Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Passionate and Rebellious

I took a personality test to discern my fascination triggers, and the results were passion and rebellion, meaning, these are the things about me that are most likely to fascinate or engage others. I do think that trust might have surpassed rebellion if I hadn't been biased with the choices that seemed about even. Where I had needed a middle-ground answer, having to choose between slightly more than neutral, and slightly less than neutral, I know I veered away from anything that would imply I was too shy- because I'm not; I'm just often a quiet listener since I don't need the spotlight, and this gets mistaken for "shy."

But anyway, I'll go with this here. Passion and Rebellion.

A couple years ago, I did a different personality test, and one of the questions was, "How passionate are you?" It left me at a loss. I mean, there's more than one meaning for "passionate," right? I mean, I am passionate for sure about social issues:

I want to live in a world where no child is abused (huge issue), and a world where all people have the opportunity to meet their needs such as food, clothing, medical care, etc (we can make them work/volunteer for it, that's fine, but then we need to make sure they can work for it). I want to live in a society that is less individualistic and materialistic, and more social- I mean, why don't I know the majority of my neighbors?... Well, at least I do have a core group of friends that I know and try to encourage.... I am passionate about these things.

I am passionate about the juvenile justice system- it should be more rehabilitation-based than punishment-based.... for that matter, criminal justice as a whole needs to improve on the rehabilitation so that we don't keep sending people back. I am also passionate about wanting people to know who my God is, so they can choose wisely, rather than based on stereotypes of Christianity and inaccurate understandings of what the Bible actually says.

And I am passionate about helping people with developmental disabilities. People with Autism, Down's Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, etc. have potential. Real potential. And if our society cared more, we would improve our programs to help. Many of them dream of having jobs- and they just need help to find the right one, or to get to and from work, or to be trained more thoroughly. Many dream of having their own homes- maybe with their own staff to help them- meaning they don't want to live in group homes under a schedule set by the staff in charge of them, which is based on what will work for everyone (ie: Scott wants to go to the Christmas party, but Patty is too tired because of the meds she takes at dinner, and there aren't enough staff to split the group so sorry, again, Scott, maybe next year).... yes, I'm passionate.

But what about the other sense of the word? Was I passionate, as in, relationally? Well, how was I to know? I don't have the experience.... But since then I've been more alert to the word. Now, I'm coming to believe that passionate people are passionate all-the-way around.

In the last couple years, I've built some good friendships- with the kind of friends that hang out outside of the context of where you originally met (ie: school, work, church); the kind of friends that remember to ask how a certain situation is going; the kind of friends that accept you even though it is quite clear that you are imperfect- and maybe even a little unstable :-)

Well, I'm starting to see that it is a matter of passion, that makes me stick to my friends. I am fiercely loyal, and if it doesn't show, then I am overcompensating to prevent being pushed away. It is a matter of passion, that draws me to relationships.... friendships, as I said, but I see how that is connected to more serious relationships. I am also romantic at heart. I've known that for ages; and I see now that this too, is connected to passion.

And then there is another side of passion- it is sensual in nature (both, as connected to the "more serious relationships," which was part of my how-am-I-supposed-to-know question, and otherwise). And that, too, is me. I love seeing colors and textures and sound and touch. I am in love with the gorgeous, mystical redwoods. I can take a gazillion photos of wispy clouds, colliding waves, jagged-towering cliffs, and peaceful, colorful prairies with a brook running through. I love standing in the shower with the water pouring over me, and massages, and my warm- fuzzy blanket. I love sitting by a fire at night- the smell of it, and watching the flames dance... for that matter, I love the days where people are cooking on their grills, and the smell permeates the air. I love waking to the sound of birds singing. I love music- drums and horns and violins and.....
Yes, I am Passionate.

So then there is rebellion. My first reaction was to laugh in it's face. Rebellion! Yeah right! Oh.

Okay, so maybe it's true.... actually, yeah! I think it IS true! I'm not the type of rebellious that breaks laws or norms.... unless the law or norm is wrong. Then I'll fight. It kinda goes well with passion.

I am very justice-oriented. If someone treats you or I wrong, I will go all the way to the top to argue it, fight it, demand yours or my rights, tell everyone about it so that the perpetrator doesn't get away with it- whether it's a business, or the law, or another person that wrongs us. Yes, I'll demand until justice gets its way. I don't care about your power- you can be highly respected, or the one with the money, but if what you are doing is hurting someone, I'll put up a fight.

More than that though, I don't care about social norms. Many people probably make the mistake of assuming that I desperately want others to accept me. Truthfully, I would like that very much, but when it comes to cost... I cannot hide who I am. I cannot stand the stifling result of a wearing a mask. What I need is for others to see me for who I am.... or actually, who I strive to be. If I can have this, then if someone doesn't like me, well, it's disappointing but it's their problem. So if you don't like me because I think certain big businesses need to be more socially responsible [yes, they do nice things here and hold them up for us to see so that we can say, "Wow (insert business), you have such high standards!"... but then they use sweatshops and find loopholes in laws to save money]... well, if you don't like me because of what I preach or how I live, then so-be-it. I don't care if all the world disagrees with me (well, actually I do, but only because what you disagree on might exacerbate the problem I'm concerned about, or might be harmful to you), I'm going to live by the standards I believe in.
So yes, I am Rebellious.

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I love comments. It makes me feel like I'm not just talking to a wall, and rids me of the feeling that this time, I said too much, or said something the wrong way.

(I review your comments first, so if you want to say something just to me, just let me know).