2017 was a tumultuous year for me. One which saw the birth of three new grandchildren (including twins), the death of my mother, and a serious accident befalling a close family member. On top of all that I’d to move out of my home for a couple of months to allow for some major building work to take place. So if you’re wondering why this website looked like it was a bit neglected in 2017 now you know!
Whilst I still held some client appointments, 2017 turned out to be very much a review year. In this I noted that since the start of my professional practice, 99% of my clients are and have been men. 99% of those who reply to the emails I send out on occasion are men. I enjoy working with men. I’ve now decided going forward into 2018 that I shall go deeper into creating content for men, and to serving them in my practice exclusively.
Even though I published next to nothing in 2017 I never stopped writing. As the growing collection of notebooks and journals in my various drawers and cupboards show. I’ve noticed over the years how I publish a fraction of what I write. And the terror that hitting that ‘publish’ button generates has intrigued me. I never understood why that was until recently. I know now.
I took a few days out last week for some needed and long overdue retreat time. In a meditation I had an image of myself polishing a sword and a shield. In another, a few days later, I saw myself sitting on a nearby hill writing. While the saying “The pen is mightier than the sword” came to mind.
Driving out to dinner one evening I played a CD from the audio version of Caroline Myss’s book ‘Entering The Castle’. In this she challenges the listener to examine their relationship with humiliation. “Of all the crimes against us that are unforgivable, at the end of the day if you boil down what a person’s action against you has been, it will come down to ‘they humiliated me’.” She asserts that humiliation is the most powerful fear there is. That it has controlled everything you’ve ever done. It has become your voice of authority. I’ve listened to this series of CDs many times. But that night there was a gap in my listening that her words penetrated like never before.
I don’t know if repressed memories always have unconscious destructive lies that accompany them. I found one that night that did. A big fat lie that had been buried in the dark recesses of my mind for the past forty years, and so did its work unimpeded. And did it very well. In all those years I gave my power to a lie that had an oppressive and commanding influence on my expression and my life:
Having just turned fifteen, I holidayed with some relatives in England during the summer. There I hung out with a boy of about the same age who lived next-door. We said we’d keep in touch and write to one another when I got home. This was in the days of paper, stamps and envelopes. It was all very innocent as I wouldn’t have had a clue about anything at that stage of my life.
Back at school, I shoved a yet to be posted letter to him between the pages of one of my schoolbooks. One of the nuns who taught me found it and proceeded to make a big deal of it. Sent up to the head nun’s office I was to discover that she was to make an even bigger deal of it. She wrote a letter to my parents, saying they’d have to come in and see her over it. I remember burning the letter which only served to escalate things further. Note to a younger generation; yes, this was writing to a boy who lived in another country, this was the crime. That’s how crazy things could actually be back in the late 70s!
I can’t quite remember what happened after that or what the punishment was. What I realised with a startling jolt last week was that at that time I reasoned that it was my writing that had got me into trouble. My writing was the cause of all the humiliation and shaming I suffered. Not the invasion of my privacy or the complete disregard for any personal boundary that would have been healthy for me to have.
I believed the lie that it wasn’t safe for me to write, in fact it was a very dangerous, high-risk activity. And if I ever should write I should take great care to ensure that no-one would ever get to see what I wrote. So most of the time up to now, whatever has been committed to paper has been safely squirreled away. Put out of sight, out of harm’s way.
Anyway, why am I telling you all this? It’s because I’ve learned something I want to share with you. That it’s not always what happened to us that hurts the most. It’s the lies we tell ourselves and believe about ourselves that the event was a catalyst for creating. You or I can’t go back and change any event in the past. But we can dissolve the lies that we drew like tentacles around our tender beings. Not knowing that what we hoped would protect us from the agony, the torture, of further humiliation or pain, would suffocate the life out of us.
In most years the UN dedicates international years to particular events or topics, yet hasn’t done so for 2018. So I propose 2018 to be ‘The Year Of Dissolving The Lie’. What may be some of the lies that you believe about your magnificent self, which may not even have their roots in an event in the past? The lies and myths your society rewards you for believing, that keeps you lonely and confused?
Your freedom, joy, your ability to trust yourself and your expression lies on the other side of this discovery. Lies are like chains. Each one we break is a victory. Would you love to choose freedom? If so, decide today, this very moment “What is one lie I’ve believed about myself that I’m going to dissolve right now? That I’m going to take my power back from? What is one lie that I’m not going to waste another second of my precious life believing? Trust yourself totally. Whatever comes to mind in this instant is it. See the hold it’s had on you and say loudly, firmly “No more”. Then let it dissolve back into the nothingness it came from.
Each time you do the above you’ll become freer of the lies, myths and conditioning that imprisons the mass of men. Never before has there been a time when as a species we need the unique contribution that only you can make. We need you to stand up and roar “No more” and mean it. Your journey into freedom has a ripple effect. It encourages those around you to likewise take up the sword of truth and use it well.
2018 is not a year to be luke-warm. It’s a year to get fired up. To choose freedom, choose love.