Where do actions resulting from repressed feelings come from?

Emotional Honesty

If we find ourselves experiencing strong emotions, they likely come from a deep place inside that we rarely examine. Psychology defines this place as the subconscious. Trauma from the past that has been buried in the subconscious, and thereby unacknowledged, seeps out of these confines effecting attitudes and behaviors that are on full display.

Our rational selves attempt to make sense out of what others see and tell us are irrational. In the face of what we feel is criticism, we blame, excuse, justify, rationalize, or argue that our behavior is a result of events or circumstances that caused the outburst. This outward focus is not only inaccurate but keeps us from looking at the internal cause where answers and healing can begin.

For example, when we express anger to a degree that seems out of context for the situation, it is helpful to ask; “where does this anger come from?”. To answer this question, we will dig deeply into our past and find an unhealed emotional wound. The following illustration is from page 15 of my book, A Process, describing how we unravel old perceptions:

“Behind every anger there is a fear
Behind every fear there is a hurt
Behind every hurt there is an unmet need
Behind every unmet need there is a vulnerable child”

Finding the truth behind our behavior can be painful, yet the search is immeasurably important to gain maturity and come to understand the filter through which you perceive life. Change cannot happen until the truth is known and accepted. Just like an infection will eventually cause irreparable harm if not treated, an emotional wound will not heal until it is broken open, cleaned out, treated and protected through the regeneration process. This emotional healing is what my book is all about.


Is there an example of a time when you found yourself reevaluating your reaction to a situation? What do you think was the truth behind that reaction?

For more information on self-examination go to our web-site: reinventionenterprises.com or acquire the book at reinventionenterprises.com/the-process-book/


by Bernard Paul Leclerc Jr.
November 15, 2018, 9:45 AM

I am sitting on a slick rock chair with my coffee as the sun rises from behind the La Salle mountains in south eastern Utah. I am mesmerized at the silhouette of the peaks as a starburst of light, like a Les Paul guitar, shone out of the eastern sky. Here in the American Holy Land where time seems endless, I am instantly transported to an internal place within my own Soul. My youth behind me and old age ahead I’m perplexed about the impacts I made in my past life and what impacts I’m making now. Memories are fading and time grows precious.

My friend Nick is rumbling around in my head reminding me of all the lives we touched working with troubled kids and young adults as wilderness guides here in Utah. Now, with that behind me, I ask “What am I doing now that is as important, as impactful, as meaningful?” Every day I touch peoples’ lives one way or another. I know the role of teacher and mentor has changed. But why am I struggling and why am I seeing today’s situations as trivial or that today the people in my life feel less important? Why don’t they mean as much as the kids once did?

It occurs to me that this is a problem of self-perception. Maybe? Certainly, the people we love most and the people that come to us in our lives every day are just as important as those who so desperately needed our help then. We learned in wilderness therapy even the smallest of things can change the way someone views themselves or their world and thereby make changes to better their lives. So many times, even when our efforts seemed ineffective, the universal spirit worked and threw someone a lifeline where we didn’t even know it at the time. Why did I seem to feel as though I had anything to do with that moment of revelation?

Today, I move more toward humility as a bedrock principle in my own spiritual quest. I realize that my ego and self-importance are no longer required for my self-worth or for me to feel okay. A deep internal shame from my own childhood is slowly melting away.

Jeezz that took a long time.

For more about the practice of self-reflection go to: reinventionenterprises.com or to acquire the book go to: reinventionenterprises.com/the-process-book/

Recognizing Our True Behavior – Humility

I thought I was being Humble, until I saw I was being a Victim.

The comparison of these two human characteristics can be hard to distinguish because some of their outward appearances may be thought of as similar. And for those who are concerned about the possibility for misinterpretation, avoiding the appearance of humility is done in order not to be seen as a victim. In order to gain the benefits of humility while avoiding being labeled a victim a clear distinction needs to be made for each trait.

A victim seems to approach life from a position of weakness. They see themselves as unworthy, incapable, less-than, or disadvantaged and are steeped in self-pity. They act in a way that conveys subservience or displaying a persona of being of no consequence. They need direction which sucks the energy out of those around them causing them to be avoided. This in turn causes lower self-worth and a feeling of abandonment. Victimhood is a self-perpetuating condition descending into an ever-deeper pathology.

