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Monthly Archives: November 2013

Know Nothings And Status Envy

Know nothings, critics who don’t know what they are talking about.

English: A display of the academic regalia of ...

English: A display of the academic regalia of Harvard University. Top left: Harvard Law School professional doctorate; bottom left: Harvard Divinity School masters degree; right: Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Ph.D. degree (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Envy is the the price you have to pay for getting there when someone does not know the price you paid to get there.  As a female Ph.D., especially one from the 70’s,  I got “no respect”.  Automatically a man with a masters or less would assume that if a woman like me could do it then it wasn’t that hard to do.  Automatically they thought that if they went back to school to get their own Ph.D. or professional degree or advanced degree,  it would only take them a couple of years and it was not that big of a deal.  Women who worked under me and with me often thought I should do my own office work rather than depend on them to do it for me.  They did not expect a woman to be in charge.

I went straight through college and graduate school and it took me ten years of full time study and perseverence.  An “C” or even a “B” was not an acceptable grade and could get you “flunked out” of graduate school.  I took tough exams to get into graduate school and to get out of graduate school with my degree.  I had to qualify for scholarships all through my schooling and they were my sole source of support in graduate school.  They also accepted only so many applicants and I had to compete for one of those positions.

Lightner Witmer, the father of modern clinical...

Lightner Witmer, the father of modern clinical psychology. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Naturally I focused on doing well in college so that I would be considered and offered one of these positions.  I was aiming on going into one of the graduate degree programs that was well respected and offered only to people who whose professional goal was to get their doctor’s degree, not a masters.  People who left the program with “just” a masters were considered in other words to have flunked out. Elitist, yes but I wanted to enter a profession and to have the best credentials.  Also I wanted to be a clinical psychologist not an educational or counseling psychologist as positions in those graduate programs were often considered to be consolation prizes for those who couldn’t get picked for a position in a clinical psychology program or did not want to work as hard as they might have to in a tougher program like clinical psychology.  Worse yet, another “back door” into the field was through social work.

I am being a snob but only for the reason of making my point about how hard it was to get in a clinical psychology program and get a Ph.D. in my field.   Where I stand now on the question of what direction my professional life should take is different than it was then.  It was very competitive to have to do that.  I was very competitive.  I survived and after much experience in life and in my field.  I see things from a different perspective.  What other people think is not always the best barometer of who you are doing in life in your chosen field.  Self satisfaction and self knowledge can be a form of protection or shield against the thoughtless opinions of others.

Graduate School Blues

Graduate School Blues (Photo credit: ChiILLeica)

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Heal Yourself

 

heal?

heal? (Photo credit: atomicity)

The best person to heal yourself is you because ultimately the one who has to actually do the work is you.  Anybody else is just an adviser (and there are some good advisers out there).  Also a good adviser for one person is not always a good adviser for the next person.   This can be true of other therapists and healers as well, including massage therapists.  Of course, we all often hope that somebody else can heal us and we don’t have to do the work ourselves.

It is often detective work and often we only initially have clues not answers.  Some typical clues are things like dreams.  Dream interpretation is not easy no matter what anybody says and often the meanings of the themes and symbols are often very idiosyncratic and personal.

At the core of this self-discovery are often untruths or what they really are is lies although some people consider them to be merely innocent forms of self-deception, misinterpretations, misperceptions, or “little white lies”.  Uncovering these can be  the source of the most healing truths or experiences  Something initially meant to  protect you can morph into something heinous that molests you, your innocent self.

Maybe that is why journaling sometimes is considered to be so helpful.  Sometimes we can figure things out better by writing about them than we can by talking about them.  We can go over what we have written in our heads and lead an internal dialogue with ourselves that leads to some novel (at least for you at that time) conclusion.  Who would have “thunk it?”   I find it easier to explain myself, what appears to happen to me, and what I perceive as happening to others to an imaginary audience, you.  It also probably doesn’t hurt that I have always been an avid reader as well as a routine writer (and dictator) of reports for other people’s consumption.

