Dark Matter In Space and Life(coda) ~ Early Moring Thoughts

As I had talked about “I” messages, and mentioned the use of what I was calling “directed” questions to try and effect change in someone ~ what I had not counted on was someone taking far more direct action. I had written that SE chose to believe that 1) things would always work against whatever was wanted, 2) that nothing could/would go the way they wanted and 3) anger is/was the only way to deal with the what was happening.

Earlier in the day SE had decided to “put someone in their place.” Unfortunately, the person being “put in place” made a very quick decision that was not something they were going to tolerate. SE had a very abrupt realization that there could be pain attached to taking anger out on someone ~ very abrupt and very painful.

You will not be punished for your anger, you will be punished by your anger.
–Buddha

Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.
–Buddha

I have spent a long time with SE today, which limited my on-line time. However, I can say – there was a positive result of it all, and I’ll return to the topic tomorrow night. (And SE has agreed that outside help is needed with the issues ~ which is one of the major results I wanted.)

Dark Matter In Space And Life ~ Early Morning Thoughts

During the last three weeks, I have been dealing with something that has begun to really wear on me. There is someone that I have come to care/be concerned about very deeply that has made/is making choices that could possibly tear their life apart even more than it already is. This caused me to go back over a couple of posts that I did earlier about self-fulfilling prophecy and choices (I am a self-fulfilling prophecy and self-fulfilling anger).

Once again, there are quotes that laced those posts:

You will not be punished for your anger, you will be punished by your anger.
–Buddha

Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.
–Buddha

This person chose/chooses to believe that 1) things would always work against them, 2) that nothing could/would go their way and 3) anger is/was the only way to deal with the what was happening.

This is NOT saying that anger doesn’t have purpose and uses. When anger is held onto, nurtured and allowed to color everything, that it can override what is actually going on in life. Someone once compared our emotions to an investment. They can either pay dividends or they can be held onto until they become a liability causing a drain of all that can be healthy. And, unfortunately, holding on to that kind of anger hurts rather than helps. It can become not only foolish, but actually self-destructive.

Anger, someone once said, is valuable only as a short-term investment. It’s value sharply decreases the long it’s held onto. It also consumes a tremendous amount of energy – physical, emotional and spiritual.

However, here is where I’m standing at the moment. Exactly how can someone be told what the bitter anger, resentments and “persecution” is doing to them and to those around. How can you show someone – who can not see the examples around them – that things can and should be different.

—more on this tomorrow

–Blue Anger – http://www.jamiehulleyartsfund.org/art/blue.htm

Digging Deeper Into Integrity ~ Early Morning Thoughts

As I’ve thought about integrity and honesty. I realized that I have to order what I consider to be my core values – and it’s no accident that I should list integrity first (by the way, that’s where the Air Force Academy places it). Integrity for me, is where all my other values will fall or stand. Without integrity my reasons for doing anything can justifiably be questioned – and doubted. Without integrity my personal quest of excellence also comes under a cloud.

Some time ago, I read that integrity is the willingness to do what’s right even when no one is looking. Without someone around, I may feel it acceptable to do whatever I want, how I want – without any concern about consequence. Of course, there still are consequences for actions – but the result might not be all that public, at first. But – as some major leaders have discovered, failure to have integrity in private can be exposed in public. But, to hold onto my values – no matter what the situation, is integrity in action.

But this also isn’t a full definition of integrity. If I turn again to the dictionary: “uncompromising adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty.” As I’ve said before, integrity defined this way is controlling. It implies following standards set by only by others. This also leads to the acrimonious discussions of almost any subject currently being debated. Even between people who should be somewhat in agreement, the arguments become almost self-serving and divisive. It implies that whatever I hold absolute, everyone else should. And without going into detail, we call can think of serious incidents, decisions and problems that have resulted in situations that never should have happened. Or, shouldn’t have happened the way they did if people were working in TRUE integrity.

An addition to the definition could be “the state of being whole and your true self”. Which could mean – standing against the “crowd” to hold onto what I believe to be right. So, going back to the comment above – integrity is not only doing what’s right when no one is looking, but doing what’s right when other people are watching.

My reactions have to be based on what is true, not fantasy, and I have to make commitments based on my vision or purpose. In short, my life has to be aligned with the big picture. Being responsible is handling whatever comes along and making adjustments so problems don’t repeat themselves. Responsibility and integrity is not about blame.

