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Does it Really Make a Difference?

Dennis L. Dossett
   (All Rights Reserved)


        Several months ago I worked with a client who was having (repeated) relationship issues and wanted to know how to solve the problem. I spoke to her about Maitreya’s teachings regarding life on the earth plane (learning life lessons, balancing karmic energy, and releasing/detaching from trapped or “unused” energy, etc.). When I finished, she sat silently for a while, obviously thinking about something I had said, but I wasn’t quite sure what. Finally, she broke the silence with the question, “What is he here to teach me?” I was a bit surprised at her comment because most clients don’t immediately jump to such a question.

        Most clients immediately succumb to what psychologists call the “Fundamental Attribution Error” in which people tend to explain their own behavior to causes outside of themselves (external attributions), while explaining the behavior of others as due to intention, ability, etc. (internal attributions). But this client was thinking about her own lessons, karma, and trapped energy as her own business. I thought to myself, “How refreshing!”

        And yet I was a bit troubled by her response. There was a feeling in the pit of my stomach that wanted to cry out “But! But! But!” It took me a few moments to realize the source of my concern. It finally dawned on me that the tone of her voice gave away something of her true understanding and motivation (What is HE here to teach me?). In other words, she was thinking something like: “Yes, I do have lessons, etc., but it’s his job to teach them to me!” So in many respects she, too, had fallen victim to the “fundamental attribution error” by attributing responsibility for her lessons to him (something outside of herself).

        After a few moments (it seemed like forever to me), I finally said, “Or , What do I have to learn from him?” That felt much more satisfying to me, but I wasn’t sure exactly how she might take it. I quickly followed up by saying, “My life is all about me. It’s about me taking responsibility for my lessons. It’s about me taking responsibility for balancing my karma. It’s about me taking responsibility for releasing my trapped energy. And the other people in my life? They are here to mirror for me regarding things I don’t like in others. They are here to push my buttons because they know me better than I am generally willing to admit that I know myself. And they are here to love and support me on my life journey. And I am in their life to do the same for them, but their life is all about them.”

        My client pondered that statement for a few moments (it seemed like forever to me!) and then she brightened as if from a revelation and blurted out, “Ahh What do I have to learn from him? I get it!” I thought to myself, “How refreshing!” Most clients take a lot longer to come to that conclusion.

        Over the next several months my Self stepped in from time to time and asked, “Does it really make a difference? Isn’t the point that the lesson is learned, the karma balanced, and the trapped energy released? You’re making a mountain out of a mole hill!”—or words to that effect. The Self is really sneaky when it uses your own arguments against you to try to win the battle.

        I was pondering my answer to the Self’s questions (yet again) earlier this week when an old song from the 1930s (believe it or not, well before my time!) popped into my head. I used to break out in song in the middle of teaching management classes in my days as a university professor. It woke the students up and helped to make my point that every effective manager really needs to understand the wisdom conveyed in the lyrics of a song about romance:

•   “It ain’t what you do, it’s the way how you do it, that’s what gets results! It ain’t what you say, it’s the way how you say it, that’s what gets results!”

        I really do believe that taking responsibility for one’s life is important on the spiritual path. I really do believe that the question “What is THAT PERSON here to teach me?” is quite different from “What do I have to learn from them?” But what do other people think? Does it REALLY make a difference?

        So I asked several other people in an informal poll just to see what reactions I might get. Yes, the sample size was very small, but I wanted to see just what kind of mountain I might be making out of a mole hill. And the responses were quite interesting. Granted, it was a point-blank question and they didn’t really have time to think about their responses, but all of my respondents thought that there is a difference in meaning between “What is THAT PERSON here to teach me?” and “What do I have to learn from them?” Everyone in the poll agreed that the second statement was better, but their reasons as to why they saw a difference and why they preferred the second one were all over the map. They all agreed that the two phrases had different implications, but they explained the differences in terms quite unique to each individual.

        I think that a major part of the differences in poll responses had to do with each individual’s personal experiences as they scrambled for a “logical” explanation for why? The fact is that they were united in preferring “What do I have to learn from them?” I think many of them intuitively understood that it is a more active (less passive) response and they saw it as more accepting (less resistance) than the alternative. And I agree with them.

        So “Does it REALLY make a difference?” I believe that “spiritual growth” (soul evolution) is all about becoming a better version of oneself, not the reasons why we decide to do one thing or another. I believe that a more enlightened response to any situation comes without first thinking about it. I think this is the defining hallmark of soul growth because the response is based on who a person has become, not on some conditioned rationale for what is “correct.” I believe that who one has become is the most important measure of lessons learned, karma balanced, and trapped energy released.

        In his writings and channelings, Maitreya repeatedly exhorts us to “become your own master” or, put another way, to become master of your own life. To me, there is only one way to do this, and that is to take full responsibility for your own life. But maybe I’m a little short-sighted on this. What do YOU think? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

        Have a wonderful Holiday Season!