Richard was a meek man, and according to him, he had probably always been meek. And he looked it. He was soft spoken and slight in stature and always looking to please.
Perhaps these things had contributed to his meekness. Or perhaps they were the result of it. Either way, right from the start, Richard was clearly troubled by his meekness.
As for me, I somehow saw past this meekness right from the start. You see, Richard was one of the bravest individuals I'd ever worked with, meek or not. Richard had spent a number of years fighting cancer and in fact, doctors had told his family he wouldn't make it. But he did.
Five years later, Richard came to see me. As we began, I saw him as being depressed as a man could get and still keep breathing. He, in fact, had been living a kind of a shell of an existence for many years. This was not hard to understand either. He had lost everything; a wife and kids; a home and career; his friends and future.
, but with a big heart. Perhaps this in part came from his having spent many years close to death. You see, Richard had almost died of cancer and in fact, was one of the few cases to ever recover from his kind of cancer.
So. Meek? Yes. But brave? Absolutely.
At the beginning of our work, we had worked quite a bit on his meekness, what I sometimes jokingly referred to as his "cheek spreading," an admittedly gross twist on what many call, "butt kissing." Here again, I was speaking in what some would see as an unkind and rude manner. Still, this apparent rudeness was designed to jolt Richard out of his rut, his inability to say "no," and to some degree, it had worked. Moreover, I only spoke these words to Richard after we had developed a good relationship and with a tone clearly loving and gentle.
Despite his progress, though, Richard continued to find it hard to say no, especially to the women in his life. One day then, as we were exploring this difficulty, Richard, in the midst of a very emotional conversation, told me something in an absolutely flat emotionless tone. What did he say?
"I almost killed my mother."
And then he simply continued, resuming his story with passion and emotion.
"Richard! What just happened," I asked. Did you notice how when you said, "I almost killed my mother," your voice went flat and dead sounding?"
"Well, now that you mention it, yes, I guess I did."
At this point, I asked him if I could do an allergy test, meaning, if I could try to say and do a few things to see if I could discover what had happened. I started by asking him to get as conscious and as focused as possible and to try to stay in contact with my eyes. Then I said to him,"You almost killed your mother."
Sure enough, he went as blank as an etch-a-sketch pad which had just been lifted.
I then asked him to again get focused and conscious and to again try to keep in touch with my eyes. Then I said the line to him again, and he went as blank as an etch-a-sketch pad which had just been lifted.(article in progress)