Pearls in the mud - raisins in the tea cake! Have you ever caught yourself knowing deep down that there is a pearl or maybe even several in an experience that you are having but that you DON'T WANT TO LOOK FOR IT OR OPEN TO IT RIGHT NOW - THANK YOU VERY MUCH. Not only that, but if anybody, DARES to suggest that you might try doing that you might just WOP them one...
The trouble with teaching something as challenging as I Matter is that I have found there is very little place to hide, especially, especially when you are just wanting things to be different, or go the way you want - NOW. What do you do with all of those feelings of frustration and overwhelm when you are FED UP with how things are? You are just feeling sorry for yourself - even though - blooming heck - there is a little bird on your shoulder saying, "for goodness sake, what about the opportunities here, can't you just look for the jewels..." AAAGGGHHHH!! WOP!!
Sometimes when you dare to look - even just a little peek - , you can realise that there are probably even more jewels than even you dared to imagine BUT YOU STILL DON'T WANT TO LOOK AT THEM - THANK YOU VERY MUCH - AND IF ANYONE DARES TO EVEN SUGGEST IT....... In I Matter of course this is RED ROUTE - with the Boss or Loving Adult well 'OUT TO LUNCH'!
So how do you support yourself in going out to pick up the jewels in the muddy situation - how, when you turn round and discover that you have fallen into the trap of Red Route and of feeling a bit of a grumpy or irritable or weepy old victim, do you admit to what has happened and change your way of being without being crushed by excruciating shame - which can erupt in anger if anyone draws your attention too forcibly to the failings you can see only too readily?
The experience has reminded me of a young very overwhelmed client, who once told me that she could see no reason at all to do Green as it was just too much effort, and so she would stay in Red. And, this, I finally discovered, for me, has been one of the jewels in a recent experience. It has taught me about the experience of helplessness and taught me that it can also be REALLY painfully hard and embarrassing to admit to others and to ourselves how we have behaved under pressure, and why. It has taught me why, as a result, it really can be almost easier to stay in Red than shift out to Green.
How did it happen? When I decide to be less critical of myself, it has reminded me that in challenging situations, it really is important to keep reaching out for and seeking support from the right people - people who will support you but not join you in the Drama Triangle - sometimes for much longer than you think is necessary. I learned that without the right support, for long enough, it is easy to become overwhelmed and to lose touch with the person you really want to be.
I also decided it was no bad thing at all to be reminded of the way in which consistent unresolved challenge and uncertainty can grind a person down, and why - and that unless we have become advanced Buddha's in our ability to stay mindful and in the present = we all at times need to reach out to others when it has become too much for us.
Finally, it has reminded me that perhaps collapsing is also not a terrible thing to do - particularly if you like to be the confident strong type. Some situations really are tough and a collapse simply is - surely - an indication, that something has to change.
So, things have changed, externally and internally. They are not what I expected, but I have got some of what I really wanted and that is amazing. So, I have decided to swallow my pride, and go out to pick up the jewels again. Green feels easier again. In fact now that I have agreed to look again, there are so many jewels I am astonished to find them everywhere and I can't help wondering how many I must have missed before. But I can see them now, and that is wonderful!
Have you found yourself being or becoming a person you don't want to be? If so, remember "I Matter" and ask yourself what support you might need to move forward again in your journey?
Dr Cathy Betoin
Dr Cathy Betoin
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