By contrast, Stage 7 of my book, beginning on page 65, lays out a definition of humility to show its necessity for change as well as the strength inherent in this attribute:

“Surrender, which is synonymous with humility, is acknowledging that our past actions were counterproductive and that a new attitudinal approach will yield better outcomes. It becomes clear that, without surrendering, change is difficult if not impossible.

We must understand what surrender is not. Surrender is not passive. It’s not giving up, nor is it humiliation. Humiliation requires admitting to losing, or to having been wrong, which happens when we assume we are right in the first place. Similarly, surrender is not negotiable, or for that matter, re-negotiable. Surrender is absolute and is the recognition that all we assumed to be true is not and that we must accept our new and different reality from this point forward.

Humility is being open to making positive change because something new has come to light. Surrender is relinquishing the idea that we are better than or superior to others and that the outside world must submit to our will. Consider the Merriam-Webster dictionary definition of humility: “The quality or state of not thinking that you are better than other people.” A central element of humility is to refocus our attention on the “WE” in a situation rather than the “I”. Acceptance of something other than our own consciousness is profoundly life changing and resides at the highest order of human expression. …

Humility is also asking for help. Asking for help from others has obvious benefits because things get done quicker and with less frustration. However, when we are applying humility to personal change, from whom are we asking for help? Is the invocation directed to a supreme being, a positive energy in the universe, the composite wisdom of a trusted group? For those who have a working concept of a higher power this question is already answered. For those with no concept or a negative, distrustful view of such issues, no amount of logic or argument to believe will help bring this concept into focus.

For those of us who have difficulty imagining a higher greater than themselves as part our humility, it is suggested that we wait and hold this question until later in the process. After we have experienced positive changes for which there is no rational explanation, we might view things differently. Belief in a traditional God isn’t a requirement, rather only that there is an inner confidence that we will be taken care of. Don’t worry about how this happens. The benefits from this process don’t come because of the acceptance of a spiritual idea; they come because we choose to see change as a gift which we humbly accept.”

One may also ask whether this means that we must have humility as a pre-condition for change. If one starts from a position of being convinced of their own rightness, are they precluded form beginning the process of change? No. However, it is likely more difficult for the process of self-examination to begin. A more dramatic catastrophic event may be required to jolt a conceited person from their cocoon of self-righteousness. Initially they may not experience the pain associated with broken relationships or the isolation brought on from their arrogant attitude but they must experience, in a fortuitous moment, a stark realization that things are different than what they had thought was true. This is where humility can begin to take root and a desire for change can begin to be formulated.

Those who have experienced this type of transition, where things took on new and different meanings and where things held to be of vital importance were redefined as inconsequential, remember the before and after with vivid recollection. This transformation does not happen quickly nor does it occur without experiencing increasing pain as reality sinks in. This is an essential part of the process of entering a new existence.

Identify an event that demonstrates your resistance to change and describe how you attempted to maintain the status-quo. What were your feelings and how did the situation turn out? Now describe how things could have been different if you had had an attitude of humility.

For more information on the concepts and methods of self-examination, please visit our web site reinventionenterprises.com or to acquire the book go to reinventionenterprises.com/the-process-book/.

Life Lessons – Confusion

Confusion in one’s life is the result of:
incomplete information,
unrealistic expectations and
erroneous core beliefs.

I had finished graduate school with a degree in Architecture and Urban Planning. After five years working in the corporate world, I started my own consulting practice specializing in marketing for merchant builders in the real estate industry. My decision to forgo a pay-check and hang-out my shingle as an independent consultant involved many underlying core beliefs and hidden emotional forces I did not understand until years after I cut all my ties with a stable professional career. What I want to convey here is what I now understand as the motives for my choices and the consequences I experienced as a result of my lack of emotional self-awareness.

