Growing Through the Pains of Leadership
Of late I have been very involved with Pathwork Lecture 206, Desire — Creative Or Destructive. I have come to see its application to my emerging role of leadership within my Pathwork community. To be in leadership means to show up. I like to do this when some of my talents are recognized and appreciated, but from this lecture I also saw my fear arise. Fully showing up, naked as it were, means that not only my talents are visible but also my faults and foibles, things I do not want to see in myself.
I come to see that I am not as competent as I think I am, that I am not as surrendered as I “preach,” not as loving and sensitive as I would want to appear, not as effective as a communicator as I might like, and in short, just not that strong leader I would want to demonstrate. Seeing these faults up close and personal is a real jolt to my system. This new self-awareness is the pain I experience as I step more into leadership.
Lecture 206 states, “Everything seems to hinge on how you react to pain — be it the pain of experiencing something, or experiencing the lack of it.” My natural tendency, like that of most, is to cover over or defend against this pain with which my imperfections confront me. I project my imperfections out onto others, they become the “bad guy” that I do not want to see in myself.
But this lecture gives an elegant insight in this matter. The truth is that I have strengths and weaknesses, good and bad qualities, beauty and ugliness. When I can see and accept these, truly accept these foibles as my current truth, I am on the road away from duality toward unitive consciousness.
In fact, from here I can find myself thankful for the pain of my newly seen faults and foibles that show up as I show up in leadership. Thankful? Yes! I can give up my ego’s mask of perfection that exhausts me in trying maintain a self-image of being error-free. I can be my ordinary self, present to all that is.
In fact I can welcome the notion of inquiry as to, Where have I been wrong? Been unloving? Made a mistake, even a serious one. Can I list these and simply be with them? Can I even look ahead and predict where, without consciousness, I’m likely to repeat these negative behaviors? In anticipating, perhaps I can make different choices! How refreshing, compared to the intense efforts of denial, cover-up, and projection!
And there is another twist. The Pathwork Lectures, and other paths, say that our unique strengths and talents bring up more fear in us than our faults and foibles. Why is this? Perhaps one reason is because my real strengths, my wisdom, love, creativity, intuitive knowing, all come from my oneness with Source deep within my being. As one Pathwork lecture put it, this is NOT good news for the separated ego who wants to be great and special in his or her separateness, not in his or her oneness with Source!
So surrendered leadership, or Leading through Presence, invites me to take off my masks of pretense by which I would present myself to the world, see all that is real in me, the ugly and the beautiful, and then commit myself to working to purify myself and to surrender to Source, which can transform my soul. May this be so, for from my core, my Divine Center, Source, a more purified and transformed leadership can emerge from my being.