An article from CentreCOMM, February 1994
by Melissa McGroarty
EVER since I studied 'Metaphysics in Action' early in 1991 things have never been the same. Life is richer and presents many opportunities for being creative, but it also offers an amazing array of "opportunities for growth" or so-called problems that inevitably lead to a better understanding of self.
For most of us much of our daily lives is spent at work. The workplace can be a great challenge for metaphysicians because we are often required to practise our beliefs away from the security of a group of like-minded souls. Mentioning "the spark of the divine" in many workplaces would see you never taken seriously again, and one can imagine how the 'Chinese whispers' could have your career on the rocks in record time. So the challenge for me as a metaphysician is to follow my own path, putting the principles into practice, and all the while remaining confident in my beliefs and abilities. I used to dream of having a job amongst a group of spiritually focused people, but now I see things differently. I see that my dream not only undermined my own ability to go it alone as an individual, but also devalued the richness and opportunities that all life and people have to offer.
In the five years since I studied 'Met in Action' many challenges have come my way at work. I was offered an opportunity to write, illustrate and publish a book for children, a task that challenged not only my writing and drawing skills but also my imagination, vision, and definitely my willpower. Not long after that success the pendulum swung and I lost my job. I was now determined to build a career in one of two areas: community work or publishing. My patience, persistence and faith in my dream were constantly tested during this time. After a few major disappointments I finally landed a job in a publishing house with a chance to work my way into the creative work I longed for.
For some time life sailed by quite smoothly, the occasional bump here and there, but overall my career just kept getting better. I had a wonderful publishing mentor, a supportive boss, and a challenging and creative role. I was constantly encouraged by my employers and received three promotions in eighteen months. Sounds wonderful, but I was about to learn that I had still a lot to learn about myself.
With my third promotion I moved into a new team and was given responsibility for publishing a broad range of materials for a project of national significance. It was a great opportunity. What I didn't realise however was that I had been relying on the opinion and feedback of others for my own self worth, for suddenly things began to fall apart. I won't go into the nitty gritty but needless to say after many trials and tribulations I began to feel like a victim. My suggestions and creative ideas were rejected. I didn't feel valued or supported by those around me. I was angry and tense all the time and became quite bitter.
"You only ever confront self" seemed to be my favourite principle so I used it again now. "Why am I having these problems?" I asked myself. "What is it I need to learn?" "What is it that this particular person has to teach me?" "What shadows or parts of self aren't I confronting?" I couldn't seem to find the answers. I searched within self. I meditated. I started the day with affirmations. I used the Tarot to reflect upon. I went to a Full Moon Festival and was told I needed to assert my authority — this was true, but I had no confidence to do it. I tried to do so in a way that felt true to me, quietly, non-aggressively, but I just never felt that it had any effect. I felt like I was trying to escape from quicksand and just getting deeper. Confronting self just didn't seem to be working. In fact I was annoyed, I didn't feel all these problems were to do with me and I was not prepared to take the rap for everything that was happening. I became judgemental.
Things came to a crunch when my employers decided that our team was going to go on a team building program. I was terrified. I felt I didn't belong in the team. I feared the more assertive team members, and felt like an outcast introvert amongst a group of extroverts. When the trainer warned us to "Be prepared for confrontation" I wanted to run away as far as I could. "They're going to chew me up and spit me out" I thought.
In desperation I bought a self help book on creating confidence. I was both relieved and amused when I opened it up and read "I am as my Creator made me, and since he is satisfied so am I". I know this I thought, this is metaphysics "I am a spark of the divine".
So why had it taken a book to remind of something I already knew? It occurred to me that I had practised metaphysics without balance. My favourite principle "You only ever confront self" had in the end been the only one I used. In fact I used it to whip myself, continually seeking out my faults and constantly striving for perfection. No longer did I see myself as a divine being, unconditionally loved by God. Instead I saw myself as imperfect, always having to struggle and fight for ever increasing high standards in order to be worthwhile.
With this realisation I was free again to be me, to love myself. Not the self who had to be intelligent or popular or successful. Not the self that had to achieve to be worthwhile. I remembered to value myself just because 'I am'. This changed my attitude to work. I didn't feel I had to justify myself to the team and I was no longer in a state of fear about having to prove my worth.
Of course I still use the principle "You only every confront self" but now in a different light. I don't think of it in terms of perfecting an imperfect human being, but rather I see myself as ultimately being a spark of the perfect divine spirit. I see that I am imperfect only in the sense that a barrier exists between myself and spirit. Confronting self is no longer about whipping myself for my imperfections, it is about understanding and releasing the blockages, becoming fully myself as a spiritual being.
I must say that as soon as I made this realisation it seemed as if I had put the right key in the lock. The quicksand seemed to just melt away. Once again I began to appreciate the different personalities around me. I ceased being judgemental of myself and others. Needless to say the team building program was a success, and I now feel a valued member. It was not without effort I must admit, I practised affirmations about self confidence and self love throughout the two day program and still do every morning.
It's nice to be happy again and I'm sure it shows and affects those around me at work. When we reject ourselves as imperfect how do we expect others to see us any differently? When we focus on our faults, won't others also? Thoughts DO have power and manifest, I've seen them in action. When we radiate true confidence in self and cease to be moulded by others opinions we are truly free and powerful to create our own present and future. By the use or mis-use of our own thoughts and perceptions about ourselves we create the impression others will have of us.
We grow as spiritual beings more fully, not through self criticism but through self love. A strange thing to learn about in the work place you might think, but then again the workplace is just another schoolground for the soul.