enemy-1024x768

What you dislike has something to teach you. You are disliking those parts of yourself that the person or situation personifies. Consequently, you are in conflict with yourself, which means that those parts of your life force that the disliked “other” represents, are unavailable to you. How do you resolve such conflicts, integrate yourself, and regain your own power? Thinking “happy thoughts” or “loving your enemies,” sounds wonderful, but how realistic is it? If you don’t trust someone or some situation, are you being honest with yourself if you pretend that you do? Are you doing what you think is in your best interest or what you “should” or what others have taught you to do? How do you know?

Integral Deep Listening provides a way forward. By interviewing that which you dislike you honor, respect, and learn from whatever you are fighting. The assumption that loving your enemies first requires that you develop genuine respect for them. An example is provided by one student’s dislike of her feelings of being stuck, out of control, dissatisfied, and disappointed – the confining circumstances of her life. These personified themselves as a pile of dog shit! When she “became” it, here is what it had to say: “I stink! I like that I am what I am! I don’t try to hide it! I am in front of you where you can’t ignore me! I like my honesty. I am what I am and I have no problem letting the world know it. I’m not the prettiest thing in the world. I don’t have friends. People want to ignore me or get rid of me. I will not win any popularity contests. I represent the parts of her that are totally OK with themselves, regardless of what others may think about her. I am a necessary and therefore important part of life. I stand for radical and complete acceptance. Therefore I am not interested in changing. On a scale of zero to ten I score myself a ten in confidence because I am not really alive, yet I always exist. I am omnipresent, like God. I’m also a ten in acceptance, inner peace, and witnessing. I don’t care what others think of me, nothing bothers me, and I witness the flies, the reactions of others, my hardening as the liquid evaporates out of me. However, I am a zero in compassion and wisdom because I don’t need any compassion and I have no wisdom.”

“If I scored tens in all of these qualities it would be more difficult for me to stay highly accepting, at peace, and objective, because wisdom, but particularly compassion, would get in my way.  I would be a neurotic pile of dog shit.”

If the person who created me scored like I do she certainly wouldn’t care what other people think of him. That means he would be unaffected by the surrounding, external culture  or context in which he lives. If I were her I would have much more confidence that I would hear and respond appropriately to feedback from the world and not attempt to predict it or worry about it. I would act with confidence, passion, and focus and forget about business.I don’t eat. Be me and you won’t have an appetite!I exist in a meditative state of consciousness in the here and now. Become me and you will too!

Pile of Dog Shit, what life issues would you focus on if you were in charge of my life?

“Being me; enjoying life; ignoring most everybody and everything. Become me whenever you catch yourself worrying about what other people think.”  

Pile of Dog Shit, what do you think of this issue of hating one’s life and living in the past, future, or here and now?

It’s the only life you’ve got. Why hate it? I don’t hate mine. I only can and do live in the here and now, so of course that is what I recommend. I am in your life to remind you9 that you are OK the way you are.” 

When asked what she heard herself say she said, “I would do well to like myself more for who I am, focusing on what I can do and minimizing the “incoming fire. I need to become this pile of shit when I get confused or knocked off center. Then I’ll remember who and what I am!

You are invited to think of some aspect of your life that you dislike or would like to escape from, and interview  it, using the IDL Life Issue Interviewing Protocol here.  Let us know what you discover!

Here is the transcript of the interview from which the above was taken:

What are three fundamental life issues that you are dealing with now in your life?

1 more clients?

2 Lose weight

3 Meditate to amplify luminosity faster

Which issue brings up the strongest feelings for you?

How do you feel when you really hate your life?

What feelings does this issue bring up for you? 

Stuck, a failure. Out of control. Dissatisfied, disappointed.

If those feelings had a color (or colors), what would it be?

Shitty brown.

 Imagine that color filling the space in front of you so that it has depth, height, width, and aliveness.  

Now watch that color swirl, congeal, and condense into a shape. Don’t make it take a shape, just watch it and say the first thing that you see or that comes to your mind: An animal? Object? Plant? What? 

A pile of shit! Dog shit!

