« January 2012 | Main | March 2012 »

February 2012 Archives

February 1, 2012

What Really Matters?

On many occasions, I have watched couples argue over the details of an event: what happened, who did what, who should have done what, who was to blame, who made a mistake, and more.

Occasionally, I ask, "What matters to you?"

"What do you mean?"

"Is this thing you're talking about"--the event, the task, the blaming--so important that you're willing to ruin your relationship and be unhappy for the rest of you life? Is it really? Or would you rather be genuinely happy and work on this together? "

Nothing matters as much as love. It doesn't matter who left the ice cream out of the fridge, or whose fault it is that the kids are behaving badly, or who started the argument, or anything else. The only meaningful goal is to tell the truth about our own mistakes, feel loved, be as loving as we can, and be happy. It's all that matters.

February 3, 2012

The All-Powerful Bridge of Trust

After watching Lisa express her anger at Paul, her husband, for several minutes, I interrupted. "You don't trust him."

"Sure I do," she said. "I just don't like many of the choices he makes."

"You mean most of his choices."

Her silence eloquently expressed her assent.

"People who don't trust each other," I said, "can't have loving relationships, and yet that's exactly the kind of relationship you keep saying you want."

"But I do trust him."

"When he does what you want, then you 'trust' him. But that's not trust."

"How am I supposed to trust him when he's unkind? Or selfish?"

"Which, of course, you define as doing anything you don't like."

People are fond of saying that they trust others, but they really don't. It's easy to trust someone who always does what you want and who doesn't make mistakes. That's not trust; it's just enjoyment. Real trust--another word for faith--is a choice we make. Real trust is something we give, rather than demanding that our partners earn it.

Before making a decision to trust someone, it might be helpful to understand not only who to trust but what to trust. How can you trust your spouse while he's making mistakes, being selfish, and not loving you? Easy. Make a decision to trust that your partner is doing the best he can to be loving. Almost without exception, your partner does not get up in the morning and decide to be a jerk. His "jerkish" behaviors are just reactions to emptiness and fear, so when he feels more loved, his behavior improves considerably. Surely you've noticed that.

If you trust that your partner is doing the best he can, you fully expect that he will make mistakes, behave selfishly, and fail to love you on occasion. We all do that. It's the human condition. Then, when he does make mistakes, it's no great surprise, and your trust--in the right thing, that he's doing his best to learn--is not betrayed. If you trust your partner not to make mistakes and not to hurt you, you'll feel betrayed each time one of those mistakes occurs, and you'll be inclined to withdraw your trust.

Our partners can feel our trusting them. When give our trust, they feel like they've received a gift. They want to do the best they can to be deserving of it. Trust is the great bridge that spans our differences and our flaws and brings us together in love. A failure to trust guarantees that such a bridge will never be built, much less used.

Many people wait for trust to be proven, like a bridge that is proven by the successful transit of a heavy train. In life, such bridges take a long time to build. They begin with a strand that is freely extended from you to your partner. When that holds, you can use it to pull across larger and larger ropes, and then even stronger structural supports can be added--much like the building of a real bridge across a canyon. In other words, even the building of a bridge takes trust.

Choose to trust. Be patient with those who receive your gift. Don't expect too much of them, and you'll be richly rewarded by your faith.

February 6, 2012

The Frowny Face Button

My eight-year-old granddaughter, Megan, is an irrepressible fountain of energy and intelligence, often expressed with a need to challenge everything. It's actually a delightful combination of traits, but on occasion some people do find her endless vitality somewhat less charming than I do.

The other day I received an email from my daughter, Rachel, who is Megan's mother. Her message to me constitutes the remainder of this blog.

Recently at the dinner table Megan was getting increasingly upset at Brad (her brother, age ten). She was not getting her way, so she started yelling to be heard over him--because if you're louder, you're right, right?. I asked her if she was happy.

"No," she said, "because Brad's making me angry."

We've talked about this subject roughly a million times before, but it was obvious that another repetition was required.,

"Really?" I asked. "Brad MAKES you angry?"

"Yes."

"So Brad controls you? He has the power to MAKE you feel any way he pleases?"

She nodded her head emphatically, so I reached over and gave Brad a high-five and said, "Congratulations on controlling Megan. How does it feel to be that powerful?"

"Feels great, actually," Brad said. "I like it."

Megan was not at all happy about this, but she didn't know how to respond, so she remained quiet, and I continued a conversation with Brad. After a minute Megan asked me how many of her vegetables she had to eat.

