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Character, struggle, and self-respect

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"A good character is the best tombstone. Those who loved you and were helped by you will remember you when forget-me-nots have withered. Carve your name on hearts, not on marble." ~Charles H. Spurgeon

2013 has been a year characterized by struggle. I think the struggle comes from not wanting to "take it anymore" and finding what's really acceptable for myself, but not really knowing how. I want to share some of what I have learned.

I used to think it was okay to give and give and let others take, hoping it would be returned to me. There's a difference in being walked with and walked on.
You sacrifice everything for some one- you give up a part of who you are to find something new for yourself and your journey on the earth. You work hard, only to be shoved to the side, tossed around like a hot potato.

All along you're told "It's okay." "This is how it's supposed to be." Each and every failure on the part of the project and the person running it causes you to lose a part of yourself. But you keep going, because you get caught in the lie you tell yourself that getting beat up is the rite of passage in getting ahead in this world.

Finally I realized that none of it is at all acceptable. It's not acceptable to be pushed around, and belittled. It's not acceptable to work a job where you aren't paid nearly enough-or at all. When you allow others to treat you as you don't deserve to be you're not only doing a disservice to yourself, you're doing a disservice to the people who do believe in you. Every time you're treated less than human, less than intelligent, less than valuable by an employer, a friend, or a lover you are giving up a part of yourself for their negative manipulation. No, life isn't a conspiracy theory. It goes back to what we're taught when we're four years old- the whole "good touch" "bad touch" thing. If you're feeling that a situation is wrong it probably is. If you're promised a puppy or candy, or other "benefits" you probably should jump the hell out of that vehicle and run, because otherwise you're cruising to get hurt.

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