Not Different, Just Love

by | Jun 16, 2022 | Self-Love, Highlights, Lineage, Mind Essentials, Soul Essentials, Start Page

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto on Pexels.

As an LGBTIQ+ person, do you sometimes struggle with feeling accepted?
As a non-LGBTIQ+ person, do you sometimes  struggle with feeling accepted?

And how often do we each think about what it feels like, to be the other?

Last week, I listened to a podcast with Minh-Khai Phan-Thi and Karin Hanczewski, two German actors.

Karin Hanczewski is also one of the initiators of #ActOut, a campaign to create visibility and acceptance for actors who identify as lesbian, gay, bi, trans*, queer, inter and non-binary, among many other things, so LGBTIQ+ topics were a big part of the podcast.

As a queer person myself, a lot of what got talked about in the interview hit home.

As over the last year, I’ve been focusing mostly on, what Michael Singer calls the human predicament, I have not been thinking about it much in terms of LGBTIQ+ struggles explicitly.

But it’s pride month, and the interview brought up some familiar questions and reminded me, that I, and maybe you too, could do with a bit more clarity, and love, when it comes to dealing with our emotions, expectations and responsibilities, around coming out, but also when it comes to our families and love in general.

(Karin and Minh-Khai – thank you for your wonderful work and for inspiring this.)

One of the very poignant questions that was asked in the interview, and that I’ll base this article on, was: “How can it be, that when we come home with a partner of the opposite sex, everything is fine, and if it’s someone of the same sex, it is not?”

For far too long, I asked myself and possibly other people that same question. Yet, it remained unanswered, while we shrugged at the sadness of the state of the world, feeling like this was an indisputable truth.

But now, it feels different.

At times, when I was asking this question, I thought that the world shouldn’t be like this, that we had to fight to make it different, that we had the right to be angry about the injustice of it.

I didn’t feel accepted, I felt like there were too many people against us and that no one is doing enough to change that.

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto on Pexels.

I felt that the reasons for why I was struggling were outside of me, not inside me.

I wanted to do something, to change the outside, but no matter what I did, the struggle didn’t stop.

Until it did.

While we struggle to feel accepted because what we hear and see in this world is, in fact, threatening our existence, those who are not personally, emotionally affected, barely think about our situation.

They have their own struggles and we all know how life can be completely consuming with all kinds of issues, that have nothing to do with gender identities or sexuality.

I will never forget the conversation with a friend of a friend, who, when I told him about some of the LGBTIQ+ issues I was working on, said:

“Why would I care? I don’t care about Nazis, either. They are both small parts of society, they have nothing to do with me.”

While not everyone would say it that bluntly, I do think many people feel that way.

For us, it means the world, to them, it doesn’t seem relevant.

Unless, and this is important, we start to understand, that while something might not be our concern now, it could be any time.

If one of us suffers, we all suffer.

Few people know how to open their hearts enough to actually live this way. They might be afraid that they couldn’t handle all the suffering of the world, or that they would actually have to change something about their current behaviours, routines or habits.

Yet, it’s the key to ending discrimination and to start seeing that every person has their place. To see that, every perspective is valid and valuable.

For us, as people who belong to the LGBTIQ+ community, that also means to come to the understanding, that while there are some people, who are actively against us, most people are simply too concerned with their own issues, to care about ours.

While this might seem discouraging, it is really more a reminder, that we have to take matters into our own hands.

We have a special insight into where society is going wrong. Because it is not just going against us – by going against us, it is going against itself.

Other people fight other battles, against cancer, unemployment, homelessness, racism, pollution, there are too many ways in which our society is sick, to list them all.

No one person can do it all. But we can all do something in the area that matters most to us.

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.

So, a simple answer to the question asked in the beginning could be that parents, who react that way, were up to the point of our coming out, simply thinking about other things and didn’t know how to react differently.

They, until then, had no reason to question the norm, or didn’t allow themselves to do so. They are simply reacting in the only way they knew how to react.

But I doubt that’s the answer we’re looking for when posing that question.

The underlying question, that is also there, asks:

“Why don’t our parents and society in general accept us and love us for who we are? How are we supposed to live happy lives, love and accept ourselves, if they don’t?”

And this is why we struggle.

There’s a misconception of reality that underlies that question, though. Consciously or subconsciously, we think that we can only be truly happy and love and accept ourselves fully if others give us permission, if others love and accept us, too.

It’s what makes not feeling accepted so painful.

We learned that we need some sort of outside validation for what we feel inside, when really that is not the case.

And as long as we keep looking for that outside approval, we’ll be searching, not arriving.

We’ll be coming from a place of deficit, not wholeness, and we will always feel somewhat powerless because we give the power over our well-being to other people or blame our struggles on our circumstances.

And we will continue to feel powerless and confirm everyone in their already inhabited positions, if try to manipulate or control the situation instead of changing our attitude.

Which is why I would like to invite you on a little journey, through time and space, biology, psychology, laws and everything in between, to find out how each of us can make a shift.

A shift from feeling powerlessness (even if it’s just in some areas) to feeling powerful.

A shift that will help us to take on the big challenges that we face in the world today.

Rumi described the shift that needs to take place to unlock that power as follows:

“Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.”

Otto Scharmer, the author of the book Theory U and one of the founders of the Presencing Institute, created a method (Theory U) to facilitate large-scale change in organizations, communities and beyond, which is what we’re going for here, I guess.

I’m not going to go into detail of the whole process that is suggested in the book here, but one of the key realizations on which his theory is based, and that we can apply here too, is that the outcome of a conversation, that might lead to a great change, depends on the inner state of the person going into the conversation.

In terms of what Rumi said, and applied to the quote from the interview, that would mean:

What if, when telling our families whom we love, we didn’t focus on changing their reaction (the world) but on how we entered the conversation (ourselves)?

What if, when we think about the changes that we want, when it comes to the acceptance of LGBTIQ+ people, we did not focus on the acts and words of other people, but on how we spoke to and treated ourselves and others?

What if we were to enter the discussion, the personal, the political, from a different inner state?

One that doesn’t expect others to change because we say something or feel a certain way, but instead would allow for an open dialogue?

In the end, it all boils down to the fact, that we need to lead by example, we need to live and embody the change, that we want, and by that, bit by bit, we will change the world.

And each of us has the power to do so.

Photo by Jess Loiterton on Pexels.

What do we need to change?

If we live our truth, if we live differently to what other people expected from us, we have already changed the world.

Yet, that doesn’t mean that we don’t also still struggle with not really feeling accepted or loved.

This is very understandable.

By the time we are ready or feel the need to come out, we have noticed and absorbed all kinds of fears, hate and discrimination, ourselves, or through stories about others.

Maybe other people have already noticed our ‘being different’ and we’ve been bullied for that.

We’ve heard people in our families say things, not say things, act in certain ways and we have a real fear, that they will reject us or have a problem with our way of being and loving.

We feel a thread to our existence, often rightly so. So, we put off talking about it and each time we do, it becomes bigger and more present and troubling in our head.

Our family members might or might not notice, but they are most likely also struggling with their own problems. Everybody has them, whether we see them or not.

They might not want to have another problem added to what they are already dealing with.

With everything that is going on in their minds, they might not have the capacity to deal with yet another thing.

But we want them to deal with it because we have to deal with it and we feel that they are at least partly responsible for our distress.

If we’re lucky, we know for ourselves that how we love isn’t bad or wrong.

It’s love, it’s incredibly exciting, extremely beautiful.

Yet, society and maybe our families, have mirrored us something different, all our lives.

So, we are struggling with somehow believing two conflicting things at the same time, which makes life incredibly stressful.

The stress gets even worse, if we actually believe that we are doing something bad or that there is something wrong with us.

Either way, we want to get out of this stressful situation and think that if our parents accept us, we will feel better and our internal conflicts will be resolved, or at least lessened.

But they won’t be, at least not entirely.

Still, not knowing that, we enter the conversation with our families with the hope, that it will resolve our inner struggles, with the need for it to resolve our inner struggles.

We also see, how not being able to be honest with each other creates a distance between us and them, when all we want is to feel loved and accepted so that we can love and accept ourselves.

To enter any conversation with that much emotional baggage is the opposite of a beginners mind, and leaves the other side with very little room not to disappoint.

We enter into the conversation, subconsciously or even consciously, thinking that our happiness depends on the outcome of that conversation, which is a huge expectation.

We think our happiness, our peace, the relationship with our parents and families are at stake.

