The end of this week has been spent in a personal development course. I had a friend really push me toward the course because it was amazing to her and she saw the potential for it to be amazing to me. I didn’t want to go, but more than that, I didn’t want to disappoint this friend. I started without real expectations and came in with a boatload of skepticism. The course is called, “Basic” and it’s held by Mastery in Transformational Training.
An initial online search and sycophantic encouragement from a room full of people at this friend’s birthday party had me convinced it was a cult. I joked about heading off to be brain washed to friends because I was curious, but not convinced it was a wholesome experience. There were too many red flags for me. There were definite moments where this was reinforced. Everything is done with the intention of taking all of your beliefs and restructuring them based on new perspectives. It’s not far from where I had gotten in writing by myself. I am not the child I was when pain first left it’s mark in disappointment. As an adult, I can honor that pain, but I no longer reside in it. It is not my reality.
The class has games and directed meditations that will deepen your perspective of the life you lead and your motivations. There are moments when your classmates will work together to cull the person you want to be out of the heaviness of who you’ve become.
There was a moment of being called out and it hit me so profoundly. Part of what I was told was that I am arrogant. There are other words, but this was the most meaningful, because immediately I found this to be true. It was a moment that brought shame, but as the thought settled into the fine lines of my identity, I considered where it came from. I have spent so long feeling like nothing that the idea of being more than I was became a drug and a balm and a protection to me. I couldn’t decide if this arrogance was a bad aspect of my identity. I still can’t. At the same time, one of the things I deeply want that I don’t feel I have is confidence. My arrogance is a mask and a protection.
The class also showed me that I don’t take risks because of the control I need and the underlying fear that stops my development. I want to take risks. I want to live in bravery despite my fear. I want to do more and be better. I need to take the unknown road and commit to a bigger gamble.
There are other areas that have shifted and expanded for me . . . areas I didn’t know existed. Through writing, I was fairly certain I had worked through my Mommy and Daddy issues, but there was a deeper layer I had never explored because I didn’t realize it existed. It is a layer that at times makes me give space without realizing the pain it likely causes the people I love. How do we deny ourselves to others? How do we ignore them, and in so doing, what kind of example am I being to my sons? I learned from an Uncle that we are either the parent or the child in our relationships and we can choose what to be. I’ve since learned that as an adult, I can be an adult with my parents and it may actually learn their respect. I realized that it breaks my heart that I don’t often see my parents profoundly joyful, and it’s hard to see them age into the natural order of life when they have always been so strong, secure and independent.
I have sibling issues. Birth order issues. I did not know this. I saw it in a game we played and it is an example for the life I lead. I didn’t want to learn the rules of the game. I wanted to sit on the sidelines and pick a side that had more to do with the shade of lipstick I love. I wanted to listen and laugh at the snarky opinions I held that labeled the others in my group. I do this in life and with my family. Being the baby for as long as I was, my opinions weren’t valued. To this day, I wear a skepticism that negates any possible praise. My older siblings have moments where there is awe and acceptance for some of the major ideals that I share and this awe feels like condescension that I could come up with valid ideas that are too strong for a baby sister. I see myself as the baby and have yet to see myself as an adult. It was something that played out just on Father’s Day. I had an opinion that I negated without trying to be heard and at the end of the day, it was something we did and we all enjoyed.
Mostly the class so far has given me this perspective of authenticity in relationships that is in many ways still a haze of nebulous beauty. I don’t want to feel like my motives are ulterior and I want to give a fully disclosed transparency to others. I want them to know why I feel they are amazing and why I want their time. I want to understand what makes me see others as any less than beautiful and what could I do to make the interaction one where I don’t feel victimized by a power struggle but empowered by mutual respect and love.
I’m not a crying type but I left last night’s training after a day of tears that surprised me. It wasn’t all sorrow. There was dancing and deep connection and hugs that brought so much joy and sorrow that there were tears and smiles and encouragement. There was a shift and there was growth.
I headed to the beach because that is where I reboot and decided I would feed a hungry person. I ran into Patrick with the blue eyes and he remembered me from the last meal I gave him. We sat for a bit and I listened openly to him tell me about being younger in Arcadia and he now lives near my Mom. I was in a state of giving because of all I had received. Today is the last day and then we graduate. They suggest we surround ourselves with family and friends but I’m choosing not too. Everything is so fresh and raw and I’m hollowed out in places that I want to heal before I reach out with healing scabs. I need to process it still.
It’s not a cult, but they will scrub your brain. In a good way.