Thinking out of the box and learning how to go into a trance or meditate also helps.  A good therapist or teacher can put you in a “learning” trance whether they are legitimately a hypnotist or not.  Altered states of consciousness facilitate learning and problem solving.   Sometimes things are hardwired into your brain like habits and procedure to enable them to operate in your life unconsciously and to keep them from being vulnerable to conscious control.  If you have not learned about hypnosis you ought to investigate the subject from more than one point of view.  Hypnotic suggestions and affirmations can aid in doing this.  They can help change things that have been learned unconsciously.

Metaphysically such self-healing is a life long process (taking place in many lives).  Some people leave this process up to others and don’t decide for themselves what is true or untrue or what is healing or illness creating.  This process is often at the root of cults and religions that demand obedience in return for the truth.  In this lifetime, I have been assisted by Holosync (from Centerpointe) mediation recordings and the material provided by a mystery school. Astara, to complete many levels of spiritual progress.  Don’t be misled by what somebody else may be doing in these areas.  They may look good to you and then you try them and they don’t work for you.  Remember there are different strokes for different folks.

If you ultimately find learning fascinating (which I have learned to do) or have discovered for myself I am constantly amazed at what other people can do and may even take for granted and it seems so marvelous to me.  Life is a 3-D (dimension) (maybe even 4 or 5 D)  ring circus and sometimes you can just sit back and take it all in if you just take your blinders off.  Doing such observation making has taught me to observe, taste, carefully and to realize my talents are not the only ones in this world.  Almost anything a person has learned to do well requires some form of intelligence, creative, emotional, etc. and a person assimilates a body of information and skills that they use to produce an end results that not everyone is capable of doing requiring both innate talent  and developed abilities.

Art, music, acting, carpentry can all teach someone about life and how they feel about it and enhances their ability to benefit from it.  Physician heal yourself.  That’s why there are such things as art, music, drama, and occupational therapy.

 

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Don’t Pay Attention To Labels

 

"Old age (?)" - Unknown Painter from...

“Old age (?)” – Unknown Painter from the Low Countries (16th century) (Photo credit: Tilemahos Efthimiadis)

Don’t pay attention to labels given you by virtue of age, sex, ethnic or cultural background.  Discern for yourself whether you fit them or not or even if you ought to consider them or not.  Labeling of seniors often can become a self -fulfilling prophecy for them.  They think, “I am over 65 so I ought to …..”  How often do they give up or let go when they reach a certain milestone.  For my girl friend’s father, it was when he reached fifty.  I heard him say that he was old when he became 50.  Now 50 is the new 30 and 70 is the new 50????

 

Las Vegas Night

Las Vegas Night (Photo credit: Photo Dean)

I don’t usually promote seeing any movies, but I am curious about LastVegas which is coming out with a lot of older, but good, actors in  it.  I believe its main theme is disproving the myths of old age promoted by society and offered to them by younger experts of their situations.  What a way to go!

 

We can transition (my word for dying) at anytime and we are lucky that it didn’t happen sooner and you know it will happen (in your case) later.  Your attitude determines your altitude.  Maybe you have been too busy to think about life and your position in it what with working and often raising a family.  You are not your career, your husband or wife, or glowing reflections of your children’s achievements.  You are you and determine to a large part who you are, what you like or need to do, and what you believe in.

deathisatransition

Stereotypes abound!  Don’t be one of them.  Of course, don’t ignore reality when it hits you in the face, make preparations for the future, but live your life now.

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The Most Important Person You Really Lie To, Yourself

Don't Lie To Yourself

Don’t Lie To Yourself

Would you hire someone and keep them in the dark about the workings of your business?  Would you not give the correct answers to their questions about the business and then if they confront you about lying to them, would you deny doing it to them.  How useful would this person be except as a fall guy for your business if something goes wrong.  Would you trust them with any major decisions?  Of course not, they don’t know what is going on.

To maintain our pride and to avoid fear and anxiety, we often do this but the employee you often lie to is yourself.  You don’t know what is going on here.  Pretending not to see something won’t make it go away.   It is like the elephant in the room in alcoholic families, nobody admits that they see it; but it is still there.

Denial permits us to keep from thinking about the consequences of something we are actually doing to ourselves.  We often use it because there is an immediate reward if somebody believes it.    We hope that while we are convincing others we are convincing ourselves and somehow things that we dread happening will come out differently.  “Oh, what tangled webs we weave when first we practice to deceive (Sir Walter Scott).”

