Tag Archive | idealist

Idealism and Radical Acceptance: Where the rubber meets the road

I’ve mentioned before that I am a tried and true, dyed n the wool, Meyers-Briggs tested, idealist. This changes being an idealist from what I am to it being who I am. There is a big difference. There are any naturally happy, optimistic, people who try to find the positive is most situations, but these happy-go-lucky folks are not true idealists. They don’t ache to the bones over injustices in the world, and they seem to come to terms with “Life isn’t fair,” pretty easily.

A real idealist, like me, will rail against injustice, and will wage an almost constant internal battle trying to wrap their heads around life not being fair. I know I sure did, and sometimes I still do. I do not innately get mean, unkind, vengeful, and just plain nasty. When I hear it, or see it, it always makes me wince, and causes some deep pain, even if the person hurt isn’t me, or someone I love. I’d greatly prefer not to even know some of these more ugly emotions exist in the people I know, but they do and I somehow manage to love them anyway 😉

 

However, in the last few years, something has changed within me. I am not fighting life anymore, and life has not been a cakewalk in the last few years. What changed? I made some pretty important decisions. I decided that I deserved happiness and love and all good things just as much as anyone else. I decided that I am more than good enough just as I am, and I decided to be me as fully as possible, not allowing others to attempt to recreate me in their own image. At the same time, I decided not to try to change others into something they were not. I decided that I’d had enough of shame, and that my life was too full for mean people, and negative people, and for people who hurt me without a second thought. I decided that life was as good as I made it, and most importantly, I decided that, no matter what, everything was going to be okay.

 

All of these decisions just happened to coincide with my 50th birthday, which was also the day I left my abusive husband with only a child and a dufflebag of clothing. Basically, I decided to be happy, and to take full responsibility for that happiness. That this all happened when I was homeless, facing a prison term, and with my sister’s husband dying seemed to amaze most everyone. My own counselor at the time once said, “I don’t know how you do it. You keep going, and you keep smiling, and you seem happy.” It was true. I was happy. Then she said, “Radical acceptance. That’s what it is. That’s what you’ve got going on.” That was the first time that I had heard the term “radical acceptance,” but yes, wrap all of my decisions into a big ball and that is what you get—radical acceptance, of life, and others, and of circumstances, but most importantly, of myself.

 

I cannot even begin to describe the freedom I feel every day now, and I felt that freedom even when I was in prison. In fact, I believe that one of the reasons that God wanted me in prison was so that I would realize that I had really been in prison all of my life. At first, others built the prison walls, and I just stayed put, and then it became an entrenched way of survival and life long after the initial wall builders were gone. I didn’t put myself into that prison, but it was my job to break myself out, and I did just that, finally freeing that poor, wounded, little girl for good, while I was in an actual concrete and steel prison. There is a certain irony in gaining true freedom while in prison…

 

I love my life and my life is good, but my life is messy as hell. It’s never been neat and tidy and I have no reason to expect that to change, but I don’t care. What I have within that messy life fraught with circumstances that would crush other is love, and joy, and freedom to be me—messy, happy, mostly peaceful me.  I have God and my integrity, and I have found that’s all that I really need.

 

The people in my life, with their neat lives, stand back in wonder and amazement. The people in my life love me dearly, and there are a lot of them. They love me messy, and happy, and real, and me. That’s radical acceptance on their part and it’s pretty darned cool. I think they even learn a little from me.

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Am I still an idealist? You bet I am, but I know how, and where, to channel that energy now. I have big plans for the future, and I know where changes need to be made in the world. I will continue to grow, but now that I am free, and I radically accept me, I am not going back to any form of prison again.

A God given right to lie….

The other afternoon, my 20 year old son and I were discussing my ex, the sociopath.  From now on he will simply be referred to as the sociopath.  Anyway, if you did not already know, sociopaths lie.  They lie about everything, including things that are blatantly lies to everyone around them that has caught onto them.  The fact that I didn’t catch onto the sociopath sooner is something that I am still working through.

The discussion topic was the sociopath’s girlfriend, who he claims is not his girlfriend, but merely a coworker, who he lives with, and takes everywhere he goes, including family functions, like Thanksgiving, Christmas, and birthday celebrations.  I have known he had someone for about two years now, and I could not care less.  What bothers me, and my 7 year old son, is that he lies about it when it’s so obvious.  Seriously, we are divorced, and anything or anyone that takes his sights off me me if fully approved by me.  I’d like to warn her, but I know just about how far that would go, so…

As I vented to my son about my frustration at the sociopath’s lying about something so obvious–I mean he keeps his clothes in her room, but sleeps with my son on the couch when my son is there–I don’t for a minute think that he sleeps on the couch when my son is not there–but I digress.  Vent I did until my son said, “It’s his God given right to lie. We all know the truth, don’t we? So, he can lie all he wants.”  This simple comment I one I am still mulling over in my mind—the concept of a God given right to lie.  “But, lying is wrong, and it looks so bad to your brother,” I countered.  Yes, my son agreed fully, but apparently, that does not diminish the God given right to lie.

As Dr. House says, “Everyone lies,” and I know that’s true.  But I am an idealist to the core—a Meyers-Briggs tested and retested, less than 2% of the population, INFJ idealist and so it has been a lifelong challenge for me to wrap my head around concepts that others find so very simply.  Take fairness, for example.  I think that the first words out of my mother’s mouth after my birth were, “I love you.  Life isn’t fair.”  She repeated those words many, many times as I grew up and yet I never believed her.  Life should be fair!  People should tell the truth!  If you are a good person, then that should be enough!  I have mentally and emotionally worn myself out over the years battling, inwardly and outwardly, with these concepts that everyone else seems to inherently just “get.”

And so, in the last two days, as I have thought and rethought the God given right to lie concept, I have had to accept it as true.  God gave us all free will and what we do with that will is our choice.  To me, lying is wrong.  To the sociopath, lying is all part of a day’s work.  I have to accept that the sociopath does have a God given right to lie, and in that there is a certain freedom from needing to try to continue to change him.  This is between him and God.  Period, full stop.  How I react to it, and what I teach my son about it is between me and God.  That he is without integrity is none of my business anymore, unless it begins to affect me or my son.  This also, I guess, makes it his God give right to be miserable, angry, and vengeful, and that is none of my business, either.  That’s between him and God, too.

What a relief!  It’s not my job anymore to fix him.  It never was my job, though I certainly did make it mine.  Whether he believes in God, as I do, or not, God still love him, and watches him, and any of his behavior falls into God’s providence, not mine.  Oh, thank God!  I can truly let go now and hopefully forgive!  Amen to that!