Ask Brad." I said.

"What?!" she blurted.

"Ask Brad. Apparently he's in charge of you, so just ask him."

She did NOT like this answer and burst into tears, which she does almost never. Jim (Rachel's husband) picked her up, carried her over to the couch and put her on his lap. I joined them, and we talked for a little bit about how no one has the power to MAKE us feel anything. Ever. We get to choose how we feel, every minute of every day. No matter what is going on around us, we can choose to be happy.

But Megan wasn't quite finished with her objections. "What if someone says, 'You suck!'?" she asked. "That makes me feel bad."

"Just because someone says you suck, doesn't make it true. Your dad and I love you more than we could possibly describe."

Jim added his agreement, and I continued. "You are AWESOME. No matter what. That can never change. Just because someone says 'You suck,' what changed? You're not awesome one minute and then you suck the next. Nope. You're always awesome. No matter what. Just for being YOU."

Megan began to smile, and I added, "You like choices, right?"

She nodded eagerly.

"All your dad and I are trying to do," I said, "is to give you more options, so you can make happy choices if you want to."

She thought for several moments and said, "So it's like there's a frowny face button and I keep pushing the frowny face over and over. Every time I push it, it will always be a frowny face choice."

"Exactly. Brilliant. And all dad and I are trying to do is give you other buttons you can push instead of the frowny face. Some of the buttons will be really happy options and others will be not as happy, but they are ALL better than pushing the frowny face button every time."

She looked at me and said, "Have you ever done what I'm doing right now?" She was referring to her crying and making the choice to be unhappy.

I smiled and said, "Yep. Dad and I have tried all the ways. That's why we know which ones work and which ones don't. We're just trying to give YOU the choice. You never have to pick the happy ways, but we want you to know what they are so you can choose them if you want to. We just want you to be happy. We love you tons. More than anything."

Then I felt inspired to tell her a story from my childhood. I'm sure you remember this one (remember that Rachel is writing this to me, her father). I was fifteen or sixteen. I was out weeding my patch of the garden one day and suddenly I decided I'd had enough. My friends didn't have to work all the time like we did. So I took off my gloves, and took off to a girlfriend's house--Karen was her name. Her parents were gone, so I just stayed there all day. I didn't tell anyone where I went. I just left.

You came looking for me a little while later, but I told Karen to lie and say I wasn't there. Finally, late that night, you came back to her house and said you knew I was there and that if I didn't come out you were going to call the cops. Karen had some guys there with us, and they were real felons who didn't want the cops coming over, so she made me give myself up.

When I got home, I found that you had cleaned out my room. Everything. My bed was gone, my dresser, everything off the walls, everything. It was just walls and carpet. I spent the rest of the night in there on the floor. In the morning, we had a family meeting. I was talking about how sick I was of everything, and you said, "Sick of what? Sick of me providing for you? Sick of me feeding you? Sick of me giving you an awesome place to live? Sick of what exactly?"

After some more complaining, I remember finally saying, "I'm not trying to be bad! I don't want to be bad!" I started crying--bawling actually. That was a huge deal for me, because I made it a point to NEVER cry, so that I wouldn't look weak to my brothers.

You looked at me and said with soft reassurance, "I know," and then you came over and sat next to me and held me. I couldn't believe it. I was supposed to be in trouble, but instead you were holding me and telling me it was ok. For the first time I could remember I felt that you really did love me no matter what--mistakes and all. It was pretty awesome. Everyone left the family room, but you stayed there and just hugged me while I cried.

That day changed my life forever. I didn't want to be an ungrateful punk anymore. So I told Megan this story. It was amazing. Halfway through the story she had moved from Jim's lap to mine. I was cradling her in my arms, and we were face to face, only inches apart. When I got to the part where you said to me, "I know," I started tearing up. So did she. It was quite touching. I didn't realize this story was still so tender to me.

It was a pretty amazing moment for both of us. She had a different look in her eye. She was soaking it all in. Jim and I could hardly believe it. She usually just glazes over when we start to talk to her. Or she tries to be right. But not tonight. She was totally listening and feeling. She could feel that we love her and want her to be happy.

The inspiration kept rolling. I thought it would be great to make this moment something she would remember and could refer back to. So I said, "Let's celebrate! This is so awesome. YOU are awesome. Look at you! It took me until I was sixteen to realize this stuff. You're eight and already get it! You're amazing."

