Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Good intentions...disasters & transformations!

Most of us love to find an easy comfortable zone.  Whenever something or someone pushes us to our highest potential, our first response is to shrink away. It completely unsettles us, irritates us, annoys us...

I hated such times especially with someone I consider my personal mentor. I would often have strong disagreements with him, but on the other hand I dislike letting go of a challenge without attempting to meet it mid-way. So every time in the end I would gather my courage to do what needs to be done, and in the process 'grow'.

A friend recently mentioned that when we show people their highest potential, the best within them, there are two different kinds of responses. Some people will take up the challenge, while others will want to shrink away, and in the process start avoiding us and end the relationship itself. They might even go on to hate us for who we are, and we need to be ready for that too.

Although I believe in doing it gently, slowly, a little more smoothly, even I might push someone when time is short, or they are slow. I do know some people who held it as a grudge against me, sometimes unconsciously, for a very long time. Well, good intentions, but bad strategy! Which still works, probably because of inherent push for growth within people!

It is one of the most amazing gifts of psychotherapy, a privilege, to help our clients grow. It actually feels magical and gets very fulfilling, especially with youngsters. I had such a teenager in my therapy-room today, arrogant and a self-claimed 'narcissist', but having an amazing amount of potential for transformation. I just gave a little push... and am keeping a measured optimism :)

2 comments:

  1. Oh, a little push is a must but yes, gentle and obviously - visibly - well intentioned.
    I had some strong ones from my mentor years ago and stil feel cautious about that person and hold some feelings inside although I learnt and grew tremendously from them.
    But yes, at the end of the day, I think genuine love works better as it melts things rather than break them. But being able to express genuine love is a high destination so, in the meantime, a little push is a must ...

    When I push, I make sure I say it and often show a clear sign that it is out of love and concern - and sometimes even say 'I am really sorry I have to push you in the river my friend, please forgive me, I don't like to do that but I have to.'
    I think if i had been told that by my mentor 20 years ago, there would have been no resentment as it was probably the confusion it brought in my mind at the time that left scars, not the act itself. If I had been told what was happening and why, I would have co-operated with the process instead of suffering it.
    Anyway, thanks for this reflection.
    'Measured optimism' yes, it is often our expectations that the other is going to change that makes the pushing into a struggle.
    Do you mind if I ask you how you recognise the potential for transformation in someone?
    All best wishes to you Jyotsna,

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  2. Can't agree with you more: 'Oh, a little push is a must but yes, gentle and obviously - visibly - well intentioned.'

    Liked it: 'I am really sorry I have to push you in the river my friend, please forgive me, I don't like to do that but I have to.'

    Tough question, 'Do you mind if I ask you how you recognise the potential for transformation in someone?'.
    I tend to believe some part of it is an intuitive judgement. But in this particular case, I know there was a history of growth, from position A to B, which although went a little too extreme, but was great. There was an openness to thinking about change, and its direction, which gave me hope. I only had one session, so my focus was on self-discovery & reflection.

    I can relate with your difficulties with your mentor. Even my mentor was not so kind all the time, he tried, but his high expectations from me were getting into the dynamics. I also had resentment, and thus made an effort to individuate, infact distance myself.
    It took me quite a long time and a lot of other personal life events, to reach a place where I can say that I feel immense amount of gratitude and love for him, and it includes a gentle forgiveness for his mistakes :)

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