Yesterday I went for my first professional massage ever. The reason I was going was because of my Tinitus, a high-pitched ringing in my left ear that I experience 24/7. The only thing the regular doctors have to say is "find a support group!" Yes, Tinitus has support groups because, apparently, the incessant ringing drives some people mad and some even commit suicide. I don't want to kill myself. Some might argue that I'm already mad. Sometimes it is so loud I have trouble hearing people speak. I've tried other methods: aroma therapy, acupuncture, diet, etc. Nothing else worked. The acupuncturist, while pulling needles out from between my toes, suggested I try massage, especially cranial-sacral massage, that is, massaging my head.
I was very nervous. I knew it was a young woman massaging me and that she was skilled at cranial-sacral massage. The first half of the session was just me emotionally getting over the event and getting used to it. The second half was me enjoying the warmth, the dim lighting, the New Age music, the aromas, and her working some very painful muscles in my face, neck and scalp. I actually started to feel some hope that this therapy might accomplish something. There were a few places she worked near my left ear that changed the dynamics of the pitch and seemed to clarify my hearing. Plus, the peaceful ambiance and the genuine attempts of another person to help me softened my heart. I made another appointment.
While I was lying there (we really didn't speak to each other much), I was thinking about some people I've talked with recently who feel the very real risk of being more open and vulnerable. A couple of people I've talked with who experimented with being open, more honest and vulnerable with others, have experienced the risk of rejection. This is especially true of leaders. Even though everyone knows leaders are human too, the reality is that they are not allowed to release this news. They are to conceal their weaknesses, hide their faults, and deny their vices. If any of these are exposed, they run the risk of not only rejection, but demotion and even dismissal. It really comes down to a choice: Will I be authentically myself at all costs? Or will I be strong and invincible for any price?
The image here is a photo of the artist Damien Hirst's "For the Love of God". It is a cast of a 18th century male skull with real human teeth and 8,601 diamonds, including a large pink diamond mounted on the forehead worth $8 million. It cost Hirst over $20 million to make and it sold at auction for over $100 million. When his mother asked him what he was working on, he told her this skull. Her response was, "Oh for the love of God!" Hence the title. If my massage therapist could guarantee that this is what she would find if she kept rubbing my scalp, I would give her a cut.