Episode 14: Relationships and Vulnerability

Chris Wells & Emma Nicholson with Guest Michele Kane

Release date: May 26, 2022

In episode 14, Chris and Emma were joined by Dr. Michele Kane, an educator, storyteller, and long-time Dąbrowski enthusiast. She has done wonderful work tending relationships in this community, and she shared herself with vulnerability and courage in this episode. Some of the topics touched on include the reality that learning about the theory changes your relationship with yourself, how well the theory captures differences in emotional range, and the importance of connection. We learned that feeling and being seen are critically important, and receiving mirroring is one of the blessings of discovering and participating in the Dąbrowski community.

We talked about the Dabrowski Congress, which Michele has hosted twice (in 2010 and 2018, click on the year to download a PDF of the proceedings). Click here to watch videos from the 2022 Dabrowski Congress in Denver.

Bio: Dr. Michele Kane is Professor Emerita in Special Education from Northeastern Illinois University, where she coordinated the Master of Arts in Gifted Education program for over a decade. She's been active in national and international organizations in leadership roles, and her primary interest is enhancing well-being for gifted people across their lifespan. 

Resources mentioned in this episode

The books Dąbrowski wrote under the pseudonym Paul (and Paweł) Cienin called Existential Thoughts and Aphorisms and Fragments from the Diary of a Madman. These books can be purchased from Bill Tillier as part of a larger download package.

Beyond Old Age by Annemarie Roeper

Some of My Best Friends are Books by Judith Wynn Halsted

Emma’s post The Beauty of Imperfect Self-Care


Emma: Welcome to Positive Disintegrating Podcast. This is episode 14, Relationships and Vulnerability. Welcome back, happy listeners, and thank you for joining us on another episode of Positive Disintegration Podcast, a framework for becoming your authentic self. I'm your host, Emma Nicholson, and my co-host is Dr. Chris Wells. Hi Chris, how are you today?

Chris: Hi Emma, I'm well thanks, how are you?

Emma: I'm great, and I'm interested about today's topic, which is relationships. I'm interested too, I think that this is going to be a great episode, and I am excited about it. And I know you, Chris, you have a particular feeling about relationships, and Dąbrowski, and not only what the theory means for the relationships, but also your relationships within the community.

Chris: That's right, I have to admit that I never expected when I started learning about the theory that it would connect me with so many people from so many places, and that it would give me so much. And the theory also makes a big difference when you're viewing your own personal relationships as well, so I'm interested to see what comes out about that.

Emma: It will be interesting, I agree. So, without any further ado, our guest today is Michele Kane. Michele is Professor Emerita in Special Education from Northeastern Illinois University, where she coordinated the Master of Arts in Gifted Education program for over a decade. She's been active in national and international organizations in leadership roles, and her primary interest is enhancing well-being for gifted people across their lifespan. Welcome to the podcast, Michele.

Michele: Thanks so much, thank you Emma, and thank you Chris. I'm going to jump right in without further ado. I almost didn't want to have you read that file (the run sheet with questions) because I wanted to start talking about relationships right off the bat, and especially related to Dąbrowski. What I can tell you about my relationship with Dąbrowski, and my interest in Dąbrowski was that like many people who are students, des voeux tés, however you want to describe it, of the work of Kazimir Dąbrowski is that I was one of those people who had the tremendous aha experience, who had the when the theory was explained to me, and when I became I know exactly where I was, I know exactly I have you know in some ways an eidetic memory of that event, because it was so emotionally charged, it was so intense, and it was so healing, and it was so scary, and it was all these things all at one time. And so when we're talking about relationships, what I wanted to say was the first thing about Dąbrowski's theory is that oftentimes learning about it is it changes your relationship with yourself. And so that's the piece where I really want to get started, because my identity I would say was crystallized in that moment. My identity was that you know you talk about authenticity, I had never felt that sense of authenticity until there was this outside framework that helped me to be able to explain so many of the pieces in my life and my life experiences that I'd never been able to explain to myself. And I consider myself a pretty smart person, and I'm a super curious person, and I like to research things, and I've been like that ever since I was a kid. And so I've been interested in the psychology of the gifted before there were words for that, I did that as a child, explored different people and their personalities. And so this is the place that for me was the jumping off point was this relationship with myself.

