My Most Powerful Challenge

Sunday 27 January, 2002

09.30 E&M 70 mins. During the meditation I felt my positivity. The birds were singing outside and the light coming through the window was bright enough to remind me of a summer’s day and, as it is prone to do these days, that feeling took me back to a time when I must have been five or six years old and was blissfully happy.

I may even have been younger because the divorce happened when I was five. Nevertheless, the feeling I have when this happens is one of joy at being alive – the world is a wonderful place and I have no worries at all. When I feel like this I also connect with some memories of my time in Germany. In neither case do I have specific memories, just a feeling of immense well being and happiness, and that everything is okay.

Scared Of Their Own Abilities

On the way to the house, however, I began to feel resentment. After yesterday’s time with just me and Karaj, I did not want to see the other men. This was the negativity I had realised existed in me when I sat quietly yesterday morning, but I still did not make this connection. My resentment concerned the fact that the men are fucking around with their process and in doing so they are messing with mine. I feel I am outgrowing them and their negativity.

I am ready to move on and they are messing around with the same old issues – Dev’s fear, Robert’s women and arrogance. I have brought these people this far with my appraisals and my commitment, and now, when I need them, they are falling by the wayside. Dev was told by Karaj to work with me. He inspired me to move forward – which I have – then promptly disappeared and is still lost. In addition, the weekends which had produced so much at the end of last year have become a habit, a ritual, and are rapidly becoming ineffective.

We should be grateful and should celebrate when we are shown our true reflection, but these people are frightened to confront themselves. Moreover, they are frightened of who they can become. They are scared by their own abilities and potential. I am the same but I am willing to surrender to the process and do what is necessary to sort myself out and I need the support of good people, not of childish individuals who would rather complain and judge others as inferior or wrong (just like I used to!) in order to avoid having to confront their own issues.

I challenged Robert on his phrase from yesterday: ‘crying off’. Again, he displayed typical Robert-behaviour, telling me I was mistaken and that rather than the interpretation of a little girl crying, which is how I understood it, his meaning inferred more a shouting of orders – strong not weak. I brought Dev and Sunil into the conversation and asked for their interpretations. They were the same as mine. At that point Calvin arrived.

It wasn’t until a few hours later that Robert came back to me to tell me that I had been right and that he had been depressed all day yesterday – hence the negativity – but had not talked to anyone about it. He also confirmed my feelings from yesterday that he had not believed what I had said to him. He later said that his feeling had been that ‘nobody wants to play with me anymore’. A feeling he’d had as an eight year old when the boys in the playground didn’t want to play with him anymore.

A First Attempt

By this time we had begun a supervision session which would lead to me releasing my negativity and embarking on a phase in my journey which will take me where I want to go – to become a person who can confront people face-to-face in a straight and open fashion and with respect, resulting in a win-win situation. After a few hours, during which we worked mainly with Dev and his current negativity, Karaj urged me to say what I said to him privately about the resentment I felt today.

I struggled at first, reading from the notes I had made during the day, not being able to look up, not wanting to look anybody in the eye considering what I was telling them. Ishwar encouraged me, saying that it’s okay to say what I was saying because it’s all true. I told them, with particular reference to Dev and Robert, that their commitment is not good enough, they are not working hard enough to progress and that the negativity they carry with them is halting my progress. I told Dev that having offered me his support he has just fucked off.

I had antagonised Robert immediately and he reacted as he always does – blocks, negativity, arrogance. Karaj told me that I was not angry enough and was not going far enough. He supported me fully when Robert was being indignant, but he still would not let me off the hook, insisting that I let it all out and tell these people what I think. I tried again but again fell short of what was expected of me.

Robert goaded me with the arrogance I used to show to the Christian preachers. Dev encouraged me to speak – he wanted to hear what I had to say, but still I could not deliver. It was only when Robert told me to be straight and blunt with him that I felt a shift in me, but by this time I felt spent. When I verbalised this, Karaj called a break saying that if I am spent it is because someone has sucked my energy.

Karaj told me to write down what I want from Robert and the others and how I will know that I am getting it. As the others filed out Karaj said to me, ‘Get your energy up. Robert has sucked you in. You’re impotent. Sort it out tonight or you will go ill before you go to Germany.’ Ishwar turned to me as he left the room and said, ‘My advice to you is to get it out’. He had commented earlier on in the supervision that he had come here to to do positive work, yet had found himself embroiled in negativity.

The Challenge

When we reconvened I listed my wants to Robert. Karaj told me to slow down and give him a chance to respond. I told him (Robert) to stop blocking. All that happens when he blocks is that we both descend into our fuck-you attitude, which gets us nowhere. This attitude is something I want to get out of because I have realised recently how restrictive, negative and defeatist it is.

I told him to stop being so negative and to begin to catch himself being negative rather than rely on others to pick it up only for him to block us when we do. I told him to show me that he is learning, by relating his present situations and lessons to previous experiences – be they his or others in the group – and I told him to surrender.

I looked him in the face all the time I was talking and when he returned comment, with his typically deceiving sincerity, I stood firm. I could feel myself going emotionally soft and accepting his sincerity and I cut myself short. I recalled Karaj’s words and did not allow myself to be sucked in. It felt very empowering for me to remain straight and solid, not emotional and accepting. I did not smile. I simply listened and nodded, remaining true to myself all the time.

The learning points for me are as follows:

  • I can challenge people face to face and look them in the eye
  • If I don’t verbalise my negativity it will mess me up physically, mentally and emotionally
  • I had to get it out before going to Germany – I am now liberated to achieve
  • I felt much lighter after the session
  • There is a healthy alternative to my fuck-you attitude
  • How I related to Robert is the normal way to relate
  • I am respectful

Robert responded that I had respected him fully and I have woken him up. I listened but was not sucked in. Only time will tell if he is genuine and committed.


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