I Am Not a Good Person

DECEMBER 18, 2017

Early in 2017, I invited a person into my life. I really want to do right by this person; provide them with love and understanding. I genuinely believed I was doing the right thing. I was a good person after all.

It didn’t take long for this person to start sharing stories with me. Stories that honestly, sounded really evil. I would say these behaviors were up there with selling drugs to children. And interestingly enough, this person would end all of their stories with, “I mean, I’m still a good person.”

It totally threw me for a loop. How on earth could this person, this very very selfish person, consider themselves good?

I pondered on that for many months until this person’s behaviors were targeted at me. I felt unsafe, unloved, and disrespected. So….I had to cut off the relationships with this person.

(I know I’m being vague, and I’m very sorry, you know I normally like to lay it all out there)

Flash forward to today, December 2017. I’m exercising in my basement and naturally, paying very little attention to my form or the upsettingly dirty floor on which I was planking. Instead, I was fixated on this person-who-can-not-be-named. And how this person wants nothing to do with me. By all accounts (from this person) I genuinely suck for cutting them out. And as I wrestled with the hurt, I consoled myself with “Even though they don’t think so, I’m still a good person.”

Cue screeching noise.

But what if I’m not a good person? There are lots of people out there who do really terrible things. People leave their children, rob gas stations, and fail to use their turn signal. I’m sure these people would consider themselves “good.” At their core at least.

As I explore this concept of “good,” I’ve arrived at a few conclusions:

No one is inherently good. If we were, fighting our natural impulses would be a whole lot easier. In fact, if we were truly good, our natural impulses would be a lot less self-seeking and would hurt fewer people.
What we deem “good,” is highly subjective. It takes us back to the whole, “If a father steals of loaf of bread for his starving family, did he really commit a crime?” And the answer is still yes, by the way. But it isn’t easy to punish. This guy was just trying to do what he thought was good. It’s good to take care of your family. It’s good to protect yourself and others, but it’s not uncommon for your needs to overlap with another’s.
“I’m a good person,” creates a dangerous status-quo. If we do something shitty, and we console our guilty conscious by cooing, “I’m still a good person,” all we’re doing is training our brains to associate selfish behaviors with good behaviors. It doesn’t take long for those small transgression to compound into leaving your wife for another woman. You’re still “good” after all.
Republicans think they are good. Democrats think they’re good. Yet, somehow they hate each other for being evil. Someone explain that, please.
What do we get for being “good?” Really, nothing. We just create a respite from feeling like the self-serving assholes we are.

Ok so, let’s not travel much further into how “un-good,” we are.

“We can go back to our roots as a loved, worthy, and free human being.”

Instead, I want to replace good with worthy. Or loved. These are things bad decisions can’t take away from us. Let’s pause and really think about that. That can’t be taken away from us. I do believe we are all born with those qualities. Granted, that particular belief comes from a deeply rooted belief in Jesus Christ, but I’m sure we can all agree we are deserving of love.

In addition, we are all free. Free to make our own decisions and build our own lives. We can spend every day seeking out good behaviors and not beating ourselves up if we make a misstep. We can go back to our roots as a loved, worthy, and free human being.

We are worthy of love and free to choose it. But we’re also free to be jerks to everyone we meet. Still worthy of love and self-respect but still a jerk. Murderers, you are not good people, no matter how you try to reason it out. Drug dealers, I don’t care if you need the money, you aren’t making the world a better place. Eighth grade girl commenting on YouTube, you aren’t still a good person after tearing down a girl from school trying to make it big. Even after you throw a surprise party for a homeless man and his baby, I can guarantee you still aren’t good.

Worthy of love, absolutely. Good, hell no.

This person, who-shall-not-be-named, is still worthy of love. And is still free to choose love. But I am also free to choose the shit I will and will not take from others. So no, I’m not a “good,” person. I’m still seeking to protect myself in lieu of maintaining a toxic relationship.*

Inherently, we’re all pretty shitty, so let’s stop lying about it, wallowing in self-pity, or judging others because of it. We are, however, unshakably worthy, loved, and free. And I don’t know about you, but I’d choose that over “good” any day.

Amen.

*Creating boundaries isn’t selfish, but it can seem so to the people running into them*

All the Reasons My Husband Didn’t Marry Me

All the Reasons My Husband Didn’t Marry Me

DECEMBER 14, 2016

I know, I know. The headline makes little to no sense. But let me explain.

This morning, husband and I had a bit of a spat. E.g. he was mad over something I thought was dumb, and I was trying not to laugh, while he was kindly withholding  anger I could see behind his eyes. But I digress.

As we were working through the complexities of how I didn’t switch out the laundry (therefore we had to rewash some towels..ahhh marriage), I said the single most insightful thing I think I’ve ever said to date. “Babe, you didn’t marry me for my attention to detail.”

And just like that, everything came crashing into perspective for about 5 minutes.

Before something else grabbed my attention.

But think about that. Husband and I married each other for a lot of habits, predispositions, and quirky proclivities, BUT after the wedding, we find ourselves wanting those other things we forgot to check off the list. Come with me as we explore all the things husband forgot to ask for during our vows.

1. Attention to detail

Lord, come quickly this is my achilles heel. I have zero attention to detail. Ten bucks says you’ve already found a grammatical or spelling error in the post. I just cant be bothered to pay attention. Recently, my lack of attention to detail cost us big. Like HUGE.

So alas, husband is forced to bite his tongue, while I leave dirty spoons on the counter and old food in the fridge. Also when I tiled a shower… OOPS 17 CROOKED TILES IN A ROW.

These are not the things for which he signed up. But the good news is, he forwent all the little things in exchange for something big.

