from the newly released How to Raise an Indigo Child
A Different Kind of Memory
I was preparing supper for twenty-five people in the College of Metaphysics kitchen. Ki had been playing with Gary, a newly-engaged 30-year-old who planned to half-jokingly have a dozen kids.
The time to serve the dishes had come. I turned from the stove to see Hezekiah coming toward me surrounded in a black cloud, eyes swimming in tears, a scowl on his face. Immediately, I held out my arms and lifting him in my arms I said, Whats happened?
He buried his head on my shoulder, as I rocked him. My eyes scanned the room behind him looking for Gary or another adult who might shed light on this trauma. Although there were people there, none seemed directly involved in Kis distress and, therefore, were as puzzled as I.
Whats the matter? I asked.
I dont want to tell you, was his reply. This was not a new response and, because I had learned the relationship between heart, emotion, and brain in me, I had discovered what was happening in my sons mind when he would say this. Saying I dont want to tell you meant he needed and wanted time to experience, to absorb, what had just occurred. This assimilation process would help him to describe it, talk about it. Later.
We stayed a few moments until I felt him relax a bit, then I said, Let Mommy get the food ready then Ill hold you more.
He waited. This was the first time he was willing to stand nearby until I could finish what I had started. As I reached for serving dishes, I looked through the window into the Great Room for evidence of what might have happened at the play site. Briana, an older friend, was calmly picking up blocks. Gary was nowhere to be seen.
As dishes were handed to those who wanted to help, I turned to Ki who was ready to be held again. Not knowing what to say, I started humming to him and we walked around a bit. I signaled for the others to go ahead and begin eating without us.
Eventually Ki and I settled on the couch where we could see the tables where people had gathered to eat. Four of them, stretching 30 feet down the room. Half way sat Gary. I could catch snatches of the conversation he was having with the other adults near him. Hes going to have to learn it sometime, I heard him say. Gary! one of the women smilingly reproached him.
At one point Gary turned around smiling sheepishly at Ki who did not look in his direction.
I didnt know what had happened and Ki wasnt telling but I had heard the so-and-so-will-have-to-learn-it-sooner-or-later many times through my life. By different peoples, in as many different places. Each time the sentiment masked hurtful intentions their owners wanted to disavow by projecting them onto the innocent.
After 15 minutes, I could engage Ki in a Click Magazine story about octopuses. In time he relaxed climbing out of my arms to sit next to me, and eventually getting off the couch to begin marching back and forth as he made up his own story. The initial reaction time had passed.
Once dinner was finished and Ki was playing with a friend, I sat down at the table to grab a bite myself. Gary came up, I thought to tell me what had happened, but it was for another reason, which I found odd. Many of his actions this day were an education for me just by contrast to what my own had been in similar situations. A child in my care who was upset, I would comfort. If they left me because I was what they were upset with, I would follow them when they sought their parents, making sure they were safe and cared for. I would have let the parents know at the first available opportunity what had occurred so they would know. So they would be able to respond with knowledge.
When Garys reason for coming to me had nothing to do with what had happened less than two hours before between him and my son, I asked what had occurred. We were wrestling and I kinda pinned him, holding his arms back, while Ann and Pat (two 20-year-old girls) tickled him. He said, Stop! and this strange look came over his face. Thats when I let him go and he left.
Having described what happened, Gary now looked a bit more concerned than he had while talking at the table. My first urge was to ease his mind, for I could tell he was now wondering if he had done the right thing. We both knew it was questionable at best. Its happened a couple times before, where Ki will feel trapped. It possibly relates to a past memory, I said, offering Gary more information for reasoning.
At that Dr. Sheila Benjamin, a School of Metaphysics field director who makes frequent visits to our College and Kis adopted aunt, told about a time her husband was playfully holding her down and she panicked. She said it was the first time she had felt such fear and it was overwhelming. While my attention was directed to Dr. Sheila, Gary seized the opportunity to make an exit, and it would be some time before the opportunity arose to pursue it with him.
My learning with this sequence of events continued. It stuck with me and I knew there was something to come to terms with, something I wanted to understand. I thought about what had happened off and on through the next couple of days. I knew sometimes Ki would experience something and not talk about it until a day later, so I decided to be patient and not bring it up again for a while. He didnt awake with nightmares that night, as he sometimes did after a real or virtual experience scared him shortly before going to sleep. I received that as a good sign.
The next morning I taught the second session in multidimensional mentoring, a year-long training in ministerial counseling arising from seven schools of yoga. This session developed one of the hatha yogasbhakti yoga, the yoga of devotion. Here, within the context of this session, I would gain another perspective deepening my understanding of Hezekiahs experience with Gary.
The previous month students had written papers concerning a polarizing report in USA Today, a national newspaper, on the upcoming execution of Tim McVeigh, an American who had set off a bomb in downtown Oklahoma City in 1995 killing several dozen adults and children. The assignment was for my students to read the article employing self counseling and other counseling concerning the thoughts and feelings that might arise or that were expressed in the article. Then they were to find the lines of relativity to this and Walking Between the Worlds, an excellent book on transcending polarity by Greg Braden.
