I have a friendship, like most friendships, where I feel uncertain of its nature. Though it is quite a good friendship, in some ways, there are serious downsides. Ram Das said, “Treat everyone you meet like God in drag.” Well, if everyone I meet really IS God in drag, and I really treat them that way, what would happen? Should I just be accepting? But, then where does the “courage to change the things I can” part come in?
Well, I’m not certain about the practical application of the Serenity Prayer; it’s a little puzzling. For example, in this particular friendship, it sometimes feels like I am in the seat of a vehicle, and the driver is a child. Children are not supposed to drive cars. Adults do. Sober adults drive cars best, really.
It feels like I am in the backseat of a car, and it is lurching and and swaying, just like it did when I was a child in the back of my alcoholic father’s car, as he drove home from a family party. Scary and in the dark.
However, I am not a child. I am not a victim any longer. I have a voice. And I am speaking up about how it feels to re-create this scenario in my life. Not good.
In the old, fabulous Transactional Analysis model (Psychology from the 70’s). They used the paradigm of “Adult,” “Parent” and “Child.” For me this is a very relevant model, even today; and one worth applying to understand the source of behavior. It goes like this:
– The Parent is an ego state that is a set of thoughts, feelings, attitudes, and behaviors based on others ideas that we learned. It’s the past.
– The Adult is comprised of a set of thoughts, feelings, attitudes, and behaviors based on what is happening right now. It’s the present (a gift).
– The Child is similar to the Parent in that it’s based in the past. It’s often in a chronic perpetuating cycle to try and meet the needs of the unfulfilled child. It is often, and indiscriminately, running the show.
I’m going to write about this more next time. For now my work is to see to it that MY Adult is making good choices. That way, I can most readily embody the “Treat everyone you meet like God in drag” statement.