“What the world needs now is love, sweet love
It’s the only thing that there’s just too little of..”.
- Lyrics by Hal David
A year ago I wrote an article “Love as Therapy“, in which I argued it is love that does
the healing, far beyond any of our techniques. At the time, I sent a copy to my mentor
Frank Farrelly. I thought at the time my main objective in sending it to him was to
acknowledge his great influence in my work, but in retrospect I also wanted his approval.
Well it was NOT forthcoming. Instead, Frank went on a bit of a rant against my over-use
of the word love, which he said could be so easily misunderstood. He suggested instead
that I use various synonyms such as “warm-heartedness”, and “affectionate humour” to
describe those states which we seek to enter into and express when we work with clients
using Provocative Energy Techniques (PET). PET, for the uninitiated, incorporates many
elements of Provocative Therapy, which Frank developed. I’d said in my article that the
love, warmth, and acceptance I felt in my very first session with Frank was the most
compelling element of his therapy, and what I’d learnt was most healing in my work now. I
have to admit I was taken aback by Frank’s tirade against my use of the word love, and
the strength of his negative reaction to that article.
Frank said to me that love has many different shades and colourings, and I should modify
my language to what people could receive. Although I could see what he meant, and even
agreed with much of what he said, I felt hurt, and I admit I had to do quite a bit of
tapping to resolve my hurt feelings. However, I also felt an inner objection to his
position. That inner objection has stayed with me, and grown even stronger over the days
and months since. Now it has reached a crescendo, and I must say this: I disagree with
I’m making the case for love. Loving yourself. Loving your clients. Radiating love
towards them, and continuing to offer it to them through your loving presence.
Someone once said the greatest gift you can give another person is your presence. I say
when you are fully present with another person in a state of love and acceptance that is
where true healing occurs.
Ok, it might be easier for me to disagree publicly with Frank now that he has passed
away and can’t respond. But bear with me. Yes, I know that not everyone is open to
receiving love, and many have shields against it. Yes, many people can’t handle love in
its purest form, or at all in some cases (maybe this was even a problem for good old
As David Lake said to me once, “You can give people the good stuff, but can they hold
onto it?” Many people cannot hold onto it. They fear the good stuff. Or they have been
hurt before, some very badly and repeatedly. Some have many false associations to even
the word love. But that does not mean that we should fear using the word ourselves. Or
that we should not seek to enter into and stay in that loving state of grace which heals.
As Ralph Waldo Emerson said: “Love is our highest word, and the synonym for God.”
Perhaps if we do have the severe negative reactions to the word love which Frank talks
about, then we need to treat that. Perhaps skirting around what we really mean by using
watered-down words is just an intermediate solution? And perhaps this is just a symptom
of our underlying challenge with being able to allow love into our lives?
“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers
within yourself that you have built against it.” - Rumi
How can tapping help?
Tapping can help us to release the fear and other blocks and barriers which prevent us
from being able to allow ourselves to experience love. Tapping can help us to release the
body-mind blocks and inner objections to allowing love to heal us. Tapping can help to
release our connection to false associations preventing us from knowing and experiencing
the love which is all around us, ever-present and always available to serve us.
Start by tapping on all of your associations to the word love and to everything it
means. Write down everything you believe and everything you’ve learned about love, both
good and bad. Apply tapping to these beliefs as well as to your past experiences with
love. Include both painful and happy experiences, times when love was present and times
when you felt it was absent. Especially tap for any times when you experienced what you
felt was the opposite of love. Even worse than hate will be any experiences of
indifference. If you experienced that, I definitely recommend seeking the help of
another. For this work on love is truly a relational work, and it’s lonely being your own
therapist. That’s why I miss Frank so much, in spite of everything…
Now tapping is not the only way to remove barriers to accessing the healing power of
love. Consider this segment from another blog post of mine, this time about David
Berceli’s TRE, (exercises which initiate a natural shaking/tremoring process to release
the stress and tension in the body-mind caused by trauma):
I was still standing/sitting on the wall (doing the TRE exercises) and I began to muse on
David’s story… A world trauma expert (Porges?) was observing David’s work with a group
of chiropractors. When discussing it with David, he’d made this statement: “They were
able to let the tremors go right through to their necks because they loved you.” When
David explained this to us he said that Porges obviously meant that they trusted him, he
had rapport with them, and that was why they were able to allow the process to go so far.
As I thought about this I wondered to myself, “What if Porges meant it literally? What
if it was really feeling the love that facilitated the process?” Stay with me here.
I noticed that the tremors in my body had almost stopped completely at this point, as I
was “in my head” thinking about this stuff. I wondered what would happen if I were to
access the feeling of love. An image of my youngest son Callum instantly came to my
mind. As many of you know, Callum has Down Syndrome, and like many people with Down
Syndrome he seems to have a special ability at times to resonate what I can only describe
as a state of pure love. That is certainly what I experience many times in his presence…
As I saw my son’s smiling face in my mind I started to feel that wonderful loving
feeling that he both resonates and evokes in me. And then something incredible started to
Instantly, the tremors started to move right through my entire body in a way that was
amazing, rich, and deeply liberating. As the tremors moved through me, they began to
release huge amounts of tension from my back, neck and shoulders, and I became intensely
present to observing and being incredulous of the process.
I realised that this energy, this healing, this love is always available to us, always
present and willing to serve us, it is simply a matter of clearing the blocks that are
preventing us from seeing it, feeling it, accessing it.
You see, I don’t really agree with the lyrics of Hal David’s song. It’s not that there
is really too little love in the world. Love Actually (as in the movie of this name which
my family likes to watch every Christmas) is all around. The biggest challenge is our
lack of willingness, our lack of openness, the barriers we’ve erected within ourselves,
to receiving love, and allowing it to flow into our life.