Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Why should I change when he's the one who sucks?


The other night I was doing that thing where you chop vegetables super forcefully while semi-scowling so that you can indicate your irritation about a situation without actually saying anything, thus enabling you to gloat internally about your admirable ability to suffer in silence while still notifying, and hopefully a little bit punishing, the perpetrator of your frustration.


The perpetrator of your frustration.
Because clearly frustration, annoyance, anger- these things are foisted upon me by others.  If I had it my way, I'd be nothing but encouragement, delight, and peace!  Naturally.  So there I am, being all the Good Things, when someone has the audacity to waltz in with their imperfections and shortcomings and make me be the Bad Things.

Commence chopping obnoxiously.  Or worse.   

Often worse.

But as I crashed around the kitchen this time, waiting for my vindication to swoop in and wrap me in its clammy comfort, a tiny whisper of an inkling said to me "but what can YOU do?".  That's when I realized that I had been thinking about, meditating on, all the things that the other ought to say and do and be.  The things I wish so-and-so would just realize.  The things they could do to make me behave better.



 A feeling of interior peace is from God. Relying on the temperament and actions of others, temperaments and actions that I cannot ever have control over, to dictate my mood and behavior, leads to a perpetual state of immobility and interior conflict. That interior conflict... it is not from God. 

Waiting for others to change so that I can finally be the kind of person I wish I were not only ensures my continued failure, it's also a bang-up recipe for some delicious Resentment Soup.  Instead of joyfully progressing down my path, I'm busy wallowing in the absolute unfairness of being saddled, by association, with the awful qualities of others that people should totally not even be allowed to have.  If only they would change!  Then I could finally be happy!

You guys, that's a pretty craptastic way to go through life, don't you think?  Because living that way will result in, wait for it, never being happy.  Well played, Beelzebub.  Well played.

Sometimes I'm right and the other person is wrong.  Sometimes I'm not.  Either way, the only behavior I ever have full control over, ever ever ever, is my own. Full stop. 

I love being encouraging, delighted, and at peace.  So I will be.



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36 comments :

  1. Awesome thoughts and something I've been trying (albeit wimpily) to work on...

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  2. This is why I truly believe some people's ministry is blogging. You go around hearing soundbytes and looking at clever memes about "being the change you want to see", and pretty soon it just fades into the background noise. You don't hear it anymore, you don't see it anymore, and you certainly don't think to put it into practice.

    Then someone comes along and writes about it sincerely and amusingly and without jamming it down your throat, and all of the sudden you go, "Hey! I've heard this before! And it's really smart teaching!" and, thanks to the blog post, you put on your big girl panties and resolve to put it into practice in your own life again.

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    1. Also, + 80 for the Office Space reference

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  3. "That interior conflict... it is not from God." What a great mantra to whisper in the heat these moments. Full stop indeed. Nicely written, Dwija! And I have way too many big girl panties in my underwear drawer these days, maybe I should start wearing them, too. :)

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  4. Oh I needed this today. I had a similar evening last night.

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  5. I needed to hear this today. *stomps off to go work on own imperfections, even though she doesn't want to*

    P.S.It's ok to drink coffee before I start working on imperfections, correct? I think Jesus said that.

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  6. Sometimes I just swallow it because it's not worth it to be miserable.

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  7. thanks for the wisdom and the funny.

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  8. So clanking/chipping dishes around means I'm trying to make a point that has nothing to do with my hatred of dishes? You may be right. You sound right. Gah, stop being right Dwija.

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  9. I don't want to be a grown up, it's a trap! Seriously, you only hurt yourself, you will feel better once you give it up, and being a better you means better all around. Why is that so darn difficult! I am more of a pain to myself than anyone else when I act like a child... time to step it up and probably just laugh a little more.

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  10. You chop vegetables loudly, I put dishes away loudly. Other than that difference, that was pretty much my Sunday morning. After talking to the "offender" about the situation, I came to realize that he thought he was doing me a favor by starting the kitchen clean-up, and I was angry because he didn't stick around to help finish it. And if I had simply spoken up instead of banging around the cabinets, things would have gone much more smoothly. For some reason, this is a lesson I have to learn OVER AND OVER AND OVER.

    Thanks for sharing. You really nailed it!

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  11. Really, I have no idea what you're talking about.

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  12. The screen on my laptop has a reminder for me every single time i turn it on.
    "My response is my responsibility"

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  13. Oh gosh I do that too but with washing up or cleaning things. And I seethe in silence as I crash around. Then I might be terse. Sometimes they Just. Don't. Get it.

    I did realise the other day, though, that having to manage so much without support means I'm getting more capable at doing it...it's a small silver lining I guess.

