Preserving freedom is our most noble cause. But it demands sacrifice. And the noblest sacrifice next to giving one’s life is living it with real integrity. Character matters. Perhaps today more than ever.
Fair fighting is fighting with principle. It’s strong advocacy tempered with care and concern. When we fight fairly, with principle, and with care not to needlessly injure, we build instead of destroy.
Fighting dirty is fighting without principle-guided limits and boundaries. It’s placing winning over everything and using whatever tactics or psychological “weapons” you can think of to secure the dominant position. Such fighting is the destroyer of relationships.
Assertiveness is fair, principled, disciplined, fighting. And it’s the kind of just self-advocacy coupled with mindful concern for the impact on others that defines healthy character.
Disturbed characters know how to spot the conscientious. And they’re eager to exploit and abuse them. Sadly, sometimes overly conscientious folks delude themselves. They think they can “fix” the morally broken among us – those with impaired or absent consciences.
Letting our appetites, aversions, and impulses drive us costs us plenty. We can feel pretty good in moments. But low points inevitably follow. In the process of riding that roller coaster, our soul begins to die. Mindfulness is key to purposeful living. At any given moment we have a choice. We can allow baser inclinations to rule. Or, we can put ourselves squarely at the service of a higher cause. Fully and freely turning ourselves over to something bigger is liberating. Free from the slavery of what usually drives us, we begin to live purposefully and abundantly.
Unconscious denial is nature’s defense against unbearable pain. But some denial is tactical – a way to be irresponsible while not looking so bad. To have reverence for the truth and for human dignity, each type must be confronted differently.
Deceit is the hallmark trait of manipulative characters. And there are many ways to deceive. Some disturbed characters are so skilled in the subtlest forms of lying that they have raised it nearly to an art form.
Narcissists refuse to recognize or subordinate themselves to any higher power or authority. They see themselves as above the need. Besides, in their own minds, they’re always right. Reality sometimes clashes with that distorted self-perception. And that can prompt a narcissist’s rage.
Hitting bottom is utter defeat combined with the inability to deny the true cause of that defeat. When the lofty fall and can blame no one but themselves, opportunity opens for constructive self-reflection and character growth.