Heather is a very enthusiastic and light-hearted counselor who serves as the Director of Sober Living by the Sea’s T.E.A.C.H. College Program. The T.E.A.C.H. College Program has been helping recovering students earn college credits for twelve years. Heather is a lot of fun to be around and has been very successful in helping our clients find their way in the classroom and in life.
TO THINE OWN SELF BE TRUE?
“I heard one of my favorite stories about perception from a Jesuit Priest:”
A dying mother Eagle looking for a safe place to leave her baby egg came across a large chicken pen. She flew down and laid the egg to rest among all the baby chicken eggs and went off to her next adventure.
The time came when all the eggs began to hatch. The baby chicks came out and flapped their little wings while saying “Bock Bock” and pecking for food. And so the baby Eagle also flapped his little wings and said “Bock Bock” while pecking for food.
Time went on, and many years passed. All the while the Eagle behaved like the Chicken because he wasn’t aware of any other way.
Eventually, as an old eagle, sitting in the chicken pen, he saw an amazing sight above him. The sunlight came streaming down through a flying bird’s wings and sparkled brilliantly against the sky. He watched in awe and wonder, and the chicken next to him commented, “You see that? That is an Eagle, he belongs to the sky; we are Chickens, we belong to the ground.”
…And so the Eagle died a Chicken, because that is what he BELIEVED he was.
WHO DO I BELIEVE I AM?
How do I come to know myself? Especially when… I am unaware of who I truly am at this moment.
A spiritual experience – which requires humility… meaning willingness to be teachable and to not have all the answers… YET
Using the Story
The Eagle would have to trust a power outside of his own awareness. This power could see the Eagle was mistaken in thinking he knew who he was. So the Eagle, thinking he knows a thing or two, would have to trust a suggestion outside of his own common sense to get a taste of who he truly is!
The suggestion is to fly. “Walk off a cliff and flap your wings”…or take a leap of faith.
What Eagle, who thinks he knows who he is (a chicken who cannot fly), would ever trust something so silly, and inapplicable?
ANSWER: An Eagle that is willing to experience something different than what he has been experiencing so far. And sometimes this requires unmanagable
circumstances and the feeling of powerlessness.
Unmanageable circumstances and a sense of powerlessness have provided me with anopportunity… an opportunity to see who I truly am: by inventorying my beliefs and how I see myself and my world.
“I came to treatment, thinking it was a curse or a punishment and I was a bad person… when all the while I was just innocently mistaken, powerless only because I was unconscious to the magnanimous power of my true (higher) self.”
“I came to treatment because I needed help, or was just unlucky, or misunderstood… and found an unimaginable gift of awareness that freed me.”
“I came to treatment knowing who I was and who you were and… I came to believe differently, and in my transformed perception, I have found that…I really can fly!!”
What lies before us, or behind us are small matters to what lies within us.
-Henry David Thoreau
The most loving act we can do for others is come to know and love who we truly are.