In the midst of the money teleclass currently underway, the teleclass on sexuality underway, preparing for Year of Inquiry….we’ve still got an August Summer Camp going, too!
The Summer Camp group gathered on the phone together recently to take a look at what’s going on when someone is really angry with you.
“That person shouldn’t try to make me feel bad about myself!”
I’ve been on both sides of the same thought.
In other words, I’ve been both the one to whom anger is being directed, but also the one who is raging furious and hoping that mean, nasty person feels horrible about themselves.
I’m on a date. I like this guy, he’s really clever and easy to talk with. We’ve been getting to know each other for awhile and I would say we’re pretty close.
Lots of uncertainty about boyfriend/girlfriend type status, but we appreciate each other and are very honest, and have had quite a few really intense, good conversations….the kind that last for three hours and pick up again where we left off.
We’re talking about our careers (or lack thereof, in my case) and what it was like to study in high school, then college, then graduate school for me. He never finished college, but makes waaaaay more money than me.
We’re in a beautiful restaurant. The sunset is gorgeous out the window, over a beautiful lake. The evening is warm and lush. Lights twinkle up and down the shore, and in boats silently moving through the water in the distance. He’ll be picking up the bill.
I sigh and continue the discussion.
“I really should have continued on into medical school. I almost went that direction.”
There’s a pause.
He looks at me, fork stopped in mid-air, kind of raises that same hand in a stop motion. His face looks like he doesn’t get what I just said. Then he takes his bite, looking like he’s about to speak. I politely wait.
“You mean, you think you’re smart enough to have gone to medical school?”
Now I pause.
Beat. Beat. Beat.
What the f*&%#$ did he just say? Is he questioning whether or not I’m intelligent enough to have enrolled in medical school?
He just insulted me!
The anger went from zero to 120 in about 2 seconds.
How dare he, where does he get off, he actually thinks I’m not smart enough?, he’s the stupid one, he can go &%*# himself, this relationship is over, he considers women second class citizens without brains.
On the outside…I smile a strained smile.
We move on to other topics in education. I soften as he tells me about his terrible college career, and how he switched into business instead.
But I don’t forget that comment, even though the rest of the evening is still pretty nice, and my fury fades.
Fortunately for me, at the time, I already had The Work.
I immediately began to inquire about intelligence, smart-ness, being thought of as bright. Not being thought of as stupid, dumb, or thick.
Like…why did I care what he thought?
I already knew I loved my mind and how fun it was to think, analyze, discover. I already loved the way I usually felt confident in this one area, unlike other areas. I could figure out anything. I loved school. I loved to read, fast. I could take notes. I learned and devoured books constantly…every day. I wrote like crazy.
(you: yeah, you got that right!)
But wow, the quickness of doubt, discouragement, hearing someone suggest surprise that I might not be smart enough to go to medical school….and having a hissy fit about it….it was a pretty huge reaction.
And I really, really wanted him to feel bad about saying it. I wanted him to feel really bad about himself.
His punishment should be feeling *HORRIBLE* about what he said and *WISHING* he could take it back!
Who would I be without the belief that everyone, including that guy, should think I’m a freakin’ genius?
Ha ha, it’s hilarious!
Without the belief, I see that he actually is putting words to what I wondered might be true…that I didn’t have it in me…..
…..In fact, I didn’t. I never went to medical school.
He was right!
“How do you know they’re not supposed to be civil and polite? They aren’t….What those people show us is what we haven’t undone yet….Do you want to end karma? It’s simple: ‘I’. ‘I am’, is it true? Who would I be without this story?” ~ Byron Katie
I started laughing, doing The Work.
How absurd to need to be smart, in his eyes, or even in mine. Isn’t it wonderful to be not-so-smart, not spending all that money on an academic program I didn’t actually want to complete.
I’m as smart as I have needed to be, no smarter.
This mind is doing what it needs to do, being all smart and dumb and smart again, then lost, then found, then useful, then confused.
The way of it.
“Do you want to be happy, or do you not want to be happy? It’s really that simple. Once you make that choice, your path through life becomes totally clear. Most people don’t dare give themselves that choice because they think it’s not under their control. Someone might say, “Well, of course I want to be happy, but my wife left me.” In other words, they want to be happy, but not if their wife leaves them. But that wasn’t the question. The question was, very simply, “Do you want to be happy or not?” If you keep it that simple, you will see that it really is under your control. It’s just that you have a deep-seated set of preferences that gets in the way.” ~ Michael Singer
Do I want to be happy, or have everyone consider me brilliantly intelligent 100% of the time?
Oh. Well, that’s a no-brainer.
(No-brainer, get it? There are benefits.)