Show Your Bristles, Not Your Belly

Alpha males are not accustomed to being called out. That feeling of being vulnerable is something non-alpha females and men know too well. We fear the dark alleys. It already scares us to be accused, which is why we avoid scrutiny.

Pablo Neruda

We sit when we want to stand. We let others speak, and we are screaming inside. Our truths are valuable. They sound flimsy when we say them because they are weak and pale from being underused.

Learn to bristle. Fight back. Resist a little. Say things like, “I’m not sure.” Even better, “I want more out of life.”

We won’t become Alphas, but we don’t need to be anyone’s bitch either.

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It Doesn’t Feel Right

Truth...
Truth… (Photo credit: -Reji)

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.

Integritythe 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.

 Truthsincerity 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.

Keirsley Temperament sorter

No Change

Would I be different if I wasn’t able to change things? I’m a bit spoiled in that most things in my life, I’ve had the ability to change. Sometimes it took persistence and work, but after the sweat and callouses, the job got done. But would I be different if, feel different, or give different advice if I couldn’t change things?

I’m a great believer in not accepting the status quo. If I have a problem, I research and try, try again to fix it. Even with my migraines, which I know aren’t curable, I still try to discover the missing link of why I have migraines. Surely something is wrong with my body.

Maybe I just overlook the things I can’t change. I don’t have a formula on how to decide what can be changed and what can’t but it’s probably not necessary. Let me know what you think.

Things I haven’t been able to change:

  • my gender
  • migraines
  • phobias
  • highly reactive personality
  • physical strength

Here’s an interesting book for my fellow introverts or anyone wanting to understand them. It has a little to do with the subject above, but I learned a lot from it.

Quiet

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Can I Learn to One-Two Punch?

54190-todayquoteimagetoliveby1past 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.

http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2010/10/do-you-need-a-permit.html

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Jargon Gone Stale

monday-quotes-just-do-it-quotes18I compulsively finish tasks. I drive myself to finish and when I can’t finish, it nags at me. It pecks at my brain. I either have to finish it or distract myself. It’s a form of OCD I realize. It bothers me to even say those initials since it seems they are so overused. Do you know it’s in style, even cool, having OCD? I cringe just hearing someone say it. Which reminds me of the phrases that have come and gone some of them more annoying than others:

  • 24/7
  • the means to an end
  • moral support
  • down with that
  • welcome to my world
  • outside the box
  • whole picture
  • compartmentalized

You catch my drift?  The phrase becomes cool and who doesn’t want to be cool. So they use it in all of their sentences and commercials. Advertisers like to represent and connect with consumers, so they gather intel to use the most hip jargon. And then suddenly the phrase or word is annoying. I try to avoid jargon as much as possible, but it has a way of sneaking into our lives. We use it because it’s handy. The catch phrases sum up the sentiment that we are feeling. Until it becomes overused. Today the phrase welcome to my world seems rather rude. As if your world is much more difficult and challenging than mine. So if the impulse is there to say such a thing, I usually stop and say nothing. Or listen to their tale of distress.

Is jargon something you use? When do you like it, if ever? Maybe in a light moment? Or to say you belong in a group? A lot of times you can use jargon to bluff your way into a group, but that only works for a time. You’d better learn real information soon if you really want to belong. When I was first married I went to the nearest auto service to get my car’s oil changed. My husband told me beforehand to use the phrase LOF for Lube, Oil, and Filter. He said they’d think I knew more about auto mechanics, since usually being a woman is a sure flag for scamming. Who still needs the Lube in Lube, Oil and Filter Service? (LOF)

Sometimes tricks like these help others to understand you. You speak the language. If you’ve bought a new computer lately How to Speak Geek: Decoding Programmer Jargon or tried to talk with a doctor, you might know what I mean. Doctors will talk about tests that they need like SAT, MRI, CBC, Lipids, PSA. The puzzled look on your face sometimes will stop them, other times you have to remind them that they are speaking a different language.

Do we stop and think about what we are doing or do we just do what we feel compelled to do? I try to catch myself, to rephrase and use real language. What I say should have meaning behind it. And what I do should also. I’m not a shallow person and there’s always a sense that I’m missing the mark when I don’t speak or act with the intention or my goal in mind. Anyway, whatever. Carry on.

Piecrust Promise

English: Screenshot from the trailer for the f...
English: Screenshot from the trailer for the film Mary Poppins (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Well what did you expect to happen?

