To this day my mother reminds me how I was the most difficult of her six children to raise. I questioned and challenged her authority–and most external authority–relentlessly.
I viewed even the subtlest of attempts by authorities or peers to gain my obedience or compliance through shaming me or threatening punishment as assaults on my inner authority, and I became skilled in many ways of dealing with such. Over time I came to enjoy teasing, challenging and provoking those who attempted to control my behavior through shaming, guilting or threatening punishment–thus inducing more of that behavior from them.
These behaviors were largely coping mechanisms and ways of getting attention, but have gave me early experience and skill in dealing with issues of inner authority and interpersonal conflict.
In fact believe my early experiences as troublemaker and challenger were great preparation for facilitating challenging group events, for supporting people in reclaiming their inner authority and for supporting people in the midst of conflict to bring down their walls of judgment and honor each other.
The words of a beautiful friend and participant at my Australia iStand: