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Monthly Archives: April 2018

The Devil Made Me Do It

Haven’t you heard that before?  Is it really the devil or are there self-defeating thought patterns that cause you to make a mistake, a big mistake.

Then when you are fired, have a traffic accident for which you are considered to be a fault, or blow it somehow and lose a relationship, you are initially entirely mystified as to how you could have fallen into that predicament and until the shock wears off, you are thinking, “Hey, what did I get into?  How did that happen?  Who, me?”

When the initial blankness wears off, next you face the consequences which can be overwhelming.  “Me, how did I get pregnant?”  “How will it change my life?”  “What happened to my car?”  “Is anyone hurt besides possibly me?  Will I lose my license?  How will I ever find another job with this on my record?”

Decisions may also have to be made at the moment which you might or might not regret later.  You can possibly become defensive and whatever the consequences of your decisions you can and will defend them.  You can then can become “Mr. or Ms. Neverever Wrong” and this too can prevent you from learning from your mistakes.

You may also have to come to some conclusions which you may regret later.  Did you intend to do it or did the devil make you do it?  You don’t have to be Christian to think this, but it helps.  You may say that you won’t have any regrets because whatever happened, it wasn’t your fault and get yourself lost in denial even if it is not what actually is found to have happened.  Sometimes reality can become really, really hazy when this happens.

You can see how your self-concept can keep you from seeing or acknowledging your mistakes and how valuable life lessons can be lost this way.  Recently I had a conflict with a friend and lost my relationship with her.  I didn’t know it at the time that the heat was getting to her worse than I knew and I was more concerned about my own ability to handle it.  I learned, as much as I didn’t like it, that I was not acknowledging the signs she was giving me about her own deteriorating physical wellbeing.

I  had had a long-ago lesson ( that pertains to the above situation) where an aunt of my husband’s who was helping me get my baby to the doctor in a far away city didn’t really want to do it and I learned that she really wanted me to read her mind when she said, “Yes” and she really meant, “No”.  I was hurt when I found out that she felt I had taken advantage of her and was mad about it.

My husband’s aunt got really mad at me like my friend was when she had heat prostration.  I learned that I had to read minds and therefore read between the lines when I was in certain situations even when I was not told something.  It initially exasperated me, but I eventually got the hint.  It was a very expensive lesson when I also learned that my friend and also a close friend of hers were very mad at me and did not want to communicate with me.  Again they felt that I had taken advantage of her and was insensitive.

I certainly was part of the problem; but what if I considered that the devil made me do it.  I am sure he would be happy creating conflict among people and making them behave less like a Christian.  In the Lord’s prayer is the line,”and lead us not into temptation”.  We need to keep on our guard as hurt feelings and confusion are a potentially bad mix.  It has caused me a lot of grief.  Can you conceive of the devil enjoying this?.  I can think that is what God meant when he gave Christians this part of the Lord’s Prayer.

For a long time I was very rational about this part of the Lord’s Prayer and I didn’t think I needed pray it because I always knew what I was doing; but then sometime’s I made some dumb mistakes. For example, one was making a left-turn onto a four lane highway holding my fast food that I had just bought in one hand.  I totaled my new car and wound up driving a used Cadillac. I always wanted a Cadillac but not that way.  Who was at fault? me? God? or the Devil?

Also sometimes I have been very dense and as a result get caught in the same situation over and over.  Was it my fault or the devil’s fault?  I felt very strongly that I had to solve my own problems and often was confused in certain situations when I did not catch onto to what others’ wanted of me.  I knew I was not meeting their standard’s but I did not know why.  I was not getting their hints; but it was not malice on my part.

I have a little true story about me that illustrates this that I might have used in some other of my posts.  My lady supervisor at a clinic told me that I had an odor problem.  This was confusing to me because I was a regular bath taker, used deodorant, frequently changed my clothes, and washed those that needed it or sent them to the cleaners.  Needless to say, I immediately either washed all my clothes or had them cleaned; but the odor persisted.  It was very embarrassing and the staff felt  like that I had some kind of problem that I wouldn’t admit like to being homeless or living in a dive and had no plumbing.  Later I figured out that it was a perfume that I was wearing that didn’t mix well with my body chemistry.  I stopped wearing it. Problem solved.  But that never did connect with what the staff was thinking.

