Monday, July 18, 2016

Goals

So here's the second Persian color-work motif:


I confess, I was kinda hoping to move more quickly on them, instead of creeping along at the rate of one per week.  That hope would have been more realistic, however, if I had not already had about 10 other knitting projects started, that I also feel compelled to complete ASAP.

So I've (somewhat) reconciled myself to creeping along, because even at the rate of 1 per week, this means I will finish the blanket sometime in the month of December or January.  (Assuming I can basically just wiggle my nose a la Bewitched and the motifs will magically assemble themselves into a blanket, of course.)

And this will be when it will still be cold enough to actually use it.  That said, 2-3 per week would be a lot better, though. Obviously.

I'm much more pleased with the writing progress.  I'll need to meet an end-of-the-month deadline for one project, so I've pretty much roped the a second project to that same end-of-the-month deadline.  And I'm alternating between the two projects--a dynamic that seems to be working well for me, since one of the projects requires me to write and the other project minimizes the writing and maximizes the editing.

So they're two processes that complement and fuel one another pretty well.

I've stumbled on a book that rethinks the Karpman Drama Triangle, something that I blogged about last summer, specifically in terms of the role of the "Rescuer" (my own personal go-to point of the  Triangle, I fear).

David Emerald's The Power of TED* (The Empowerment Dynamic) (2009) reassigns the roles of Karpman's Drama Triangle along a more therapeutic model: "Victims" are encouraged to conceive of themselves as "Creators," "Persecutors" are "Challengers" and "Rescuers" are "Coaches."

While I'm only a short way into Emerald's book (and to be honest, it's not the best written book I've ever read--it's a bit hokey at times, although I'm trying to see past the ... hokey-pokey?... and glean the concepts and assess their applicability), the points of the Triangle are interestingly re-conceptualized.

While "Victims" tend to be mired in their problems, beset upon by all the Persecutors of the world, shifting that focus to thinking of oneself as a "Creator" could, arguably, create a stronger focus on solutions.

Which makes sense, because in psychological studies of rumination,  Ruminators--those plagued by obsessive thinking (better known in the vernacular as the Chronic Worry-Warts among us)--are advised to shift to process-oriented questions in order to cut back on rumination.

Instead of obsessively asking themselves, "Why does this always happen to me?  What if it never goes away?" people with a tendency to ruminate should thing in terms of "how" or "process" questions--"How can I take steps to prevent this from happening to me again in the future?" "How can I make today better than yesterday?"

Basically, instead of formulating a slew of unanswerable questions about cause-and-effect, the antidote to excessive rumination is, not to try to "stop thinking about it," but actively try to think differently about "it."

In the same vein, thinking of "Persecutors" as "Challengers" takes away some of the dynamic of judgment and conflict and incorporates the idea that even the most problematic people in our lives can offer us something that helps us clarify our own personal goals and desires.  Instead of positing ourselves as somehow always at their mercy, it suggests that we can perceive and interact with them in ways that give us a stronger sense of ourselves.

And Rescuers, those poor, sweet, struggling bastards--well, they need to think of themselves as "Coaches."  Similar to the oft-cited idea that a lighthouse does rush into the sea and drag a boat to shore (it simply stands there, offering light and, assuming a sane and sensible ship-captain, a point of guidance), a "Coach" does not play the game for someone.  S/he advises, to the best of his/her ability, and stays a safe distance away, on the sidelines, offering support and guidance, but not entering into the thick of things, or grabbing the ball, or moving the goal-posts or whatever.

I find these slight shifts in perspective interesting, because they change the entire dynamic of the Drama Triangle as a whole.  Instead of being organized around what is wrong with the interaction, it becomes a way of conceiving of what could be right about the interaction, properly applied.

To me, this emphasis on articulating and pursuing a positive process and outcome is a particularly appealing way of working towards one's own goals--in my own case, a significant decrease in the tendency to function as a Care-Taker of others' problems.

It's a way to work at small shifts in perspective, that slowly but steadily align me with the goals I want to achieve. 

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Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote, "Life is short, but there is always time for courtesy."