May 17 - "Bored" of Directors

“I am an ‘in-charge’ kind of person,” I often hear my clients say quite proudly. “I like to be the director of everything! That way I am in control and life is exciting!”

What is truly amazing to me is that they actually believe this to be true!

Typically in childhood they had observed each of their parents playing out one of two roles...one parent was the director, the “powerful” one, and the other parent was the subservient one, the victim. Of the two role models, the director, at least at first, looked like the more enjoyable role of the two. As a result, throughout their lives, this became the choice they made over and over again.

Unfortunately, I too made this choice. I thought I had to do everything, run everything, and decide everything. Otherwise, chaos would ensue…or so I believed. Things wouldn’t be done “right” (which in my dictionary meant “my way”).

In any organization I was not content unless I was president, director, or otherwise in charge. I would rise to the top, get bored, and then go somewhere else and begin the cycle again. I didn’t realize until much later that it was the artificial power, a quick high, and escape from my childhood that I enjoyed, not the actual being at the top.

Why was being a director so important to me? Why did it seem like a matter of life or death? As I wrote about this in my journal I was able to see how as a child I literally had no power... I watched my father who seemingly had it all. When he drank alcohol, he got loud and directive and bossy. My mother in contrast seemed to become quiet and mousy and invisible. It didn’t seem like a very difficult choice for me to make at all…it was easy to see that I never wanted to be in my mother’s shoes.

What I didn’t realize then, however, was that there were many other choices I could have made as well. Fortunately, I have learned of their existence since that time and have actually even tried out quite a few!

One option I have particularly enjoyed choosing is partnership instead of director or victim. Director would have been repetitive, predictable, and boring. All I would have had in the end would have been what I would have already had in the beginning. It would be like trying to make a baby all by myself with no input allowed from the outside…all I would be able to create then would be what I already had…an exact image of me…over and over again. It wouldn’t be long before I would truly be…“bored of director!”

Being a victim would have been similar…in that I would have listened only to one voice…the director’s voice. Mine would have remained silent. So the end result would have been comparable to the one that would have occurred if I had chosen the role of director…the only difference is that the end would not have been identical to my image, but to the director’s alone.

Partnership on the other hand is dynamic, creative, and exciting. When two or more unique opinions come together in a creative way, magic happens right before your eyes. No one knows exactly what will emerge, just that it will be an expanded view that meets more needs than any one viewpoint could accomplish alone.

There is not a couple alive who have had a baby together who could have known what that baby would look like until it was actually born. A baby is the product of differences...no one part is more important than another...both are necessary for creation.No one directs the results...it is a true partnership…a true act of creation.

And so it is with new ideas...innovative ones are the products of differences as well...and no one part is more important than another...all are necessary for creation. No one directs the results...it is a true partnership… a true act of creation.

This is not a time for addictive behaviors or substances to numb any of our feelings. To be most effective, all parties must be truly conscious of their own feelings, thoughts and actions and be very curious about the feelings, thoughts and actions of the other…so that all can be contributed fully and completely to the creative process.

How do you structure your relationships? Are they ones of partnership or director/victim? Do you know why you make the choices that you do? Are you able to celebrate the differences around you? How do you bring them together to create new possibilities that are greater than any of the individual ones by themselves?

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