People often whine about how horrible their love life is, but many are not willing to do the hard work that is required to heal and transform themselves and their lives. Many have said things to me like “I don’t want to work that hard.” But when I look at them I see all the confusion, pain and stress they are holding within their bodies and I see how much suffering that is creating in their lives.
One of the people I have been working with recently said to me “I don’t have hours and hours to do all of these practices.” I looked back and her and said “How many hours are you spending feeling horribly anxious and depressed?” She admitted that she was spending a great deal of time feeling horrible. I then said “It’s going to take a lot of time either way. Do you want to waste your time reinforcing your suffering by continually recreating the same painful dramas and emotions or would you rather use you time productively by doing the practices that will facilitate your healing and change your love life for the better?”
Pain and confusion held within always perpetuates itself by creating additional suffering. Painful emotions and conflicted issues and other stresses held within the body consume so much of our vital life force. They also destroy our bodies and minds and prevent us from ever realizing our true potential. What’s really sad is that people continue to sink deeper into the hole they are digging for themselves when they fail to take the steps necessary to facilitate healing within their bodies and minds.
Training with a traditional American Indian Medicine Man and an Internal Arts Master has given me a realistic sense of what it takes to truly transform ourselves. These individuals begin their training early in life. People who attain mastery in the Internal Martial Arts do hours of intensive internal practice on a daily basis. American Indian Medicine Men go through the vision quests many times over the course of their lives. I can see the transformation that occurs over time in these individuals as a result of their many years of intensive discipline.
Doing intensive spiritual practice does require time and commitment, but it gives us the opportunity to heal our bodies and minds, discover our life’s purpose and fulfill our true potential. Many of us have so many demands placed upon us and are not able to set aside hours of time to do intensive practice on a daily basis. But most of us can find at least fifteen to thirty minutes at some time during the day. We can also learn to integrate our spiritual practices into our daily activities so they become a normal part of everything we do.
Having a daily practice helps us to get in touch with our true selves and deepen our connection to the higher power. Spiritual practices help us to digest the backlog of conflicted issues, emotions and other stresses that have kept us bogged down. Our dysfunctional patterns will begin to unravel and then we develop what’s referred to in some of the eastern traditions as “higher mind.” We will become much lighter and freer, experience a clearer sense of direction and gain access to enormous amounts of creative energy that will support us in fulfilling our life’s purpose. Working with the various spiritual healing practices will also make it possible for us to develop the kind of presence that will enable us to attract healthier friends and companions.
Having a daily practice is extremely important and we also need to show up and participate in life. I started asking myself questions like, “What do I truly want and what steps do I need to take to get it.” Love has never just showed up at my door. A big part of having what I want in life has involved getting out to engage with women who attracted me whenever I found the opportunity.
Relationships have a way of bringing all of our core issues and vulnerabilities to the surface. At times I can see how my companion is struggling with issues of her own that have nothing to do with me. I’m also very conscious of how the patterns that play out in relationship are mirroring my internal state of being. Women that I’ve been with often reflect the issues and emotions I’m holding within. I’m learning to use everything that’s happening within my relationships as part of my process of healing and personal growth. Breathing into any feelings that surface helps me to process the issues and emotions as they arise. Incorporating this process with all the other practices is facilitating an ongoing process of evolution.
All of the hard work I’ve done has paid off over time. The deep underlying wounds have gradually healed. I no longer experience the overwhelming pain and anxiety or sense of being deeply traumatized. I stopped personalizing other people’s negativity. I feel a growing sense of lightness and comfort with myself. I’m developing more of the resources that are enabling me to engage and be deeply connected within an intimate relationship. I’m attracting progressively healthier companions and I continue to progress year by year.
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