When I left prison, I had to figure out how to embrace my past.Fernando Flores
Fernando Flores is considered the founder of Ontological Coaching. His work therefore underpins much of the 18-month coaching course that I completed. In my opinion, the possibilities that his work has made available to people are incredible, and I can see this in my own journey. He may not have been the person who coached me through my journey, however his original work set the foundation for that experience and effectively made it possible. Fernando Flores, I think, made a massive contribution to the world.
Flores was Finance Minister in the Chilean Government of president Salvador Allende in the early 1970s, and later became the Secretary General. Following a political coup, he was imprisoned, subjected to prolonged torture and then driven to exile by the military regime of Augusto Pinochet. So, when Fernando Flores says that he had to “embrace” his past, my assessment is that he would have a lot to embrace. I can’t imagine what he must have gone through, and what it would have taken for him to be able to say that he “embraced” his past.
Our past informs our learning with regard to how to be in the future. For example, my attitude towards lending Person X money in the future will most likely come from my learning of what has happened when I have lent money (to Person X or to others) in the past. My attitude towards colleagues who don’t seem to want to seek to understand others before taking action is a result of my learning from the horrible work year that was, where I felt that my leaders were not seeking to understand me. Learning can shift and change; over time, I have learnt (and am still learning) how to be more constructive in the way that I respond to those who I assess as not seeking to understand, for example.
Sometimes, events happen that will have an incredibly significant impact on our lives. We don’t have to like what happened. However, how we interpret these events will shape the future that we create.
Fernando Flores was a political prisoner. I can’t even begin to imagine what he may have experienced during that time. Yet, he went on to complete some truly amazing work in the areas of philosophy, coaching and workflow technology.
What would have happened, I wonder, if he had reacted to his experience of being a prisoner differently? What if he had not “embraced” his past?
– The featured image in this blog post is a photo by Skitterphoto from Pexels
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