Feeling Hard Done By?

Trials Expose Your Weaknesses!

Annoyed to distraction, life and death held over you, plagued by despots, authoritarians, tormented, brutally and violently treated, psychologically manipulated to experience unbearable apprehension, oppressed with sadness, become enraged, exasperated and bothered to no end? Do you have bursts of energy with long periods of dullness?

Any of that sound familiar?

Impeccably use energy as you face the unknown.


Defeat the Ogre in your life. Engage in the self-orientation of total and continuous examination of the self and how you relate to the world. Observe your responses to events. Do you take the situation personally? Do you pay attention and analyze other people’s strengths, weaknesses and motivations–or–are you too busy trying to think up a clever retort or feel too sorry for yourself or too busy to listen, all indicators that you may think too much of your self-importance, and too little of self-orientation.

Relationship Anyone?

The world is relational so pay attention to more than the inner chatter of your brain!

Develop a well thought-out strategy. Reality has a greater vastness than what we could possibly embrace individually. Realizing that we know and understand only in part nurtures a natural inner humility.

Mentors, books and gaming are excellent resources to changing strategy. Chess, properly played, holds the pawn in highest esteem and strategic sacrificing is the name of the game. Take that perspective in your daily life and you can train yourself into being aware that the most difficult situations are an opportunity to excel with your inner state of control and discipline, at the very least.

There is much we can gain by observation and determination.

Firstly, don’t take yourself too seriously! Don’t take others too seriously! This clears your mind to think creatively.

Face the Ogre

1. Start mapping opponent’s strong points, weaknesses and quirks of behaviour. This is the skill of discipline while you are being beaten up, metaphorically or otherwise. Never let on you are actually in charge:

“My control made me fulfill the man’s most asinine demands. What usually exhausts us in a situation like that is the wear and tear on our self-importance….ripped apart by being made to feel worthless….To tune the spirit when someone is trampling on you is called control” (Carlos Castaneda, The Fire From Within, Simon & Schuster, Inc., 1984, 26).

Plan and implement strategy instead of reacting to life. Be joyful and serene in persecution, injustices and inconveniences because you are exercising a plan. There is no need to feel sorry for yourself or weep in impotence. 

Jesus Christ said that if you try to save your life, you will lose it. Empowerment in trial is the sort of thing he was referring to, self-reflection instead of a self-absorption “pity party”. Over and over again he said that we are not alone in our life journey. The Buddha too acknowledged the reality of suffering and encouraged his followers in detachment. Don Juan Matus explained the same dynamic to Carlos Castaneda by saying self-importance is our greatest enemy.

The ogres of our lives expose our self-importance. Do we get upset by not being included, by being ignored? Get over it! Get over yourself! Toddlers and the adolescent tend to have an egocentric view of the world, very difficult to take things in perspective. We learn to take a broader perspective and reverently respect other people’s situation in the world.

Sit back. Observe. Know that the appropriate time to act will come in due course. Avoid forcing an issue before its time. Jumping in before the right time is as useful as taking a loaf of bread out of the oven half-way through cooking. Jumping in too soon is either a lack of a good strategic plan or a clue to residual self-importance driving you.

One of the most difficult things is to realize that you cannot make someone else to take this journey. Realizations are always personal. Scolding, badgering or embarrassing the “ogre” will not get the job done.


2. Joyfully hold back with your spirit what is rightfully due. Scriptures say vengence is God’s to dish out. Make good allies as a protective hedge about you. Use positive relational energy. Be prepared. There will come a time to turn the tables on the tyrannical ogre.

Enjoy the journey.