February Week 2: Persecutor or Challenger?

Nobody likes to be persecuted.
Maybe some of you were persecuted by a bully when you were young, or a coworker when you were older- no fun! Your persecutor may be a quiet ( or not so quiet) voice in your head that tells you you’re not doing it right, you’re not good enough or you’re just not deserving to be loved. Your own personally built and carefully cultivated inner critic knows just what to say to bring you down and into that ineffective, inept place. (More on working with inner critics later)

Persecutors can move you right into the victim role. You go back to feeling immobilized, vulnerable unimportant, and unseen. The persecutor voices may be angry, critical, or slyly sarcastic, but you’ll recognize them by the way you feel. If you are feeling ‘less than’ and sapped of your power, it was most likely the voice of a persecutor role coming at you. I know we have all been persecutors at one time or another. And it’s not something I am personally proud of, but permission to be human my friend. We are 50/50 girls and are growing and getting better incrementally each day, 1% better today than yesterday is truly something to celebrate.

As you read about the challenger role, consider how you might rephrase your conversations to move out of the persecutor’s voice and into the aspect of challenging those you love. Choose a phrase you like that feels kind yet motivating, and practice it this month as you seek to support and challenge others. This can keep us from unthinkingly persecuting in an attempt to help, and help others create the change we want to see in our circumstances with them.

Let’s look at the challenger. The challenger is so very different from the persecutor. There are many different faces on your challenger. The bottom line is, challengers, encourage and provoke others to take creative action. They can be compassionate challengers, but they can also be confrontational challengers. Challengers can be constructive or destructive.

A challenger calls forth a creator’s will to create, often spurring him or her to learn new skills, make difficult decisions or do whatever is necessary to manifest his dream or desire. The challenger is a kind of teacher who will point toward’s a life lesson or opportunity for growth that is embedded in the pupil’s life experience. A great example of a Challenger is found in the book ‘The Noticer’ by Andy Andrews. It’s a quick read, an allegory that provides some important food for thought.

Although the role of persecutor and challenger is often a person, it can also be a circumstance or a situation. Unemployment, sickness, a pandemic- all can be approached from either role, persecutor or challenger. Isn’t it easy to just let yourself feel like it’s persecuting you? No effort is needed to slide into that one, is there? But oh, friend, it is so worth the tiny sliver of effort it takes to simply recognize the role you are choosing.

Once you recognize where you are, take a deep breath and try thinking this: All of our life experiences are teachers in some sense. They challenge us to grow and to learn. (Remember, people who pause and take a deep breath when confronted with stress live the longest.)

When we are having a hard time staying in our creator-challenger-coach roles, it is helpful to consider the following questions:
• What am I learning about how to or how not to treat others?
• What do I want out of this situation?
(i.e. to be happy or to be right?)
• How is this experience helping me practice staying centered and in my true self?
• Would it help to call a friend or enlist outside support? (Like our group?)
• Are there new possibilities being revealed to me through this experience?
• Is this a problem or is it a story I am telling myself that makes it seem that way?
• Will I leave other people or this situation in a better way than I found it? How could I do that?

Challengers bestow amazing gifts, though it rarely feels that way at the time. They help us clarify what we want or don’t want. They show us what we need to leave behind and perhaps what we want to build going forward. They teach us- if we will allow them.

Remember- you are the creator of your life experience. You have within you light and truth, all the power needed to grow and progress!. You’ve totally got this, my infinitely powerful, creator friend!