PlazaJen: Passion Knit

Thursday, May 24, 2007

What "IN" Can You Throw Out?

I've had a burgeoning thought the past day or so, and it really clicked together last night before I went to sleep. We (peeps in general) spend an inordinate amount of energy on things - things that aren't worth the energy. Some of this behavior is inevitable. Part of it is simply human nature. Another part of it is our past learning that trains us to respond, react, fret, worry, get angry. I started thinking about the words that I associate with fruitlessly expending time and energy: Insecurity, Intolerance, Indignant, Inferiority, Indecisive, Inconsiderate. There are also a bunch of "In" words that are positive, inspirational, as it were: Insightful, Interesting, Independence, Integrity, Intellectual.

Insecurity is a huge one, and it's not something I think is realistic to say, "Today? I throw away Insecurity." Obviously it can be managed, and that's what I'm talking about - recognizing when some energy-sucking behavior rears its ugly head, and instead of letting it drive the bus, we put it back in its cage. For me, it's Indignant. I spend a :lot: of time being indignant. Hell, half my blog entries about other drivers are derived from righteous indignation. But that's exactly what made it click for me - I had a guy weaving in and out of traffic, cutting me & other drivers off, in general endangering himself and everyone in his path, and instead of screaming at him, I thought, "Wow. I hope he gets a ticket before he kills himself." Now. Lest you think the aliens came to Kansas City and replaced half my brain with oatmeal, don't think I'm going to stop screeching at idiots. Sometimes it's simply therapeutic!

I've had some work situations, where I feel something isn't my job or responsibility to shepherd or be the leader, and I feel indignant. Why should I have to do that? And then the whole debacle with a couple people I thought were my friends - they accused me of doing something, betraying their confidences, and the naked truth is that I simply didn't do it. Fucking scorched earth indignation there. And frankly, I don't take that back. I own my mistakes, I take responsibility for myself completely, and if you accuse me wrongly and say I'm lying and end our friendship over it? Fuck. I feel the indignation surging back through me as I type it out. And that's what I'm talking about. That situation, specifically, no longer deserves any energy. I cannot change it, I will not run around and beg people who show no consideration for my feelings to be my friend and undo the damage they wrought on not only me, but many of my close friends. But when I think about it, it flares. And it's an utter waste of time & energy. So I want to throw it away. When I feel the surge of anger, or defensiveness, or righteousness - all pieces of how I feel indignation, I want to hold up my hand & have it freeze in place. Go no further. Occupy no more time. I can't prevent it from rising, but I can stop myself from letting it wash over me & allowing it minutes on the clock of my life.

It's difficult to do. It's taken me a long time to even see how indignation works against me. I know it's part of my personality, and it's even part of just being human and feeling defensive and coming from a place where you don't feel you deserve a bad driver running you off the road or friends spitting in your face or having to do someone else's job because they are hampered by their own limitations. But being angry, or indulging in the indignation doesn't get you any closer to happiness. People confuse righteousness with happiness a LOT.

There are a ton of other words for emotions & reactions that hold us back and they don't start with "IN". Perhaps the best way to put it is this: What INhibitor to your happiness can you give up, set aside, control better, and instead put that energy towards positive thinking & action?

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posted by PlazaJen, 8:51 AM