As noted with ¿Truths? Part 1, I am choosing to offer these thoughts simply to encourage growth. I submit them simply for self-study as an example of one person’s searching — such self-study is a very powerful way to come to know yourself. The list of these truths is long and I will submit it over a number of blogs, 25-30 brief statements per posting (now almost at the end).
As previously noted, a comment on language: I am not an advocate of scientific materialism, the philosophic ontology that only science can address truth, and that energy-matter is the only domain of experience in the universe. I value scientific methodology highly, but the overall terminology of scientific materialism has many hidden presuppositions. As much as possible, I will identify them in these posts.
(353 — Continuing from previous) So much of cultural/societal tradition encourages me to do good; I validate this.
(354) To be human is truly to encompass the human process—not the journey that I demand happen (being willful), but the journey to which I need surrender (being willing).
(355) Other people have done this journey before me—they can guide me. I can learn from them, and I have to do my own journey.
Guides come in many forms—most important for me is whether or not they have done their own journeying!! If they have, they offer me an example of integration; if they haven’t, they offer me beliefs (and shoulds)! I can read about shoulds in a book.
At some point(s), I need a guide—they can help me know what I do not know! They have been here before.
(356) Why do this journey? Why plan? Why work hard at living?
As a pattern generator, somehow I delight in a good map. And if I do not do this work, I suffer—a lot! I have choice about this!
(357) There are two major measures of the journey.
The first involves the development of humility, compassion and respect—for myself and others. Nobody is perfect and we all attempt to do the best we can. We all fall down.
The first measure is how quickly we get up, from an authentic fall to an authentic stance of getting up, not avoiding the pain!
The second measure is how we respond when others fall down.
(358) To be flexible with craziness (my own and yours’s) is also a true measure of maturity.
(359) There are two major measures of truths, including these truths!
- how inclusive is the truth. Who is excluded?
- how persuasive is the truth. How do I resonate with it?
(360) I seek the current edge of my truths; I chew on my own truths until I am complete with them. Two areas currently occupy my attention.
- I am clear that much of the/my therapeutic process is beneficial; I am less clear as to its harmful elements.
- This is still true in my “retirement.”
- In giving voice to my energy, what is the appropriate balance of my private inner world and the part of me that needs to be heard in the public domain.
- In my retirement, I am choosing to give more attention to the public. I want my grand-children to know that I did not accept the current insanity of our species, especially in the negatives associated with scientism and consumerism.
(361) Aspects of guiding/therapy are harmful. Some of my ways of harm are —
- I attempt to be a mentor, assisting others on their unique journeys. I do not do it perfectly—I make mistakes. I do not intentionally abuse others yet the potential is there, especially with mistakes in judgment. As well, I know that therapist-client abuse is a major societal issue at present.
- When is my therapy abusive?
- For the most part, I teach the skills of the inward journey. This is valuable and, I believe, essential to being a presence in the world. Yet I am myself not fully satisfied with the balance of inner/outer; sometimes I get stuck in being too inward, in not being public appropriately.
- Do I trap my clients in the same way?
- Often I use metaphor, the “inner child” or “sailors on a ship” as an example. Metaphor provides a frame to understand and experience. I am clear with myself that this is simply a model to aid understanding, yet I often get stuck in understanding, as opposed to action.
- Do I trap my clients in this way also? Understanding (actually overstanding, as used by society) is the booby prize!
(362) I believe that each guide/therapist has his/her own ways of causing harm.
(363) A growing edge for me is to be public in an appropriate fashion, to challenge the stance of others, the judgments of others, in a way that speaks my truth!
Fritz Perls said that “The only authentic statement is a demand!” For me, this is partly true; another authentic statement is “I stand here.”
(364) The more something bothers me, the more I have to learn about myself (this is an aspect of the pointing finger).
What is the troublesome aspect? How does it reflect my own issues?
(365) Human beings are creative! The above truths can be the basis of a very powerful life, with much choice and much joy.
I work/play so as to accept (A) what/who I cannot change (especially other human beings), change (C) what/who I can (especially myself), and treat (T) myself well in the process. I only have now (!) in which to do this.
(367) The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.
(368) The bog! The pit! Yuk!! How did I get in, this time, again.
Being confused in some fashion, often lazy or fearful. Saying “Yes” when I mean “No.” Following “shoulds”, my own or others.
(369) The bog! The pit! Yuk!! How do I get out, this time, again.
Clarity/choice/voice, especially choosing! ACT! Saying/doing “No” when I mean “No.” Saying/doing “Yes” when I mean “Yes.” Self-care, treating myself well!
(370) I still have choice about that which I cannot change.
A major choice involves whether I will continue to suffer or not!
Acceptance does not mean no pain; it means diminished suffering. And it is an active process, not a passive surrender: valuing the benefits, modifying as possible the costs. Living the Serenity Prayer.
(371) Human beings are magical. The above truths are not, and do not need to be, consistent—living is paradoxical.
To live fully, I need on occasion to step outside the bounds of rationality.
(372) Some additional thoughts—
- How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time!
- I have many questions, and only a few answers.
- The truth will set you free but first, it will make you miserable (and afterwards, it will bind you!)
- Honesty without compassion is disguised hostility!
- I will go as far as I can see; then I will be able to see further!
- Don’t confuse activity with achievement!
- 3Ds — desire, determination and discipline; 3Ps — patience, persistence and positive; 3Cs — courage, commitment and confidence
- Success is getting what you want; happiness is wanting what you get!
- Do I contradict myself; very well then, I contradict myself. I am large; I contain multitudes. (Walt Whitman)
- The Chinese pictogram for ‘Crisis’ has been said to mean both danger and opportunity!
(373) You cannot clarify repeated miscommunication by communicating further about it.
Gregory Bateson (and later, Robert Dilts expanded upon) the Logical Levels of Experience (Environment, Behavior, Capabilities, Beliefs, Values, Identity, and Spiritual), a holarchy of processes such that significant change at one level requires modification at a higher level.
Repeated miscommunication is a Behavior, and requires change at the Capability or Belief or higher level rather than more communication.
(374) You have hit bottom when you stop digging!
To be continued — one more to go!