Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Step 9 - Undoing The Stories That Bind You


I’ve spent the last year crying most weeks, often every morning. It has been a powerful, healing process that I don’t fully understand. What I do understand is that first person I need to love is me. When I have no love for my Self, it is not possible to love anyone or anything else. Self-hate, in my growing knowledge and experience, is the only problem that we have.

However, self-hate often won’t appear as self-hate. Instead, it comes with an effort to improve my Self (because I am not good the way I am) or the indignation of not being seen as you imagine (how dare you treat me that way) or the longing for love (when will I know that I am worthy of you). We rarely consider these emotions originating from self-hate, and we often blame others for how we feel.

Victims are violent people - violent against their own Self. The pain and suffering a victim feels is not inflicted from without, it is inflicted from within: when you rage against what others say, you become the person afflicting your Self. It is never another person who causes you pain, it is only ever your Self that would not love you enough to know that those other people are wrong about you. Poor them - how sad that they fail to know the real person you know and love. Compassion for others is born from the love of your Self.

Over these last years I have been disparaged, misunderstood and criticized by more people than I can possibly know. It’s part of public life, part of what it means to take a stand and commit to something. When I used to care about other peoples’ opinion more than my own, I ached so much I resorted to alcohol to anesthetize my longing. Now there is only one opinion I value above all the others: my opinion of me.

When I hate me, I suffer and end up hating you too. When I love me, I love you. This is all too simple for some people, but the essence of truth is simple. My precious teacher Marjorie Barstow, in describing Alexander's discoveries, once remarked: “This is so simple, it is shocking.”

I feel the same way. It all came to me for the first time when I was 18 years old - and this insight keeps returning as I grow older - that downward pressure is the result of self-hate, it is the result of failing to forgive your Self for being who you are in the moment. You are that, nothing else. If you say “I wish I did not do that, say that, think that…” what is left but to hate your Self?

Hate fills the space when love absents itself.

Love is what is there, hate is what we add. Our heads do not need to be poised on our spine because that is what happens organically when we are present, loving and being who we are. Heads start pressing down on spines when we are not present, when we imagine ourselves as wrong, as lacking, as victimized, as some kind of mistaken person that needs fixing.

You do not need fixing. Alexander's discoveries are not a fixing phenomena. Alexander's discoveries reaffirm what already is, and present us with concrete, scientific proof that when we hallucinate and believe a story that would argue with how things exist, we can see it’s harmful presence almost immediately by observing the relationship of the head to the spine and whole self.

Yet this pain we feel is also part of our perfection - it is what is right about us, not what is wrong about us. When we do the things we do, if we create such volumes of self-hate in our internal dialogue, pain and suffering is the natural sign that lets us know we are out of harmony with the truth of who we are.

What stories do you carry around that cause you to feel pain? These are stories that actually bind you to the world that you do not want be in! You are not in that world when you cease imagining it. It doesn’t matter if your story is a happy one, but when it causes you pain, why keep it? There is only one world, the one that is here right now, not the one in your imaginations. While you live in a painful story of what is wrong with you, with her, with them, with him, with the world - you miss the moment that is all you have.

This is the work that rests at the heart of what I do. Everything else is there to support it.

This is the work.

4 comments:

  1. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU, JEREMY.

    This is brilliant, and perfect, and oh-so-true, and it makes my heart and mind and soul so happy to read the truth that I know reflected by someone else. It's like playing my violin and hearing something in the room vibrate to the same pitch, glorifying Sound itself.

    I so often feel like my way of teaching and living is off-the-wall--so different from how others teach and live, because I believe what you are saying (although I don't use the same words; I don't usually contrast love with hate; I contrast it more with ignorance or lack of awareness, but I think we mean the same thing).

    I, too, am all too often criticized for how I choose to express mySelf through the way I live, and this can make life very challenging. I find it the most difficult thing in the world to stand my ground and stay committed to Love, in the face of the fear that surrounds me in the world, and still lies hidden in myself--simply because I'm human.

    I am very happy to find others in the world like myself...and to remember that, deep down, we are ALL like this. The more I teach, the more I realize that we are all really the same on the inside. I firmly believe there is only One Self, and we are aspects of that One. And that One is not other than Love. To me, this is what the Alexander Technique is all about. It is about becoming aware of this, and inhibiting whatever is within me that blocks this awareness and prevents the Love from expressing Itself.

    Thank you again for expressing the Truth that is You.

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  2. And an enormous thank you from me, too.... I read this early this morning before going out, carried them with me through the day, and I am re-reading them now at way past midnight, and the words are sitting so beautifully. I want to write so much more, but for now may I just thank you, and you too, Jennifer, for your words are also perfect.

    How good it would be to have fewer miles between us all and to be able to meet, but how good it is to be able to share in this via the internet - and to know that those of us working in this way are not as alone as it can sometimes feel.

    Yes, my 'Living Your Truth' work, with FM's extraordinary principle firmly at the centre of it, feels nothing but an honour on a daily basis. How blessed we are to work in this wonderful arena. To see people realise and connect with their Truth is pure joy.

    Love and blessings and all joy to you, Jeremy - brave, courageous, strong, loving work, as ever. Thank you so much for that.

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  3. Thanks to you both for your heart felt comments.

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  4. Hi Jeremy,

    I liked this quote from you especially:

    " Victims are violent people - violent against their own Self. "
    Something to closely observe in oneself for sure, as it seems to be one of the most self destructing habits. It constricts the flow of who we are or can be; life is a gift after all, spending it in self hatred is really a waste too. Thank you again for your courage and beauty in revealing your heart and mind. I wish for you many blessings!

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