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You're only human, right? Nonetheless, you still need to give up your musturbatory demand not to be treated badly; otherwise, you won't move forward in dealing with the reality that you were, indeed, treated like that. Of course, there are degrees of bad treatment, and it would be irrational to equate being raped or severely beaten with being inconvenienced or criticized. But on the continuum between "Gee, that wasn't very nice of her" to, well, murder, most treatment perfectionism concerns treatment relatively low on the badness scale. With this in mind, let's take a closer look at some common types of treatment perfectionism. This type of treatment perfectionist tends to wilt at the first sign of criticism, even if the criticism is intended to be constructive. She tends to perceive criticism as an assault on her personhood and may cry, become defensive, or avoid the source of the criticism. Consequently, she has difficulty holding down a job and advancing in the workplace. Such treatment perfectionists are also often achievement perfectionists (see Chapter Four) and therefore tend to become self-damning when it is suggested that their work product is subpar or that they adjust their work habits. By anchoring the consolation in a real-life event, Karen can begin to allow the consolation to resonate. That resonance brings with it a sense of peace that begins to dispel the anxiety that she felt only moments ago. That said, to cultivate full anxiety-dispelling resonance, Karen would, ideally, need to call to mind memories that -- alone or collectively -- packed more of an emotional punch than the negative experiences she had in grade school and in her family of origin. Sometimes that isn't fully possible when a person first starts using this exercise. However, the more you act on consolations instead of desolations, the more new experiences you create that allow you to increase resonance every time you recall them. Once you have either collected enough experiences or enough emotionally powerful experiences to offset the negative experiences that formerly gave resonance to your desolations, both the desolations and anxiety will dissipate. By dealing with communication as a two-step process, you take care of both people. You attend to your feelings and honor them. You take care of the other person because you have communicated responsibly, in a respectful way, and in a manner that can be heard. You want to ensure that you are approachable and rational in your delivery, so that the message is received and not rejected. At this phase you reflect on the process you have been engaged in to determine what lessons are to be learned from each experience.

You look to see what you would do differently next time. In other words, you need to reflect on what you learned before you proceed to the next situation. To repeat patterns habitually that have never been examined or released is a compulsive and addictive behavior. Ultimately, each experience of intense feeling can be a healing from the past as well as an opportunity for growth in the present to create a desired future. Even massage is often frowned upon among men. It literally astonishes me how many grown men have never had a professional massage in their entire life, even men who can easily afford it. It is often considered a frivolous and unnecessary indulgence, not a modality of healing. I find that men are less likely than women to examine their emotional lives or to try yoga, and yet they are in the greatest need of it. Most men first come to yoga through a girlfriend or spouse. Yoga terrifies men because the degree that they need to journey through a land of unfelt and even undiscovered emotions is very daunting, to say the least. Most men are deeply invested in not showing their vulnerability, their grief, or their fear. They have an immense commitment in living an illusion of being Iron Men. Why? Because men have been trained thoroughly by our society to not show emotions, which they have been taught are signs of weakness. They were taught that to show you care, to show you are in pain, and to show grief are all taboo. The social training, put simply, is "Win or die, and never let anyone see you cry." In other words, through training by society, as a gender men become mistrusting, cut off from their feelings, and even embarrassed by their more sensitive emotions. The concepts of mindfulness and awareness are currently fad topics. I think they are centuries old Buddhist concepts. A mentor recently tried to explain them to me; it's a little confusing though. Mindfulness is the act of focusing attention on what's going on: "What am I feeling right now?

