Thursday, August 17, 2017

How To Avoid Being Trapped By Dark Side Leaders, Whoever They Might Be

Watergate showed me how to avoid colluding with Dark Side type leaders. What I have learned is keeping me relatively calm in the era of Trump. Most particularly I have learned to not get myself too deep into taking sides.

Most of us can see that Donald Trump is one of  those leaders who engage those who are subordinate into collusions and conspiracies in the service of the personal agendas of each. But leaders of this ilk are all around us. Do not be seduced by them.

Don't be one of those who gets hooked by this -- from anyone.  Rather find your way to stay as calm and centered in the personal values you trust most in yourself and leaders who have been tried and true for you. This is a way, I have found, to get through stormy weather.

Remember Pinocchio? He got hooked, off track with where he needed to be going and paid the price. Be smarter than Pinocchio.

Herein lies the core of codependency; one person leading the way into the addict game, others joining in for their own gains. Check yourself out on my Survivor/Addict Inventory to discover what might be your inclinations in this direction; collusion with the Dark Side.

Then, check out this link, Explore Your Dark Side to find guidelines that can assist you in staying on the high road, instead of the low. This link, Winner and Losers Paradigms can also help.

The better we can “see,” each of us independently, as well as collectively, we can be moving to “see” how goes the Swamp GAME  and how to get ourselves out of it. Being in the GAME is dependent on an absence of dealing with full reality and the related laws of nature, wholeness, health, and integrity. Anyone of us can be in it now, as we deal with what to do when president’s lie and the American public attempts to deal with the darkness.

The new tag line of the Washington Post offers us a way to think on this –
“Democracy dies in darkness”
Our job now is to keep searching for the Light. And stay on track with it. This is the Power Of One. Hold to it with all your might.

Ten Dark Side patterns that can pull you down into the "swamp"' that you may be complaining about while standing on the edge of it yourself.
  1.  Being judgmental, rather than analytical about the multitude of sides that are presently vying for power;
  2. Becoming extreme in your views about the chaos currently pervading our country;
  3. Getting hooked on the excitement the chaos is creating so that your own, personal life gets off balance;
  4. Spending excessive amounts of time watching the news, talk shows that keep you emotionally engaged in the present upheaval surrounding us;
  5. Not making room for face time with family and friends;
  6. Allowing your self to become unduly angry about things you are hearing about or reading so that you bring hostilities into your everyday relationships with others;
  7. Operating out of an enemy mentality about others;
  8. Finding yourself becoming reactive or volatile with people who think or feel differently than you; 
  9. Allowing yourself to sink into depression or feelings of hopelessness about our country;
  10. Believing that you, alone, are powerless and thus allowing yourself to become passive about taking problem solving actions.
Here is another of my personal stories, dating back to Watergate, having to do with dealing with the darkness in the Oval Office, beginning first with noticing it. Then learning from what you are seeing. Finally, applying lessons from what you are seeing to know what not to do.

 I offer it here, partially, to illustrate that learning how to do right things can take time and have many root causes that make this a challenge. But hangin' in will, eventually get you to clarity and comfort. 

This is how I began learning from a dark and troubling time, the era of Watergate, that changed my life, all for the good.

Watergate, in many ways, above and beyond all, showed me what not to do and why; the consequences of lying and other forms of manipulation and deception. Washington, D.C., at the time of my departure, was full up with this kind of interacting; a complete training ground for what not to do

In August, 1974, as I watched the Watergate hearings on the several days I spent in a hospital bed, awaiting cornea transplant surgery (in those days long ago procedures such as this were in patient, not outpatient), I had nothing to do but watch the television.

I had been hospitalized for days already. I was at the point in my life, then, when I had just exited being actively involved with the D.C. fast track. Taking leave of the business I had started there in 1966, I had just returned to college to finish up an undergraduate degree in psychology and had simultaneously started a post graduate clinical training program with the International Transactional Analysis Association (ITAA). Although I still had academics to complete, I had fortunately been able to qualify for the latter, the ITAA program, along with M.D.s, PhDs, MSWS and other highly credentialed professionals, due to a special provision.

