How Does Real & Lasting Change Happen?

Much of modern psychology will tell us that if we change our thoughts and our actions, our feelings will follow. While there is some truth to that — especially in the short term; real, lasting change only occurs at a much deeper level. Our feelings were born in the cauldron of relationship. Our traumas happened in the arena of relationships. Our shame affects our relationships and so it follows that only by changing our relationships (either adding to them or subtracting from them; finding new ones and removing old ones) will we create lasting change.

When we remember events we don’t remember the event; we only remember the last time that we remembered the event. When we remember events we can either retraumatize ourselves adding to the weight we carry in the present or mitigate the memory, creating a new relationship to it. In so doing, we limit the power it has in our life. Trauma and shame always isolate us. We are never more alone than we are in our shame or traumatic events. We need to bring secure “relationship(s)” (or love) into those memories. When we do, we banish the paralyzing isolation and create a connection emasculating the shame and trauma, making it powerless in our lives. Healing comes as we connect with others and discover love and acceptance from them. We are, quite literally, only changed by the power of love.

Stephen Grant