On the Restoration of Integrity


Many Buddhist stories of enlightenment involve the protagonist being placed in a situation of duress, the sheer discomfort of which engenders the moment of epiphany.

I had that moment today when one of my mentors, Manal, whom no words will ever accurately describe and who remains beyond the reach of most superlatives (and I mean that in the absolutely best-est way possible), asked me pointblank: Will you continue to dishonor who you truly are?

While the rest of the people included in the conversation waited with bated breath, I had a moment of breathtaking clarity where I was superbly present to my anger, defensiveness, indignation and petulance: the whole gamut of emotions to which I had freely surrendered my life the last several months. Then with the deftness of a Zen master, Manal added: I know who you really are—and who you are is phenomenal.

There was a long silence…at the end of which I took a deep breath—and chuckled.

Much later in the conversation, I told Manal: That was the best ass-kicking I’ve gotten in a long time.

She replied: You deserved it.

I really did. Thank you Manal—and thank you Alan, Gids, Honey and Paul.

It feels good to be back.

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