I just had a short and intense workshop entitled No Self-Hate. I was going about my business, attending to work, family, practice…Life. And in came a communication, “This job was done wrong, you’ve put us in a terrible position, how did you mess this up?” No, that wasn’t the actual communication, that’s what was heard after a simple inquiry was filtered through conditioning.
And when I checked it out, yes, the job was done wrong. Immediately all of the conditioning flooded back: you screwed up, what’s wrong with you, how could you have made such a mistake, they must think you’re stupid, and on and on. And I saw the lean toward the conditioned response: defensiveness, hiding, feeling bad, self-hate.
What dropped in from Life and the Mentor was: We’re not going there; whatever else is going on, no self-hate is the first step. All we know is that something was done unskillfully, possibly unconsciously, and what’s required now is to show up for the one who is being blamed and beaten up and communicate, take responsibility (for being here, not for the false responsibility of engaging in the beating up) and get here to attend to what is here now. I did a two-handed recording, took a few breaths, and did just that.
This workshop reminded me why I practice when there is no “crisis.” If I’m immersed in practice in my daily life, when conditioning inevitably arises, the interest in following that path into the conditioned response is diminished. And the faith and the ability to do what works, rather than what the conditioned human believes is keeping him safe, becomes stronger and stronger.