We usually think to take a position means to take a political stand.
I don’t mean it that way.
The position I am talking about is at a deeper level:
What position are we IN, as we relate to other people?
In my view, there are four positions available to all of us.
The first two, alas, are quite unhealthy.
We will suffer greatly if we stay in either.
The third is a vast improvement, but still unfulfilling.
The fourth position is the strong one, where we can build a free and happy life.
Where we are now does not need to be permanent.
We can all change and grow.
But first we need to SEE where we are now.
Are you willing to take a look?
I took a look a long time ago, but it took me WAY too long
to finally make it to position three a few years ago.
But now I’ve got my foot in the door into position four
–and I’ll hold it open so you can get in there, too!
Are you with me?
Let’s DO this!
Called into the office
When I was in 8th grade, my gym teacher Mrs. Denison called me into her office.
I remember the experience well, and re-live it often.
We sat down, and she started to talk about how I relate to others.
She told me I was keeping my classmates at a distance.
I was the captain of the cheerleaders but I was a loner.
The central thing she told me still brings tears.
She looked me in the eyes and said with deep feeling:
“Debbie, one day you are going to need friends.”
Wow, I am crying even now as I type this.
Because I wasn’t able to hear her then.
And it turned out to be so true.
Four signs on our foreheads
I am going to give you a brief picture of each position—each way of relating.
Everyone we know is in one of these positions right now.
It is good to become aware of our own current position
as well as those of the people around us.
To understand and have compassion–not to judge.
Whatever position we are in, it is as if we are wearing a sign on our foreheads.
Everyone around us can read it.
(And they treat us accordingly.)
But we don’t even know the sign is there!
Once we realize what sign we are wearing,
if we don’t like what it says
we can take it off, hurl it, and put on another.
Are you still with me?
This will not be pretty.
Just remember–I have worn the worst of them,
and lived to tell the tale.
Sign One: HELP ME
We who wear sign one on our foreheads
believe others should take care of us.
We expect others to do this.
We believe we are entitled to help
any time things get rough.
And if the helpers we have in mind don’t help us,
we will get in deeper doo-doo
to force them to!
We see ourselves as the sad lifelong victim
of the repeated neglect of others.
We drown our sorrows in booze, drugs, sex, porn, gambling. rage,
extreme politics, extreme religion–
you name it, we use it.
We use it to hide in, so we never have to face ourselves
and our own responsibility for our lives.
We especially use people: I need rescue! Will you save me?
The term commonly used to describes us is: dependent.
Sign Two: I HELP EVERYONE BUT ME
We who wear sign two on our foreheads
see ourselves as superior to all those victims!
We are noble and pure!
We believe it is our God given role to rescue (read: control)
the poor pathetic addicts, misfits and other failures in the world.
We are totally focused on giving all our energies to helping and rescuing others.
As we do so, we entirely neglect our own physical and emotional needs.
We therefore live continuously on the verge of collapse, and often do.
The term commonly used to describes us is: codependent.
(When a codependent is drowning, someone else’s life flashes before their eyes.)
NOTE: Can you see–we who wear sign one and two are MADE for each other!
We attract each other
get totally addicted to each other
stay stuck in our immature world
live in misery
–but call it love.
Sign Three: I DON’T NEED ANYONE
We who wear sign three on our foreheads
take deep pride in our extreme independence.
Inner loners, even if we socialize, we see ourselves as a breed apart and above.
All the strong and great people were loners! we tell ourselves.
Besides, we don’t trust anyone enough to let ourselves need them.
We see ourselves as self sufficient, not like those other poor needy types.
On some levels maybe we are self sufficient,
but we are very lonely inside even if we won’t admit it.
As human beings, we remain unconnected and unfulfilled.
The term commonly used to describes us is: independent.
Sign Four: LETS BUILD TOGETHER
We who wear sign four on our foreheads
are able to take care of ourselves.
But as we are putting that essential foundation in place
we reach out and connect with other people.
We build mutually beneficial relationships.
There is a balance between what we give and what we receive.
We do not live only for ourselves, nor do we live in burn-out mode.
We combine our strengths with the strengths of others
to build a free and happy life together.
The term used to describes us is: interdependent.
Interdependence is a beautiful goal
Only after being in total seclusion all this year
did I finally decide to stop being an extreme independent loner
wearing sign three on my forehead.
I think of this decision as my silver lining to the terrible covid cloud.
I am finally turning over a new leaf. Actually joined two clubs!! 🙂 🙂
And I am actually going to reach out and make friends in them.
Yes, we can change–if we decide to.
We can change as individuals
and we can also change as a society.
Each of us can do our part.
We—the red and the blue—
will find our common ground.
We will learn to combine our strengths
and build together.
Thus we will raise up our beloved America.
Raise her up where she belongs–
to a higher level of freedom.
As we do this our theme song can be
I Want To Know What Love Is by Foreigner.
The video of the song shows a lonely man building his life,
going from a very sad position one and a lonely position three
to arrive finally at a joyful position four.
Can you see…
that we are all beginning to sing this song together now?
We can DO this.
What strengths of yours would you love to put together with others
to build our country?
I would love to hear.