Do you want to he happier? Are you afraid of being hurt in relationships? Are you aware of fearing sickness, of wanting to be healthy? Are you desperate for more money? Do you say yes to sex when you mean no - or the reverse?
If you answered yes to any of the above, it's time to consider your options. The Option Process, based on the premise that to love is to be happy with, is an extraordinary new way to discard self-defeating beliefs, to clarify doubts that have for years inhibited your personal and professional success. It is an intimate, dynamic way to release your own inner energies - including psychic strengths - that can guide you to a richer, more successful, guilt-free, and happier life.
The Option Process and Me
Life appears as a beautifully-orchestrated symphony. The sun rises like a giant orange eye flaming above the horizon. A sea gull soars through the morning mist and then dives toward the water below. The seasons dance across windswept fields, their mellow cadence caught in the movement of their own melodies. And then there's the rhythm of me, natural and self-regulated ... an easy motion flowing with my own nature.
But there were times in the past, times that seemed so frequent, when my movements were obstructed and blockaded by unhappiness. Sometimes for days, weeks and even years, I found myself tumbling over the cliffs of my discomforts ... occasionally being ripped and torn by the jagged edges, cut and bruised by my own thoughts and emotions.
Before the Option Process, I lived in a stop-start atmosphere. My doubts, reflections and questions oftentimes became indictments. Like those around me, the not knowing, the worry and fear infected so many of my activities and pleasures. I wanted peace, but believed it was nowhere to be found. I loved people, but always feared losing them. I created fantasies that most often did not come to pass. The world appeared to be filled with joy and excitement, yet, at times so much of me seemed unlovable. I had friends, yet felt peculiarly alone. I was happy one moment, confused or frightened the next. Life was an up-and-down roller coaster that I couldn't seem to get off.
These were the dams inhibiting my flow. And when all else failed, I would rely on dramatic comparisons to soothe my personal trauma. I would instruct myself to review all those titanic catastrophes I had escaped by accident of birth . . . look at the wars, famine, disease, earthquakes and tidal waves. I even fed myself the age-old axiom: "I felt bad about having no shoes until I saw the man with no feet."
Adapting and coping was the order of the day . . . yet, somehow I knew these were half-measures. I persisted in searching for more.
In the mid-1960s, I scrambled through college as an aging adolescent infused with ideals and expectations. I lived with Sartre and Camus, burned midnight candles with Kant and Hegel, overturned stones with Aristotle and Aquinas. D. H. Lawrence, Faulkner, Fitzgerald, became my brothers as I pantomimed my life through their books.
Bouncing in and out of relationships, I tried to contain my energy while I explored new contacts and delved into new areas of learning. Yet, beneath the surface of all this activity, there were so many questions left unanswered, so many riddles impregnated with fear and discomfort.
But discomfort was fashionable in an era when classrooms were filled with youthful beggars being led into the maze rather than out of it. Freud was still king, which left many of us petrified in the face of our supposedly black and mysterious unconscious which could, without warning, crack through the thin veneer of our everyday sanity and reveal a ghastly prehistoric apparition of ourselves.
Days, months and years were spent doing gymnastics on intellectual and artistic high bars. Aloft, yet grounded. The exploring was intermingled with doubt and confusion. Graduation from college was capped with a degree in philosophy. Then, graduate work in psychology. I was lost in a world where almost everyone saw themselves as victims. Like my peers, I distrusted myself and refused simply to act on my own inclinations.
Life, marriage and then the death of a loved one. At twenty-one, the fabric of my daily existence disintegrated, setting me adrift with only my ambivalence and discomfort as consolation. I turned to a Freudian psychoanalyst and danced my exterior dialogues on the carpet of his lonely Park Avenue office. The sessions continued for seven years. My chatter echoed against the walls of his silence. Almost drowning in painful associations, I waited for those few words which would dissolve the fog . . . interpretations for a lifetime served up by one who presumed he knew.