Warning: this article is a stream of consciousness article, and you need to read it like a poem, or it probably won’t make a lot of sense. On the other hand it is very important to read, if you want a chance at having the rest of your life not a continuation of the life you have had… That predictable download spiral.
When your whole life experience is that others are more loved, more supported, more appreciated
I had a dream last night that rocked my world. Not in a good way… by the way.
I dreamed that my older brother achieved what I worked, unsuccessfully, to achieve for 26 years… and it took him only a few months.
Something I wanted more than anything, something I deserved, and yet… and now (in the dream!) he, unexpectedly to me, became a leader in Landmark Education.
Now, that should be good news, after all it takes a lot of courage to do the work it takes to become a leader, and I should be happy for him.
But, of course, that wasn’t the case: instead I felt slighted, pushed into the background, not important, not relevant, second grade citizen.
And although my conscious mind knew that this was a dream, and although my conscious mind knows that I am experiencing this so I can help my students whose entire life experience is being slighted, not loved as much as the other… the experience is devastating.
The culprit is comparison.
You see, when life is just the way it is, nothing to compare it with, then life is just life, it is neither good or bad. It is just how life is.
When you are loved the way you are loved, it is being loved. But when you see the person who said they loved you be entirely different, warmer, affectionate, with another person, in that moment you are comparing, and you are coming out less. Less loved, less important, less valued.
And that is when life isn’t just life any more… life is wrong, wrong, wrong.
For many of us “life” began like that and, unbeknownst to us, continued that way… because it started like that.
Once you get that you are less than another, whether it is true or not, you internalize it as the truth, and then you bring it to life… and it becomes so.
Another way to be less than… is being judged as less than perfect, less than what “they” expected you should be.
Being a disappointment.
And I am yet to meet a person who didn’t have that experience.
And the from the limited perspective of the human mind life, people, take sides, and we always come out on the wrong side. 1
Not that it is true, not at all. But that is all the mind registers, the moments, the incidents when we are “slighted”…
The interesting tidbit I am noticing with my “slighted” clients and students, the ones that cannot tolerate being overshadowed by another, is the fact that when they are given the opportunity to be “the” leader, they drop the ball. Interesting, and kind of funny… indicating that the issue is even deeper than this issue… but I’ll get to that in another article.
As we are doing the work in the Instant Coherence Workshop, what is becoming clearer and clearer, is that until you have CHOICE, you will always choose the same thing: being a victim, being the drama queen, being the slighted one, who doesn’t have to be responsible for their failures, their no results, their miserable life, because it is NOT THEIR FAULT!
That until there is a strong, solid, real choice, a guiding principle other than the default guiding principle, in this case “slighted” people don’t have a real choice, and their life continues going the way of it’s going… and if you tell the truth, it is not going to any nice place.
In one of my classes we tell the truth about where our life is going, by giving up, for a moment, the delusion that we can change, that circumstances can change, willy nilly, and tell the truth, that if we continue being the way we are, having the same attitude, doing the same things we are doing now, our life is heading to an ugly place. And that place seems to pull our lives like a strong magnet. Down down down we go.
The Organizing Principle we set up in the Instant Coherence Workshop is like another strong magnet… and often we have a choice where we look for guidance.
For example, without that strong Organizing Principle, my promise to “god”, I would be here blabbering, in fatal position, bemoaning my fate of always being second to my brother… not the one, slighted, not loved, poor me. And spend the day, maybe the whole weekend licking my wounds… Instead of laughing at the predictability of the emotions. Instead of doing what I am best at: doing MY work… the work only I can do. 2
- The limited perspective of the human mind allows us to see only what is inside our narrow cone of vision, and what is “colored”, skewed, by our self-interest, our interest to survive ourselves at the expense of the “other”, to be right, to win at all cost, to dominate and avoid domination, to justify and invalidate another. And most importantly, to avoid being responsible, at all cost. “It is not my fault!” Screams the mind…
- You don’t have to be Black, gay, not-a-boy, a foreigner, to feel slighted, excluded, never considered: it is the experience of almost every single individual… comparison will do it to you. The stories of being the last one to be picked to the sports team, for example, is a repeating theme for boys.