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Dr. Liara Covert

Sunshine Coast, Queensland

Breathwork Psychotherapist, Author, Speaker, Coach


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A purpose of life is to expand the boundaries of love, to widen the circle of our concern, to open up rather than shut down and the expand rather than contract. -Arianna Huffington

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Face the music

Many of us instinctively run from people and situations that make us feel uncomfortable. You may know someone who cringes at the thought of making decisions, fearing not being able to control the results. Would you rather 'grin and bear it' than admit someone displeases you and initiate conflict?  If you lie to yourself and others, this could bring on guilt and fear of telling the truth. What kind of price do you think you would pay for telling the truth and facing the music?

You eat a meal your partner cooks and compliment him even though you dislike it.  You continue this approval into courtship and marriage, and lying makes you feel worse and worse inside. Yet, you fear that by telling him so many years later, that he won't be able to trust you anymore. 

You eagerly ask your boss for a heavier workload when you already feel quite overwhelmed. You express your desire to be considered for the upcoming promotion. As it turns out, you don't get it because you're perceived as pushy and you prove unable to complete the tasks you requested.

You offer unconditional love and approval in a friendship and receive only resentment or lack of reciprocity.  By not questioning desires and needs, people can misunderstand each other and evolve to seek love and approval wherever they can find it.  Sometimes, not offering what your friend wants is the beginning to showing this person understand what you need.

You assess everything you do for people in your life as having invisible exchange value. You measure love, gestures and other kinds of attention given and received.  You withdraw emotions and attention from anyone you secretly wish would give more to you. Why the hidden agenda?

Life experience can help you learn the difference between expressing love and appreciation  without imposing your personal desires with ultimatums.  

"Nobody did or ever will, escape the consequences of his choices." -Alfred A. Montapert


Tracing connections

If you sit back and think about it, everyone you know may seem to be connected to everyone else in a matter of steps.  Someone met someone else who was introduced to someone else, and it went on. Yet, if you think again, you realize that a small number of people are linked to everyone in a few steps, and the rest of us get connected to the world thanks to a special few.

One individual may even turn out to be responsible for a large number of the closest relationships that form your life. This kind of person seems connected to the world and may have a gift for bringing people together. This may be an extrovert with links to different disciplines, settings and groups because of an adventurous or gregarious personality. Whom do you rely on to connect you to other people? Do you consider yourself a connector? Reflect on your interactions in different areas of your life. What do they teach you about yourself and your relationship choices?

Whether or not you realize it, you place conditions on your reality. You have ability to decide what kinds of relationships are unfolding before you, whom you connect with and don't. You can spend time with people who share things in common with you or who don't appeal to you at all. When you experience troubling thoughts, and in turn, create or aggravate troubled relationships, you can learn to question your view of why you've made these choices. Why do you really spend time with each person in your life? Why do you feel connected or disconnected with others? In which ways do you communicate? Tracing reasons for connections or lack of them tells you a lot.

Strained or difficult relationships reveal the same fear: you sense you won't survive or be content without feeling someone's love, acceptance and appreciation. As you trace human connections you've known, and the nature of those you seek, you will learn about your values and aspirations. Are you a person who chooses relationships for appearances and superficial reasons or, do you have other reasons? Vanity and insecurity are revealed by relationships based on appearance. The question is, will you be brave enough to rise above your judgments to perceive and accept love offered all around you? Trace connections in the 'here and now.' It's key to learning who you are.


Test the faith

"The danger is not that the soul should doubt whether there is any bread, but lest, by lie, it should persuade itself that it is not hungry." -Simone Weil

People develop faith in what they hope for, and may believe in what isn't always verifiable.  Through believing in something greater than ourselves, we can learn to banish fear and the conditions of lack from which we seek to escape.  Our beliefs, individually and collectively shape who we are and what we do.  It's not uncommon for views to change based on life experience. 

Based on documents and interviews, the Miracle Detective is a book that examines major alleged holy visions from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.  Some of the most controversial sightings are listed, "authentic" and "extremely significant." Many sightings with large, devotional followings are listed "false" or "doubtful."  Yet, is it reasonable for guardian angels to leave a trail?

The Scottsdale apparitions are considered some of the most controversial sightings.  They began at St. Maria Goretti Parish, in Scottsdale, Arizona, U.S.A., outside Phoenix, in the late summer of 1988, and supposedly lasted eight years. 

Nine, young people contacted their pastor, Father Spaulding,  separately to confide they were hearing voices. These people ranged in ages from 19 to 31. Some began to receive detailed messages recorded them for Father Spaulding. He reviewed the messages and believed them to be authentic.  A short time later, Father Spaulding himself claimed to begin to receive messages, and to hear encouraging voices.  His personal experiences shaped his perception of miracles.

He formed a prayer group of the young people. Our Lady gave them encouragement and advice in her messages, and they received a lesson each week for the group to meditate on. Each lesson was on a basic subject, like humility, compassion, pity, and greed.  Four members of this prayer group claimed to have actually seen Our Lady, one claimed to have taken dictation directly from God, and the rest had reported receiving locutions from angels for reflection. These experiences prompted each individual to reflect on the reasons for the deepest pain or greatest difficulty in his or her life and then, each individual found the courage to work through and rise above it. 