As a Christian, I latter learned to call on God especially for problems that I couldn’t solve and not to entirely depend on myself and view it was some kind of a test that I might fail.  I felt that the devil always won in these cases.  I had failed some kind of a test.  I did in an indirect way (I didn’t ask for help); but I think I either had some kind of lesson to learn or I was inadvertently making the devil happy.  Often it is the little things that bring us down.  I don’t think the devil likes us to be happy, without serious worries, and confident that we are okay.  What do you think?

What A Drag Being Female

Women know this and yet, men often think that women have it easier.  It is obvious that most women spend more time on their appearance and that some of the things they wear including their shoes are uncomfortable and often require uncomfortable positions in order to appear ladylike.  I have bunions and hammer toes, some of which had to be corrected by surgery, which was difficult because feet take longer to heal, which were exacerbated by wearing too small shoes in order to be ladylike and to accommodate the current fashions of pointed toes and high heels.  I was on crutches for awhile and in a cast when my foot didn’t heal with just a boot.  Excess weight, aging skin, and gray hair are easier for men to handle as their clothes often cover some of these “sins” and gray or white hair is often considered distinguished on men.  Women require a more extensive and varied wardrobe then.  Who notices when a man wears the same suit more than once a week?  Hair and makeup are an added cost for women and take time to apply and maintain.  (Psst: most women’s cosmetics and body and hair care products are, for a fact, more expensive than men’s).

A woman can feel like she has a ball and chain attached to one leg because of her female gender and this is often not recognized by the general public and by most feminist groups.  Being physically female has a lot of problems attached to it from the beginning of puberty and it never goes away for most women.

It starts with the embarrassment of the first period.  What to do about it and where and when to take care of the menstrual flow.  I remember in puberty that it was not acceptable to have not yet had a period when a girl reached a certain age.  I was thirteen when I got mine so I didn’t have to bother with it until I got in high school and yet I still was a woman when I became a high schooler.  It’s a normal function but most facilities do not make it easy to take care of it.  Also, it can be embarrassing to “bleed through” and have to change and have nothing to change into.  Ick?

Then as a girl turns into a woman she has other things to worry about like gynecologist visits, bladder and vaginal problems including contagious diseases.  Then there is birth control.  The responsibility for which most often falls on the girl.  Usually not just when she is having intercourse, but just in case when she is not planning to.

No matter how a girl gets pregnant willingly or unwilling she is the one that has to deal with it whether she chooses to terminate the pregnancy or not.  There are always risks to her life and to her fertility and there are the stress and possible guilt that goes along with doing it.

Methods of dealing with the problem of getting pregnant are sometimes risky, a “pain” to obtain, costly, and sometimes awkward to use.  The responsibility of taking care of this problem usually lies mostly on the woman.  I had a vaginal implant (the Dalkon Shield) that was recalled and miserable to get taken out.  That is not what I had opted for, but it happened anyway.  Such things result in more often regular doctor’s visits than men usually require.

There is the possibility of inherited diseases like breast cancer, ovarian cysts, and (in my case) fibroid tumors.  They are often unexpected and they are the cause of many medical treatments and sometimes hospitalizations.  I bled for a year until I had my complete hysterectomy and at the time was working within the confines of a large prison.  There is also the possibility of death as I had undetected multiple blood clots in my lungs after surgery which were not detected by my gynecologist at my post-surgery visits. Yes, my nurse practitioner detected that there was something wrong and eventually I was hospitalized and diagnosed by my doctor and did not die.

Some of the responsibilities of having children are borne mostly by the woman during the pregnancy and birth and after if she has complications giving birth and breastfeeding.  There is also the risk of death during or after the process.  In the old days, men often had several wives in the process of having their families.  For proof of this go to an old cemetery and look at the headstones in family plots.

With my last baby, I initially took her with me to staff meetings in a baby carriage and used a blanket to shield what I was doing when I fed her.  Then when I worked and left her behind, I used to spend twenty minutes in a toilet stall pumping breast milk by hand at twice a day and then had to find a place to keep it until I could take it home.  Also, most or all of what I made went moneywise for child care.

The question is:  do women really have the freedom men have to focus on their careers?Menstruation on the battlefield would seem to be impossible.  Having the time to put into a career as a woman.  Being laid low by menstrual pain or the problems of menopause.  Women are usually expected to “work” through it or drop out of the workforce or take a job with fewer responsibilities because of their feminine problems.  The motto seems to be “act like a man” even if you are a woman.

