A Coaching Power Tool created by Tiffany Manchester
(Relationship Coach for Men, UNITED STATES)
According to A Course in Miracles there exist only two emotions – Love; guided by Truth, and Fear; guided by Ego. The decisions made with one or the other when faced with a personal challenge can be the difference between setting oneself free or binding oneself in chains.
Some descriptions of truth and fear as stated in A Course in Miracles are as follows:
Love is changeless but continually exchanged, being offered by the eternal to the eternal. In this exchange it is extended, for it increases as it is given
Truth includes those forms of love that are characterized by freedom. Love that involves clinging, lust, confusion, neediness, fear, or grasping to self would, in Buddhist terms, be seen as expressions of bondage and limitation.
You are responsible for what you think, because it is only at this level that you can exercise choice. What you do comes from what you think. You cannot separate yourself from the truth by ‘giving’ autonomy to behavior. Whenever you are afraid, it is a sure sign that you have allowed your mind to miscreate.
It is pointless to believe that controlling the outcome of misthought can result in healing. When you are fearful, you have chosen wrongly. That is why you feel responsible for it. You must change your mind, not your behavior, and this is a matter of willingness
A story from Osho
Osho, while at school as a small boy, happened to see a wrestling competition conducted district wise. He reflects on that match in order to educate his followers on the importance of ‘being yourself’:
The most famous wrestler who was to become a champion, lost to an ordinary man who did not have any kind of recognition.
The wrestler’s defeat was shocking to the whole crowd, who burst out laughing after a while. The wrestler too joined the crowd in laughter. His laughter was uproarious and the crowd wondered at his most unexpected reaction.
Osho later approached the wrestler and said; “This is strange and I loved it. It was totally unexpected.”
The man replied; “It was totally unexpected and that is why I also laughed. I had never imagined an ordinary man would defeat me. I found the whole thing ridiculous and that’s why I laughed”.
Years later when Osho visited that town where the man lived, the wrestler who was an old man, came to meet him. He told Osho; “Do you remember me? As a small child you came up to me and said, ‘you are the real winner and the other is defeated. You have defeated the whole crowd’. Since then I have not been able to forget your face as well.”
Osho says that he was unable to forget the man who laughed and clapped his hands in the crowd, participating. Osho goes on to say that it requires tremendous courage to ‘be yourself’ in success and failure, praise and condemnation.
When one knows his true self, such courage allows one to be himself at all phases.
- What does the concept of ‘true self’ mean to you?
- What image do you carry for yourself and project unto the world?
I love this story because it suggests that the idea of laughing at oneself can be so easy and enjoyable, yet the reality is it’s actually very difficult to do! Instead we are constantly working to ‘save face’, meaning that we feel the need to protect and defend our image, this mask we have been creating with such diligence since the day we were able to think for ourselves so that we can feel special and unique.
And so we live from a place of fear, on edge that at any moment something could happen or something could be said to challenge that image and take it away from us. And indeed it does, over and over again because there can be no strength or surety in anything built from the ego. Yet we continue to waver in this false pretense of ‘self’, often reacting with emotion to a situation that threatens us and then acting on that emotion. This is the ceaseless trick of the Ego.
If, for example, the wrestler responded with anger to losing, he may have then acted upon the emotion with unkind words or some other form of action. And what would be the result of that? To him his image is still shattered, and then there could be consequence to his career for such action. Either way, the experience does not feel good for the wrestler, the opponent, or the crowd…so what is the point?