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    1. I don't have lack of support to blame! My husband and friends are truly an amazing and holy. I am just a selfish baby sometimes and my passive aggressive responses never have and never will bring joy to my family. It is in my power to create that joy and I know I'm being called to work harder at it :)

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  14. God bless you, Dwija. This was just what I needed to hear today. Back to varying the light the I've been given, not the heavy one I make for myself.

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  15. God bless you, Dwija. This was just what I needed to hear today. Back to varying the light the I've been given, not the heavy one I make for myself.

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  16. "Carrying the light the I've been given, not the heavy one I make for myself." LOVE THAT!

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  17. It's just like we say to our kids, "your brother/sister can't make YOU a bad sibling or a good sibling -- only YOU can do that!".

    Now, if only I could successfully convince myself that it's not the kids making me a terrible mother... ;)

    Thanks, Dwija!

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  18. This reminds me of Al-Anon, a support group for people affected by someone else's alcoholism. It took about ten years before I had an insight that allowed me to REALLY get it when they talk about "what other people think/say about me is none of my business or responsibility." I do the passive aggressive "what is wrong with my husband that he leaves a full, dirty load of dishes sitting in the dishwasher, rather than hitting two buttons?" scowl all the time. But my real struggle is sort of a variation on this. I like to get upset that other people are unfair to me (and honestly, my family is so dysfunctional I may not be able to maintain much of a relationship down the road), rather than seeing that is something that falls outside my jursidiction. I can't control that my sister gossips and my mom judges and whatnot. I can only control whether or not I live my own life graciously, regardless of the lack of praise forthcoming for doing so.

    You're awesome. Thank you!

    Also, did I miss some big announcement about not being able to type in our name/URL, and having to sign into an account of sorts? It's driving me nuts. :/

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    1. I'm so sorry I had to disable anonymous comments! The spambots were going nuts and blogger wasn't catching any of them. Maybe in a few months I can try again? Hopefully?

      Thank you for your sweet comment :)

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  19. So good...and so hard at times. Def working on this.

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  20. the catchy title caught my eye, and I'm glad I read it. so true, and so hard sometimes :)

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  21. I've been battling this one big time. Turns out moving across the country can be somewhat stressful! Who knew?! But right about the time Roman started sleeping through the night, I stopped throwing temper tantrums. Not sure I'm anywhere close to my halo. But definitely pointed in the right direction!

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  22. Resentment Soup! Oh, man, I have cooked and slurped up waaaaaaay too much of that. I'm trying to eat more healthful food these days!

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  23. Oh man, I'm so guilty of this. And I don't know where we all learn this passive-aggressive behavior... Is it a desire for martyrdom, self-mortification, something that we *think* will make us holier because we are SUFFERING BY GOLLY, but in fact just makes us and those around us miserable?

    I'm hoping I can get rid of it enough that the kids don't start it! One of me is bad enough...

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  24. So, so true. And good for me to be reminded of today. I've been riddled with anxiety and fear these past few days about the impending (hopefully in the next week!) birth of my 5th child. I've done this 4 times before. I kept wondering where this was coming from. And just last night, realized that it was a spiritual attack. I have been allowing the Enemy to rob me of my joy and anticipation and replace it with anxiety and fear. Boo hiss! Thanks for the reminder and encouragement!

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  25. I just want to read every comment but AH! it's bedtime (past...like, potential cranky momma...) anyway. Dweej, you spring chicken, you hit the nail *BING!* on the head! Thanks Girl! It's so so freeing to live in the green pastures of forgiveness...enjoy!

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  26. Totally convicting. So true, but so hard.

    I've heard it said this way, "People and situations don't determine my behavior, they just provide opportunities to reveal what's already in my heart."

    Thanks for sharing.

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  27. But... That's hard. Being annoyed is SO much easier.

    Seriously, though, good stuff and something that I will be thinking about.

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  28. I'm filing this post under the category: Things That Make You Go Hm.

    Nice!

    Also, I am assuming that you were chopping broccoli.

    And, we're here. We're living at my parents. As soon as we get moved into our house unseen, I am coming to get you!

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  29. Catching up on some of your posts, and I really needed to hear this today. Thanks so much!

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  30. "Relying on the temperament and actions of others, temperaments and actions that I cannot ever have control over, to dictate my mood and behavior, leads to a perpetual state of immobility and interior conflict."
    I feel it so deeply right now. I was strolling through past posts and this is just what I needed to read. Thank you for that (I'm just a catholic girl who complains a lot, trust so little and loves reading catholics blogs, not a stalker, don't worry hehehe)

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