About Loud Dishwashers and Quiet Strength

handsigns_K“Nothing strengthens authority as much as silence.” Leonardo da Vinci

 

Well now, I hope that da Vinci is right, because the world around me seems to believe and behave otherwise. If I had time this morning, I would figure out what the sound level of my dishwasher is right now. At the moment, my house is silent other than

1: the dishwasher – a noisy one. Very noisy.

2: my dog Paul and the clinking of his dog tag on my feet. and

3: the pleasant chatter of NPR news which I’ve got at a low-level to keep me company and on task.

I’m pretty sure that I can also hear our dog Lennon chomping on some breakfast as well.

Probably this sound mix seems relaxing to some, boring, or maybe annoying as crap to others. My youngest son LOVES noise – he makes a lot of it, and feels anxious if he’s not surrounded by a clashing mix of various people and media streams. Oh, I think that most of us like the IDEA of silence – and maybe even envy those of us who are quiet and highly sensitive souls. I’ll let you research the statistics yourself, and they certainly are out there. Our world is getting louder. Commercials, radios, classrooms, churches, grocery stores. You name it. All of the day to day places we go to have been proven (in first world type of settings) to be really, really loud anymore. So with that in mind, indulge me as I start sharing some tough crap I’m up against of late.

I can’t be the authority of everything I want to control and change – and I can’t perfectly manage my sound environment – after all, I’m not cloistered and I’ve not yet taken a vow of silence. But I LOVE what Da Vinci says, and I want to switch his quote up to something more personal:

“Nothing can, nor has ever strengthened my authority better than silence.”

And, on the flip side – lore has it that the reason VanGogh cut his ear off is not because he1959461_10153074983048810_36322649183088841_n was insane, it was because he had tinnitus – sound that is not sound. It’s fake noise that is created by the brain of someone who is hard of hearing or deaf. It can be related to a lot of things – injury, stress, a reaction to environmental sound, tight jaw muscles, and from what I can tell – it always involves an out of the norm auditory system or event.

I still don’t know why it is true, but I found out a year ago that my hearing status, for now in one ear, is permanently out of the normal range. That may not sound (pun intended) like a big deal, but it really is. It’s a very big deal for me. What I’m up against isn’t as clear as the typical getting older and starting to hear less clearly.

Strangely enough, it is the symptoms that come with what ever is going on in my auditory system that is, I have to say, kind of maddening at times. And what I have going on isn’t even in the ball park of what many hard of hearing and Deaf folks go through. Thankfully, this isn’t my first unexpected life rodeo ride, so for the most part, it’s not too hard to take in stride. world has ended many times I read this morning that one way to deal with tangled feelings from our past is to accept our limitations as deeply and quickly as we can when these limitations become clear. I agree for the most part – I’m a fan of facing the truth, even when it sucks.

So, in a few weeks if at my 6 month hearing test the truth is that my hearing status is the same mild and mysterious scenario, my body is still going to keep telling me: things just are not right. If the ENT is dismissive and says again, “we don’t know what’s going on, there is nothing we can do yet, come back in another six months,” how should I respond?

The discomfort of constant ear pressure and the annoyance of mild tinnitus that I deal with 24/7, again, is nothing compared to many others. I am getting to know a lot of great people who have profoundly difficult symptoms such as frequent vertigo or severe tinnitus. Many of them can’t work, and many of them work anyway…how, I’m not yet sure.

I do know this:

I adore American Sign Language (ASL). It’s not just fun (which it is), it’s not just cute (which it can be) it IS – well, it is indescribably in written word. Because it’s not – it’s not English, and it isn’t written. It is something that we DO and SEE.

It is the BEST language ever, and I would say the same if my hearing was top notch. It conveys feeling, thought, time, time, space, story, history, and details in a way that no other language will ever be able to do.

So, “God willing, if the creek don’t flood,” hopefully between now and mid-April,  I will have the courage to face this ongoing physical limitation by allowing myself to reflect on these difficult questions and not feel ashamed of the resulting fears and anxieties that are about as normal as normal can be.

I’m out of time and brain juice to figure out a way to transition what I’m saying to a recommendation to read these two articles from a friend – so I’ll just add them as a Post Script here. They are all about the topic of this blog: grace.

