There are a variety of lines within the first two Godfather movies that are worth repeating and analyzing. One in particular is a father’s wish for his son. Although framed by a mob boss, it is not an unrealistic desire for any parent. “I never wanted this for you…. I refused to be a fool dancing on a string held by those big shots… when it was your time, that you would be the one to hold the strings…” That’s Don Corleone speaking to his son Michael. He wanted a different life for his son. One where he would be in control of his own destiny. It’s a moving sentiment! Whether it comes from a mob boss, a teacher or a plumber, the desire for self-determination is a reasonable desire for any parent or individual.
People are an amazing combination of habits, thoughts, beliefs, rationalizations and so many other factors. Our bodies are the physical representations of who we are but there are much deeper forces at work. A subliminal battle between our desire for safety while desiring an existence better than the one that we know today. These are incompatible ideas that cause inner turmoil if they are not dealt with on some level. Each of us must rectify this conflict in one way or another. So the question becomes, what are you trying to pull?
It’s possible that you are on the path that Don Corleone wanted for Michael. You are pulling the strings. Perhaps not in the way that he intended, by holding a position of power. However you are able to self-determine how you go through life. This would be great regardless of how influential you are to the outside world. The ability to determine who you will be in this world is rarer than we’d like to admit. Even if you think this is you, keep reading. Perhaps you’re pulling something else.
The next possibility is that you’re pulling the wool over your own eyes. You’ve set up a world that is completely comfortable and seems like it is under your control. Unfortunately you may be looking down at the strings that you hold and never noticing the ones that are attached to you from above. In certain ways, this is all of us. None of us is truly free from every level of control but some strings are controlling our movements while others are just there.
Perhaps you’re pulling everyone’s leg. You’ve put on a show that is not representative of anything that you think or desire. However people think that they know the character that you are and that’s comforting. You don’t like the role but you’d rather play it than admit that the strings are all that you care about.
Many of us are pulling the weight of our past along with us. It’s not a burden that we must carry but rather one that we choose to carry. The releasing of the past is not particularly an easy thing to do. However your history is also something that you cannot change. Possibly you can redefine it but dragging it along as an anchor makes for slow progress.
Finally and the most scary is you feel like pulling the trigger. The strings have got you tangled in a web that you can’t seem to break free from. It’s constricting! The more that you try to break free, the tighter that the knots seem to feel. You’re not in control and believe that you never will be. So why continue?
It’s pretty obvious that there are levels to this thing. Although the thought of going from the bottom to the top may be enticing, it’s probably unrealistic. Wherever you are at the moment, it’s part of the equation to own up to it. There doesn’t need to be a huge public proclamation. The important thing is to admit it to yourself. Knowing where you are is a key component to getting where you want to go. Hopefully that place that you want to go is up. Not so that you can be above other people but rather so you can get closer to that best version of yourself. Unfortunately, you need to pull yourself up. Other people can only try to push you for so long before it’s on you again. What are you trying to pull? Hopefully the answer is “myself to the next level.”
Get a firm grip and let’s go!