At the time I went out on my own I have been married for five years, had two children, bought a house and felt I was ready to show off my unique abilities and insights. Flying without a net was exhilarating. There was a great sense of determination as I broke from the establishment with no fear of failure or vulnerably. I paid no heed to the anxiety of my wife and fully expected her complete support. Little more then 3 years after I started my business, the wheels came off the wagon in my personal life and I was in utter chaos yet still I completely unwilling to reassess my approach. Why didn’t I see what was surely clear to others? Didn’t I comprehend the wreckage in my wake or the personal costs caused by my dogged determination?

They say, “Ignorance is bliss”, but I am more likely to say, “Ignorance is hell”.

The incomplete information I suffered from is more aptly expressed as ignoring information. It wasn’t that I was unaware of the interest sensitive nature of the real estate industry or that being highly leveraged was the name of the game. It wasn’t that I lacked working knowledge of the planning and execution of real estate development or the financing mechanics. It was that I was naive. I only looked at the potential up-side of my decision and ignored the potential down-side. Without a comprehensive view, I had no contingency plan, I had no idea of how and when to move to a defensive position.

Unrealistic expectations mostly involved my view of myself, my abilities and my destiny and is likely the reason I only looked at the up-side of my decision. I was over confident in my ability, I put my faith in my fantasy which translated into the belief that I was too smart to make but only a few bad decisions. Creative thinking was my strength, problem solving was my forte. I accepted the opposite of Murphy’s ‘Rule, “Nothing would go wrong because nothing could go wrong.”

The first two factors are the result of my mind justifying what my emotions wanted all along. My erroneous core beliefs included attempting to plow through several deep-seated feelings of low self-worth or negative self-image, which is to say, I was driven by my desire for success while my mind cleared the clutter out of the way so that my actions appeared to be well reasoned. The core beliefs are too numerous to lay out here, but sufficient to say, I had a need to be a lone-wolf for what I believed was self-protection, a sense that I would not receive recognition or justice in a group setting, that I would be too vulnerable to political tides and “group-think.” The disgust I felt about being used by others was a reflection of the fear of being ordinary or that being unimportant would be realized.

Yet the benefit of operating on such a weak foundation is that the resulting consequences may have been the only thing that could have changed my trajectory and therefore changed the second half of my life. The debilitating confusion resulting from foundational mistakes, the trauma of financial insecurity, the terror of nowhere to turn, the inability to ask for help; these are the horrors of life lived in the grip of a living nightmare. Had I not had acquired the gift of honesty to recognize and accept that I had done this to myself I would not have changed. With no excuses or defenses, I took full responsibility for my actions, looked squarely at my flaws and went about making the change that ushered a life of connectedness and gratitude.

All this said, I did experience a degree of success in the midst of my confusion which is evidence that there was some truth in my self-perceptions along with the dysfunction. Self-will can go a long way to achieving what we like to call success. An arrogant domineering attitude can accomplish grandiose projects that stand as testaments to an indominable spirit. Regardless of my accomplishments however, the elements of my life that were lacking were a sense of self-worth, a feeling of connectedness or an ability to experience joy. I took because I felt there was not enough and gave nothing because I felt I deserved more. Others were a means to an end, leaving me empty and mostly alone.

Neither you nor I should fail to follow our dreams and set goals that stretch the bounds of personal achievement. My hope for you is that your pursuits materialize but that they are they are done with solid planning, realistic expectations and a sense of humanity. Confusion is a part of life and uncertainty will always be present, but being connected, being present, being generous brings a quiet strength that sustains us at every crossroad.

For more information about developing a new approach to living go to reinventionenterprises.com or the acquire the book go to reinventionenterprises.com/the-process-book/

When do we know we’ve lost our humanity? – Support

We’ve lost our Humanity when the support is gone from our friendship.

We are most helpful as we listen in a non-judgmental way when a friend needs to talk.

Friendship is among the most valuable positions in our lives particularly when we need to unburden ourselves. Being able to get our inner thoughts out and hear non-emotional objective feed-back from a trusted friend is a priceless gift. In the book such a process is noted as an exercise in getting to know our real selves.

The act of exposing ourselves and inviting friends to bare witness is essential for change to take place. The act of bringing friends into the process fulfills the requirements of honesty, integrity and humility as a foundation as stated on page 50.

