With Real Love, nothing else matters; without it, nothing else is enough. People who behave badly are simply reacting with Getting and Protecting Behaviors to the painful emptiness and fear that result from a lack of Real Love. When people feel enough unconditional love, they have no need to lie, get angry, hurt other people, act like victims, or withdraw from the people around them. With sufficient Real Love, fear, anger, hate, and crime disappear.
Some people are skeptical of the central role of Real Love. They suggest that it would be unrealistic to believe that in the case of criminals, for example, we could look to Real Love as an explanation of, and possible solution for, the complex set of behaviors we see in that group of people. As just one of many possible illustrations of the importance of Real Love in everyone’s life, allow me to share with you a personal experience.
Each week, my friend Michelle serves as a volunteer counselor in a women’s prison. For several hours she helps them talk about their past and present problems, in the hope that they can acquire additional skills to deal with the situations and relationships they’ll encounter when they’re released. Some time ago I presented a seminar in the town where Michelle lived, and she invited me to speak to her prison group.
As these women filled the large room where we met their facial expressions and other behaviors painted a picture of anger, despair, loneliness, resentment, and frustration. Burdened and hardened by lifetimes of pain and frustration, they dared me to say or do anything that could make the slightest difference to them.
I began to talk about Real Love: How desperately we need it, how we behave when we don’t have enough of it, and how we can find it. As they began to understand the real reasons for the behaviors that had made them miserable all their lives — the behaviors which had put them in prison — they listened intently. And then the tears began to flow from everyone in the room, which is not the usual state of affairs in a prison, where weakness is often exploited. Individual women shared their life stories, and the women around them accepted and supported them. The anger and toughness and bitterness in their faces faded away, replaced with hope.
After I left, they organized into loving groups, where women could tell the truth about themselves and feel the love of those around them. They planned to share the love they found from each other with their families upon their release from prison.
There’s no excusing or dismissing the unacceptability of the behavior that put these women in prison, but we need to go beyond our criticism and understand how they got there, what they really need, and how very much we’re like them. We all need Real Love.
We all behave in similar ways when we don’t have enough love. We all have a desire to tell the truth about ourselves and be accepted and loved by those around us. We also have a desire to hear the truth about others and to accept and love them. We just need to understand the process and begin to create those opportunities. As we do that, we’ll find the happiness we’ve always wanted.
Replace your anger & confusion with peace and happiness.
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