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I Just Want to Discharge

I want to share my thoughts with you from the Africa Pre-World Conference. We had such a great time. One thing that comes to my mind is that whenever we get together, it is a time of having great sessions on whatever we have to discharge and revisiting the ground rules of RC.

Twenty-four years ago, at the beginning of my RC experience, it was very hard for me to discharge. As a child I had been told not to cry when I was hurt or express whatever feelings I had in front of people.

In sessions I would try to tell my sad stories in front of my counselor without really touching the stories. I wanted to run away from the hurt because it hurt so much; I didn’t want to face it. There was also the issue of trust. I was new to RC and didn’t know the person who was counseling me. I also didn’t want to cry “like a child,” because my culture does not appreciate a man crying in front of a person.

“Telling my story” didn’t help me at all. My counselor was not actually there to appreciate my story. He or she was there to be my ally so that I could reach to the recorded distress and be myself and cry or shout about it.

I confess to you that it was not easy to touch the early memory that came to me. I had to overcome my fear of people. I had to feel that the person who was counseling me was not a stranger but a fellow human being who had his or her own distress. I started to cry and make a sound of crying. Then it started to flow out of me, with tremendous power and sometimes rage. I just let it go. Session after session, I continued to cry on the same issue. Then that brought another memory, then a little story, then crying.

Now I don’t want to “tell my story.” I don’t focus on passing on information. This doesn’t mean that I do not trust my counselor but rather that I know that he or she is there to help me discharge. I just want to discharge. I don’t care what kind of information my counselor has about me. I just want him or her there to help me be myself.

I know how I can discharge. I just start from yesterday and go to last month and then to a year ago and then further and further. I want to shout or cry. I just want to discharge all that hinders me from being myself. I don’t want to be taken by the culture of storytelling.

One danger from storytelling is that it takes me away from the real hurt; I bypass it. When my mind is away, I stop feeling. Then I want my session to end. I want to keep quiet, and I don’t want to stay there. That’s the habit I developed from the hurt: running away and hiding and presenting myself as if nothing happened.

Once I started discharging intensely, I became a rebel against my own habit and distresses that want to hinder me from becoming fully myself. I need to shout. I shout! I need to stand against all oppression. I do! I want to become more aware of myself every day after discharging more distresses. Co-Counseling without deeper discharge is boring.

The RC no-socializing policy was one of my challenges, too. Oh, my God! I didn’t know how to understand it. At first I thought it just disconnected me from the people around me. I read the Fundamentals Manual and tried to follow the rule instead of understanding it. This is how I see it now: The no-socializing policy is a protective guideline for both the counselor and the client. It helps us discharge without being dependent on anyone in the Community. It guides our relationships to be focused more on liberation than on socializing.

As we have limited resources—of money, furniture, education—and all the burdens of poverty, we should remind ourselves every day that we are born good, powerful, completely free and energetic, and as accomplishers of things. Harvey Jackins said, “There is nothing wrong with any human being except the results of mistreatment.”

In our African Communities, we should continue to love one another and be allies in times of trouble, as we always do, but we need to focus on discharging deeply each time we meet. Sometimes I think we are different from the Western ways of living, but there is no difference in humanity. If we do not understand something about RC, let’s discharge about it and continue to be in the Community, liberating ourselves until nothing hinders us from being fully human and relating freely with our fellow human beings.

Mesfin Taye

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

(Present Time 187, April 2017)

Last modified: 2020-07-17 20:50:52+00