There should be some sort of compromise, but we haven’t hit it yet.  Yet men are very mad at women for trying to or actually taking their place in the workforce.  However, women know that it is no fun doing this for them either.  Later on, when retirement(?) comes, couples are often dependent on both of their checks and when one of them dies, he or she can’t make it on their own.

Yes, I didn’t have to go to war but competed on the same battlefield with men in college and graduate school.  I did not have the camaraderie as men often have to be part of the old boy school and get jobs.  Easy?  I wouldn’t say so.

 

Are You Missing Confidence (In Yourself)? Or Did You Let Someone Take It From You?

How come we are so attached to what other people say about us negatively that we can’t even think of something nice to say about our selves?  How often do we rant and rave about all our deficiencies so much that we almost make a rut so deep in our lives that we can’t see out of it and can’t get out of it?  Or so much so that we have become a “sad sack” instead of a Knight or Lady in shining armor?

 

Have you ever heard the song, “I ain’t down yet!”,  from the musical Annie Get Your Gun sung by Debbie Reynolds?  We drive ourselves deeper and deeper into self-pity and lack of self-confidence rather than push ourselves up to where we would like to be and ought to be.  We often forget our goals in life and resort to just trying to keep ourselves above ground or above water?  We are more concerned about sinking than bringing ourselves up.  The trick is that others often push us down to bring themselves up.  They believe that there is no room at the top for anybody but them.  Remember the childhood game, King of the hill?

 

Scary isn’t it?  What if it wasn’t true?  What if there is more room at the top than what others people in your past made you think? Or what if they really have low self-esteem themselves and they don’t want to be alone at the bottom of the heap so they attempt to bring you down with them?  What a fool you are when the means of getting back to where you have confidence in your self is not that far away!  Fooled you, fooled you, made you look, made you buy a penny book.

 

To bring yourself up out of this morass, you have to believe the truth (about yourself).  You have more potential than you think you have and those that get ahead of you because of this, may have less potential than you have.  For example as a woman Ph.D. in the 70’s I was ahead of the pack.  There were way fewer girls at the time than boys in my clinical psychology class and a higher percentage of the girls in the program got their Ph.D.’s than boys.

 

Later on, I found that both women and men who worked with me believed one of two things.  1) That if I could get a Ph.D., it must not have been that difficult and that if they wanted to, they could have had their Ph.D. in a couple of years after they had finished their masters and 2) That I was potentially was a Ph.D. snob and if I could get my Ph.D., it didn’t mean that I could tell them what to do.  Also if they had any power or influence and didn’t have a degree like I did from a big university, that I deserved to be taken down a peg or two by them.  ENVY!  NOT COOPERATION at work here.

 

The Word Ambiguity Is Ambiguous-Curious? Read This Post

Many people have difficulty tolerating ambiguity.  This may be just why our nation is so polarized right now between the left and the right, Trump haters and Trump supporters.

Actually, ambiguity is often the state of knowledge.  We just can’t get a clear picture of how things are and just when we do, we find out something new.  Young twenty-somes often do not feel comfortable with ambiguity and this is the reason why many of them are seduced into cults which claim that they have all the answers like Scientology.

Boundaries can be ambiguous

I am satisfied that I don’t know all the answers and that some answers will never be extremely clear although they may become clearer over time.  I believe that I don’t know all the answers and that I won’t know all the answers in this lifetime.  People who do not believe this way makes me very nervous as I don’t totally agree with everybody and everybody doesn’t agree totally with me.

College was the place where my fellow students were encouraged to disagree and to debate many points of view unlike most of the students of today who are reinforced for accepting the beliefs of certain professors who are deemed politically correct.

Gaining in knowledge should encourage surprises and new

Self-Styled Expert?

ideas not consistently reinforce all beliefs presented or taught.  Science should constantly explore and evaluate conclusions made from current experiments and past knowledge.  Many scientists often currently skip the phase where they develop a naturalistic understanding of the area of knowledge that they choose to evaluate.  This often involves acquiring personal experience which has been typical of anthropologists in the past who went out to live among a people that they proposed to study.  First-hand experience can sometimes be better than book-learning.

