Hey, welcome back. By the end of this story, I want you to have a little more courage to be assertive. This story is about me, the injustice I've faced, and how I've found a little strength in the Bible to keep pressing on through anxiety, depression and even the valley of the shadow of death.
Ken was four and Ken was mad.
Ken's fat mom was in the kitchen. They were playing charades, and it was Ken's turn. He put his arm straight out and moved it back and forth, no one knew what he was doing. Was he an elephant? An anteater? Alright Ken, what are you? I'm a crocodile!
Now it was mom's turn, she thought for a second and then put her arms straight out to the sides. What are you mom? Are you Jesus? Are you a butterfly? No honey, I'm you.
Ken was mad. And Ken was four.
A four year old is pretty unfiltered when it comes to speaking truth to power. And submission is yet to be formed in the four year olds heart until he absolutely feels powerless to effect his thoughts, ideas and feelings on those around him. To a four year old, a parent is a god. But not yet a god to be avoided.
This young four year old looked at his mother and saw her arms stretched wide saying that she was picturing him, and he felt the only simple answer was that his progenitor was calling him fat. And he wasn't. But she was. So he said it.
"I'm not fat! You are!"
And maybe in any other sane family, being overweight by 80+ pounds would be considered fat, but in this particular family, that was completely insane. Ken's mom retreated into the living room to succor her wounded spirit while Ken's dad verbally unleashed all the anger of a thousand white-knights upon the verbal warrior of an invading army. Yelling, spanking and emotional isolation ensued. Thus began Ken's life of achieving his goals and speaking his truth through manipulation and passive aggressiveness.
Being passive aggressive has gotten me two beautiful girls, a broken family, a church split and several years of depression. But that's okay, I made the decision to be passive aggressive, which means I can now recognize it and move forward practicing assertiveness. So how did I make this journey of self-awareness?
1. What Kept Me Alive? The Law
From the very first moments that I began to wake up to my own darkness, the Law of the Lord kept me from despair. I had memorized hundreds of verses in my life, listened to hundreds of sermons, followed nearly a dozen Biblical apologists and made my own choices in life regarding my spiritual relation to the Law.
I think most people view the Bible as a self-help book, or an inspirational novel, which both of those would absolutely describe portions of the Bible. But to me, the most powerful part of the Bible is the commandments or the Law.
Finding a good provider is hard. There may come a point in your life where you absolutely should see a provider though. I've had decent chances. One provider I visited was absolute shit. She didn't listen well, she was kind of off in the way that she approached me, and her idea of leadership was a bit more domineering than skilled initiation. But I have found in my other provider a sense of competence and peace. Which is important imo.
One of the best things that I have found to date in my journey of self-awareness is a call-in therapist show on Youtube. To be able to listen to others family lives, hear their emotional burdens, and see in them a glimmer of truth is a great form of practicing telling the truth.
It's very difficult to overcome being passive aggressive. I can tell you because I haven't actually fully conquered it yet. I have only started my journey. But being able to role-play in my own mind what I would say to be assertive instead of retreating to manipulation is a great start.
So, where can you start? You could start by asking yourself what you want. It's okay to ask. You do not have to resort to violence to get your way. Life is not that duality. There is a very appropriate place to say what you want. You are free. Ask for what you want, it may feel a little strange at first and you may feel the urge to give into violence, but that is okay. You will not immediately become a violent anarchist by asserting yourself. You can assert yourself. You can tell someone what you want. You can tell your spouse what you want. You can tell your parents what you want. You can tell your friends what you want.
See what happens. Start small if you have to. Tell the bank clerk you want $500... um. Just kidding. Don't do that. You may get arrested. But in every legal way, be assertive. Tell them what you want and go from there. It'll turn out a lot better long term than trying manipulate those around you.
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