Two Lifetimes – An Interview with Patti Henry
By Shawn McAndrew
Hoffman Process grad Patti Henry is a psychotherapist who has been in private practice for over 32 years. She began her practice working with women to empower them. When she did couples’ sessions with them, she noticed how desperately the men needed healing, too. She has spent her lifetime helping to heal the world, one woman and one man at a time.
Her book, Two Lifetimes, was published in November, 2020. We recently talked about its importance, and the parallels of the Process.
What’s the genesis of your book? Why were you compelled to write Two Lifetimes?
This book is a roadmap of what we’re supposed to be doing while we’re here on the planet. We have the opportunity to live two lifetimes on the planet, in the same body. The first [lifetime] is our wounded child in charge of running our lives.
There’s a lot of pain and suffering and hurt. I think every baby is born with the high-energy vibration of love – you, me, everyone we meet. But our world doesn’t support that, so the baby is thrown into Lifetime One. It gets hurt; it gets left out; it gets hit; it gets called stupid; gets told they’re ugly.
I really believe our purpose on the planet is to outgrow that, to transform it, and become part of the human force of the world. Transform and come to know that you are wonderful. Fall in love with yourself. Develop a self and take ownership of that person. Then you can use what happened to you as a positive force in the world.
What you’re saying is similar to the foundation of what we do in the Process, in terms of looking at our family of origin, the patterns that we learned, etc.
I think it helps people to know that family of origin is a factor that we carry around – the baggage that we carry with us everywhere we go. So we confront it and really own it. We have to grow up. We have to become adults who are able to respond to things instead of react to things.
Thinking about Lifetime 1 (child) and Lifetime 2 (adult), what can compel someone to keep going toward Lifetime 2, or healing the past, as we might say in the Process?
I believe, in my story, that God, the Universe, Divine, greater energy, or whatever you want to call it, is pulling all of us to grow up, to get to Lifetime 2. We keep getting opportunities to grow and change, and to love more.
That’s the goal – to get to that higher energy vibration. A lot of times, people are compelled [to change] because they are in pain and they want to get out of pain. Sometimes they’re compelled because some trauma happens. Or a disaster happens, and it wakes them up to another level. Or it wakes them up to, “My life is half over! I’m not doing what I want to do with my life.”
Do we always have to go through a dark night of the soul in order to make a shift in our lives?
There are some ways to get to Lifetime 2 quickly. You can choose to go to Hoffman. You can choose to be more calm, nicer, not so angry all the time. Those are choices. I do think our adult self has choice all the time. Our child self doesn’t. When something goes wrong, our child self says, “Oh, I don’t know what to do.” The adult self is handed the same problem and says, “I don’t know what to do, but I’m really smart and I can figure it out.” That’s how we go – one step at a time. And then go to Hoffman! It’s important.
Toward the end of the Process, the teachers remind us that we have changed, but our loved ones have not. How does someone deal with the changes within themselves when they may be surrounded still by people who can’t or don’t want to support or acknowledge that change?
My belief is that we are not charged to love the lovable, we are charged to love. Even when people are difficult, not supportive, we are still charged with, “How can I get to a higher level?” The Process is waking people up to who they actually are. I think there’s a lot about the Process that is very spiritual.
You talk about higher energy vibration in your book, and I’m wondering if you have an example from the Process, or is there something that would resonate with readers about the Process and higher energy vibration?
What I’m going to do is give a little love to you. I see signs around people’s necks and they say, “I’m starving for love.” And I think the world is starving for love. I tell people, “Just put a drop of love in; it counts.” Every chance you can, every opportunity, if you choose that kindness, that kind word, that noticing another person – that’s spiritual.
Currently, with the state of the world as it is, are we going through an evolution, status quo, or de-evolution?
I think we’re going through an evolution. There’s an awakening going on all over the world, and COVID is helping. It is something that brings us all together. It’s not you, me, and them; it’s us. I think we’re stressed because we’re carrying the global anxiety, and not knowing when this is going to end. Is it going to kill me? Is it going to kill my parents? There are a lot of things we have in common with everyone right now. I think that’s going to turn into good.
Do you have any words of wisdom – as we’re carrying this collective stress – as to how we can hold ourselves in love, and keep going forward?
I always tell people, “What you’re in charge of is you, and how you treat other people, how you stand for justice.” I’m going to do my little part. And that will be enough. If we all do our little part, we’re going to heal the world.