Being In Truth

July 16, 2002

I know that I tend to run back to old, destructive, behaviors when I feel threatened. An important recent discover of mine is realizing that I have contributed to leaving past jobs by shooting myself in the foot so I had to leave. I think, and this is only a guess, that I like it better when I feel like I am responsible for a situation ending rather than the other party. If I shoot myself in the foot, painful though that maybe, I am responsible for the end, not them. I can leave knowing (thinking) that they are okay. I think there are two primary reasons for my wanting to create this situation, my upbringing and my sister's death. I have put most of my sister issues to rest, but I think a part of me is mad at her for ending the situation without my say so. I didn't get to participate in her decision to end our relationship. So I try to control the endings of my relationships so that I make the choice and not them. As for my parents, I have always felt as if I was responsible for their emotions and feelings. Therefore I am responsible when they are sad or angry. When a work situation starts to go sour I want it to be my fault because that feels normal ~ that feels like home. If it feels like home then I can tolerate it. Making it feel otherwise is scary and hard. Even though making a situation feel safe and okay would be a good thing, I don't let myself see that side of it, I just see that safe and good is different from what was normal growing up.

So, while I don't like that I contributed to the end of prior work situations, I know that it is the truth and that I need to examine the reasons why so I can contribute to the end of future jobs in a way that is positive. Obviously I am going to contribute to each situation I am in; the only thing I can control is how I contribute. By not examining my participation in these settings I am letting my false-personality do the decision-making. Not a particularly good way to go about living.

At one prior job situation I acted as if the company was my parent. When the company merged I was mad at 'my parent.' I was going to force them to make me leave. I got my wish. At the next job I was afraid that I would be successful. I had never felt successful before, so it was an unfamiliar sensation and one that I wanted to avoid. When the going got tough, I left. My pre-IPO experience ended badly (as so many did). The layoffs had nothing whatsoever to do with me. I just happened to be let go. Where I did contribute to the situation was in the weeks that followed. I wanted everyone to feel sorry for me... trying on the martyr mantle; it was uncomfortable and unhelpful in the extreme. I also got to act out some vindictiveness by returning to that company knowing I was leaving soon.

Now I am working for myself. There really isn't someone outside of me to act out against. I am the sole actor in this little play. If I give into to that negative parental voice inside of me, then I will repeat the lesson that the TAO offered up each previous job experience. If, however, I can listen to my true inner voice (the voice of love and the connection I have with the TAO) then I will get the lesson and be able to move on to the next.

My intellectual self is critical and judgmental. My intellect never sees the emotional or spiritual component to anything. I grew up with intellectual responses to everything being normal. That is not truth. Intellect plays a part, but only a part. There are three other sides to this pyramid: emotions, spirit, and physical being. The lesson is to incorporate all these in proportion to solve the lesson at hand.

I need to do the emotional work that comes up as a result of being in the world and in situations that bring up emotions. I need to address the spiritual needs I have, as I feel battered and bruised by the day to day interaction with other forces. I need to listen to my body and attend its needs by sleeping and eating properly. And I need to use my wisdom to temper my intellectual process so that it doesn't run the show.

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Mark H. Nichols

I am a husband, cellist, code prole, nerd, technologist, and all around good guy living and working in fly-over country. You should follow me on Twitter.