by Jeffe Kennedy
I've never been much for the concept of sin. Blame it on the fallen Catholics who raised me. I don't worry about the corruption of the soul so much as the deadly flaws that undermine relationships and a happy life. These are the dealbreakers, the things I try to root out in myself and will only take so much of from other people.
Jeffe's Seven Deadly Dealbreakers
Did I mention Catholic family? Yeah, we left the guilt behind when my mom flunked theology. (She stormed out of class when the nuns insisted that even innocent third world babies who'd never heard of Catholics would languish forever in Purgatory because they weren't baptized.) Guilt is how we feel when we do something against our beliefs. But other people like to make it be that you should feel guilty if we do something against their beliefs. Or self-interests. No no no.
I actually used to tell boyfriends that jealousy is a dealbreaker for me. I've always believed it's a sign of insecurity, not affection. Even in all those 80s romance novels I so loved, I hated it when the hero's love was revealed through jealousy. He went into a jealous rage! Ergo, he loves me! Again, no no no.
We all trade favors. We trade dinner-party invitations. Critique Partners trade reading. Among friends, this requires parity - you try to keep the balance. If someone does a lot more for you than you've done for them, you try to keep track and pay them back. Sometimes though, a person will try to hoard "points" and turn that into what you owe them. Let me do it out of love for you, not because you demand it.
Please don't take it out on me. Whatever it is. I'm truly sorry if you've had a terrible day and I'll listen to your woes, but if you turn that emotion on me, what a dreadfully unfair thing to do. We all are emotional beings, so don't tell me you're just moody and can't help it. I try really hard to control my emotional atmosphere. This is how we manage not to kill each other like over-crowded rats.
5. Emotional Blackmail
This results from the above. "I feel this way, therefore you must do such and so for me." "If you love me you will..." "A good wife never..." Our love for each other was never meant to be a tool to control their behavior. Which leads to
I'm realizing that all my dealbreakers have to do with manipulation. I suppose it's human nature, to try to make other people do what we want them to. It seems easier to line the people in our lives up like good little ducks than to try to find peace and happiness inside ourselves. Easier isn't better, though.
Still and all, I'm a grey area girl. I probably have no real absolute dealbreakers, nothing that I wouldn't forgive, if it didn't happen again. I have this consuming belief our ability to change. I suppose that makes me an idealist at heart.
If a lousy Catholic.