Take care, and be warm, Kate

10429303_10153075073858810_8420602525960782671_nStaying open to Grace: http://wp.me/p3gSTz-T2

When ‘Happily Ever After’ Meets Life’s Hardships: http://www.everydayhealth.com/columns/therese-borchard-sanity-break/when-happily-ever-after-meets-lifes-hardships/

A Super Duper Beautiful poem: http://youtu.be/9GdawG7CBNo

 

 

 

I Found Great Resources on Guilt vs. Shame

1003814_10151716954828810_922373667_n

This is my favorite photo of our dog Paul. Why? Because he is always in trouble, and when I took this he was apologizing.

I don’t remember why my phone was photo ready, but I am certain that he was raising some kind of doggie hell just before I tapped the picture button. The clovers that got stuck in his collar are the clue that he was up to no good in the yard. Right before I plunked into my reading chair to calm myself, I likely stepped onto the back porch and embarrassed my family

again

by forgetting that I live in a city now. Three years later, I sometimes still yell in my farm voice.

That look on the face of Paulie is his “apology face” and it works, of course, every time. He doesn’t try to convince me that he will never do IT again. Our other dog. Lennon Francis (Lenny) cowers, and hides and shivers when he is in trouble until the issue passes. His way of apologizing is to drop a ball or chewed up play toy at me feet and then step back and sit down. It’s like he’s saying, “seriously mom, we both need a round of fetch to resolve this tension.”

Paul McCartney on the other hand, manages to make me stop shaming him by insisting that I NEED him, and I need him right now! Right here. On my lap, in my arms, or his favorite – like an infant resting his head on my shoulder.

Isn’t shame an interesting topic?

If  you don’t agree, you should.

JeezlePete. I did it again. Shame on me.

I have had some really great things happen this summer, but right now near the top of the list is reconnecting with my friend Therese Borchard. She is so funny. We hadn’t had a private chat online in a long while and for some reason time alllowed for that to happen more than once over this school break.

It’s interesting – she and I share a birthday and when we lose touch and reconnect a little bit, it’s pretty common that similar things are on our minds. I really appreciate that she passed on some facinating resources in between our twisted and humorous conversations.

I’ve mentioned here a couple of times, I think, that last year I started my studies to become an Educational Sign Language Interpreter. Well, this year I am able to move ahead with three classes and I am so excited. The frustrating and disappointing thing is that I had to turn down a great offer to continue working at the school I enjoyed so much last year. My classes will be during the day.

Backer to my writer friend Therese: here’s the short version of what we are connecting about right now and are both sort of, well, tearfully even, thankful about: we are a little bit stuck on the topic of shame and redemption.

I know. Strange. Isn’t it? I envy the the people that start their break with plans to be light hearted and and keep up with that commitment.

I promise that I started the summer with three goals: lose twenty pounds, create a kitchen that looks like this:

long range kitchen color planand stop obsessing about the topic of shame.

I did clean out the cabinets, and I am still obsessed about the topics of shame and redemption – but it is in a super charged and good way now!

Through conversation with my college roomate and writer friend, along with gathering some books, I sort of clarified why I was so angry during that first year and a half back in the work world. I had taken a much longer than I should have sebatical.

I’m not the only on that was, and still is enraged about the Sandy Hook massacre. But, for me, the impact was to realize that realistically, people my age don’t have forever to enjoy their careers. Maybe that’s why it is common to start one, or restart one at age 50 – which is what I’m doing.

And pardon my french, but I am thouroughly pissed at what the world has become while I was home loading the wood stove and packing the moving boxes and discovering the great Mississipi river.

Thank God I re-stumbled onto to my mental health and spirituatlity writer friend and now have some resources to try and understand and cope with how obessesd society has become with shaming and blaming each other. The first thing I learned is that what is most destructive, is that we, America espeically, are keeping our worries and secrets private and losing our sense of place and self.

How in the world did this happen? Is it because of social networking? Global warming? The Berlin Wall? The death of Fred Rogers?

I don’t know – but it was a huge shock to me when returning to the classroom and teacher lounge after a fiver year or so break,

yet, I have never been so thankful for work in my life.

My confidence is slowly regaining it’s speed and my faith life has taken off again. My family of course means the most to me, but I am also the one who was lucky enough to hold a hungry first grader who was throwing a crying fit about sounding out a WHOLE page of reading After I convinced him that sitting in the hallway with me is the most boring idea ever and that carpet time is the Bees Knees, I ended up being the lucky one. I get to remember that In grade one my belly was always full enough and I spent hours watching Fred from Dad’s lap. And while I sorely miss to my sons…those were good days indeed.

