I feel it necessary to share with you my journey of self-discovery so that you understand the extreme importance of harmony within the mind, body and spirit. This is not just a subject that I studied, but also a life lesson that I learned through experience. In 1987, at age fifty-three, I was fairly happy with my life. I had a great wife and three children, two of whom were grown with families of their own and one who was soon to enter high school. For twenty-five years, I had a career in sales. I felt secure in my job and truly enjoyed it. My sales territory consisted of all of Louisiana and part of Mississippi. Although it was a large territory and required a lot of time and energy, I didn’t mind. Over the years, I had built a great relationship with my customers so that whenever I called on them it was like visiting old friends. They trusted me and knew that when they bought something from me, I came with it. They knew I would be there to service them or help in any way possible. It was a pleasure getting up and facing the world every morning because I felt good about the job I did. I was also looking forward to retirement in a few years and finally spending that special time with my wife, doing the things we always dreamed of. Life seemed good.
Then, slowly, the threads that held my world together began to unravel. My boss informed me that there would be a reorganization of employees. The large, profitable sales terri-tory that I had built up since I started with the company was going to be split up with a younger employee. They reduced my sales territory drastically, which meant basically starting from scratch. As a good portion of my salary came from commissions, I was horrified. This not only meant quite a bit less money coming in, but I was back to knocking on doors and cold-calling on new clients. I felt angry, hurt and be-trayed. Here I was, close to retiring, at a point in my life where I felt I would be able to reap the rewards of all my hard work, and it was being taken away from me. To make matters worse, I found out that a co-worker was spreading false rumors about my job performance. I felt I didn’t de-serve all of this, yet it was happening to me. I began to take it personally and felt that they were trying to make it hard for me. I was also worried that any day I might be laid off be-cause of the reorganization. I grudgingly accepted the new task, but each day I became more resentful and bitter. With the resentment came anger—anger with my boss, the com-pany and even with my co-workers. Soon the anger began to reach out even further, even to some of my clients. Then there came a point when that anger turned into hatred. All my life, I tried to do the right thing. I respected other people and tried to help them whenever they needed it, and this is the treatment I got in return! What I didn’t realize then is that anger and hatred have a snowball effect. They keep growing and extending to all areas of your life until finally they take over completely. These feelings consumed me, and soon every little molehill in my life became an insurmountable mountain.
I became less tolerant with people. If a car pulled out in front of me in traffic, I just wanted to hit it. I even considered buying an old truck and putting an old railroad bumper on it so that if someone pulled out in front of me, I could really let them have it. I also had a neighbor who at that time decided to start collecting junk, which was fine until he started using my fence to lean it all on. Trying to talk to him was useless and it ended up in a shouting match, at which point I told him exactly what I thought of him. I tried to forget about it but I couldn’t. Every time I came home my eyes went straight to the fence to see what new junk he had collected, and my an-ger would start all over again. But each time my anger would grow greater because I felt I didn’t deserve to be treated that way. I would never treat someone else that way. I had always respected other people’s property, but no one respected mine. You see, the snowball just kept growing.
I tried to go on vacation, just to get away from it all, but it followed me. I went scuba diving, but even twenty feet un-der the water, I was still reliving all of the anger I had experi-enced. I couldn’t escape from it. It was totally possessing me!
My life continued on this way for over a year until something strange happened. I was calling on a client one morning and as I pulled up in front of his office, I began to cry. I didn’t know why I was crying, so I left. I stopped at a restaurant to try to regain my composure. I went to the rest room and washed my face. When I came out I ordered a cup of coffee, and after sitting there for a while I began to feel better. I decided to go back to my client’s office, but as soon as I drove up I began to cry again. I couldn’t understand what was happening and I couldn’t control it. I just had to leave. I cried the entire thirty miles back home, uncontrollably, like a child with a broken heart. I kept looking out of the window to see if anyone was looking at me. I felt foolish but I couldn’t stop. When I got home, my wife asked, “What’s wrong?” “I don’t know,” I told her, “I just feel depressed.” She sug-gested that I go to bed and get some rest, so I did.
From then on, it was downhill. I spent about three weeks in that bedroom. I didn’t want to come out. All I wanted to do was close the blinds and just sleep.
It seemed as if there was a fast-forward tape constantly playing in my mind, and I couldn’t slow it down. I kept thinking, “What if I lose my job? What if I say something about how I feel and they fire me? After all these years, what am I going to do? I don’t have anything to fall back on or anywhere else to go. What if my neighbor stacks more junk on the fence? It’s already beginning to bow under the weight. What if he comes into my yard and wants to start trouble?” My mind was filled with what-ifs and I kept thinking how unfair it all was. It just wasn’t right. These thoughts and all of the anger and hurt kept playing over and over in my mind until it overwhelmed me. The only time I got any relief from these thoughts was when I was asleep. I didn’t have to deal with anything or anybody. Sleep was a form of escape, so that’s all I wanted to do. Things had gotten so bad that I even considered taking my own life because I felt I just couldn’t handle it anymore.
