Do you read helpful books, go to church, solicit feedback from colleagues or friends? Do you journal, do you avoid certain situations? Do you have no bad trait? Do you ignore it or just think of it as an aberrance that doesn't capture the real you?
This is on my mind a lot this week, and I also wonder if we even can know our bad trait/traits. It may be something we're not aware of - for if we are aware of it, we try to fix it. It's those pesky quirks, those little tics that we don't even see - those top the list of "bad" traits.
I, for one, can be mean. I can be mean without thinking, in the name of honesty. Sometimes, I am busting through denial, and I don't consider that mean. It isn't "I'm just sayin'!" but it is that I won't sit quietly by a person I care for, as they hurt themselves or others with unneeded mental gymnastics. When my honesty is done right, it sees right to the heart of a thing -- which is vulnerable and scary, and which can look like mean to the ego, but isn't.
On the other hand, at times it IS mean. And while I've sometimes been bewildered about when, it also can fly right out and I want to push it all back in; too late. So in an effort to go beyond apologizing for meanness (with sincerity, and that itself is an ongoing lesson/struggle), I am thinking of ending every other evening with a series of questions, where "it" stands for a thing I expressed an opinion about, a thing I spent time thinking of, a thing I let affect my actions that day:
- Does it affect my life?
- Does it affect someone I love?
- Was my opinion solicited about it?
- Was I trying to influence change?
- Was I deeply in the moment when listening/discussing it?
- Can I be honest about my biases in regards to it? Once I can, is it emotionally safe for me to share those first and THEN get to the heart of it?
- Why do I care about it? (Because maybe I shouldn't.)
And a cursory examination of these questions and some lingering "it" items of the past week reveals that 7 out of 10 are things I have no dern good reason for carin' about. So that shortens the list - yay! But the other 3 linger.