The Undefended Approach – to love and, more recently, midlife – is a path that dares to suggest that most people live in the basement of themselves, not daring to seek the treasures in the sun-flooded rooms upstairs. It is their birthright to live upstairs, yet they remain in one little corner of the basement all their lives, decorating it with curtains and throw rugs.
Undefended Love and Hidden Blessings use relationship and midlife as crucibles for the emotional, psychological, and spiritual development needed to experience ourselves and others in a way that is fresh, unrehearsed, loving, deeply intimate, and full of light. When we approach life in the ways outlined in this approach, all of life becomes a path to climbing the stairway out of our basement hiding place, into the bright sunlight and radiant warmth of unimpeded love.
It is not an easy path. It asks readers to put their personal views, tightly held opinions, tendency to blame, complaints about others, grievances, sense of entitlement, and the need to be right – to name a few – all at risk. The reward for this act of bravery is the opportunity to contact themselves and others with a level of directness and intimacy they have never known. This is not an approach for those who cling to comfort. Safety remains in the little room beneath the stairs. It is for those who understand that great treasure demands risk – to liberate oneself form the entrapment of all the false identities that keep one alienated from oneself and isolated from others.
Whether the doorway to our deepest, truest, most authentic self is through relationship or the developmental stages of midlife, this distinctive approach invites a metamorphosis in which our souls emerge from the chrysalis of our egos, enabling us to see beyond surface realities, go beyond where society and our conditioning tell us we can go, and touch the interconnected web of life. When we respond to the call and meet all of what life brings to us with an open-heart, the fabricated worlds of logic and ego are replaced by life teeming with aliveness.
Intimacy…can only occur when the heart is undefended. To reach the unveiled part of ourselves that is deep enough to express the most profound and untamed aspects of our being means learning how to love and be loved without defenses and without obstructions. It means cultivating the capacity to be emotionally present even when we feel exposed or vulnerable; learning to relinquish the many strategies we have employed to feel safe and in control; and finding the courage to love without guarantees or requirements. Through developing the capacity for intimacy in this way, we discover love as an abiding presence in the emotional center of our being, our heart, and from that moment on, we will never again feel emotionally disconnected, incomplete, or unloved.