And, don’t be afraid to see (and even admit it openly) that you have a few dark spots. Twelve Steppers do it every day and look at the transformative power of these lives. Everyone has a dark side and a light. I do for sure (How do you think I came to know the dark side so well? I’ve lived it as well as taught it and treated it for more than thirty-five years.)
On that score, the dark side/Pretender Peace Buddy side, ssk yourself, “where is my dark side hiding?” You will be miles ahead on the noble path, if you know the answer to this question. The dark side is simply the shadow you that hides behind a mask. Knowing this is why Anastasia The Storyteller blog is so much about my acknowledging the 1,000 masks I wear and my struggle to take them off. Notice how hard I have to work at it. But I know from years of experience that the pain from this struggle births new life in me. What joy and liberation lie just past the dark night; the pain is well worth the gain.
Once you’ve honestly checked yourself out on this one, again read about the Compassionate Warrior’s journey that is the Peace Buddy’s basic training in the excerpt from my book Exploring Your Dark Side: The Adventure Of A Lifetime.
Pretender Peace Buddies are people who –
- Mask their hidden agendas behind a surface self*;
- Believe that others are enemies or that some people are okay and others are not (Or, as in Animal Farm (by George Orwell), believe that some people are more okay than others;
- Judge, blame or criticize others and/or themselves and/or are elitists or excluding of others;
- Isolate themselves and/or limit attainment of their highest potentials;
- Are controlling, resistant and/or defensive regarding feedback from others;
- Discount the values, opinions, emotions and needs of others
- Leave relationships when conflict arises.
(This last item has been my number one, all time high dark side/Pretender Peace Buddy behavior. Have you any idea how lethal withdrawing from people can be to both yourself and others? I know it for sure. And it is not a pretty picture.)
*A senior Transactional Analyst colleague of mine, Claude Steiner, M.D., wrote a brilliant fairy tale on this subject, The Warm Fuzzy Tale, a definite teaching tale still today, many years later. For me, a poignant part of this fun story has always been about how some people cover up their prickly dark side to make it look almost like cotton candy. They can look pretty but don’t get too close; after awhile close can feel cold and prickly.