Incompatibility. That word to me has always evoked a feeling of frustration. It means,”so opposed in character as to be incapable of existing together”. Or “not being capable of being used together in combination.” Blocked. Can’t go any further. All progress stopped. All relationship cut off.
I feel I have experienced too much of it in my life.
In technology, it is discovering that a project you are working on requires two programs cooperating, and they don’t—like recently when my Microsoft Office software program got corrupted and I no longer had the capability of opening any Word or Excel documents. I was blocked from opening documents to do my work. Microsoft insisted I had to purchase the whole program again. I began to stew about earning enough money to make the purchase.
Until my precious new webmaster linked me to the *free* OpenOffice that will allow me open up any documents and work as before.
I love solving mysteries, thinking outside the box and asking for help–and receiving answers that are free and even better than what I was originally imagining.
I don’t love those seasons of feeling blocked and having no answers.
But often that season is the ‘waiting room’ where we have to churn and process feelings and priorities, ask questions, and get a shift in perspective—before the key comes to unlock the situation. We need time to open our minds and hearts to receive answers that we might not be expecting.
For most of my early years, I adopted the value that I wanted to fit in and be ‘compatible’ in as many places and circles as I could. I would bend, be flexible, adapt to the crowd, do virtually anything within moral reason to be accepted and avoid rejection or to be labeled ‘incompatible’. I am a peacekeeper and prefer to live in unity and support with as many as I can.
I also bit my tongue, lied to protect others’ secrets, and went too far with some schemes. Along that path, I lost who I was in order to keep peace and standing. Don’t make waves, Merry. It rocks the boat and people get mad.
But people get mad anyway. I’ve learned I can’t live a life of people-pleasing, of not rocking the boat, of not speaking the truth when situations demand it.
Sometimes, you gotta speak up, though, or stop going with the crowd, and there is usually pain to be reaped for non-compliance. You ultimately have to count the cost and make a choice of going along with the crowd and losing yourself versus living out your True Design, even if you are a peacekeeper.
Now in my latter years, I do not fear rejection.
This past year the leaders of a group very significant in my life told me, “Merry, you are incompatible with our vision.” And they proposed some ridiculous controlling demands on me, ones that I didn’t even bother to consider because it meant compromising my message, my job, and the very fabric and core of who I am and what I do. I said no, and I got kicked out of the group.
Rather than feel shame or embarrassment (though there was a lot of that being spoken about me), I was able to hold my head high and forge ahead FREELY on a different path without hesitation or regret. Though there was plenty of pain at the sudden loss, I’m now very happy to confirm that I AM incompatible with any person or group who thinks it is ok to bully people to give over their life’s work and message to settle for and serve a differing agenda. No way!
It is more than ok to be incompatible with opposing characters who aren’t looking out for your best interests…and not feel bad about it. Wear it like a badge of honor and move forward with a good conscience.
Who gets to define ‘Normal’ or ‘Incompatible’, and then put labels on other people? The people who want to exclude, most likely. Putting labels on people is to deny their unique significance. We’ve seen a lot of that in our world just this week, with racial tension and shootings.
I still do get frustrated with technological incompatibility—and there is always a fix, if I can patiently unearth it. The same patience is required to think differently about how to live diligently focused on my destiny with integrity even though others may deem me to be ‘incompatible’ with their culture.
We were born to stand out, rather than fit in. I think we all feel the tension. We want to belong, but we want to retain our unique identity too. A forever push and pull in life. Why can’t we support each other’s uniqueness? (Jealousy and insecurity, I think, but that is another subject).
Knowing WHO we are, and embracing our life purpose is the critical element in courageously standing firm and singing our individual life-songs confidently and beautifuly without compromise in a world that wants us to conform or be negatively labeled.
I will bravely step out and take the risk…want to join me?