Why mention it? Because feeling good about myself is not as frequent as one would think… I could say: I felt better about myself than normal.
Feeling good about yourself is the basis of self-love… that being at home feeling we all crave, but most of us have no idea how to get.
It was, that craving, expressed yesterday by the participants of my workshop 1 to ferret out the issues of the self and brainstorm about a direction that could pull you out of the issue.
Direction, pull you out? Yeah.
Some 16 years ago I was doing a course in New York City, and I was commuting there from Syracuse NY, every week. It was the snowiest winter in my memory. One time I drove down during the day… normally I drove at night when the traffic was sparse. A drive faster and more confidently in snow that others.
And my attitude was: get out of my way! A mix of angry, hurried, superior… not pretty. And suddenly my car slipped to the left and slipped into the snow bank.
I called for road support, they came, and they pulled my car out not in the right direction, and they misaligned my whole car… I could not continue driving to New York City… I had to limp back home and have my car repaired.
So that is the significance of direction, and being pulled out. From my personal experience.
You can be pulled in the wrong direction, and the cost will be more than you want to pay. 2
I have been doing different versions of this workshop. This time the main question was: what aspect of your personality/attitude is holding you back? 3
It is “diagnostic” in nature: to ferret out what about you and your behavior, attitude, that blocks you from having a life you can love and live powerfully.
And what blocks you from having a life you can love, your behavior, your attitude, is never pretty. And for the most part you hide it from yourself, so you don’t have to see it. Or you misdirect it… or you become numb to it… Because it feels incorrigible: feels impossible to “fix”.
Me, as a leader of the process, have to bring tremendous compassion to this, in addition to being astute, fast. It seems, this time I could bring it all… and also good humor… it is not necessarily the most pleasant thing to find out things about yourself that you didn’t want to see.
As I have said, I have been doing this workshop for decades. But this time it was different.
My main course, the Playground, has transformed my view this time, together with the participants’.
There is compassion and there is compassion… I think I am getting closer to true compassion that has no element of make-wrong, harsh words, or judgment. Just the willingness to diagnose and help the other through, if they allow you.
I think it is due, entirely, to the new element: the partner calls that I listen to, attentively, being forced to trust, and eventually developing faith.
Faith? Yeah, faith.
I still can’t define faith, but let’s see if I can illuminate it with what needs to happen:
The partners talk… or more precisely “talked”… Because I listen to the recording. I have no input…
I sometimes scream to the computer screen whatever I would say if the conversation were still going on… but only I hear it. My students are on their own, and they get guidance once I finish listening to the call…
To my utter surprise, many of the issues I find, and would find necessary to attend to, if I were on the call, resolve themselves. The students get the insight, without my expert help. That is where I see faith being born to a fundamentally faithless person… me.
My soul correction is “Forget Thyself” and that means that I, by nature, thing, feel, that my input is what is going to save the day, save lives, make something work… But I am learning that my students can get to resolving issues, getting insights, and get to where they can become self-sufficient, and only need me to deliver new stuff… to spot their development, spot like in weight lifting, so they don’t hurt themselves, or don’t stay off target for too long.
And miraculously, my ability to have compassion and no superiority has doubled in the past almost eight months.
But it is becoming clearer what it takes to love yourself.
In my experience, we all have two selves… and the two selves make us slightly schizophrenic.
The two selves, the little one and the big one don’t see eye to eye. The one judges the other’s actions, even its thoughts, and refuses to love the other.
What you call self-judgment, self-destruction, self-abuse, self-aggrandizing, etc. is the job done by two selves… And unless the two selves love each other, find themselves in harmony, can work together, you can’t, you don’t love yourself and you don’t love your life, even when circumstances are perfectly aligned for you.
Integrity is always “out”… but you can always take actions towards this harmony, to restore love between the two selves.
In my humble view, this is a lot more important than pleasing a third party.
You can be approved, loved, supported by a third party and still be utterly miserable.
Until you resolve and keep resolving the issues between the two selves, there is no hope for a joyful life, for fulfillment, for a life you love.
As we get deeper and deeper into this invisible reality of the two selves in the Playground, the roots of the dissent are becoming more and more visible.
In the upbringing, in the parent’s attitude and its interpretation by the child.
Each person’s one self gets stuck at different levels, different ages, while the other self gets more and more out of touch, and out of reach… and more and more unhappy… The two selves need to work together to create a live that can be called a Life.
The whole Playground is about finding and living in reality, instead of the unreality of the small child who could not see reality because their emotions, their interpretations of life have been off, sometimes very off.
The bigger the gap between personal reality and actual reality the less successful and more miserable the person get.
And if you look at this on societal level, we now have seven or so billion miserable people, who will eventually perpetrate the same actions on their children, or the children they have access to… and the sense of misery on the planet grows in spite of all the numbers of reality going in the other direction: towards less misery.
My work, the work we do in the Playground, is an experiment: can humans be lead out of the misery, and up the evolutionary tree, towards human beingness?
Compassion, empathy, considering the child a person was missing, is missing for parents. But until the parent solves its “schizophrenia”, or the gap created by the different vantage points of the two selves, they can’t have access to compassion, empathy, or even considering the other person a person.
…or even themselves a person…
…and I think most troubles can be lead back to the function of seeing. Seeing wide, seeing deep, seeing accurately, distinguishing between different things I call astuteness.
It’s complicated, it’s messy, it’s seemingly hopeless.
Although it seems that there are as many variations as many people, Kabbalists created a system they call soul-correction… grouping humanity in 72 groups, but ultimately, not more than 20 soul corrections who get stuck at the same point, have the same reaction to it, and therefore have the exact same life-issue as a result.
And then the needed actions are diagnosis, distinguishing, distinguishing the invisible aspect of reality, and finding the action that corrects the issue from just three lines of poetry: the three famous lines of Hillel.
If you are not for yourself, who is for you?
If not now, when?
If you are only for yourself, who are you?
The invisible dynamics of reality can be used as diagnostic tools… the first and bigger part of the job is to see where the small self deals in unreality… and set it straight.
And then ask the three questions.
Neither the first part or the second solves the issue, creates harmony between the selves.
This harmony we call integrity. Fragile, ever changing, precious.
- Keeping your appointments, promises to others is not integrity.
- Being a good person is not integrity.
- Being nice, helpful, diligent, etc. is not integrity.
Integrity is when your two selves become one unit, working together…
I like to use the Star of David symbol for that… one triangle is the soul, the other triangle is the ego… what you call the elements doesn’t matter… only when they are superimposed that they can weather any hardship, any storm… roll through it like tumbleweed.
- I occasionally run this workshop, for free, no agenda, just to provide something that even in my best and most intense courses I cannot give: a free coaching session
- In looking at what other people are doing, I can safely assert that 99% of the advice given is of this sort: wrong direction… and doesn’t change a thing, or make things worse.
- Listen to the recording