It Doesn’t Help to Have a Longer Straw

By Greg Baer M.D.

February 8, 2013

Most of us are familiar with the story of the drowning man.

Without the essential element of Real Love, we find ourselves lost in the middle of the ocean, drowning and struggling to keep our heads above the water. For most of us, the situation is even more desperate. Our heads are underwater, and we breathe only by means of a straw in our mouth, which extends a few inches above the water.

And thus we barely survive, sucking air through a straw. With the slightest wave, however—the smallest upset in our lives—water washes over the opening of the straw, and then we suck water into our lungs, followed by choking and coughing.

Solution? Get a longer straw, right? No, not really. The longer the straw, the more resistance there is to airflow, and before long—excuse the pun—breathing becomes too difficult to sustain. Besides, there's always a wave taller than the straw, and we end up sucking water again.

With all of our Getting and Protecting Behaviors, we're just building a longer straw. Sure, the straw might enable us to breathe through a few taller waves, but eventually it fails for the reasons we've outlined. The solution to our pain---to our drowning---is not to build a longer straw but to get out of the water. It turns out that there are always boats nearby, but we're so busy sucking air through the straw that we can't even see them.

With a stroke or two we can break the surface of the water and reach out our hand to people who will pull us into a boat, where breathing becomes far easier. Sure, we might still have to row to shore---the job of getting completely out of the water isn't finished---but it's much easier to reach land in a boat than while sucking air through a straw from beneath the waves.

Most of us barely survive—punctuated by moments of choking and coughing—but we think our condition is normal, because the people around us are also treading water, doing their best to breathe as they grasp for longer and longer straws.

With Real Love we can get out of the water and gustily inhale great bouts of air, instead of desperately sipping it. In that condition we can actually chart a course in living, rather than simply surviving.


Recover from your negative habits and beliefs!


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About the author 

Greg Baer, M.D.

I am the founder of The Real Love® Company, Inc, a non-profit organization. Following the sale of my successful ophthalmology practice I have dedicated the past 25 years to teaching people a remarkable process that replaces all of life's "crazy" with peace, confidence and meaning in various aspects of their personal lives, including parenting, marriages, the workplace and more.

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