Recently, I had to take a giant step back to reassess my life – my plans, my goals and even my values. If taste buds change every seven years, then it seems reasonable that emotional/mental taste buds change at about the same rate. Or maybe I just made that up.
A couple of months ago, several unrelated things happened that caused me to stop the car, park it, turn the ignition off and remove the key. Things that had been true for twenty years suddenly weren’t true anymore and it kind of threw me off balance. Nothing major, nothing earth-shattering, in fact I only remember one of the ‘things’ now. It was just a routine readjustment in the route.
The Adrian Peterson case resonated with me. He cooperated with the police, so I think it’s okay for me to say that he said that he didn’t believe using a switch to beat his child was abusive because his father used a switch on him and he turned out fine.
Once again, I was stuck in the middle of an issue. Yeah, it’s child abuse. But what got me stuck is that very same argument … my father used a belt instead of a switch, but it felt abusive at the time and looking back, I still feel it was abusive. And yet that word, abusive, never once occurred to me as an adult until recently. Weird. Just looking at the layers and layers I have had to peel off to get to this point is an indication of the profound affect the family dynamic had on me.
People, as a rule, don’t usually try to push me around. I think I give off quite a “don’t fuck with me” aura. But, as a rule, I rarely stand up for myself anymore, either. I can do it. I will do it. But that requires some type of confrontation and I have completely lost my will to fight. I hate it.
I will stand up for you. I’ll fight to the death for you. But for myself? I cut my losses and walk away every time. That has become so ingrained in me that I didn’t even notice it was happening until I walked away from a situation where I was completely in the right, but just didn’t want to deal with the confrontation. Then I started thinking about it and realized it isn’t a recent phenomenon. I’ve been that way for years.
I’ve had to ask myself some interesting questions lately and the answers have been equally interesting. My Myers Briggs type is INTJ or ISTJ, depending on my mood when I take the test. That is, Introverted, Intuitive, Thinking, Judging or Introverted, Sensing, Thinking, Judging. I am always introverted, thinking and judging. And I’m kinda tired of that. Things aren’t as black and white as I want them to be – and neither am I. I have lots of gray areas.
Would I rather be right or would I rather be kind?
Do I want to die on this hill, right now, today?
Do I need to inflict my bad day on every person I meet?
When my answers are “kind”, “no” and “no” and I act on them accordingly, life is very sweet indeed. In fact, more often than not, the bad day gets instantly better.And I can’t remember the last time I was just in a bad mood – it doesn’t happen very much anymore. I’m good with that.