Unfortunately, we also already know the outcome of this conversation because it’s what put us under all this stress in the first place. So, we enter with our defences up.

And if our parents confirm our fears and expectations, we do to them exactly what we did not want for them to do to us. We reject them or distance ourselves more.

Nothing is won, nothing will change.

But, how could we enter the conversation  differently?

If we entered the conversation without a need, without an expectation, but open and with curiosity, would that change something?

What if we recognized that, while our parents could support us in sorting out our internal struggles, they will never be able to resolve them for us. Would realizing that change something?

Likewise, if we recognized that we can’t resolve their internal struggles for them (by being who they want us to be), we might be able to assist them with resolving their inner conflicts, after we resolved our own inner struggles.

Which leads to the last question for now: How can our internal struggles be resolved?

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.

Changing our culture(s) by changing ourselves

The first thing that we need, to resolve our internal struggles, is to be very clear about the fact, that there is absolutely, 100%, nothing wrong with us.

There is nothing wrong with a person who loves somebody truly, honestly, deeply. There is nothing wrong with any of us.

We need to make very sure that we know that there is nothing wrong with having a crush on someone, even if they don’t like us back.

There’s nothing wrong with feeling attracted to someone, even if it’s not the person other people wanted for us or hoped we would fall for.

If we recognize, that we’re not wrong, but that we live in a traumatized world, which might make us believe that we are wrong, then it becomes easier to see, that our parents and the people who do not or cannot immediately accept us, suffer in their own ways.

They suffer from being part of a sick society.

Society has taught them to be certain ways, to believe certain things, and they have not yet questioned them and checked in with their hearts to resolve them.

But that has nothing to do with us, or who we love or what we do.

And we cannot make that right for them, no matter what we change, how much we love them or how much we want them to love us as we are.

To realize that, can be very difficult. But it can also be freeing.

Once we have this awareness, we might also be able to find compassion for them. And that is what can change our conversation.

So let’s see how we can understand their situation, and our own, a bit better:

The history of Homosexuality (extremely short version)

The way we deal with homosexuality now, has something to do with our culture(s), our history(s) – not with being human, with being right or wrong, or our inherent worth.

What we think of as homosexuality, today, is quite a new concept. It only came up in the 19th century and has since been criminalized for most of the time.

But only because it didn’t exist as a term, or concept before, that doesn’t mean that same sex desire or sexuality hasn’t existed before, it just didn’t have the same meaning.

Photo by Steh Nobre on Pexels.

Sex / Gender as a construct of our society

From a biological perspective, there is no clear division between male and female. It’s a spectrum.

While, what we would commonly understand as female is on one end of that spectrum, what we commonly understand as male is on the other end.

Yet, everything in between exists as well.

Stefan Hirschauer wrote a wonderful book about the social construction of sex, where it becomes clear that sex can neither be defined by organs alone, nor by hormones nor by behaviour.

It’s how it all comes together that makes the sex/gender.

Which is another interesting point to realize: The fact that we even distinguish between sex and gender is also quite new. You’ll see why in a second.

From a legal point of view, who was considered as male or female in the West changed over time, too. Genitalia (sex) only got involved in the process in the 19th century.

Before, at some point people were assigned a sex at birth and then had to confirm it or legally take on the other (as in their social role/gender) when they reached a certain age, for example. (you can find this and many more examples in Laqueur, Making SEX)

In the last century, as plastic surgery emerged, the rule became that when a child was born with a penis, that was shorter than 1.5 cm at birth, it was to be cut off and made into a vagina (for real!) because with such a small penis, later the poor man, would not be able to pee standing up with his pants on and would therefore suffer from humiliation. (see Fausto-Sterling’s Sexing the Body)

In my gender studies class in 2002, we had a visiting medical student who said that they were still taught, in their classes to become a medical doctor at University in Göttingen, Germany, that it was necessary to operate on babies who did not have a clearly identifiable sex, e.g. above described genitalia.

I think it is not allowed any more, but it has been a common practice in the West for much too long anyway.

It’s just one of the many absurdities that came out of humanity’s wish to contain, categorize and control things, which should be free to just be.

We are simply much more complex than to fit into these kinds of boxes.

When we look beyond our own cultural context, different forms of gender expression, which do not fit in our binary system, have always existed.

