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Excerpted from You Can Feel Good Again by Richard Carlson. Copyright 1993 by Richard Carlson. Excerpted by permission of Penguin Putnam, Inc.  All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. HTML and web pages copyright by SpiritSite.com.

"The anger that had suffocated their love for so many years disappeared, their disagreements faded away and now seemed insignificant."

  Richard Carlson
You Can Feel Good Again
, Part 1

Jim and Yvonne were married for thirty-two mostly unhappy years when they discovered that Jim had a [serious illness]. Prior to discovering this information, the couple lived together in an almost constant state of irritation. There was frequent conflict and anger, ongoing disputes and disagreement on virtually every issue surrounding their lives together. Their love for each other had been, in Jim's words, "lost many years ago."

A curious thing happened the moment they found out about the [illness.] Both Jim and Yvonne experienced a sudden shift in their consciousness. The anger that had suffocated their love for so many years disappeared, their disagreements faded away and now seemed insignificant, and their love for one another resurfaced, almost magically, as though it had never left to begin with.

What happened? This couple experienced what is commonly referred to as "a change of heart." No one knows exactly how or when this kind of sudden shift or change will occur, but we do know that they exist and that they are possible.

A shift in consciousness can occur in any area of human life that has to do with how we feel. Consider an eight-year-old child who goes to bed every night frightened by the fear of an imagined monster behind the closet door. Suddenly, one day, out of nowhere, she realizes that the monster isn't real, that it only exists in her own mind, interesting questions include: Why did the child have this realization on this particular day? What was it that made her realize the monster wasn't real? The answers to these questions are surprisingly vague. We don't know for sure, except to say that a new level of understanding surfaced within the consciousness of the child.

Another example of a "sudden shift" is the person who swears that he is going to quit smoking. Week after week, year after year, he promises he's going to do it. You, as a friend, have heard the same story many times. Then, one day, for no apparent reason, your friend tells you the very same thing, only this time you know that he means it. Something is different. Something has changed. You can't quite put your finger on it, but you do know he will never smoke again. And indeed, he never does.

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