Scammed : What’s the Lesson Here.

I was walking out of KBJ this afternoon when an Indonesian man flashed me a Galaxy S3 which I later realized was a fake “dummy” China  phone.

The cost : RM120 AND…I know, laugh, my Rayban shades! A thief begets a thief.

The lesson :

The first thing that came up from my subconscious mind was this : “My phones have gotten stolen more times than I can remember and it’s just the circle of life that when mine get stolen they ended up with someone else and here we have someone else’s stolen stuff and I’m just getting on the carousel.”

As I settled down to ask for the lesson I acknowledged the fact that I have buried resentment towards the fact that a majority of people are not decent and honest and kind. I have an unconscious resentment towards all the times I have acted decently, honestly and kindly towards others but have been set up, framed, stolen from, manipulated and betrayed. I wanted to start believing in “if you can’t beat them, join them.”

I need to heal from the resentment that I have not been rewarded in life for always sticking to doing what is right, what is fair, what is just and what is decent. I need to heal from the resentment that others keep taking from me and I don’t seem to be particularly materially as successful as I had hoped to be.

It’s not fair that what is mine is not forthcoming. But at the same time I realize what I would be doing : supporting the criminal act by being that part of the market that would create demand for contraband / stolen items. A part of me judged myself but another part of me justified the fact that I cannot make a difference to a world that has been turning even before I was born. Being “moral” has not gotten me very far in life, I told myself. These days I preferred to be morally ambiguous because it makes me less judgmental both towards myself and others.

Of course I was over-thinking the whole thing but that was what showed up for me – that was the Shadow that surfaced for healing. I need to heal from the resentment that I have not been rewarded in life for always sticking to doing what is right, what is fair, what is just and what is decent. I need to heal from the resentment that others keep taking from me and I don’t seem to be particularly materially as successful as I had hoped to be.

Now that this resentment, this wound, has been brought up to my consciousness, I can see that there is actually no correlation between being decent, honest and just and being materially rewarded in life. It was an unconscious belief that I had held that “you can’t get ahead being soft, being giving, being willing to serve others,  being willing to submit.” That belief has caused me to justify criminal intentions and be willing to sacrifice my ethics and principles under the influence of Greed.

I know it’s just a cheap China phone and I shouldn’t be over-thinking this but I can’t help being interested in the natural unfolding of my own cognitive processes. Imagine if I can begin my journey with a single step, being a willing participant in the idea of creating demand for stolen items, supporting thievery, (the phone wasn’t stolen but the scam is set up in such a way to trick people to think it’s stolen) I fear that my first step in that direction may not be my last.

I had just discussed about ethics and integrity and here I am willing to sell piece meals of my  integrity, erode its quality,  for less than a song. I am no better and no worse than the people I accuse of being unethical, actually.

The reason I do not have more material rewards in life can be more directly attributed to reasons such as me not being grateful for what I have, me having clutter in my life, me not valuing myself enough to give myself the best, me not having enough focus, clarity and drive to go for material pursuits and especially me having limiting beliefs that pursuing a material life makes life less ‘spiritual and meaningful’.

I see that now.

Another major lesson that came up for me was about “Shame”. I realized how ashamed I was to admit to anyone else how I got scammed. I was ashamed and I realize that “shame” comes from an inability to let go, to forgive ourselves, to accept ourselves in spite of our ignorance and mistakes.

I’ve written an article on scamming before and in this one I’d like to add two trinities that make up the spectrum of a scam. Scams can only happen because of

  • Greed
  • Fear of loss
  • Guilt

and the longevity and staying power of scam hinges on the fact that 99.9% of us carry with us elements of shame, unforgiveness and resentment in our energetic field.

Fear of Loss

The Fear of Loss encapsulates how our over-attachment to our illusions of the world we exist shows up in scams that are designed around them. Fear of loss of a loved one, fear of loss of saved money or investments, fear of loss of better opportunities for tomorrow, fear of loss of life, possessions, status, beauty, etc. Almost all fears can be extended from this “fear of loss” of something we give too much meaning, attachment, permanence and significance to.

Greed is self-explanatory. We want something for nothing or something for next to nothing.

Guilt is the final one that works us in; guilt of not helping someone, guilt of letting others suffer unnecessarily, guilty of having it better than others.

