I’ve been teaching martial arts for over 10 years.
I have also been writing and speaking about self-development and parenting
for about the same amount of time.
And yet I do not consider myself a teacher.
Only a fellow traveller who enjoys sharing my lessons and learning from others.
Anything I write is what I’m learning and working on myself,
not what I think I KNOW or have finished learning.
Knowing is Different from Being
I have realized that knowing something is very different from
integrating it and making it a solid, foundational part of my being.
That is a lifelong process.
Years ago I was very preachy and thought I knew everything!
When people talked of their pain or struggles I would say
“Just let go! Trust the divine and flow along the river of life.”
Or even worse
“Make the decision to be happy and you’ll be happy”
There’s an arrogant piece of work if I’ve ever seen one.
Self-Development is Hard Work
Hopefully I’ve evolved somewhat and I’m not so flippant about it anymore.
I know that letting go is hard work
and the pain and suffering of people deserves empathy and validation
for it is real and very difficult.
In many ways I acted that way because I didn’t want to face my own pain.
If I was teaching others that they “just needed to be happy”
I could avoid the muck and mire that was in my consciousness
Wearing the Mask of Spirituality
There was a time that I never got angry.
In the beginning of my spiritual journey, years ago.
But since then I realized that I was repressing my feelings
for the sake of wanting to appear “spiritual”.
Not necessarily to anyone else, but to myself.
I didn’t believe in myself so I created a persona that I could be proud of.
The problem is it wasn’t the real me.
Once I gave up the desire to appear spiritual,
I was able to face myself as I was
a flawed being,
a seriously flawed being!
The Anger Came Back
With that acceptance though, my anger came back.
Or rather it resurfaced from the depths I had hidden it.
The beauty is that now I’d rather be facing it head on and working on it,
Even if it’s painful.
Even if it makes me appear less “spiritual” than I did before.
So I face it and work on it.
I constantly have to remind myself that my anger hurts me most of all.
That the Divine is always in control of every moment.
And that even the angriest, most hurtful person
is still my brother or sister, they just may not know it.
I also love myself as I am, anger, fear flaws and all.
I love my flaws for they are me
And I’m a pretty okay guy.
It’s a trick to work on something like anger without repressing it.
But it’s necessary to face it daily, continuously.
I often say:
You Can’t Pull Out A Splinter You Cannot See.
If I get angry and I don’t like the way I act
it can be very tempting to shove the anger down
so I don’t have to see that side of myself.
This is when I must love myself enough
So that I can face it and still see myself as I am in essence
Loving, Spiritual, Kind and Human.
Fortunately I did not stay in that place of denial.
Over the years I have been through many stages of development.
And I am still evolving, thank goodness.
The more I can see where I’ve been, where I am and where I want to go
The more patient and compassionate I am to myself and others.