Reflection that creates Catharsis
Catharsis: the process of releasing, and thereby providing relief from, strong or repressed emotions.
Freeing old ideas and letting go of strong or repressed emotions is a reaction to awareness, reinterpretation of past hurts and action that encourages the manifestation of a new version of you. Inventory is a strong asset for internal clarity. For some reason we all write more honestly than we speak. The hand seems to have an easier time logging truth. (Not always but most often) Other ways to create relief is found in:
1. Making amends to others that we have hurt and being freed from guilt and shame
2. Investing in others that have made the same mistakes and helping them find their way
3. Using our past pain as a means to help others in different areas
4. Teaching what we have learned to our family and friends
5. Trauma reinterpretation sessions clear issues fast
6. Daily inventory written and reflected on
There are many other standard therapeutic methods for generating this cleansing but we primarily focus on what we as Coaches can provide or guide others to do. We will discuss daily inventory and the ongoing developmental value of that tool in a later module, but right now we would like to discuss reflection.
There are many metaphysical concepts in the market today and one the more popular concepts is The Law of Attraction. We are not here to support or deny this concept. It is a belief of some and not of others. It is based in principle that every thought, feeling or word is a prayer to the Universe of sorts and that the answer is constantly YES. As we focus our intention on particular outcomes or experiences they are attracted into our life path. I would like to discuss the concept I will call The Law of Reflection. This is based on a popular therapeutic concept What I spot I got.
We have done quite a few workshops with couples and one of the important exercises is to have husbands and wives separate for individual inventory in different rooms. Then the coordinator will have the husbands pull out 2 sheets of paper for the experience. We ask them to write on the first piece of paper everything that their wives are doing wrong. List all of their defects and get as many items listed as they can think of. Boy do they write a bunch.
My wife is not responsible with money
My wife doesn’t listen well
My wife thinks she is always right
My wife needs to be more honest
Now on the second piece of paper write out a recipe of change. Imagine that she HAS to follow your instructions without question. What should she do to change?
She should get counseling
She should read a book on listening
She should get to a fellowship that will change her
She should practice being more humble
Then we lay down the bomb! Now take your wife’s name off of the inventory, Put your name on it and you have a clear picture of what is wrong with you and what you need to do about it.
As they read the documents they recognize that at some level they have a piece of each those inventory points. It startles them. It wakes them up. Catharsis. But most importantly, they start to recognize that they need the exact help that they suggested their wives needed. Catharsis.
Almost every time, when the couples are reunited they apologize to each other and promise to do better. The work is not designed to just help each person see themselves more accurately in their loved one. It is also a case study on Reflection. Reflection is the strange phenomena that occurs when you take the inventory of the person in front of you. Almost every single time you notice something special or broken in the individual in front of you, you are actually seeing something inside of yourself. This is Reflection. Like a mirror each person that comes into your life path demonstrates at some level YOU. Not necessarily at the same amount of momentum, but its in there.
I was at the gym one day, and I’m just your average guy. I was staring out of the corner of my eye at this body builder and felt myself wish I could look like him. Then I looked to the right and noticed this very heavy man working hard and watching me. Then it occurred to me, “I wonder if he was just thinking the same thing about me?” It wasn't a feeling of superiority that I experienced as much as, hmmm, that’s Reflection. How does this or more importantly WHY does this happen?
I could relate it to your philosophy. But, I don’t know what your philosophy is. If you are metaphysical I could talk about the science belief that we live in a holographic universe and that we are surrounded by mirrors. Your messy car is just like the chaos inside you, your wife is you at some level, your kids are reflecting you, and the cashier at the gas station is showing you to you. But just like a mirror, it reveals YOU when you are looking and could show someone else a different set of attributes when they are looking at the same person. Or If you are a Christian I could say that God has created an experience of reflection to guide us and keep us humble. It teaches us to not judge others but rather see ourselves and learn to build compassion and understanding. Therapists might suggest that we take in so much data from the world and that certain aspects of humans that affect us individually resonates more powerfully. A person may clean the kitchen and we don’t stop and go wow look at how amazing they are, unless we ourselves believe that cleaning is critical and then we notice the behavior because to us it matters.
I would say describing “why or how” it works is like defining Gravity. If you get on a roof and jump you fall. Define it wrong. Does it change the outcome? Makes no difference whether you understand HOW it works, but it is VERY important to know that it does. I can relate the effects of any set of circumstances to a particular philosophy with “MAYBE this is the reason” but I typically always end with the analogy of Gravity to be more sincere.
You could take the inventory of 5 of the humans most close to you that you interact with each day and at some level ALL of their inventory would be inside if you. It starts to become really interesting as you change. When an alcoholic gets sober then suddenly 99% of the people in their direct line of sight become different and they are surrounded suddenly by more sober individuals. It’s not even an actual action item, it just starts to happen. In other words, don’t worry about the concept of lower companions. If you are surrounded by lower companions, then you yourself are a lower companion. Eek. I remember working with a young wife and she was very upset about her husbands drinking. She said he was an alcoholic and needed to get to a program of change. Ah! I said, sounds like you are addicted to alcohol and need a program of change. She said, “I don’t drink.” I said but you are addicted to your husbands drinking and are powerless over it. Same difference. She sat, cried and said you're right.. What is really interesting is that once she started on a path of recovery, her husband followed shortly after. They are doing great right now.
One of my favorite things to teach couples: Don’t worry. If you change then the person you sleep with will change or be changed. Ultimately you will match your partner. So don’t try and change them, change YOU.
The Law of Reflection
It doesn’t matter how or why it works. It just matters that you understand that it exists. It is a very powerful tool to see yourself more accurately since our eyes are always focussed out. I teach my clients to read others both positively and constructively and see themselves. So when my clients say something like, “You’re so amazing.” I say then you must be too. But let me ask you what about me do you think is so terrific? “You’re smart, kind and you love to help people.” Well then you are smart, kind and you must enjoy loving others through help. Who are your favorite people to help? “I love to help my kids”. You see we are simply looking at each other and seeing ourselves. There is no reason to be jealous or condemning. We are simply looking into the mirror. Want to change the reflection? Change YOU.
This enables other concepts that make sense now with the validity of this concept:
1. You get what you give: Give a smile, get a smile. Give money, get money. Give love, get love. Give time, get time.
(If you don’t have enough of something then you aren’t giving enough of that something)
2. Pray/Meditate for all the things you wish for you for the person you are angry at: They are your mirror. As you wish them bad you are actually inviting bad into your life experience. See your inventory in them and work on you, and as you wish them the best things in life who are you really affecting? YOU
3. Heal others and Heal thyself: As you love others you will be loved. This is a belief in many philosophies. It is truth.
4. Take and it will be taken from you: If you deny, lie, rob, manipulate or harm others it always carries a consequence. This is also a belief core in many philosophies. It is truth
Now WHY? Not important. You see? Right now you already have the answer. Based on YOUR belief structure. You just absolutely agree or disagree, but you’ve added context and meaning based on what YOU believe. Remember gravity? Doesn’t matter how or why it works. It’s just important to know that it does or you could fall and fall hard.
So how’s your spouse doing?