PART 3 - The Changer
(This piece of writing is being shared in three parts so you can reflect on each aspect and then consider the whole.)
Once upon a time there was a team. The team was created by association not by choice. The members varied in age, background and beliefs. You could not put together a more random group of people if you tried.
Whilst there were many in this team, there were a few characters that stood out.
The following discussion continues on from the previous post about the Follower.
There was another member of the team, the Changer. The Changer was an interesting one. The Changer was what could be called the wild card. Why? Because no one could ever predict what direction the Changer would take. In the early days of the team the Changer was in another geographical location. This reduced contact and exposure. As such the Judger and Follower colluded to form their own opinion about the Changer. Lots of stories prevailed. Gossip travelled down the corridors and phone lines.
On the surface the Changer seemed to have an easy ride in life. The Changer was always trying out new ways of doing things, living in different places, learning new ideas and having experiences. The Changer was happy and friendly to people always curious about their lives and the connection. There was a genuine interest in life, people and all the ways the two came together. This meant that the Changer paid attention to the goings on of the world. The Changer became a great observer, noticer and student of human behaviour. The Changer could see when situations were not working or where problems were in need of solving. This was the way the Changer engaged in the world.
The Changer was a bit of an enigma as well. On one level the Changer operated most of the time with a motto of sorts - ‘so if something is not right let’s figure out what to do about it’. At times the Changer would try to influence a situation and make it better. It would be a simple action or a comment. Or sometimes it might be a brazen idea offered into the group. The Judger would dismiss anything offered outright unless the idea served the Judger’s interests. The Follower would go along with whatever the Judger was doing. The Changer was not any better than the Judger or Follower. There is no judgement in that sense. In fact like many others there were times when the Changer also felt like the Judger or the Follower. However this was not the default predominant way.
The hurdle of self acceptance
Where the Changer had difficulty was in accepting self. Judgement was turned inward rather than outward. The Changer found that in the beginning when ideas were suggested people resisted. It was a frustrating path that over time wore the Changer down. Out of frustration the Changer at times would direct this anger at those not willing to listen to or consider the idea. At other times the Changer would turn inward and dismiss self. The misdirected emotion would result in some behaviours similar to the Judger. And sometimes the exhaustion and stress of staying with and trying to change meant giving in. The Changer would then resort to behaviours much like the Follower. At least in appearances to others.
Vulnerability at the core
For inside the Changer also has a heart, a really big heart. The Changer found that it was when the heart was on the outside and not held up and protected that hurt came. It was a naive way of stepping forward, a learning path to a later state needed for the Changer to truly be able to stand in a place of authenticity and personal power.
Surprisingly the Changer was also a victim. In fact a lot of what fueled the passion of the changer was creating a world better than the one the changer came from. The Changer as we said looked on the outside like all was well. However the Changer also experienced dysfunctional environments influenced by abuse and alcohol as well as addictions. The learning and survival approach of the Changer was to be the Rebel. Only the Rebel does not get far if the Rebel does not influence others. The Rebel instead acts from a place of aloneness and anger. These two states meant that the Changer didn’t have a great foundation from which to create change. The Changer really wanted to create positive change.
The wisdom of flow vs fear
In the nature of the Changer was a sort of flow, a rhythm. The Changer would go from a place of action back to a place of integration. On the outside it would look like the Changer tried to do something and then gave up. When in fact it was more like two steps forward, one step backward or a step forward then a pause. The Changer knew that there is wisdom in the relationship with time. When the Changer went too fast for others the Changer had to step back. When the Changer was on the right track it was more about waiting for others to catch up.
Yet even with this learning and knowing of a rhythm for change the Changer was missing a piece. The Changer was afraid. Because the Changer was working on the edge and pushing the boundaries of convention or challenging the status quo there was equally fear about what others thought. This was the weakness that got in the way. Self doubt would match the level of risk taking. The Changer was being innovative, creative and leading and then being ruled by fear.
Choosing to do the work
The Changer didn’t like these states. Being in the Changers nature to notice situations and want to make them better the Changer decided to work on self. Yes the Changer wanted to shift, transform, grow and learn. The Changer wanted to move from the place of limitation to the place of possibilities. It was all there in front of the Changer, clear as day. There just happened to be a lot of work involved. Work meant letting go of old ways and habits and creating new ones. The one thing the Changer knew was that the choice was from within, the drive personal, not imposed. The Changer also knew that not working on self would mean traveling more down the path of Judger or Follower, for they all were victims and suffered wounded hearts.
The Changer realized that to work it was not about being alone and that others could help. So the Changer asked for help. The Changer committed to healing and shifting from a place of lack in self belief to one of self acceptance. The Changer created and chose change for self. From others' perspectives the Changer was once again going through change. Only this time there seemed to be something different. It was not quick and it was not easy. For the Changer had to stand up for self and make choices that were not popular. The Changer had to go within and choose to stay true to what the Changer valued. The Changer also had to forgive and accept self, warts and all, for mistakes and the ups and downs of learning. Not easily done.
The Changer was not perfect. No person is perfect. Yet the Changer was willing to take the risk of growth. The Changer was willing to take the risk of authenticity. The Changer was willing to be the example rather than tell others to change first.
In the face of actions taken by the Judger and Follower the Changer realised that there needed to be consequences. So in the context of the Judger and the Follower and their challenging behaviour the Changer said enough is enough. Whilst the Judger and Follower are deep down full of heart, equally victims in their own experiences, they still chose behaviours that were not respectful of others. It was in the face of these choices that the Changer decided to stand up and assert self worth. This is where the Changer decided to value self equally as much as anyone else, to not be a martyr for change. The Changer stepped back and decided to not be part of this team unless there was mutual respect and value. It was simply a choice followed by an informed and self valuing action. It may not seem to be supportive of the team or the Judger or Follower however in a way it was.
For the Changer was setting the example for others not expecting others to change.
The Judger and Follower could change too, if they chose to.
Over time the Changer found mutually supportive enviroments where there was respect, value and equal contribution. The Changer thrived doing what the Changer came to do. The Changer sometimes would come across the Judger and Follower either in person or virtually. Whilst the Changer spoke to them civily and consistently the Judger and Follower held onto to their resentment at seeing the Changer take a stand. Rather than see the Changer's actions as a way to consider they took the response personally. This was the raw, self preserving mode that supported their ways.
In hindsight, the Changer accepts the Judger and the Follower. The Changer sees a part of self in each. The Changer sees and knows they have hearts somewhere hidden behind their reactions and choices of action. Yet the Changer does not condone nor support actions taken that are not good for all. The Changer chooses to rise above the past, and move on from excuse and blame to create a way right for the Changer.
So what now?
Choice is available to all. Consequences arise for all as well. When a person acts from a place of personal worth, authenticity and self acceptance there is so much more to give and share than when not coming from this place.
There is potential for each to be Judger, Follower and Changer. The power is in what choice is made and where attention is focused. Then it is a matter of perseverance, trust, patience and action.
So the next time you run into a Judger, a Follower or a Changer notice what your reaction might be. Do you see a bit of yourself in each? Do you see one more than the other? Do you relate at all? Can you accept all for who they are and then choose a way that is right for you?
No matter your reaction, focus on self awareness. For when you choose to be conscious about your self you can choose to change direction to one that both supports you but also honours you. It is in this way that you can expand your awareness and consciousness to consider the others whether Judger, Follower or Changer. It does not matter. For standing strong in self means you can make choices and take actions for the benefit of all.