I left a 2000 book library when I left Hungary. that was 34 years ago.
Every book is an opportunity to shatter my view of the world. And many do. Sometimes not directly… sometimes through the effect the book has on other people.
My view of others got turned upside down… sideways… OMG. Talk about upsetting my apple cart! lol.
My own life, the isolated, cocoon-like life… I thought my life was just like everyone else’s… I thought everyone elses lived on the same principles… And of course reality was showing how wrong I was, how come my speaking, my writing could not get through… always ineffectiveness. Painful.
I always loved work, effort. I always cherished my bad feelings as an information system, revealing depths for moments at a time, giving me insights into the inner workings of my psyche.
I never expected that the prevalent world view is so different from mine… Even though I could see the tip of it… but could not fathom the depth of it.
This book stirred up the ocean, all the way to the ocean floor. Hidden aspects of people, of mindsets, of misery and joy surfaced, at least for moments at a time.
Later in this article, or maybe the next article, I intend to quote from students’ writing in the coaching program…
But first, a little personal insights.
We are all Virgos, so very similar in temperament.
But they all turned to be different.
I was the only one who lived a hard life… and enjoyed it.
My older brother rode the waves, and in spite of his unwillingness to put effort into his studies or into his work, rose to the top of his game, and amassed a fortune.
My younger brother was always waiting for handouts, still is.
I spoke with a nephew last night. The first nephew who ever wanted to talk to me.
Through that conversation I realized that my brothers grew up in a completely different reality than myself, leading (or coming from) a completely different attitude to life.
- I always knew that unless I make it happen, it will never happen for me. Gifts, handouts, may happen, but not for me.
It was clearest when rich people wanted to marry me. I knew that their money was their money… I wanted my own money… I never married.
I like working for what I want. That is the only way. The only way that leads to joy.
- Hardship, or the prospect of hard work never scared me away.
I had a class mate who, with her parents, left Hungary during the 1956 uprising, and was now fairly well to do in London.
We started to correspond in 1965, and I asked if I could visit.
She sent me a list of room and board addresses, because in her world I could afford to pay for those… That is not what I had in mind… lol.
I contacted those people on the list telling them that I had not a penny to my name… One offered a trade: working as a maid for the accommodation and the food.
I accepted… but there were two more hurdles: I applied for a passport, without telling my parents (I was 17 at the time), but the passport didn’t seem to be coming, and I had no money for the trip either.
I told my father (not my mother!) and he said to give it up, I was never going to get a passport, but lo and behold the passport arrived next day.
My father, inspired, bought me a return ticket to London. I remember it was a lot of money…
I spent nine weeks in the South of England, working in the household, and occasionally allowed to go to the seaside, or visit my class mate in London.
I won’t share the abuse… it made me grow up real fast, and I am grateful for that.
My father was a member of the Hungarian government… but it was his job. My job is to become a human being, standing on my two feet, stay standing in a storm, if need be.
- Because I got no tenderness, no attention, no support that I could see, from my family, I worked for my own gratification, for my own pleasure, on my own volition.
Getting good at sports. Learning seven languages, Learning professions, where it was easier for me to do that, than ask for my parents to get me something…
Asking them for something was never easy. My mother used each of those opportunities to beat me…
She was an empath, and we had a hate-hate relationship.
Why am I sharing this? Because like everyone, I thought that everyone thought like me. That everyone was like me.
And beliefs like this are very difficult to pull… like some weeds… they have infected the whole area, under the surface.
So now, that I am sharing the principles from the “The Upside of your Dark Side” book, people listen to me differently, it is not me sharing what I think they already know…
And because I am sharing knowing they don’t know… they are responding.
And the response is stunning. Stunning me… into a moment of clarity. It will go away… but it will never forgotten.
Cultural norms, upbringing, the Dark Side suggesting that life is about being happy, that you deserve without working… that work is a dirty word, that it should be effortless…
I find myself in a foreign land… I didn’t know. I really didn’t know how deeply this goes, and how the norm it is.
OK, it seems that I have to put the student stuff in another article… 1. the permissions to make them public haven’t arrived, 2. this article is getting really long.
So hold tight: the student stuff is coming in the next article.