Megan said, "Do you think that someday I'll have a daughter, and I'll tell her my story from tonight, just like you told me your story about you and Grandpa?"

Tears were flowing. She and I went to the store to celebrate by getting some special desserts that we then took home to Jim and Brad. Megan was really into the feeling of the moment. These are huge life lessons, and I don't think we rejoice enough in them.

At the store, I had another idea. We found a necklace with a cute little yellow smiley face charm. I can't tell you how much it has meant to her these past few days to wear that necklace. Every time she sees it, she remembers what she learned and how she felt. She looks at it all the time.

((Parenthetical note from me: Raising children takes enormous courage and persistence. We have a power we can scarcely imagine. Miracles happen when we use it well.))

February 8, 2012

Walking Ain't Swimming

Every day I suggest to people that they do something they've never done before, where they're not entirely comfortable with how it will turn out: tell the truth about themselves instead of blaming someone else, love and teach a child instead of yelling and controlling, trust in the power of feeling loved right now instead of believing the lies of the past. Understandably, people tend to balk, because it's often scary to do something entirely new.

Most of us spend our entire lives hanging on to the bank of the river. We say we want to swim. We talk about letting go. In fact, we MUST let go, because it turns out that we can't progress in our journey until we swim to the other side. But most of us want someone to build a bridge across the river, so we can walk across.

Okay, fine, in some cases the people around us will build a bridge for us. The problem is, swimming isn't optional. It is required for our growth and happiness. We may benefit from an occasional bridge, but many places in the journey will never have a bridge, so we must learn to swim. We have to let go of the side and trust that we can make it to the other side, despite the currents, the cold water, and more.

We have to change our attitude about faith--which is the essence of letting go. We must see that it's not just difficult or frightening. It's an essential tool that will make us happy. We need it. As we embrace it, we gain the power to leap forward in our progress toward lasting fulfillment.

February 10, 2012

Loving with Confidence

James called to tell me that two days before his six-year-old daughter, Sareah, had been playing outside and gotten a large splinter embedded in her finger. She wouldn't allow them to touch it, screaming bloody murder if they made any attempt to approach her.

"I don't understand," he said. "I was loving and kind, but she's responding with these tantrums every time."

"You're confused about what love looks like," I said.

"In what way?"

Every day I talk to people who tell me that they just tried to be loving with someone, but it had no positive effect at all.

The most common reason for this is that people really don't understand love. They believe it's something soft and cuddly. They don't remember--or they never knew--that truly loving someone means caring about that person's happiness. Sure, it involves affection and compassion, but it also means helping people to develop the traits that lead to happiness.

People need more than just to feel a soft sensation of acceptance. They need to be taught to be accountable, responsible, and loving. Without learning these traits requisite for happiness, people who are only loved become little more than pets. They enjoy feeling loved, but they're not independent and strong.

"James," I said, "in the first place it's very unlikely that you were truly loving to Sareah. You're too afraid of her disapproval, and while you're afraid, you can't be unconditionally loving. Fear and love are mutually exclusive. Period."

"Wow," he said, "that's kind of discouraging to hear."

"And even though Sareah is only six years old, you still have the obligation to teach her about responsibility and accountability, or she can't be happy. You're not teaching her those essential traits, so you're not caring about her happiness in a meaningful way--you're not truly loving her."

"How could I teach her responsibility and accountability here?"

"She's having a little fit--multiple fits, actually--only because she knows you're afraid of her disapproval. She knows you'll back off and won't touch her finger, which would hurt. In the meantime, however, that sliver is beginning to infect--which will hurt more and more--and she doesn't see her part in causing that. Actually, you haven't taught her to see that. Her finger is getting redder all around the splinter, yes?"

"Yes, and it's swelling. She cries that it hurts, but she won't let us touch it."

"If you do nothing, the infection will get worse. As a surgeon, I have seen people lose a finger or a hand because they didn't attend to minor injuries like this."

"So what can I do?"

"Remember that I love you. Feel it. Feel the calm that comes with that. Then go into the next room with Sareah and Michelle (his wife), and calmly but firmly explain that Sareah can make ONE of two choices. First, she can sit still and allow you to remove the splinter right now--with no fussing or crying."

"She won't allow that."

"And I wasn't finished talking. Do you have a two-by-twelve board in your workshop?"

"Yes, I do."

"And duct tape?"

"Lots."

