Perhaps the worst thing that my ears will ever hear is someone telling me, “You can’t do that.”
Whether they mean that I am not able to do that, or whether they mean that I shouldn’t do that, either way, it gets under my craw and I react. Sometimes moderately. Sometimes I explode.
I’m not talking about lawlessness. I’m talking about limitations. I’m talking about staying within someone else’s traditional thinking. It irks me to no end for someone to try to shackle me with a social boundary or an accepted behavior that I ought to abide by.
That’s not me.
My challenge with that character trait, is remembering that not everyone accepts my motivations, my goals or knows what my sensitive spots are. I must remember that my reaction to their attempts to influence my behavior needs to be tempered too. They mean well. They attempt to protect or guard me. I have to be objective when I want to shut down. I evaluate and I discount what is meaningless.
However, I must be considerate of their norms and standards too. When I react or lash out, sometimes I counter punch with a knockout blow before we even have a chance to debate the issue. Keeping my emotions down isn’t easy in this area. Maybe because I’m lacking the skills to define my reaction at the time. It takes maximum concentration and intention for me to move through it. I hate being told that I can’t do something. Hate it!
I have fought that all of my life. If someone told me that I can’t do something, I’ve always reacted to it. These days, I still react, but I’m trying to move through it faster and not harm those around me when they say it.
I’m not talking about stepping outside of the law. I’m talking about staying locked in traditions. Or being told to accept an injustice. Or someone telling me, or telling someone else for that matter, that they can’t do that. Bullshit!
My mindset is: You can do ANYTHING you put your mind to doing. I can do anything that I set my mind to doing. Some of it by using my own powers. Some by tapping into the power from the Lord above. But I can. And I do.
There have been things in my life where I’ve done that. I’ve heard people tell me things that I shouldn’t do. Warnings to prevent injury. Warnings not to break social barriers. Warnings not to rock the boat. I respect good advice. I abhor attempts to confine me.
Things people have told me that I can’t or shouldn’t do include:
Skydive for over 2 years ( with a young family)
Experimenting with drugs (in High School)
Hiking the Grand Canyon (down and back up in the same day)
Rebuilding broken relationships (be at peace with ALL mankind)
Cover most of the Lewis and Clark trail ( on foot and in canoe)
Jump from the top of a telephone pole in a ‘trust’ fall
Stay single. Stay married.
Learn to dance at age 50 and perform before an audience
Tithe at my church
Build my own house
Have close friends of the opposite sex
Become a photographer, computer programmer, low handicap golfer, Bible scholar, write a book
Learn to play a new musical instrument – like the saxophone
Enter a 12 Step program (stay sober and practice celibacy for a year)
Become a career Air Traffic Controller and supervisor with all its mental and physical stress pressures.
Eat THAT food
Listen to THAT music
Hang out with THOSE people
And on and on.
Whether it’s issues of the mind, or the soul, or of the physical body, do not tell me I can’t do something that I dream of. It’ll only make me want to do it more. I’ll be tempted to push you aside so you don’t get in the way of me moving past you.
The Marines say it best: Lead, Follow, or get the Hell out of the way!
You stay in your little comfort zone. I’m moving on.
Sorry. Somebody hit a nerve and I’m still coming down off the ceiling.