My son gave me ‘The Celestine Prophecy’, by James Redfield, two years ago – and I have, finally, read it.
It is an amazing book in all sorts of ways – and the sections of the prophecy dove-tail beautifully with many of my thoughts, and practices, as a ritual magician.
But what I want to flag up today is the enlightening (to me) concept of Control Dramas. There are four of them: Intimidation, Interrogation, Poor Me and Aloofness – and the theory goes that we adopt one, or more, of them as very small children in order to control the big scary world we live in. And, although we do not consciously realise this, to manipulate, deal with, yes, control again, our giant and powerful parents.
What is fascinating is this: The dramas come in pairs, and little babies will adopt the one which best copes with the drama being enacted by the dominant parent.
I have always known, at some level, that I had this Drama Queen side to my character; have always, in my most secret and shamed heart of hearts, seen that it was a form of insidious control – and could even see, though I didn’t then know the categories, that it was a blend of Poor Me-ism and Aloofness.
This made sense when I faced the fact that my mother was an interrogator (and realised that, perhaps as a result, I have always been ‘attracted’ to them, both as friends and lovers) – and the only way I could cope with that was to go into the classic Control Dramas which are still part of my life today.
I still have a strong part of me which wants to make people feel sorry for me, which wants to run away and be hidden and make people worried about my safety; I still have that inner princess who, confined by choice to her tower, wants the gallant prince to sweep up and rescue her.
I am equally sure that I am not alone in this – that most of us operate out of our own control dramas at least some of the time;that we have entrenched ways of dealing with the world of threat and fear which go back to our pre-verbal days.
It is not a sin. It does not mean that we are all evil and doomed. It is, I would say, a part of the human condition. But I also think that becoming conscious of it is liberating – because then we have some element of choice in the matter. And, even if we still go into our own particular ‘slice’ of the Control Drama ‘pie’ when stressed and anxious, at least we can laugh after the event and say/think, ‘Hey, that was just me going into “Save me, Handsome Prince?!” or, ‘Oh Thrice Woe is ME!’ mode. Marks out of ten for sheer thespian ability? Eleven!’ Sometimes, it is even possible to catch oneself mid-drama and think, ‘Hell’s bells, I don’t need to act out that scene any longer…’
Read the book if you haven’t already. It is great!
And, I’d love to know: What is YOUR Control Drama?