Will the REAL Gary Please Show Up in Mid-Atlantic Pathwork!
Pause and Consider… Will the REAL Gary Please Show Up in Mid-Atlantic Pathwork!
In daily review I was aware of the wonderful weekend Pat and I had had – cooking and entertaining together for friends and family, great coffee times, my fulfillment in blogging extensively, our 3-hour hike at the Nature Center where I had time to photograph and be awed by still again the variety of wildflowers – the ivory white of the solitary May-Apple blossoms, the stunning yellow petals of the Celandine-Poppy, the unique simplicity of the nearly inconspicuous tiny yellow flowers of the Kidneyleaf Buttercup, and of course the majestic stance of the Jack-In-the-Pulpit – I was lost in the beauty of Nature around us. Offset only by a blister that arose on the big toe of my right foot.
Focusing Statement: Pathwork Lecture 131 Interaction Between Expression and Impression; ¶17
Whenever an aim for self-expression and fulfillment stubbornly remains unfulfilled, a denying attitude that does not want it, that holds back from it, is overlooked. There is an attitude that — even without saying an outright no to it — refuses to reach for it, for whatever motivations and reasons. If you persist in denying the fact that you reject your very wish, you cannot eliminate hopelessness, which is always a byproduct of such an inner situation. As long as you are only aware of your conscious desire and do not see the unconscious withholding of yourself from the desire, there must be hopelessness. The only way you can dissolve the hopelessness is by directly going toward that side in you which says, “No, I do not want it.” This still has not occurred to many of my friends who linger and dwell in their hopelessness. Instead, say: “If I feel hopeless because I do not get what I want, what is it in me that says no to it? I want and intend to find this denial.” Then the hopelessness will dissolve.
Let me begin with where in life I am fulfilled and do express myself. What floats up as I explore areas of expression and fulfillment are: my personal and spiritual growth, my relationship with Pat, my body at its new weight, my website and blog, my photography of wildflowers, my relationships with my kids and special friends. I am uplifted to actually see this – I am humbled by such grace showing up in my life.
And then I ask, “Where are my aims for self-expression and fulfillment stubbornly remaining unfulfilled?” What floats up immediately is my relationship with Sevenoaks, the Mid-Atlantic Pathwork (MAP) organization. There are a few other areas where my aims are unfulfilled, but let me stick with MAP.
Let me consider the words of this lecture word by word. So my aims for self-expression and fulfillment in MAP remain stubbornly unfulfilled. And the lecture invites me to consider as true that my attitude toward this unfulfillment in MAP is one of 1) denying that I do not want fulfillment and self-expression in MAP, 2) denying that I hold myself back from self-expression or fulfillment in MAP, and 3) denying that I refuse to reach for fulfillment and self-expression in MAP.
Is this “denying attitude” really true in me, as the lecture suggests? Let me examine this. Certainly I get involved in many roles in MAP – Board of Trustees, Treasurer, Finance Committee, Pathwork Council and sometimes helper and teacher. So my ego would quickly say, “Look, Gary, at all you are doing in MAP! Look at your commitment to be of service in so many ways!” But with all this hard work, I protest, why am I not feeling more fulfillment in all this activity in MAP? Is this lecture wrong?
The question that arises in me as I sit with this is, “Who is the Gary who is in all of these roles? Is this the real and true Gary, or some caricature of what my ego thinks Gary ought to be doing – that is, ‘the responsible and competent Gary’? Or, is it most likely that the Gary who shows up in MAP is a combination of both these Garys?”
Wonderful questions. What I can see is that being the “responsible Gary” in these various roles, especially in leadership roles, is comfortable. But in these roles I could also be fooling myself and others. How? In these many roles I could be demonstrating to myself and others that 1) of course I want to be contributing in these roles, expressing myself in them and feeling fulfilled as a result, just look how much effort I am putting in, 2) certainly no one could say I was holding back, and 3) just look how I reach for doing more and more!
And, while some of this is true on the surface at least, much of this work and effort that I put forth could also be in part my mask self showing up, and perhaps in a big way, thereby blinding me to a deeper truth that the REAL GARY is, in fact, not showing up. Perhaps my ego does not yet trust my REAL GARY and so my ego 1) does not, in fact, want to let the REAL GARY express itself, 2) does, in fact, hold back my REAL GARY and keeps it “safely” at bay, and 3) does, in fact, not allow my REAL GARY to reach for its full self expression and the resulting fulfillment that such expression would bring. This REAL GARY not showing up is familiar territory for me.
To recapitulate, I can see that with this pattern of behavior I could actually be in denial of the REAL GARY not showing up in MAP. My image (wrong belief) is that it is safe in MAP for my mask self to show up, but it is not safe for my REAL GARY to show up. This makes me feel hopeless, because the truth is just the opposite. While my mask self provides a pseudo-safety, it cannot provide real safety. And as long as I settle for pseudo safety I shall be anxious and live in fear and unfulfillment. Only living from my REAL SELF can provide real safety, and only in boldly expressing my REAL SELF will I experience a deep sense of fulfillment.
So who am I in my REAL SELF and how can finding expression of my REAL SELF in our MAP community lead to a deep sense of fulfillment? Will the REAL GARY express himself in roles of Pathwork Helper, Teacher, Treasurer, or a member of the Board, Finance Committee, and Pathwork Council? Or, maybe it is HOW Gary shows up in these various roles that matters rather than the roles themselves – showing up in all these roles as his REAL SELF rather than any masky kind of self. And are all these roles a few too many roles to fill if I am true to my REAL SELF? I see that these are really good questions to explore, as the journey continues.
And once again, as this time of meditation comes to an end, I feel an enlivening energy in this amazing self-search. And I realize that I do not do this intense self-search in a trap of narcissism in order to find fulfillment for myself alone. Quite the contrary. Only in expressing my REAL SELF will I make my true contribution to the planet and to the Plan of Salvation. My journey, like your journey, is for the benefit for all beings. May it be so.
Shared with love, Gary