PITA's, by the way, are a handy acronym we've come up with at work. It stands for "Pain In The A**"
And "butt" is absolutely not the word in your vocabulary at these times, but I am trying to keep it PG-13 rated, even if I'm approaching this issue from an angle that no pastor, psychologist, therapist, or other any other type of spiritual leader or mental health professional would ever endorse. But, as I often say, reality isn't pretty and sometimes, it's downright obscene. The dirty truth I'm dealing with in this entry is that we all have a dark side, and life does have a way of bringing it out. I think it's best to acknowledge it. In fact, I think the key to making your way through the PITA's of life is to understand your dark side and know how to deal with it.
Yes, we know that there's a right way and a wrong way to do things. We know we should be patient and knowing that doing what's right will always win in the long run. But sometimes, you have to get aggresive, and this is where that elusive "dark side" comes in. If you are being taken for granted, walked all over, mistreated, used, or abused then you've come to that time to get wicked and it's absolutely right to step out and be aggresive. This can be a very hard thing, especially for Christians, because people assume that we're supposed to be meek and mild and take whatever life and the world throws at us. People expect us to stay quiet because they assume it's sinful to get angry, but the truth is that this is a handy excuse for them to use to justify treating us badly. They don't remember that Jesus turned over moneychangers tables outside the temple (I think that's awesome, by the way.) They say "oh, the Bible says 'in your anger, do not sin,' but misinterpret that to mean it's a sin to be angry (even though it clearly says not to sin in anger, which removes anger as justification for sin and doesn't make anger the sin). They stereotype us as lambs and forget there are lions in the kingdom too. So when they run across somebody like me, they're shocked when I say "fine you wanna play, let's play" and I turn into a holy terror.
Yes, I said it. I can be a holy terror when I'm angry. The problem is not a matter of retaliation. It's actually an issue of me being mischievous. I'm a writer, and a writer with a bachelor's degree in psychology too so I do strategize how I deal with PITA's. For example, did you know that when most people get ticked off at you, they treat you in ways that irritate the hell out of them? A person that loves to be the center of attention will stop speaking to you and cut you off. A person that hates confrontation will be passive aggresive and will stab you in the back. A person that's a prideful bigshot will cause a scene or confront you. But I don't do that. I watch people to find what annoys them most and then I do it. I think it's part of a mischievous streak, really. What's really amusing is when I find some little thing that irritates the hell out of somebody and I do it, over and over again, and they're getting really mad but they're afraid to say anything because they know it will make them look stupid but it's wearing them thin. For example, I knew someone once that didn't like to leave a place until it was spic and span and everything was in it's place. So I'd go in while they were in the bathroom before leaving and leave a pile of mail on the table, or forward them an email when I heard keys jingle. They'd grumble and everybody else would say "what's the big deal? There's always tomorrow to do it. Don't worry about it."
I know, doing things like this wasn't right and my motives were terrible, but the point was made in a very powerful way. People came to appreciate the "do unto others" commandment with a new appreciation when they pissed me off. Just ask the salesman that tried to grab me leaving the grocery store a few months ago. I fended him off, he yelled at me to "not be like that," and, well, I unloaded on him. My husband went back to the store 10 minutes later to have his own words with this gentleman and he was gone. The guy tried to make a scene on me and I screamed right back at him about not being out there harassing customers and grabbing people. Then I complained to the manager and the main headquarters. Well heck, he wanted to play big and make a scene, so I took him on.
And, of course, you all remember the entry that opened this series about the false allegation that someone made at my previous job about shredding documents. I shut that one down in a minute. They said they had to protect the complaintant, I said I had to protect myself and I would be seeing an attorney now, and that was all she wrote.
People often ask me if I feel bad about acting this way. Sometimes I do, but the simple fact of the matter for me, and for everybody else in such situations, is that it boils down to motives. It is always wrong to attack people in any way, shape or form and you are 100% justified in defending yourself. If your motives are defense and setting things right, as in my false accusations thing above, that wasn't wrong. Neither was my reaction to the salesman, because folks, I have my CWP, I WAS packing, and if he got his hands on me then I could have easily argued that I felt threatened because I perceived it as a physical attack, especially since I told him "no thanks" when I came in. I chose to attempt a non-physical resolution to the matter. He may not agree, but he only left with his pride hurt that day. It could have been a very ugly situation if I hadn't chosen to use discernment and good, common sense in the situation. Just look at the Zimmerman case in Florida.
Now messing up the person's office - ok, that was wrong. That was all about she was always trying to put me down, so I struck back by irritating her. My motives there were not right and I repent, even if it was funny.
So the secret to my dark side is out. I'm trying to channel my tendencies toward mischief and outright irritation to the PITA's of the world the right way, but, well, it's a work in progress.
The point of this entry is that you can't deny you have a dark side, because every human being does. We can only take so much and if we're pushed too far, well, it's time to get wicked. Just try to make sure you at least get wicked with right motives. I know that sounds completely counterintuitive, but it's right. Sometimes the truth and what's right seems wrong. It takes discernment to know the difference - and that's a good lead into the next entry.
That's all for today. Happy Friday to you tomorrow. In closing, I'd like to share a video of my favorite song by one of my favorite bands here. It just feels appropriate for this entry, and these times and people in life. Enjoy!