Some people make decisions only after thinking on them a while. I’ve spent most of my life basing my decisions on how things “felt.” Sometimes I wonder how right my decisions were, but I never thought of this feeling as emotions. I’m not an unstable person emotionally. I don’t run hot and cold. Apparently this is a part of my personality.
I did one of those personality tests years back. INFJ, the F stands for feeling, but personality tests are not what I wanted to talk about. What I’m talking about is Truth and Integrity. Feeling, for me, is not about anger or love, it’s about being true to who I am.
Integrity– the quality of being complete or undivided: completeness.
It is being of a single mind. Singleness of mind and purity of heart is when everything I do is in truth, in cooperation, in unison with who I am within myself. I act from my heart, my calling. Then my actions are true and my motives for my actions are pure—which is integrity (the state of being undivided). And everything I do is in truth, in cooperation, in unison with who I am within myself. Without that I am just a tinkling bell. If I am speaking on loving and am harsh to others-I am two-faced, a hypocrite.
Truth –sincerity in action, character, and utterance. The state of being the case: fact. In accordance with fact: Actually.
You can paint rotted wood, but it won’t make it strong. Your house will still crumble and fall around you no matter how you dress it. Getting to the core of me, and then causing everything that I do to come into agreement with that. Getting there is difficult at times, because we put up a good front and (oh boy!) are we good at putting on a show! We persevere through jobs and obligations until we are so grumpy with our own loved ones, the ones we say we’d give up our lives for, don’t even know we love them anymore.
Our goals must touch that spark inside of us, otherwise not only do we not have any energy to fuel our goal, we will just be any empty facade. Powerless. A shell cartridge with no gun powder. It’s also possible to have this empty, good-looking, people-pleasing goal and fill it with vanity. Lusts, greed, pride of life (look at what I did) are only a few. These are things fueled not by love for yourself or mankind, but fueled by ego. Why else does a puffed up, power person need pats on the back to reassure them that they are somebody? Why do we need the impressive title or job to feel like a man or woman? When you know something deep inside, you have no need to prove it or have anyone else or anything else to make you believe it.
It’s not clothes, not cars, not houses, and not titles that make you feel more sure of yourself or less sure of yourself. It’s completely from the inside of you.
past I didn’t punch. Not because I wasn’t angry, but I always thought of retaliation as unbearable. Maybe I haven’t changed much. The only thing that I know has changed is if you punch me, I will punch back.
I’m probably not ever going to be an aggressive person. It just doesn’t suit me. There are times though when the fight wells up in me. It takes a lot of practice to get a naturally restrained person to go outside of their boundaries. To speak up when angry. To protest when offended. To say NO when someone pushes their buttons.
I do wonder, if you are trained to be assertive or non-assertive, can you retrain yourself to be the opposite? What happens when military foot soldiers come back into society? When someone that must be aggressive on a daily basis needs to pick up the toddler from daycare? Just a curiosity on my part. Hardly a science experiment, but I wonder if it’s as difficult as teaching a compliant personality, like myself, to push her boundaries.
My first tendency may always be to pull my punches. I run into a conflict, so I stop. Well, maybe I’ll wait. Another day would be better. I’ve even thought to myself, maybe it’s just not in the plan. What plan? Whose plan? I have to remind myself that I’m the one in charge of my life. My plan. I must stand back up, dust myself off, and climb back into the saddle. I’ll try again.
To take a snippet from Seth Godin,
Where, precisely, do you go in order to get permission to make a dent in the universe?
The accepted state is to be a cog. The preferred career is to follow the well-worn path, to read the instructions, to do what we’re told. It’s safer that way. Less responsibility. More people to blame.
When someone comes along and says, “not me, I’m going down a different path,” we flinch.
The opening scene of my favorite TV series is chaotic. Burning metal, screaming and crying people. It’s shock and awe at it’s finest. No warning except the brief turbulence and the engines shutting down. The airplane tears in half and crashes on a deserted island. It’s a much more traumatic scene than Gilligan’s Island. The TV series LOST dumps you with the terrified passengers of Oceanic flight 815.
One man, Jack, understands the situation and looks around. He’s cut, sore, and just as shaken as all the rest. But his first reaction tells you who he is. Here’s a paragraph from Wikipedia.
On September 22, 2004, Jack Shephard (Matthew Fox) awakens in the jungle and notices a yellow Labrador retriever darting through the bamboo forest. He runs through the jungle to a beach, where he is confronted by the carnage of the airplane crash of Oceanic Flight 815. Jack, a surgeon, darts from one survivor to the next, administering medical aid. He assists the pregnant Claire Littleton (Emilie de Ravin), enlists Hurley (Jorge Garcia) to watch her, and administers CPR to Rose Henderson (L. Scott Caldwell), saving her life.
When you’re new it’s obvious who’s in charge. Very few try to usurp authority at first. We fit in. We do our job and go home at the end of the day. But what happens when we are all equals? What makes one person, like Jack, take charge and take care of the needs of others? What’s their thoughts at that moment? What emotion spurs them forward while others can’t think? We’d all like to think we’d be the in control, calm person asking for supplies. Truth is there is no way of knowing what you’d do until you get in that situation. An interesting thing happens after the chaos of the first scene of this movie. Everyone, well maybe not everyone, turns on Jack. When the chaos calms and the fear is forgotten people start resenting the authority. In a crisis we look to our leaders as heroes. We want the strong, authoritative person. The military is our knight in shining armor.