A third gender has been (and is visibly becoming again) a part of many Native American cultures, and also of the Pacific Islands. Often time, people in between sexes were and are seen as healers, as they have insight into both worlds.

There are Hijiras, a traditional third sex in India, Virgin Husbands in Albania, and many other forms of diverse gender expressions in many parts of the world.

In the West we know far too little about our wonderful human diversity and therefore think, what we have is the only way things can be.

How our perception of sexuality has changed over time

As mentioned earlier, the term homosexuality only came into existence in the 19th century (it was invented in Germany actually), and heterosexuality as a term or concept was only coined after, as a response to that.

Societies changed in these times, natural sciences evolved and again, categorizing the natural world became more and more important.

Photo by KoolShooters on Pexels.

Identity started to play a bigger role, and the newly invented or emerging ‘homosexuals’ did not want to hide or have heterosexual marriages and extramarital affairs any more.

Homosexuality, was made illegal all over Europe, but it first had to be invented as a category to even be criminalized.

(The same is true for race, we first had to make it up, and put it into living practice, to be able to use it to divide people.)

In Ancient Greece, it was common practice that older men and younger men had sexual affairs. They didn’t consider themselves to be homosexuals, it was just something that they did.

The situation in the Roman Empire was similar.

The same is true in many cultures, where women are supposed to marry as virgins, for example.

Often, the teenage boys growing up in these cultures have sex with each other before marriage (and sometimes continue to do so after), but only the one that gets penetrated is considered to be homosexual.

Many more different concepts exist here too. Different social norms in different places and in different times. Not one better or worse than the other, just different.

(Though in practice some might be worse than others for the individual. But we’re the ones reinforcing and keeping our oppressive systems alive, so it’s up to us to change our own and not to judge others.)

Love, Marriage and Patriarchy

Equally, we didn’t always live in patriarchal societies. Matriarchal societies still exist today, and not every culture organizes their heredity through marriage in the way we do in the West today.

For us, marriage is an institution, with rights and benefits. Because our society and with it wealth and power is structured this way, we want recognition of our same-sex relationships.

It’s because today it is commonly understood, that marriage should be about love.

Marriage, however, has not been about love for the longest time and therefore homosexuality as a category didn’t play an equally important role.

People would marry a person according to their status, to preserve their family’s future and then have affairs for love, with someone else, independent of their sex.

Even now, we find heterosexual couples, for whom status, fitting into a picture, making other people happy, is much more important than true love.

I mean, how many couples do we know who are and have been happy together all their lives?

Couples who have not just fallen in love at some point, but managed to stay in love, to practice loving each other, every day?

Did your parents marry out of love? Did they stay together out of love? Or out of a sense of duty?

Did they get a divorce because they realized that they were listening to society more than to their hearts when they got married?

Or because they never learned how to give and receive love? Or because they never learned to communicate their wishes and desires?

Do you feel like your parents could give you unconditional love, when you were growing up?

I think, if they were able to give and show unconditional love, we all wouldn’t be struggling to feel loved and accepted by them now, because of whom we love.

We don’t just have a problem with homosexual love, we have a problem with love in general in our world today.

And if we, the ones who see that so clearly, don’t address it, who will?

Photo by Barbara Olsen on Pexels.

What now?

Western colonization, and the resulting suppression of other ways of living in many parts of the world, may make it seem (to people growing up in the West) as if how we live in the West was the natural state of things.

And it’s for the same reason that, as part of our globalization, even well-meaning activism has continued to promote Western concepts in all parts of the world, so that other voices still have way too little room to express their perspectives and we all suffer from not knowing what else is possible.

This is true for how we love and live, as well, as how we deal with environmental issues.

The world we created and maintain doesn’t just cause suffering for the marginalized, it causes suffering for all involved, but from the margins we also get a better view.

Unfortunately, seeing more clearly, can also, easily, agitate us more, it can be frustrating. To experience and to see discrimination and feel ignorance over and over again, is really difficult.

It might also consume us so much, that it makes us think that we are the only ones suffering and/or that the others need to change, to end our suffering and that of all marginalized people.

But the fact that we still struggle to accept ourselves, to accept the way we express our humanness, how we love and desire, how we live our customs, how we feel about ourselves, is not just because other people see or treat us a certain way, it is also because we have internalized what we’ve heard about ourselves and that is what has created a conflict inside of us.

