Delivery from Ego
My nearly nine years of intense Pathwork has led me through the 5-year transformation program, the teacher and helper training programs, and several years apprenticing as a Pathwork Helper in the Pathwork Transformation Program at Sevenoaks. This was the program and I was in it. I would be a Pathwork Helper. I was on automatic pilot.
But something was not right for me in this. While other teachers and apprentices loved the group work in these classes, I was not on that page. I would feel disconnected and awkward in these classes, even after hundreds of hours of experience. Then this year I was asked to assist for a fourth year. My anxiety intensified. Of course I would do this, it was what people did in this program, my ego said. Finally, with help from a number of my counselors and friends, I got a grip on myself. Just because this is the official Pathwork Program as my ego understood it — going from first year transformation program and graduating from Helper Training to become a Pathwork Helper — it does not mean I have to be in it. Pathwork means so much to me, but participating in this way, a way that was so uncomfortable for me, was killing me. So I simply said NO. I would not do a fourth year of apprenticing in these transformation groups.
The relief was palpable. The ever-present tension and anxiety in my gut went away. The cloud over my head lifted. It was a new day. All I had done was say NO to something I did not want to do.
I could see so much of my life has been about saying YES to things where the true me would have said NO. This applied to key relationships, to church and church activities, and to many roles in other organizations. I was always caught by form and my ego attached its identity to that form. Sometimes these situations went on for decades. At least now I could get past this artificial and self-betraying YES to my authentic NO more quickly, years, vs. decades.
But there was a test. When I announced my NO to the leadership, the response was indifferent, “OK, we have many other great apprentices to choose from.” My ego was stunned! You mean I’m not even needed? Wanted? But before my ego could get too far into his pain and hurt, I broke out in laughter at myself. My ego was so identified in form, here being a Pathwork helper apprentice in groups, that when I was relieved of something my soul did not even want to do, my ego felt pain. Oh get over it, I could now say, with a big smile on my face. Victory!
AND I notice without this pressure in doing what I don’t like to do I am free to do what I do like to do, both in my Pathwork and elsewhere in life. My Pathwork will arise on its own. Perhaps in one-to-one work that I so enjoy. Or maybe teaching. Or, maybe some day, even back to group work. But it will happen organically, slowly, not because my ego is identifying with still another role, all be it a Pathwork role. Oh there are resistances to doing what I want to do too, but much better to find my resistances to what I do want to do than resistances to what I don’t want to do. This entire experience was a big opening for me. I am lighter and happier. Closer to Life. Free to experience my own Pathwork in my own unique way, however that shows up. Yea.