Welcome to Chuck’s Place, where Chuck Ketchel expresses his thoughts, insights, and experiences! Many of the shamanic and psychological terms used in Chuck’s essays are defined in Tools & Definitions on our Psychotherapy website.
In the flow of everyday life we encounter countless opportunities to spend our energy, a virtual walk through the mall. The merchants surround us in the outer world as well as beckon from within. Each merchant has a sales pitch. Some are extremely enticing and clever, while others are downright seductive and hypnotic. Our challenge is to continually emerge from the hypnotic spells cast from both without and within and stay steady consumers of the truth. This is detachment in action.
Awakening in the night, I am greeted by the Merchant of Offense: a landlord is screwing me out of a security deposit. This merchant entices my energy to explode in anger, constructing a powerful vignette, inviting obsession and an inability to return to sleep. Tossing and turning, I am further enticed to feel sorry for myself, to be frustrated in perpetual victimland. I pause in my restlessness and ponder: Where have I known this landlord before? Have I ever been in the place of taking what is not mine, or of trying to hide from the truth, rationalizing an action to benefit myself? Yes, I can clearly own that landlord’s actions in myself.
I can feel compassion for his fear that he must take what isn’t his in order to feel safe. There is nothing to forgive. I have not been wronged. It is not about me. I can be thankful to be reminded of a place I have been and perhaps am still, at times, tempted to occupy. I can withdraw here the projection of shadow with its compulsive energy fixation. We are no different; I become energetically indifferent, neutral.
Everything within me is outside of me as well. Infinity is within and without. I need not exclude anything I encounter from residing in me. And so, I have compassion for the landlord consumed with greed. I will take the available actions to challenge his behavior, but I invest no energy in the outcome. What is important is that I meet the challenge, consume the truth, and align with right action. However, I release myself completely from an energetic construction that beckons me to attach: “I have been screwed. I can’t allow this…blah, blah, blah…” Instead, I am appreciative for this opportunity to hone my awareness and stay present to greet oncoming time.
I pull my energy back into calmness, preparing to return to sleep. I detach my energy from a draining construction of reality, which could consume the rest of the night and much of the following day. I am thankful for this opportunity to know myself better. I return to sleep and rejuvenation, preparing for the energetic lessons of a new day. But first, I toss and turn a few more times in my humanness!
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Until we meet again,