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  • Writer's pictureGwyneth Kerr Erwin, Ph.D., Psy.D

The Power of Small Moments


Twilight. My favorite time of the day smoothing into evening. Just brief moments in time that can change your personal atmosphere from suffering to hope.

In the years of my husband’s battle with Alzheimer’s and in the next years after his death, there was not a day when we didn’t lose some of him. He was a brilliant psychoanalyst, the love of my life, and a father to our children who anyone would wish for. Yet, over the course of thirteen years, he fell away bit by bit, with uncanny grace and dignity, but with heartache, his and ours always lurking at the edge. In our “village,” we each showed up, serving him and his needs in the ways we could. He and I shared conversations that were redemptive, crushing, profoundly meaningful, both of us knowing as time slipped away, he would not remember them within minutes of having them. There were many days when I thought I could not bear another second, but did.

In my last email, I shared with you a brief description of states, what they are made of, and how to begin using them – what to notice, and how to begin to use your particular state system and sensory modalities to master them.

What does twilight have to do with states? In my case, everything. My favorite time since childhood. I would leave my office with the sun dipping toward the horizon, the air hushed, and sit alone for just those fleeting moments, a tear forming, yes, but as a breeze brushed it from my cheek, and the sky turned its blue or gray to orange and pink and lavender, my suffering would ease and move toward a quiet hope. He still knew us. We would have another day, together, whatever it brought. And after he was gone, the true feeling that he would always be with me, glimpsed at twilight in an ocean of grief.

Small moments can be found in thousands of ways to move your suffering to hope. To learn more, order your copy of The Developmental Lens: A New Paradigm for Psychodynamic Diagnosis and Treatment today.

Thank you! Dr. Gwyn Erwin

P. S. Watch for the next blog post for more real-life examples of moving suffering to hope.

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