Love

consenting to love

Gorillas in the Heart

While at this outdoor retreat, I’ve been talking with a professional hypnotist about the methods she uses to help people move in directions that their conscious minds might make difficult. One of the common obstacles are blocks in the subconscious that make instigating new habits almost impossible. These are the kinds of things that you go to therapists for months to resolve, and it would be asking a lot of hypnotism to assume that you could just work through them, or work around them.

Instead, she works with them. She identifies that part that is throwing up the obstacle, and makes a bargain. It’s not trying to figure out why the block is there; it’s accepting that it must be there for some reason, and letting that reason be.

At the same time she poses the question: can we agree that this behavior might not be necessary all the time? That maybe we can call a moratorium on the block for, say, 24 hours, just to see what happens? Just take a chance, accepting that all the parts of the subconscious are doing what their doing – blocking or facilitating change – in the best interests of your whole self.

I wonder how hangups, mistakes, hopes and patterns around love could be changed – whether that means getting past them or encouraging them – by “talking” with them, rather than trying to get over them. It’s only a half-formed idea, but it seems to me to be eminently practical. If you’ve got a 400-lb gorilla in your heart, ignoring it is hard, and moving around it is awkward, but maybe you could start a conversation, and see if he wants to shift a little so everyone is more comfortable.

2 thoughts on “consenting to love”

  1. Well, this is rather the backbone of cognitive and psycho therapies. Unfortunately, most people think of ‘therapy’ and all they really know is the old-school Freudian thought of “talk ABOUT it, find the origin, then get OVER it”. But today’s therapy is so often about confronting and considering the issue and asking whether your responses are in fact useful. Usually it’s that at some, they did serve you a purpose, but may no longer do so.

    I recently took a wonderful collection of 6 classes for each: depression and anxiety. The premise was the idea of learning to step back from your emotional reactions, consider their origin, and discuss alternative options with yourself. Wonderful stuff that Psychology.

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