Thursday, March 31, 2011

Rebel in control of my own life

A couple of years ago or so, Matt and I had an epiphany that we really shouldn't care what others think of us. We didn't decide that to go against the grain. We simply came to the realization that we are relatively 'normal' adults, making the best decision(s) we can, and there is no way to please everyone all the time with our decisions, actions or opinions.

While that seems like a healthy way to go about your life, there is always this lingering uncomfort because it seems we aren't able to make decisions for our own lives and family without being labeled as 'rebellious' or 'nonconforming'. And, to be honest, we both are still in the healing process (one of us a bit deeper in the healing process than the other) from a situation where we were labeled as problematic because we didn't conform.

Let me be blunt. I sooooooo dislike conformity for the sake of conformity and comfort. I am an adult, and, whether it is acceptable or not (especially because I am a woman, ey-em), I have a brain and I prefer to use it to make decisions and not to merely follow those in my life like a well-loved dog.

I ran across this list today while blog-surfing. It is a list that Virginia Satir, a family therapist, developed for her clients that were struggling with addictive patterns or codependency issues, and while my own personal situation has nothing to do with addiction, this list is paramount in leading a healthy adult life, and it is crucial for children, especially teenagers, to grasp (for the codependency and addiction issues, especially). 

1. I do not have to feel guilty just because someone else does not like what I do, say, think, or feel.
2. It is OK for me to feel angry and to express it in responsible ways.
3. I do not have to assume full responsibility for making decisions, particularly where others share responsibility for making the decision.
4. I have the right to say, "I don't know."
5. I have the right to say "No," without feeling guilty.
6. I have the right to say "I don't understand," without feeling stupid.
7. I do not have to apologize or give reasons when I say "No."
8. I have the right to ask others to do things for me.
9. I have the right to refuse requests which others make of me.
10. I have the right to tell others when I think they are manipulating, conning or treating me unfairly.
11. I have the right to refuse additional responsibilities without feeling guilty.
12. I have the right to { respectfully }  tell others when their behavior annoys me. ( ' Respectfully ' added by AW )
13. I do not have to compromise my personal integrity.
14. I have the right to make mistakes and to be responsible for them; I have the right to be wrong.
15. I do not have to be liked, admired, or respected by everyone for everything I do.

From toddlers to grandparents, from supervisors to pastors.... We all like and enjoy control. After all, when control is involved, there is always something at stake.

For those of you that like to control others, there are a few items on that list that likely jumped out at you. For those of you that seem to always be controlled by others, in one way or another, there were likely many that caught your attention.  

#7, #10, #11 and #15 hit home for me. Who am I kidding... there were many more, but I figured I would narrow it to four.

What about you?  

1 comment:

  1. Great list! I may "have the right to { respectfully } tell others when their behavior annoys me", but I don't usually have the guts. Working on a lot of these...