This is perhaps one of the most difficult and raw posts to write. The other day i devoured the book “The Power of TED” by David Emerald and I felt it resonate so deep that I knew that it would bring through profound change.
The next morning when I wrote the first draft of this post, I’d been crying because it had reached a deep place in my heart. The basic idea in the book is that there are 2 ways to approach life – either a as victim where everything happens TO you (not just crime but every event and situation) or as a creator where you have the power to make your dreams a reality and have more control over the direction of your life.
The Dreaded Drama Triangle
Recently I experienced a strong drama triangle that got me researching to understand it more and find out how to get out of it. The drama triangle comes from perceiving life as a victim. It involves 3 roles (hence the “triangle”!). The main role is the victim and the other two roles in the triangle are persecutor and rescuer. The persecutor seems to be the cause of the victim’s suffering and the rescuer tries to fix the victim (but actually needs them to stay in their suffering and problems so that they are needed). But one person can spin through all 3 roles I’m sure you’ve had experienced of someone who plays the victim and then they suddenly become aggressive and become the persecutor, or you’ve probably met a martyr who flits between victim and rescuer. None of these positions are healthy or empowering but we often learn to play the roles in childhood.
The Empowerment Triangle
The alternative to the drama triangle, is the empowerment triangle, which is what the book I was reading was about. Instead of victim, we have creator (or more accurately, cocreator), persecutor becomes challenger and rescuer becomes life coach. Each role comes from the perspective that you have everything you need inside you to create whatever you want and it’s linked to the idea of the law of attraction. One of the insights in the book that had such a profound impact on me was that you don’t necessarily need people to play the roles. A situation can be a rescuer or a persecutor. For example, an addiction can be a rescuer and a difficult challenge can be a persecutor. It all depends on whether you’re focusing on the problem or if you’re focusing on the bigger vision for what you want to have happen.
It dawned on me that I feel like a victim in my business. I haven’t built the systems I need to give structure to my finances and marketing. My tax return was a nightmare because I didn’t have a system and I haven’t built the marketing systems to encourage enough people to come and check out what I do. To make the point even clearer that I’m coming from the victim stance in my business, I had MAJOR problems with my marketing right around the time of experiencing the drama triangle with people. Right before all the problems started, I was starting to feel so happy that I finally getting a marketing structure and system in place after resisting for so long. But then I had major technical problems that meant I had to dismantle what I’d created. Looking back i can see the connection between the two events – I felt like a victim to the marketing problems and I was seen as a persecutor by the people I was with (and I don’t really know why other than life decided to make the triangle so bleedin’ obvious that I would have to study it!)
Death of a Dream
The other huge aha from reading “The Power of TED” was that we stay in the drama triangle when we’ve had the death of a psychic hope, wish or dream. It links so beautifully with all the research I’m doing on forgiveness because forgiveness is really about giving up on the idea that the past could be any different from how it was. Accepting that shit happened in the past, learning what you can from it and letting go of the desire for it to be any different from how it played out is what underlies true forgiveness. You accept the raw truth to get to bigger truths. But the other subtle layer to forgiveness is that it stops you being stuck in the past as a victim – hoping for a better future that can never come and wasting energy on it. The death of psychic dreams, hopes and wishes was at the root of my victim stance in the systems and structure in my business.
To explain the link, I need to just go a little deeper. I see the different aspects of our businssses as representing the masculine, feminine and child energies in us. The masculine is the structures and systems that provide the safe home for the business to be in. So websites, business plans, marketing plans would come into that too. The feminine is the nurturing and connection – so customer service, networking, the connection side of marketing and also making sure that the business nurtures your own goals and needs as well as those of your customers. The child aspect is the creativity, openness to new ideas, exploration of ideas, the enjoyment of the business and the ability to get back up again after you fall like children learning to walk do. The child is also the holder of the bigger vision for the business. So the masculie and feminine are ways to help the vision be expressed in the world and the child holds the Vision itself.
Naturally all of these are going to be influenced by actual experiences with the masculine, feminine and child figures in our lives. Not necessary people of those genders, but people who have those masculine and feminine qualities and of course, our parents or early caregivers. And that’s where the tears I mentioned come in. My dad died in 2003 of cancer and parts of me hadn’t accepted fully he was gone. He’d been a workaholic for most of his life and was always busy, so he was a kind of absent father. Highly successful in lots of ways but unable to sit and be and spend much time with us – like so many people in society. His cancer shifted his atitude. I think it healed him in some senses because he became much more present and seemed to enjoy life and being with the people around him more.
Longing for Dad, Clinging to the Past
Where’s the biggest weakness in my business? It’s in the systems. And I was being a victim towards the systems in my business and felt powerless and like I needed a rescuer. I hadn’t really let go of my dad yet. I still had old worn out hopes and dreams of a better future with him. I’m being “rescued” by what he left behind because I hadn’t let go – I live in the house he supported and built an extension for and because my lack of systems means cash flow is a problem, I’m “rescued” each month by the investments he made. It’s hard for a fiercely independent women to admit all of this, but it’s true. And it was all deeply unconscious until I was ready to deal with it.
Underneath it, my inner child was still hoping to spend more time with daddy, so she was clinging to that hope. And then my mid 20s self regretted that I was living abroad and didn’t spend more time with him before he died. Then there’s the fact that he can never walk me down the aisle or see his grandchildren or meet his son in law or daughter in law – the little but significant things that you lose when someone you love dies. And as I type, I realised it’s also the fact that he died with me in the middle of my narcissistic relationship experience, so he was left with the memory of totally the wrong person.
So pieces of me were clinging onto the hope of a different future and hadn’t fully accepted what actually happened. I hadn’t forgiven life and let go of what I was powerless to change. My relationship to the systems in my business were mirrroring this deeper block and pain that I had. As long as my energy was clinging to a false future as a victim, I didn’t have enough energy in the present to create the structure in my business that would support me, my clients and my potential clients properly. The tears I cried were the release of the old victim energy and the truth that I had to let him go on a deeper level.
I wonder now whether this is something that resonates with more people – that the problems in your business can be traced back to thwarted dreams to do with males, females or how you felt as a child. I think that to have a balanced, sustainable business, you need all three in harmony and balance with each other. If there’s something wrong in one of those, it’ll manifest as a problem in your business like my male energy problem did. My holding onto my dad after he’s gone showed up as a block in the masculine part of my business. I know businesses that communicate poorly with customers and I do wonder whether that’s a problem with the feminine energy. Then there’s businesses without a bigger vision – I do wonder what’s happening to that child energy.
If this idea resonates with you, I would love to hear from you. Please do get in touch to let me know your thoughts. Either in the comments on Facebook if you’ve clicked on it there or pinging me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or messaging me on FB.
Thank you for reading <3