In Victor or Victim part 1, I talked about the context (mood and emotions) of your contents (your story, your difficulty, your dilemma, whatever you are telling yourself, your life story). Context is how you are being with the contents of your life. The idea is that, at any moment in time, with the content of your life you’re either being with that content in the “to me” space, which is victim consciousness (below the line) or in the “by me” space (above the line). Here, people have stepped from victim consciousness to victor; being a conscious creator of their experience.
Let me give you an example. My 13 year old has requested more freedom; freedom with his friends away from adults. My initial reaction was to go below the line and say no and attack the “messenger”. I quickly went into black/white thinking – clinging to my opinion that good behavior was not hanging out in the city alone. This is not one of my proudest moments but I believe it was a very humane response. We’re hard-wired to look out for threats. It’s part of our defense mechanism and we’ve survived because it works. It’s a natural reflex and helps us survive. The problem is that our brain cannot tell the difference between physical threat and threat to our identity or ego.
If I had been candid with my son, and myself, I’d noticed that I was scared for his safety and that a part of my mom ego was threatened as he was voicing his independence. I was in a state of threat and reacting accordingly. This is below the line thinking, giving away my power and more importantly impacts my relationship with my son. This is not the mom I want to be!
The key is to see this is happening so that you can shift your thinking. Please note these are states not stages. It’s neither good nor bad to be above/below the line. They’re just states. You will be reactive because of your defense mechanism but you can learn to shift to a place of trust.
What would it be like to act from this place in the present moment? The benefits are that you think better, relate better; less stress and more energy.
Here are some typical behaviors and statements that people use above and below the line. Again I ask you, where are you?