The Power of Insisting
Some things I just don’t care about – many things, actually. I don’t feel especially passionate about animals (their welfare or treatment). I don’t sit up at night worrying about tax reform. I spend 0% of my time considering the ways to make water safer to drink. And those are pretty important things. Just imagine the number of more mundane things I care very little about. Jelly or jam? Either is fine. Thin crust or pan crust? Both are tasty. City or suburbs? You pick. Up or down? Left or right? Front or back? Doesn’t matter to me.
In most of my relationships, I usually let the other person take the lead on decisions that affect my life in nominal ways. If someone has a strong preference or a preference at all for one thing or another, I’m good with it. I’m passive. Life is short, and I don’t care enough to disagree.
There are, however, one or two or twenty things that I insist on. The things that I insist on, that I won’t let slide, that I fight for are all things I’ve decided are important enough to risk the headache of an argument or even the loss of a friend. They are not things that I woke up one day caring about. They are things that have come to me after spending a little time with myself, considering what matters and why it matters. They are things that have come to me while talking to God on my many futile missions to understand existence, to understand life. I feel myself being a bit melodramatic here but stay with me. I’m not saying I’m the deepest sista on the planet or that I spend enough time with God to really be telling anyone else how to live. I have given this stuff some thought though.
My upbringing, my faith, and my natural temperament sort of combined to make these things important: kindness, humility, respect, physical wellness, faith, ambition/passion/purpose, and love.
So, I insist on behaviors that align with these principles. Not in every situation or at all times. No. I’m not that disciplined. But regularly. I insist on it from others and from myself because I’ve learned that people (including myself) will treat me the way I allow myself to be treated. People will act the way they want around me as long as I allow it.
Any of my friends or colleagues could wear zebra print shoes with a red and white pint stripped blazer and a yellow dress. Would I care? Ok now I might care a little because . . . zebra print with all them colors and patterns? Stop it. I wouldn’t care deeply though. I wouldn’t care because it’s not a thing that triggers one of my fundamental principles. None of my friends or colleagues could be unnecessarily unkind to someone else in my presence while wearing that ensemble though. I may not insist on a matching shoe/blazer/dress combo, but I do insist on kindness. I would not allow anything different.
And do you know what usually happens when I insist on something? I get it. It’s almost as simple as that. When I know what I’m worth, know that something is right, know that something else is wrong and I insist on the thing that adheres to my principles, I get it. Kindness comes to me, and I am kind. Respect comes to me, and I respect. Purpose comes to me, and I seek purpose. I give love, I receive love, and I am love.
It means I lose things too. I lose people. I lose opportunities. I may even lose money. But in losing those things, I lose inconsideration, pride, disrespect, unhealthiness, and a host of other things I don’t want. I’m not mature enough or strong enough or cool enough to be unbothered when I lose things. I’m not there yet. Sometimes I lose a person who meant something to me. Sometimes I lose the title I really wanted or the money I thought I deserved. And it hurts me. What usually happens is that, in time, the hurt goes away and I’m left with peace. I don’t want to romanticize it. I mean, when it hurts, it hurts! I cry. I beg. I walk around looking all pitiful. I question God. I’m a mess. Then, after a while it just doesn’t hurt anymore and I’m left content. I sleep easy. I don’t worry. I’m not afraid. (Just thinking about this makes me want to lay out in the floor and wail. Thank you Fathaaaaa!)
Insist on the right things, and I promise you will have them. Insist on marriage. Insist on equal pay. Insist on exercise and good nutrition. Insist on standing by your word. Insist on dependability and accountability. Insist on them for yourself and from yourself.
If they are not given to you, insist on leaving.