This quote is the first time I’ve gone back to an author a second time. I found this quote along with the first Sappho quote I used, but was waiting for a good time to use it. I’ve found this admonition useful this week because I’ve been more restless, irritable, and discontented than usual lately. Nothing particularly bad or grinding; however, I’ve not been “quite right.”
I have to be particularly careful with my words when I’m feeling this way. There are plenty of justifiable reasons for my feelings, and that sense of justification makes my reactions even more unpredictable.
If I’m not mindful of this precarious mental and spiritual state, I become prone to reacting poorly to usually innocuous stimuli. The worst part is that I can justify such inappropriate reactions to myself quite easily — I’m not well, the dog’s run away, the Red Sox lost, etc.
From my recent tag surfing spree, here’s a post from Barry Zweibel on making sure that one’s doghouse doesn’t get too full (here … hat tip: Your Executive Edge here). His first paragraphs set up the story well:
We get mad. We get cranky. We judge. We blame. We put people on ice. Send them to Siberia. Put them in the doghouse. And there they stay, sometimes for a very looooooong time…. So, if you’re thinking that your doghouse needs a room addition this spring, maybe it’s a good time to take stock of who’s in there and when they might be up for parole.
Barry follows with five tips on when to know that it is time to turn the page, open the doghouse gate, etc. My favorite is number five, which warns against righteous indignation taking control of one’s spirit. Justifiable resentments corrode my soul in subtle ways, so I must let go of them as soon as possible because:
- They are justifiable so I am clearly right and someone else is clearly wrong, which is most satisfying to this Myers-Briggs INFJ or INTJ (more on that transformation in a future post, but I am still a strong “J,” for sure).
- They can be replayed again and again with more-than-perfect fidelity (I seem to have a kind of Dolby noise reduction that eliminates the noise of my part in the matter).
- They let someone or something live in my head and heart…rent-free no less.
Finally, I’m reminded of a version of the St. Francis Prayer that opposes vices with virtues very neatly — error vs. truth, despair vs. hope, hatred vs. love — save for one vice. Wrong is to be countered, not by right, but by the spirit of forgiveness.
Filed under: Leadership, People Development, Skills vs. competencies | Tagged: 11th Step, anger, Barry Zweibel, forgiveness, in the doghouse, Myers-Briggs, resentments, St. Francis, St. Francis prayer | 3 Comments »