“Something seems to have changed in me and I can’t put my finger on what it is. … I frankly feel the same but people are responding differently. … There’s been a wholesale change in me, I’d say.” (1)
I awoke this morning knowing what it was. Was it more teachings in the night? Or dream work? I don’t know.
What’s different between me now and before is that I’ve dropped the act I developed as a child. That act was to be a difficult child to get my way.
I was the runt of the litter, typically ignored in family conversations and decisions . My needs were ordinarily not considered as much as I’d have liked. My answer to that was to be a difficult person.
When I didn’t get what I wanted, I became contrary, difficult, persnickety. Definitely not one you’d have wanted along on a camping trip.
I used to think of it as sticking a spoke in the wheel and watching the whole bicycle tumble. Wait until the family was packing furiously and then … well, we all know what to do then.
I’d imagine that every person who reads this has at some point in their life been difficult. But for me it became a survival skill, a way of life, and a career.
What’s the relation between a vasana, an act and the constructed self?
A vasana is like the grain of sand that irritates the oyster and moves it to create a pearl.
The vasana contains the memories of an experience, the conclusions drawn from it and the decisions made as a result of it.
Out of those decisions, the person creates an act that allows him or her to manouever through life avoiding the bad consequences enshrined in the vasana and getting what he or she wants instead.
The sum of all the acts, routines, numbers or scripts that people live their lives by is the constructed self. It’s a mechanical and automatic representation of ourselves that substitutes for the authentic and integrated being that we really are.
A vasana can be cleared by remembering the original incident and processing it through.
But an act extends its tentacles in many more directions.
Being difficult for me elaborated itself into always having a complaint ready, being pessimistic about the future, being skeptical of anything good, etc. Some of these beliefs lingered after the original intention to be difficult disappeared.
They dyed my personality. I used my irreverent jokes to convey a clever putdown. I was a past master at griping and groaning elegantly. I dignified all of it with labels like reformer, activist, hero, martyr, etc. But there was an angry runt underneath it all.
That act has dropped away. I see myself as not feeling the need to elicit sympathy from anyone or blackmail them into noticing and serving me. I don’t feel the need to control the people around me to get what I want.
Whereas before I’d be looking for bigger and bigger wheels to put sticks in, now that idea never arises and nothing arises in its place. No compensation, no guilt and shame, nothing.
I also want far less, with less intensity.
I can actually contribute to a joyous conversation for a change instead of playing the game Eric Berne called “Ain’t It Awful.” (2)
And it isn’t as if I’ve become a cooperative angel either.
It simply means that “being difficult” is absent. What’s underneath it is what’s underneath all acts – me. And who “me” shows up like is exactly as it does.
In other words, the result of dropping an act is not to get its opposite. It’s to reveal whatever is down there, which, since it’s a deeper layer, may have nothing to do with being difficult.
What we do with the purer, less deflated being we find down there is entirely up to us.
What allowed my act to slip away from me? Well, the work we’ve all been doing – on our vasanas, core issues, and false grids.
And the wonderful energies the Mother is sending us. And the guidance and teachings from our wonderful guides and the archangel we serve.
We’ve been at work for as long as I can remember and I congratulate and thank the people who’ve continued with the work, as if we were one large student body.
I declare that my “difficult” act has fallen away and I feel harmonious, outgoing, and optimistic. That for me is very unusual. This new normal is a wonderful relief after the self-created misery I inflicted on myself for the majority of my life.
(1) “Not Walking on Water Yet,” Nov. 8, 2014, at http://goldenageofgaia.com/2014/11/08/not-walking-on-water-yet/.
(2) Eric Berne, Games People Play – The Basic Hand Book of Transactional Analysis. New York: Ballantine Books, 1964.