Lee Ann called me and said, "My husband is leaving me, our marriage is awful, our children fight all the time, and I can hardly drag myself out of bed in the morning." What can I do?
A few weeks later, Lee Ann called again. "All this really makes sense, but somehow I'm not feeling it. My husband is still leaving, my kids are still a wreck, I'm still unhappy."
"It's not unusual," I said, "for principles to make sense but not make a real difference in our lives. Love is something that we need to feel, not just understand."
"So what's my next step?"
I recommended that she participate in the many free conference calls available on the RealLove.com website. Also that she talk to some of those people individually and feel the love they had to offer.
A few weeks later, she called. "Still not feeling it. Now what?"
"So, the first steps—the ones that are least emotionally intense—aren't working. You've just learned that you need more. Get a coach—on the phone and possibly in person." And I suggested a coach.
A month later, she called, and I asked how she was doing. "Better, but still not getting over my fear, my anger, my feelings of being worthless. Now what?"
"Maybe more time with your coach," I said.
"I don't think so. He's nice, but I'm just not feeling a difference."
"Then you'll probably need an intervention."
"That's three intensive days, right?"
"Yes. The idea is to give you three straight days of feeling different, enough to really make a change in the direction you've been going for a lifetime."
"With you?" she asked.
"Could be. That's up to you."
"What would that cost?"
I told her, and she said, "That's too much."
"Then don't do it."
"What else do you suggest?"
"You could have an intervention from another coach."
"How much would that cost?"
I gave her a range, and she said, "Still too much. What else can I do?"
"Let's suppose," I said, "that you want to get from where you live—in Maryland—to California, and you want to be there within the next week."
"Okay," she said.
"I'll give you a map of the foot paths between Maryland and California, and you can walk there."
"I'd never get there in a week, if I got there at all."
"But it would be free."
"So what? I wouldn't get there."
"You want to get there faster."
"I'll loan you my bicycle."
"Take a bus."
"I've been on a bus. I'd hate it."
"Drive your car."
"Don't have one."
"I'd hate to ask for a favor that big. And besides, it's a long, lonely drive."
"And that's exactly the problem with your whole life. You're in Maryland, but you want to be in California, emotionally speaking—not that California is emotional nirvana, but it is a long way from where you are now. You've tried walking and riding a bike. It was too slow, and you didn't get anywhere. You've tried a car, but it still didn't get you where you wanted to go. It appears that you'll need to get on a plane, where the pilot knows where he's going and can get you there much faster, but you claim that flying is too expensive. I'm not telling you to do anything, but it doesn't do any good to continually complain about being in Maryland. If you want to reach California, emotionally speaking—if you want to feel loved and be happier—move. Spend more time reading. Participate more fully in the conference calls. Make phone calls every day, not so you can say you made one, but call until you find someone who actually helps you to feel loved. Practice being more trusting. Ask your coach to describe the obstacles that you're not removing from your progress. If none of that works, do an intervention. But do whatever it takes to get where you want to be."
If you're not happy, move. Make different decisions, as quickly and as steadily as you can. Make whatever sacrifices are required in terms of time, effort, resources, and faith, and you will experience changes in your life.