For many people, what’s happening now in our country seems unusual. It is not so unusual in my life. I lived for years with someone who had no core, so he was always craving to be the center of attention. Though he didn’t realize it, this person believed his existence depended on the gaze of others. So he put people into three categories:
- people that adored him and were loyal
- people that hated him, whom he desired to destroy
- people that did not count, who did not energize him
The only solution was to bypass and ignore him. He accommodated no one, and no one could say no to him without paying for it. If someone had the temerity to say no, he came back with a vengeance.
I was deluded on so many levels. My first approach was to serve the situation—to allow him to do as he wished as long as he was not crossing any lines that caused pain to anyone. But this arrangement could not last; it became clear that serving the situation had turned into a process of enabling him. My belief that he wanted to learn and grow in the same way I did was completely wrong. Modeling behavior for him only encouraged his feeling of entitlement; he believed he was always appropriate, so he was unteachable and didn’t respond to modeling.
I was foolish because I could not believe he did not want what was best for everyone. He did believe that what he wanted was best for everyone, but in his mind what was right for everyone was what gratified him, so he did and decided for others on that basis.
What snookered me more than any other action were his occasional moments of sanity. I loved those moments and thought he did, too. I encouraged them and praised them, only to find he did not like them because he did not feel like he was in charge at those times.
Needless to say, I left this relationship. Once out, I knew I needed to own his traits in order to be free, and neither create another such person in my life nor become that person myself.
We all now live in an environment dominated by a similar personality. Accordingly, we should all own the fourchotomies below as a way to free ourselves, get off the grid, and function appropriately. Reacting, or fighting in certain ways, only feeds that kind of person. In my case, I learned to look like a nobody that did not interest him, so he left me alone and I was able to act in my own interest and the interest of others. We are all in this together; no one is alone here. We all have to join together in appropriate action, and that is only possible from a place of freedom and Love.
|No core||Inwardly grounded|
|Flexible / adjustable||Uncompromising / inflexible|
|The center of attention—positive or negative||Ignored|
|Held accountable / under a microscope||Free|
|Open||Closed down / rigid|
|Vindictive / has to have enemies||Lets things go|
|Holds others accountable||Doormat|
|Lashes out||Lets things go|
|Stands up for self||Doormat|
Remember, we all think we are “good”. That is our most deluded idea. Until we get off the grid, we can be lashing out when we think we are standing up for ourselves. Or we can be passive when we call ourselves peaceful. We have to own all four qualities in any fourchotomy if we are to be able to use any of them appropriately. Otherwise, we are only naming our actions wrongly, according to misconceived ideas that keep us imprisoned inwardly and outwardly.
Our goal is to be free, and truly who we are, no matter the situation or the people involved.
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