The Dis-ease of Minimizing
I just got home from leading an amazing three day Shadow Process Workshop at the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, New York. When I say it was amazing, I mean it was absolutely mind-blowing. People who come in looking tired, resigned, angry, and worn out walk out transformed. When they leave, their eyes are flooded with light. Their smiles can light up a room. Their hearts are open and they hold possibility in their hands. It's such a miracle to witness transformation. And it always begins with a desire for change that is so strong that one decides to commit a weekend and make all the arrangements that go into taking the time away for themselves. That intention and that commitment drive their unconscious in a new direction. And after three days of going within, saying things they never thought they would say, sharing their secrets with new friends, and laughing so hard at the absurdity of being human, voila! They become someone that is unrecognizable not just to the people around them but also to themselves. This is what I live for. But what could pull these people down or bring them back to their old ways? The almighty Minimizer.
The Minimizer showed up three days after I arrived home. I was listening to a very disturbing conversation about someone who had trained with me for over three years, someone who I watched transform from a crying, angry, powerless woman to a strong, independent, self-respecting and talented transformer. Here, years later, I heard that this woman was angry at me and one of my staff and that she was saying quite horrible things about me despite all the value she had gotten (the gifts are beyond anything I could list). For a moment, I was perplexed that she could minimize the hundreds of transformational moments she had with us, all that she had learned, all the ways that she had grown, and then I realized that she had just been afflicted with the dis-ease of minimizing. She couldn't remember anything good. In fact, she was caught in her own projections. This is a classic example, and we are all in danger of coming down with this dis-ease. Maybe we minimize our mothers who cared for us, who carried us around, who fed us, who drove us to school or afterschool activities. Years later, we focus on what we didn't get from them, what didn't work, or the incidents we feel scarred us. Or maybe we minimize our teachers who supported us, pushed us, told us that we could be better than we are, and now we can't even remember their names. Maybe we minimize the impact that our exes had on our lives, even if they tried to make us better people, supported us in bringing forth our gifts, or gave us our kids who we love. In the midst of heartache, all we can remember is what we didn't get.
The ability to minimize those who have been the great contributors to our lives has deeper consequences than we can really imagine. As we minimize all that we have received, we are also minimizing ourselves. When we are not in deep gratitude or appreciation for the growth that has been given to us, when we spend our energy making others wrong, finding their flaws or just being ungrateful, the effects are far-reaching. We actually draw forth that same minimization inside ourselves. We hear the voice of our Minimizer inside our own minds. "I'm not strong enough, not good enough, not young enough, not lucky enough." Sound familiar? That's the voice of the Minimizer. "I could have done better. I should have done better. That person should have done this for me, said this to me, looked at me like this, talked to me like this." The Minimizer exists right now inside of you and if you want to take your power back and remember who you are and let the light shine bright through your eyes, you can do this by busting through your Minimizer. You can start by acknowledging all those you have minimized. As you acknowledge what you did receive, what did support you, what did help you, what did change you, what did move you forward in your life, you remind yourself of the true gifts of another and at the same time, you acknowledge the gift that you have been to another.
This week, allow yourself to see all those you are making wrong, all those you are projecting on, all those who have given you new life in some way that you are hating on. And then transform the lens through which you see these people. Start to write down the gains, what you've gotten, how you've grown, who you've met, and who you've become. There, you will find the power and be able to heal the dis-ease of minimizing.
With love and blessings,