You are a Venn Diagram
Okay, let’s think about this together. It’s important. A Venn diagram, of course is the kind that features two or more intersecting circles. The area in which they come together is shaded as common ground—or, seen another way, as ground that is not purely comprised of one circle or another.
Being a Venn diagram is a very powerful way to think about one’s internal life—psychologically, and otherwise. Because, ultimately, we all want to operate from a position of clarity, using our own minds and hearts. We want to make choices that are true to ourSELVES because those choices are the ones that will, ultimately, serve our creative growth, our relationships and our happiness.
We want to evolve, to the extent possible, into a single circle without shading—unencumbered by patterns of thought and behavior that are actually unconscious joint ventures powered by the unexamined or misunderstood agendas of other people—whether they are involved in your life today or were involved long ago.
When your Venn diagram has lots of shaded area, that means that you are doing the bidding of others without even knowing it, are depleted in your ability to move forward to the goals you actually treasure and/or will have trouble forging relationships that are “true” to you and, ultimately, to the other individuals in those relationships.
How can you “clean up” your circle? First, by tracing the history of who has encroached upon your “clear” space and how. Are you operating, psychologically, to fulfill the wishes of a parent? Are you operating, psychologically, based on a history of proving you are strong because you were bullied? Who impinged on your autonomy and self-actualization in the past in a substantial enough way to continue causing your Venn diagram to have a big shaded area?
There may be people (or other forces, like society) causing shaded areas too—cutting into your clear and clean circle of emotion, thought and action, depriving you of acting from your core, truest self, with intention.
Once you determine where the shading in your life is coming from, then the process of moving powerfully forward becomes a lot easier. Without the shading, you can SEE what your circle contains—who you are, absent the overlapping, invasive agendas of others. And, then, you can begin to actualize what is inside the circle—what is inside YOU.
Dr. Keith Ablow