Emma: That's actually a thing that we hear pretty commonly, like either people come to this theory because they've got gifted kids, and they want to make the relationship with them better, but also too it like changes the way you see yourself. And like we have lots of people like Chris and I included who have that kind of a-ha moment, and it's really sort of profound.

Michele: Yeah, yeah, and it's very hard to describe. I've tried to put it into words many times, but for me what it felt like, I can tell you internally what it felt like, it was sort of like the keys in a tumbler, it's just like boom, boom, boom, boom, everything fit together. It unlocked this opportunity for me to be able to explore my inner world in a way that I hadn't been able to do so in the past. So, that was very, very overwhelming, first of all, in terms of emotion.

I need to tell you, so this was quite a long time ago. This was before the internet. I didn't have at my fingertips podcasts and research journals and all kinds of things like that. There were very, very few people. I was one of the first people to hear Dr. Linda Silverman do an all-day presentation on counseling the gifted in Chicago for the Illinois Association—I think it was actually the Illinois Gifted Association at that time.

I heard this presentation because I do have a background in counseling. So, I went to this presentation. And then, of course, it was just like eating chocolate. I needed to get ahead, get filled with everything that I could find.

I remember going to the library and I needed to get Volumes 1 and 2. I mean, the references were there and I had to have it. The only place that had it was at the University of Illinois, which was pretty far from my house. And it was a three-month wait for me to get that. I can remember opening the books and seeing them and being in tears because I felt like it was the Bible. It was something that was going to unlock the secrets of the universe for me.

In some ways, it did. That led to my really wanting to talk to Michael Piechowski, who—I prayed at his altar. I thought he was the closest thing to God that I had ever known in my life. He was at Northwestern and I lived in a suburb that was about 35 miles from there and not too far.

I had an old rotary dial phone. I can see myself doing this and I could hear that in my mind's ear. I can hear the thing as I looked up his phone number and I would call. I wanted to talk to him so badly. He would answer the phone, and I would be so overwhelmed that I would be like, [heavy breathing] and then I couldn't talk anymore. That happened for several months. These days, I would have been probably arrested as a stalker or something, but that was my first intro to Michael.

Then he moved. He changed universities. And, like I said, there was no internet. There wasn't anything you plug in—the name of this person and six million things pop up. I lost track of him until I was very fortunate to be able to go to one of the first, with one of my school colleagues—I was teaching at the time in a school for the gifted—one of my friends who insisted, Michele, you're going to do this. That we go to Ashland, where one of the first presentations was done about the theory with a group of other kinds of interested folks, scholars, and people.

I will tell you there that I developed some of the relationships that I have now that are some of the deepest and richest relationships of my life that have developed over so many years. That led to my passion both for understanding the theory and wanting to share it. I was the biggest disciple in the world. Anybody who would listen, I wanted to share the good news. I was one of those folks who wanted to do that.

Chris started it, this conversation, but I would really want people to understand that my experience of the people who study Dąbrowski's work is that people have been extraordinarily inclusive. Even though they may seem like they're standing in some high mountaintop kind of thing, in reality, there are folks who really want others to know more, to be able to explore, to help people find connection, to help people to take the next steps on that journey towards wholeness.

I think that's been the greatest gift to me. I have people like Chris, not too long ago, and our relationship's been enriched in so many ways. I met somebody for the first time in you Emma tonight. So, it's always enriching and it's exciting.

Chris: It is. I have been thinking about meeting you and we first met at the Congress in 2018. That was the first time that we talked face-to-face. I also got to know Dan, your husband, at that Congress. Right on the heels of it, we had SENG that summer. So, it was really neat to have these two experiences back-to-back to spend time talking a little bit and getting to know you. That was a big deal for me.

