I Choose Love
I wrote about Love being a Doing Thing a few days back. Sometimes the “doing” looks suspiciously like doing nothing at all. Especially when it comes to choose what to say – and what not to say.
Good communication has always been immensely important to me. Call me a pedant and I’ll wear it as a badge of honour. One of the wonderful things about coming to NO HANDS Massage courses as a student was the outstanding communication I discovered. Generous. Compassionate. Clear. Truthful. Encouraging. Supportive. As my journey progressed I discovered just how much work went into that communication – how challenging it can be to communicate in that way, how far it is from “normal” communication, how challenged people can be by “simple” concepts such as meaning what you say, saying what you mean, and doing what you say and mean.
But before I go on, please bear with me for a brief note of thanks:
Eric Berne: thank you for your genius.
Thank you for your wisdom. Thank you for standing true to your ideas even when those around you wanted to tear you down. Thank you for calling out that, in so many aspects of psychological intervention, the Emperor had no clothes on.
Even as he was developing NO HANDS, Gerry found many of his clients having very powerful releases as a result of their treatments with him. With no psychological awareness or training provided as part of his initial Massage training, he embarked on a 7 year journey to become a Transactional Analysis (TA) psychotherapist. Thankfully what he learned he integrated into the core NO HANDS syllabus so the rest of us get to benefit from psychotherapeutic-grade training, as applied to Massage, without having to train in the entirely different modality of psychotherapy! This training is now also available to therapists around the world – regardless of whether they have done, or intend to do, any NO HANDS training at all. That in itself is a massive step forwarded, prompted by everyone’s favourite (hmm…) global pandemic.
So what has all this got to do with my last 24 hours and me Choosing Love?
Well, at NO HANDS we are very clear about the agreement we have with students: we are teaching them material to support and develop them in their Massage practice. But the truth is that everything is connected. How can you learn about a powerful psychotherapeutic concept like Strokes, Ego States or the Drama Triangle and not apply this to the rest of your life? I’ve yet to meet someone for whom learning this material doesn’t seep into their life outside the treatment room. Sometimes organically and gradually. Sometimes with an almighty bang! (We do our best to help mitigate against those almighty bangs, but sometimes life has different ideas.) And this is what happened for me – my communication was challenged, honed and, I believe, massively improved.
Yesterday’s incident prompted in me defensiveness then aggression; anger then sadness; frustration then hope. I chose to use all the psychological awareness I’ve gained through almost two decades of training with Gerry and NO HANDS – and then integrating that learning into my life to truly embed it as knowledge – to work through the incident. To learn from it. To gain insight from it. And to Choose Love.
Because that’s all there is. If I choose anything other than love, I perpetuate the destructive cycles that result in abuse – of people, of the planet, of all living beings. And I don’t want to be part of those destructive cycles if I can help it – and today I could.
So I invite you, every day but especially as we go into the potentially fraught Christmas season: Choose Love.
Even better, support the amazing organisation that is Choose Love.
Thanks for reading
Master Tigger MacGregor
If you’re interested in learning about the core Transactional Analysis concepts, do take a look at our online EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION series
* Eric Berne was the founder and creator of Transactional Analysis