Just as a computer must eventually upgrade to a new operating system when the current one becomes outmoded, so must humanity upgrade its worldview to replace the reactive drama triangle with the empowerment dynamic.
Our world is in dire need of an upgrade in the “personal operating system” of humanity! The daily news is filled with evidence that our ways of being and relating to one another are in various states of breakdown and threaten to thwart our conscious evolution on planet Earth. The good news is that breakdown opens the space for breakthrough and the emergence of an alternative – and more resourceful – worldview.
Our prevailing operating system – or Orientation – is a problem-focused, anxiety-based, and reactive way of being that is rapidly becoming obsolete. Living in an often hostile and dangerous world, human beings honed the “fight, flight, or freeze” reaction to life experience. A core assumption of this worldview is that one vacillates between being either victim or victor.
As a result, this Victim Orientation cultivates and reinforces a set of relationship roles and dynamics that make up the “Dreaded Drama Triangle” (DDT), with its roles of Victim, Persecutor and Rescuer. The DDT was first articulated as the Drama Triangle by Stephen Karpman, MD, in the 1960’s.
The Victim, which is the central figure in the drama, sees life as happening to them and believes they are powerless in the face of the onslaught of the problems they encounter. In order to be a Victim, one must have a Persecutor. The Persecutor is very often a person, but it can also be a condition (maybe an illness) or a circumstance (perhaps a natural disaster). When a Victim encounters a Persecutor, they then look around for a Rescuer to save them or, at least, to alleviate their suffering. Here, again, the Rescuer may be a person, but it can also be various forms of escapism and/or addiction such as gambling, alcohol, video games, even television.
This way of being has served the very useful purpose of supporting the species in surviving – up until now. Just as a computer must eventually upgrade to a new operating system when the current one becomes outmoded, so must humanity upgrade its worldview to replace the reactive Victim Orientation.
The Power of TED* (*The Empowerment Dynamic) is a teaching story that offers such an upgrade to a new Orientation and powerful set of alternative roles that has broad implications for meeting life experience more effectively and with much greater fulfillment. The Empowerment Dynamic (TED) points the way for stepping into new roles that offer a life of purpose, power, and compassion toward self and others.
TED* is rooted in a Creator Orientation, which is an outcome-focused, passion-powered, and creative way of being. This upgrade in Orientation opens the way for cultivating a new set of relationship roles and dynamics – that of Creator, Challenger, and Coach – which stand as the “antidotes” to the roles found in the DDT:
Victim → CREATOR: This is the central role in The Empowerment Dynamic. A Creator claims and taps into his or her personal power in order to choose his or her response to life circumstances. While a Victim succumbs to their sense of powerlessness, a Creator acts from the knowledge that they are “at choice,” even when faced with the inevitable problems that come with the human experience. This role is also results-oriented and focused on desired outcomes. Creators work consciously and deliberately to deal with their current reality while moving toward the life they envision creating.
Persecutor → CHALLENGER: Creators are able to transform their perspective toward difficulties with people, conditions and/or circumstances into challenges to be met, understood, and (whenever possible) overcome. Unlike the Victim, who sees every challenge as a Persecutor, Creators encounter Challengers as teachers, for they provoke or evoke actions that lead to meaningful growth. Some Challengers are conscious, constructive and compassionate, while others may be more confrontational. In either case, a Challenger calls forth a Creator’s will to create, often spurring him or her to learn new skills, make difficult decisions, and to take action toward a dream or desire.
Rescuer → COACH: A Coach supports, assists, and facilitates a Creator in clarifying and manifesting the Creator’s desired outcome. Unlike a Rescuer, who reinforces the powerlessness of a Victim, a Coach acknowledges and helps leverage the power and capabilities of a Creator. They help others perceive new possibilities and clarify outcomes. A Coach also helps a Creator accurately and honestly discern and assess current reality, to identify resources and create solutions. They then hold the Creator accountable for taking the steps necessary to move forward.
By upgrading our personal operating system to the Creator Orientation and cultivating the roles and relationship interactions found in TED* (*The Empowerment Dynamic), we will greatly increase our capacity to co-create a world that works for all.