When I went home from SENG, it was so interesting to me that I felt this need to reach out and stay connected to you. It was an interesting experience for me. I wrote about it at the time, and I let my intuition guide me. And I said, if I feel this strongly that I need to stay connected to these people, I need to write and say that. It's amazing to me that that was almost four years ago, but you're—I mean, you guys are such an important part of my life now.

Michele: I know. I think it's one of those things about how, energetically, you're able to—you can use the trite phrases like find my tribe and all this kind of stuff. But in a sense, there's this connection. To be received and to feel seen. These are incredible experiences for people who have been outliers for such a long time, and who've been on the margins, and who have felt alone and are alone. Let's name it. Their experience of the world. So many people describe themselves as aliens.

When I was working with children, they would say, I got dropped here from a planet. I can't even find my way here. When there's that sense of—we can use all the psychological words we want, but they're truthful—attunement resonance, right? When we feel that sense of attunement, you when that resonance happens, for many of us, let's talk about even our sense of our insecure attachments and different things like that. It's like, wow, now we know that we're being held in that space.

It's not just our energetic body, but the whole thing of our neurobiology, our whole self is soothed. That's how I experience it. It's a calming and it's a soothing and it's—I'm rocking as I'm talking to you. It’s this sense of being held. And going back to what I said originally, I think this is the hardest part is that we then go back and learn all over again, how to hold ourselves. That's the piece that's really a challenge.

I'm going to make myself very vulnerable right now. I'm going to, and it's based on Emma on the piece Chris sent me that, that you wrote about self-care that really allowed me to participate tonight. My brother died very unexpectedly five weeks ago and I'm living in a space emotionally right now—it's very raw. The emotional kinds of inner experiences that I'm having are very extreme. I wasn't sure that I was going to participate tonight. I was thinking that maybe the timing wasn't good. And then I thought, you know what, if I don't share all of who I am, then that's not authentic.

This is the authentic me. I'm not always the kind of person that most people would expect to see from me, you know, that's pretty even keeled now because I've been doing this a long time. One of the things that I've learned from this theory is that—I have learned that the way that I can be whole is to embrace all of these aspects, all of the pieces. In doing that, that's the pathway for me to be able to, to feel integrated. That's the way, and I'm not stable right now in terms of, stability in terms of my family with a loss like that.

Somebody wrote to me and said, one of the most challenging pieces is to find a new stability because your family is now out of balance. I have to integrate that into my own self first, and then I can hold space for others. I've been so comforted by people in this community who have reached out to me with beautiful kinds of messages that let me know that their understanding of that exquisite sensitivity is honored. That's so meaningful to me. One person I wrote to about my experience of losing my brother, and what I received back was, Michele, one of the things that I'm hearing from your words is that you've been able to hold space for those who are the most vulnerable around you. And that made me cry because it's true.

I do that a lot. I hold space for vulnerable people a lot, but that somebody who realized that about me and honored that helps me to be able to do the next right thing. I think that those are the pieces those beautiful people who have come into my life have enriched it in ways that I can hardly express it. There really aren't words for it.

I want to talk about this because I think that it's so important that we recognize what we mean to each other. Again, these things can just be trite little phrases, but I'll tell you guys one more funny story. There was a time, I would say maybe about 10 years ago, I'd been to so many seminars, I probably have—Chris knows this, and I'm not exaggerating—I probably have 500 self-help books. You know, anybody who came up with something else that would help me to expand or enrich or integrate or whatever, I was on it. At this point, I was starting to feel really smug, really, really smug. I was thinking, you know what, I think I'm pretty close to enlightenment. I really do. I really think that I've done as much work as I can that everything that I see is from an elevated consciousness. I was feeling pretty darn good about myself. And then one day I looked in the mirror, I realized, and I thought, damn, none of us is done until all of us is done. We're all carrying each other home, right? That's the phrase. So, this is the piece now.

The work—there's not an end point. I'm not here to fix anybody. I'm not here to fix myself. We're just carrying each other home. That I think is the beauty of Dąbrowski's work. And the beauty of being able to share like this is that we can offer that not only to ourselves, but we can offer it to each other. We can offer it to our families, to our communities. We can offer it back to our planet. And that's what's going to sustain and carry us.

