Integrity – Love Happens – Love ! – Match Author – David Gruder, Ph.D

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Integrity – Love Happens – Love ! – Match Author – David Gruder, Ph.D

Dr. Burke Ryan is “A-Okay” in life, at least that is what he tells his audience. A self-help guru, Burke’s career is rapidly taking off as he teaches others how to be “A-Okay” despite pain and loss. Only one problem, Burke has never fully digested the experience of his own loss. And, until Love Happens, he is woefully out of integrity, something he desperately needs to resolve, if love is ever going to happen in his life at all.

Why is Burke out of integrity? How do any of us end up out of integrity in life? Usually, the process happens gradually. Often the decision to go out of integrity is made through a misguided attempt to survive when basic childhood needs are not met in life. That’s what David Gruder, Ph.D. asserts in his book The New IQ: How Integrity Intelligence Serves You, Your Relationships, and Our World. As children, he states, we all have certain needs that include: a need to cuddle, to feel validated, to learn how to handle painful experiences well, and to understand the value of the word “no,” so we know how to set boundaries and learn to respect our limitations. But, when we don’t receive these, we move through life feeling increasingly dis-integrated, or out of connection, with ourselves, others, and the world around us.

Though we have no understanding of Burke’s childhood in the Love Happens, obviously, like most people, something has happened that has led him to adopt a pattern of deception over the course of his life. Gruder relates childhood incidents that typically lead us away from choosing integrity (or wholeness) as follows:

Gruder’s List of Childhood Traumas.

Being intruded upon or violated by others.

Being abandoned and left to sort out life or make it through life on our own.

Being indulged in such a way we didn’t have to take responsibility for ourselves because someone else, or something else, took the blame for us.

Others stealing the attention from us so our pain or talents are not validated.

All these disintegrating experiences lead to feeling disconnected. To survive these horrible feelings we tend to adopt the following survival methods.

Gruder’s List of Ways We Attempt to Survive Trauma and Disconnection

Manufacture a Happy Ending Fantasy to give us hope and help us feel safe, connected, and accepted by others despite what has happened in our lives.

Create Rules to follow to help your happy ending fantasy come true.

Build a Pandora’s Box where you put everything (good and bad) that you feel other’s won’t accept, along with all your undigested pain in life.

Create a Mask of an acceptable self-image that others can relate to, and hope they won’t suspect you have a Pandora’s Box, or want to know what is inside of it.

Use Anesthesias (like drugs, alcohol, comfort food, etc.) to numb out your pain.

Certainly in the Love Happens we see Burke using most of these ways to cope. To begin with he is often seen numbing out his pain with alcohol. Then he creates a happy ending fantasy about his wife’s death that isn’t true. To cope with her loss he creates rules that he gives himself and others of how to cope and be “A-Okay” in life. Though he is encouraging others to open up their Pandora’s Box and confront their pain and shame, he has yet to fully open up his own. All of this leads him to develop a public mask that begins to crack throughout the . It cracks in part because he can’t live with his own inner shame, but also because he feels safe at last to reveal his true self due to the love extended to him by others.

Burke discovers then what Gruder reveals, that adopting the above survival methods don’t help us at all. They only lead to a greater lack of integrity in our lives. How to really integrate, become whole, and recover? Take the transformational route instead (what Gruder calls the adult path of development). Then Love Happens because we have allowed life’s wake-up calls (accidents, sudden successes, illnesses, heart-breaks, life changes, transcendent experiences) to help us cultivate the following:

Gruder’s Seven WisePassions, or “all-purpose life skills.”

Teachability (a willingness to learn what you need to from life).

Self Care (learning ways to truly care for yourself).

Discernment (knowing what does and does not lead to integrity and wholeness).

Harvesting (the past and integrating it into the present in a healthy way).

Power (cultivated in such a way you can use your gifts fully in service to others).

Synergy (knowing how to work cooperatively with others for the greater good).

Stewardship (discovering how you can use whatever you acquire to help bring
greater integrity and wholeness to yourself and those around you).

Fortunately, Burke finally becomes teachable (in the same way he helps to teach others). And, as he floods himself with compassion, and accepts compassion from others, he discovers how to better take care of himself. Through discernment over what was, and was not, his fault in his wife’s death, he is able to let go of maladaptive behaviors that cause him to avoid his pain, or lead him to punish himself unfairly. By at last taking time to harvest the lessons from his past, he is released into greater power to do good, allowing him to help people feel truly “A-Okay” in life. And, finally healed, he no longer pushes away people who both love him, and can synergize with him to help him accomplish what he is meant to in the world. The end result? As Love Happens and Burke comes into integrity, it appears as if he will be someone capable of making a real difference in the lives of others. In short, he is more likely to be a good steward of the potential gifts that may be coming his way from this point forward.

As for us and the areas we are out of integrity? We can also follow the steps Burke goes through and Gruder recommends. We don’t have to build up layer after layer of lies, hiding the truth from ourselves and others in an attempt to survive. With compassion and love something else can happen. We can be freed into integrity and wholeness. We can be freed to love and be loved.

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NOTE: This article is Copyrighted as of 2009 by LoveMovies! All Rights Reserved

Dr. Lisa Love is the founder of LoveMovies! and also the best-selling author of BEYOND THE SECRET: Spiritual Power and the Law of Attraction; ATTRACTING REAL LOVE: 4 Steps for Finding the Love You Want; and SOUL SUCCESS: How to Create Joy & Prosperity in Good Times or Bad; MEDITATION: The Path to Peace. Buy these books and receive bonus gifts at my website. She is also a Life, Relationship, Law of Attraction, and Tranformational coach. There’s a reason my clients tell me by working with me they get major breakthroughs fast! Decades of coaching and counseling experience combined with my extensive training and work with clients from all backgrounds help my clients make shifts in a rapid way. Contact me to discover what I can do for you.



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