Find and Heal the Inner
Issues That Run Your Life
Bill Ferguson

Finding and healing this hurt is probably the single most important thing you can ever do.

When you were a young child, you were pure love. You were happy, alive and free.  Unfortunately, you were born into a world that suppresses this state.  As a result, you got hurt, and you got hurt a lot.

As a little child, the only way you could explain these painful losses of love was to blame yourself.  In a moment of hurt, you bought the notion that you were worthless, not good enough, a failure, not worth loving, or in some other way, not okay.

This wasn't the truth, but to a little child, this was the only explanation that made any sense at the time.  You then hated the very notion that you created.  "No one can ever love me if I'm worthless.  Worthless is a horrible way to be."

The moment you bought the notion that you were not okay, you created a mechanism that would then sabotage the rest of your life.  From that moment on, the underlying focus of your life would be to avoid this hurt.

You may never notice this hurt but it is certainly there.  It determines your actions and shapes your life.

A good way to see this hurt is to notice what happens the moment you get upset.  Notice the immediate surge of feelings and emotion that come forth.  This is the hurt that runs your life.

Any circumstance that reactivates this hurt then becomes a threat that must be avoided at all cost.  To protect yourself from this threat, you automatically fight, resist and hang on.

This fighting and resisting then creates a state of fear and upset that sabotages your life.

In a subconscious attempt to avoid this hurt, you will interact in a way that destroys love and creates opposition and resistance against yourself.  Ultimately, the avoidance of this hurt is responsible for all your self-sabotaging behavior and all your suffering.

The irony is that the more you fight these feelings of being not okay, the stronger they become and the more they run your life.  You then act in a way that actually creates more of the very hurt that you are avoiding.

To see how this works, be sure and read the examples at the end of this section.

The avoidance of these feelings is what gives them power.  Here is a short exercise that can demonstrate this:

Imagine four large yellow balloons on the ceiling above you, but don't think about them.  Whatever you do, don't think about those four large yellow balloons on the ceiling above you.  You just thought about them.  Don't do that.

Notice what happens when you try not to think about the yellow balloons.  You keep thinking about them.  In fact, you can hardly think about anything else.  Your resisting keeps the thought alive.

The same is true with the feelings of being worthless, not good enough, or whatever your issue is.  Ultimately, these feelings are only a thought, but by your resisting the thought of being this way, you give the thought power and carry it with you day after day.

To heal this hurt and to be free inside, you need to do the opposite of fighting and resisting.  You need to find the specific hurt that you've been avoiding and make peace with it.  As you do this, the hurt loses power and disappears.

The best way to find your hurt is to look at your upsets.

Make a list of all the major upsets that you've had in your life.  Then find the hurt that's under each upset.  The hurt will always be some form of "not okay."

For each upset, go back in time to the moment the upset began.  Then move to the hurt and ask yourself this question:  "What do those circumstances say about me?"

If someone leaves you, this may say that you are not worth loving.  If you lose your job, this may say that you are a failure.

Find the words that hurt the most.  The more painful the words, the closer you are to your hurt.

As you work with your upsets you will discover that the same hurt keeps showing up in your life, over and over.  This is the hurt that runs your life.

After you find the specific hurt that you've been running from, the next step is to do the opposite of fighting it, which is to embrace it.

Allow yourself to feel the hurt of being this way.  Cry if you can.  Then, while you are feeling this hurt, look at your life and see all the evidence to prove that this is indeed an aspect of you.

Find the evidence to prove that you are worthless, not good enough, not worth loving, a failure or whatever else you've been avoiding.

The evidence will be there if you are willing to see it.  It has to be.  It couldn't keep showing up in your life if it wasn't there.  You don't have to like it.  You just have to tell the truth about it. Let it in.

Worthless is part of you.  It's also no big deal.  You are also worthy.  Worthless and worthy are both aspects of being human.

So allow yourself to be human.  Allow yourself to feel all the hurt of being worthless, not good enough, a failure or whatever your issue is.

The more you let in the fact that this is an aspect of you, the more impossible it is to run from it.  When you canít run from it, you canít fight it.  When you canít fight it, the issue loses power and disappears.

Itís just like the yellow balloons.  If you stop fighting them and let them be there, they go away.

As you heal this hurt, your whole life then begins to change.

