Massive Potential

Friday 8 February, 2002

07.30 E&M 30 mins. Sunil arrived this morning in a delicate state after last night. I sat quietly with him. In the adjoining room Karaj was speaking with Harriet and I overheard him say that he wants me to reach the point where he and I are equal and I can do what he does. I have skills regarding the German language and culture which we can use to work with Germans – something which both Karaj and I will relish. I felt very encouraged by these words and not at all overawed. For the last month or so I have started to feel my potential and it is massive.

My hopes of being able to record the happenings of last night were short-lived. After preparing lunch I joined the others (Karaj, Sunil, Robert, Dev) outside as they worked on the new utility block. Before this I went to the shops where I bought some paracetemol for Robert. The young pharmacist quizzed me at length about symptoms and other medication and alternative remedies when all I wanted to do was buy some simple tablets. When I relayed this to Robert in the afternoon he reminded me of the time I was ushered out of the Catholic church after making enquiries on his behalf. The conclusion: errands for Robert are never simple. [Karaj: This should alert you.]

As I was preparing lunch I had the feeling that Robert’s present anger is not everything there is and, what’s more, it can be separated from the person. The anger is not personal to me or to Robert. It simply exists and there is no need for me to be affected by it. I can look beyond the anger and see the humanity which is buried beneath. This helps me because I so often react to people’s emotions, taking them personally and defending myself against them. I need only to be conscious about protecting myself against negativity, and then deal with people at the level of humanity. I voiced this in an early supervision session and Robert later confirmed that he often feels that his anger is separate from him. Good insight on my part. Good confirmation. [Karaj: Good learning point.]

We worked all afternoon and evening on the new block at the end of the corridor. The two main learning points for me were that I noticed how comfortable I am with my serious attitude. Moreover, it does not preclude me from having fun. In fact it makes the frivolous times even more effective and I am more in control of myself than when I try to be light-hearted. The other point was that as Karaj and I worked to put the beams on the roof, I let go of my perfectionism in order to get the job done as speedily as possible. It worked because not only did we do an effective and efficient job on the roof, I also enjoyed myself. I felt like a naughty little boy because I was going against my perfectionist conditioning. There is fun to be had when I move away from trying to be perfect.


2 Responses to “Massive Potential”

  1. George Says:

    Once again simple and clear. Two good learning points; don’t ‘fight’ other people’s battles, and do not allow perfectionism to hinder progress. They are both things that I find myself doing. The first gets me into difficulty quite often, and i am then ‘bashed up’ for not getting it right. The second stops me from getting on with the task.
    Thanks for reminding me of these issues.

  2. Jonathan Lewis Says:

    Thank you so much, George.

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