Years ago we were in Los Angeles ready to do a live,
remote 30-minute segment of the nationally syndicated
television program Nightly News, then a popular show on
CNN. We were there as part of a book promotional tour for
Jerry’s best-selling book, Good-Bye to Guilt (Bantam, 1985).
This was the first national television program Diane was
to be on with Jerry. She was nervous, especially since Jerry
finally convinced her to tell her mother that she could
share the information with her relatives on the East Coast
that she would be on national TV that night. Of course, all
of them were giddy and looking forward to watching.
When we arrived at the CNN studios, we were taken
to a room where they instructed us to sit and look into a
camera lens as we spoke. We could only hear the show’s
hosts, we couldn’t see their faces. After they introduced
us, the male and female interviewers made it known that
they had not only not read the book, but also that they
thought the title of the book was ridiculous. They were
sharp and glib in their criticisms and their opinions on the
importance of guilt and feeling guilty.
All Diane could think of was how embarrassed she felt
with all her relatives watching the show. Her ego was on
steroids. Being new to TV, she was a bit shell-shocked and
did not know what to say, so she wisely said nothing in
response to the interviewers’ hostile comments.
Then an amazing event occurred that for her was life
changing. Jerry politely and calmly began to speak. He
thanked the interviewers for their comments on the book
and shared with them that we were not there to change their
minds. He did not respond from the ego, but from asking
inside what to think, say, and do in the situation.
As Jerry began to speak he remembered the tenet that
when others are attacking, they are truly fearful, giving a
call of help for love. He knew his and other egos wanted
and expected a return attack, but Spirit would ask that we
forgive those attackers and choose peace instead.
We both continued to respond and share. The interview
expanded in a deep and meaningful way with no further
adversarial moments, but many inspiring ones. Diane was
in awe of Jerry’s defenselessness and the power it had to
move us all from confrontation to communication almost
immediately. She never forgot his power of choice and the
shift in perception that can change everything in an instant.
If we listen to the ego voice when someone appears to
be attacking us, the ego’s guidance is to attack back, which
can only cause even more conflict between parties. We
continue to do our best not to be defensive. It’s a serious,
ongoing practice for us both.
What was most amazing about the CNN incident
was that we got more mail and positive feedback from
that show than from any other subsequent appearance
anywhere. The one common denominator everyone
shared with us, although in different words, was the
incredible example Jerry showed in being defenseless in
the face of attack.
We both have come to believe our safety lies in our
defenselessness. We are careful about not using words as an
attack upon others or ourselves. We believe the purpose of
communication is joining instead of separation. When we
attack another, we are attacking ourselves.
Examining how our attitudes determine our experiences
ATTITUDE IS EVERYTHING
GERALD JAMPOLSKY, M.D., AND
DIANE CIRINCIONE-JAMPOLSKY, PH.D.,
ARE THE FOUNDERS OF ATTITUDINAL
HEALING INTERNATIONAL. TOGETHER AND
SEPARATELY, THEY’VE AUTHORED 16 BOOKS.
Experiencing the Eternal Now
THE PURPOSE OF
JOINING INSTEAD OF
SEPARATION. WHEN WE
ATTACK ANOTHER, WE ARE