Sandra came to Learning Love 1 several years ago. She was unhappy in her love relationship with her husband of ten years because she said that they lacked communication or intimate connection. Their sex was boring and routine and they were frequently fighting. She was touched by the work in the seminar and felt she had deeper understanding for her wounds. However since then, she has contacted us sporadically for an individual session to see if we can help her resolve her unhappiness. Not much has changed in her life or her love life. She feels trapped because she cannot imagine breaking up the family, and blames her husband for not being the man she had hoped for. Sandra’s motivation and her effort in working on herself is the problem. She wants solutions but is not willing to do the necessary inner work.
Nicole’s story is different. She began doing the work several years ago. At the time, she had similar problems than Sandra – a relationship that was unfulfilling. But since her first workshop with us, she has come to three others, is doing individual work with us, and is committed to the path of self-discovery – to find her power, her depth, and her truth. As a result of her commitment and perseverance, her relationship is much better and she has found a way to manage her emotions in a much healthier way.
There are many reasons that people come to a growth seminar or for a therapy session. Some may do one seminar or have one individual or couple’s session. Other times, people will come for therapy because they are in a crisis. (What we call, “a crisis session.”) But this approach rarely produces any long-lasting transformation because it does not get to the root of the problems.
Others, like Nicole, come because they realize at some point that growth and change does not happen so quickly. They have the insight that the problems that life presents have deep roots in dysfunctional behavior that comes from deep wounds of shame and fear.
To produce lasting change, we will need to penetrate our wounds and the belief systems that we developed because of childhood trauma and negative conditioning. That process takes time because our old habits and beliefs about life and ourselves are deeply ingrained. To really have change, we will need to embrace a journey of awakening and healing and to be willing to put in the effort.
In the course of our seminars and individual work with people around the world, we also encounter many people who tell us that they are discouraged because they have done so much therapy work and still they feel that their lives are not as they would like.
Our response is to encourage people not to lose hope and motivation because in our experience, the inner work is not over until we feel fulfillment in five essential aspects of life.
And even if those areas are fulfilling and flowing the inner work is never over, it is a continual flowering and expanding.
But these five aspects of our life is a good place to look deeper where something may not be flowing.
And where there is pain or discontent is a place where tremendous growth is possible.
If we persevere on our inner growth journey, it is our personal experience that deep inner contentment happens with time.
The five areas of fulfillment include:
- A healthy and flowing relationship to our bodies and our energy.
- A sustained and deepening intimacy.
- A sexuality that feels in tune with our body and soul.
- Participating in life By contributing our creativity
- A deep sense of meaning, belonging, and connection inside.
Sometimes it takes time for someone to develop the quality of commitment to inner work and to embrace it as a high or even the highest priority in his or her life.
For instance, Linda has suffered with weight problems for many years. She tried many diets but nothing worked and she watched as her weight continued to increase to the point where now it limits her mobility and brings her deep shame. A year ago, she began regular therapy because she realized that her problem was not her weight but it was her shame and unhappiness and that she had lost meaning in life. The totality and dedication with which she has dived into her inner growth journey is impressive.
There are few things that are more inspiring and heart lifting for us as teachers and facilitators than when someone makes that kind of commitment. We know that everyone has different motivations and approaches to therapy and we accept all of them.
But fundamentally, if we bring the quality of deep dedication and commitment to the path of inner growth, we are laying the foundation for changing our lives, overcoming the negative effects of our conditioning and coming back home to ourselves.