Chris: That was really beautifully said, Michele. And you just made me think that when I came to the theory, I was really feeling on my own. I was feeling alone in what I was doing, and I was so self-oriented. I came to it while I was doing this autoethnography. So, I was studying my past and trying to figure out my traumas and work through them. The thing that I've realized recently is that—what I've gotten from the theory is—I'm not alone in this anymore. I couldn't be further from alone at this point. There are so many people in my life and it's so much richer and deeper. Everything that brought me to this has been transformed. Now, I see that I'm just trying to help other people not feel alone. When you come to the Dabrowski community, what you receive in abundance is the mirroring that you have never had, the people who get you, and it's like you're home for the first time.

Emma: Yeah. The only way you can do that, and thank you for sharing yourself, Michele, and allowing yourself to be vulnerable. I think the only way you can, and we can all find a sense of place and not be alone is by sharing that vulnerability and not just the victories. Not just, yes, I found the theory, I have a path forward, but it's those horrible, vulnerable moments.

I like to call it eating the hot dog because you know, hot dogs are full of rubbish, you know, they're full of hooves and bits of pigeon and miscellaneous meat that you don't want to even think about, but you eat it anyway because there's a greater need. The only way that we're ever going to help people come out of that loneliness is to say, I feel vulnerable, too. I get sad, too. I get lost, too. That's the way that we can connect, but it takes people to have that bravery, to share themselves and be wholly authentic and not just be some social media image of perfection that people are trying to pretend that their lives are all together.

That's never going to be the way that we connect because we all go through those moments of tears and trauma and being lost without people getting up and saying, I experienced that, too. We're never going to find the other people to connect with. So, those humans that are like us, that are feeling those things will never be drawn out of the darkness and will never find each other unless we can all put our hands up and say, there are days when I have no idea who I am and I just feel lost and completely alone. By declaring our loneliness, it's actually a way to overcome that very problem.

Michele: Yeah. I think it's a way that we invite others to connect with us, because then, as you said, when we share vulnerabilities, then there's some sense of recognition. Otherwise, as you just said, Emma, it's almost like people are these—it's a false self. For those people who are seeking authenticity, they can sniff that out really quickly, and it's like, that's not for me.

And boy, I would invite people also to read the Dąbrowski poetry, the work under his pseudonym (Cienin) because I do think that those moments of that haunting aloneness are so deeply revealed. That is a way that people can connect to this work and then through the work to the community. I guess that's the other piece that I wanted to say is that's really, really helpful. To know that people experience these intensities in really extreme ways, and that life can change.

I will share another little story with you. I'm a storyteller. I don't know if you can tell that. I was just visiting one of our, we have six sons, Dan and I together. We were just visiting with family and one of my grandkids was having a—you could characterize it as quite a meltdown, it was really an extreme meltdown. I heard my son, he was upstairs, I heard him shout from the bottom of the stairs, you know, it's really okay to have big emotions. I turned away. I cried, because I don't think anybody's ever shouted that to me when I had a moment like that. I thought, here, it's going to change. This parenting is going to change. People are going to change because we know the stress and anxiety that's going on right now.

We've got people saying we need to start screening kids for anxiety at age eight. This is the latest report that just came out. If you saw it, start screening for anxiety at age eight, start screening for depression a little bit later. We've got kids experiencing big emotions. And this is a way for us to be able to help parents help their kids, I guess that's what I'm trying to say. So, that trickle down can happen in ways that do enhance well-being and allow people to flourish because they can know it's all right. It's okay.

Chris: Yeah, even though not all gifted people experience overexcitability or these big emotions, some of us do. Those of us who do need to have this information. It has to be out there.

Michele: Yeah. I'm glad you said that, Chris. I don't want to generalize and make it seem like every person has all of this because if there's individual—I mean, that's the other piece that you learn is that we're looking at profiles of individuals and each person has just like their fingerprints, it's unique signature. They bring to it different kinds of things and developmentally across the lifespan.

