A Quiet Man

Tuesday 21 August, 2001

I woke up with negative thoughts – nothing new – but I felt challenged too. Challenged by the nature of the development work the Sicily project was throwing up. It is tough work but great work too because I am realising that I can analyse and I can move away from my (adapted) Child ego state and my need to please others, towards a place where I can ‘faithfully and inexorably help people to risk themselves, so that they may endure the suffering and pass courageously through it.’ (The Way of Transformation by Karlfried Gras von Durkheim).

Spoke to George. He told me that the positive feedback on his progress which he had received from Sunil, Ishwar and me on Sunday had really lifted him. I asked him if he had written it in his appraisal. He hadn’t and he even seemed surprised that he hadn’t. I wasn’t, because that’s what we have learnt about George over the last few days – he doesn’t record and he doesn’t acknowledge his successes.

In the afternoon I met up with Calvin and together we made our way to do some work on Sunil’s flat. As we journeyed on the train I was aware of how emotional I was with Calvin. He is a very quiet man and his silence exaggerates my Child ego state which, if it goes unchecked, means I talk more than I need to and faster than I need, in an unconscious attempt to draw Calvin into my conversation. When it doesn’t work, which it never does, I feel inadequate. Tonight I realised that I am better off checking my emotions and moving into Parent ego state from where Calvin and I can interact much more effectively. This is a great insight and with it I realised how much of a calming effect Calvin has on me – but only when I get hold of my runaway emotions. He helps me to quieten myself down and serves as a constant reminder of the benefits of coming from the Parent ego state. [Karaj: Great insight.]

Having assessed the situation in the flat we got straight on and sanded all the woodwork in the hallway and stairs until about midnight. We worked very well. I was grateful for the physical work. At first I felt daunted by the task, but the more I sanded the less input my mind had and the more it came to rest. Calvin worked hard on his area and seemed to be displaying all the hallmarks of a ‘be perfect’. I asked him if he is a perfectionist, and he told me he isn’t. I left it because I couldn’t work out what was happening. If Calvin is not a ‘be perfect’ then why he is he taking so long over his work? It wasn’t until the following morning as we took the bus back home that he told me his boss considers him a slow worker. It hit me then that Calvin is thorough in whatever he does. This provided me with an example of what Karaj had said on Saturday: Calvin (and Ishwar) both have rigid personal criteria but they need to verbalise them to prevent others having to guess. When I queried his nature he should have taken the opportunity to tell me that he is thorough, which would have helped me understand and prevented me from reaching the same conclusion as his boss.

After we finished sanding for the night, we worked through a couple of Sicily stories, one from Sunil and one from Ishwar. With Sunil’s we could analyse as we went along but with Ishwar I found it a little more difficult. However, when we reflected on the story as a whole both Calvin and I found that there was plenty of information there and all of it confirmed what we knew of Ishwar. I had originally felt very tired but the analysis woke me up; it is an exhilarating exercise utilising both thoughts and feelings.


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