Fix, Save or Change

Ever since I can remember, I have felt compelled to fix, save, or change others. As a child, I instinctively tried to please people, especially the adults in my life. I believe now I used this tactic as a way of fixing situations by giving others what they needed to be happy. In this way, not only did I fix the immediate problem, I saved them from having to face their own stuff. However, others didn’t actually change, but I did!

In my young adult years, I gravitated to coaching, specifically as a sport, theatre, and life coach. I reveled in fixing others' problems by giving them steps to engage in. I saved them from their darker, unwanted stuff by reinforcing positive thinking. I was convinced this combination would change them, they would be able to step outside their personal holding patterns. Again, mostly I changed. Based on my need to please instincts, I ended up doing all the work. I couldn’t fix them, but when I did the steps I prescribed, I did change. When I focused on positive thoughts, not by tossing out the negative, but with more of a side by side acceptance, I also changed. Yet, the more I changed, the worse I felt, and the more I strove harder to fix, save, and change OTHERS.

In my middle years, I had to face the music. After all of my years as a coach trying to help others, I was increasingly at war with myself. I suited up for some in-depth spelunking and headed down into the interior. First, I visited the Fix Zone and took a tour of my underlying story. The level of desperation to please alarmed me. It was very high, and at Desperation Core, there was no peace. It was a whirling, jagged, frightening place. I retreated from that installation and moved onto the next, Saving Zone. In this one, I engaged in coaching & lecturer tactics. I pumped myself up with missionary zeal and did not entertain self-doubt. But, this persona did not have any direct contact with the desperate-to-please guy. I recognized the gap between those two personas, In Control Guy and Desperate To Please Guy, needed to be bridged so that my personal change would be more balanced and sustainable.

To bridge the gap, I needed more familiarity and acceptance of Desperate To Please Guy. This wasn’t easy. I didn’t want to knock at his door and ask myself in. I didn’t want to be in his presence, to be aware of how he lived. His environment was chaotic. Piles of things interspersed with vacant patches of nothingness. Beer bottles overflowing the recycling bin. Aggressive and furtive efforts to get me what I wanted. Unpleasant. But, as I ran back to my surface where I felt in control, I recognized that Desperate To Please Guy had a right to a better life, and, until he did, I would be fractured, desperate underneath to get recognized while on the surface I had no problems.

The trek continues. Stay tuned.

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