In the space between wakefulness and dreaming, the wall that my Ego likes to maintain between what is real and true, and what my Ego wants me to think is real and true, seems less sturdy. Every once in a while the wall seems not to exist at all, allowing my True Self to impart a bit of wisdom for me to consider.
And that is what happened this morning.
Just as was coming to the surface of awareness, my thoughts returned to a job interview I had probably 35 years ago. During the interview I was asked why I should be hired for the position and I replied “because I am a good lawyer, and I am becoming a better one.” Then, my True Self added these words: And it is much harder to become a better person.
Those ten words could easily form the basis of a meditation, for there is an enormous and almost unending amount of honest self-discovery available to me if I start to examine the truth of that statement. When I began my legal career in the ’70’s, even in the bigger firms, a young lawyer had to “figure it out” mostly alone. The mentoring that became common towards the end of my career was non-existent in the large firm I started with in Knoxville, Tennessee. Then, when I was hired as a civil prosecutor for one of our government’s federal agencies, I was handed 300 case files and expected to handle them without any mistakes. After we moved to another state for my husband’s work I joined an old-line law firm and from scratch built a practice area that had not previously existed in the firm. The 33 years I spent as a lawyer were hard, made harder, of course, because of my fear of failure. So, when my True Self reminded me that it is much harder to become a better person I recognized the truth of those words at a gut level.
The fact that my True Self offered those ten words to me at this time is no accident. Last week I began a seven week course of study of the Enneagram, which is a spiritual Myers-Briggs that allows the student to dive very deeply into one’s shadow side in order to better live into one’s giftedness. And even though I have done a lot of “onion peeling” over the past years, I nevertheless expect to discover some very painful truths about myself during this process, because becoming a better person is the hardest work I have ever done.