Reading a fascinating book today, “The Tools,” by Phil Stutz and Barry Michels. Have you ever noticed that there is a pattern that repeats itself in your relationships? Do you find yourself fighting about the same thing with a different person? Do all of your relationships end because of the same reasons…she’s too jealous, she’s too emotional and needy, she’s doesn’t appreciate me?

Stutz and Michels will tell you that you’re in “The Maze.” I’ve been there – many times! The Maze is a state that you get into in your head where you become obsessed with someone who has “wronged” you. You curse them, you argue with them, you plot your revenge. The problem is you become so obsessed with thinking about what happened and how hurt you are, that you literally stop living your life and you can’t move forward.

I just had this happen to me a few nights ago! My boyfriend and I were driving back from the shore after a great day of wine tasting and dinner. We were on a two lane highway following a tractor trailer. The truck started to slow down, so my boyfriend moved into the passing lane with the intent to pass the truck. As soon as he did that, the truck put on his blinker to move into the passing lane as well. Now I would have slowed down, because I would have assumed that the trucker may not see me. My boyfriend, however, speeds up to try and pass the truck. I’m screaming at him – “why are you playing chicken with a tractor trailer!!??” – so he slows down and sure enough the truck does pull over in front of us. Now I’m pissed, and spend the entire rest of the drive not speaking to him, thinking things like, “I hate the way he drives, he’s trying to get us killed, I should just drive all the time.” IN THE MAZE…

I realized that my life had stopped for an hour while I ran through all these scenarios in my head. All I was doing was hurting myself, regardless of whether or not my boyfriend had actually done anything wrong. I’m just a more conservative driver. When you’re in the Maze, you literally forget everything good about the other person – all you can think about is the wrong he or she has committed.

Why is it so hard to get out of the Maze? Because we have these expectations that the world is supposed to treat us fairly – “If I’m good, then the world will be good to me.” Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. You can be having the best day and someone can be rude to you, cut you off on the highway or something even more terrible can happen like a friend or family member dies.

The authors suggest that the only way out of the Maze is when you feel something bigger and more powerful than fairness. Unconditional love. They call it “Outflow” – an infinite, spiritual force that gives of itself without restraint. And yes, you can tap into this…here’s how:

Imagine that you’re surrounded by a warm, liquid light that is infinitely loving. Feel your heart expand far beyond you to become one with this love. As you bring your heart back to normal size, this energy concentrates itself inside your chest. It’s an unstoppable force that wants to be given away.

Next, focus on the person who triggered your anger. Visualize their presence. Send all the love in your chest directly to them; hold nothing back. Follow the love as it leaves your chest and feel it enter the other person at their solar plexus. This will give you the sense that you’re completely at one with them. Now relax and feel yourself again surrounded by infinite love, which will return to you all the energy you gave away.

Once you are in this state, you are the chief beneficiary, you become unstoppable, and you start living your life again!

Dr. Diane Hayden is the owner and publisher of Natural Nutmeg Magazine and Essential Living Maine Magazine and is an author, speaker, and workshop facilitator. She holds a B.S. in Marketing from the University of Connecticut, a Ph.D. in Exercise Physiology from the University of Maryland and is an Empowerment Life Coach. For 20 years, her work has focused on inspiring people to learn about the power of thought and belief systems and how that shapes their lives. Her passion centers on helping men and women break the failed relationship cycle through her proprietary SPARK method. You can learn more about her online at or