Preparing and Enjoying

November 8, 2017

Personal Growth

Several years ago I met Sheila, who had recently divorced her husband, lost her job, and alienated her adult children. She studied Real Love, learned to find it and feel it, and asked me what to do next. I recommended a long series of opportunities for her to love people outside her family. In the beginning she resisted, wanting to piece her family back together first, but I suggested that she needed practice elsewhere.

Sheila sat in on conference calls, ran conference calls, acted as a wise woman for many people, and hosted a group in her home. She also got a job and sent occasional texts to her children, expressing nothing but unconditional interest in them.

Recently, one of her children asked to meet with her for lunch. Then another child visited, and another. And now she has regular contact with all her children and grandchildren. She called me to say, “I can’t believe this is all happening.”

I chuckled and said, “You’ve been taking hundreds of steps in this direction for years.”

“What do you mean?” she asked.

I explained that much like climbing a mountain, the best way from one point to another point—much farther away—often is not a straight line. Originally she had wanted to simply make her family whole, but only love could do that, and when I met her she wasn’t even close to being prepared to make love a reality in her own life, much less give it to her children. But she persisted in moving forward, sometimes with little or no evidence of progress toward her eventual goal, and the day came when all she had wanted was realized—and more.

We all want to be happy and to have richly fulfilling relationships, but rarely are we adequately prepared for our wishes to be granted. Every day I say that to someone, and they ask what they can do. “Move,” I often say. “Doing what?” comes the reply. Anything. Just get up off the coach or your emotional sickbed, and start moving. Only as we move can we gather information. Only as we make the effort and take the risks of moving are we entitled to the whisperings of inspiration that will guide—but not initiate—our steps.

As we move, we learn. We grow in strength and wisdom. We climb the nearest hill to learn that there are more hills or mountains beyond, or—on occasion—to learn that we’re climbing in the wrong direction. But all this is possible only as we take steps. Every step is preparation for the next, and the next, and our growth and joy increase without end if we persist.

Each step is more than just preparation, however. We can enjoy each one—well, nearly each one—in the moment. If all we do is prepare, that begs the question, “Prepare for what?” We’re here to be happy, and we can have that all along the way, enjoying even many of our flaws and mistakes.

More for about taking steps, see the following two blogs:

You Can't Skip Steps

The Step

Real Love book

Replace your anger & confusion with peace and happiness.

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