Until the dust settles.
It’s not that we didn’t appreciate their help. Quite the opposite. It’s the crisis versus peace dichotomy and our country is in the middle of it. In a crisis we seek authority. Then we want to get on with our lives and left alone. According to conspiracy advocates countries create crisis to control the population. I’m not a total conspiracy geek, but I can see the reasoning. What we need to do as people is to understand why we want authority and how much is enough. I don’t have the all the answers, but it is something I feel we all need to think about. Do we live in a time of crisis or a time of peace? And how will we respond to either? Authority isn’t the enemy or the hero. Sometimes we need a person to step forward and take charge, but they must also be able to graciously step down when the crisis is over.
Do you remember the old televisions from the 1970’s with the picture tube inside? It was before digital, so I’m telling my age. When I was young, we had this television that the picture would start rolling up like the credits on a movie. You’d bang it really hard with your hand on the side to get it to stop. Smack it. Our TV was dented on the side.
A very caveman way of handling a piece of equipment.
Today that wouldn’t work. Our televisions are now electronics, with circuit boards. Hit it like that and you’ll hurt your hand on the hard plastic and knock loose a circuit. Won’t fix anything. You have to know your equipment.
We also had an old Chevy truck. It had a choke that you opened. Just a knob that you pulled out on the dashboard. You pumped the gas pedal to let a bit of fuel into the engine. Then you could start the truck. Oh the joys of vehicles before fuel injection. If you knew your truck, you knew from experience how many times to pump the pedal. If you did too many, you’d flood the engine and have to wait 10 or so minutes for the fuel to trickle out. Too few and the truck wouldn’t start. In these beautiful days of fuel injection there is no worry of this. No chokes to pull. No cranks to turn. Please don’t pump the pedal. Just start your car.
We have to know our equipment.
Whether it’s a car or a television. Know what you’re dealing with. If you have a classic vehicle it will handle differently than a newer sports car or even a normal sedan. You might not break the thing but you won’t be driving it at it’s best. You probably won’t appreciate it for its own beauty.
I would hope you wouldn’t treat a newborn baby like a mostly grown teenage boy. Once when I was teaching 1 to 2-year-old class in a church setting, one of the children came in very distraught. With a red face and tears all pouring out her eyes, she was clinging to her mom. For this little girl it was unusual. Some kids go through this normally but not her. Mom was becoming hysterical herself. She said she didn’t know what to do. That her daughter had started being “rebellious” soon after mom had went back to work. My first thought was Rebellious? The whole thing was so obvious. The girl wanted her mom. Her schedule changed. During the week, she’d been forced (from a child’s perspective) to stay with people she didn’t know and now Mommy was leaving her again. She only wanted the comfortable spot on her mom’s lap. Rebellion requires a much more developed mind than a 2-year-old has. Even the so-called terrible twos are not really rebellion, just checking out where the boundaries are.
If you know what’s normal, it’s easier to know when things are not right. If you know what’s normal for your personality it’s so much easier to help yourself in a difficult time. I was once concerned with being too cocky, too proud. I had it repeated in my formative years that God hates a proud heart. Pride goes before a fall. Me, being the compliant child that I was, tried diligently to not be proud. For a compliant child that meant never bragging or talking about achievements. And loads of guilt for thinking anything positive about myself.
Who of us hasn’t been there? We have to understand who we are. I’m speaking only from my perspective at this time since it’s currently the only one I really know. I realize your perspective is different and I don’t mean at all to leave you out of the conversation. I would like to hear your experience also.
I was sitting on the floor with my favorite yoga lady one day. We were talking about food and books we enjoyed. She remarked that I seemed very Vata-Vata. Basically if you don’t know of the Indian Doshas, Vata is the air-like, ether-like personality. All dreamland and spirituality. My Vata-ness was showing I guess.
I had tried recently and in the past many times to eat lighter. More fruits and raw vegetables. This goes along with the advice of all the super knowledgeable people out there. The diet leaves me cold, physically and mentally. I realize to these experts, lightening up seems right. For me I crave potatoes and cooked carrots. Warm oatmeal with toast and jam. Warm tea. I seldom crave a pop. Occasionally yes it hits the spot but not everyday. Too much activity and caffeine makes my head spin. Energy drinks give me a headache. So when people recommend these things I just nod at them and realize I probably need to do the opposite.
All up in the air.
I often listen to the wrong advice it seems. They recommend that we as people need more spirit. More meditation. So I try. They say we need to visualize. Okay, no problem. Then my head hurts. Suddenly, I understood what my yoga teacher had tried to tell me and what others have said, that I’m wired backward. I need more physical not spiritual training. I’m at home in the temple praying. But take me to the swimming pool or the ski slopes and I’ll run away scared. She said I was all up in here (as she waved her hands in the air). I needed to learn to come back into my body. To live in my body and stay at home there.
So when they say I need to control my anger, I have to pause. Back up and reverse. Me, I tend to hold my tongue too long. I think about everything I say. I think twice or three times about all my silly emails and Facebook posts. Things like holding my tongue? Seriously I really need to speak up more, not less.
So now when you get advice, take it into consideration, but also know your own nature. Is it just adding a gag along with the muzzle? Duct taping over the superglue? Redundant redundancy? Or is it helpful?
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