Summer has been moving along at breakneck pace! Life has been very good and my therapy sessions here almost forgotten! There have been a few rain clouds now and then passing over head internally but to be truthful….nothing that caused any major anguish or ill feelings. Do I really need to search my soul and mind to FIND a reason to post? No, I don’t think that is the right way to go about this. hence why it has been almost two months since my last session. Life has been moving along so smoothly that if something had not appeared, I might have left the therapist to languish in the depths till an unknown time. Not to fear as there is always a thought, history or memory to deal with.
Last week something did indeed come up that took me back a bit to my early 20’s and the attitude contained within the younger Seumas (then James). A situation where I was walking through a store and watched a salesperson silently receive some verbal abuse for an unknown offense to the one doing the shouting. As embarrassment and a desire to run away took over but she stood there taking it. After the situation was over, things returned to normal and her supervisor acknowledged no wrong doing on her part but to still take away something from it in the form of a lesson. That….was perfect. Even if it was not her fault, gleanings can be obtained that help us daily. I was told this same thing when younger and while it was not always pleasant, being screamed at by someone for an accident of another or even a malicious act by others, I still wanted to take away a positive. As a younger man i was simply nothing like the man I am now. Completely different. No, I was not a horrible human nor had done “bad” things in others opinions…per se. But I never thought for myself, followed others who were supposed to ” teach me” and were educated in the life and religion I was part of. And I did just that, believing all I was told and not learning on my own what the facts were and to make decisions for myself.
Till I left.2008. That was when the world opened up to me and I started to educate myself in all of the areas that were forbidden to me as a JW. The parts of human existence and experience that if controlled, would allow others to control me. So much to learn, from sexuality (wow, was that world opened up to me! ) to politics, other beliefs, history (yes, some parts were discouraged) and just about all of those considered negative were banned.
How does this relate to the situation with the sales clerk being verbally attacked? Well I was also taught that I should glean any positive and good things from an experience. That even if it was not my fault, to take it and use that to my full advantage. Sure, some situations would call for me to speak up and defend myself. But, minor things could be very helpful in negotiating life’s bumps in the road . And that has made me a much better human in this regard. I’m quieter (some would highly disagree with this) and take things at a deeper rate than ever, digesting and learning.
For this knowledge, I thank various sources, the prime one being Jack Kornfield and Jon Kabat Zinn . Their insights did wonders for me and I’d never be the man I am now if their volumes hadn’t graced my desktop.