• Getting to the Root


    Discovering and Expressing the Whole Truth. A process for expression and communication

    The only thoughts and emotions you can heal, are the ones you let yourself feel and express. Life is like a magnifying glass. It reflects old pain and conflicts which are unhealed over and over again until that pain and conflict is healed. And nothing acts as more of a magnifying glass to your “unhealed” aspects than relationships, especially relationships which involve love. Love is a transformative vibration. It is the highest vibration which exists within the universe. Because of this, love is a stark contrast to anything unlike itself. Meaning, when love is involved, everything unloving and un-accepting and fearful about you is flushed to the surface and is suddenly easily seen. This is the real reason that our relationships which can start out very enjoyable, often turn into our greatest sources of pain. The closer you get to loving yourself, the more your old, repressed thoughts, beliefs and emotions will surface. The same goes for relationships. The closer you get with someone else, the more your old, repressed thoughts, beliefs and emotions will surface.


    The very purpose of relationships is to canvass every part of you that is not in line with love so that you can heal it and become a more whole being in and of yourself. Anytime problems or conflicts arise in your life (most especially in your relationships), there is more to the story than meets the eye. We will only ever get to the root of the problem or conflict if we are discovering and admitting the complete truth to ourselves. We will only have harmonious relationships if we learn to express the complete truth to the people we love. There are 5 basic parts which make up the complete truth in any given conflict. They are (in this order):

    1. Anger
    2. Pain
    3. Fear
    4. Understanding
    5. Love

    Most of the time, we only allow ourselves to be aware of and express one part of the complete truth. For example, if we go out in our car and get rear ended, we may immediately get really, really angry and blame the person who rear ended us. We may only let ourselves and others become aware of the anger part of the truth about how we feel about getting rear ended. When really the complete truth is much more complex and involves thoughts which correspond to all of the emotions listed above. Or, we may only let ourselves be aware that we are hurt or afraid due to a specific conflict, but never let ourselves and others become aware of the anger we feel. It is a natural defense and a behavior which we learn in our formative years, to only allow ourselves to explore and express certain aspects of the complete truth and not others. But healing comes from knowing and expressing all of it.

    To do this exercise on your own, you can either use a piece of paper or sit in front of a mirror. Pick something from your life or relationships that is really bothering you. And I want you to address each “part” of the complete truth relative to that thing that is really bothering you by answering these questions in the exact order that they are listed here. If you are using paper, you can write the answers down. If you are using a mirror, speak them out loud to yourself. Do not move on from one part (such as anger) to the next part (such as pain) unless you feel that you have expressed and exhausted all thoughts and emotions that correspond to that specific part. And do not try to suppress any emotions that come up. Emotions are healthy. Let yourself get really mad, let yourself cry, let yourself feel hope. Let yourself fully experience whatever emotions come to the surface without judgment.

    1. Anger What am I angry about? What/Whom do I blame and why? Whom/What do I feel resentment for and why? It makes me so mad when…
      I’m completely fed up with… I hate…
    2. Pain What about this makes me so sad? I am so hurt by… I feel so disappointed that…
    3. Fear
      What about this makes me so afraid? I’m scared that… It scares me when… Why does it scare me? What about this makes me feel insecure? What is the deep wound hiding underneath the anger and sadness? What painful thing does this situation remind me of?
    4. Understanding
      I regret… I’m sorry that… What part of this situation do I take responsibility for? I didn’t mean to… I understand that… I know sometimes I… What do I want forgiveness for?
    5. Love
      Deep down, I have the purest of intentions and they are… Deep down, in my heart, I want… I promise to… What are some solutions to this situation that I can think of? I hope that… I feel gratitude for I forgive… What do I appreciate? What love is beneath all of this that needs to get out and be heard?

    Here is an example of someone using this process to tell the complete truth:

    Scenario: I just got rear ended in traffic

    (Anger)
    I can’t believe that I just got run into; this day could not get any worse! I hate that idiot. I hate people. I hate when people don’t pay attention. People like that don’t deserve to drive cars. He should have his license revoked. He just ruined my day. I’m completely fed up with how stupid people are. It makes me so mad when I don’t do anything wrong and I still suffer the consequences. This is so unfair. I feel like killing him.

    (Pain)
    It makes me sad that people get hurt in this world when they don’t deserve it. It makes me sad that in my life the second I think things are going ok, something goes wrong. It makes me wonder what I did to deserve this. I am so hurt by the fact that it feels like other people have things go right for them, but nothing goes right for me. I’m sad that this car I love is damaged and that I get to drive around embarrassed because by car is dented in. It makes me look like an idiot. I feel sad that it feels like no one cares about other people enough to be careful. Honestly it feels like no one cares about me. I’m so disappointed that I’m going to miss my movie because I have to sit here and talk to the police now. I’m so disappointed that this night which I thought was going to go so well, has gone terribly. That just hurts. It hurts really, really bad.

