A picture of Mt. Everest with the title "I'm Shivering on Mt. Everest"

I'm Shivering on Mt. Everest

A couple called me and described their family. The two of them often bitterly quarreled. The children were in various kinds of trouble at school and otherwise. Not infrequently, the father hit his children and his wife. This was a family in…

Less Pain Is Not Happiness

Living with a High Level of Emotional Pain   Almost all the people you talk to are experiencing a fairly high level of emotional pain. They have little to no experience with feeling unconditionally loved. That lack of love guarantees…
The Spiral of Disability

The Spiral of Disability

Last year I saw Blaine, a man of considerable intellect and energy. He was CEO of a corporation and master of a relatively large domain. But he knew absolutely nothing about feeling or giving Real Love, so he felt empty and alone. One of many…
Stealing Love

Stealing Love

Margaret arrived at my home with her husband, Blake. Over the course of their twelve years together, she had emotionally shared herself in inappropriate ways—frequent texting, sharing of deep feelings, phone calls, furtive hugs and kisses,…

The Blessings of Pain

Oh, how we hate being in pain. Pain is the great nemesis, the most feared and consistent motivator on the planet. It is our interest in avoiding or decreasing our pain that controls our choice of partners, activities, addictions, and more. What…

Here Come the Monsters

Elaine called me one morning and said, “I woke up afraid.” Before she could continue, I said, “And here come the monsters.” “What do you mean by that?” “When you get afraid, Elaine, your mind starts spinning at a hundred…

We Create Virtual Worlds Where We Are in Control (Video Clip)

When the real world becomes painful enough, we escape to virtual worlds—video games and porn—where we can leave our pain behind.

We Need the Wind

Recently I overheard a man talking about his sailing trip, and at one point he said the sea was just “too calm for us to go anywhere.” Everyone bemoans exceptionally high velocity winds—in storms, hurricane, and tornadoes, for example.…

We All Want Our Wounds to Heal, but Without Pain (Video Clip)

There is no way to heal from the wounds of our life without pain, but trusting makes the pain much, much less.

Talking from Their Pain

You never have to take personally what somebody says. If they seem to be attacking you, they're always talking from THEIR pain, not talking about you.

Touching Wounds

I once had a conversation with Monica, a woman who had been severely wounded emotionally by her mother almost every day of her life with criticism, screaming, belittling, and more. She responded by manipulating people, arguing with them, and…

It Is NOT a Mystery Why People Do Bad Things (Video Clip)

We seem to be endlessly puzzled why people do bad things, and until we know why, the solutions will elude us. But we DO know why: It’s about the pain.

Any Form of Pain Reduction Keeps Us in Pain (Video Clip)

In order to eliminate our pain—and to discover who we are—we must stop treating the pain with addictive behaviors and address the real cause of the pain.

No Visible Character

Most people have no visible character at all, only a collection of reactions to pain.
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The Source of All the Pain in Our Lives is Not Complicated (Video Clip)

In psychology and self-help, the causes of our pain and unproductive behaviors are described in very complicated ways. Wrong. “I don’t love you” is our primary wound.

Using and Losing Our Gifts

Imagine that I tell you that a million dollars in gold coins is buried in a spot less than a mile from here, and I’m about to tell you exactly where it is. If you dig it up, it’s yours—a gift. Exciting, yes? But then—just as I’m…

Worshiping Pain

Katie was ready to divorce her husband, Roger. Neither of them had been unconditionally loved from childhood to the present, so they were both reacting badly to their pain—and consistently reacting in ways that wounded the other. They came…

Believing the Lie

Most of us have no idea who we really are, believing instead the lie that we are the sum of our reactions to pain.

Just One Look

A woman sat on the couch in front of me. Within a second or two I said, “All your life you’ve been in so much pain.” She burst into tears, and after a minute she asked, “How could you know that?” I took her by the hand and led…

No Joy in a Minefield

Decreasing pain isn’t nearly the same as finding love and happiness. There is no joy in a minefield.

Pain and Joy

If we can’t endure the pain inherent in learning, we’ll never experience the joy to be found on the other side.