My LandMark Forum Part 4 – Day Two, Part One

I did not sleep well, which is to say, I had the most magnificent dreams and was so excited and glowy all night that I didn’t really get more than 30 minutes of sleep in a row. The alarm when off and sprang-up, showered, got dressed, did more of my homework, made lunch, went shopping for food and drove into Toronto.

I was tired, but not drained. The truth is, I had found a source of energy that I couldn’t adequately explain. It was a contained, calm but focused energy that hasn’t left me and that I have come to describe as the vitality of living in the moment – I get very little sleep now yet have this same energy when I am in the moment and feel as tired as I am when I’m off purpose or out of the moment.

Admittedly I was a little cocky. I felt fantastic and completely connected to most of the people. I was beaming, smiling and saying hi to people and, with each person who said hi back I felt more alive and with each one that didn’t I instantly saw their past, the life they had lived and the fact that I was either scary, dangerous, both or they were afraid. I cared enough to feel sad that they were not as happy as I was, but knew that I could help them if they were open to it. I said hi to the leader asked him a question which is answered with one word and turned away.

I felt sick, put right off. “What the hell was that?” I thought. It was kind of rude and since my cheque had cleared I had been anticipating something different. “I really don’t like that guy at all” was my thought as I took my seat.

Things began and I honestly have very little recollection of what was going on for the first part of it. I had been gamed or something and was wildly unsettled. We reviewed our homework and it was about making peace with someone in our past with whom we had allowed our lack of authenticity or a racket to leave things incomplete. At it turns out, most of the people in the room had issues with their parents or an ex. Okay, that’s bull crap, they had issues with themselves, specifically their lack of responsibility and their need to blame others for their place in life. This was a decent section for me, I had made peace with everyone in my life and all but one person had accepted my apology and given me forgiveness. Des has encouraged me to consider steps 8 and 9 of AA Twelve Step Program at the beginning of March to help me move on from an slightly tangled past. I accepted that rejecting forgiveness is a keen way to say locked in the past and made the decision to leave them there.

The sharing during this portion was me thinking stuff that was almost completely over the top. Still ringing in my head was the “I don’t want to make you feel better, I want to set you free” comment from the night before. I listened openly to what the people were saying an instantly heard the child in each of them. It was sickening the lack of responsibility that some of these people were taking for their own lives. This is common so the leader asked everyone who was 23 or younger to stand-up. There rest of us were then asked to look at them and, as we did, the leader said “this is what most of your parents looked like when you were born.” I broke-down. I’m almost 20 years older than my mom was when she became a mom, am 15 years older than my dad was, and I have been a complete asshole in some of the things I have thought about my parents. A complete judgmental asshole. I’ve had the luxury of spending 15 years reading, learning, and living life while my folks would have been raising Des and me. He sealed the moment with “if you are here it is because your parents were successful. Their job is to keep you alive until you are an adult.”

The sharing with partners began and I listened to someone bitch about their mother and younger sister for 2 minutes, when it was my turn I asked her to continue, which they did and, with about 30 seconds left I said “can I tell you want I’m hearing?” With their permission I unloaded the truth and did not make someone feel better. I told them that ignoring her mother for 3 months is the best way to let a parent know that they did a shittie job, that her younger sibling mistreating her mother was likely learned from the older sibling (her) and that, if she really wanted to feel good about herself that maybe she should call her mom, and apologize for acting like ungrateful child, poisoning the families sense of love and having the nerve to blame it on her. “You’ll be free the very minute you ask her for forgiveness, say I have no idea what it would be like to have your oldest daughter ignore you and then listen to her tell you what it was like. You’ve screwed up pretty bad here and if your first call at lunch isn’t to your mother it’s now on you because this is the way the world is.”

At lunch I called my mom and asked her when was the last time I told her that she and my father had done a great job with me and my brother. “The other morning” was her reply. We were both smiling and she told me she loved me and hoped I was having a good weekend. I didn’t call my old friend because I had already talked to her and didn’t see any value in repeating myself.