In my last blog, we looked at reading people and situations by peeling back the story to uncover the essential dynamic: I-energy-here-now. I am now going to propose another step, which I have found to be most helpful. No matter how bad or good a situation may seem, assume what is happening here is that more of the quality of character of this person is emerging.
I used the example of a client who was feeling guilty about not being able to give more time to care for her ailing mother while dealing with cutbacks in her company. It turns out that—inner to the story—what was really happening here was a more loving and mature aspect of herself attempting to emerge. It was so much easier to be with the painful feeling when she saw the deeply caring part of her character that was emerging more fully in her now. She came to realize that by declaring a need for her own space she was better able to offer the emotional support her mother and her company needed.
Over the years, I have found that I can be completely confident that—inner to every story, situation and dynamic—this is always the case. Ultimately, it turns out to be about some part of the person emerging more fully.
I was sick through much of this summer with a stomach flu which took a long while to shake. Every few days, just as I thought I was getting better, it would hit again. I am sure you have had similar experiences. Yes, I blamed myself for lack of fitness, took it as sign of aging and so on. All the stories people tell themselves in such situations, especially those in our fifties. How could this stomach flu be about self-emergence?
I am one of those people who had learned to cover over my fear. I do such a good job at showing up as effective, even when I am nervous, that I had pretty much forgot what it feels like to be scared. There was one night this summer when, with the help of this stomach flu, that veneer cracked open. I was really scared. Scared the body would never heal, that I would let people down, not be able to support my family. I had got down to the essential dynamic: I-fear-here-now.
Along with this scared feeling, I had my deeper confidence. Somehow this has to be about self emerging. My confidence was well-placed. I have emerged as a person who can feel fear more fully. I am sensitive in a new way to how others are feeling afraid, even when they cannot feel it themselves. I understand where they are coming from like never before. I find myself approaching challenges with a new-found humilty, seeing more options than my previous know-the-answer mode allowed and guiding people in effectively navigating the fear that is driving difficult behaviors in those with whom they work and live. It has been such a gift.
The invitation is to look at any dynamic and see self emerging. It is there. There is some part of you emerging, or some part of the person with whom you are working. Becoming more aware of self emerging takes us to the cutting edge of transformation.