That's the other piece that I like to talk about is that a lot of things will shift, and change based on all kinds of things. We look at our—look at how the world in this global pandemic has shifted and changed every sector of our interactions, our social structures, our political structures, our educational, our economic structures will all be forever changed. When people talk about going back to normal, there's no—whatever that means—there will be a new baseline. We don't even know what it is yet.

So, I think it's important to recognize that in sharing this work there isn't just one profile or there isn't—sometimes when people talk about the levels and kind of use shortcuts with that, we're looking at characteristics of Level I or II or whatever, however you want to do that, but let's put the rest of this into the mix, right? Let's talk about developmental potential and then what the developmental potential is comprised of. And then how does that, when we're looking at environmental contexts, it's an aspect of that. How do those contexts shift and change?

You just think about your own life pre-pandemic and post-pandemic and the seismic shifts. And so yeah, I think it's really important that one of the things that we recognize is that we can offer ways to connect or ways to be able to address some of the experiences that we have, but they're not going to be the same for every person. There's a range. And that's the way I look at it. But oftentimes, I think the range is a wider range.

The way I used to explain it to kids is—when I would try to explain the theory to children or explain to kids—I would say, some people have a range like Mariah Carey, it's five octaves. Some people have a range like Bo Diddley, three notes. You can't say one makes better music than the other. It's not a better than or a worse than, it's an is-ness. So, you're looking at those shades. I think this is the thing, or if you think about—I like metaphors a lot. If you think about the box of crayons, a lot of people have the eight pack of crayons in terms of their emotional experiences. It's angry, sad, it's disgust. That's their emotional expression or emotional range.

Some people got the 64-pack with the crayon sharpener. That's why when their emotional range is or their tone is mislabeled or misunderstood, that they get very upset because they don't feel heard or seen. Where you might say, you're really angry—I can see it in your tone. You're telling me, but I can tell you're angry. It's like, maybe they're fearful. Maybe they're ashamed. Maybe they're embarrassed. That shade of meaning becomes extraordinarily important. I think Dabrowski’s theory allows for that range of expression in a way that helps people to accept it, regardless of where they are, whether it's a more narrow range or a wider range.

Chris: I agree. And that reminds me of that satellite metaphor too, of, you know, the people with overexcitability having just the satellite dish instead of like the few channels. It always makes me think of when I was young. For those of us who are, well, I mean, for me and my middle age now—it used to be that you had like a very limited number of TV channels and that was it. There were the three main networks. And, you know, now it's, there's this enormous variety and that's, that is what it's like to have all five overexcitabilities. It's kind of overwhelming. There's no kind of about it.

Emma: I think too, when you start to understand that about yourself, if you can articulate that to someone that you're in a relationship with in particular, there's a sort of mutual acceptance and okay, I can accept that I've got way too many colors and I can arguably deal with. Sometimes, I'm coloring with five or six crayons at the same time, and not even I know what's coming out of that mess. I can understand you've got a very more straightforward eight pack of crayons and you're coloring with one color at a time.

I think that acceptance helps bring people together. There's a group I'm in on Facebook and a question that repeatedly comes up is, how am I ever going to have deep relationships with other people because I feel so left out? I have to find someone who's gifted and has a 64-pack like me. So, not necessarily. You need to have someone in your life that's accepting of the fact that you've got too many crayons. If you can accept them for their smaller pack, then you'll find that ground in acceptance. You're never going to find an exact replica of yourself to have a relationship with, but you can find someone that compliments you. If you can find someone that accepts you, and you accept them, that's where you build relationships through that empathy and that understanding.

Michele: Yeah, I really agree with that. I also think it's so important that in terms of that acceptance, there's not shame, blame, or any of the kinds of things that would make someone feel other. It's that sense of belonging and that's how those belonging needs are so strong. I like the way that you describe that because I think that's exactly it. In building those relationships, that's where we start to really enhance our understanding and perspective of how other people view the world because we only have our own narrow, our own narrow view. We think that's the way it is. I can't believe how often that happens to me. I know it up here [points to head] that each person is—you just heard me say it—but to live it and then read somebody else's point of view or perspective on something is always very enlightening to me.

