As I continue my work as a Coach in Training the The Handel Group, which I am loving totally, I continue to explore and understand some of my most pervasive character traits; the ones that not only have served a purpose in my life, but the ones that also have the most potential to be my downfall. This is one of the most exciting, scary, and eye opening experiences of the work that I am doing on my self.
So far, I have identified and been working on five or six main traits: my control freak; my snotty know it all; my selfish/cold bitch; my fixer; my glossy liar; and the one that I think is the one that will bring me closest to my heart, my drama queen.
I have had a love/hate relationship with drama in my life for as long as I can remember. I have a copy of an old home movie, when our family was travelling back from New Orleans. We were at a hotel, and all of us kids were swimming in the pool. My cousin and my brother were trying to duck me under, and at first, I was laughing, and at some point, stopped thinking it was funny. It was a bit scary, but the dramatic flair of the whole thing, is that I literally put the back of my hand on my forehead, and put my head back, probably saying, “help me”. It was truly a dramatic pose. I chuckle when I remember the visual in my head.
I have always had a flair for the dramatic; and actually, I think that could mean a future in acting at some point, though I have never been able to bring it quite as effectively to the stage. The drama of the life experiences of mine, or others, is different than the actual scenarios, so this in no way diminishes how serious a situation can be, or was. It is more my response to it that is the key for me here.
For example, for years, I have been so complimentary to myself, in how much I am able to be in tune with the needs and feelings of others. If a person that is in my life tells me about something significant going on in their lives, my response has always been automatic: shock, upset, and even crying at the drop of a hat. Immediately immersing myself in their situation, or my own for that matter. Seems human and compassionate, right?
Here’s the rub…………..
It is not that I wasn’t concerned, empathic, it isn’t even that my responses aren’t truly genuine. What I am realizing, truly, is that my initial response of shock, of crying and getting immersed in it, has served two dark character traits for me: my drama queen, and my selfish bitch. I immediately become overwhelmed and involved in the emotions of others, and make the situation about me somehow. That is gross and I no longer want that. It also caters to my drama queen, and takes me away from emotions rather than toward them.
I am realizing how fully that my drama queen has served only as a distraction for me from having and identifying my true feelings about something. If I can immediately react, and get involved in it, it can feel like I am feeling, when actually, I don’t even give myself any time to absorb the situation, or, more importantly, to actually BE THERE for the person. What I am seeking is TRUE heart to heart, human connection, and this actually takes me away from it rather than toward. AND, it also distances me from the person, because I make it about me, rather than truly identifying or paying attention to what they need.
This has been a true revelation, one that is rocking my world in good, and challenging ways. It is interesting and challenging to identify our traits without making it an opportunity to chastise ourselves for how we have authored aspects of our lives in the past. The important thing is, is that I am calling it out, writing a different story about it, and leashing this trait to be a power for good.
And, I am sitting out this dance with the dramatic, and going for my full on heart.