I have used this line for decades: "When talking of human well-being all there is is love and love denied." It seems to me that all the emphasis on work in the world, without the balance of genuine love, leaves us deformed as hell.
Without love, a person can become a magnificent work machine but have no kind of a life. On the other hand, a person whose solid foundation has been built by love automatically works to contribute to the fabric of society.This is what brings us to the Hoop, my friend.
Our topic is healing. The need for healing is created from the wound of love denied.Study the Hoop I'm about to describe. See if it makes sense to you. Test it out on your own experience, the ultimate yardstick. Once you begin to recognize this process, this Hoop, you will find that you can jump in at any point and still not be lost.
Any slice of life, any experience you encounter or come to recognize in yourself, will fit along one of the strands of this Hoop. Sit with it reverently, and it will tell you its secret.
1. Get Started
The most basic human need always takes priority. Our most basic need is for love and belonging, and healing is always about finding, or rediscovering, that central core, that island buried deep within all of us that is most of who we are. In terms of well-being, all there is is love and love denied.
2. Get Lost
If the need to love and be loved is not adequately met, the individual can't develop. That's the essential meaning of the word "lost." Lost means not knowing where you are or where you are headed. Lost means sitting alone in the dark because there isn't a scrap of light anywhere to follow.
3. Get Hurt
Once we get lost, we get hurt. We desperately try to cope, to cover up, each of us according to our different personalities. But in spite of that they are all just sticks thrown into the River, the restlessly ongoing effort to be found and so to find or rediscover what we were all made for.
4. Get Stuck
Follow the Hoop and see what happens next: we get stuck. Stuck means "can't move". The dynamics of stuck invade our innermost parts and become familiar. Whether it's being abused in a relationship, dying around food in one way or another, filling our bodies with drugs, shutting down all feelings, surrendering to violent rage, or isolating or hiding. These behaviors become our pimps, so to speak, and we jump when they beckon.
5. Get Called
How can there be healing if there is not first a call, an invitation to break through all the emotional and intellectual concrete holding us stuck in some dreary expression of diminished life? Any knock that invites us to move deeper into our humanity comes from the hand of God. The knock has a thousand different faces and forms, yet the invitation is the same. Once the call is heard, it is time to get up!
6. Get Up
To "get up" means just that: you make a start. Getting up doesn't mean all of a sudden you turn into a world-class sprinter. It just means that you are standing up, like a tender blade of new grass, reaching for the sun. After the call, there is a getting up, but no one ever gets up alone. There is surely a part of this process that no one can do but us but the problem of love hunger simply can't be addressed alone.
7. Get Going
Once we finally get up, once we see the wound and the systems that keep the wound active, the next step is to get going and keep going. By getting going, I mean just that: get moving and don't stop. That's the trick-keeping it up. An occasional companion on my morning walks says, "It's all practice. Simple as that. We are what we practice. You want to change something, practice it until you are there."