    (Fear)
    I’m so afraid that life isn’t meant to be happy. I’m afraid that life is supposed to be about suffering. I’m afraid that I’m just here to suffer until I die. I’m afraid that if I find out that life is about suffering, I will fall into a deep depression and probably commit suicide. I’m afraid that I have no control over what happens to me. That one day everything can be going ok and the next, you can loose everything. I’m afraid that I can’t love anything or anyone because I feel like I’m going to loose it. And I feel powerless. I’m afraid that I am powerless to the world and to other people. That’s really the wound that is underneath it all, is that I feel powerless to other people just like I did when my father came home drunk and beat me up. One second I’d be watching TV and everything would be fine and the next, for no reason, he’d come in and start beating on me and I was so little, I couldn’t do anything about it.

    (Understanding)
    I understand that I have no idea of whether or not it is true that life means suffering. It is possible that I only feel that way because of my early experiences with my father. It is possible that I think that way so often that I only make myself a match to seeing proof that life means suffering. I regret that I got angry at the man driving that car. He’s probably having a terrible day to. It isn’t like he wanted to run into me. I take responsibility for the fact that I have not fully resolved my beliefs about being a victim, and so I’m still a match to things like this that make me feel like a victim. I know that getting into accidents is a risk I take even getting into a car. I didn’t mean to get so mad. I didn’t mean to take all of this fear which has to do with my childhood out on a total stranger. I know sometimes I don’t act like who I really am. Who I really am is a compassionate person who doesn’t let anger and fears control my actions. I want forgiveness for the fact that I reacted so strongly. I want forgiveness for the fact that I made his life way worse today. I want forgiveness for the fact that I added to the problem instead of helped solve it.

    (Love)
    Deep down, my intention is to help everyone feel better, including myself. Deep down, my intention is to heal the part of me that feels like a victim and feels like this world is a scary, bad place to be so I can find happiness. Deep down my intention is not to feel like I have to control everyone and everything, but that I can trust myself to create only good things for myself. Deep down I intend to know my own power and ability to create the reality I want. Deep down in my heart, I want to know this world is a beautiful, good place to be and that I can make it even more that way with my own actions. I promise to address my fears and limiting beliefs so I can heal them instead of go on living a less than happy life. I promise to admit to myself that behind all anger is fear, and look for that fear before getting angry at someone else. I hope that the man who ran into me is not unhappy all day. I hope that he lets himself off the hook, because everyone makes mistakes. I forgive him for making a mistake. I feel grateful that it has been brought to my attention that I have a wound deep down inside me that wants to be healed. I appreciate the fact that I am safe and the driver who ran into me is safe. It could always be a lot worse. I’m grateful my car is still drivable. I feel grateful that the driver took responsibility for his mistake. Honestly, I love other people and I want them to be happy. I want this world to be a happy place to be where we can make mistakes and learn from them, without being rejected or getting punished. Honestly something deep within me just knows there is something better here for me and that the world can actually be beautiful.

    There is not a single situation that can’t be addressed using this process. It is a profoundly liberating and enlightening process. You will find that along with the fact that you have discovered the root of the conflict (which is always about suppressed fear and deep wounds), the emotional purge which has taken place during this exercise, will help you to feel a profound sensation of relief. It is quite common to feel exhausted after this exercise because you have let go to a degree you are not used to. You have let go of the emotional charge and the need to put forth energy to conceal the insecurity beneath the anger and hurt. As well as let yourself flow in the direction of love and forgiveness.

    “Getting To the Root” in Relationships

    It is important first and foremost that we are honest with ourselves, but second only to that is the importance of telling the complete truth to others. Nearly every single communication problem in relationships stems from communicating only part of the truth (only one part of the five parts of the truth of a situation) instead of the complete truth (all five parts of the truth of a situation). For this reason, this “getting to the root” process is an absolutely priceless one to use in order to achieve harmony in your relationships. Ideally, when any emotional tension or conflicts arise in a relationship, both people involved in the conflict will commit to sitting down and practicing this process instead of engaging in any other type of communication.