But you know what? The world has gone mad.

 

We are shaming this fantastically charming little generation of readers in epic proportion and I will not put up with it another minute.

Someone, somehow, somewhere – decided that name calling is no big deal.

Well, guess what.

It is. And the last thing that these teachers and students need, in the face of gun violence and hatred, is more wasted time on tattling and idioticTom Foolery.

20131013-085338.jpg

 

 

If you are feeling frustrated on similar topics here is a video, and here is a **killer good** article, and here is a song. Each of them have helped to calm me down while I try to sort all of this out.

By the way – isn’t that tin of buttons that my friend Marti made the coolest rainbow you have seen since yesterday?

I do like buttons.

 

Life Goals: Happy vs. Contented

CND campfire

I have a confession. I hate the “Happy Song” by the dude in the ten gallon hat.

(I couldn’t find the only video of that song that I like, but I found this instead and it’s hysterical. And includes hats. You don’t have to know American Sign Lanuage (ASL) to see the humor. They are hearing brothers with deaf parents, and from what I can catch, they are just signing “flower, pain, love, all year – PAIN, horrible!” So funny.)

I love music, and I love the look of goofy hats, but I utterly HATE the happy song. As in, I have to stop myself from screaming “change it to NPR or else!” at my tween son when it comes on the car radio.

Another confession.

I’m tired of the phrase “it’s all good.” I will say that the cartoons that go with those t-shirts and mugs of little stick people camping and enjoying flowers are awesome – takes me right back to being a residential camp counselor and to be honest, living a “happy song” kind of life. It was a blast…work hard doing fun things with goofy little kids, weekend parties, beach sunsets, card games and summer romance.

camp letter

BBC camp

A few decades later, I know now that what made those times so happy was that the middle-aged and beyond leadership was masterful at harnessing our insecurities, raging hormones, and gullible personalities by:

1:Making us work dawn to dusk. If we weren’t taking care of kids or getting activities ready we were expected to find someone who needed a hand or a poison ivy vine that needs to be hacked or a campfire skit to be planned.

and

2:Expecting that we should otherwise be

a) Doing something prayerful or reflective. Or,

b) Doing something outlandishly fun or crazy to burn off aforementioned                                                 insecurities, hormones and guile.

But, and…

please forgive me if you are a positive psychology research professional or a maker of affirmation posters….because

it’s not all good,

(attatched link is powerful and empowering – it is about domestic violence and is communicated in both American Sign Language and captions,)

and I’m sick of media and the world, particularly the American world, trying to cram the word “happy” into my face and life.

It’s exhausting.

I had a brief but great conversation with a friend about it this weekend. We were at a get together where some acquaintances, rather than hearing what we were saying about some very real and tough life realities, they replied with: “smile and the world smiles with you” and “oh, you can do it”, or

“BEEN THERE, DONE THAT”,

and: “if I can solve that same life problem, you can too, and here’s an App for you to tap!”

Having shared our frustration on the topic before, and because we both try to not blurt out the constant sarcastic flow of venom that we secretly share about the saying “been there done that” kind of mind-set, we had to pull ourselves aside from the conversation and debrief before saying or doing something regrettable.

I suggested that we go find some full-bodied Muppet type of costumes and come back to the party just to throw things off, but we decided to reapply our lipstick and enjoy how Ninja we feel in dangly earrings instead.

CND path

This is what we came up with – and it’s that the real reason, I now know with complete certainty, that I was so happy during those summers on the lake. The thing is, there wasn’t conversation or debate about what “happy” has to be at camp….for any of us. We weren’t trying our hardest to keep the campers constantly jovial – that was impossible. As a matter of fact my dearest memories are of consoling home sick children, of trying to point out to the popular kids that an awkward one was being left out. Of the chubby kids who were falling out of their clothes and the skinny ones who could barely keep them on. My favorite camper was a boy who was deaf and started the week out being very rough with the other boys because he know he was being picked on and made fun of without the single exchange of a word.

I am really attached to the memory of him slamming that wooden screen door on another kid when I was at the front of the line trying to get that stinky, mud covered, whining group of little guys out of the rain and into the cabin so that they could climb in their bunks and be homesick in peace.

Why? Because

it wasn’t all good. And I’m not afraid to remember that, or look at what sucks in life.

