The Work

Most people perceive me to be, among a lot of other things, a loving, peaceful person. And I am. With most people, most of the time. Yet, there is one person who pushes all my buttons. When I meet him, I immediately get tense. I expect the worse and my mind starts making up all kinds of negative stories. Even after I’ve met him, my mind won’t stop. For about a week, it will keep playing all kinds of scenarios to the point where it drives me crazy. With other subjects, I can easily divert my mind from unwanted thoughts to more pleasant thoughts, but with this one it feels like my mind is running the show, expressing shock, disbelieve, sadness and even anger.

I have learned enough about human psychology to know that we see in others how we see ourselves. He and I, we mirror each other perfectly, and of all the people I interact with he has the most to teach me about myself. Yet, this awareness did nothing to change the situation. My ego found a bone to chew on and it simply will not let go.

The only way to stop my ego from chewing, is to take the bone away. That could mean, eliminate that person from my life, but better is to find a way to make peace with how I feel about the situation. So, I’ve started peace negotiations. With myself. I’m looking in this perfect mirror that has been presented to me in the form of a human being and look for me. I look at his behavior and see things about myself I did not want to see. I look at my reactions and they are revealing things I did not want know.

It is a painful process, but most of all, it is liberating. With every look I take, I see myself clearer, I am more who I am meant to be and I slowly feel peace settling in places I have never felt it before. The inner work I’m doing is aptly called The Work and I recommend it to everyone who wants to get his ego in check.

Comments 4

  1. You wrote a while back about 2009 being your year of truth. Well it seems that 2010 is a transition year for me. Lots of things happened: lost my job, lost what I thought was my best friend, etc.

    This friendship made me realize that I wasn’t loving myself enough. I wanted so much to please her and that everything was ‘good’ that I was making myself very small in order to just get along. Getting romantic feelings for her along the way made things even worse.

    A month or so ago, after not hearing from her for around 6 weeks after an ‘argument’, I decided to send her a last (?) e-mail (she’s in the US for 2 years) thanking her for the friendship and wishing her all the best.

    I had to do this, because I was going mad the last months. Constantly checking e-mail/skype if she had responded, giving me a lot of stress and physical problems. I HAD TO detach and love myself.

    In the beginning this detaching was very hard and still I think about her, but it doesn’t cause me so much pain anymore.

    This was a BIG lesson for me. I should stay close to myself, don’t let other people influence how I feel. Easier said than done.

    So I ‘eliminated’ that person from my life and invited myself back in.

    Just so you know 🙂

  2. Post
    Author

    Wow! Thank you Mark for sharing so candidly. I’m touched.
    I say good for you! I applaud you for making a choice that feels right for you. You’re right, staying close to ourselves, especially when we have never learned this, is easier said than done. Old habits die hard. I know for sure that everyone knows what is best for him or her. For you that may be saying goodbye, while for me it is changing my view on the situation. I’ve chosen this road 10 years ago and it has brought me nothing but blessings. I feel deeply grateful to have this person in my life, for having the opportunity of seeing the ‘old’ ways in which I still undermine the love I have for myself. They say people are in your life for a lifetime, for a season or for a reason. I know, he’s here for a reason.
    Again, thank you for sharing your story. I wish for you will rise to the occasion, that this year will provide with you a deeper knowledge of who you truly are, and that you will embrace the opportunity to grow more into you. May you flourish in every way imaginable. Namaste.

  3. Thanks a lot, Norea. [grappig dat we in het Engels schrijven trouwens].
    Wonderful that you can see that that person is here for a reason. Knowing that makes it maybe easier to see what happens to you when you’re around him.

    You’re right, everyone (eventually) feels/knows what’s the right way for him or her. I’ve learned a lot of lessons in my friendship and she has too. I’m not sure if this is a definitive goodbye, but for now, I know that one lesson (love yourself) taught me to detach from her. That was the only way to move on with my life.
    I really feel (well sometimes at least) that I gained a lot of freedom this year. A lot of change and change is scary, but good. That way you can grow in all sorts of ways. It’s sometimes difficult to keep the momentum. But I can see that if I put something in motion, the universe supports me. I must remember that…
    I wish you peace and lots of love.
    Mark

  4. Post
    Author

    in Proverbs it says, there is a time for everything. And although it sounds a bit overused, I do believe it’s true.
    And yes, change is unsettling, but it often provides us with lessons we could not have learned without.
    But most of all, you’re so right when you say you have put something in motion. Having experienced what you didn’t want, you now know so much clearer what you do want. All that is left for you to do is to direct your energy in the direction of your pure desire, take inspired action and let the Universe handle the details. There is no doubt in my mind that what you ask for is always given. Love and peace to you.

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