Love is the Measure

I took the Process when I was 30, living alone in the Marina district in San Francisco. Now at age 70, I live in Palo Alto with my wife of 28 years (also a Process graduate). Together, we have a son, 25, and a daughter, 19.

When we have family dinner together, at home or in a restaurant, we hold hands and hum a brief tone. With this small ritual, we remind ourselves we are a loving family of four, happy and blessed to eat this food together.

This warm family life was not possible for me before my teacher took me through the Process. In the stripping away of my negativity, he taught me two crucial things above all: Love is the measure of a person. And I have the power to free myself from the damage of my childhood.

Forty years later, those truths still guide my life. At home, I grow far more tomatoes than we can possibly eat. I happily give away most of my crop, these yummy organic fruits, to friends and neighbors, sometimes even to strangers. Their happy faces and words of thanks are even sweeter than the ripe, red tomatoes.

I do it for the love I feel and the power to share it with others. My teacher showed me that I can not give love to others until I have more than enough for myself. Long after the Process helped fill me to overflowing, the giving does not drain me. It fills me.

But to live from love and self-determination, I sometimes use a tool he gave me. When I procrastinate or hesitate from fearful anxiety, I hear my teacher’s voice demanding, “Who used to procrastinate? Your mother or your father?” or “Who was fearful and anxious? Mother or father? You had to learn it somewhere.”

Then I remind myself, I don’t have to procrastinate the way he did to be like him and gain his love. I don’t have to imitate her anxiety so that I am no happier than she was. This self-monitoring and self-correction works when I need it.

I watch myself and give to others in the many ways I can, because love is the best feeling and makes the world happier. That’s the living Process.

By Dennis Briskin, Process Graduate 1976