Now remember how as a child you liked to pretend you were a teacher or a doctor?  It’s easy and fun for you to imagine that you are the shape that took form from your color and answer some questions I ask, saying the first thing that comes to your mind.  If you wait too long to answer, that’s not the character answering – that’s YOU trying to figure out the right thing to say!

Pile of Dog Shit, would you please tell me about yourself and what you are doing?

I stink! I like that I am what I am! I don’t try to hide it! I am in front of you where you can’t ignore me! 

Pile of Dog Shit, what do you like most about yourself? What are your strengths?

My honesty. I am what I am and I have no problem letting the world know it.

Pile of Dog Shit, what do you dislike most about yourself? Do you have weaknesses?  What are they?

I’m not the prettiest thing in the world. I don’t have friends. People want to ignore me or get rid of me. I will not win any popularity contests. 

Pile of Dog Shit, what aspect of Janet do you represent or most closely personify?

The parts that are totally OK with itself, regardless of what others may think about him. 

Pile of Dog Shit, if you could be anywhere you wanted to be and take any form you desired, would you change?  If so, how?

I think I am a necessary and therefore important part of life. I stand for radical and complete acceptance. Therefore I am not interested in changing. 

(Continue, answering as the transformed object, if it chose to change.)

Pile of Dog Shit, how would you score yourself 0-10, in each of the following six qualities: confidence, compassion, wisdom, acceptance, inner peace, and witnessing?  Why?

Confidence, 0-10. Why? 10   I am not really alive, yet I always exist. I am omnipresent, like God. 

Compassion, 0-10. Why? 0 I don’t have any…

Wisdom, 0-10. Why? 0 I don’t need any.

Acceptance, 0-10. Why?  10 As I said, I don’t care what others think of me.

Inner Peace, 0-10. Why? 10 Nothing bothers me.   

Witnessing, 0-10. Why? 8 Pretty high. I witness the flies, the reactions of others, my hardening as the liquid evaporates out of me.            

Pile of Dog Shit, if you scored tens in all six of these qualities, would you be different?  If so, how?

It would be more difficult for me to stay highly accepting, at peace, and objective, because wisdom, but particularly compassion, would get in my way.  I would be a neurotic pile of dog shit.

Pile of Dog Shit, how would Janet’s life be different if she naturally scored like you do in all six of these qualities all the time?

She certainly wouldn’t care what other people think of her. That means she would be unaffected by the surrounding, external culture  or context in which she lives. 

Pile of Dog Shit, if you could live Janet’s life for her, how would you live it differently?

I would have much more confidence that I would hear and respond appropriately to feedback from the world and not attempt to predict it or worry about it. 

Pile of Dog Shit, if you could live Janet’s waking life for him today, would you handle Janet’s three life issues differently?  If so, how?

1 more clients? I would act with confidence, passion, and focus and forget about clients.

2 Lose weight I don’t eat. Be me and you won’t have an appetite!

3 Meditate to amplify luminosity faster I exist in a meditative state of consciousness in the here and now. Become me and you will too!

Pile of Dog Shit, what life issues would you focus on if you were in charge of Janet’s life?

1. Being me.

2. Enjoying life.

3. Ignoring most everybody and everything.

Pile of Dog Shit, in what life situations would it be most beneficial for Janet to imagine that she is you, become you, and act as you would? 

Whenever she catches himself worrying about what other people think.   

Pile of Dog Shit, what do you think of this issue of hating one’s life and living in the past, future, or here and now?

It’s the only life you’ve got. Why hate it? I don’t hate mine. I only can and do live in the here and now, so of course that is what I recommend.

Pile of Dog Shit, why do you think that you are in Janet’s life? 

To remind her that she is OK the way she is.  

Thank you, Pile of Dog Shit! Now here are a couple of questions for Janet: 

What have you heard yourself say? 

I would do well to like myself more for who I am, focusing on what I can do and minimizing the “incoming.”

If this experience were a wake-up call from your inner compass, what do you think it would be saying to you?

The same.

Look back over the interview and list the specific recommendations that were made:

Become a pile of shit when I get confused or knocked off center. Then you’ll remember who and what you are!