The First Step in Getting Self Help to Work for You
written by Deborah Lowrey
Shortly after I had first heard my own inner voice, I went to a counselor. I saw him for about four months and he, one day, said that I didn't need to be seeing him. According to him, all I had done was do the work and learn the lessons needed to change my life and I would just end up telling him what I had already worked on. He was just a sounding board and I didn't need him. I had a huge pit in my stomach when he'd said that.
Then he goes on to say that I was just starting a wonderful journey that I would travel for the rest of my life. I can tell you, I didn't understand what he was talking about. What I heard was, "you've f*ck*d up your life so bad that you are going to have to pay for it for the rest of your life"… I felt utterly defeated.
The pit in my stomach became an enormous twisted mountain of steel. Not only was I scared, but gone on to being petrified. I thought, I'm going to have to pay, over and over and over. What's the use? I felt struck down once again. Would it always be this way? Why did I do this in the first place? I started something that I could never finish.
I had expected a magical day that all my problems would be solved, that life would be beautiful and harmonious, that I would reach the finish line. I would be healthy, happy, and functional. Happily ever after…
I realized that happily ever after, the way I was hoping for, wasn't going to happen. I guess I could have given up. I could have coasted and been content to have done a lot already and leave it at that, maybe do a little here and there. But I couldn't do that. I'm not sure once you've heard your true inner voice that you can silence it. In my case I couldn't. It was at this point that I unconsciously surrendered to Love. I felt that I couldn't do it on my own. I resolved that I'd never get the finish line, but I hadn't quite given up all together either. Let's just see where I go, day by day.
A short time after that I was thinking of where I would be in five years and thought I knew the outcome. Which, on my part, was sadly understated. But with the surrender to Love, (take me where you want me to go, teach me what I need to learn, bring people and situations to me that I need and I will be there), Love chose to direct my course. I thought I was only capable of little baby steps, but Love had another plan in mind for me.
If someone had told me that I needed to learn to surrender to Love, I would have fought, determined that they were wrong. Surrender, I had always thought, meant giving up, relinquishing power. Giving away power was the life of the victim. I had just escaped that kind of life and I was bound and determined to not walk that path. Ever.
But Love has this wonderful way of bringing itself to fruition in your life, to bring truth as a shining light and mirror into even your darkest recesses. I finally realized that surrendering (to Love) was an admission that you alone cannot do it yourself, a recognition you need Love in your life, to have an openness of heart and spirit to allow Love and it's vastness into your life. It's really not about giving up all that you are per se; it's about giving up the bad things and behaviors in our life to make way for the good. It's not about relinquishing personal power, but learning what Love's true power is and being it. Being. Not doing. Not acting. Not forcing. Being.
I remember an eight-year old girl with brown hair in banana curls. She frequently was found swinging and singing with all her heart. One day at the swing set, she uttered a prayer to God when she thought she was alone, "I want to love, I want to be loved, I want to be Love". Love answered that prayer, in spades, twenty-two years later. Love tried to answer it sooner, but the little girl unknowingly made it difficult, and resisted.
Thank you Love that you never gave up on me, though I had given up on you, you never did me. You see, that little girl was me. That little child could be you too. It was one of the hopes that I'd held that I feel benefited me. It left a small crack open for Love to enter. For Love, any size will do.
So the first step to make self help work is to have a partnership with Love. Self Help is about learning to love ourselves, to love others, to love all of our connections and to realize that we are really all connected to one another and all that is around us. Love ultimately is our greatest teacher.