One of the most powerful things I learned in all my years of doing Developing Capable People classes for parents and teachers — or was it family therapy??? — was the notion that whether we are complying with an authority or rebelling against it, we are still not making our own choices.
The author, Steven Covey, talks about it a bit differently when he encourages people facing a dilemma to look for a third alternative, opening the way to real choice instead of picking A and rejecting B.
Recently I was advised by the amazing, talented Shiloh Sophia McCloud “submit my rebel” in the Intentional Creativity process.
I can almost hear you gasping! (I know I did.)
This was, frankly, not advice I was hoping for.
I rather like my rebel. Most of the time.
She’s a great buddy for shoe shopping.
Gifted at choosing quilt fabric.
She’s also a really good cook who doesn’t own a microwave.
There are times, though, when she’s not quite so helpful.
Sometimes she tries to get me to “rebel” against things, not just for the sake of rebelling, or because I have a better idea, but because I might do something that scares me. Or calls me out of my comfort zone.
As in, I don’t need to do all the steps in the process. I’ll just skip a few I don’t understand.
Apparently, it’s not just me. In fact, it seems lots of us may struggle with this.
I was a complier for my first 18 years. Then I rebelled the only way I knew how because I was scared. No, make that terrified.
Then I went back to mostly complying for a while. I complied with my knees and my back and the images people had of who I was and what I should be afraid of.
These days I’m working hard on making choices. Real choices. Some of the choices are scary, too.
Like submitting my rebel to the process in Intentional Creativity.
But only one step at a time! I get to keep on choosing along the way.
You might say I’m choosing to choose.
It sounds better that way!