In today’s blog post I thought I’d write about something important: spiritual maturity. Spiritual maturity is something hard to define, but we all know what it is when we encounter a personal who is spiritually mature. They have a natural sense of grace and empowerment, and are able to avoid many of the silly squabbles and dramas that less mature people in spiritual circles tend to get into. For me, the defining quality of such people is the capacity to assume responsibility for their emotional and psychic projections. This is why such people are largely impervious to “drama”. This is turn is typically related to the relationship a person has to his or her own ego. Finally, this all has much to do with self-love and self-acceptance.
Rather than discuss this idea intellectually, I am going to share with you a story of a big drama I was once involved with. Those who have read my book Discover Your Soul Template will be familiar with it. This is an extract from the book. All names have been changed to protect the silly egos involved!
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The failure to love yourself completely and assume a high level of responsibility for your emotional energy leaves you vulnerable to endless interpersonal and psychic battles. If you fail to rein in your need for drama, you disempower yourself. Drama depletes your energy, distorts your focus, and takes your attention away from what you want to create. It also robs you of any chance of being fully present. The higher your propensity for drama, the less creative energy you have left to manifest your dreams.
Some time ago, I was involved in a doozy of a drama. The situation involved a certain think-tank and the development of a report for a powerful international organization. As a member of that group, I was invited to participate. The discussion was all electronic, involving emails and other web media. As it turned out, my contribution was minimal, as I was busy at the time, and much of it was beyond my expertise and interests. After several weeks, a final document was prepared.
Many of the contributions had been rambling and the whole discussion was quite disorganized, so one group member, Sean, bravely volunteered for the onerous task of putting all the ideas together into one intelligible document. This huge operation took him a month. When the document was ready, Sean asked for comments from other participants. Feeling guilty that I had not really contributed as much as I should have, I offered to proofread and edit the document. This is where the drama started.
The document I received was rather shoddy, with multiple problems. I felt numerous changes needed to be made. Yet time was running out because we had to submit the report in only a few days. So I went through it with a big red pen (so to speak), and made many recommendations for changes. I then sent it into the group leader, Harry, to see what he thought. Harry was aghast. He said that everyone was too busy to go through all my recommendations, so they would just have to leave it.
Here is where my ego checked into the hotel. I was annoyed that my voice had been ignored. Then another group member, Chang, came forward and stated that he also thought the document was well below professional standard. Harry reiterated that other members had looked at it, and hadn’t noticed any real problems. Sean wrote that if Chang and I were not happy with the document, we could have our names removed from it. He then blurted out that in all of his professional career, with multiple publications as a writer and academic, he had never received the kind of criticisms that Chang and I had put forward. He was indignant. His ego had checked into the hotel too.
Things were now getting pushy at the hotel check-in desk. Chang marched in and started clanging the bell at the front desk, demanding service. He sent emails and made postings saying that he had published twice as many books and papers as Sean, and that Sean had no right to submit the paper without his consent, nor the right to erase his name from the paper.
I tried to be diplomatic, and posted several times apologizing for any misunderstandings. I got no responses, which again pushed my buttons. Ignored yet again! Now I was trying to wrestle my ego and stop it from grabbing an axe and running around the hotel foyer.
My part in the drama sprang from a childhood issue. My parents were particularly strict, believing that children should be seen and not heard. My father had little time for love and nurturing. Children were basically tools for fixing stuff around the house and a cheap source of labor for the family business. Anytime I complained or acted up, I was silenced with physical punishment or sent to my bedroom without dinner or TV. In my father’s defense, sometimes I got water if I was really good.
Chang’s soul issues soon became clear to me. He wrote me an email. Did he start off with an analysis of the situation, or telling me how to resolve the problem? That would have been the rational approach, after all. But no! He got straight into telling me about his childhood and how everyone at school beat him up because he was different.
There it was in black and white. Chang’s investment in the drama sprung from his wounded child. Yet Chang had no intention of accepting responsibility for that hurt, and working toward healing and group harmony. No, he wanted attention and sympathy from me, and justice from the group for being wronged.
By that point I had worked on the issue, having completed several sessions of Connecting with the Ego and Wounded Child (these are healing processes described in the book), so I had pulled my emotional energy out. I had taken responsibility. I worked on some deep issues with my father and elder brother, especially some anger and sadness that were lingering within me.
Because I have a commitment to honoring Spirit and a vision to focus upon, I didn’t let Chang pull me back into the drama (which is what he wanted). I checked out of the hotel, which wasn’t easy, as there were bully boys at the door trying to push me back inside. I wrote a polite email to Chang telling him I was sorry for his childhood mistreatment, but suggesting that we should focus on resolving the issue. Before I sent the email, I checked the intention behind it (by letting my ego speak, and correcting it), and acknowledged anything that was ego-based. The intention that underpins action is very important if you want to resolve dramas, for even as you are saying or doing one thing, energetically you may be doing the opposite.
Sean was eyeball-deep in the muck of drama too, reacting from his soul issues. My sense was that his father had punished him also, and the criticism had generated a fear reaction, followed by anger. Where there is anger, there is fear. Eventually it all died down. The blood was washed from the hotel carpet. In a final irony, I learned that Chang and I had been given the wrong document—an earlier draft, not the final copy.
There was also a broader group dynamic at work. All of us in the drama had been seduced by the ego’s desire for power and attention. We were looking for greater recognition. The paper was our passport to global-level power. It was about face, status, and prestige. Entire cultures are built on such ego stuff. However, as soon as you buy into the collective ego narrative, you become a magnet for drama, control and power.