May 30, 2024

A Toast to My Favorite Bad Guy

As you know, I firmly believe that our Knower/Judgers sit at the foundation of our struggles. These are the bad guys, holding our histories and rules and getting in the way of our ability to be who and what we really want to be. Yet without my K/J, Christmas just wouldn’t be Christmas at my house. Here’s why I’m raising a glass to the bad guy.

Can you imagine having to refer to your Learner/Researcher while driving up to an intersection with a red octagonal sign facing you with four white letters on it? I wouldn’t have time for that. I appreciate that my K/J will take over. It’s easy to predict that without these K/J patterns in our society there would be total chaos, isn’t it?

While the K/J defines the you that you present to the world and is often responsible for your dysfunctional interactions, it also has a lot of productive aspects:

  • K/Js are responsible adults who are dutiful to charity and community.
  • K/Js are responsible for raising incredible kids, as they were raised.
  • K/Js count the numbers, do the math, and write our paychecks. Hooray!

My goal is to challenge you to challenge the K/J behaviors that stand in the way of being who and what you want to be. The secret to success is to become aware of your K/J behaviors and keep the ones that work for you while getting rid of the ones that prevent you from achieving your goals.

So here’s to my K/J, for helping me navigate on the road and for giving me these wonderful Christmas experiences:

  • I’m a sucker for real fireplaces and the smell of real Christmas trees. Gas logs and plastic trees don’t cut it for me…definitely my K/J’s rule.
  • I give. I go a little wild with my philanthropy this time of year, and I don’t know why. It makes me feel good, or maybe I feel guilty when I don’t do it. Did I say meet an emotional need?
  • I cloister myself with the stereo when no one else is at home and listen to the entire Christmas section of Handel’s Messiah, full blast—cracking plaster! Gives me goose bumps.
  • We go to Charlie Gitto’s Italian Restaurant on the Hill in St. Louis on Christmas Eve. These past years it’s been four generations of DeMotte women with Jane the Great Grandma and Jane the Great Granddaughter.
  • We make double-decker pizza, which we’ve been doing since our girls were preschool. Making it doesn’t hurt any of my long-term goals. Eating it, however, does impede one of my goals somewhat!
  • I conduct an annual Christmas-season open house, mostly to see people I don’t get to see all year because they’re not in my business or social circles. Everybody thinks it’s our gift to them, but it’s really for us.

These are all silly, relatively unimportant repeated K/J patterns. They’re executed to meet my emotional needs and make me comfortable and warm and happy with my life. And they’re valuable for just that.

Write down your holiday K/J indulgences. What tradition do you engage in because your family did it? What holiday song makes you stop in your tracks ’til it finishes? What smell in the kitchen brings back childhood memories? These really good emotional hooks are related to the same ones that hold us back. Acknowledge them. Revere them. Recognize them. Decide to enjoy them. And for those that hold you back, choose to change the behavior.

I’ll work on those other K/J habits that get in the way after the first of the year!

Merry Christmas!

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