Agreed, I am a bit too drawn to the dark side of things, but that’s why God gave me a family who tells me to knock it off when I a become annoying and dogs who shame themselves if I ignore their request to fetch or go outside for a pee break.

This quote better says what I’m trying to say. I’m trying to say that what I’m shooting for is contentment, while, sometimes, the world seems to be all about happy:

“I want first of all… to be at peace with myself.

 

I want a singleness of eye, a purity of intention, a central core to my life that will enable me to carry out these obligations and activities as well as I can.

 

I want, in fact–to borrow from the language of the saints–to live “in grace” as much of the time as possible. I am not using this term in a strictly theological sense. By grace I mean an inner harmony, essentially spiritual, which can be translated into outward harmony. I am seeking perhaps what Socrates asked for in the prayer from the Phaedrus when he said, “May the outward and inward man be one.” I would like to achieve a state of inner spiritual grace from which I could function and give as I was meant to in the eye of God.”

 

― Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Gift from the Sea

 

Oh, and about the angry Deaf kid? He ended up having a great week. And he stopped punching and slamming.

Why? Because the other camp counselors and I listened to him first, and distracted him next. We signed in American Sign Language that “angry” happens, and that other boys being mean is not “fine.” And, we tried, in no uncertain terms, to tell him that slamming and hitting was not going to lead to friendship.

My other favorite memory from that week? (I can’t believe I can still pull this out of my brain. It was like, 30 years ago.) We were trooping through the summer heat and itchy fields after one of those scuffles. There had of course been a  “shape up boys!” talk with both kiddos and my rough and tumble little friend fell to the end of the line for a good old-fashioned sulk.

I doubt that I had to fake my exhaustion or frustration about the whole thing as I trudged them toward the pool.

He then suddenly broke protocol and was of course tattled on: “He’s out of line! Why is he allowed to get off the path! No cutting!”

For which, and this makes me tear up every time I think of it, I was delivered a huge bouquet of weeds with a couple of wild flowers and a most beautiful and thankful smile. Guess he found a way to be at peace with himself, even if for a while.

The thing is…if we hadn’t squared up to the rain and the slammed door there wouldn’t have been any flowers for him to pick. Know what I mean? Jelly bean?

 

 

Dear Mrs. Obama: Have They Considered Mr. Lemon?

A6TRRWgCMAAjjpPDear Mrs. Obama,

This message to you has been near the top of my list for months: a most heartfelt thank you for all that, well…all that you are actually. I don’t claim to know you as more than a woman for whom I am fan and follower. Yet, I’m tempted to put in this quick note the same thing that I put in birthday cards to those who mean the most to me:

“Thank you for being born.”

That would be a bit intense though since despite my greatest efforts, we’ve not yet met.

Actually, here’s the truth: I started last fall by taking for granted that you and your family would continue to be the leaders protecting and leading my sons for another term. Like so many others, I watched the debates for the first time ever and during that process I cracked. Rage would not be an exaggeration. Even though it was your husband who was being personally and morally attacked – for some reason, I found myself feeling deeply offended as well. Thankfully I remembered a huge sign that my mother kept in her laundry room which said:

“Living Well is the Best Revenge.”

So, despite my best efforts to keep the home fires burning and volunteer for your family campaign in an official manner, I found myself seeking revenge “Kate Style”: I drove around the Quad Cities being an hour, or day, or a week too late for events but never allowed myself to feel a dollar too short. I prayed and retweet all that I found to be good. I wrote and deleted and lost my thoughts and eye glasses on what felt like an hourly basis…

Don’t get me wrong – I’m no hero. My campaign efforts were nothinganxiety girl compared to those of most of your volunteers and most of all, other than the retweetAthon that a friend pointed me toward, everything I did was in my head.

As a matter of fact, in an effort to support one of your speeches I got lost and ended up in a town called Lost Nation, Iowa. My family is so long and suffering.Thank God, I did find my way to hear you, just days before the election in Iowa City. Did you see me? I was the one who started crying like a sissy girl when you simply opened your mouth to say hello. My mother campaigned for you before you even knew you needed her. Sadly, she died several years ago.

Actually, the tears on my part were that of complete joy.

165977_10151106768050774_429870657_nThe joy was, in part, to be a few feet away from a woman who I admire deeply. More so, tears flowed because you said, word for word, what I was feeling.

