for this specific purpose. Good luck. Your aunt is lucky to have you in her corner.
Imagine This …
Today is the day we experiment with “Savoring.” You will need two things:
» A source of genuine love … joy, wholeness or any other flavor of positivity in your life.
» A willingness to think differently about something in your life that has been challenging you.
Truly cherish the opposite of each emotion in a positive way. Make room for the magic and build your portfolio of gratitude, serenity, hope, awe, amusement, inspiration and love.
Blessings. Let’s talk soon.
— Psychotherapist Randi Rabin, M.A., MFTI, answers reader questions in her weekly Noozhawk column, The Feelings Doctor, and can be contacted at email@example.com. She received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Antioch University Santa Barbara and completed her master’s degree in psychology at Pacifica Graduate Institute under the guidance of renowned psychologist Stephen Aizenstat, Pacifica’s chancellor and founding president. She has worked as a counselor with a number of local nonprofit organizations and schools. Click here for previous columns. The opinions expressed are her own.