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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?

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?

 

Shame & Blame! How to Play The Game And Not Be Played!

How many of us do not know how to play the game of shame and blame?  Many of us.  We can easily be used to feel at fault for somebody else’s action.  To them, it is a game to easily revert the responsibility for something that they could get caught for doing to you.  Or vice versus.  They could also make you feel bad for them when they have gotten caught doing something that they want you to perceive as really doing something good.

Blame is when the responsibility for doing something bad is attributed to someone and then because of this, they should feel ashamed for having done something.  This can be “tricky” when it involves you and you don’t know what is going on.  It is the “do-gooders” that can be easily be caused to feel ashamed.  The “bad people” often use this trick with “do-gooders” and they don’t even know it.  ” They are too busy apologizing and attempting to rectify their “mistake”.

When feeling ashamed whether they should or not, people try to forget the act related to having felt ashamed (which is sometimes called repression) or hide it (see http://myeverydaypsychology.com/hiding-shame-based-interactions/) or they get mad and attack the person making the claim mentally or physically or they accept the blame or some of the blame and “feel down” about what they did or did not do.  These are SHAME SHIELDS, presented by Brene Brown,  Ph.D. in a free continuing education seminar, “On The Armour, We Use To Protect Ourselves And Why It Doesn’t Serve Us”.

Children are not pawns.  Their needs are! more important than yours.  Unless you are prepared to give instead of receive, probably you should not have children.  You need to put their needs before yours, even if you are inconvenienced, have to make some sacrifices, and don’t immediately get reinforced.  Done right, it pays off in the long run with children who have good values shown by the ability in most situations to support themselves, raise good children (if they have them), and being able at some point in their lives be able to thank you for doing this.

On the one hand, she might have a good reason, on the other hand…

Often the first move of these people is to blame you or others instead of themselves for the thing they have done or for something you actually might think you have done in order to deflect responsibility for their own behavior.  This person can often get mad very quickly before you or their victim can have time to think and can be made to go on the defensive.  This deflects or reflects the responsibility from themselves to you or to someone else.  They are often very good at this so don’t be fools and see the blame as being on you or someone else instead of them.

Have you ever lost an argument this way?  Or have you ever won an argument this way?  This generally leads to mass confusion on somebody’s part and on the part of some people who hear about this agreement.  The feeling of shame usually immediately follows and can last for days, months, and even years.  I had a stepsister-in-law who was an alcoholic and called up her mother when drunk to blame her for all the things that had happened to her because of her own behavior, not really her mom’s behavior.

Sometimes she looked like this to me.

She browbeat this woman for things she couldn’t control like this woman’s husband deserting her with three kids to support and raise in the Depression.  This woman was so good at transferring the blame that she was lethal and our children were not left alone with her unless a responsible adult was also there.  Even then, they didn’t need to hear the things she had to say so they were kept away from her as much as possible.  She could also play the game of feeling “hurt” when this became obvious.  P.S. Occasionally she handmade some dolls for our children and they still have them so it wasn’t all negative

Shame can be an immediate feeling of feeling bad from one part of the brain, the amygdala

which responds quickly, without thinking, like this cat with road rage.

It is responsible for emergency bodily responses and probably responds before a person has time to reach the part of the brain that wonders why they feel bad (or good).  Remember the times that you thought you didn’t have time to think and just responded.  I am not chastising you for feeling immediate shock or grief in certain tragic situations.  Sometimes feelings are part of a bodily response that enables you to respond quickly in an emergency.

Have you ever been played like a piano in one of these situations where “shame” or “blame” comes into play?  Sometimes someone else does it and sometimes you do it to yourself often based on old scripts in your mind based on past experiences.  My script is that I have done something wrong that I didn’t know was wrong at the time.  It could be something “stupid” or “thoughtless” or something that a person got really mad about although I couldn’t have done anything about it at the time.

People can thoughtlessly ruin relationships in this way.  Maybe they think that they are in competition with someone like me for the desired person’s love or loyalty.  I can feel really guilty at the time and grieve for the loss of a crucial relationship apparently someone else coveted.  I can not help but think the person involved with my friend never knew and/or felt that she had done this and was to some part responsible for my loss and my friend’s loss too.  (This is also a form of drama and  I have written about this elsewhere in my blog.  See also a book by Doreen Virtue, Don’t Let Anything Dull Your Sparkle: How to Break Free of Negativity and Drama, ( A writer who writes about things like drama in a way that is easily understood and covers a lot of material about the subject.  (See also one she has written one eating disorders, The Yo-Yo Diet Syndrome:  How to Heal and Stabilize Your Appetite and Weight)  As with many good writers you may not be drawn to everything she writes but also she writes on other subjects that could be of personal interest to you.  See also, The Courage To Be Creative: How to Believe in Yourself, Your Dreams, and Ideas, and Your Creative Career Path by Doreen Virtue.  The content of which seems to parallel the origins of my interests in writing.  Both by Doreen Virtue at Hay House publishers.