If we want to feel and love freely, we need to resolve this inner conflict.

We, along with everybody else, reinforce the cultural norms from which we suffer, if we continue to give them power, even if it’s just by letting them bother us.

We attempt to change the world, or the people around us, but we pay we too little attention to the inner work we need to do.

Yet, doing the inner work is all that we can do and the only thing we need to do, to create space for the changes we want to take place.

If we don’t live our truth, no one else will. If we want change, we have to embody and live it.

Photo by Alana Sousa on Pexels.

There was a study, which looked at the mental states of people who committed crimes of war. People who murdered, killed, tortured.

They found that only those suffered mental health problems after, who had come to the conclusion that what they had been doing was wrong.

People don’t suffer from discriminating against others (or worse), if they don’t realize that what they are doing is wrong.

We, however, suffer because we think, subconsciously or consciously, that there is something wrong with us, even when there is not.

If we truly believed we were fine, we wouldn’t care so much about what other people said or thought.

Homosexual attraction and love have existed at any point in human history in every place around the world. It exists among animals and it exists among us.

It should not be a reason for anyone to even blink.

People are blinking, and worse because they learned to do so. But we can unlearn this, too.

If we look into our hearts, we know there’s nothing wrong with love. It’s universal truth, universal love.

Love is the most beautiful thing.

No one who loves unconditionally is wrong, what society has been telling us about ourselves is wrong.

Because we are a part of that society, with changing ourselves, we change society too.

self-actualization coaching, wman on green field in the raining looking free

Photo by Marcelo Chagas on Pexels.

Why our parents struggle

Let’s come back to the question from the beginning: “How can it be, that when we come home with a partner of the opposite sex, everything is fine, and if it’s someone of the same sex, it is not fine?”

We already looked at the fact, that we most likely knew the outcome of the conversation before we entered into it.

But why do our parents react and feel that way? Why didn’t they question their beliefs before? Why do we have to do the work?

Homosexuality has been illegal in Germany until 1969. In the Soviet Union it was illegal until the fall of the Soviet Union and remained illegal in Russia until 1993, and it is illegal there now. We can see similar situations in many other parts of the world.

Most likely, our parents saw and heard about people getting imprisoned for homosexuality in their lifetimes. They saw people get publicly shamed, losing their jobs, their livelihood, getting ostracized.

Most likely, they were told in schools or churches that homosexuality is a sin. That to have feelings for a person of the same sex was wrong. I mean, to an extent, I was told that.

They grew up and probably still live, with a lot of unresolved fear and shame around homosexuality, and often, any kind of sexuality.

If they didn’t have a personal reason, if they didn’t get the same gift we got, of experiencing pure (homosexual) love, to know for themselves that there is absolutely nothing wrong with it – why and based on what would they have been able to unpack the prejudices and norms of society?

Photo by Elina Fairytale on Pexels.

If we have insecurities around this topic, why wouldn’t they have them too?

The same way, they have transmitted their fears and beliefs onto us, somebody has transmitted these fears and beliefs onto them.

They didn’t just invent and practice them because they felt like it was the right thing to do.

They just didn’t have the capacities or the opportunity to question it.

They, the same way we did, subconsciously or consciously connected homosexuality to shame, suffering and fear. They don’t want their children to suffer and struggle.

I do honestly think that many people don’t really take the time, to think about, what it might be like for the other person. They don’t think about the fact, that we may just naturally feel a certain way and feel good about it and want to explore that.

Especially if they did not allow themselves to listen to their own feelings, explore their desires, or think about creative new ways of how to live and be happier and to allow for a full discovery or actualization of the self and for flourishing.

We aren’t the only ones suffering from this kind of miscommunication with our families.

Minh-Khai was pointing this out in the interview as well, by recalling how troubling it was for her family, when she did not get married to her male partner for a long time, or that they separated even after they had a son.

It wasn’t what people with her cultural background were supposed to do. But she had to do it for her own well-being and the well-being of her son and her ex-partner.

The same way that we have to come out and go our own ways.

There are so many ways to disappoint. Children, no children, marriage to the wrong person, no marriage, moving away, not moving out, wrong career, no career, an endless list.

