I am in the process of preparing for our EGO program this weekend and reflecting on some of the content. I am always interested in looking at my Stoop. My Stoop shows up when it gets fed up with my Imposters. We all develop imposters for the sake of acceptance and approval from people. They are the ultimate expression of my people pleasing behaviors. The imposter that I talk about in EGO is Mr. Indispensible. Here is an excerpt from that example; “I draw people into a dependent relationship so that they feel I am indispensible to them. I become the pillar of strength that they can lean on. However, I protect myself by making these relationships professional. I do not need these people in the same what that they need me.”
My Stoop is the rebellious side of me that gets frustrated with my posturing and pretending Imposters and will do something to expose the Imposter. Unfortunately, the Stoop, in its frustration will utilize behavior that is unhealthy and often extreme to get his point across. The action feels really good in the moment but always unhealthy. It is in those moments when my Stoop is acting out that I am willing to risk the disapproval of people. My Stoop is in fact saying, “I don’t care what you think, I’m doing it anyway.” Unfortunately, in hindsight, I will regret the actions of my Stoop and that regret will lead me back to the judgments of my Shadow Self and the guilt and shame to accompany those judgments.
When I reflect on how my stoop shows up in response to Mr. Indispensible, I will often attempt to show just how human I can be. I will throw in the occasional f bomb in a program to shock the group or drink more than I should at a social gathering, or smoke a cigar on the golf course with connectors. For those of you who have attended Deeper and seen me as the dirty old man in the Terriatrics skit, you have witnessed my descent into stoop like behavior. Yes, the point is to not take yourself seriously, however, the boundaries become pretty blurred and my stoop is clearly saying I really don’t care what you think of me.
The Getting Away with Something Payoff
This past week I discovered another layer of my Stoop behavior. It has to do with how empowered my Stoop feels when it is getting away with an unhealthy behavior or an unhealthy choice. My Stoop revels in the sheer joy of getting away with doing something that others would really disapprove of. There is a powerful sense of risk taking and danger that accompanies this kind of behavior that makes it feel like an adventure. Until I get caught. Then it actually feels quite awful. Here is a simple example of how this showed up this past week.
Christine and I were out on the weekend taking Minnie on a long walk around the Black Mountain Golf Course. Minnie loves to run on the grass and so we are happy to allow her to race up and down the fairways when the golf season is over. On this occasion she decided to take a dump in the middle of one of the fairways. So, I have a poop bag in my pocket and I definitely know that Christine does as well. Christine is always super conscientious about picking up Minnie’s droppings. Me, on the other hand am not so super conscientious. In fact, my rules breaking Stoop kind of revels in the opportunity to just let it sit there. I justify my choice by telling myself that the rain and snow is coming and the doggy do will just disintegrate into the soil, with no harm to the grass. I even find a way to convince Christine that it is not big deal to leave it. However, the next moment we hear someone clearly yelling at us, pick it up! I look up across the road and see a man standing on his townhouse deck playing the role of poop police and determined to get us to pick up our mess. In that moment, I know he is in the right and I am in the wrong, but my Stoop feels offended at being discovered and wants to yell back, “f..k off poop police.”
Well, my far more level headed sacred self jumped in and reminded me that I was definitely the one in the wrong and it only fair that I go pick the poop up.
I have had the opportunity over the past week to look at that behavior and the odd emotional payoff I experience at times doing something that I feel I am getting away with. Without question, it has to do with how my Stoop is in rebellion to how my Imposter wants to live up to all the expectations that others have of me. The bottom line is simple; I have to find healthier ways of letting go of people pleasing with needing to call on my Stoop. If you want to find out how I do that stay tuned or attend an EGO program.
I would love to hear some of your stories on how you get an emotional payoff from getting away with something. Then again, maybe I’m the only one who struggles with this issue.