Do we openly turn to self-inquiry? Do we ask ourselves…
How does this relate to something I can do that can empower me to let go of pain, make positive change, and strengthen intimacy with myself and with others? Am I willing to find out?
Do we use it as a reason to shame ourselves?
Oh god, I’m so stupid. I am so bad at doing that!
Or do we immediately think of everyone else that could change for the better by receiving what we just heard?
I know this would help so and so. I need to get that person to hear/ see/ do this.
I like to use this as a litmus test to see how ready I am to deal with things in my life. The second option, I hardly go to anymore. The third option is easier and safer than the first, and it requires nothing of me but to go into strategic mode on how I can get someone else to change (with good intentions, of course), and often, the story that follows is that I don’t think that person is “capable” of change, so then I judge and find myself stuck in my righteousness.
Right? Isn’t this what we do?
The first option requires some compassion, patience, pulling back on the pressure and the ego, and breaking it down. It can be pretty life altering because it requires some discomfort to go into unfamiliar territory. It can yield high dividends and open up new pathways. Like the Phoenix, we experience burning into ash and then coming out newly born.
There is a two-frame comic strip out there I once read with a guy on a podium in front of a crowd, and he says, “who wants change?!”
Every hand goes up.
In the next frame, he asks, “who wants to change?!”
All hands go down.