When I asked a fellow student of the teachings about somebody who I saw as “odd” in their behavior or ability, he said, “Aw, they just showed up that way.” It seems that I “showed up” with an obsession to being a “pleaser”
With the introduction to the teachings, I observed the “pleaser” running much of the day’s activities. It seemed the only way I knew to function with people. I felt even though I was “asleep, it was better to be B sided than A sided.
As the observing “self” went along, I realized that unconsciously, I was being controlled by the four dual basic urges.
I could certainly see that one motivation to please was to escape disapproval; and that only led to jumping around in the picture of man. I would flip to #5, wanting to “self-improve”, or “act differently”, and if that didn’t work I was tempted to A-side #2 and to “stick up for my rights”
Pleasing (whether I wanted to or not) also lead to a desire to be appreciated (which if wasn’t expressed back to me) led to disappointment and an urge to #5 “blame and judge”.
But the one that I was very glad to finally observe is that when I pleased some people, all it engendered was their asking for more, better or different.
Someone mentioned to me about “setting boundaries”, and I found that a very good idea to work with. So, I began to look at what I wanted to “do” as opposed to what I thought I “had to do” for others. If I felt overwhelmed, I began to remember to decline graciously.
There is another idea that knowing my weaknesses could be my greatest strength, and I learned that when I overextend myself, I drop into a state of “held resentment”. I now see that “holding accounts” makes for a tenuous relationship which, to me, has no value for either of us in the relationship.
Recently when I was asked to play a job, I accepted. When the music arrived, I discovered that there was too much, and two of them were too difficult to accomplish within the time limit and my limited sight. I got that dreaded emotional turmoil in my belly and decided that I must do something about it.
I wrote an email explaining that I understand that it is impossible for a sighted person to relate to the challenges of a partially-sighted person reading complicated pieces of music. Thankfully, with the communication, it was changed to only one difficult piece and 6 hymns that were pretty easily executed. I felt I “could do” that” and also have a small enough challenge that would make life interesting.
The challenge of the overall picture was to see “what I could or could not do”, “what she would do without” and “what was possible for the job”—in other words I was able to see “What was going on” and changing the “form” for a more positive “result” for all involved.
This experience turned out far better than if I had succumbed to reaction by “blowing off steam” “quitting” or “holding resentment” which thereby creates imbalance in the body that must be adapted to.
This experience and the observation thereof has helped to tie in many of the illustrations of the teachings and shown me how beautifully they can aid me in seeing “what’s Going On”.