It had been a month since they had seen their papers and reading them aloud proved revelatory for each of them. So did the counseling which followed. This was the subject beginning todays session. Sharka Glet (one of the students) talking about her realizations brought Hezekiah back to my mind. Sharka had written a brief report. One page. Much shorter than her usual reports and the shortest in the class. What she brought out in the paper, however, would be life changing.
She began by saying as she was reading her paper in class, she did not remember writing any of the words at all. It was as if it was the first time she had seen the page. She was also struck by how, halfway through the page, she wrote sentences that didnt make sense. This shocked her. Living the first 25 years of her life in Czech Republic, English was a language she adopted much later in life and one that still required her attention to use. Doing so was a point of pride for her, so her seeming illiteracy puzzled her.
In yogic fashion she explored these elements of consciousness. Thinking about McVeighs execution had caused childhood thoughts about death to surface. This was where she had learned to deny suffering, Sharka said. From that point of cause she described several different threads that had stretched through everything important to her for 50 years. She was awestruck by what she saw, and freed by her willingness to stay with it. She was no longer willing to turn away.
Within seconds of sharing her experience, the events of the day before came back to me and the pieces came together. I decided to describe Hezekiahs experience to these students feeling certain they would find it useful in ministering to others in the future. The reality of youthful experiences that continue to live far beyond their expected lifespan is at the root of many karmic patterns.
As I told the part of the Gary and Kis story I knew, I saw it from another perspective. Only through relating it to a group of teachers did I fully cognize that had I been in Garys place, and seen the look on Kis face that Gary described, I would have done more than let him go. My heart would have told me to do so. I would have stayed with him. My head would have told me to do that. I would have been with him to help him understand the experience he had just had; the experience I had brought to him.
Later that evening, I brought the memory back once again. This time remembering JW. JW was some relative on my dads moms side. I dont know who he was to me in terms of relation but I know he signified losing freedom to me for years. I was around three and my mother, dad and I were visiting grandmas. Many relatives had come, one of them JW. The time came for him to leave and I was being encouraged to hug him. I didnt want to. I remember he was a big man, but that could have been because I was so small. I remember he had red hair which I had not seen before. They kept encouraging me to hug him and I shrunk behind my mothers skirts away from him. I wanted to run into the house but for some reason I stayed. He could have got into his car and left but for some reason he didnt. He came over to me and I ran into my dads arms, thinking Id be safe. My dad gave me to JW. I was terrified. I screamed, and when he let me down I did run into the house, disappearing into the back of a closet refusing to come out for over an hour.
I still dont remember why I didnt like JW, maybe its still buried, maybe its tied to a past life. I dont know and Im certain when it matters I will know.
What I do know is from that time forward I never again wanted to see the man. When the grownups would talk about him I would leave the room or think of something else so I didnt have to hear. If he would show up where we were I would purposefully hide until he was gone. I consciously avoided him throughout my childhood years. I have no idea if he even noticed.
I do know this was where the seeds of betrayal were laid that would build an unconscious wall of hurt between me and dad and provide anger as a fuel for rebellion in the years to come. My dad never knew. There was no reason for him to have known, unless he had followed me into the house that day. I have learned with people of any age that when we need to learn something, it will be presented to us, and all we can do is give our best, in every moment to every one.
My situation with Dad handing me to JW was my learning of forgiveness. Dad intended no harm in it. It would take me years to realize this. It was the inner voice, that heart connection, that encouraged me to keep trusting Dad all the while my head tried to deal with the protective edge of cynicism I grew. The resolving of this through my early adult years freed my head and heart to work as one, but it took having a child in a similar situation with hopefully different results to become more conscious of where I had come from. This is the level of self awareness study at the School of Metaphysics can afford. I know I am a much better parent, teacher, and counselor for it.
This is the consciousness every psi counselor nurtures in Taraka yoga. It is the consciousness of the archetypal hero, who doesnt stop to think about whether what s/he is doing is right, will work, will jeopardize self or others. A hero responds without condition, in the moment, because the whole Self is functioning as one. The head feeds information as required. The heart provides the motivating surge of energy bringing unparalled compassion or monumental endurance. This is the consciousness we are becoming, and children will benefit from it.
Whether remembering our own childhood experiences or helping someone to respond to their own, teaching others to be present-minded when with a child was a lesson each of us took deeper to heart that day through the experiences of a fifty-year-old woman and a six-year-old boy.
As for Ki and Gary, as far as I know they have yet to meet since the great wrestling match. I do know Hezekiah avoided Gary that night at dinner. Of this much I am certain, whether Ki will continue to avoid Gary, like I avoided JW, will have much more to do with Garys attitude than with Hezekiahs. And fortunately, I will be there to help them both.
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©2002 School of Metaphysics