The Best Child-Expert

How many child psychologists have ever had first-hand experience bringing up children? or have spent time playing with them after they themselves have entered high school or college?  Getting down on the floor and participating in a child’s imaginary world is often different from observing and taking measurements from an experimental psychologist’s perspective.  I especially like to have the child have me draw a picture of an experience he or she has had.  Also, suits and ties and tight skirts and high heels get in the way of making these observations.

I once was a participant in setting up an experiment about snake phobia.  I was not

She appears SCARED!

particularly worried as I didn’t think actual snakes would be used even though I was snake phobic and didn’t tell people because they then would surprise me with one of the real snakes used in their experiments.  I knew that when I saw someone carrying a shoe box in the rooms where my fellow students had study carrels there usually was a snake in it and I would leave the room without saying anything.

After I was strapped into a recliner with leads for physiological responses in a room with no windows and the only door behind me, and shown slide pictures of snakes, I was told this was when the actual snake would be brought in a glass aquarium from behind me.  If this had happened, I (or any real snake phobic) would have gone “ape-shit” and that would have been the end of the experiment and the start of a lawsuit if I and/or they had survived.

No one knows everything and we never will.  We just have to live with ambiguity in our lives.  Concrete knowledge is desired and claimed by some, but can not usually be true in actual reality.

Is this Green?

Another supposedly concrete example of ambiguity is the spectrum of colors.  The is no such thing usually as a pure color and the changing fashions in fashion design and interior decorating illustrate this.  For example, a color of green that is fashionable in yarn for crocheting and knitting goes out of style and it goes on sale.  Someone making items from this yarn for sale at craft fairs might not get many buyers.  This color of green no longer is fashionable.  Or pick up an old or vintage handmade throw at a flea market and it might not go with the things you currently have where you plan to use it.  Did you know that the color green or other primary colors can be ambiguous?

Be Careful, Before You Make a Judgment, Or Form An Opinion

Looks like she loves making judgments!

 

 

 

Be careful before you form an opinion or make a judgment as you just might be wrong.  Do you have all the information?  Whose side are you on?  Does that distort your perspective?  Have you ever done this and found out later that you were wrong?  Remember the saying, “Don’t jump to conclusions?”

 

 

You Might Reveal Your Own Dirt!

The judgments that you make are pretty revealing not so much about the other person, but about you.  Do you really want to make that mistake and reveal that much about your own shortcomings and not the other person’s?  The common error that philanders often make is to accuse their spouse or significant other of running around on them.  The accusations that they make about the other person, reveal so much about them.  The details are often very descriptive about what is actually happening with them.  How else could they know so much about what happens in such relationships?

 

Prying Eyes

I once had a lady in church who accused me of not taking care of my kids and disrupting the service.  Her first thought was not to give me (my husband was not there) some help taking care of the kids, two toddlers, and a baby; but what a fine job she had done with her’s and how her children would never have disrupted a church service.  This is a kind of a mystery but it can be solved using the advice that I gave above.  What had she experienced bringing up her children that caused her to be so sensitive to the “misbehavior” of mine?

 

Needs Writer’s Block

Recent “fake” news often gives a one-sided story and jumps to conclusions before all the facts are in.  To top it off, they rarely publish a correction when more information becomes available.  Do you want to put yourself in that position?  Gossip 0r unsubstantiated conclusions can cause irreparable damage besides making you the teller look like a fool.  Or even revealing your own personal biases.  Rose-colored glasses often aren’t the ideal prescription for viewing life nor are dark colored lenses which are usable for sunny days only.

 

Where’s The Lottery Ticket?

A strong desire to be helpful can also get in the way of knowing the actual truth which can potentially turn out to be embarrassing.  Like famous people with publicity agents, families can often put out what they want the public to know about a family tragedy or life-changing event.  You could wind up with egg on your face if you initially take the initial “publicity release”  as the whole actual truth rather than what they want you to know for the time being.  A massive lottery win is often kept quiet so that the winners are not taken advantage of by opportunists.  Could you think of other examples?

 

This will make some juicy gossip for someone!

 

 

 

Don’t be so taken in by the desire to be in o the gossip that you make one of the above mistakes.  Better yet, wait until you know the truth.  Then you can decide whether to share it with anyone or do anything.  Of course, there are always emergencies where you must make split-second decisions without out all the information about what is going on.   This can be embarrassing if you make a mistake or horrific if you pass up this opportunity to help when time is of the essence.

 

Has the post made you think?  I hope so.  Can you think of any other occasions when these things might happen?