I didn’t know which verb to use – “grow” or “fuse” or “generate” or “re-generate” -when it came to this topic. So, I’ve simply titled this post “Spine” because I’m trying to grow, cultivate, reinforce – whatever – mine, in a metaphorical sense. I’m a pushover, basically; I will go out of my way to keep everyone calm and happy, many times to the detriment of my own mental and emotional health. So, 2013 is going to be the Year of the Backbone. I’m getting one.

Every time there’s a confrontation, I back down and give in to the other’s point-of-view/argument. In a recent situation, several months ago, I started out strong, grew progressively defensive throughout the conversation, and then found ways to lighten things up and make the other person feel better. Again. It’s the same pattern.

My point here isn’t to complain or argue my point of view. Rather, with the advent of a new year, I’m looking at myself and thinking that I need to make changes. Reinforce my backbone. Stand up for myself. Model strength for my family. After years of dealing with issues one way, I’m trying to make some subtle changes so when another disagreement resurfaces, I will have better ways to handle it.

Several years ago, I was on a kindness kick, and a friend and I would discuss kindness at length, how there was so little of it in this world, and what we could do to increase it. I’m now thinking about being kind to myself, and part of this is standing up for myself, being confident enough to feel that my view, my perspective, is just as valid as anyone else’s. I am also thinking of how I have misinterpreted kindness as trying to please others, and the harm that has done to me.

So, yeah. A spine. Backbone. Self-growth. I’ll be working on it.

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