Day 36 (Self-centered and other-controlling)…

…is our BTL description of what a weak core and scarcity worldview look like. We see it all around us.

Despite it’s name, it’s neither truly centered on the human spectrum of free-will, nor is it truly controlling anyone despite its efforts to do so.

Sometimes the trap operates like a prison, where the lie is you are a victim. The irony of taking up residence in victim-hood is it is actually a choice for those who feel they have none. Anais Nin’s quote “we don’t see things the way they are, we see things the way we are” is particularly appropriate here. Victims believe they have no choice, no control, no power. Dr. Seligman calls this the state of learned helplessness. It is fear-based and shame-based. So what’s the draw of this state, this neighborhood? It has houses with no mirrors for taking responsibility — only windows for looking out to assign blame. It manipulates others to care for us in ways we could care for ourselves. Victims reject Emerson’s worldview that “our chief want in life is someone who shall make us do what we can” in favor of co-dependent enablers more than willing to pamper and coddle.

At the opposite end of the spectrum is another trap which operates like a fortress, called survivor-hood. A survivor’s worldview is black + white. A survivor must have total control, total power and sees only two choices. It’s either my way or the highway…do or die…and if it is to be, it’s up to me. A survivor’s motto regarding victimhood “never again” is right in what it affirms but wrong in what it rejects. Survivors are self-reliant to a fault because they can’t extend trust.

Victims and survivors have something else in common — they cannot lead anyone further than they have led themselves. And the tragedy of both worldviews is a life lived profoundly a lone.

BTL is for those who don’t want to take up residence in victim-hood and those who don’t want to settle for survival. BTL is for thrivers. Thrivers often hail from victim-hood and survivor-hood, but they’ve been awakened to challenge their deepest held beliefs, build a strong core with humility and courage, and make this their center. Like Viktor Frankl, they’ve realized no one can rob you of your freedom to choose your response unless you let them. Therein lies the measure of power & control you need — not total, but enough. Some is all you need for freedom from victim-hood, for dignity from shame, for integrity from brokenness. Thrivers are core-centered/self-controlling, and experience an abundant life much richer than the narrow life of a survivor. A life where there are many choices. A life where a willingness to trust and build interdependent relationships is the default. A life transformed from a lone toward all ONE. Thrivers are driven no longer by fear, but by love — the one ‘L of a difference. They Dream & Do, and they inspire not control.

How about you? Where are you in your journey from self-centered/other-controlling to core-centered/self-controlling? Where have you taken up residence? Write some more, and keep building, my friend.

Embrace it. Live it. Love it (Thanks, Toto)…

3 thoughts on “Day 36 (Self-centered and other-controlling)…

  1. This sounds so beautiful John. Thank you. The big mistake in the life is to ignore who you are, why are you living and how should you live. The performance trap is like the Potiphar ‘s wife. She will look at you with desire “purpose” and will try to lie with you to give you the freedom you have already in your master’s house.
    Joseph knew who he was, why he was in this house and how he should live. He was not living anymore as a slave in this house (if we consider how his master left all that he owned in Joseph’s charge). Even if this woman spoken to Joseph day after day, he did not listen to her. It requires courage and you need to be strong to escape from the performance trap. Life is made of choices. Like Joseph, it is better to choose the prison than to embrace the lie. Remember Romans 8:28. With God you can transform your former land of slavery in a place to save life, preserve your family and to rule over (Genesis 45:5-8).

  2. Inspire not control. I can’t inspire anyone without leading myself first. It starts with me, and my home. My kids will follow in my footsteps whether I want them to or not…so what do my footsteps look like? Am I leading with good ones? Am I inspiring them or attempting to control?

    Core centered, Self controlling, one baby step at a time.

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