The Soul’s Journey – Control and Humiliation

November 7, 2011

I am sitting awash with shame, irritation, frustration and embarrassment at my behaviour on the phone. It was a call from the security company who monitor my house that triggered it. “Hi I am just calling to tell you that I can’t process your credit card for this year’s payment.” “Oh I thought I had told you. I don’t want to renew with you this year.” “The terms of our service require you to give us one month’s notice in writing.” “ I don’t remember agreeing to that, as far as I am concerned we have a year to year contract that is renewed each year.” “ It’s in the contract” “Well that is probably some small print I never noticed. You can’t do that and I’m not paying. Sue me.”

Just when I thought I had said goodbye to Charlie Control, he injects himself into my life again. (’t-think-the-chocolate-helped…/) This time it is even worse, there is no buffer between me and the caller, I have treated someone who was only doing their job discourteously and inappropriately. I feel pissed off with the universe and myself as well. How often did I have to learn this lesson, and why couldn’t I get it right. I had been working with seeing the gap and identifying complexes for what seemed like an eternity and here I am back down the hole again! I head downstairs and draw a rune, “reverse initiation” I don’t bother to read it, it will be all too familiar and somewhat tedious, probably something about self-improvement. I head out for a long walk planning to clear my head for the two client sessions ahead of me in the evening, and hoping I can do a better job with them than with myself.

The next morning I began to work with the experience. I noticed some interesting energy when she first told me why she was calling. She had called before and I had done nothing about the call. I had felt caught out. Then to my horror I realized I had also told a lie. I had known full well I had never contacted them. Then as though I was compensating for being in the wrong, I got more aggressive and controlling. As I explored my feelings I observed how childlike my reaction had been. I got caught out, told a lie then got mad. I tried to reflect on previous times when I had felt this way but nothing came.

I picked up the rune reading and smile in amazement. It talks about not binding myself to past achievements and recognizing the situation as a series of challenges specific to the situation you are undergoing.  The final few lines resonate deeply: Then each setback, each humiliation becomes a test of character. When your inner being is shifting and reforming on a deep level, patience, constancy and perseverance are called for. So stay centered, see the humour and keep your faith firm.

It’s as though Ralph Blum had written those words for me. I feel lighter and wonder what the right thing to do may be. I decide to write a card to the person I accosted on the phone apologizing, asking her to forgive me, also giving written notice while agreeing to pay if they show me the agreement and send an invoice. I was going to mail the letter but I live near their office although I have to cross a busy street to get there. I decided that if the universe clears the traffic I will deliver it by hand otherwise drop it in the mail. It is almost magical the way the traffic evaporates like the parting of the Red Sea so I cross the road, make the delivery and feel I am complete.

Unfortunately although my personality may feel it is concluded, something deeper within me has other ideas. The consequence is that I slip into a mindless state during the evening and the next morning – the on-line casino, an extra chocolate allowance and finally a comfort movie – Lord of the Rings that I have watched numerous times and still love. It was not until past one the next day when I dragged myself out for a walk that I began to wake up. “Just what is going on?” I asked myself. And somehow the stunning scenery of fresh snow on the mountains and the fall colour whispered an answer. “You are not complete yet.” The dominos fell into place. Of course the mindlessness is always a sign of resistance to moving forwards; I feel aggravated that I am slow to catch on then recall Ralph Blum’s wise words, each humiliation becomes a test of character. I begin to reflect and realize that although I have defined the complex, “I get caught out, tell a lie then get mad”, I have not explored it. I surrender to the embarrassment and then attempt to recall previous occasions when this complex has been triggered. I can’t think of any, maybe I have blocked them all out. Then a memory of a similar embarrassment, I used to own a property near Whistler. It had a lot of rocks on it that I was pushing over a bank not realizing that they were gathering momentum and creating havoc below me. Suddenly there was a roar of a neighbour’s complaint. I concealed myself and later lied about it but I did not get mad. I guess because I got away with it. Nothing more came. I asked myself that if I had developed this abysmal coping mechanism as a result of some traumatic experience, what could it have been? Then a somewhat unpleasant memory interjected itself into my consciousness.

I grew up under a very authoritarian father, fundamentalist Christian and basically if you lived in his house, you followed his rules. As a teenager I ran a gauntlet between behaving like a chameleon to blend in and affecting the stance of a rebellious teenager. As I grew up my lack of observance of his petty dictatorial rules was not confronted as I avoided making my behaviour too obvious however it all came to a head one Sunday evening. My father had a very traditional attitude to Sunday– no work, no play, no fun. (As a child I had to go to church three times a Sunday.) At seventeen years old I surreptitiously ignored this but this particular Sunday after a visit to the movies he was waiting to accost me. “Where have you been?” he demanded. Rather than make up a lie I told him I had been to the cinema. His fury was unrestrained and the next thing I was lying on the kitchen floor, victim of a left hook worthy of Joe Frazier.

As I strolled I wondered why this memory had popped into my mind and what its association was to my recent behaviour. I hadn’t told a lie and I had not been reactive. Then a piece of the puzzle fell into place. Perhaps this had been the moment that my unconscious decided to develop a new coping mechanism. If telling the truth and being passive had me dumped unceremoniously on the kitchen floor, perhaps it was start of being more deceitful and aggressive. I can remember that I did feel caught out when he asked me where I had been because I knew he would not like it. Was this fifty-year-old memory the clue I was looking for?