Peace is better than chocolate

If it were easy, they would call it something else.

So um, yeah…This is not one of my favorite blogs to write. Because it involves admitting that I have been behaving badly. Like an asshole even…

See, I have this job. And where I work there is a specific culture. And in this specific culture, people are allowed to behave badly. They are allowed to throw pens at people’s heads. They are allowed to belittle each other. They are allowed to shame and humiliate each other. They are allowed to take credit for things they do not do. And blame people for things they should be taking responsibility for. They are allowed actively harass and abuse people. To get under their skin to the point that they quit. To actually try to get people to quit. They are allowed to act out and throw temper tantrums and be jerks. And then, when they are done, so everybody can continue to do their jobs, everybody just pretends that this bullsh*t never happened. *whistle whistle whistle* Nothing going on here, Why do you ask?

It’s also particularly difficult for me because when I was in New York as a babysitter, my job was to teach people how to grow up to not be like this. My job was to show young humans how to deal with difficult emotions and situations with honesty, compassion and grace. To teach them that as people, they would sometimes be hurt, angry, jealous, unhappy, cranky, and a whole host of other things that are uncomfortable for the person feeling them, and for the people around them. But that it was possible to honor those emotions without lashing out at people. And even that it was ok to lash out at others occasionally. The point was to know that it was not your “right.” That it was not justified. That when you did something unkind, and behaved in a way that was unacceptable, you took responsibility for it. That you mended that relationship.

When I first started this job, I felt very much above the pettiness. I could see it, but I had a sort of kindergarten teacher aura about me. I simpered and nodded and for the most part ignored anything that was not directed at me. And parried the blows that were directed at me.

But as time goes on, the more I feel myself becoming part of the culture. Taking part in the gossip. Yelling at my co-worker. Snapping at my boyfriend. (This is the hardest one to deal with. This is the one that scares me the most. That I’m going to become an old fishwife. And stop being the kind of woman I want to be in a relationship with the man I love.)

And then I have this fear of being the kind of person I want to be within the culture of my job. I am afraid of getting eaten alive. Because the people I work with would not see this as honor and integrity. They would see it as weakness. And I might be the next one who was tortured until I quit. Or perhaps my boyfriend would be that next one.

If you are wondering what this has to do with food addiction, the answer is that this is the kind of thing I used to eat over. Yes, being treated badly. And a constant, underlying fear of the next “episode.” But more, I ate over being an asshole. I ate over all of the things I did and said that made me ashamed of myself.

I don’t know what to do about this situation. I have a commitment to not quit right now. To give it more time. I will continue to do my best to be a good person. And to find peace in myself around my life and my job. And to behave in a way that I can live with. And if I behave in a way I cannot live with, I will do something about it that does not involve eating sugar or breaking my food boundaries.

But the thought I want to end with today is that I need to remember that I am growing. As a person who wants to live a life of honor and integrity. As a person who wants to live in the solution. As a person who wants to be a part of the solution. And that growing is not easy or obvious. And I will most certainly not be graceful at it. If I were already good at it, I would not be growing.


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One thought on “If it were easy, they would call it something else.

  1. “And that growing is not easy or obvious.”

    “… to deal with difficult emotions with honesty, compassion and grace.”

    Kate, you keep providing chapters for that textbook on life I never got. I’m struck right now by the “hit” — the high — that lashing out can produce. Sure seems like fun in the moment, doesn’t it? And it’s so easy to just let go and relax into the behavior. So, that energy it takes to keep integrity afloat is what I need. To sit back is to regress. There’s a spiritual sister who talks about how the swan looks so graceful above the water, when, in fact, she’s peddling furiously below the surface.

    I pray to be willing to pedal, and thank you for this wonderful reminder of the effort it takes to be a decent person — it’s hard work, but we’re worth it.

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