I’m so ADVENTUROUS. Like anytime of day (except for after 10 and before 6) I’m down to do something fun. New projects? Let’s do it. Trip to Iceland? I already planned it, albeit, not well. You will never find me hesitant to jump head first or worrying about the details. I’m in it to win it and details won’t keep me from running with it. Problems are just another adventure.

FURTHER UP AND FURTHER IN!

2. Patience

I normally finish off big fights with the olhub by reminding him he knew I wasn’t patient when we got married. In fact, I was the one who offered to move the wedding up five months. I don’t care for waiting for things that I know I want. I am capable of waiting a reasonable amount of time, but put me in traffic and I’ll lose my damn mind.

“I’m not scared of the unknown because I know the destination of my life.”

However, I have the strongest moral compass of anyone I know. I’m a little flighty on the small stuff, but I never, ever deviate from what I know to be true. I fight for justice and face confrontation head on. I’m not scared of the unknown because I know the destination for my life. I don’t shy away from conflict because I know my relationships will weather the storm. I know what matters and I focus on those things. Yes, I worry about money, but when things get tight, I always find myself more grateful for my husband, home, and friends.

But I’d like some money now, please, thanks.

3. Empathy
No, I am not a robot. Yes, I feel feelings and care about people. But overall, if someone else is crying, I won’t automatically cry along with them. If someone is broken into a million pieces, I just kinda sit there and look at them. Sometimes I can’t read a room. Sometimes I say inappropriate things. I struggle feeling what others are feeling.

Interestingly enough, I am capable of empathy, I just don’t find it particularly useful. It gets in the way. It honestly becomes rather selfish to make someone else’s feelings your problem. While it has its place in all relationships, it’s just a tool I don’t find myself using often. For some, it’s unsettling. Everyone in the room could be crying and I’m just like wow that’s sad.

 

And on the flip side, it makes me a fabulous friend in times of crisis. It makes me a fantastic wife and rock-solid confidant. When I don’t feel what you’re feeling, I’m free to think clearly and logically. I can watch you cry and use my headspace to sympathize, care for you, and find solutions without feeling burdened. So, you had a traumatic childhood with lots of abuse and have terrifying stories to tell? Let’s dig in, it won’t bother me. Cry your eyes out my friend, this is about your feelings not mine. And if you need my empathy, please ask me to turn it on. In fact, I might just ask you straight out of the gate “Do you want solutions, sympathy, or do you want me to sit in this hole with you for a while?”

It’s a choose your own adventure sort of thing.

So I lean into my strengths while accommodating my weaknesses. If you want to rise up from a problem and kick some ass, let’s talk. If you want to try something new or scary, let’s roll bitch. And if you want to do all of the above right this very minute, even better.

So, to my dear husband, thank you for loving me and all the things that came along with the wedding ring. But realistically, I should be saying you’re welcome, because this article makes me sound pretty awesome.

So you are welcome for all this joy I bring into your life.

Kisses.

 

Copyright © 2016 Sarah Jo Crawford. All rights reserved.

The Bipolar Entrepreneur

The Bipolar Entrepreneur

DECEMBER 2, 2017

 

I’ve been feeling really sorry for myself lately. Being an entrepreneur is hard. Being Bipolar is hard. Being both is just stupid.

So I’ve been throwing several pity parties. Nightly bouts of crying and whining about how much my life sucks and how no one else’s life sucks as much as mine. Some would call it “Bitching,” but I prefer “creative complaining.”

You see, being Bipolar means life has severe ups and downs. Being an entrepreneur means waking up every morning questioning every decision you’ve ever made. Just kidding, being an entrepreneur means overcoming challenges and remaining confident in the face of instability.

Ahh, instability. My favorite foe. My frienemy. My Jim Halpert to my Dwight Schrute.

On one hand, by little Bipolar brain is all about instability. The waves feel familiar. When I’m up and business is going well, it’s EXCITING AND INVIGORATING AND OMG THERE ARE SO MANY OPPORTUNITIES WHAT WILL COME NEXT WHAT IS BEHIND THAT DOOR WHAT AM I DOING SORRY I’M YELLING. And when I’m down and my business is tanking, it’s exhausting….overwhelming…discouraging… scary…and icky.

I match my environment. I feel the depressive feelings when things are depressive and happy feelings when things are happy. Granted, it’s a bit extreme, but the ups and downs of entrepreneurship fit my personality like a glove.

On the other hand, my darling manic-depressive demeanor despises instability. It’s desperately searching for equilibrium and my fluctuating business will not allow for such things. I get momentarily reprieves for about a day or so when things seem like they may be ok, but then something is on fire and I’m on fire and everyone is on fire and this actually hell oh lord save me.

So how do I handle it?

  1. I don’t.

What a list, wow, so much advice.

Here’s the point. I don’t handle it. I can’t handle it. Instead, I have to create space for it. I throw down anchors for when a wave is about to crash. I grit my teeth knowing the eventual smooth waters will seem just as endless as the current storm. I hold on to what I know to be true.

 

“I throw down anchors for when a wave is about to crash.”

I am an adventurous spirit intended for rough waters. I can see the shore but I choose to sail away. All of this is my choice. Pursuing a risky career and acknowledging my Bipolar is my choice.

I could very easily ignore the call of the wild and box up my mental health problems. It would be easy and it would make sense. And you know what? It would also be easier to explain. It would be easier to talk about.

So yes, I feel sorry for myself. And yes, I admire my choices and my strength. So yes, I’m throwing pity parties, because you know what? Parties are fun. And if I’m going to deal with all this crap, then I might as well enjoy myself.

Copyright © 2016 Sarah Jo Crawford. All rights reserved.

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Copyright © 2016 Sarah Jo Crawford. All rights reserved.

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