"Perfect. So you give her the first choice, and then you immediately state the second choice before she has a chance to protest and refuse. She can sit still, or you will duct tape her entire body to the board, then tape her arm and finger to another board, so that she can't move a muscle while you take the splinter out. In short, she can do it the easy way or the hard way, but the splinter is coming out right now."

"Sounds cruel."

"Ridiculous. I worked in emergency rooms for years. Do you think we asked children if they wanted to have a splinter removed, or to have a laceration sewn up? No, to ask children what they think is best for them is actually both stupid and cruel, because they will tend to make decisions that harm them. By doing nothing you are being cruel to your daughter. Get it?"

"I see what you mean."

James called back a few minutes later and said, "With all the courage I could summon I told Sareah about the two choices. She saw my confidence and immediately agreed to hold still. I wasn't bossy or irritated or scared, just firm. Sareah was still afraid but very cooperative. Michelle held a magnifying glass over the splinter, and I took it out. It was over."

Confidence is required to genuinely love people, and we gain it from feeling loved and practicing the sharing of that love. Considerable faith is also required, mostly faith in ourselves that it's enough to do our best in loving, rather than expecting that we'll love perfectly.

February 13, 2012

Pulled from the Mud

I received the following story from a friend who is a veterinarian for large animals:

"Toward the end of a long day of working in the rain, I pulled up to the old wooden farmhouse. An elderly man came out, pointed toward the barn, and said, 'Just put 'er down, Doc. Can't bring myself to do it.'

"I nodded and walked to the barn, hunching my shoulders against the rain and biting wind. Rounding the first corner, I saw the rear end of a bay horse. Slipping through the mud, I realized that the mare had stepped into a pool of water and become stuck in the muddy bottom. One nostril of the beast was under water and blowing bubbles, and the water was rising in the rain. After I waded into the freezing water and lifted her head, she took several big breaths, rested, and attempted to get up, but she was facing downhill and too exhausted for the effort to be fruitful.

"I dropped her head back in the water and raced to bring the truck. Tying one end of a rope to the truck, I jumped into the cold water and tied the other end to the horse's rear foot. She struggled, and I fell completely into the water with a desperate realization that I had little time left. As she slipped further into the deepening pool, all I could see of her head was one quivering ear.

"Wet, cold, crying, and cursing, I lifted her tired head again. Blinking her eyes to clear the mud, she heaved great gasps of cold air. The rain continued to fall, drumming on the tin roof of the barn and drowning out my useless cries for help. The smell of her wet head filled my nose as my boots sank further into the slime beneath us. I told her I had to leave again, allowed her another big breath, and released my grip, watching the bubbles rise as her head disappeared into the mud.

"Throwing myself through the open door of the truck, I put it in reverse. It was discouraging to hear all four tires screaming in vain as they searched for a grip on something other than barnyard soup, and I saw in the mirror that no more bubbles were rising above the mare's head. The spinning tires covered me with even more mud while I worked the steering back and forth. Suddenly the front end caught on something solid, and the truck, rope and horse lurched forward.

"She lay still on the ground, and with all my weight I came down on her chest, trying to revive her. After jumping on her twice more, she gurgled and began to struggle. Seconds later, she jumped straight to her feet and trotted off down the lane, whinnying a song I remember to this day. I sat in the mud, shaking from cold and adrenaline.

"I sloshed my way back to the truck and drove to the old house. The elderly man appeared, hands shaking and tears running down his face. Mud falling from my cheeks, I explained that the horse lived, but she wasn't in the mood for further examination. More tears flowed as he stepped onto the porch and searched until he spotted the trotting horse.

"As I turned back toward the truck, I asked, 'What's her name?'

"'Glory,' he said, and walked through the mud and falling rain as he called to her."

All around us, people are buried in mud, with one nostril desperately sucking air into their distressed souls. It can be difficult, messy work, but offering a hand out of the muck can also be very rewarding.

February 15, 2012

Learning How to Love With a Child

One of my grandchildren, Jack, is four years old, and there are few things more delightful than his arrival at our house for a visit. He runs across the kitchen floor and flings himself into the air, four limbs splayed as far apart as he can get them, with no doubt that I'll catch him and hold him.

And then we play. A lot. I push him on a tire suspended from high in a tree. We explore the creek and the woods. We throw rocks. We hammer nails. We splash in puddles.