There’s something both wonderful and  scary about expectations. It’s just a dream, a wish in your mind. It floats there taunting you and teasing you making you believe it could happen. It really could. The rainbow’s end and the sunbeam through the window. Like the kitten that is chasing the flashlight beam, we crouch and then pounce. After a while of chasing after the illusive dreams we become cynical if our hopes have been out of reach for too long. We hear of people who have put their hands into the heavy pot of gold. Surely it’s real. Right? What about true love? Is it as false as the Easter Bunny?

I get aggravated when I’m watching a television show and the character – who is definitely in charge – instructs everyone to trust him. Just trust me. I’ll handle this. And it’s always in the high crisis moments and you can tell that he/she expects everyone to blindly follow his sage advice. I cry foul!

I want to know which direction we are going. Yes, it’s scary and potentially deadly, but just let me know. I might want to just jump out of the moving train. Especially if it’s heading for the cliff. Trust me. I won’t let anything happen to you. It reminds me of the chivalrous days. The knight on the white horse shows up at just the right moment,  last desperation. He saves the day. The damsel in distress prettily wipes her brow. She knew he’d be there to save her. She expected it. She trusted him with her life.

What kind of game is this? Do you walk out to the edge just to see if they will save you? What did you expect to happen? Would the town be saved and the big scary monster die a bloody death, then we’d all live happily ever after? No more bad things?

If you’ve been around me any time at all, you know that I love a  good drama.  Movies, books, around a campfire, I don’t care. I want to get lost in the drama. But life is not a movie. It’s not a game that we can play and get to reenter at our last saved spot. There’s no pause or no rewind. We would all like to rewind. And there were some moments that I would love to have just lingered in the euphoria.

I’m probably looking at this whole process wrong. It’s possible I am missing a key ingredient. If I’ve missed something, feel free to email me or leave a comment. I do want to see this all through clear eyes. Are there those you can just blindly trust? Is that a realistic expectation? What about expectations? Can we blindly walk towards the rainbow without looking for the cliff? How do you follow your dreams? Do you keep your expectations in check or  let them run wild? I don’t know if I have all the answers now. I want to hear what you say.

A little further on….

I love it when movies do a funny twist. You know what I mean? You might have watched a movie or two like that. The usual story is going along and poof! The story line took a sudden turn. The Sting is one of the older ones, starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford.  And did you expect The Sixth Sense? But I guess we should have. The little boy kept

Cover of "The Sixth Sense (Collector's Ed...
Cover via Amazon

saying “I see dead people.” If you haven’t seen it, well now you must.

The expectations we hate the most are the ones that leave you flat lined  You’re walking along, maybe taking in your groceries, like I was doing one afternoon, then boom, you’re face down on the ground. Speechless. You just lay there for momentarily, your lip bloodied. How did that happen? And even, what just happened? It’s the unexpected phone call in the middle of the night. Your daughter was in a car crash. You need to come to the hospital right away. The look on the doctor’s face. You know the surgery didn’t go well. the call from your boss telling you there’s not enough work for you. Can you clear out your desk? These are the moments that you’d like to fast forward through. Not at all a Hallmark moment.

What do these moments have in common? Interrupted expectations. You got ready for work and expected to do project A and make a few phone calls. Life happens. Doesn’t it. There’s no way to plan or foresee any of the events. Some wonderful and some not so much.

I read in Psychology Today  that our anger and disappointment comes from your unfulfilled expectations. You can read about it here Psychology Today. I expect traffic to flow smoothly. I expect good weather. I expect for my children to go to bed without a fuss. So when I’m angry at the creeping car driving in front of me, it is because I expected it to flow at my pace. That’s an unrealistic expectation.

So do I expect anything out of myself? If I lower my expectations about life then I will always be happy, right? I think that would be a pretty pathetic way to live. Low expectations are worthless. My way, I let my dreams float up there in the ether of my mind. Yes, I’m blonde. They are like beautiful butterflies. Not all dreams are flights of fancy though. Growing up is real. Going to college is believable. You can put some feet to your dream of a good paying job, writing a book, and  traveling to Europe.

So what makes a dream or a promise just a pie crust promise? Can you take a step towards it? An action you can make? Dreams are wonderful. There are those that I really do trust. You cannot help unexpected events. And you surely can’t stop traffic on the freeway on Monday morning. What’s a girl to do? Dream.

See also: Burnside Writers Your Wonderful Powerful Imperfect Story