Sunday, December 14, 2008

Aslan Fierce

So, I'm developing a new motto for myself. Aslan Fierce. One of the character defects I have is not having a healthy balance of respect for myself and respect for others. I'm one of those co-dependent types, so my respect for others is generally far greater than my respect for myself. And as I've already experienced in the world of making films, this can lead to trouble.

Because one of the biggest challenges working in film can be dealing with people that have a rather strong head about things and, sometimes, elevate themselves to a position that can seek to overpower my guiding as director. And my problem is I'm far too willing to bend to make sure there are no fights. It's not that I'm afraid of getting hurt.

I'm afraid of hurting people.

So afraid, in fact, that sometimes -- nah, most of the time -- I don't say what I think, I cushion my comments to make the other person feel "special". Well, by disrespecting myself and watering down how I really feel, I'm also disrespecting them, by patronizing them and thinking of them as weak and unable to handle my thoughts.

Now, this shouldn't be confused with being a blowhard dork who blasts the trumpet every chance he/she gets -- in fact, many times, those are the kinds of people I find myself bending over for.

But what is the root of my fear of hurting people? I've discovered, over the last several months of self-contemplation as I've been praying and thinking about this, that it's a fear of having to deal with making amends. I hate making amends. Hate hate hate it. I hate the drama, I hate the tears, I hate it all. The great irony is that I've been going to Celebrate Recovery for several years now and have been trying to practice all of the principles and the twelve steps, including amends when possible.

But I hate it. So, I've discovered recently that, rather than risk making amends, I just shut my mouth. Ha ha ha. That's taking us back to step one, eh? Coming out of denial?

How is it helpful to anyone, anyone, if I don't communicate when someone is overstepping their boundaries? Now, I'm not talking about getting vocal about every little time somebody bugs me. But if somebody keeps doing something that keeps bugging me, there comes a point where I have to stop and say, "Listen, dude/dudette, this really bugs me, and hear's why. Stop it." And if they don't? Well, that's where grace comes in, somehow blended with continued reminders.

So, when I talk about "Aslan Ferocity", I'm not talking about yelling. Sometimes a good roar is needed, but more often than not, a quiet, firm tone will suffice. And I'm good at the quiet tone -- I'm naturally not one to impose myself on someone else. I'm a team player, I enjoy working under others, with others -- it's the working over others, in fact, that I have the hardest time with, for this very reason.

So, if you know me, work with me, are related to me, or (most relevant to this blog) have any desire to work with me on a film, know that I'm finding that balance. Sometimes you have to overcompensate when you're naturally quiet, but I'll find that rhythm.

The future of "Chains of Freedom", my next feature film, depends on me finding it. I'm not giving away authority I shouldn't, am not bending over to save face, and am not tolerating repeated amounts of crap that personally disrespect me any longer. And if my compensation process offends you, I do care. Tell me, and we'll work it out. We'll make amends.


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