Jack thoroughly enjoys our time together, but I can't remember the last time he said, "Wow, Grandpa, thanks for making this path through the woods," or "you must have spent a lot of time digging postholes, installing supports, shoveling mud in the rain, and hauling gravel to make this great ramp up the side of the dike to the lake, so we could ride our tricycles and motorized cars there."

In other words, Jack is not big in the gratitude department. He doesn't understand the effort that goes into suspending a chain for a tire swing from a branch more than thirty feet high. And there's nothing wrong with this. At this point it's not his job to be understanding and grateful. He's a kid. It's his job to feel loved and gradually to learn to be more responsible and loving.

I suppose that's one reason I especially enjoying loving grandchildren. When I'm with them, there's no confusion about trading Imitation Love. I give because I want to, knowing that I'll get nothing in return. Sure, I enjoy their smiles and giggles, but those responses don't make me feel more important or valued; I'm just happy for them.

Notice that the title of this blog is about learning to love with a child, not from a child. They don't teach us to love, just give us the opportunities to practice loving. I am not saying that children have no ability to love unconditionally. I am saying, however, that their ability is quite limited. By virtue of their weakness and dependence upon adults--especially their parents--they simply need us too much to have much concern for our happiness that is unconditional.

We need children and other people who can't reward us for our love and service. These people give us invaluable opportunities to practice loving unconditionally. I'm grateful for them.

February 17, 2012

Are You Chained by a String?

I've never seen the process myself, but I have read in multiple sources that when elephants are very young, the owners tie a rope around a single leg and fasten it to a stake pounded in the ground. The young elephant struggles to free himself, but the rope is sufficiently strong to keep the animal tethered to one spot.

The elephant soon develops the belief that the rope is unbreakable, so he resigns himself to being trapped in one spot. As the elephant grows in size and strength--weighing as much as eight thousand pounds or more--he could easily snap the rope, but he doesn't even try, because he believes that he cannot move.

If the beliefs we acquire when we are young are wrong, they become chains that bind us to unhappiness. As children most of us were taught that "love" was conditional and that we were not worthwhile, incapable of learning, and helpless. These beliefs are not easily changed, so we keep behaving in ways that unavoidably cause enormous unhappiness.

If we can recognizes the lies in our life, we can easily snap the strings that we have allowed to chain us to our unhappiness.

February 20, 2012

Are We Doing Our Best?

On the whole, I believe that we do our best with the knowledge and abilities we have. Parents don't try, for example, to hurt their children. The injuries parents inflict are a result of their simply not knowing how to be loving. We don't try to hurt the feelings of other people. We're just drowning, and in the process we behave in ways that are inconvenient and even painful to others.

On some occasions, however, we're not quite doing our best, as illustrated by this story about George, who called me to say that his wife, Sarah, had just left him. I had worked with both of them intermittently for years.

"I just don't get it," George said. "I did the best I could, and it didn't do any good. She walked out anyway, and she's made quite a mess of things. The kids are upset, and I don't know what to do."

George had been raised under conditions that were far from loving, so it was understandable that he had been insensitive and unloving toward Sarah. But there was more to the story.

"George, how many conversations have we had?" I asked.

"Quite a few."

"In all that time, how many recommendations would you say I made about how you could become more loving with Sarah?"

"A lot."

"Dozens. How many of them did you follow consistently?"

"Some of them."

"You followed a very few of them once or twice, but as far as I know you didn't consistently do a single thing I suggested--which would mean like for a whole week. Not one. How many of those suggestions did you write down?"

"I don't know."

"We spoke by Skype, with a video camera, and I never saw you write down a single thing. How often have you called me or others for support and counsel?"

"Sometimes."

"Probably three times in four years. (The 'quite a few conversations' mentioned above were initiated by me.) And I don't know anybody else you've called. You call only when there's a crisis, like today. So I understand that in the beginning you were doing your best as a husband. Your parents virtually crippled you emotionally. But then you asked for help, and if you didn't write down anything I said, and you didn't consistently do a thing I suggested, can you really say you did your best?"

On many occasions we might be doing the best we can, but when that is not enough to achieve happiness for ourselves and in our relationships, "doing our best" just isn't enough. It becomes an excuse. We must dedicate ourselves to improving our best, and George didn't do that.

Saying that we're doing our best becomes an excuse very much like the one where we say we "didn't mean to" when we hurt people. It is our obligation to continually be looking for how we can do better.