After the harrowing experience of dodging winter weather, my completely mismanaged childcare back up plans and getting utterly lost on the road to a very easy to find destination…what could I do but laugh?

I was exhausted from worry and effort by the time you got up on stage and if I’d had to wait too many minutes longer I would have needed to bail yet another event to get home in time for after school pick up.

Shazaam. On came the Earth Wind and Fire music. Shoulders grooved. Water cups were passed. Secret service squeezed in, andA1JU2PeCQAADnFI you came out to say what I’d come to realize in those exact long hours:

If, despite my most heartfelt prayer, Michelle is asked to leave the house, joy will still come in the morning.

Thank you for saying exactly that Mrs. Obama. I heard you say:

“No matter what, we are going to be just fine. On Thursday (after the election), no matter where my family will live next winter, on thursday we will go back to picking up our shoes and putting them away.”

Soon after you said that a mom in the crowd hushed her child who was playing in the front rows and you said:

“No!

Don’t shoosh…Let her go!

We’ve got another party over here!”

So, for now, I’m going to finish this thank you note and ask that, although I think I am certainly at least 24 hours too late with this message,

I would like to recommend that the benediction for the inauguration be given by one of my many favorite pastors: Meadowlark Lemon.

I knew he was a Trotter, and am so pleased to read this week that he is a theologian as well:

“True visions have transformed my time on this earth from

mere existence

to joyful living.

 

As the saying goes, if you aim at nothing, you are sure to hit it.

A worthwhile life

begins with a bold vision.”

~ from Trust Your Next Shot: A Guide to a Life of Joy, by Meadowlark Lemon and Lee Stuart

Thanks again.

With peace,

Kate

@Chris Handles loves my new book as well.

@Chris Handles loves my new book as well.

Defining Grace Two: Let It Be Me

During the American Presidential election debates, I became increasingly angry.

Ouch. (Rubbing my ears.) Yes, I just heard the “so was I” shouts and moans.Ever wish you could just romp and call it a day?

In my case, I’d never watched a political debate in my life. My parents, and then my husband did the watching and grousing up until this year. Until this year, my attitude has been:

What could be fun about worrying that the candidate I oppose is the fool who will lead my sons for four, maybe even eight years?

With this election, those eight years take our January baby right into adulthood. So, hearing the careless, utterly wrong and jacked up feather fluffing of the candidate I oppose went straight to my mom brain and has me sleepless with worry once again.

This blog is not about politics, so don’t leave me now, as this post will stay non-partisan and will get to my point in a few scroll clicks.

Oh “hell’s bells” as my mother would say, I’ll just get to the point now, and if you have time to read my longer than usual post, feel free to scroll and read on.

Are you ready?

The process of trying to experience grace has more than once, more than twice, even more than thrice made me mad. Very, very mad.

But, life has taught me that the only way through is not around or under these speed bumps, but to ramp those suckers and hope for the best. ~ Kate

After I got a few sentences into this post the other day I started thinking about when might have been the first time I felt the effects of trying to ram rod good to happen in my life. I found myself being little in my mind’s eye. How old are little girls when they first try the “he loves me, loves me not?” game of pulling daisy pedals off one at a time to learn the “truth” by way of an empty flower stem?

Young. That’s for sure.

I remember sitting on our front porch stoop and being irate that the damn flower didn’t work. Who knows if the object of my heart was “Fonzie”, or the handsome dudes on the T.V. show “Emergency,” or the acting student at my father’s work that ‘I could die for.’ Maybe it was the 5th grade dream boat that declared his crush on me with a Grape Ape Shrinky Dink, only to be too shy to deal with teasing as we continued to pass notes in class.

At any rate – that is what trying to jam prayers, hopes…dreams into the God funnel feels like. It’s like a little girl who did

every

single

thing right,

including trying a few more flowers and cheating by counting the pedals or accidentally on purpose plucking two to get the “he loves me” right on cue. For some reason what I remember about that day is that I plucked my little heart out, and what made me so angry is that I said to myself:

One more. Try just one more.

And the stupid thing landed on “he loves me not.”

Hopefully I went inside the house and had a cold glass of Tang and then skipped off to some other more productive activity.

But, isn’t that what wanting to throw things at a news clip of a debate is like? In the end, what upset me the most about the debates was the hyper active predictions, and re-predictions, and conflation about who won which debate and why. I’m actually a pretty big fan of social media for the sake of what it can do for good. I figure that this is where we are…many are living and breathing and believing all that is online – so grab that communication tool and promote what deserves to be promoted and try to ignore the rest.

