Sunday, December 30, 2012

An Authentic Revelation

I am a Landmark Forum drop out and I’m proud. 

 At first, I wasn’t proud.  I was confused and sick to my stomach.  I don’t like to quit but I’m not a follower either.  When I balanced the two, it turns out I dislike being treated like cattle more than feeling like a quitter.  So I quit. 

 But my out, my trapdoor, the easy excuse, was that I didn’t exactly know why I was there; maybe to motivate me at work, maybe to help me with my goals and to figure out what I wanted to do with my life, maybe to find balance in a mid-life crisis.  I definitely didn’t want to bring my personal relationships into the Forum.  From the beginning, I didn’t trust Landmark.  I had heard stories about cults, Jedi mind tricks and high pressure sales.  I was skeptical and self-protective. 

 I went because I indefinably knew that I needed a push.  I didn’t really know in what direction or where, but something had to give.  I was not satisfied and I was pulling Blugh down with me.  

 And I got a push.  A push so hard that I had to jump before I went flying off a cliff.  But I did get the push I needed. 

The Landmark Forum set me in a new direction in my relationships with Blugh and my friends.  It lifted a veil, a thin film, that had blurred the people around me and suddenly I saw them in high definition, real, near, sharp, and focused.  I could almost physically grasp and suddenly hear the inner-dialogue the people were having with themselves, about themselves and in relation to me.    

What did this was a simple realization at the Forum.   

 Since even before my father’s death, I have created an elaborate story about impermanence, change and death. Everything changes, people are unreliable, come and go and will eventually disappear.  

 As a result, I've put barriers up to prevent me from truly connecting with people or being authentic.  I’ve done this in a way that is subtle, manipulative and settles the fault squarely on the shoulders of the people around me.

 I am a manipulator. I am addicted it. It makes me feel safe, independent and free.  It has also isolated me. 

 I have abused and manipulated my husband.  I created a fairy tale about us.  In this story I have set up excuse time bombs so that I would have a list of abuses (all his fault) when we ended. 

 I'm a shithead.  I'm a manipulator.  I'm addicted to this behavior. And when I told him this, he kind-of already knew it.

I love him.  I clearly see that he is the love of my life.  I’m completely committed to him.  We are strong partners and have a brilliant life together.  But this is a terrifying realization in an impermanent world. When will it end?  How can I protect myself from that pain?  In the past, I have tried not to feel it, denied it, and even strategized an end to it. 

 I directed our story to ensure my control, unhappiness and my righteousness.  And justified it because it will all end anyway. 

These thoughts and actions are inauthentic.  And I don’t want to be. It will not lead me to happiness.   
 The Landmark reminded me that I want love without preconditions and self-righteous stories.  I want to live with loved ones free of my fear.  I want liberty from the isolation fear has created.  And I’m committed to intentionally creating connection and authentic relationships.

Finally, the Landmark Form reminded me to take full responsibility for the state of my life and relationships.  I have created them and am responsible for them.  As such, I am capable and will create my way into fuller, more meaningful and strengthened relationships. 

 These were the lessons I took away from the Landmark Forum: 

·         Many of my stories about my relationships are false.

·         If I believe and act on them I am inauthentic and isolating myself

·         I am responsible for the state of my life and relationships. 

 They are important lessons that unlock destiny and promise a more fulfilling life.   Thank you Landmark Forum. 

 But I’m begrudgingly grateful. 

 I left the Landmark Forum for two reasons.  First, so I could keep my learnings unspoiled from the cult, the mind tricks, manipulation and the psychological marketing that could so easily dirty them.  And yes, the rumors of these features were true.  Second, I accept the Landmark dare.  Repeatedly, in the Forum we were told that we could not achieve our own empowerment and transformation without the Landmark Forum.  That is nonsense.  Full responsibility means full empowerment.  I’m the only one that can provide that gift, not the Landmark Forum, not my husband, my kids or any other loved one.  Full access to my empowerment is in my own hands.   I accept the responsibility.