Instead of creating a life of fear and upset, you create a life of love.  You restore the happiness, the freedom and the aliveness that you once had.  You see life clearly and you become far more effective.

In relationships, you can end the conflict and restore the love, one human being to another.

The process for finding and healing this hurt is very simple and very fast.  All you need is the desire to be free.

Example 1

When Rhonda was growing up, her father was so occupied with his work that he seldom paid any attention to her.  When he did pay attention, he would yell at her.  She felt totally unloved.

As a result, Rhonda couldn't help but buy the notion that she wasn't worth loving.  This wasn't the truth, but this became a hurt that she would spend the rest of her life running from.

To avoid this hurt, Rhonda would interact in a way that would sabotage all of her relationships.

Anytime something implied that she wasn't worth loving, she would become full of fear and upset.  She would try to control life and force people to be a certain way.

No matter how hard the men in her life tried, they could never treat Rhonda "worth loving" enough.  She would constantly be upset about one thing or another.

She would also hang on to the men in her life.  She had to, because if someone left, that would reactivate all her hurt.  To avoid this hurt she hung on.

Rhonda was so hard to live with, she pushed everyone away.

Finally, after her third and most painful divorce, she noticed that there was a pattern in her life.  She realized that she must have something to do with her relationship problems.

This was the point when Rhonda's life turned around.

It wasn't hard for Rhonda to see that "not worth loving" was an aspect of her.  She spent her entire life running from this, but now the hurt was so much in her face, she could no longer deny it.  The evidence was overwhelming.

As she owned this aspect of herself and allowed herself to cry, the hurt that ran her life began to fade away.  She then realized that "not worth loving" was just part of being human.  What a wonderful freedom.

"I'm not worth loving, how great.  Now I don't have to prove to myself and to everyone else that I am worth loving.  Now I can just be me."  She started laughing once she saw the joke that she had been playing on herself.

From that moment on, the hurt had lost its power.

Rhonda was then able to go on and find the relationship of her dreams, and most importantly, she was able to keep it.

Example 2

Mark spent his life running from the hurt of failure, trying to become a success.

In his attempt to avoid the hurt of failure, he would overspend and take unreasonable financial risks.  He lived in a state of fear and upset.  He lost his ability to see clearly and he interacted in a way that continued to produce more failure.

Finally, he failed so big, he was forced to face this aspect of himself.  He lost everything.  He lost his property, his office and even his home.  Failure was in his face like never before.

Then there was a moment when Mark let in what a failure he was.  He looked over his life and saw one failure after another.

Mark was forced to let in what he had feared the most.  He was a failure.  He could no longer avoid or deny it.  Success was also an aspect of Mark, but at the moment, all he could see was failure.

This was a very painful time for Mark, but the moment he let in what a failure he was, something shifted inside.  His fear of failure lost its power.  How can you run from something that is always there?  It's like running from your shadow.  You can't.

Mark was sad for a while but soon his whole outlook toward life seemed to change.  The fear and upset that ran his life was no longer there.  He no longer had to be a success.  For the first time in many years, Mark was able to be himself.  What an incredible relief!

With the fear of failure gone, Mark was able to put his focus on creating a life that worked.  He stopped overspending and got out of debt.

He continued to go for his dreams, but he did so in a way that worked.  As time went on, his dreams began to come true.  Now he has a life that he could never have imagined before.

Mark's life turned around the moment he made peace with failure.

Bill Ferguson is a former divorce attorney who has devoted his life to showing people how to heal their relationships and have life work. He has led over 2,500 programs and has worked with countless individuals.


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Yes, life can be mysterious and confusing--but there's much of life that's actually rather dependable and reliable.  Some principles apply to life in so many different contexts that they can truly be called universal--and learning what they are and how to approach them and use them can teach us some of the most important lessons that we've ever learned.
My doctorate is in Teaching and Learning.  I use it a lot when I teach at school, but I also do my best to apply what I've learned to the life I'm living, and to observe how others live their lives.  What makes them happy or unhappy, stressed or peaceful, selfish or generous, compassionate or arrogant?  In this book, I've done my best to pass on to you what I've learned from people in my life, writers whose works I've read, and stories that I've heard.  Perhaps these principles can be a positive part of your life, too!
Universal Principles of Living Life Fully.  Awareness of these principles can explain a lot and take much of the frustration out of the lives we lead.