This past weekend I attended a workshop that led to me look back at my growth and some of the pivotal points in my life. I want to share them with you because you might be on a similar path and understanding the path I’ve taken might make your own journey much clearer.
The first stage
As regular readers of this blog know all too well, for the first 38 years of my life I was miserable. Between my depression, my neediness, my two divorces, my dissatisfaction with work, and being scared and upset much of the times, I was a mess.
I wanted desperately to get better, to get over my problems. I tried various forms of psychotherapy, none of which made any real difference at all. Things only started to turn around when I took the est training in 1975. I realized then that I had been waiting for something outside myself to change and make me happy—more money, the right woman, something, anything—so I could improve my life.
My problems didn’t go away at that time but there was at least an intellectual shift to realizing that my happiness was up to me, that nothing outside me would ever make me happy, that I was responsible for my own happiness.
The second stage
Major changes had to wait another ten years until I created the Lefkoe Belief Process in 1985, which enabled me over the next few years to get rid of most of my specific problems.
But as those specific problems—such as depression, neediness, and being obsessed with what others thought of me—faded away, I started becoming aware of a subtler type of problem that I had never fully realized because these other problems had been having such a profound negative impact on my life. This concealed issue was the many upsets in the course of a day that seemed to be caused by people and events.
The third stage
In 2010 I discovered that these upsets were being caused by the moment-to-moment meaning we give to events as they happen, such as assuming someone doesn’t care about you and your desires if they don’t do something you asked them to do. I was able to create a way to dissolve these moment-to-moment meanings and the emotions they caused in seconds, which I called the Lefkoe Freedom Process. That same year I taught this process to 18 people in a course called the Lefkoe Freedom Experiment. I’ve since taught it to over 300 participants in my regular Lefkoe Freedom Courses.
After awhile I noticed that I and others in subsequent courses were able to not only consciously dissolve meaning very quickly as we noticed it, we got to the point where we rarely gave meaning to events and automatically dissolved it most of the time when we did.
During this period I stopped worrying about getting better and about getting rid of my stress and emotional suffering. Most of the time I experienced myself as okay just the way I was. The problems were gone; the stress and emotional suffering had disappeared from my life. I experienced myself as a truly happy man and was grateful for the way I had created my life.
The fourth stage
But it wasn’t long until I asked myself: Now what? Is this all there is? Is this all that life is about? I was interested in what the psychologist Abraham Maslow called self-actualization. So I created a bunch of exercises and processes that enabled me and others to move into altered states of consciousness, to experience life in ways human beings don’t usually experience life. Some of the results included:
- experiencing unconditional love for specific people, even people whom you had disliked in the past;
- the ability to deeply understand the points of view of others, even those you disagree with, by getting that any point of view makes sense given the beliefs and the circumstances that gave rise to the beliefs;
- turning both your work and your life into a game, so that you can play them with passion and excitement at the same time you are not attached to the outcome.
These personal experiences led me to create the Advanced Lefkoe Freedom Course, where I taught these and other exercises and processes to 55 people since the first course in early 2013.
The four stages
So to summarize the four stages,
First, from est I got an intellectual understanding that I was responsible for my problems—that they weren’t imposed on me from without, but I had no idea how to be responsible for them.
Second, the Lefkoe Belief Process provided me with a way to be responsible for my life, to get better, to get rid of the problems that consumed so much of my life, to overcome what Maslow calls “deficiency needs.”
Third, I noticed a more subtle level of dissatisfaction, the stress and emotional suffering that seemed to be a undercurrent in my life, which affected me to some extent almost every day, which I was able to dissolve using the Lefkoe Freedom Process.
Fourth, I realized that life was about more than not having anything wrong with me and I started to focus more on self-actualization. (Actually I had started this search much earlier in life and had experienced many glimpses of what was possible to a human being, but my primary focus had still been on getting rid of my problems as long as they existed.)
Can knowing about my journey make your journey easier?
I think that many people go through these same steps without realizing they are doing that. I wrote today’s post with the thought that knowing some details of my path might be useful to those of you traveling a similar path.
As a reader posted on my blog a couple of weeks ago in response to a post in which I listed the traits that characterize my life now:
Until I handled so many of those day-to-day issues, I really had no idea of what the goals you listed really meant. Of course I have read about them and I knew they were lofty ideals, but that meant very little to me as I could not see that forest for the “trees” of my day to day fears and difficulties. Now that I have cleared out many of those – much of what you wrote resonates with me and I do live there some of the time. Now I have a real sense in my own life of your list – but until that started to happen, when I could get a sense of what was possible, I could not have put that on a list. I needed the foundation to be cleared up to be able to see that expansive future.
I love you! MBK
What path are you on? Did describing my path help illuminate your own? Does it help to know that if you keep traveling, even when the journey seems endless and filled with effort and struggle, the path eventually can get easier?
Does my journey help you to realize that if you don’t give in to despair, there is—the use the old cliché—“a light at the end of the tunnel”?
Is it now real that a way of living that has seemed far out of reach is actually attainable?
Thanks for reading my blog. Please post your questions or comments on my description of my path to self-actualization. Disagreement is as welcome as agreement. Your comments add value for thousands of readers. I love to read them all and I will respond to as many as I can.
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If you haven’t yet eliminated at least one of your limiting self-esteem beliefs using the Lefkoe Belief Process, go to our interactive online belief-unlearning program where you can unlearn several limiting beliefs free.
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Copyright © 2014 Morty Lefkoe