I’m a Bravo fan. I find the shows fascinating from a psychological standpoint. Honestly, I could write a dissertation on every franchise.
What’s currently preoccupying me in the Bravoverse - and this will come as no surprise to Bravo fans - is #Scandavol.
Scandavol is the tag name given for Tom Sandavol cheating on his partner of 9 years, Ariana Madix, with one of her best friends, Rachel (ahem, Raquel).
Cheating is not new on the show (and certainly not between these people) but this particular revelation caused a public fury of epic proportions for a variety of reasons, none of which I’m going to get into here.
What it does make me think about, however, is the cost of avoidance.
We may all have things in our life we’re trying not to address. Perhaps not (I hope) on the scale of Scandavol, but things we’d rather just go away on their own.
- Am I drinking too much?
- My partner and I haven’t been intimate in … . Is that normal?
- My boss, my kid, my mother, my employee, my (fill in the blank) and I keep having the same arguments, the same problems over and over again. Nothing ever changes. It can’t be my fault, can it?
We may not even realize they’re a thing until we get flashes reminding us.
The curtain is pulled back a bit and it seems so scary, so overwhelming, we quickly turn away.
I see this over and over again in coaching. I see this over and over again in my own life.
And here’s the truth I’ve learned:
That thing I’m avoiding? That I hope will resolve itself? That I’m expecting someone else to solve? That thing that I’m ignoring, praying away, hoping for tragedy so I don’t have to deal with it?
I’ll spending way more energy, more money, and more time trying to walk around it than I'll spend if I walk through it.
Terrifying, but true.
We’re all afraid of the white hot center. We’re afraid of being burned. Of not recovering. Of hurting other people, of being hurt, of creating damage and fissures we can’t repair. Of seeing something about ourselves we don't want to see.
Pain is too terrifying to inflict it on ourselves deliberately.
So we justify, rationalize, argue our way around it. Anything that allows us to avoid taking responsibility for it.
Sometimes when we’re stuck and can’t see away around, we’ll drop a bomb in the middle of our life because at least then things will have to change.
Sometimes we’ll accept less than and move through life on auto-pilot or filled with rage.
But those are not the only options.
We can name it.
We can look at what is at the white hot center and see it for what it really is. See our part in it. See the truth within it.
Because as soon as you walk towards it - into it - you’re beginning your journey through it.
Out of it.
It’s not easy. But it’s that simple.
If only someone had told Tom.