“We demonstrate honesty when we are willing to expose exactly what is going on with us. We demonstrate integrity when we make no excuses or rationalizations for what we know to be true. And we show humility when we take responsibility for what we know to be true”.

What secrets have we kept that we feel would be too embarrassing to relate to a close friend? How would I feel after relating this if the friend said it didn’t seem all that bad?
These concepts are expressed in Stage 5 of the book.

For more information on the concepts and methods of self-examination, please visit our web site reinventionenterprises.com or to acquire the book go to reinventionenterprises.com/the-process-book/.

Life Lessons – There is Only Reality

There are no rights or wrongs, there is only reality.

Stage 2 in my book, beginning on page 13, is based on an idea we rarely consider: “Recognizing Perceptions vs Reality.” Most of the time we live in one reality that sees things consistent with the way we want them to be. All the while a second reality exists where we experience things that we judge as being outside of how we want them to be. We face this dilemma with disorientation or anger as we work feverishly, attempting to reestablish things the way we think they should be.

The argument could be made that we are confronted with this type of situation daily in many small ways that keeps us in a state of irritation. For example, people driving in a way we dislike, someone’s work habits that are different than our own, waiting a little longer than normal for a restaurant server to bring our order. We likely act as if we were justified in our discomfort and voice our concern with indignance.

Other, more consequential examples represent hotly debated issues causing people to become highly exercised while the facts of the ground are clear for all to see. For example, family structure is different then it was in the past and is continuing to change whether we like it or not. As chronicled in a recent series of articles in a special edition of Time Books in 2018, family structure has changed dramatically since the 1945 and is continuing to change in many unforeseen ways. Why would anyone argue against this change in social mores when they are clearly not capable of imposing the remedy they would want to see? If there are detrimental consequences to this evolving social structure they will soon become apparent and a natural adjustment will take place on its own and will be in line with what we would like to see or not. In other words, why argue that something is right or wrong when reality is and always will be unmistakably evident.

This illustration calls attention to the discomfort we cause ourselves when we refuse to let go of some preconceived notion of the way things should be. If we approach a subject with the idea that we have the right, therefore the only, answer, then we setup a lose / lose scenario where we can never win nor will we allow another point of view to win all the time ignoring a healthy diversity in thought and experience.

In the words of Steven R. Covey, in his book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, he offers the solution to seeing things only from a ridged perspective. The fifth habit is “Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood.” In the section of this chapter titled “Empathetic Listening”, on page 251 he states:

“Seek first to understand involves a very deep shift in paradigm. We typically seek first to be understood. Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply. They’re either speaking or preparing to speak. They’re filtering everything through their own paradigms, reading their autobiography into other people’s lives. …

Empathetic listening is risky. It takes a great deal of internal security to go into a deep listening experience because you open yourself up to be influenced. You become vulnerable. It’s a paradox, in a sense, because in order to have influence, you have to be influenced. That means you have to really understand.”

See the Steven Covey web site at: https://www.franklincovey.com/the-7-habits.html

Self-honesty about our strongly held reality, even as it relates to our bedrock principles, is necessary to achieve a true connection with life as it is. I use the following language in the first paragraph of Stage 2 in the book to make this point:

“We interpret everything that happens directly or indirectly through the lens of what we believe to be true. Our belief system is reinforced by what we see as evidence that our perceived truth is in fact true. This circular logic leaves us impervious to change.”

When we are willing to set aside our own point of view for a moment to carefully consider another’s point of view or to attempt to understand why things are the way they are, we become open instead of closed. Open does not mean “wishy-washy.” Acceptance that a reality beyond our frame of reference exists does not mean that we condone it or we are wrong for feeling the approach we espouse could have better outcomes. Neither does it mean that we need to keep stay quiet with our opinions. However, it does suggest that by applying humility, willingness, inclusiveness we can discuss our point of view within the context of another’s understanding of the issues. We can make our case with conviction but not as an absolute or as an ultimatum. These are the elements of maturity and the substance of disconnectedness.

For more information about developing a new approach to living go to reinventionenterprises.com or the acquire the book go to reinventionenterprises.com/the-process-book/