But Good God Almighty! The concept that a news headline, or political leaning of a news channel is what decides the winner of a Presidential debate is Cray and Zee in my world. I’m not mad at the media, they are feeding us the Hostess treats we ask for…and repeating it every nanosecond because our attention spans have become that short.

Maybe the issue for me is that I had good parents and was raised to somehow know that lousy daisy pedal odds or not, my voice counts, but only if I use it.

So, use it I am…trying anyway. I’m retweeting and praying and going to rallys and signing up to give out water to the good people who are running the voting (not prediction!) polls. I launched a get out the female vote pumpking carving #GoVote TweetAThon with me, myself and I. It made absolutely no sense, but did burn off a lot of worry and impressed the heck out of said ten-year old son when lit up in our dark family room.

...tragedy, comedy, and anxiety

…tragedy, comedy, and anxiety

So, I mentioned in the previous post is that my plan is to come up with five definitions of grace, and to pass on a song that touches me in connection to that pondering. Here goes:

Grace is about being a mad hatter.

Grace is when you wipe out your mother’s garden and STILL have no luck with getting the cooties.

Grace is that the television you threw your slippers at was the 200 pound NotSoFlat screen and that you remembered to say You Rotten JackWagon! rather than…..

Grace is just that. It’s graceful!

And the music? Ray LaMontange and his song Let It Be Me. I close my eyes and try to imagine Jesus himself rowing me in a boat…and some times I am calm. Off to listen again.

Bye for now, Kate.

Forgiveness Friday: To Grudge, or Not to Grudge

“Not forgiving is like drinking rat poison and then waiting for the rat to die.” ― Anne Lamott

 

I’ve had a few arguments with people, but I never carry a grudge. You know why? While you’re carrying a grudge, they’re out dancing. -Buddy Hackett

I think I may have come up with a great get-rich-quick scheme.

If I had a dollar (inflation you know) for every best-selling book that made its way to the top by way of telling a story of grudges, then I’d be a very rich woman, wouldn’t I now?

I just returned some books to the library, and got to thinking that most good stories are about the fixes that we get into when it comes to grudges and how our lives are affected as we avoid, or don’t avoid these situation.

For example, I just finished reading The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs. Here’s a quick description of the story line from goodreads.com :

A charming and moving novel about female friendship and the experiences that knit us together-even when we least expect it. Walker and Daughter is Georgia Walker’s little yarn shop, tucked into a quiet storefront on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. The Friday Night Knitting Club was started by some of Georgia’s regulars, who gather once a week to work on their latest projects and to chat-and occasionally clash-over their stories of love, life, and everything in between.

Basically, the deeper the grudge load, the more miserable each woman is in this story. As the change from strangers to friends though, they find themselves able to let go of what is ailing them, and each of their lives becomes more fulfilling.

Mark 11:24-26

So I tell you to ask for things in prayer. And if you believe that you have received those things, then they will be yours. When you are praying, and you remember that you are angry with another person about something, then forgive that person. Forgive them so that your Father in heaven will also forgive your sins.”

So, how can we let go of a grudge? Here is a list of to-do’s from writer Renita Williams:

1. Acknowledge the problem

2. Share your feelings.

3. Switch places (with the other person)

4. Accept what is.

5. Don’t dwell on it.

6. Take the positive.

7. Let it go.

8. Forgive

Buuuuuut, on the other hand, maybe there are healthy ways to keep ourselves protected from those who may be interested in taking us down with their misery.

“Some wounds run too deep for the healing.”
― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

I read an article that said just as much, that holding a healthy grudge may be appropriate as long as we aren’t talking toxic anger. Here is what Martha Beck has to say on the subject:

Consider the “three strike” rule: If you not only have a bad experience with a person but also hear worrisome reports about that person from three totally unrelated sources, you need to carry a protective grudge that says, “I don’t quite trust you.”

 

I’ve learned through creepy experience that when I start inexplicably doubting myself around a specific person, it’s time to hold a good constructive grudge.
If someone in your life is genuinely monstrous part of the time—even once—be leery all the time. Wear your grudge armor. It could prevent catastrophe.

So, like usual, it’s a matter of balance and not too much, not too little.

Interesting stuff.