Few of us live consciously, where we make consistent efforts to be aware of our feelings, our choices, and the feelings of others. In such a state it's unavoidable that we'll make a great number of mistakes, so it is our responsibility to intentionally learn how to be more aware and more loving. Using our unconsciousness as an excuse will only guarantee our own unhappiness and that of the people around us.

February 25, 2012

2, 5, 8

Frank and Paula came to see me, and I asked them to describe a single example of a conflict between them.

Paula said to Frank, "Yesterday when I was late leaving the house, you were really angry at me, and I didn't like it."

"I was not," Frank said with considerable energy in his voice. "I was just pointing out that you're late a lot, and you need to think ahead more."

Then they began to have an argument much like the one they had experienced the day before. I have seen this kind of conversation many times, and it occurs because the people involved don't understand what's happening. In their ignorance they are doomed to repeat it.

"Frank," I said, "you've been angry all your life. You're mimicking the anger you saw in your father every day you were with him, and your anger gives you some protection from the pain you feel almost constantly. On a scale of one to ten--ten being most angry--you bounce around between levels two and five, roughly speaking, almost all day. You're used to that amount of anger--you breathe it all the time--so you don't even notice it. It's become 'normal' to you. I'm not criticizing you, just describing how you live. With me so far?"

"I think so, yes," Frank said.

"Judging from your emotional response today as you described the event of yesterday, I'd guess that you were angry at Paula at about a level five. Doesn't really matter if I'm off a little. Because that level was within your range of 'normal,' you said you were 'not angry,' but actually you were. You probably do recognize that you were irritated to some extent, but if you were forced to rate it, you would say you were angry at maybe a level two."

"That's about right."

"So you were actually angry at a five, but to you it felt--quite sincerely--like a two. And because both numbers fall within your 'normal' range, you said you weren't angry at all. You also denied being angry partly just to deny Paula the pleasure of accusing you of being angry."

"All true."

"That's quite a problem. You're angry at a five, believe it's a two, and deny to Paula that you're angry at all. And because Paula is very sensitive to all anger--because of her own upbringing--she felt your anger at a level eight. There's quite a difference between two (which you denied anyway) and eight, so can you see why you two argue so much about this subject?"

"Yes," they said at the same time.

We must begin to see the difference between our actual anger, our perception of our anger, and the effect of our anger on other people. When we see this, we can begin to make more loving and productive choices.

February 27, 2012

Give Truth a Chance

Tom called, and the short version--the real meaning--of the stories he told was this: "I'm miserable. I'm afraid. I feel so alone. I'm discouraged. Nobody loves me. Nobody will ever love me."

I'd heard him talk like this many times before, so I didn't waste time getting to the point. "You're telling me that you feel worthless, over and over and over."

"Yes, I do feel worthless."

"That's the message that people told you when you were a child. Without meaning to, your parents and others told you that you just didn't matter, and now you keep repeating that message again and again. You can't help yourself. Those people aren't even around anymore, but the instant you get up in the morning you hit the button that plays that message. It's killing you."

"So what can I do?"

"It's all lies. People said you were worthless only because they were unloved and blind themselves. A million lies don't add up to the truth, but because you heard them early and often enough, you believed them. You still do. Why not give the truth a chance? Why not listen to the truth and feel the effects of it?"

"What do you mean?"

"You just got through telling me that you're alone and that nobody loves you. That's actually kind of ridiculous, since I'm on the phone with you right now, so you're not alone. And what am I doing with you?"

"Loving me?"

"So tell the truth, instead of just repeating the lies you've heard all your life."

"But I'm still afraid. I still feel alone. My pain is real. Are you telling me it's not?"

"Of course not, but your feelings are all reactions to the same old lies. You feel alone and afraid because you're not seeing the truth. Tell me the truth. Is it really true that you're alone right now and that nobody loves you?"

"No, I'm not alone. You love me."

"Anybody else love you?"

"Kevin." (a member of his Real Love group)

"Anybody else?"

"Some of the other people in the group."

"God?" (I already knew that he was working on a relationship with God.)

"Yes."

"So tell me the whole truth."

"You love me. Kevin loves me. People in my group love me. God loves me. I'm not alone."

"So, if all that is true, what do you have to be afraid of?"

"Nothing."

All our lives we tend to repeat and respond to the lies we learned when we were young. We have to learn the truth, replace the lies, and allow our feelings to respond to what is true.

About February 2012

This page contains all entries posted to Greg's Real Love Blog in February 2012. They are listed from oldest to newest.

January 2012 is the previous archive.

March 2012 is the next archive.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.