SerenityThe great thing about siblings is that you always have someone to play with.  Until you are an odd number, and playing becomes two ganging up on the third.

I’ll admit, I was quite the rabble-rouser of my three siblings.  What can I say – it’s part of being the eldest child.

Yet all of our kerfuffles made for great practice for the inevitable social altercations on the playground and in school corridors, the workplace, and at family gatherings.

The reality is, no one is immune.  Even if you were an only child, the minute you started socializing with others, these situations arose.

I was recently working with a client going through this same situation in her workplace.

Yep, age does not mean these scenarios go away.  In fact, they become even more detrimental because your actions and reactions actually influence how you are ranked in reviews and society.  No pressure, right?

Since these situations have come up so frequently in my life, I have lovingly nicknamed them the Whirlpool and the Triangle.

The Whirlpool: When drama wants to arise, and it needs you to be the other player.  The Whirlpool consists of colleagues, friends, even family, who enjoy stirring things up and have targeted you as the next participant.  These folks create drama based on you, the way a whirlpool slowly drags you in and then pulls you under.

The Triangle: When drama begins between two or more other people, and you are pulled in.  You, my dear reader, just became the third leg of that triangle.  It happens in sneaky ways, but before you know it, your gloves are on and you are in that ring to defend, support, referee, etc.

Whirlpools and Triangles are parts of life.  But how you choose to handle them is your choice.

Every time a Whirlpool or Triangle enters my life, and before I decide to jump right in and fight, I go to a quiet place and ask myself a few questions.

    • Am I reacting because of a very clear reason (ex. someone has spoken an untruth and I must set the facts straight)?
    • Am I reacting because I have reached the end of my patience with the person/people involved?
    • Am I reacting to protect someone I feel is not as strong as me?  Out of a sense of loyalty?

The good and the bad news is that fundamentally, the underlying factor to all of those answers is your Ego.

It is bad because your Ego will never actually be completely out of your life.

Yet it is also good, because just by recognizing why your Ego is being triggered – jealousy, pride, protection, just ‘cause – you can actually dissociate yourself with it and immediately move in to a more grounded and centered space.  Over time you can learn to watch the events play before your eyes without ever joining them.

It doesn’t happen overnight, yet through the ability to recognize a Whirlpool, a Triangle, and the role of your Ego, you will feel an immediate wave of release and tranquility.

So before you join, or create, any Whirlpools and/or Triangles over this upcoming holiday season, take a moment to recognize, retreat, and then re-enter as the Inspired Gritty peep that you are.

Leave comments and questions below.  I’d love to hear about your own Whirlpools and Triangles.