The other night while mindlessly “channel surfing” I chanced upon an episode of the epic television show Star Trek. In this particular episode, the crew of the USS Enterprise has once again found themselves trapped in a time warp. They instinctively know that they are on board the USS Enterprise hurtling through the galaxies (“boldly going where no one has gone before”) and yet everything around them seems to represent something or someone from the past. Key members of the crew spend this episode reliving former loves, betrayals, disappointments, deaths, and other unresolved drama. From a personal growth perspective it was a very enlightening episode. Let me explain…
“Beam me up Scotty” were the instructions given by Captain James T. Kirk to his Chief Engineer, Mr. Scott, whenever he needed to get out of an uncomfortable situation. Captain Kirk would enter the transporter and “Scotty” would hit the switch that would return Kirk to the safety of the USS Enterprise. Now that is a high tech approach to avoidance!
How many of us find ourselves unconsciously living in our own “time warp”? Via our thoughts, we transport ourselves from the PRESENT to the past, off to the future, back to the past, off to the future and then back to the past. Rarely are we truly PRESENT. Our “transporter” keeps us from truly living a life of presence. Remember we LIVE in the present, we problem solve from the past.
A time warp is defined as (noun) an imaginary distortion of space and time whereby people or objects of one period are moved to another.
EXAMPLES OF PRESENT DAY TIME WARPS….Get “Scotty” on the phone, it’s time to get out of here!!!
*The Party Animal. Their drivers license identifies them as being middle age however, they still personify someone in their mid twenties. They maintain this image through their manner of dress, social skills and life priorities. A person stuck in a Party Animal “time warp” will prioritize buying concert tickets over paying a utility bill. NEWS FLASH…The eighties called and would like you to return the disco ball along with the mullet! PRESENCE serves us well!
*The Angry Child. They routinely revert to behavioral strategies implemented in early childhood. Most of these tactics don’t produce any better results today than they did at age 10. Some of the hallmark Angry Child behaviors include, blame, dirty looks, the silent treatment, gossip and when all else fails the good old fashioned temper tantrum! This behavior is highly unconscious and can be quite dangerous to you and those around you.
*The Cave Dweller. Avoidance is the essence of the Cave Dwellers “time warp”. When the going gets tough or things get uncomfortable the Cave Dweller retreats. What started out as a “secret hiding place” as a child often turns into a much darker “secret hiding place” as an adult. Alcohol, drugs and pornography are some of the most common hiding places for the adult Cave Dweller. When someone we love is in this place it is wise to seek an intervention. The life of a Cave Dweller is not living…it is a slow death.
*Little Girl. A female friend of mine recently made the comment “women who employ “little girl” tactics truly undermine femininity”. I pressed her to further explain. “Using a little girl voice, acting helpless, engaging in manipulative cuteness or relying on men for everything are simply not endearing qualities but rather traits that indicate a total lack of self reliance”. The only thing I can add to these thoughts is that from a male perspective I find these “tactics” to be an immediate turn off and I don’t believe they genuinely serve the women who employ them.
*Little Boy. The “Little Boy” is always seeking approval. They tend to have experienced a co-dependent relationship with one or both parents. The message they received during childhood was that they were “never good enough” and consequently have spent their lifetime trying to be “good enough”. They are prone to frustration, tend to be control freaks and struggle to make decisions without first getting a consensus opinion from their circle of influence. Because their parents did just about everything for them””Little Boy” is not self reliant and they often expect their wives or girlfriends to cater to their every need. This “time warp” is a relationship killer.
We all know someone (maybe even ourselves) that are stuck in a personal growth “time warp”. This “time warp” may be taking a greater toll than we want to acknowledge. Only we know the price we are paying. Mr Scott will not be able to hit a switch and transport us away from our discomfort, however, a good coach or mentor can help us design a strategy that can BEAM US UP so that we can realize our greatest potential.
As always, I look forward to your thoughts and feedback.