Jennifer Smith and Paula Smith

We have all been or will be touched by the death of someone close to us, someone we identify with — or someone we admire from a distance. Death is dreaded, denied, sanitized, and at times, softened with euphemisms.

In a world where contemporary thinking offers a narrative of death as an elemental process or an abrupt unravelling of a life, many of us live in fear or denial of the inevitable, ultimate transformation.

Sooner or later, death darkens every life.

For those that die, it is their end of this world. For those of us who watch and wait…


Photo Credit: Caglecartoon.com

There is historical precedence for what is happening in this country today and for the recent political violence that occurred at the Capitol. The former President Donald Trump is set to be acquitted for inciting the January 6, 2021 riot on the Capitol. I think we need to take a moment to consider the deeper, structural historical forces at work here and ask ourselves “What is this trial really about?”

We have heard the loud whispers that GOP Senators are going to acquit Trump. Yes, the Impeachment Managers put on a compelling, stellar case (according to what I read, I…


Through the heartbreak and grief at the loss of my sister, who died a week ago, I had to really push myself to say something on this day of remembrance. I know people are hurting today for different reasons. Some of us are experiencing personal grief and there is also communal and ancestral grief.

I pushed today because this feels like an exclamation point at the end of a four year conversation about racism and white supremacy. We saw these systemically dysfunctional dynamics play out in full scale, in real time, over the last election cycle.

When we think about…


Photo Credit: Getty Images

I had to take a day from all the research and writing for PhD studies to observe and reflect on the changes happening and try to make sense of it all. Observing the changes taking place in the atmosphere over these past days, weeks, months … and wondering what I could say about it. I sense so much bubbling up … and with the numbers growing in terms of folks testing positive for Covid-19 and the number of people dying, there is a growing panic in the atmosphere. There is a desire for us to get back to normal life…


Photo credit: www.wordpressphoto.com

Last week I mentioned that it would be my last post on Medium for a while. That wasn’t entirely true as you can see. My heart has been heavy reflecting on a subject that I am impassioned about and that I’ve spent most of my adult life studying, researching, collecting data about and practicing — RELATIONSHIPS.

These days we spend more time than usual on social media connecting with folks since face-to-face contact is so limited and because if we’re meeting one person we’re also meeting their contacts even if we cannot see them.

Lately I have dreaded going on…


www.paulasmith-imago.com — via Canva.com

Let me start by saying that this may be my last article because I’m starting a Ph.D program and I may not have a lot of time for such leisurely thinking and writing. LOL. No, seriously. I’ve enjoyed the freedom to speak out and share my experience, strength and hope with all of you during these racially challenging and growthful times.

I need to be totally transparent here. Kamala Harris was not my first choice. I was hoping that Karen Bass would be chosen as the VP nominee.

Still I, along with the rest of you and social media, was…


Photo Credit: New York Times

As a marriage therapist, it’s clear to me that the polarization in the country between Democrats and Republicans seem to parallel the polarization I often see happening between romantic partners. I’ve been observing these parallels for some time now.

When couples come for therapy, most often there is hostility and intense anger and resentment. One or both parties are suffering under a plague of protest, feeling threatened and under attack. …


Empty Senate Chamber — Cspan

People should not have to suffer! What is it going to take for these politicians to get a final Bill out of the Senate? Why has it taken the Senate two months to pass a Bill?

The Covid-19 relief Bill was passed out of the House a long time ago and it’s been sitting on “Moscow” Mitch “Bull” McConnell’s desk. I think it’s cruel that they would let folks get to the brink of disaster— where they are facing evictions and running out of money.

I am reminded of “pull yourself up by your boot straps!” Indifference of this magnitude…


For 400 years America has been paralyzed by a crippling issue — Race. The President of the United States went to Mount Rushmore on 4th of July where Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and Roosevelt sat in stone behind him and he inevitably and predictably talked about “our” heritage. In other words, he talked about being the protector of white America. Ouch!

The complexities of our nation, its people and political system parsed down the middle and distilled to a concrete dilemma — racial unity or racial division.

It is a divide marked by a growing acceptance of white supremacy, misogyny, lies…


Racial justice protests around the nation make this Fourth of July perhaps the most important in American history. Independence Day 2020 is imbued with new imaginings about what it means to be an American, rooted in a collective effort to holistically confront the bitter and beautiful struggles that shape our profoundly historic present.

Perhaps the biggest stride made since the protests erupted on May 26 is the fact that vast majorities are no longer conflating protest against injustice with disrespecting the flag. This is especially significant because one of white supremacy’s most painful injuries remains questioning the loyalty and patriotism…

Paula M. Smith

PhD Student, Culturally-Attuned Advanced Imago Couples Therapist, Writer and 12-Step Recovery Miracle. Contact me at: paulasmith@post.harvard.edu.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store