Psychological Self-Help

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1543
On the third day the naturalist rose early and took
the eagle out of the barnyard to a high mountain. There,
he held the king of birds high above him and
encouraged him again, saying, "You are an eagle. You
belong to the sky as well as to the earth. Stretch forth
your wings now, and fly." 
The eagle looked around, back towards the barnyard
and up to the sky. Still he did not fly. Then the naturalist
lifted him straight towards the sun and it happened that
the eagle began to tremble, slowly he stretched his
wings. At last, with a triumphant cry, he soared away
into the heavens. 
It may be that the eagle still remembers the
chickens with nostalgia; it may even be that he
occasionally revisits the barnyard. But as far as anyone
knows, he has never returned to lead a life of a chicken.
He was an eagle though he had been kept and tamed as
a chicken. 
It is a nice story about self-actualization--reaching your potential.
Winning is gratifying but... the question here is: Which role do you
most identify with emotionally? The captured, restricted, dependent,
afraid, victimized, self-doubting eagle? The limited care-giving but not
deeply concerned, controlling, pessimistic, suppressing man who
penned up the eagle thinking he knew what was best for the eagle?
The empathic, supportive, optimistic, encouraging but not dominating
naturalist? And, what roles do other people, in your opinion, most
often play? 
Which role has the most appeal to you (not cognitively but feeling-
wise)? The victim?_____ The villain?_____ The rescuer?_____ The
victim role reflects a "I'm not OK" position; the villain role reflects a
"You're not OK" position; the rescuer may reflect a "You're OK"
position. 
Karpman (1968) suggested that roles in games were like the
changing roles in Greek Drama: The hero/heroine may become a
prosecutor who wants to change the villain or help the victim so badly
that he/she becomes aggressive (instead of assertive) and ends up
being the victim of a counterattack. Likewise, sometimes the rescuer
promises to "help" so much (and can't deliver), ending up feeling used
and an unappreciated victim. A person pretending to be a helper often
ends up blaming the victim for the problems or taking advantage of
him or her. The moral is: Watch out for game hooks, such as "I'm
going to tell you straight..." (then you are blown out of the water),
"You poor thing, let me help..." (then he/she takes over), or "You are
so good at this..." (then you are asked to do more things for him/her).
Just say "no" to the game player... and don't be a game player
yourself. 
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