Let the record show,
I took the blow,
and did it my way.
(My Way, Frank Sinatra)
Many years ago when I visited a colleague in Europe he stretched out his hand to greet me. I am not a fan of hand-shakes, I hug the people I care for, so I gave him a non-committal hand shake. I am tall myself, but his height overpowered me by a few inches. And while his handshake wasn't that firm either, he nevertheless felt entitled to make fun of me, "hey, that isn't a handshake!", he said. I smiled, thinking to myself, "well, that's just weird." In any case, we moved on with our lives and he eventually left the firm I work for.
Yet the sentiment of this exchange stayed with me. The signals I was getting were all showing in the same direction, something inside me was slumbering. Even though I was already in my forties and did supposedly just fine professionally and in my private life, I still hadn't completely found myself. When my spiritual friend Su Zhen first met me she said I was repressed. Even my boss called me conflicted. When multiple sources tell me the same thing I tend to listen. But what exactly was my struggle about?
My spiritual path opened up at a time when I visited sex websites compulsively. I knew this had to stop given that these visits contradicted everything I spiritually stood for, but why was it so hard? What was I overlooking? Then I had a releasing dream
I had met my demon in a dream. We was muscular and he was violent, but as the dream revealed, he could do me no harm. So what exactly did he want from me?
It was not so hard to figure his message out. I was born a lion but raised by lambs. Spirituality wasn't helping either. I had overlooked, if not repressed, that life has its assertive and aggressive moments. All I had to do was to stand up for myself and others when the SIGNS along the WAY said so. As a matter of fact, when I finally was encouraged to battle it out, it wasn't hard at all. It was almost instinctive. Pipes that had slumbered unused for decades suddenly opened up and the entire system shifted a couple of gears higher. It was passion and purpose finally joining hands, and never - when others would have perceived a fight - did I feel that I had deviated from my spiritual path.
The accendo happened when my boss presented false evidence to get my job lost in a company re-shuffling. I was not only fighting for my honor, but also for all the people I am helping with my work who would have been betrayed by this evil scheme. My boss and I were in a huge stand-off that could easily have led to steps that both parties would have regretted afterwards. Luckily he finally offered a time-out. I agreed, but on his way out of my office, I insisted on a hand-shake. He happily agreed. He himself was trapped in a firm-wide power struggle and we both knew that deep down inside we both respect and like each other. When he stretched out his hand I shook it with so much vigor, strength and intensity that his shell cracked open. I screamed at him, "you have to fight for this group" and almost with tears in his eyes he responded, "you have no idea, I do!".
As he walked out of the room I realized that my work here was done. I had a flashback that moment of the shaky hand-shake many years ago with the other colleague and realized that this day I more than made up for it. The demon and I are friends now. We are finally one!