It's why my dear friend and mentor Annemarie Roeper—the person I wrote my dissertation about—she said, it's the only reason that I prefer fiction over nonfiction. I said, why? She said, because authors have these incredible abilities to share rich emotion. She said, I love to delight in that, but they share experiences that I've never felt and I've never had, but I can experience it vicariously through beautiful writing. I know we've all had experiences like that where people have been able—and it's like, oh, they just named it perfectly, and it helps us to be able to understand our own selves in that way, too.

Which is another thing that I want to talk about a little bit is I know that probably a book that, that, that helped me when I was a teacher of the gifted was a book by Judith Wynn Halsted called Some of My Best Friends are Books. I wish I had written a book with a title like that. I love that title. I would say that this is another way we can build relationships. I think Emma, if we helped people to understand that sometimes those relationships, those deep, deep relationships are with our garden or with our pets or with our hobby or with our books, that also would lift—

There's the sense that it has to be another human and it doesn't. Sometimes those deepest relationships are ones that are experienced in ways that are soul lifting. Think about someone's experience with music. Some people have that as a way to be able to experience the deepest joys that they ever have in their lifetime.

Chris: It's interesting to me that you brought up Annemarie right when I had her in my mind. I thought to myself, I need to mention that before we actually met—the summer before we met—I was still working on my dissertation, and I had reached out to you for yours because I was interested. Of course I was interested on more than one level because I was working on mine, and that was interesting, but I knew that you had done yours on Annemarie and that she was close friends with Michael, who I was getting to know at that time. Now, I have taken on this project I'm working on where I'm writing about him and studying his life.

That's just another thing about relationships in this community, having this opportunity to get to know you, to get to know Michael has really brought Annemarie to life for me in a way that is so special because her wisdom and the things that she would talk about are so deep. Sometimes, I'll find some notes from Michael or an excerpt or a transparency, a slide or something with a quote from her and it's incredible. So, I wish that I had had the chance to meet her in person. I know it's been like 10 years next month since she died, I think, which is kind of shocking.

Michele: It's almost, yeah, almost right. Almost 10 years. It's hard to believe that. One of the books that she wrote is Beyond Old Age. The other thing that she left and gave us was this road map of her experiences as she went through the aging process, and I remember as she would always say to me, Michele, if you want to ask questions or you want to know something, you better ask now because I'm getting closer to the end of my life than I am the beginning.

She wasn't anybody who was afraid to talk about death. She used to say this—I think she wrote about it in that book, too—that why wouldn't she be curious? She's been curious her whole life. Why wouldn't she be curious about what death was? She used to say, I want to peek around the corner a little bit. I'm not sure I'm ready to walk through the door, but I want to peek around the corner.

The work that she did on consciousness and the nature of consciousness, it's very illuminating in terms of how she brought her wisdom—like you said, Chris—into her experiences of education. That's what she really felt her mission was once she and her family left Nazi Germany—to bring her philosophy of education, which was this dual and complementary self-actualization and interdependence. So, that was, you would come into your best self, but you would do it in community. It was always about bringing those two things together. I think that that is another really important aspect. What she believed, and she would say was that every day that they were able to educate children was a day that they triumphed over the Nazis. Because that's what they felt was that education was the path forward.

Chris: I've seen all of these proceedings over the years from the Dąbrowski meetings that there have been—there have been so many. The one you talked about, those early ones in Ashland, and I think in the 90s, it was still trying—people were still figuring out—is it going to be alternating years, US and Canada, who's going to be in charge of it? And you were the one who did the one in 2018 in Naperville, Illinois. It was so wonderful. I can't even articulate what a special experience it was for me. It was really overwhelming. It was an overwhelmingly positive, amazing experience. It overwhelmed my emotions that week. I left it, and it was hard to integrate that whole experience.

