don’t tell me what to think

The other day I found myself talking to myself – okay, yelling out loud – because I was so angry and frustrated because some email just tipped me over the edge.

On the surface, it seemed like a pretty mild-mannered email or article. It was written by some male Christian minister who was preaching something about forgiveness and oh, I don’t even remember what else it was exactly.

I remember, though, that he was telling me what I should do. How I should act, what I should believe, what I should think, and it was the straw that broke this camel’s back that day.

“You don’t get to tell me what to think! I get to decide that! I decide my own morals and ethics and beliefs. I’m so sick of being told what you think I should think!”

I was really angry. There was swearing. I don’t even know this guy. I didn’t necessarily disagree with him (I could barely listen enough to tell), but I completely disagreed with his assumption that he could tell me what I should think and how I needed to be if I were a “good” person. His rules.

Mansplaining. Behaviorsplaining. Religionsplaining. Bullshit spouting. Every now and then, it builds up into a rage. And that’s a good thing, I think…

…because I want to be able to think for myself.  I need to, if I’m honest; I’m wired that way. I get angry if you tell me what to do – EVEN IF I AGREE WITH YOU.

Isn’t that ironic? Silly, even. I am a two-year-old having a tantrum and exerting my free will. I am aware that it is an overreaction to a toxic build up of bad preaching and attempted brainwashing. I’m aware that it’s a necessary letting-off-some-steam, and that it’s a course correction. But damn, it feels good to stomp my feet…

…for a bit and then come back to myself. Yes, I do get to decide what I think and do and what is right for me. I am aware that I am fortunate for that to be true and not have it affect my safety.

Most of all, I am extremely grateful for the reminder, for it is both a right and a duty to be a thinking person who owns her own conscience.

In the meantime, remember these things: You are loved. We are all loved. Let’s all be kind. And in all things – progress, not perfection!

Love, and light in the shadows,

Maggie

p.s. when I went back to check, I did NOT agree with his misogynistic, condescending, patriarchal bullshit. Nor his colonial world view, nor his theology….oh, here I go again!

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