“The glory of God is the human person fully alive.” So said Irenaeus of Lyons, one of the earliest Church teachers, late in the second century. From the website of NLP Marin, we read a similar thought: “We hold life and the full human experience of each person’s life with respect and appreciation.” The goal of Marin-style NLP is quite simple: To appreciate our human situation and to cooperate respectfully with the essential generosity of Life.
Almost all of us, though, in some area of our experience, find ourselves in a struggle with Life and what it seems to have presented us with. It can be a struggle with overeating, or failed relationships, or lack of success in work, or painful emotions, or any number of other difficult circumstances. These struggles come from the heart of our creatureliness: the deeper parts of the brain we inherited from our reptile ancestors, and which have a finely tuned—and very, very useful—capacity for the fight/flight response. When we struggle in fear over these kinds of issues, we can be certain some part of our brains is convinced we are in a struggle for our very existence. The stakes are high, and—even when we know that the struggle does not serve us, that it diminishes our humanity—we persist because some part of us is unable to get itself unentangled from the survival response we have honed since birth.
As a minister of twenty years, I have watched this experience of struggle in the individuals I have served. I’ve watched it in myself. I’ve noticed the anguish this contradiction causes each one of us, when we know that we are caught in an entanglement from which we cannot extricate ourselves, but don’t know why. Perhaps it was this entanglement Paul bemoaned when he wrote: “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.”
Interestingly, Paul’s diagnosis of this problem is similar to that of Marin-style NLP. Paul said it was the Law that created this impossible bind. NLP says it is our persistent self-disrespect which keeps us in the cycle. Some force, in both cases, which says “This can NOT be this way,” causes infinite suffering. We all need a way out, and more rules and regulations can’t get us there.
We have perhaps heard Paul’s solution to this dilemma—he speaks of the power of Grace which comes through the mercy and person of Jesus. What is Grace? Ultimately, it is the experience of something much larger than ourselves coming to us and providing us with the experience of release, empowerment, freedom, and infinite love. It changes everything.
Religions have different ways of talking about this experience, and different stories to explain how this happens and how we might access it. Marin-style NLP believes in Grace. It is convinced that Life Itself is abundant in its offering of life to all of us, and that it is happy to cooperate with us in the making of a better world for us as individuals, and for communities and nations.
There are some “bugs” in being human—the result of the wonderful catch-as-catch-can method of evolution Natural Selection has handed to us. But Grace exists to help us be “fully human.” Marin-style NLP is a graceful and effective tool for cooperating with that resource, and re-discovering our full humanity, which is already always present, now.
To discover the power of NLP for you and your human “bugs,” contact me for a twenty minute free consultation.
Leslie Nipps, NLP & Change Work Practitioner
Trust as a Way of Life…