I guess what I'm trying to say is, you have been a part of this. I know that you have been to so many of these gatherings, and it's been such an important part of your life. One thing that's been so clear to me is, you are such a generous person, and Dan—you guys and your generosity shines through. That was so clear to me then, at that Congress. And it's been so clear to me all of this time. This is a meandering way to say that I know that you've been a big part of caring for and tending this community.

Michele: Tending. Yeah, that's the word that came to me. Yeah, it's like a caretaker. It really, it is. Thank you for saying that. And for giving voice to that. I appreciate that so much. But you're right. There was something that compelled me. I also did the one in St. Charles with Cheryl Ackerman. So, coordinated that. And even before that, did one in, believe it or not, way, way back in the day with the friend who dragged me to Ashland, Kimberly Romelo in Lake Geneva. There have been a number of these gatherings.

I guess maybe this is a good way for us possibly to end our conversation—is to talk about being invitational. So, if you're listening to this, and you really want to be in community, there is a Congress that is coming up this summer that's going to be in Denver right in your backyard, Chris. It's going to be available as the way—this is a gift from the pandemic, right? I don't think there'll be any conferences going forward that won't be blended, both virtual and on site. So, we hope that people who are able to travel can do so. The conference fees are very affordable. Come join us, come have some fun and be prepared to take the next—as Chris said—to take the next week off, to be able to decompress, figure it out, integrate. I always do this. Truly, I do. I don't come back to a heavy load because, oh my goodness sakes, it's immersion. It's an immersion.

It's an unfamiliar feeling because we're not accustomed to being with so many others who are like-minded. It's quite unforgettable, and it's quite nourishing. Keep tending the garden. And then there's beautiful people like the two of you who are carrying on the work and sharing it with people all around the world. This is what we are. This is what we do. I'll end with what I just said—none of us is done until all of us is done. So, we’ve got more to do.

Chris: We do invite you to join us. It's going to be very special. And it's going to be special for the virtual people too who aren’t on site. We will do our best.

Michele: Oh yeah.

Emma: We will do our best. Just to put a nice little nightcap on this episode, I'd like to read out a poem, and we can thank Eric for starting this trend. But this is actually one that Dąbrowski wrote himself and it's called Be Greeted Psychoneurotics. And it says:

Be greeted psychoneurotics!

For you see sensitivity in the insensitivity of the world,

uncertainty among the world’s certainties.

For you often feel others as you feel yourselves.

For you feel the anxiety of the world, and

its bottomless narrowness and self-assurance.

For your phobia of washing your hands from the dirt

       of the world,

for your fear of being locked in the world’s limitations,

for your fear of the absurdity of existence.

For your subtlety in not telling others what you see in them.

For your awkwardness in dealing with practical things, and

for your practicalness in dealing with unknown things,

for your transcendental realism and lack of everyday


for your exclusiveness and fear of losing close friends,

for your creativity and ecstasy,

for your maladjustment to that “which is” and

adjustment to that which “ought to be,”

for your great but unutilized abilities.

For the belated appreciation of the real value of your


which never allows the appreciation of the greatness

of those who will come after you.

For your being treated instead of treating others,

for your heavenly power being forever pushed down

by brutal force;

for that which is prescient, unsaid, infinite in you.

For the loneliness and strangeness of your ways.

Be greeted!

Chris: Thanks Emma. And thank you, Michele, what a lovely conversation.

Michele: So much fun. I ended up having a really good time and I was so scared.

Chris: I'm so glad. We heard that the last episode when we which we recorded with Amanda. It was the same deal. So, I'm so glad that people end up having fun even though it's scary at first.

Emma: Thank you very much Michele for coming on. This was a great conversation.

Michele: You're welcome.

Emma: And Chris, thank you as well for joining me. It's always a pleasure.

Chris: Thank you, Emma, it is.

Emma: And thank you to you listeners. Thanks for coming on the journey with us and I hope you got as much out of this episode as I did. If you're listening to us on Apple or Spotify, please don't forget to hit those stars and give us a rating. And if you've got any questions, feedback, comments, or want us to discuss any topics, you can reach out to us via email at positivedisintegration.pod.gmail.com where you can find us on Instagram. And until next time, keep walking that path to your authentic self.

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