Lies which we make to our selves are like any lies we make to others.  At some point we lose track of what we said to whom, even to ourselves, and there are unforeseen consequences and when they occur, we cry out in disbelief, “Why me?  Yes, you.   You you started this chain of lies to make something big, little, and, instead, it mushrooms.  Some people innocently call it merely self-deception, not really lying.

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Much Ado About Almost Nothing

Much Ado About Almost Nothing or Save Your Drama for Your Llama!  A Llama is a Drama Queen.

Don't Feed the Drama Llama

I recently purchased a tee shirt with the saying on it saying, “Leave Your Drama To My Llama”  I didn’t know at the time that I was going to go off on a tangent about Llamas.  My first thought (which was not “politically correct“) was of changing the first two letters of “Llama” to “Ob“.  Oops, now I am talking politics and I am not sure what is happening to our freedom of speech in this country so bear with me while I digress; but I have.

The Drama LLama

The Drama LLama

I knew the shirt was meant for me as it was in my favorite colors, pink and turquoise and it was my size, at my price point (two bucks), and it was the only one.  I have never seen one like it before or since.  It was meant for me I concluded.  I was looking for something to wear to my class on Halloween.  Screwy, right?

Also right after Halloween, I heard about a Llama being kidnapped in France and I saw the Llama on TV.  Llamas usually don’t make the news like that.

Llama Abduction

Llama Abduction

Nobody got the pun in my class so I decided to look up a Llama as a symbol and this is what I found

Iceberg Llama

Iceberg Llama

“LlamaEndurance, service, sacrifice. Hard work, responsibility, stubbornness. Llama people tend to be sociable, giving, and easygoing, but fully capable of standing up for themselves if crossed. Llama medicine can teach us to relax and trust in our own abilities to maneuver even the most difficult paths in life,” from Foxloft.com.  Does that fit me?

Llive, Llaugh, Llove

Llive, Llaugh, Llove

Because I did the search for Llamas as symbols; I found several memes about Llamas.  I liberally salted these through out this post.  I’ll keep looking as this intrigues me as I had never heard of the “Drama Llama” before.  What do you know about this?  See below.  Just joking?

My Opinion Of Your Opinion

My Opinion Of Your Opinion

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How Do You Confront Denial?

In A State Of Denial

In A State Of Denial

How do you confront denial, especially in yourself?  You most need to do this when you have been putting something off and the adverse consequences are multiplying.  Even more so, you may have had opportunities to solve your problems which you didn’t take and now regret that you didn’t take them.

Now you can grieve over your losses or potential losses and do nothing or you can open yourself up to trying something new.  Life is a series of passages which come and go.  Children can’t remain babies forever and as people get older, they acquire more physical limitations whether due to age, accidents, or the type of physical activities that they have engaged in.  For some people, this happens sooner than later.  People leave your life whether through death, disagreements, or deciding to pursue new goals that are incompatible with your goals.

New people keep coming into your life unless you are a hermit.  Do you welcome them or resent the fact that you now have to deal with someone you don’t know well and who are replacing people you were once were well acquainted with and who were very comfortable to be around?  Having a quiet incident free life can be a mixed blessing, it doesn’t prepare you for when life knocks  you for a loop.

Do you greet new things in your life by saying “I can’t” or “I won’t  do that?”

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Making Your Way Out Of The Swamp Of Denial

swampimages

Making your way out of the swamp of denial or helping someone make his or her way out of the swamp of denial may have many causalities, yourself included.  Too many people do not want to pay the price; but they have to pay the piper eventually.  Seniors may put off making the adjustments they need to make in their chosen lifestyle as they get older and need more help.  They are often not willing to face the consequences and often have put it off for way to long and it doesn’t get easier, it just gets harder and harder to do.  Not taking personal responsibility for some of their life decisions as not working is something that gets in the way.  They can get angry and because of their denial they take it out on the very people they need.

Denial is not conducive to rational thinking or to making an objective assessment of the consequences of choices people in denial might make is close to impossible.  Seniors, especially, may have always thought, “I don’t want to think about that yet.  It couldn’t happen to me.  I like things just the way they are.”  Honor thy father and mother is the commandment which gets harder and harder to obey.  In fact these people may drive away the very people they need.