My family tried to help me and comfort me, but all I wanted was to be left alone. I felt as if I was the only one in the world who felt that way. How could I explain to anyone the strength of my anger and resentment? I was sure no one would understand.
My older son, Louie, would come and ask me to take a walk with him. I wanted to, but I didn’t want to leave the security of my bedroom. Friends and family would try to help by telling me that I shouldn’t feel that way, that I had a good job, a great family. I knew these things already, but it didn’t matter. It only made me feel worse. I just couldn’t change the way I felt.
One afternoon, my wife, Deana, came into the bedroom and said, “Honey, I’ve fixed you something to eat. Why don’t you come in the kitchen and eat and maybe we could talk a little?” I told her, “Look, why don’t you just get out of here? Just leave me alone, will you?” She closed the door and went out into the hallway. I could hear her begin to cry, piti-fully. I got up, filled with anger, and went out there. “What the hell are you crying for?” I yelled. I felt like I was the one who was hurting, so what reason did she have to cry? She just looked up at me and said, “I love you so much and I just don’t know what to do to help you.” I knew that there was something wrong with me, but I didn’t know what it was. Because I had no control over my feelings, I was frightened. I thought I was losing my mind. When my wife said that to me, it struck something inside of me and I told her, “I need to get some help. This isn’t me. I just don’t know what’s wrong with me.”
Deana took me to a psychiatric hospital so that I could check in and maybe get the help I needed, but I wasn’t sure this was the right step. I went inside and looked around. Some people were sitting there, staring off into space, some were talking to themselves, some were huddled in the cor-ners, and I thought, “Wait a minute, I don’t belong here!” I turned to her and said, “Look, I think I’m just going to leave. I don’t think this place is for me. I don’t belong here!” She said, “Well, if you want to leave, get your suitcase and we’ll go.” But I realized I needed some kind of help, so I said, “No, I’ll stay.” But when she left and walked out that door, I think that was one of the most frightening moments of my life!
The doctors put me through a whole series of tests, and the diagnosis was that I had a chemical imbalance that was causing the depression. It was such a relief to find out that there was something physically wrong with me that caused me to feel the way I did. I was started on some medications, but they caused some bad side effects. The doctors then de-cided to put me on a different medication, which they said was much slower acting. It would take about thirty days to get into my system well enough to have any effect. It would probably be a number of months before I would even wake up in the morning and not feel severely depressed. I was in-formed that I would have to remain on the medication for the rest of my life or else I would go right back into that severe depression.
During my first two weeks there, I was not allowed to be anywhere alone. I had told them how depressed I had been and that I had even considered taking my own life, so they felt that they really needed to watch me. I wasn’t allowed to go outside in the courtyard alone, and anytime I went any-where, someone was with me. I was in the hospital for about two and a half weeks when they gave me a two-hour pass. Deana came to pick me up and said, “Why don’t we go home? I’ve fixed a dinner for you, and the kids are there. I thought that you might like to see them.” But I said no. I knew I couldn’t go home then because the minute I turned the corner and saw the neighbor’s yard, it would just be too much. I couldn’t go back to that bedroom where I had stayed for so long feeling depressed and thinking of ways to end my life. I just couldn’t go back into that environment. I said, “Let’s just stay here.”
I was beginning to feel somewhat protected in the envi-ronment of the hospital. I didn’t have to worry about any-body because I wasn’t allowed visitors. But I also knew that it wasn’t going to last. I knew I was using up my savings, and I was probably going to lose my job and my home, and I didn’t know how long my family would be able to put up with me. To say I was afraid would be an extreme under-statement.
We sat together for a little while and then I asked her to take me to the church. Let me tell you, church was the last place I wanted to go. I couldn’t believe those words came out of my mouth. You see, I resented God—big-time. My thoughts were, “If you’re such a good God, then why is all this happening to me? I’ve always tried to do the right thing, treat other people with respect. I don’t deserve all the things that have happened to me. If you were truly a loving God, you wouldn’t let these bad things happen.” But that night, we went to church anyway. The church was closed, but the chapel was still open because of perpetual adoration.
It was 8 o’clock and we were the only ones in the chapel, which seemed strange because there was always someone in the chapel.
