The Courage to Risk Loving

The Courage to Risk Loving

The Six Human Needs

  1. Certainty (safety)
  2. Uncertainty/Variety
  3. Significance
  4. Love/Connection
  5. Growth
  6. Contribution

(The last two represent spiritual needs and all needs create a different meaning.  We should find the meaning.)

Those are the notes I made the other night as I was watching an online  film of Tony Robbins and Cloe Mandanes.  It is taken from what Robbins called “Human Needs Psychology.”  Robbins is a well-known personal change coach who, like me, used NLP to get good at reading other people.  I recently signed up to get his email newsletter and this film came to me in one of those.  I like his work, but didn’t realize that I would get so much out of this short film.

In the film, Tony and Cloe were working with a couple who said that they had issues around money.  By using that list of basic human needs, they quickly got beyond money to what the real need was.  The couple were two well-educated, aware people who had forgotten the basics.  Like me.

At one point Tony had them stand and face one another and do a simple exercise.  He had the man look into his wife’s eyes and touch her heart.  He actually put his hand on her heart.  They said nothing . . . just looked at each other. The woman’s eyes filled with tears as she felt him be fully present to her, letting his love flow out toward her through his eyes.  It was such a simple exercise, but as I was watching this, I got in touch with some lonely place inside of me that has been growing for a long time even though I didn’t realize that it was there.

The next night I told Milt about how this film made me realize that I was lonely for him.  We work together and live together and do all kinds of things together.  Sometimes, though, we can forget.  I was not feeling his love for me.  We tried to find the film in my email because I wanted us to watch it together, but for some reason it had disappeared.  So, instead, I explained the exercise and asked him to do it with me.

We stood up in our living room.  He placed his hand over my heart, and I placed mine over his.  Then we just looked into each other’s’ eyes for several minutes.  Words were not necessary.  In fact, I didn’t have to “think about” all the reasons I love this man.  The love was just there—between us—flowing back and forth with ease.  Like the woman in the film, my own eyes filled with tears.  So did his.  I could literally feel that lonely place fill up again.  When we were done, he held me for a little while afterwards, and I felt close to him, loved by him again.

Later we talked about how we are both secure in knowing we are where we belong, and that we love each other—but that it is possible to know this in the mind without letting the heart and body in on the sweet little secret.

Tony said in the film, “the feminine needs a lot of attention.”  I think that because I let my scholarly and organized mind run the business of daily life that she becomes a bit of a dictator.  I forget that mine is a feminine spirit.  The softer, creative, kinesthetic feminine part of me really does need a lot of attention.  Somehow I have learned that being a “needy female” is a very bad thing.  It isn’t.  This feminine self is part of what helps me to see into peoples’ lives and work with them the way I do.  I feel them.  My logical mind is like the operating room nurse—it sits there ready to hand me the right instrument when I ask for it, but it is my feminine heart that knows which instrument to ask for.

How sad is it to let a heart like that whither from lack of attention?  Milt loves me.  It is amazing, but he does.  And I love him.  There is nothing we had to “do” as we stood facing one another.  Love just rose up and flowed naturally.

It’s funny.  I was thinking afterward that this may be the true power of constellation work.  We think we must courageously face our issues, our lack, our anger and grief in order to “heal.”  In reality, what we most need to face is our love.  So often during a constellation the igniting moment comes from simply facing the one we love and looking him or her in the eyes.  Oddly enough, it takes tremendous courage to do this.  We are standing there vulnerable, heart in hand, exposed, and for one painful millisecond, maybe we think, “What if I look into his eyes and do not see love?  What then?”

But love is generous and brave.  It can take a beating—horrible abuse even—and still it flows.  It flows straight though hurt, bad action, time, death, forgetfulness, and inattention.  It cuts through the bullshit.

What would have been really sad would be if I had continued to isolate myself and feel empty and lonely when all that love is there for me if I only turn toward it, look into his eyes, and let it fill me up.

Love needs attention.  And the eyes are the key.  Try it.  Do the exercise with your child, your spouse, your parent, your friend . . . and feel what it is to love and be loved.

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The Courage to Risk Loving — 2 Comments

  1. Hi Jean,
    It would be wonderful to have you share the message of this piece with others. I hope to get a chance to see it when it is in print.

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