Beyond Marketing by Dr. Joe Vitale

Thoughts, news, riffs and reviews by Dr. Joe Vitale ("Mr. Fire!") about marketing, publicity, selling, hypnosis, copywriting, books, fitness, metaphysics, "The Secret" and anything else he cares to comment on, including healing, humor, the Internet and yes, maybe even sex.

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Location: Wimberley, Texas, United States

Author of way too many books to list here

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Thursday, April 27, 2006

The Man Who Shot Me

Forty years ago the bearded man on the right of me in the picture shot me in the back as I walked home from school.

He used a BB gun, but it still hurt.

I haven't seen him in thirty years.

Whenever I think of him, I gringe.

When we flew up to Ohio for my nephew's wedding, I had no idea I would run into this man at the wedding reception.

When he walked up to me and smiled, I felt terror go up my spine.

Suddenly I was a teenager again, and afraid of the man who bullied me when I was so young.

The man is old now. He seemed gentle. I decided to talk to him. After having a few drinks - note the cup in my hand - I decided to confront my nemesis.

We talked for quite a while. He's been through hard times. He lost his brother, who had been my best friend in high school. And he lost his mother. Today he's on disability due to a back accident.

After a lot of sharing, I finally decided to erase the past and confront my fears.

I asked this man, "Why did you shoot me with a BB gun when I was a kid?"

He rubbed his face, looked down, and softly said, "I shot a lot of kids back then."

He added, "They were all armed, though. I never shot anyone who didn't have a BB gun, too. I don't remember shooting you unless you had a gun, too."

I remembered not being armed as a kid.

And then he said, "The kid who was really bad at hurting others was Jimmy Dant."

Suddenly the dark memory came rushing back to me.

The man I was talking to wasn't the bad guy at all. It was Jimmy Dant*, who I later learned died a few years ago.

My memory was all wrong.

I was mad at a guy -- mad for forty years -- who hadn't done a thing to me.

I wonder how many of us are spending time blaming someone when that someone never even did anything to us.

I'm shocked that my memory could be so off.

I'm pleased that the man who I thought shot me wasn't a bad guy at all.

In fact, he never was.

Ao Akua,


PS - Note how you always read the PS ?

* "Jimmy Dant" is not the real name of the man who shot me. I am releasing the past and letting everyone be innocent again.

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Blogger Wayne said...

Hey Joe,
Glad to know you had a great trip. Your story reminded me of one I tell clients:
I did my counselling training in 1981-1983 - the early days of video. We'd videotape sessions. Often, after a couple had a fight, I'd haul the monitor out and show them the video. They'd get really quiet and be sad and amazed that they'd yelled or blamed.
THEN, I'd shut off the video.
I'd say, "So, what did you learn?"
Immediately, they'd turn to each other and start, "I can't believe you said that to me. It's all your fault!"
In other words, despite direct, clear evidence of their own behaviour, it took 30 seconds to go back to the "old video" - you know - the one in their heads.
And it's amazing what we can do if we are willing to see memory for what it is - faulty and conditioned.
Oh. I put a little parcel in the mail for you - Canada Post says it made it to the US of A, so maybe tomorrow... I continue to read and admire you for your work, and wanted to share a couple of other things I've been working on, given that you liked my first book!
Warmly, Wayne

10:27 AM  

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