    To apply this process in a relationship, both people involved in a conflict sit down facing one another. One person begins by placing the questions (above) which apply to the five part process somewhere which is easy to see (so they can refer to them frequently). The other person does not get to talk during the entire process. They simply practice active listening. They don’t interrupt or defend themselves. They don’t say anything. They just sit back, give the other person their full attention and observing the process with the intention of fully understanding them. The person who goes first, goes through the same process as was described above, beginning with anger then moving to pain, fear, understanding and then love. Expressing any feelings and answering any questions pertaining to the specific part of the process they are at. However, this is not done silently or on a piece of paper. Instead, the truth is communicated directly to the other person (the one who is listening) out loud. When the process is complete, it is now the other person’s turn. While the first person now listens, the second person must begin all the way back at the top with their anger and go through the entire process as well.

    Here is an example of someone using this process to tell the complete truth in a relationship:

    Scenario: My partner blatantly “eyed up” another woman

    (Anger)
    I can’t believe you would ogle another woman when I’m with you. I’m so incredibly blown a way that you would be such a total jack ass in public and embarrass me in that way. How dare you expect fidelity out of me when you treat me that way? I hate men that are misogynistic. I can’t believe I am still committed to you sometimes when it is so obvious that you aren’t committed to me. I resent the fact that if the tables were turned, you would not put up with me looking at another man. I’m completely fed up with our relationship.

    (Pain)
    It hurts me so badly that you don’t look at me like that anymore. It kills me inside when you make it obvious that you don’t find me attractive anymore. It makes me feel terrible to watch you look at other women like I wish you looked at me. It makes me so sad to feel as if you aren’t proud of me. I feel so disappointed that this relationship which I thought would always be wonderful hasn’t been lately. I used to feel like I was special to you and now, I feel as if you take me for granted and I’m not special to you anymore.

    (Fear)
    I’m afraid that you aren’t attracted to me anymore. And I’m afraid that if I’m not attractive anymore, then I’ll be worthless to you. I’m afraid that if you meet someone that you are more attracted to, that you will leave me. I’m afraid that I’m ugly. It scares me to think that the beautiful thing we had and everything we’ve been through together could just fade away because the grass looks greener on the other side. I’m afraid that I’m not good enough. I’m afraid that I’ll always fall short. And that makes me wonder if I’m maybe… worthless? And that feeling reminds me of the first person I ever loved. I was in high school and we were dating, but he met another girl who was prettier than me and broke up with me to be with her and asked her to the prom and because of that, no one took me to the prom. Instead, I sat at home feeling like no one would ever love me. Feeling like I would never be worth half of what prettier girls are worth. Feeling so rejected. And that hurt me so bad. It broke my heart.

    (Understanding)
    I understand the urge to look at someone who is attractive. It’s hard not to. I understand that it can be hard to be with me when I am so insecure. I know that to you, it can sometimes feel as if you’re walking on egg shells. I’m sorry for that. I don’t want it to be like that between us. I know that you think that insecurity is a turn off. So I know that if I was more secure, you’d probably be looking at me instead of other women. I am sorry that I am always expecting you to leave me. I imagine to you, it may feel like no matter what you do, it is never enough for me to trust you. I imagine the fact that you know I don’t trust you to be committed to me, may make you feel like I’m not fully committed to you. I’m sorry that I don’t share with you how hard it is for me to love myself. I didn’t mean to react so strongly. I didn’t mean to let that ruin our evening together. I understand that I am taking my insecurities out on you. And I want you to forgive me for the fact that I feel so bad about myself and for the fact that I am so sensitive.

    (Love)
    I want to look beautiful to you. I want you to be proud of me and to want to be with me and no one else. I want to love myself and feel like I am worthy and I promise to do whatever it takes to gain self esteem. I promise to learn how to love myself so I am not so sensitive and insecure. Because that is not how I want to be. I love you so much. I care about you so much that I want you to want me. I want to catch your eye still no matter how long we’ve been together. I promise to not take you for granted either. My intention is to trust you completely. I don’t want you to feel like I expect you to fail me. I hope that we can always express ourselves around each other and feel comfortable around each other instead of like we are walking on egg shells. Appreciate every minute I get to spend with you when we are happy. I appreciate it so much when you tell me that you love me and when you tell me that I look good. I feel so lucky that I’m with someone who I know deep down wouldn’t ever want to hurt me. The truth underneath it all is that I love you, you’re the most important person in my life and your opinion matters to me.

    Communicating the entire truth (especially the root of a conflict) helps us to release suppressed feelings and heal old pain. It knocks down the walls we erect between each other. It also ensures that our emotional energy is released instead of built up. Emotional tension which is left to build up within us corrodes relationships and leads to unhealthy behaviors within relationships. It is possible to use our relationships as grounds to heal. In order to do this, we must allow the reflection and magnification of our un-healed parts to surface. Once they surface, we must admit to them, express them and move them into a space of healing. If we are committed to doing this, our relationships can be an integral part of finding freedom and love within ourselves. Our relationships will be harmonious and fulfilling instead of a source of pain.