The nature of the messages varied among the visionaries. Father Spaulding and Gianna Talone (Sullivan) claim to have received the most apparitions. During the initial controversy, a documentary about the "Scottsdale visionaries" was broadcast on local Arizona television.  This made Gianna's professional, scientific life as a pharmacist difficult and the impact of her beliefs contributed to her first husband filing for divorce.

Gianna has since moved to Emmitsburg, Maryland, the site of the Lourdes Shrine. the oldest in the U.S.  She believes that experiencing grief and rejection in life remind her she has to lose some worldly things to gain wisdom.  She described that seeing  Our Lady was a way to "become aware of all your own faults, your pride, your lack of generosity and compassion.  You felt the pain of all that, of being so far from that beauty, that peace and perfection. You feel ashamed of yourself and despondent."  After she faced some of her greatest weaknesses and fears, she found meaning in new relationships and in changing the focus of her life.

Gianna encourages individuals to pray for "discernment" because "feelings aren't facts." She believes that the scepticism and controversy in Scottsdale could be described as "humanity's interference with God's plan." She describes the divergent public beliefs as, "ego, mostly, people wanting it to go their own way, or to take control, or being jealous of one person, or suspicious of another. Pride and hurt feelings, that's what got in the way."

Perhaps you learn more about yourself when you don't try to avoid your own suffering. Gianna Talone endured years of self-doubt, fear and loss in her life, but she kept trusting, even when these negative feelings were overwhelming. Her periods of darkness ended when she rose above her own egotistical pride.  "I just woke up one morning and found the sadness gone." This test of her soul may have connected her to something more than traditional guardian angels. Whatever it was, it triggered her turning point: discovering a deeper purpose and greater self-acceptance.


When you least expect it

In Australia, the distances between cities are much further than they are in many other countries.  This helps to explain why standard gas tanks are often double the size they are in North America.  I was initially startled by the numbers of signs that appear along highways which say things like, "Power nap now!,"  "Pull over for a snooze," and "15 minutes could save your life."

I friend of mine was driving along Victorian country roads in the early morning rain. He drove for hours without passing any gas stations or homes.  He had only passed cattle and sheep farms.  At one point, he saw the biggest kangaroo he had ever seen coming toward him from the side. He slowed down to a crawl. The animal hopped across the road and continued out of sight. My friend believes that the size of the creature could have completely demolished his car and him. His advice is keep your eyes wide open, and even then roos will appear when you least expect it.

Wherever you are, driving is a privilege with unforeseen risks.  If you see animals and your speed doesn't permit you to stop, turning into a ditch would be less dangerous than a head-on collision. 


Learning the hard way

As each of us grows up, we have many opportunities to decide whether we prefer to learn the easy way or the hard way.

If, as a child, your parent whacks you when you bite your nails, you're supposed to realize it isn't the proper thing to do. The question is, do you choose to outgrow it?

In school we’re given rules to follow. If we disobey, we may get punished by having to write out lines or get assigned extra homework. I recall a boy who was class clown who spent much of his time in the corner. Another student was always raising his hand with answers or going out of his way to help the teacher. Kids teased him at recess. The school bully took his lunch money.  This overachiever learned the hard way that kids can be cruel. He chose to be himself anyway.

Time passes and you develop plans in life. You learn its unrealistic to get everything you want. Circumstances offer you occasions to learn lessons, if you're paying attention and desire to learn. If you dislike what people say, you learn you don't have to get physical to fight all your battles. Learning the hard way is supposed to teach you to rise above such things and come to use your head.  You may think no reaction at all may actually be an easier way.

When relationships don't work out as you would hope, breaking up may seem like learning the hard way what not to do. You can choose to learn that nothing is permanent and people do not always evolve together. You can gain new understanding into the idea of "my way or the highway."  You can choose to learn about yourself and plan what you will do differently next time.  You can step back and identify your desires, temper your passions and reframe priorities. Leaving a difficult realtionship is an example of learning the hard way for some people taking the easy way for others. Not everyone has the desire to confront challenges or work through perceived problems.

What about practical things? If you burn your hand on a hot stove, you feel pain. You're supposed to learn not to hurt yourself the same way again. Yet some people do, over and over again.  If you walk into a door because you don't pay attention, you're supposed to learn to watch where you're going.  And yet, you may still find you injure yourself the same way again. Does that make you feel like a slow learner? If you say things you regret at a later time, you're supposed to learn it's sometimes better to put your foot in your mouth and keep certain things to yourself. The question is, will such an experience prevent you from doing that same thing again? Maybe? Maybe not?

No matter what your experiences, you decide for yourself whether the learning process will come easily, if it will come through pain and suffering, of if you choose to learn at all.  What you choose to gain and whether you learn enough to prevent history from repeating is very much up to you.  You may be a person who feels you need to earn rewards through hardship.  You may be a person who avoids hardships at all costs. Learning lessons is optional, but this will enrich your life.