Far more difficult than knowing what is right is doing what is right. Doing the right thing is not always easy, but it is always right.
–George S. May (founder of the May Company)

This quote gets at the real meaning of integrity. When doing right thing starts to be in conflict with the easy way, or is at “odds” with “the way we’ve always done it,” is when our integrity is confronted. My integrity is really called upon when doing the “right thing” makes me subject to criticism, ridicule, or second guessing.

But it struck me, that this kind of integrity is extremely personal. I do not have to require MY integrity of someone else – only that they follow their integrity.

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.
-Martin Luther King, Jr.

Core values on paper are nice, but without putting those values into action they are nothing more than words. Dr. King’s quote highlights the purpose of having core values, which is to use those values to shape my decisions and actions. And because of the “big picture” I avoid the my-way-only type of reaction or decisions.

more to come on this


I’m grateful for a friend explaining
the Air Force Academy code

"But They Made Me…"(continued) ~ Early Morning Thoughts

Little did I know when I posted early Sunday morning that I would have a couple of personal experiences to use for this post. I was to spend the day with D&D – a simple brunch, visiting an (overpriced) antique shop, and perhaps a not-so-gentle libation to complete the day.

D&D provided a delightful brunch and we headed off to window shop the antiques. The shop was packed with much to see – and a few things to try and avoid. My knees are not in the greatest shape, so the ability to sit down occasionally is regarded as a blessing. The chairs that were NOT for sitting had delightful piles of “stuff” on them. After having been wandering around (and suppressing gasps at some of the prices), I noticed two chairs of the fairly sturdy kind along a division. As I lowered myself into the chair, the arm literally snapped off in my hand. There is nothing like sitting in an antique chair with the antique arm off the chair and now in my antique hand.

No one made any derogatory comments concerning the incident – but it roiled inside me. I walked outside and thought about what had occurred and my reaction to it. Of course there was the embarrassment and no small amount to shame – but what really surprised me were the old “tapes” that began to instantly play in my head. Reminders of what had occurred before, and what words had been ingrained in me…that I thought I had replaced over time.

The words we live with can become something quite serious – The word CAN become the “thing.” When I would hear the word “clumsy” I allowed that word to become the thing (me) and therefore I was clumsy. When the joke used to be made that I could trip on the seam of linoleum, I allowed those words to become the thing (me) and began to feel that everything I did had to live up to that label. By allowing the word to become the thing, I unconsciously began to look to incidents that backed up my feeling. Of course, the word was NOT the thing, but to me it was. By attaching power to words, I gave that word control. That control drove what I did, felt and created.

Words are not the thing they represent. What they are ~ representations of something. When I was growing up I became clumsy because I felt that word was what I WAS. What was happening; I had mapped out a territory and I was following the map.

Here’s a fun party game (especially after a couple of drinks!). Hand your guests a piece of paper and have them map out in detail how to get from where they are sitting to their cars. They have to map out direction, the number of steps, the doors to open (and how those doors open), etc.. They give their map to someone else to follow exactly as written. (it helps to have a prize, by the way.) So if the map says “6 steps to the 1st door” and the steps actually require 10 steps, the map is invalid.

When I took on the “map of clumsiness” as my personal territory, I kept running into parts of the map that were completely inaccurate. Of course, it was easier to blame the territory rather than the map. It became easy to place the blame externally rather than looking inwardly to see what needed to be changed.

After posting Sunday night, I decided that I needed to fix my browser bookmarks. I’m not even going to admit how many there were/are. As I was moving and eliminating, with one keystroke, I completely eliminated a valuable (to me) collection of places. While my reaction included some very unprintable and in a couple of cases physically impossible reactions – it also included some chuckling. In the past, an incident such as this would have completed the map I had of my territory. I would have used words such as “idiot,” “dummy,” and others. They would not have been just an indication of irritation (!?), but would have been an indication of just how I felt about myself. It would not have been an unfortunate “goof,” it would have settled to me what I was, and how I felt about myself. My innacurate map would have matched the territory – and to me the territory would have been safe and complete.

more on this tomorrow

Watch your thoughts, for they become words.
Choose your words, for they become actions.
Understand your actions, for they become habits.
Study your habits, for they will become your character.
Develop your character, for it becomes your destiny.
–Anonymous