Well, I don't know about you but so far this year has been interesting and much too hectic. I'm behind in my writing so I determined to spend a few minutes this morning before the client meetings start so a real fast first note on this potentially extensive topic.
If a pedestrian is someone who has a short view of the horizon and a lack of comprehension of their own potential then as we said last post, a human is someone who is the opposite; that is, they take a long view and consider that their personal potential is worth exploring. A pedestrian walks with their head down and their attention withdrawn and a human walks with head up and their attention outwardly directed.
Since by now we should have a fair view of a pedestrian, let's spend more time looking at what humans do to expand their view; beginning with self awareness.
Many, many ukemi ago when I was just a young lad in a too large gi (diapers and knee pants actually) I found my self always taking the blunt end of the stick or being the brunt of the joke and as I got older (and girls and alcohol came into view) I sometimes found that the end of the stick and the quality of the jokes became more obscene and more direct; those teenagers, how competitive and insecure they can be.
Not always was I the target mind you and I certainly cannot claim to have had a horrible childhood (on the whole it was actually pretty good) nor can I lay claim to the "World's Most Abused Teen" trophy either. But, it did happen enough to where I wanted to find ways to improve the quality of my life (and get the girls too). ;-)
My mother had a master's in psych and elementary ed and as a clinical psychologist with a small practice I began to have an interest in that field. I read everything I could get my hands on and eventually found found a book that changed my view of my family of origin.
Why my "Family of Origin" you say? Simple; until you are able to reconcile yourself with the influences and emotional baggage that your family of origin lays on you, there is no maturity or growth in you as a person. But wait you say! My family was good to me and I have no baggage.
OK! Lets recap here ............ Your father (AND your mother) came to every single event in your life and never yelled or spanked you and never embarassed you and you have completely healthy views of relationships and sex, and you had picture perfect dating life in high school and college and all your kids are normal and members of MENSA and National Merit pin holders and you never saw dad on top of mom through the crack in the door they thought was closed and mom and dad were "busy" naked and there was never a divorce or alcoholic moment or beating or emotional trauma and you never tried to stick you hands down your dates' panties and you've never been through date rape even a little and you've never sat on a death watch for a dying relative and your little brother or sister never pestered you and you never hit them and then lied about it and you never stole a cookie or broke anything and your older sibling never made fun of you or kicked you down the stairs and your favorite dog/cat/gold fish never died and an 8 year old friend was never run over and killed by a car and you never got dog bit and you're not now afraid of agressive dogs, and, and, and, and, AW COME ON NOW!!! QUIT LYING TO YOURSELF!!
Every single event in our lives has some level of emotional impact on us and how we reacted to them at the tender young age of whatever is still with us today.
How you react to stimuli today is a direct lesson learned and understanding those lessons, especially those from our "Family of Origin" is critical to becoming a better person or ............ Human. Not being willing to explore our past makes us ............ pedestrian; afraid to face a little uncomfortable truth on the path to self-awareness and self-improvement.
Here's the task young grasshopper padawan learner samurai aikido master wannabee ............. buy this book and go through it in private, one chapter a day. Don't let anyone see it and burn it when you're done. Learn who you are and why you are and how others have affected you. Understand who you are. This is how I've decided to run this set of lessons. Instead of passively reading me writing about me ..... go read about you and learn about you. Remember; this is about you and for you. Keeping it private will help you be honest with yourself. Sharing with others means that you'll start to lie about your upbringing in order to not look silly.
Good reading and stay tuned psych fans. Next time we'll take a brief look at evaluating others; something you cannot fairly do until you evaluate yourself.
Born To Win: Transactional Analysis With Gestalt Experiments by Muriel James and Dorothy Jongeward.
L.F. Wilkinson Sensei
Aikibudokan, Houston, TX