Some of the points that were made I wanted to draw attention to because the points they made were incredibly important.
He talks about being accused of not being a team player. We talked about how when he was in the Army he could trust his team with his life but the "teams" here he can't even trust with his cigarettes. Those are days he has his anxiety/panic attacks. Thankfully those are decreasing since we have started dating (together about 4 months now). I know it sounds cliche but it is reassuring for him that I support his decisions and understand that with the training he has had, the situations he has been in, and his own personality he is going to react to things differently than other people. That doesn't mean I use kid gloves, it means that when either of us feel we are in the right and are following our hearts we will stand up for what we want/feel is right.
Yet, the question remains: what kind of life can I, being so black and white about everything, expect to have if I can't operate in shades of grey? If I knew for certain, I would say - but I don't. All I know is that I am not going to apologize for being true to my code. It does mean that I need to find a different line of work, though. It has become abundantly clear that I can't operate in a corporate or service setting without it slowly causing the deterioration of my physical and mental health. With that in mind, I am currently evaluating my options for future career options - careers in settings/industries that accommodate my needs.
Amen, Max. The lack of honor in today's world is crushingly depressing to me, and I haven't gone through your experiences. You might want to read the stoic philosopher Marcus Aurelius -- what do we have left but our honor and the quiet knowledge we are doing what is right.
If you mean soldier/philosopher, Roman General Marcus Aurelius, one of his teachings has been at the core of my identity for a long time:
"Meum Pactum Dictum" - My Word is My Bond
It is something that he described as at the core of what makes a military leader worth following. He said that leaders who lived this philosophy commanded the respect and undying loyalty of the men who served under his banner. He said it was also the measure of a politician.
What he terms as 'quiet knowledge' is what we call nowadays 'keeping your own council'.
That is something a man of honor is forced to do when he finds the world he lives in isn't worthy of judging his character.
"You have power over your own mind - not outside events. Realize this and you will find strength."
"The happiness of your life depends on the quality of your thoughts: therefore, guard accordingly, and take care that you entertain no notions unsuitable to virtue and reasonable in nature."
"The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but not to find yourself in the ranks of the insane."
"A noble man compares and estimates himself by an idea which is higher than himself; and a mean man, by an idea lower than himself. The one produces aspiration; the other ambition, which is the manner is which a vulgar man aspires."
"I have often wondered how it is that every man loves himself more than any other man, but assigns less value on his own opinions than on the opinions of others."
Not anymore. I am so glad that so many found that previous blog post so powerful - it validated my feelings and assertions.
These tenets will help me repair the foundation I built my identity on. Time to go think on this some more while taking care of my sick daughter.
Stay tuned for further updates and responses! Let's keep the conversation going!