Over the last cou­ple of years, I’ve been slow­ly learn­ing how accep­tance is a method of con­trol. In this case, my def­i­n­i­tion of accep­tance is the abil­i­ty to rec­og­nize your own lim­i­ta­tions and be hon­est about what that means in life. I want to say that this skill is an old per­son­’s virtue, but that is only because I have begun to under­stand it as an old person.

For­get what you know about satan; the word ety­mo­log­i­cal­ly sig­ni­fies any adver­sary. There are many paths to God, but the Chris­t­ian method is through sub­mis­sion to Jesus Christ. To not sub­mit is to become satan.

I have been think­ing about what meth­ods of growth work for peo­ple. I’ve been using a con­tin­u­um of coop­er­a­tion and com­pe­ti­tion as my mea­sure. Some learn and grow and thrive by work­ing with oth­ers, while some learn and grow and thrive by work­ing against oth­ers. We each have bits and pieces of both.

I am a great team play­er. Super-coop­er­a­tive. But I am also very anti-author­i­tar­i­an. I will work with a team tire­less­ly, but I do not rec­og­nize author­i­ty. I val­ue com­pe­tent lead­er­ship, but on an indi­vid­ual basis. 

The best way to get me to not do some­thing is to tell me that I’m expect­ed to do it. I am astound­ed at the num­ber of peo­ple who have known me inti­mate­ly over the years and have been unable to real­ize that telling me “you’ll do x” basi­cal­ly cer­ti­fies that I won’t do what­ev­er ‘x’ is.

My engage­ment with reli­gion has been adver­sar­i­al ever since I left the nest. I am not a sheep, I am a goat. And while Abra­ham­ic reli­gions demand sub­mis­sion, I do not think a God that is Love would lim­it the paths by which one can know him. So I fight belief tooth and nail, but I do not not believe.

There’s still a wild gulf of uncer­tain­ty. Am I invent­ing all of this just to ratio­nal­ize my irra­tional­i­ty? It does­n’t mat­ter, I’ve accept­ed my nature.

I fell in love a lit­tle last night and walked right out with­out doing any­thing about it. I have accept­ed the ease that it hap­pens now, too. Just as I’ve always been mouthy, there have always been cer­tain peo­ple who can hook me with­out even putting a line in the water.

I’ve been my own adver­sary, refus­ing to accept the author­i­ty of my nature. Coop­er­at­ing with it has been going much more smoothly.