The Art of Choice starts to evolve

Helpers, people who initially appear to be so caring and self-sacrificing, are often dysfunctional. This is especially true if they are playing the role of Helper in an attempt to feel good about themselves, to gain attention, love, feel more powerful or to control others. Oddly enough Helpers are seldom happy in their own personal life and their relationships are usually in chaos. They are perfectionists with a very rigid view of right and wrong. They never seem to be able to use all their “supposed knowledge” to heal their own lives.

Victims and Helpers are drawn together to play out their game. They need each other. After their initial joyful honeymoon, a time during which each is able to “Star” in their favourite role, they soon tire of this very demanding and exhausting game. When either person, or both, gets bored with the game and wants to change or stop, or even to heal themselves, they frequently end up Offending each other rather than seeking healthy ways of interacting. Any change can trigger a conflict because the “Game” and the “Rules” have changed. Both the Victim and the Helper have a vested interest in keeping this “Dysfunctional Game” going. If they end it and heal, who would they have to play with? Taking personal responsibility and identifying ones own innermost wants, needs and desires is not the strong point of any of the positions on the triangle. Stepping out of this pre-programmed and automatic role playing is the start.

Society has programmed us with the dream of being rescued. Books and movies are filled with Victim-Helper stories like Cinderella, The White Knight on the White Horse, Superman and Rambo. Some people spend their entire lives waiting for someone or something external, such as the right relationship, marriage or even having a child, believing this will somehow magically fix everything, saving them and providing the perfect solution to all their problems.

Getting Off The Triangle

The first step is to ask, “What is my motivation for acting the way I do? Am I consciously acting out of choice and giving freely, or are my actions designed to change, control or get love from others? Do I give and do things freely, with love, or do I have expectations? The minute we expect things in return from people, we are being dysfunctional and starting down a slippery slope to drama.

The key to getting off the triangle is to change from external referencing (the unhealthy and dangerous pattern of looking outside of ourselves for answers, solutions, love, our identity and happiness) and to start internal referencing. To accomplish this a person must stop looking outside and be willing to become still, quiet their mind and to go deep inside to get in touch with their authentic self, to receive their answers and solutions. We must really now start to understand that our values and worth in this world are intrinsic and not based on something outside of us. Healthy relationships include honour, respect, sharing and communicating. To accomplish this a person must be willing to energetically stay present, to tell the truth as best they can, to be independent, and to take absolute and total responsibility for every aspect of their life, including their time, happiness and success.

The Victim must stop looking for someone or something outside them to fix them, to give them the answers or to give them the love and support they need. The Helper must stop trying to change, control or get love from others. Both must learn how to love, honor, respect and support themselves. Offending, blaming others, only creates further negativity and never accomplishes anything positive. Each of these unhealed positions leads to even more serious challenges.

To break free, improve your attitude towards change, control, risk and responsibility. Make peace with and welcome change, see life as a grand adventure rather than a prison sentence to be endured. Remain open, spontaneous and curious, like a playful child. Permitting yourself to be imperfect and feel out of control allows you to feel, risk, try new things and go to new places. Breaking free of old patterns allows the opportunity for profound transformation. Eventually, most people realise that they can never change or control anyone, except themselves. Attempting to manipulate, change, control or to force others to love you is insanity! It never ever works! It’s time to look inside…

A simple, easy formula for learning to connect with yourself, is to STOP, take a few very slow deep breaths, disengage from any trauma/drama, become still and then ask yourself –

(1) What am I feeling right now?
(2) Ask yourself, where in my body am I feeling it? Take a moment and really feel all of your feelings without judgement.
(3) In this moment, what is the single most important thing I can do to take care of myself? What is it that I truly want, need or desire?
(4) What positive changes can I make in my life, right now, that would assist me to accomplish this?
(5) What positive actions can I take, right now, that would best support my healing process – and allow me to take total responsibility for my life?
(6) What positive actions can I take to continue to support myself as I risk, learn, change and grow?
(7) What can I do, right now, for myself that would be positive kind, loving, gentle, nurturing and supportive?
(8) What goals, dreams and objectives would I like to achieve and in what time frame?
(9) What are the positive things in my life that I am grateful for? Make a list every day!
(10) Ask, decide and choose – What are the most important actions can I take, right now, to start my life moving in a positive direction?
(11) Take positive action and start moving right now. Keep your focus on where you would like to go and who you would like to become – not where you have been!

Art of Choice #8      Art of Choice #10

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