Disconnection is the Dominant Cause of Emotional Pain

Restoring Connection Eliminates Pain

Philip Be’er is the author of Learning to Love – Your Guide to Personal Empowerment.

Standing upon the shoulders of some of our continent’s wisest teachers, Philip Be’er has developed an approach to healthful living that views the world through a “Lens of Love”.

The first six chapters of Learning to Love – Your Guide to Personal Empowerment can be summarized as follows:

1. FEELINGS & THOUGHTS ARE RELATED
What we know and what we believe shapes our emotional responses. Follow an emotion to the thought behind it. Then ask yourself: “Does that thought or that belief still hold true?

2. STILL FACE TRANSCRIPT
Find out why disconnection results in emotional pain and discomfort. Watch a short video that explains why we expend so much effort avoiding loneliness and seeking connection.s.

"Learning to Love - Your Guide to Personal Empowerment" is available in a variety of formats

"It's a book, for sure, but to get the most out of every chapter, approach it the way you would, a meditation."  Philip Be'er

3. VASTLY DIFFERENT EXPERIENCES
Adults struggle to grasp why children find it so devastating to have their feelings and their needs ignored. Isn't that odd!

4. VULNERABILITY
As long as we are dependent on someone else for safety, belonging and worth, we remain as vulnerable as a one-month-old baby.

5. CONNECT OR DIE
Although adults know that they're not going to die of rejection, that doesn't prevent us from feeling awful when we're rejected by a partner, laid-off from work or prevented from being with the people we care about.

If Learning to Love – Your Guide to Personal Empowerment!  has helped you, then consider hosting a Learning to Love salon series. Bring a small group of friends, family or co-workers together at a convenient venue to discuss one or more chapters each time and to review some of your answers to the exercise questions.

 

Study groups are entitled to call themselves “Learning to Love Salons” when they strictly uphold the following safety guidelines while discussing the contents of the book “Learning to Love – Your Guide to Personal Empowerment!” written and illustrated by Philip Be’er and Markus Fahrner.

 

Be sure to read these guidelines together at the start of each salon. Doing so is important for safety and for the cohesion of the group.

 

  1. The emotional safety of every participant is of paramount importance. Avoid judging other participants, what they’ve shared or how they express themselves. When you speak, focus on how you’re feeling about the subject matter or your reactions to the subject matter.
  2. Pay close attention to your own emotions, and take a break, if you’re feeling particularly uncomfortable. Only share WHEN you feel comfortable sharing and only share WHAT you feel comfortable sharing. Only answer those questions that you feel comfortable answering.
  3. Everything that is shared in the salon is confidential. If you feel compelled to share something about your own experience in the salon, do so in a way that protects the identities of the other participants.
  4. Do your best to stay connected to your heart and to stay in the present.
  5. Only one person is permitted to speak at a time. Use a talking stick, if this helps to maintain order.
  6. Interrupting the speaker makes the space feel unsafe. If you’re feeling the urge to interrupt it’s a sign that you’re hearing or seeing something that feels uncomfortable or threatening for you. Our goal is to become fully aware of experiences that feel uncomfortable for us so that we can safely address the real, underlying reasons for our discomfort.
  7. Each participant is fully responsible for their own emotions during the salon.
  8. Any pain or discomfort that you might be feeling will be coming from inside you. Unless one of the participants is kicking, biting or striking you, there is nothing that they can say or do to hurt you. This means that the person triggering you is only being a ‘mirror’ for something that you are struggling to embrace in yourself.
  9. Any urge or need that you feel to rescue or to fix someone is also an indicator that you’re feeling uncomfortable. Ask yourself, “What am I seeing, hearing or feeling that is triggering my discomfort”. Sit with your discomfort, compassionately noticing how it feels. Avoid judging it. Learning to Love – Your Guide to Personal Empowerment! explains why we tend to react in this way and what we can do to effortlessly change the way that we react.
  10. In matters of the heart and soul, every participant’s input is equally important and valid. If you find yourself reacting to something that is happening or that has been said in the salon use the opportunity presented by your reaction to learn more about yourself.
  11. We all agree to be compassionate with ourselves, knowing that we are doing the best that we can in this moment and that our best is perfectly imperfect.

6. SAFETY
With all this in mind, it should make sense that we associate connection with a feeling of safety. When we're feeling isolated, rejected or disconnected, we struggle to feel emotionally safe.

Compassionate Listening Summary

Scroll down for the full guidelines.

  1. Create a safe and a loving environment.
  2. Stay in the present.
  3. Exercise discretion.
  4. When you’re done sharing, say “I’m complete”. After about 20 seconds of silence the facilitator will thank you for sharing. Then the floor is open for the next person ready to speak.
  5. Focus on how YOU are feeling.
  6. Identify the real underlying reasons for your pain.
  7. Take responsibility for your emotions.
  8. Recognise that you are not in any real physical danger.
  9. Examine your judgments to identify projected shame.
  10. Get out of your head.
  11. Sit compassionately with your uncomfortable emotions.
  12. Listen to the voice of your inner child.
  13. If you could do things differently, you would. Be compassionate towards yourself.
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Compassionate Listening Guidelines.

  1. Compassionate listening creates a safe and loving environment where we can observe our own emotional reactions. This is an inner-listening practice, so listen closely to your emotions.
  2. We start in silence. When you feel called to share, interrupt the silence, and for no more than eight minutes, share what you’re feeling in this moment. Try not to talk about the past.
  3. For safety, everything that’s said and done in the group needs to remain confidential.
  4. When you’re done sharing, say “I’m complete”. After about 20 seconds of silence the facilitator will thank you for sharing. Then the floor is open for the next person ready to speak.
  5. Only one person is permitted to speak at a time. Speak about how you are feeling. Avoid talking directly to anyone else or talking about them.
  6. If you’re feeling a reaction to something that’s been said or done, this group offers a safe space for you to share what you’re feeling. Interrupting the speaker makes the space feel unsafe. If you’re feeling the urge to interrupt it’s a sign that you’re hearing or seeing something that feels uncomfortable or threatening for you. Our goal is to become fully aware of experiences that feel uncomfortable for us so that we can safely address the real, underlying reasons for our discomfort.
  7. Each of us is fully responsible for our own emotions during this practice.
  8. The pain or discomfort that you might feel will be coming from inside you. Unless someone in the group is kicking, biting or striking you, there is nothing that they can say or do to hurt you. This means that the person triggering you is only being a ‘mirror’ for something that you are struggling to embrace in yourself.
  9. Any judgments that come up for you indicate projected shame. These indicate a reaction to something you’re seeing or hearing that you find difficult to accept in yourself.
  10. If you find yourself analyzing what you’re hearing, shift your attention from your head towards your heart.
  11. Your desire to rescue or to fix someone is also an indicator that you’re feeling uncomfortable. Ask yourself, “What am I seeing, hearing or feeling that is triggering my discomfort”. Sit with your discomfort, compassionately noticing how it feels. Avoid judging it. When you share, let the group hear what you’ve been experiencing.
  12. Extended moments of silence provide an opportunity to really notice what is happening inside. If nothing’s happening, then check in with your inner child. Does your inner child have something important to share?
  13. We all agree to be compassionate with ourselves, knowing that we are doing the best that we can in this moment and that our best is perfectly imperfect.
  14. If you are able and willing to accept these guidelines, then raise your hand and say, “Hell Yeah!

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