So, for 40 days and 40 nights—one or the other—I intend to post here in word counts in increments or multiples of 40, so from 40 words to 1,600, but probably somewhere in between most days. My intention is to “write through the Divide”—we all know…the one that we Americans apparently are split between. But I call bull on that, because we are not so divided as we think we are. I’ll keep this paragraph of my intro for each post, so if you’re seeing this for what feels like the bazillionth time, sorry, but someone else may be seeing it for the first time.
Stepping off the Triangle
When I last wrote about the drama triangle here, I speculated that an herb like agrimony might help people physically—and psychologically—to get some distance on the persecutor-victim-rescuer drama in their lives. I still wonder that, but there are no large-scale, randomized-controlled, double-blind studies to “prove” the efficacy of agrimony for this particular use.
Still, in the years since and through self-exploration, I think “Green Beings”, whether plants or trees, can help us gain perspective, if we are willing to visit with them and consider how they live.
But the first step is always awareness and I suspect many people are not aware of their roles in enacting dramas in their lives. I like the mantra: Neither a persecutor, nor a victim, nor a rescuer be. If it sounds made-up, it is—it’s one of my mantras and I wish more people would steal it.
No position on the triangle feels good, so why do we persist in playing?
As crazy as it sounds, it’s because what doesn’t involve drama is something we’ve got to accustom ourselves to. Living without drama may be a natural state for humans—love is also a natural state for us—but “natural” doesn’t mean we’re inclined toward it. Drama and its effects orient our brain a certain way and the desire for lack of drama—a low-key existence—requires us to shift it away from that orientation and that’s not easy. By low-key, I do not mean less exciting, just exciting in more joyful ways.
What makes the drama triangle such an icky place to hang out is because its presence in our lives indicates a lack of acceptance and execution of one’s full power (either us or the other person we’re “playing” with on the triangle). That cannot ever feel really good, even if in a kind of temporary way it makes us feel something: Persecutor: “I’m better than you.” Victim: “I’m not lovable—that’s why they’re being so mean to me.” Rescuer: “I need to step in and help this person, because it’s obvious s/he can’t do it for themselves.”
These three have one thing in common: ego.
I treat ego like this: I need to be aware that I have one. I still think from time to time I need its “oomph” when I come up short asserting myself. Yet, even there, I have found that simply by not generating thoughts that touch into “persecutor”, “victim” or “rescuer,” it’s easier to assert my true self. The second I think something like, “It’s hard to get their attention. Why are they not paying attention to me?” is the second I step on the triangle and then it’s akin to digging in and the people whose attention I’m trying to get are giving me exactly what I want.
I am working toward an emotional worldview that looks at and senses each person standing in her or his power, no matter who the person is. This is especially challenging in our present, divisive atmosphere, because it often feels like many, though not all, people are set in their ways, however those ways align with the larger groups with which they identify. It would be helpful for all of us to ditch media for some self-reflection. We might find ourselves happier for doing so. But I cannot deny that self-reflection and self-work are easily achieved. I’ve been working on me for years and expect I will for years to come. And that’s okay. I have all the time in the universe.