My dad and I were dining in a cramped booth at Marin Joe's, an old-style Italian restaurant loved by many for its magical spaghetti marinara with meat sauce and servers that know you by name.

At that moment, I was in a state of emotional self-torture. It was not my worst bout of self-torture, experiencing an unthinkable loss that requires some 100 to 500 superficial Cycles to heal or just one profoundly deep ("dig deeper and deeper") Cycle, and then it goes "poof" and transforms into boundless joy. Yet it still qualified as relentless enough to merit that label.

I was still in the superficial Cycles stage, with each Cycle chipping away at the cluster of circuits little by little.

Feeling seen, heard, and felt.

The self-torture was about a man I fell hopelessly in love with. I say hopelessly because he would not interest me in my version of my brain today. Yet, this was some 25 years ago, and he had soundly rejected me, and I could not get over the loss.

My dad peered across the table at me and said, "His not loving you is one of the biggest disappointments of your life."

Instantly, I felt seen, heard, and felt by my father. I marveled that he knew what the loss meant to me and had the presence to tell me.

It would be another few years until I would manage to do a Dig Deeper Cycle, and the entire hurt would go poof. That rejection became a source of joy to me, as it brought me to my emotional knees and taught me how to expand my thinking about myself, others, and life.

What's a Dig Deeper Cycle?

How long does a Dig Deeper Cycle take? It takes as long as it takes, but this one took a good 20 minutes. It's your regular Stop A Trigger Tool, but in each of the steps, doing such probing followed by clarity that you don't want it to end. Then it does, and you can see the beauty of the hurt (the worse the hurt, the more potential for beauty it holds). You can see that it was so bad that there was no way you could survive it except by releasing control, opening your heart, and choosing joy.

When that happens to me, I feel close to the spiritual, aware of my own mortality, and in love with life. I realized that I had to see that adversity as perfect in its own way, giving me just the pain I needed to evolve spiritually. Then, I'm often aghast and think: "Hey, what took me so long?"

It takes as long as it takes, but if you are so inclined, take the time and do a Dig Deeper Cycle and see if that self-torture ends and that cluster of wires goes "poof."