And our parents might not be happy with any choice that we make, if they’re not happy about their choices and their lives themselves.

We’re the lucky ones

We have received a fantastic gift. Every single one of us. We have the gift to love.

It’s an incredible gift to know and experience true love and desire, but we have to allow ourselves to have these experiences and to enjoy them.

That is the work we have to do. To unlearn the shame and the fear.

We are incredibly lucky to feel free and safe enough to not just follow the rules. We have the chance, or are willing to take the risk, to stop to suppress our true feelings.

We get to make decisions that minimize suffering for ourselves and those directly involved.

We are incredibly lucky if we find ourselves in the position to be able to decide to love the way we want, instead of sticking to the cultural norms.

Our parents most likely did not feel like they had those choices. They did what they could in the areas that they had access to. Or they just tried to somehow get by because that’s all they had the energy for.

Standing on the shoulders of giants

Thanks to our parents and grandparents, our society has evolved in such a way that we don’t have to continue to suppress our feelings, that we have more freedom and safety.

Now we, them, generations before them and us might have also put into place and maintained discriminatory laws and practices, but none of us will be able to rewrite that past. (Or maybe we are, but that’s for a different post 🙂 )

For now, we can say it’s difficult to change the past, but not so difficult to change the here and now (and then, with that, possibly we can also change the way in which we see the past).

And we can forgive. We can forgive ourselves for feeling so troubled, we can forgive others for not knowing, for acting the way they did, not knowing any better.

And we can come to realize that we have all the power to change the here and now with every interaction, that we have and that we enter with love for ourselves and for the other.

But for that, we need to recognize our own worth, our right to exist as we are, independent of what the outside tells us. And we need to extend that same right to everybody else.

We’re not free from making mistakes, but we are free to learn, practice and get better at what we are doing. And we are lucky that we get to experience that and get to learn so many things and grow in so many ways.

We can open our societies for more change, with campaigns like #ActOut because enough people already feel safe enough to be out and proud. We can lead by example.

We can also create change, by refusing to live in a way that goes against our inherent individual human expression and to overcome the shame and conflicts around that. Which is leading by example, too.

We have many choices and opportunities that our parents didn’t think they had.

self-actualization coaching, wman on green field in the raining looking free

Photo by Artem Beliaikin on Pexels.

What do we really want?

What I heard in the interview and what I know from myself and working in this field for around 20 years, is that what we really want is to be loved and accepted.

Most likely that is what our parents want for us and for themselves too.

If we enter a conversation, whether it’s our coming out or any other difficult conversation, thinking that our well-being depends on the outcome of the conversation, chances are high, that we will get disappointed.

If we try to manipulate and control the situation to get our way, and get angry if we don’t get what we want, we give our power away, and reinforce feeling powerless.

If we enter into the conversation with our defences up, we might cause the opposite of what we want: more division, less understanding, less love.

Only if we understand that we are responsible for our own well-being and that we are the only ones who can resolve our internal struggles, we can enter the conversation differently.

Only if we start to shape our societies, by being living examples of what is possible, become settled, grounded in that, we can enter into an open conversation without fear.

Our parents might not have been very good at showing their love, at practising unconditional love, but it doesn’t mean that they can’t learn.

They might have never had the chance to learn it from their own parents, or with their partner(s).

To learn how to give and receive love freely might take some practice for us, too.

But if we want to be happy and free and loved and love, we can start practising with ourselves and amongst those closest to us.

So, that with some time, we can extend a hand and share what we’ve learned with others.

The other option is to continue to not do the inner work, to struggle with feeling misunderstood in the relationship with our parents, in our closest relationships and in  relation with the world.

If we don’t put in the effort to break our patterns, if we wait for something or someone on the outside to change, we will continue to relive the same struggles, until we do the necessary work of resolving our inner conflicts.

Not everybody will be able to resolve things with their parents because the willingness has to be there on both sides.

So, when resolving things with our families is not an option, it’s even more important to resolve things for ourselves.

And then from there, we can see if we can find a way to love each other and also to disagree with each other.

If we have enough love for ourselves, we can love and disagree. But if we don’t, disagreement on what seems essential to us feels like a threat.

Photo by Hassan OUAJBIR on Pexels.

If love and acceptance for who we are, is what we are looking for, then we have to find that in ourselves first to then be able to practice it with everybody else too.

