of Healing Love
Your Journey of Transformation
Philip R. Belzunce, Ph. D.
Lalei E. Gutierrez, Ph. D.
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Eight Pathways of Healing Love was lovingly written to guide and accompany you on Your Journey of Transformation! In this book, the first of a series, we share our insights and discoveries, of over 50 years of combined experience in working with individuals, couples, and families to provide you with the tools, supports, and resources that will assist you in both understanding and appreciating your own journey of Healing Love.
Why Now? What Does Everyone Seem To Be Exploring?
We regularly become aware that everything is moving at a faster and swifter pace with technological advances impacting our relationships and placing even greater demands on our lives, thus reducing the time or space we take to develop and enhance meaningful connections with ourselves and with others. It is now imperative for us to make time for our significant relationships.
We find that even though people attempt to follow prescriptive rules and directions about love, many individuals and couples all over the world:
have communication and understanding problems
have difficulty working out their differences
Some couples share with us that they experienced a moment in their lives where they had a glimpse of that 'perfect time of being in love', where they felt a wholeness that brought them to deeper commitment. Soon, however, they found themselves repeating survival coping behaviors propelled by a need to protect themselves from feelings of insecurity, loneliness, guilt, shame, fear, hurt, and anger. Perpetuated by a need for survival, in the midst of the wounding of human souls, we find that their yearning for an affirming, nourishing, unconditional, wholesome, healthy, and healing love still persists.
As challenges surface in a relationship, the human ego survival needs rapidly emerges and the individuals tend to instinctively grab onto or hook each other to survive, projecting their invisible maps or movies in self-preservation.
For all of us here on this earth, it is a journey of love.
The Challenges of the Couples Journey
Often, after a period of time that two people have chosen to become intimate or to marry, they wake up one day and say in disbelief, “Who is this person I married? (Sound familiar?) This isn't the same person I fell in love with. Things have changed and I am not the same person I was when I married. Who am I now? What happened to me and why am I feeling this way?”
Because the emotional pain is uncomfortable, couples want to get rid of the pain and stop struggling. The challenge and the surprise for couples is to find the seed of health in the intention behind the struggle. Instead of repeating the old patterns of self-blaming or blaming the other, of distancing and pursuit, or not talking and exploding, couples learn how to struggle in a healthier way.
Sometimes the struggle involves clarifying perceptions of themselves and the other and their relationship. We found that unsaid expectations, assumptions and yearnings eventually lead to breakdowns and disappointments.
We found that there are pathways that relationships take in their life journey. We will show you these pathways in Eight Pathways of Healing Love, and share what we have learned in working through the dilemmas and struggles in each pathway, from our own relationship and in our work with individuals, couples, and families.
In the book, we describe the Eight Pathways for you in depth and show you how to explore the challenges and values of the Pathways. During your explorations of the Pathways, we invite you to reflect on which Pathway you are currently on in your relationship with yourself and with your partner. We will also explain some of the challenges and obstacles that may present themselves along the way, and we provide you with the process options that help you to develop the skills needed to assist you on Your Journey of Transformation.
It is both wonderful and comforting to know that we can start our healing partnership right here and NOW with ourselves and with our significant relationship(s), with our partner, or with our spouse.
The greatest force and tool we have to heal our world is.....Love.