Theoretically Transactional Analysis (TA) is, at its core, based on applying a studied understanding of the individual personality and, most importantly, how that individual functions in the world, healthfully or, alternatively, dysfunctionally.

So there I lay in my hospital bed, having just completed my first two years as a clinical trainee in this area of psychology, TA, entertaining myself, to pass my wait time, by analyzing the interpersonal transactions going on before me in the Watergate hearings.

It was the day before Nixon was to resign as president of our country. And I had now been hospitalized for several days already, watching the tv; knowing, without a doubt, that John Dean was telling the truth and Nixon lying. In retrospect one of the things that stands out most for me, about these days, was my certainty of this! While those around me seemed to still be uncertain; maybe confused by all that had happened, maybe in shock.

It was truly shocking to us that our president would lie to the American people. We were still recovering from the assassinations of three Beloved key leaders in our country, JFK, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Bobby Kennedy. Additionally, most of us had been raised celebrating the lives of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln in annual events in school. Further, we were not too far away from the days when both Franklin Delano Roosevelt and his wife, Eleanor, had easily merited our respect. 

Thus it was oxymoronic, for mainstream citizens to consider Richard Nixon, at that time, the President of the United States of America, as anything but close to heroic, give or take a political or personal flow, here and there. We did not yet know how to think in terms of our being betrayed by someone in this office. Now, for better or worse, we are no longer so innocent,

Nonetheless, I was certain on this day that Nixon was lying, without doubt, while others seemed still not to be. Many years later I came to think that the distinction between the others and myself may have been that though, unconscious at the time, I was viewing Nixon, as well as the  conspiracies and collusions surrounding him, as an actor behaving as I had seen my mother do. 

Thus in an odd way, watching the Watergate trials and the actions that led up to it, was like watching a day in my family; essentially same nuances, same kind of lying, denying, manipulating and colluding. 

Growing up my mother and her family were a replication of Nixon’s White House! But this I did not realize until decades later.

Nonetheless, over the years following Nixon’s resignation, a determination and a passion to know and understand the interpersonal dynamics of Watergate developed in me. I wanted to become so familiar with all of this that, as a professional, I could become adept at transforming the dysfunctions I witnessed. 

I would, thus, know how to turn the dark side into the Light. This insatiable yearning brought me to study under the guidance of a psychiatrist mentor, Martin G. Groder, M.D. who had learned his lessons about the dark side as the second prison psychiatrist at the the federal corrections facility, built to replace Alcatraz, the Marion Federal Penitentiary.

My three, still unpublished Random House books, document the many theories and clinical interventions Groder taught me, added to what I learned of basic TA. That is what has brought me here, now, with every cell of my heart and soul yearning for the American people to rise above darkness in any leader and/or his/her associates.

I have been most fortunate to, also, eventually, long after my days with Groder, to find another mentor, Murat Yagan, who helped me go even further on the quest the Watergate break-in and resulting upheaval prompted. Murat and the community of people that gathered to learn the teachings of his ancient Abkhazian culture from him, showed me an even higher path to seek; all about what to do instead of not do! 

Watergate showed me what darkness looked like, especially when lies and power abuses are the primary elements of it. Murat helped me see Light and how to keep striving for it. Watergate (and ITAA and Marty) showed me what not to do. Murat showed me what to do.

I've been learning what to do instead ever since. It is definitely a discipline, most importantly shared with other of like mind who help one another stay on track.

I hope you are learning too, what to do. And every day, conscientiously, applying what you learn.

It is truly a life-long endeavor. But well worth the effort!

These are the days when “all good men (and women) to come to the aid of”….. truth, goodness and integrity, a philosophy originally attributed to Patrick Henry.

For “all that is necessary for evil to succeed is for good men (and women) to do nothing,” a philosophy originally attributed to parliamentarian Edmund Burke.

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