Getting to the Real Me
You may not be what you think you are,
But what you think, you are.
In my yoga therapy training, I learned that the quality I believe I exhibit the least is usually the quality that underlies what I do. The idea is that I am blind to this negative quality in myself because it is so offensive to me. We all know very controlling people who complain about the controlling people around them or the people who flit from project to unfinished project complaining about how undependable others are. For me, this quality was that of non-violence. I find violence abhorrent. I do not use it, want to watch it, or be around those who do.
It took an entire summer, but, indeed, I discovered that I subtly used violence as a way to get my way. I tried to control situations I was in and would offer suggestions on what others should do. I beat people over the head figuratively, not literally. I had convinced myself that I knew better than they what was best for them. The violence was in my refusal to allow others to live their lives, and to trust in their ability to make decisions based on their experience and not mine. I was a very nice bully.
In the process of becoming more self-aware, I’ve learned I can change my intentions and actions. As I let go of my need to be in control, I am developing better and more trusting relationships with others. I become more open and vulnerable. Now I have an entire meditation practice that supports my desire not to use any form of violence. When my thoughts stray to making judgments or offering unsolicited advise, I try to step back, take a breath and let it go. The more I consciously think of how I want to live my life, the more I am able to do it.