For anyone new to this blog, here is the essence of the story so far: Karaj was a distinctive, somewhat maverick therapist, whose self-acknowledged lack of social skills meant he could cut through people’s games and surface-level politeness to see straight to the core of what it means to be human. I spent four years learning as much as I could from him. Early on I asked him how he did it. He replied, ‘It’s simple. Anyone can do it. I’ll show you.’ And he did. And he was right, it is simple. But the process of getting there was hard.
It began when I helped him out with his accounts. I spent eight days putting his paperwork in order, logging all the receipts and preparing everything for the accountant. Upon finishing, he asked me to answer a series of questions about the process I had just gone through. I wrote down my answers and, because I learnt so much from the exercise, I carried on writing.
Eventually I learnt what makes us who we are and how soon we decide what kind of life we will lead. I learnt how easily we manipulate ourselves and each other. How beautifully simple life is and how complicated we make it. Above all, I learnt to see myself and others more clearly. I saw that, at our core, we are all the same and we are all struggling in some way to make it through a life for which we are ultimately responsible. At any point we are able to make decisions about who we are, who we want to be and where we want to go.
It was a tough but inspirational time. I learnt to do things differently. The more I tried, the more I was challenged not to try. He said, ‘You just have to see what I see. What everyone else can see. When you see your behaviour for yourself,’ he added, ‘you will change.‘ I devoured his wisdom in the early months. I wondered why the rest of his clients didn’t make the most of what he had to offer. Eventually they did. We all did. It laid the foundation for the life I lead today. This blog is an intimate account of that journey and serves as a summary of what I learnt and what I continue to learn.