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  May 5, 2002

Primal Love

When people heal, it is not specifically because of a therapist's knowledge, the techniques, or any particular process they've been directed to use. People heal because they are allowed to be themselves and are appreciated for who they are. In other words, they feel loved.

Real love is not sappy sentimentality, cloying need, or coercive caretaking. Love is respect, appreciation, acceptance, support, understanding, and genuine positive regard.

Love means that we grow and move from an inner directive that is uniquely ours. Love means that though we can know and feel ourselves, we can never fully know what is best for someone else - because we are not in their bodies and feelings. Love is letting each person be what they are. And being fully what we are is freedom.

To be loved is to feel freedom - the freedom to be what we are and do what we need to do. If we have inner blocks and wounds that need to flow out, we are free to let them flow. We are free to let the inner genius of healing happen without suppression of any kind - provided that we don't inhibit the freedoms of others.

If we need to cry in sadness, we cry. If we need to growl in anger, we growl. If we need to yell in pain, we yell. If we need to jump in joy, we jump. If we need to sit in silence, we sit. This is freedom. This is love.

Abuse, attack, violence, coercion, criticism, judgment, sarcasm, condescension, ridicule, insult, blame, and shame are all ways of manipulating and controlling other people to be different than what they are. This is not love.

In the name of love, unfortunately, it is possible to manipulate others with flattery, bribery, advice, and caretaking - especially if they are feeling weak, sick, confused, isolated, or needy. Often the manipulator may appear to truly care. But if these actions require the recipient to be different than what they are, then this too, is not love.

My new granddaughter is a living example of freedom and love in action. Everything she does is self-evident. She feels what she feels, and responds to those feelings without hesitation. She is like a cloud raining, a wind blowing, a tree blossoming. She is a force of nature. How could it be otherwise?

Her mother, Teri, responds to Tayler's needs and expression without hesitation because her feelings resonate with her daughter's. By filling the needs that Tayler cannot yet meet herself, she is allowing Tayler to be herself. That is love.

To ignore a child's needs and the natural rhythm of those needs is to allow them to hurt. That is not love. When children hurt and are not loved, they find ways to hide the pain - and themselves - until the day when they are truly loved. When that day comes, they heal their pain by being themselves again.

That's mostly what we do in primal. We love life-as-it-is. We love sunsets, and rain, and birds, and flowers. We love ourselves and we love the people who come to us for support and a place to be themselves and heal. And just like a plant coming into sunlight, they grow. That's all there is to it.

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