What am I thinking right now? What am I doing right now? What is happening around me right now?" Awareness is the result of mindfulness; we become aware of what's going on, in and around us. We have the answers to those mindfulness questions: "Right now I'm aware that I'm feeling uncertain that I have explained these concepts correctly." Unfortunately, the treatment perfectionist's response to the perceived affront is not usually proportional to the perceived transgression. The response may be unsociability, passive-aggressiveness, or strong resentment in the form of protestation ("I'm not going to work with you if this is how it's going to be!"). This poor person often alienates others, who grow tired of being accused of improprieties. "You've messed with the wrong guy!" is the popular motto of this type of treatment perfectionist. "Just don't rub me the wrong way, and we'll get along just fine." But the rub is that it is hard not to rub this perfectionist the wrong way, and the consequence may be outright war--anything from physical confrontation to lawsuits! So much effort is wasted on fruitless hostility motivated by intense anger and a thirst for vengeance. And the results can be self-defeating! In one case, a disgruntled professor, angry about his teaching evaluation, declared war on the dean by attempting to organize faculty against him. This revolutionary ended up blacklisting himself among other administrators, and has since left in search of greener pastures. It is unlikely he will find any. Think back to grammar school: If a boy was being ridiculed and shamed by others and if his eyes brimmed with tears, he would be taunted by other boys for being a "girl." Being labeled a girl meant that his status as a young warrior was stripped away, and he was made to feel that he was a social failure. Even after a brutal fistfight, after getting pummeled repeatedly in the face--no tears! At no cost must he let on that he was emotionally and physically harmed. It's my observation that this social training imprints quite deeply and carries over into adulthood in unhealthy ways. We are probably aware of this to some degree. There are statistics that tell us that men are much more susceptible to heart attacks than women and that they die sooner in general due to higher levels of tension and repressed grief. Men commit suicide much more often than women do, and we all know that men commit the large majority of violent crimes including murder and other atrocities.

Again, getting rid of all the anxiety the first time (or even the first dozen times) you use this exercise is not the point. Working to achieve a clearer connection to consolations and a deeper resonance with those consolations is your primary focus. However, the more you do this, the more future consolations will resonate, and the psychological and spiritual resonance you cultivate will ultimately allow God to dispel your anxiety and replace it with the peace this world cannot give. For the most part, it isn't enough simply to discern the consolation and anchor that consolation in already existing experiences. As I mentioned above, to get full resonance with the consolation the Holy Spirit is whispering in your heart, you will need to create new experiences that will ultimately either outnumber or emotionally overwhelm the negative experiences your desolations are latching onto. For this step, you will address the question, "What action steps could I take to help me create even deeper resonance with this healthier and more productive view in the future?" Karen might answer the question this way: Another manifestation of feelings in daily life is the storing of incomplete feelings. When a feeling has not been experienced, expressed, or released, it lodges itself within your psyche and hovers there until the time when it is called forth to be of service. And it is always called forth to be of service. Sarita took a phone message from Herb for Ben, and forget to give it to him. She was embarrassed about it, but didn't say anything. When Herb called later that week, he asked if Sarita had given him the message. Ben dismissed it, but noticed that an important message had been dropped. Later that week, Ben was to meet Sarita for a luncheon meeting with papers which she needed to sign to formalize a contract that would accelerate her commission check. Ben arrived at lunch without the papers. When Sarita asked Ben about the papers, he felt chagrined because he had totally forgotten to bring them. As a teacher on personal transformation, I have observed that it is much more difficult to work with male students than female students in the emotional aspect of this work. I believe the reason is that although it is transformative and healing, it is also emotionally revealing. Due to everything mentioned about our training by society, this releasing and revealing goes against everything men are taught. And that scares them. A lot.

It is at the root of their resistance, but few are aware enough or even able to see it. Men starve emotionally because they do not know how to share their feelings with others in order to feel understood and bond in friendship as women do with one another. When misfortune strikes, women console one another, grieve together, cry together. Men, generally, would never even think of sharing these feelings with another man, much less do it. Instead, a man will sit alone and try not to cry, and he will hate himself for even wanting to. Or he will silently go drown his sorrows with the guys at a bar. Men are taught to suck it up. Well, when you suck it up, where does your pain go? It stays in your body. Mindfulness includes a nonjudgmental attitude; you don't judge what you become aware of. You don't label it good or bad. You don't try to change it. You just be aware of it and let it be. It is as it is. Mindfulness is quite different from being preoccupied with one thing and oblivious to everything else, which of course is what we do when we hyperfocus. De Mello, the Buddhist Jesuit, says that most of us are sleepwalking most of the time; we're not paying attention to what is really going on, we are not aware. This type of treatment perfectionist demands that others (such as employers, instructors, family, or friends) not overwork them or ask "too much" of them. I not infrequently encounter students who demand such "fair" treatment of their instructors. These poorly motivated students seek out classes where the instructor has earned a reputation for being "easy." In contrast, they indignantly perceive instructors who expect their students to work for their grades as "unfair" or "too hard." Because they tend to be discouraged when they must devote substantial time and effort to learning course materials, they often give up prematurely, fail the course, or attempt to withdraw. But the inherent and unavoidable challenges of life, especially without marketable skills, can be a great catalyst to constructive change, and I have found some showing up in my class years later, eager to work hard at learning.