We knelt down in the front pew and I tried to pray. I tried to say the Lord’s Prayer and even all the prayers I had learned as a child, but I couldn’t. I just couldn’t pray. I felt like such a hypocrite because I didn’t want to be there. I couldn’t let go of all the hurt and anger I was feeling. I would have left, except when I looked over at Deana, she was kneeling down praying intensely. I didn’t want to disturb her, so I sat down in the pew and just stared at the altar, on which sat the monstrance that held the Eucharist. As I stared, it was as though the fast-forward tape, filled with all these negative thoughts that had been playing over and over in my mind, began to slow down. I thought, “Well, I’ll just go back to work and do the best I can. And if they fire me, well, they’ll just fire me. I’ll find something else. But what am I going to do? I don’t know anything else. But, it’s okay, I’ll find some-thing else.” And then I began to think of other things I could do. I closed my eyes and I thought, “I’m going to say a prayer for my boss, even though he did that to me.” But when I thought that, it was as if someone reached down into my stomach and twisted my intestines. “You fool, you’re going to forgive him after all the rotten things he did to you?” But I thought anyway, “I’m still going to say a prayer for him and his wife.”
And as I sat there, with my eyes closed, I began placing these people for whom I was praying in a clockwise circle in my mind. I thought, “I’m going to say a prayer for my neighbor and his wife.” And again, I experienced that physi-cal feeling of pain. It was as if my stomach was knotting up inside of me. I was literally fighting an internal battle. But I thought, “I’m still going to pray for them. And I’m going to say a prayer for that co-worker who’d been spreading lies about me. Even though some people believed those lies and it hurt me, I’m going to pray for him. And I’m going to pray for this person and for that person.” And as I continued put-ting these people within that circle in my mind, there was a rush of more and more people that I needed to pray for. But through all of this, I still had that terrible twisted feeling in the pit of my stomach. I thought, “It’s so hard. I don’t know if I can let go of this.” Suddenly, in the center of the circle in my mind, appeared a dark circle, and out of the darkness came a thought, a thought so powerful and strong, I knew it didn’t come from me. It said, “Do it for Me.”
At that instant, all of the anger, hatred, resentment, bit-terness, jealousy, revenge and depression were gone. Totally gone! Never, in my entire life, had I experienced the peace that I felt that night. I started crying and went outside the church. Deana followed me and asked what happened. I told her about my experience and she asked me, “Louie, what did you do?” “I didn’t do anything. I don’t understand it. It’s like it was all taken away—totally taken away. I just can’t explain how I feel now. None of it is there. I’m not depressed. I feel absolutely wonderful!”
I went back to the hospital and asked the nurse, “What’s the chance of my going home tomorrow? I’m okay,” and I told her what happened. She told me that I would have to speak to the psychiatrist about that. The next day the psy-chiatrist came in and I said, “Look, Doc, I want to get out of here because I’m okay now,” and I proceeded to tell him what happened. Needless to say, I think he thought that I’d totally lost it now. He said, “I just can’t let you go like that. When you signed in here, you gave us the right to hold you, even against your will, for at least seventy-two hours, until we can be sure you’re not a danger to yourself or others. We would have to run more tests on you before we could even consider letting you go.” “Doc,” I said, “do what you have to do, but I want out of here because there’s nothing wrong with me.” They ran the tests and miraculously the chemicals were all back in balance. Since that night in the chapel, I’ve never taken any medications for depression and I’ve never again experienced any symptoms of the illness.
From that moment on, I began a new journey. I knew then that I wanted to help people. I didn’t know exactly how, but I knew that was my goal, the destination I wanted to achieve. It was only after I removed the wall of anger and hurt I had built up, that I was open to all the good that was now flowing into my life.

Author's Bio: 

·Louis P. Bauer, Ph.D. is a Christian Clinical Hypnotherapist.
·He is the author of the book, “A Journey to Inner Healing: Understanding the Mind-Body-Spirit Connection”.
·Past Member of the Board of Directors of the St. Tammany Parish Unit of the American Cancer Society, 1993-1994.
·Dr. Bauer has a private practice in Slidell and has been a resident of Slidell, La. for twenty seven years.
·Dr. Bauer was approved by the Louisiana State Board of Nursing for CEU credits.
·Conducts a one day workshop that is therapeutically designed to help a person to relieve stress, eliminate anxiety, overcome depression and build self confidence.
·December 4th 1995, he has started a television show on Channel l0. It ran for several months.
·He was on the David Elliot talk show on WLOX TV
·Recently he appeared on the morning news show on WWL-TV
·He appeared as a guest a number of times on Mary’s Helpers Radio talk show
·Dr Bauer is working with the St. Tammany Parish Jail in helping the woman to rehabilitate
·Dr. Bauer conducts speaking engagements for businesses, groups, churches, schools, hospitals, and professionals, as well as seminars open to the general public. Check out my web site for more information at: www.goodtapes.com