Recent Insights: March 1999

Updated: Sunday, March 28, 1999

1. On learning about expectations.

I recently met someone at a single's event, and found out we had an incredible number of things in common. Subsequent phone conversations led me to believe that we were really aligned and at similar levels of maturity. It was only after going out with her that I learned how much I had imagined, and how much did not match reality.

I remember that as a child, I always tended to expect things to be bigger, grander, or more perfect than they turned out to be, and that although I've come a long way in seeing reality for what it is, I still have remnants of this pattern.

I also know that I need to see others for who they are, as that's what really respects them.

2. On accomodating success.

For the past year, I've started to become more active in working on professional projects: this website, my astrological writings, guiding people to the right astrology software, and my classes. As a result, I'm beginning to get results, to earn a little more income.

Much to my surprise, I realized that I had to stretch to accomodate the change, and to accept success. I've had to change my habits in order to support a greater amount of work. Now I'm getting up earlier, sleeping earlier, and paying careful attention not to get hooked into time-wasting activities, while keeping careful watch on continuing to take walks, and do other essential self-nurturing activities.

3. The purpose of therapy.

In an important conversation I had recently, I explained to a friend the value and effects of therapy. Most people don't understand how (effective) therapy works. But as a therapist for 24 years, I've come to really understand its impact.

Essentially, as a person gets to tell their story to a skilled therapist, the therapist creates an environment where there is no judging, no distancing, no exaggerating, but instead "holds the space" for the client to not only completely open up, but to recover -- to see that what happened is over, has been survived, and can be left behind.

If blame is necessary -- for often those who have always felt at fault need to go through a period of seeing what was done to them and recover their sense of innocence -- it is a passage. One mustn't get stuck in blame, or they'll be very trapped (see my Wisdom of the Week for Sunday, February 28th).

But at the same time, "walking through the valley of blame" and then leaving that valley and moving on to forgiveness and compassion and understanding how trapped the offenders were, is a sacred process.

4. The conditioning of women.

For all of the understanding I've had of women -- because I grew up among women (my father died when I was five months old) and because I'm a "soft" man -- I am still surprised as I become more and more aware of the degree to which women are conditioned to give all of their attention to others and so little to their own personal needs and voice.

There needs to be a big change in our culture, to where women are encouraged, from day one, to pay as much attention to their own selves as men are taught.

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