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The Struggle to Be Fully Human

From a talk by Tim Jackins at a Boston, Massachusetts, USA, Teachers’ and Leaders’ Workshop, August 2002

TO BE FULLY HUMAN

The ultimate goal of Co-Counseling is for all people to get to be fully human, to be fully who we are. We need to keep this goal in our minds, every step along the way. Achieving this goal will ensure the elimination of all the oppressions.

Some of the people who were active in Co-Counseling a long time ago are no longer around RC. I think some of them must have figured out how to discharge the distresses that would have killed them quickly, gotten those out of the way, and then settled.* That was good enough. They took care of the things they were most afraid of, the distresses that were driving them to the edge of their existence, and then they could have a nice life.

Many of us could quit counseling now and have a nice life. But most of us couldn’t be satisfied with that. We know there is more. There are more possibilities for our species and our societies than we’ve ever seen put into practice. Humans have had lots of good ideas, and we know there will be more. There is more to being human than we’ve ever had a chance to experience.

Most of our lives tend to be good, mild versions of life. That’s a problem. You’re mild. I’m mild. We’ve discharged many distresses, and we’ve managed to keep some distresses out of the RC Community. But we’re also not fully alive in the way we could be. We don’t get the full benefit of each other and the full benefit of ourselves.

It’s our intention to get that full benefit. We’re on that path. We can listen to our tone at workshops and notice how it improves year to year—how much more alive the buzz in the room becomes as people make progress.

I want to challenge you to continue to fight for it all and not settle for a good, mild version of you, or of life, even if it’s the best thing you’ve seen yet. Most of us are having better lives than we ever expected, but I don’t want you to give up on the rest of it, because I know there’s a great deal more. You know there’s a great deal more. You may fear it’s a fantasy—all your self-doubts and bad feelings about yourself may crowd your mind—but I suspect you know. I suspect you have some glimpse of how much there can be in your life, and in your mind. We’re going to have to fight against our distresses to get it all back. This means trying, in our sessions, to be that big, that fully ourselves.

FULL USE OF THE DISCHARGE PROCESS

We’re still learning to use the discharge process. We’re still fighting to get command of this healing process that was taken away from us. Many of us dribble and leak discharge and are happy we get that far. Others of us have had sessions, or been counselors in sessions, in which much more happens. It can feel at those moments like the process got out of our control. We were trying to have a nice, mild version of discharge, and the thing got away from us. Something opened up. The best way I can think of to describe it is “exquisite discomfort.” There is something we can’t quite bear, and can’t quite bear to go after. Something is full and alive at that point, and we’d run away from it if we could, but we don’t exactly want to. Something opens up. It’s alive.

The process is fully ours at that moment. We know it’s correct, but we almost can’t bear it. The flood carries us on. We come out of that session, and something is different. We don’t know the specifics. I had a bunch of early physical distress, and when sessions on it worked well, I would see color—everything was in color. I could see color before, I know I saw color before, but now everything was in color! I can’t describe any better than that what the difference was, but it was distinctly different. Some distress shifted, got out of my way, and I could see life a step more clearly.

FIGHTING FOR OURSELVES

I want all of us fighting for full use of the discharge process. And I want you fighting for you. You are the one who can best fight for you. We all tend to wait for someone to stand up for us, to provide the right context or contradiction. There may have been a time when we needed that, but it’s over now. We can all use allies, but it’s only patterns that cause us to not fight for ourselves with the excuse of waiting for more resource. 

For society to be changed so that everyone gets a good chance at a good life, we need to have you—all of you. That means you’re going to have to fight hard for yourselves. Whatever stands in the way, you’re going to have to challenge it. You have to face all the discomforts and all that holds you back.

I want to dare you to not be timid and careful. You don’t have to be careful about any of your distresses this weekend. I don’t care what happened to you—it doesn’t change this. I don’t care how badly hurt you are—everybody gets to come back. Everybody gets to come back from whatever happened to him or her.

Everybody can recover. Everybody gets to fight with his or her whole being to do that, to be part of us all once again. Every single one of us has to decide that, or we stay small.

You have to fight that hard for you, but this isn’t just about you. It’s about all of us. We all need to see each other taking on these battles. And we’ll all fight harder for each other, and for larger issues, if we can do it for ourselves. This is similar to our focusing the struggle against racism on people of African heritage. That isn’t going to slow down any other piece of the struggle—it will clarify the other pieces and accelerate the struggle against racism on all sides. As we take on this struggle against our distresses, it will accelerate everything else. There’s no conflict or contradiction at all. If we’ve been told we’re self-centered, then that’s just one of the recordings that confuses us. There are distresses that can make us self-centered, but fighting for ourselves against our distresses is entirely different. If you can’t fight for yourself, it’s because you’ve been hurt. You fighting for yourself is fighting against those hurts, and not against anybody else’s interests. 


* Settled means accepted things as they were without trying for more.


Last modified: 2020-07-01 08:50:08+00