Now Is The Time That....

Now Is The Time That….

Such people in denial (like some seniors) often have had a position of status quo that was comfortable for them and which they never had to compromise.  It is hard for these people to make the necessary adjustments when they never wanted to or had to before.  At the same time their off spring or local support group runs out of patience with them because some seniors who are in denial won’t accept the help  they have to offer and these seniors even get (sometimes) hateful with them.

God Bless you (friends and family) you may be in for a hard ride with no thanks or gratitude or cooperation for your effort.  The problem may be impossible to solve if the person who needs to change is in the state of denial and stays there.  You might even think you are going crazy.  You say to yourself,”This can’t be real.”  You think that no one would deny something like that when the handwriting is clearly on the wall.

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Denial Is Not A River In Eygpt

denialquote,EgyptDenial (the Nile) is not a river in Egypt” is something I might have heard of in Alcoholics Anonymous; but it’s something said by Mark Twain first.  Many people use denial because they say to themselves,,”Denial will never hurt anyone.  It will keep me out of trouble.”  The sometimes scarey trouble of having to do something about it such as when you have $40,000 in credit card debt and you keep making the minimum payments.  It will hurt nobody (but me and you).  Sometimes we are afraid of what other people’s reactions will be to what we don’t want to admit to.

denialroadsignDenial can become so evasive that we no longer are living in the real world.  We may forget what it was that we were denying and this results in a second denial when reality hits us in the face and we have to deal with the consequences.  Then the only thing that we can say (and we now believe it to be true), “I don’t remember doing or having that.”

Denial is one way of dealing with too much stress.  We can’t handle everything that we need to handle so we conveniently forget one or more of them.  This way we miss appointments, don’t get assignments done, and even have a physical condition get worse.  How often have you said,”I don’t have time to deal with that now,” and then to compound the problem have even forgotten that something needed to be done.

“Me?  Face the things I have denied.”  “No, way!”  I have got enough to do and/or worry about right now.  Many of the things we avoid this way generate a lot of anxiety.  Sometimes our body tells us this by creating a physical problem or by making it get worse.  I have done this and have developed hives (both inside and outside my body), earaches, and stomach and bowel problems.  It’s not “all in your head”; but it is not all outside you either.  Some people call them psychosomatic problems?

stressedoutWhat can you do about denial?  Obviously you can take some of the things you stress about off your “To do list“.  You can look for the hidden stress factors which you are basically denying right now and do something (which you have been putting off  doing) This is because doing this will you think make you even more anxious.  With these types of psychosomatic symptoms, recovery can be almost instantaneous when you “sh.. (defecate) or get off the pot”.

I am at my personal limit when this happens.  I often become even more anxious by resolving the problem but there usually an end to the process and I get some relief.  Then I wonder why I tried to deny this problem for so long?  There is a price to pay which does not seem worth it at first and that is why you deny the problem.  Often there are  at least two choices in the process of resolving this problem and neither appears to be a good one.

When in denial, I have carried such burdens by denying them for such a long time that looking back I wondered why I let myself live that way?  How about you?  Is there something you have put off dealing with? or something stupid you are doing which is a waste of time and money (like getting life insurance policies with your spouse with each other as beneficiaries when you really down deep, underneath it all are headed for a divorce)?

signs,doublebindLast, but not least, to avoid one obstacle in life by not seeing it, you start stop seeing other obstacles and soon you have blurry vision and “blind spots.”  You begin seeing more and occurrences through the filter of denial and you get further and further from what is really there or reality.  If this hits home, I suggest you look up the topic, “mindfulness” as it helps develop realistic thinking  and helps you to avoid missing some of the things that are going on (like the look on a person’s face which doesn’t match their words) that would help you make a better judgment.

For example,  you may have been denying to yourself that the person might not have your best interests in mind, but you feel stuck because you feel that person is the only one that can help you.  Sometimes that is called a double-bind.  It is when a person says something that is not matching what they are doing otherwise, like their tone of voice or lack of eye contact.  Denial of one part or other of the equation is a way of dealing  with it and you can guess which people go for (especially if they are all ready insecure).

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