Guilt is so closely tied to the first of the next triad : Shame.

We live so much in shame, don’t we? We feel shameful about extolling our own virtues and we justify that as “humility”. We bastardize the meaning of “being humble” when instead what we are doing is to diminish ourselves and hide deeper within our shadows. “Being humble”, truly, is not about diminishing ourselves, shrinking, making ourselves smaller so others don’t feel so small about themselves. “Being humble” is not about cutting ourselves down in size so that we don’t cast a bigger shadow over others who still live in their own shadows.

The true meaning of humility is to grow ourselves bigger, stronger, more capable, and then to be willing to step into our full light and help others grow bigger and come into our Light once we are in a position of strength and power. In order to grow ourselves we need to value ourselves more, acknowledge and appreciate our own virtues more and be willing to grow and peel past our shadows. We need to be shameless. But being both humble (in my sense of the word) and being shameless is too hard in our world that is built on the  OS of shame, guilt, fear.  We’d rather diminish ourselves and continue to live in shame, being shameful, and justify playing small as keeping us virtuous and “closer to God and morality.”

I felt so ashamed to be admitting the fact that I entertained the criminal intention of purchasing a stolen item, partaking in the crime by being the channel for which thieves dispose of the item. I feel ashamed yet again that it is that exact thought of intending to willingly participate in thievery that set me up to walk into a scam. (The phone was not a stolen phone but the premise was set up that way to make the willing participants like myself walk myself into their format.)

I feel so ashamed that as a Business Coach teaching people how to do real-life business and how to be savvy when investing in businesses I got conned in broad daylight from someone who obviously, by choice of profession, had less formal education than I did. I felt stupid, ignorant, humiliated. I can teach people how to notice a bogus business or presentation but outside the box of a corporate or white collar environment I really don’t know much about “the real world”. I am naive and yet I think I am smart.

I suppose I am smart in a different playing field. But in the playing field with really hungry people willing to do anything I am out-smarted, out maneuvered, out done.

And I feel so ashamed of that. How can I teach people not to lose money in business and investments when I lost money in the streets to a smart, hungry, con man? I don’t have the same level of hunger, drive, determination and format that the street hustler has. I know nothing, really, and that makes me feel like a fake.

Yes, I’m being too hard on myself. There is a market for me after all – clients who are “dumber”, more giving, more naive, less savvy and more “liberal with money” than I am. I don’t pretend that I am the ideal coach for everyone – I am just truly fortunate that I am laser-focused on who my ideal clients are like and I attract them to me. I know who my clients are, what they’ve been through or are passing through and how to get to the next level of play because I am but a slight notch better than them in those areas I am coaching them in, a few knocks more into the game of life than they are. I am definitely not “The Main Deal” when it comes to Life and Business Coaching.

I feel equally ashamed about my criminal intent as I am about getting outdone in street hustling. I feel ashamed that I have greed, resentment and all those others things lurking in my shadow.

But this incident gave me an opportunity to face my Shadows and learn from it. It gave me an opportunity to forgive myself for resenting those who took from me and made me a “victim”. It gave me an opportunity to decouple an unconscious belief I held that one cannot be both decent and honest AND be deserving of being lucratively rewarded in the material plane.

Most of all it gave me an opportunity to deeply and completely love and approve of myself in spite of the fact that my Shadows and my spiritual frailness as a human being keep showing up in my life.

My shame has weakened me so much that I feel afraid to be judged by people reading this – judged for my foolishness, my ignorance, my criminal intention and a slew of other things. I feel as if no one else is more shameful and more criminal and more unethical than I am. I judge myself so harshly right now and am ashamed that people will see how harshly I judge myself in spite of my advocacy of “When we view the world with judgement we see only mistakes, when we view the world with compassion we see only lessons.”

Do I necessarily walk my talk? It’s very obvious here, not all the time. Am I then good enough to charge for what I do as a Life and Business Coach?

My only redeeming virtue here is my willingness to admit I am wrong, I am flawed, I am weak, I am imperfect and I am courageous enough to bare myself to be crucified. I think that will always remain as my one redeeming factor : that I am willing to be crucified either for the truth of my beliefs or for the confessions of my mistaken beliefs that I once defended as true.

And I am hoping that this confession redeems me somewhat. But the real work begins when i can truly forgive myself and just let it go.


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