Back from Bosch part 2

Then Mari asked me another question. "What would help you cry so you can heal?" I was dumbstruck by that one. Then, while I was sitting on the couch with no idea how to answer that question, I heard a voice say: ask Dan Popov to tell you a story. Immediately, I went into resistance. Uh, uh. No way. No flippin' way am I going to ask Dan Popov to tell me a story! That is the most absurd, ridiculous thing I've ever heard! What does that have to do with getting me to cry so I'll heal? After several minutes of arguing with the Concourse On High, Mari figured I had received instructions and I was resisting them. So she asked me what I heard. And I told her. She said, "Ang, you KNOW you have to do this." That's when I began arguing with Mari. Luckily, she's used to it. Finally, she said, "We have to go find Dan." And she practically pushed me out of the door, despite my loud and persistent protests.

As we walked out of the lodge, I received a very clear picture that we would find Dan sitting at one of the little white tables on the balcony of the main lodge. Mari, who seems to know when I'm getting those kinds of pictures, asked me where he was. "I don't know," I grumbled (God doesn't like ugly or lying.) "Let's just walk up to the library." I figured I would duck into the library, claim I was too tired to continue looking, and bury myself in book. Then, as Providence would have it, the dinner bell rang. "Well," Mari said, "we could look for him after dinner." Saved by the bell, I thought as we headed for the main lodge.

When we got there, we could clearly see Dan through the window, sitting just the way I saw him in my vision. To my chagrin, Mari pointed out the obvious and asked me what I wanted to do. I may be stubborn, but I'm not stupid. It was time to fold. "All right, " I muttered. "Let's get this over with."

I stammered my way through asking Dan to tell me a story, after introducing myself and Mari. "What kind of story would you like hear?" He seemed quite amused by my obvious discomfort.
"I don't know." That was true. The instructions weren't that specific, although I suspected that the right story would come to him. "Whatever comes to mind," I told him. "All right," Dan said, taking off his sunglasses and settling back into his seat. "Have you ever heard my Leroy story?" I looked at Mari, who shrugged. I shook my head.

It turns out that the story was about the World's Most Obnoxious Three Year Old, Leroy. He was a very large toddler who caused havoc and destruction where ever he went. He beat up all other children, attacked and harmed adults, broke everything in sight and responded to all verbal admonishments with disobedience and contempt. In other words, he was a monster. After getting kicked out of several preschools Leroy's anguished parents brought him to Dan for counseling. It quickly became a nightmarish venture, and Dan began to despair Wednesday afternoons, the day Leroy came in to terrorize his office. Even worse, he was at a complete loss as to how to help the boy, and by extension, an unsuspecting world which would some day have to receive Leroy in its midst. In the meantime, the boy's frightened parents didn't know how to stop their child from torturing the family's cat or destroying all their possessions.

One day, while anguishing over the problem, Dan asked God for help. And it came: Find one GOOD to like about the boy, and focus on that. Obviously, this was no short order. Dan had to struggle to find something, anything to like about Leroy. Finally, he decided that the one thing that he has always admired in the world of being is perfect forms. Leroy was one of those forms--he was PERFECTLY obnoxious, hence, The World's Most Obnoxious Three Year Old. THAT was something he could admire, obnoxiousness at its utmost perfection.

When Leroy came in for next appointment, Dan greeted him with a lovingly hearty "Hello, LeRoy! I'm so glad to see you! Would you like to go down to the play room for a while? Leroy was so taken aback by that greeting that he recoiled. When he recovered, he attacked Dan. Dan held him and reminded him that there are only two rules in his office: you don't get to hurt yourself and you don't get hurt me. Leroy calmed down after a while, but as soon as Dan released him, he ran headlong into the wall. Dan got him just before he could smash his skull. For the rest of visit, Dan exhausted himself as he prevented Leroy from acting out his self-destructive outbursts.

The next week, Leroy came in, walked into the playroom and began quietly playing by himself. Dan was astonished. After observing him for awhile, he came over and crouched down next to him. "Leroy," he asked. "What's going on here? You're different. What's changed?" Leroy kept playing as he said, "It's safe here." Dan had no problems with him after that.

"I learned two lessons from that experience," Dan told Mari and I. "Rule number one: always look for one good thing to like about a person, and concentrate on that. Rule number two: people need boundaries so they can feel safe."
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