This three-step rule provides us with a simple yet valuable lesson. According to this idea, in life you have to learn to surrender. For when you let go, you clear the way for your own potential. Then you have to smile and allow yourself to connect with your inner self. In this way you breed optimism and confidence. And then you enjoy the moment and open yourself to all that is yet to come.
Jose Luis Sampedro has said that we all have a duty to seek freedom. But we all know that sometimes freedom takes a certain amount of courage. And we are not always prepared for this. As children they teach us that we can cross the street when the light is green. We learn to find the least common number of two or other common numbers. They tell us the difference between eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells. We get thousands of other bits of information that don’t contribute much to our happiness and personal growth in the long run.
Perseverance and change
The psychologist James O. Prochaska is best known for his theorem known as the Prochaska and DiClemente change model. According to Prochaska, facilitators should introduce us to two important concepts very early on. In fact, these concepts are two crucial pillars for understanding. We are talking here about persistence and the healthy process of change.
On the one hand, there is persistence. That is the ability to dedicate ourselves to a purpose. It is the combination of resources and motivation. Moreover, it implies that that person is putting time and energy into that goal or into that dream. Sometimes that commitment no longer makes sense. That happens when there is no benefit to be gained from it. By this we mean that you feed yourself more with false illusions than with reality. Now is the time to apply this well-known three-step rule. Now let’s see what it means.
Three steps to personal growth
We’ve mentioned it before. In our education or in our upbringing at home, there is no one who prepares us for change. No one teaches us what to do when anger, disappointment, or frustration overtakes us. That confused and difficult to solve emotional puzzle was forced into us. It was left there as if nothing had happened.
This common phenomenon did not occur in a Hawaiian city in the 1800s. They understood that the mind, body and soul were connected in an integral way. Because they saw that anyone who built up negative emotions and fought inner battles on their own eventually got sick. So to avoid the stress that led to physical and psychological ailments, they designed a lively and wonderful practice. David Kaonohiokala Bray described this practice. He was the priest who shared much of his native culture with the world.
The practice has to do with the black bag and the rule of the three steps. We will discuss them briefly here.
The black bags and the need to let go
When a member of the community was going through a rough patch, the group would come together and perform the black bag ceremony. That person simply said out loud anything that annoyed or worried him. Each thought was symbolized by a stone which was then placed in the bag.
After the ceremony, someone buried the bag in a secret place. Only after the troubled group member performed the three-step rule was the bag destroyed. This symbolized his liberation. And for them, the first step was learning to let go.
This practice is a key to our personal growth. Because it causes an emotional cleansing. The Hawaiian community explained it this way. Just as you clean your clothes, house, or dishes, you also need to clean and cleanse yourself of the emotions that are holding you captive. Because they make you ‘dirty’ inside.
The next step of the three-step rule is to smile. Smiling is not an easy task if we fail to let go of certain things. Yet it is necessary that we try. The reason is clear. When you dare to free yourself from negative emotions and cut ties with things that are no longer useful to you, you often experience emptiness.
It’s like hanging in the air. We realize that behind us there have been a lot of luggage and stones on the road. But what we have in front of us now is a blank canvas. To make sure that this blank canvas or emptiness does not frighten you, you must dare to smile. What is yet to come should be embraced with optimism.
Experience the joy of freedom
The last key of the rule of the three steps is the most hopeful and the most powerful: feeling the freedom. Let’s dwell on this for a moment. When was the last time you felt really free? This overwhelming feeling appears when there is no emotional burden inside that you have to suppress. There are no more black bags that poison our minds and grip our bodies. You are recovered and healthy. Enjoy it.
To feel is to embrace the present. It is having faith in yourself and listening to yourself, and being attuned to your environment. To feel is to live without fear. That’s something that we need to apply in everyday life just like that ancient community in Hawaii did. Because only when the person with problems reached the last step and felt emotionally free, did the group reunite and destroy the black bag. With this act, they symbolically destroyed that person’s worries, apprehensions, fears and blocks.
Think about this for a moment. Apply the rule of the three steps every day.