Thursday, April 15, 2010

Defending Myself

One thing I learned through my marriage was how to defend myself. I used to sit and cry quietly like a victim. Being with an alcoholic, you have to learn how to fight and stand up for yourself.

But I have also reflected that while I am glad that I learned this skill, it doesn't always suit me.

There was a verse from Isaiah 30 that I always liked growing up - "In quietness and confidence shall be your strength." I think there is a lot of truth to this.

My father and my grandfather rarely get angry or argue. I can remember one time seeing my grandfather enraged, and that was when my sister and I had disobeyed him and did something very dangerous around the water.

My grandmother would nitpick at my grandpa all the time and it would just roll right off him. He would just smile, sometimes giving me a quick wink when she wasn't looking.

I remember once, when I went to court to get a stalking order against a man who had harassed me for nearly a year, at one point breaking my front door down to get into my house - both the stalker and my grandfather arrived at court early. He walked up to my grandpa and asked, "Do you think I am a bad man?"

My grandpa simply looked at him with a smile and said, "Well, I guess we'll see."

After hours of awkward testimony, we broke for lunch. We were all at the elevator, waiting to get on. That was the second time in my life I saw my dad lose his temper. He was about to go in after the stalker. My grandfather simply held my dad back by the seat of his pants, saying nothing. My dad cooled.

What I have learned from both of them is that arguing and anger benefits no one. Most people - and most things for that matter - are just not worth it.

Fight when you need to for what you really believe in - but let the rest go.

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