I've come to find that in many cases the phrase "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" is just a load of crap!! No one can argue that life is meant to be an ongoing sea of change. We see this everyday from watching our kids grow, experiencing our own changing likes/dislikes, weather, political shifts, demographic shifts, and so many others to list. Life, along with everything and everyone, is not meant to be a static object stuck in a particular moment of time. We should be continually moving, growing, learning and most of all - CHANGING! This means that sometimes things are broken and will need fixing from time to time.
The idea of 'good' and 'bad' are really subjective to our own ideals. If something is broken then it must be bad and in the same respect, if something is working then it must be good. This lax and flexible rule applies to our own personality traits/behaviors. Yes, you can be a 'good' person, but in relation to what or whom? To your neighbor? To your boss? To your spouse? Anna brings up a good perspective in her blog:
"If good is used for the evil purposes of predators then good itself becomes dangerous. We really must make determined efforts to not allow good to be used as a cloak for evil, especially if that good resides in ourselves. . . There is something fundamentally wrong with our idea of how "good" people should be if we are not discriminating enough to make sure our "good" is not used to facilitate evil. If the "good" qualities we boast of are used as weapons in the hands of a predator then our "good" is actually turned to evil. This is very serious business."
What about the narcissist? How many dysfunctional families utilize the aforementioned hidden message under the guise that everything is fine so don't try to 'fix' things by changing the status quo, speaking out, ignoring the 'white elephant in the room'? This message is highly orchestrated by the narcissist because they truly are static beings who don't believe they are broken or need to change - yes, in their mind they are inherently 'good'. And it is expected that the non-narcissist, enabler, co-narcissist is to exhibit certain 'good' qualities of their own. Some examples Anna gives of 'good' qualities expected by the narcissist are:
*slow to judge
*belief in the basic good of others
When we bestow these graces upon evil people we can safely state that these qualities become evil themselves.
I have allowed myself to be stuck in these 'good' behaviors. These characteristics in and of themselves are not 'bad' but like Anna points out, when we exhibit these qualities in the dynamics of a relationship that continually allows someone to harm us, then these traits are no longer 'good' and healthy. I've been so quick to please and very tolerant believing in the good of someones' intentions that on too many occasions I've overlooked and ignored someones' harsh criticisms, devaluing me, belittling me and my kids. I've even kept quiet when these tactics have been used on others - either overtly or covertly in the form of gossip and false concern. Thus allowing someone's evil to permeate my own heart and that of those close to me.
It's looking at this in hindsight that I realize that some of my family members are broken and YES, I am broken as well. I need fixing!! If you look from a more spiritual perspective, we are all broken. Jesus didn't come to earth to help an intact, 'good' group of people. Jesus came to offer hope and salvation to everyone because we are all broken and riddled with sin - we can't save ourselves. I think realizing this is a step in a positive direction towards healing. Not only do I have my heavenly Father's help towards changing what's broken in my heart, I can also draw on the strength of no longer being afraid to question the status quo, rock the boat and confront that nasty white elephant sitting smack dab in the middle of the room!!