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The Lion and the Slave: Coaching Backward

"I was at [the] top of my game when I was in combat....To me, it's a little distressing to realize I was at my best doing something as terrible as war."-Robert Rheault US special forces. *source at end of article 

That PBS Vietnam war documentary re-confirmed my now strong beliefs about the subject I have written about below: forgiveness. A lot of those guys mix up some very good feelings with some very bad things. That causes problems later in life and requires a process similar to the one I am suggesting in this article. 

There are two well known kid's stories that represent the theme of this blogg article very well: the Lion and the Slave, and the Pea and the Princess. The idea is that you have to get rid of the bad, not just keep focusing on the good. "Repentence and forgiveness" is what it is called in old world talk, but is really the process of learning from, getting to the truth, and letting go of. 

You are limited by your beliefs. Your beliefs come from your judgements(the conclusions/lines you've drawn). The mistakes you make are being judged(by you) and if you don’t learn from them, your judgements will continue to hurt you.

So, what if you have done bad things or made incorrect judgements of things that weren't that bad, or both? What do you do in that situation?

You pull the thorn out. You get to the very bottom of it and disprove it. You actually get rid of the problem. A lot of coaches and, I believe, psychologists try to help their clients develop strategies to live with their past and accept it, but that is rediculous. The ceiling is still low and those walls are still there. You can white knuckle your way through life all you want, but if your beliefs don't change, then the actions are still on the table(a possibility). When your beliefs change, you don't need to white knuckle. 

How do you pull the thorn out? You learn from it and compare it to your highest beliefs. If you get nothing from that, then it wasn't the thorn. 

A loose way of doing this is: What-Break-Learn-Compare

What am I feeling? (what)

What is that? (break it down)

Do I believe in that? Is that right? (learn)

What do I believe in? (compare to my highest beliefs)

....I do that or something like that literally all the time. Its fast and easy and gets rid of the symptom of the problem right away. 

If you really want to get to the bottom of it, here's a detailed framework to follow: What is the Goal? What do you believe/what are you feeling? When was the last time you reached that goal? Break it down. Learn from it. Compare it to your highest beliefs. Work with it a little to get what you need from it. 

*Goal: I want to be full throttle.

*What am I feeling? I feel like I'm going to hurt people. I hurt people when I am on my peak. (What)

*When did I feel that last? When I was in highschool giving a speech in front of the class. I was full throttle. Literally on top of my game. I told a student to shut-up while I was talking and was agressve towards him. (When-could be several instances)

*What is that? It's agression. I didn't try to teach him or even correct him gently. It's inequality: I believed I was better than him and that me giving him an order was enough. It's hate: I wanted to destroy the evil in him. (Break) 

It's bad behavior. Me being full on, full throttle is not the problem here, it is my bad behavior.

*Do I believe in this stuff?  Why not? (Learn)

No, agression is a form of force...I don't win anyone like that. I just force them to change which means they are changing for my sake or for their safety's sake. No, inequality is a cultural phenomenon rather than fact. No, hate is can't destroy anything.

But I do believe in being full throttle, totally doubtless and moving forward like a tornado.

*What do I really believe in? (Compare)

I believe in teaching people honestly and lovingly. I believe all people are of equal value. I believe in forgiveness and that people can change and learn. I also believe in being full throttle, full on, and being completely doubtless. 

-Doing this, I forgave what was bad behavior and I clarified what was a misunderstanding in my brain, quite simply: me being full throttle is not the same as me behaving badly. Being full throttle is good, but I have to do it behaving well. 

Coaching forward is great and I do it all the time, but regaining potential by pulling the thorn out(coaching backward) is a great method and necessary. It's a process of proving your prior beliefs wrong, replacing them with new beliefs or reconfirming your highest beliefs. It's isolating the truth. I have significantly reduced internal resistence and, strangely enough, pressure by removing thorns. You do as much as you can by coaching forward and then when you hit a wall you can't get past, you go back and re-gain potential by pulling out a thorn. I know what that implies, but I don't think it is much more complicated than that.

This doesn't create great immediate change in your life besides well being. The reason is because a lot of resulting beliefs are created that cause patterns, which are habits, to support the original false belief, but they can be forgiven as well(erased).

Try it. I am not an expert, but I do believe in this process and it will most certainly not hurt you.

*The Vietnam War Episode 2 Riding the Tiger, directed by Ken Burns and Lynn Novak, participant Robert Rheault, produced by Sarah Botstein and Lynn Novak and Ken Burns, PBS, 2017, Youtube, 


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