It has been a while since I have read a book that made as much impact on me as Olga Sheean’s “Fit for Love” has. It also came at the right time and place in my life and from the right person. If you are really willing to take on a serious journey within and do a healthy, strenuous emotional workout, I highly recommend this read. The book is short, to the point, and allows the reader to go through its concise chapters quickly and spend more time reflecting on things rather than get distracted with a large amount of writing that most books tend to have.
The basic premise of the book is that the relationships and circumstances that we have and create in our lives mirror back to us whatever it is that is missing within ourselves, as we practically attract people that have these same missing pieces. If we are scared to allow intimacy into our life, we will create relationships void of intimacy. If we don’t believe we deserve to have respect, we will refuse to allow people into our lives who will grant us respect and instead, attract people who will treat us poorly. As a result, we will have tremendous costs in areas of love, intimacy, health and good communication in exchange for being right, in control and having a false sense of safety. And we will keep ourselves in this mode and perpetuate these cycles indefinitely, just so we can make sense of our beliefs and the world we created, even if they don’t serve us and keep us constantly unhappy.
When we do spend the time to fill these “missing pieces” within ourselves, we will inversely start to create a community of people who will complement us in this way. If we build trust within ourselves, we will be able to know how to trust our intuition around others better. If we accept ourselves for who we are, we’ll not only attract people who accept themselves but also, we’ll accept them as well. Olga Sheean describes the actual healing process in detail, by pointing out ways to discover our triggers, recognize our destructive patterns and exchange them for new ones. Her writing, examples and exercises have been such a source of inspiration that I am currently building on my own body of work and developing a whole new workshop influenced by it. I did find some of the language in the book a bit unclear at times and some definitions a bit incomplete for my personal liking.
For example, the “missing pieces” concept was never firmly defined and it was described in a few different ways as: “missing emotional qualities”, “missing important ingredients” or “missing elements”. By reading through the book, it does become quite evident what the “missing pieces” are in fact needs. I would construct the “missing pieces” concept as: “core needs which we’ve come to believe we don’t deserve to have met in our lives”. Olga focuses on four missing core needs in her book thoroughly: acceptance, trust, authenticity and intimacy. I also had a bit of a difficult time understanding what the actual process of “filling missing pieces” entailed and meant. Especially when it talked about the times when we need to fill the missing pieces on our own, while in the beginning, the book states that in a life of total solitude, and no interactions with humans, we would have no idea who we were.
So, how do we get our core needs met (i.e. fill our missing pieces) on our own, when we are essentially social beings, meeting our needs through the interactions we have? The way I’ve come to understand filling missing pieces, and what the book itself does explain through examples is that we need to start to truly believe we deserve these certain core needs and live in accordance with that. Interactions with people around us always remain; it’s just that we start to create new patterns in our lives, while attuning to our emotions to shed old patterns. As a result people who are around us will be in a position to live in accordance with them and everyone will mutually support one another toward getting each other’s needs met. The emotional work does need to be done. Just reading this book without doing the work would be the same as reading a book on how to do fitness exercises without actually doing them. And one need not do this journey on one’s own. One of my favorite quotes in Olga’s book is: “There is nothing that generates greater intimacy between two people than the healing of deep wounds together”.
Thanks again for reading, thank you Olga for writing this book and please do share and comment!