If we want to see change, then we might have to allow people to ask ‘stupid questions’ or voice their concerns, no matter how much we don’t want to hear them.

Only if it’s all out in the open, can it be resolved. If we keep suppressing our feelings, our questions, fears, hopes, they will keep separating us.

If we enter the conversation with a different inner state, we will get a different outcome and with that, might actually get what we want, and possibly, quite likely, have a much bigger impact too.

Now, what are you going to do first?

I can’t wait to see.

I love you, and I wish you a powerful day.

And I have a hope, a dream, that you will get to resolve all your inner conflicts, live and love freely and step into your full power.

If you’d like some support with that, write me to apply for a free 30-min consultation.

Begin Your Self-Actualization Journey today

Coaching-sessions

Sessions take place online via zoom, no matter where you are. All you need is a computer or mobile device with internet connection.

safe &confidential

Before the sessions start, you'll sign a coaching contract so that responsibilities and boundaries are clearly defined.

Recordings & Materials

Sessions can be recorded for review at a later point. If relevant, I will provide PDFs and other resources to support you on your self-actualization journey.

BE FREE. Live your life with love.

A Magical Year invites you to a twelve-month journey full of exploration, love and liberation.

„I had a virtual meeting with Verena, and I felt really safe and comfortable opening up about my struggles with Verena.
She is such a good listener and she shared with me a list of practical and efficient tools/solutions to change my mindset and the way I talk to myself. It was eye-opening. I totally recommend talking to her - her expertise can be a precious resource for everyone!“ - Francesco

I am at a stage in my life where I can (and want to) make a shift, but struggle envisioning the right direction to take and the action needed. Verena helped me to focus on my desires and what is keeping me stuck. Her approach is sympathetic, calm and down-to earth. It felt like she truly wanted to work with me towards my goals and my wellbeing, through small, concrete steps and kindness. She made me feel more confident, and now the change seems more approachable. – Elena

Verena holds compassion for herself and for me, listens and allows space and treats me as an equal.
She shows up with curiosity & presence, reminds me to listen to what's important to me, suggests simple, manageable practices, giving me concrete things to work with, all in one 60-minute call. Thank you again for this gift! – em

I always admired Verena's ability to bring together people of very diverse backgrounds and give others the space and the freedom to be who they are and to express themselves. It was amazing to watch her transform her life and herself and become much happier in the process. – Corinna

I’m so thankful for the email you sent yesterday about being a conscious digital citizen. 🙂 It really sparked my day and I must have agreed with every word you said […] maybe even more as I am opening up to start presenting my thoughts and work online to wider audiences, it is so important to be concise about adequate behaviour in the digital world and lead by example 😉 Thank you for reminding me of that! 🙂 😉 – Luisa

Find out how you can Start to Live your Best Life

with Self-Actualization Coaching

The three Elements of well-being:

Physical Well-being // Body

To fulfil our physiological needs, we need enough sleep, good food and enough exercise.

We also need a safe place to live and be.

I always think of Virginia Woolf's quote: “A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.”

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Woman standing looking over landscape and sunset- this is what it can look like to live your best life

Mental Well-being // Mind

Our mental well-being is usually linked to our physical well-being and vice versa.

Once we know how to take care of ourselves in terms of food, sleep and exercise, we can learn to develop a strong and positive relationship with ourselves mentally as well.

We can start to change and train the way we think of ourselves, ...

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Relational Well-being // Soul

The work always starts with ourselves, but ends with being able to be fully present in community.

But once our inner work is (mostly) done, we can safely, lovingly and joyfully be with others and inspire and uplift.

We can learn to live in the freedom ...

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Start Living your Best Life with Self-Actualization Coaching

Start Living your Best Life with Self-Actualization Coaching

Self-Actualization Coaching is designed to help you to start living your best life.

Born out of the positive psychology movement, Self-Actualization Coaching focuses on how positive changes can be achieved, rather than why things are the way they are and what caused them.

With this approach, it offers an alternative to traditional therapy and can be especially useful to those, who have not reached the results they hoped for with psychoanalysis or cognitive behavioural therapy.

It is practical, works with small and concrete steps, which can cause significant changes and can help anyone to work towards becoming the best version of themselves, and to develop and explore their full potential.

read more