Sit Ubu, Sit

“Don’t fight the test” is a figure of speech I tell myself when I need to back off.

Years ago, when studying for the National Mental Health Counseling Examination, I kept running into answers with which I disagreed. Whenever I encountered one, I’d jump out of my chair, storm into my supervisor’s office, and share how angry I felt at the test’s creators for their ambiguity and non-sensical answers.

“Don’t fight the test” was his advice that finally stuck. And during the process, I learned the anger I felt was simply another obstacle to my passing.

I’m quick to call out this behavior in myself today.

Especially when I feel like something is unjust or unfair. So when it happens, I try to bring it to someone I trust to gauge the validity of my reaction.

Like earlier, when I called my girlfriend, she talked me down. “Reread it. Are they being combative?” My eyes scanned the email and rechecked it. “No, they’re not,” I said, lowering my tail between my legs upon realizing the error and that my defensive reaction was for not.

But that’s the point. I’m learning! However strong the reactions are, instead of acting on them, I’m creating space, utilizing my phone-a-friend option, and then acting according to my values.

How ’bout that! ? You can teach an old dog new tricks!

Love, Jaclynn

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