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FINALLY I AM FREE TO BE ME!

My happy face anyway!.

Finally I am free to be me.  Are you free to be you?

I just discovered in my old age (where I have found that insights blossom) I am no longer bound by what others think.  I don’t have to judge myself by people who are successful in my field or in any other field.  I am free to be me finally.  Instead of withering on the vine, I am growing again in new and different directions.  I grant that I have had difficulty with the judgments of me made by others.  I may not be the world’s expert on a subject, but more than likely they aren’t either.

Be on your guard as you may be greeted by the anger of others if you do assert yourself.  Attacking what is the most defended by others may reach the highest rewards.  Who am I?  Am I what I want to be and can be if I only let go of others’ past influences?  Make way for ME!  I am discovering things that were lost or discarded as not achievable.  Now can I trust my own judgment?

Would you, if you were a man, wear a suit that was tailored to fit some other man.  I had a husband who was very particular about collar sizes and sleeve lengths in his shirts.  I have discovered I only like music that is sung a certain way and any other versions can offend me.   (Am I right or wrong? )  Or have I discovered music for myself?

Failures do not always define you.  Whose judgment are you relying on?  Come home to the person you should know ( yourself) and glorify that.  This is not permission to clobber other people so you can have your own way, but you might make some people unhappy because they can no longer control you.  We all do not have the same tastes!

You probably can no longer be the peacemaker just giving in because someone with a louder voice is used to making a group’s decisions.  For example, such a person then picks the restaurant for a group to eat at which then decides what you can have to eat.  Avoiding conflict does keep the level of the drama down but at what price to you?

I am becoming well-defined as I age and have lumps and bumps that may not please others or that may interfere with what they (not I) want.  Who am I actually?  Do I have undiscovered talents and interests that I can use to shape “my world”?

Could Putdowns Be A Form Of Putting A Curse On Someone?

The witches (at least the bad ones) have gone and people don’t worry about curses being put upon them anymore or do they?  When people put you down to make themselves feel better or to raise themselves above you, are they really putting a curse on you especially if you or those around you tend to believe them?  The power in a curse is usually the strength that of the belief that the victim has in them.

rp_300px-Bullying_Irfe.jpgAlso, can putdowns be a form of domestic abuse?  Yes, a person can be emotionally as well as physically abused leaving them browbeaten and powerless.  Have you ever known a person who doesn’t ever seem to have something good to say about a family member and worse yet, other family members start to do it too.

A Perplexed Child

A Perplexed Child

Doing it to children is a heinous offense.  They often do not have a way of knowing that it is not true and they believe it.  Other family members, especially other children, will start to do it too.  “Monkey see; monkey do”  Also siblings seeing it done to a fellow sibling might think that they might be next so they keep the spotlight on their sibling’s faults and deficiencies.

rp_363561405_150_150.jpgIt is not a good joke if the person who is the object of the joke doesn’t laugh at it too.  When this happens to children, they are often reduced to tears.  The perpetrators say they don’t know why the object of the joke doesn’t think it is funny and they label him or her a “bad sport.”

Things Usually Are the Most Productive When They Are Painful

Does Anger Bring Out The "Devil" In You Or Does Fear of Change Bring Out the "Devil" in You

Does Anger Bring Out The “Devil” In You Or Does Fear of Change Bring Out the “Devil” in You

Progress in my life has often been scary and painful and I often did not work on solving problems because I didn’t want to face the pain involved.  This is especially true in interpersonal situations.  Do you think that the most progress is made when something is easy to do?  Be honest with yourself….

Progress can not always be assured even when we face something painful and that is potentially painful too.  Could we learn something?  This is something that could realistically happen.  Learning can be painful too especially when you have to give up all or part of a long-held belief system.

When confronted with new conflicting information about a belief that a person has long held, people can either reject the new information in some way or change it so it fits their paradigm.  The other option is to change their belief system to fit the new information.  This is what learning is all about.

Some people are not really looking for conflicting information as it makes them uncomfortable so they back away from confrontations.  They think there always has to be a winner or a loser in a disagreement and they are programmed not to lose because it hurts too.  Compromise is sometimes a new thing to some people because of this.

When people come to new understandings about things, they can both be winners.  They understand each other better and can anticipate making better decisions without out so much potential “flack” from the other partner.

Acknowledge Your Feelings But Don’t Let Them Control You

amygdalaFeelings can be overwhelming and are necessary at times.  Grief for example, must be expressed sooner or later.  It is very damaging especially to relationships if it can not be shared.  When I am very hungry, I get so mad that I could spit nails.  When I am with family or friends I warn them when I get that way.  I am literally not able to fulfill others’ requests until I get something to eat.  You probably could name more.

Some feelings people feel are so strong that they literally take over and people thus say that they “involuntarily” do things that they may or may not regret later.  They are out of control but it is not their fault.  For example, someone says, “He made me so mad…” and this justifies whatever that person does next.

Are we responsible for our feelings?  Well, “Yes,” and “No”.   We are frequently conditioned at a very young age to respond with negative feelings to certain things.   We may be even given rational explanations for feeling that way that we accept as something that motivates us to do certain certain things and often enables us to not accept responsibility for what we do then.

How do we resist all that conditioning?  It can effectively put limits on our life if we let it.   It is often difficult to undo.   How often have we heard someone say, “I can’t help it,” in relation to performing these type of learned behaviors.  Is it a Get Out of Jail Free” card like in Monopoly?

What have you learned to feel and to respond to in certain situations.  Is it you that is behind it or did you catch it from somewhere or someone else?

 

Never Stop Learning New Things. Don’t give up!

rp_2269499855_31a018a8f6_m.jpgOnce you’ve met your peak.  Once you have met your goals.  Don’t give up.   Learning is a life long process and it doesn’t end until you are at “Heaven’s” door.  Once you have the motivation, you will never give up.  Life continues to unfold as you know more and more.  This way you’ll never be a bore.  I have not stopped and I never will.

Many people once they reach the “mountain top” begin to slide down the slippery slope toward life’s ending.  Whatever goal they achieve, they may say to themselves, “Is that all that there is?”  and if they get back the answer, “Yes,” they give up and tread water for the rest of their lives until they get tired of doing it and sink into the throws of life’s end.

rp_Machine-Doest-Have-Brain-Sign-S-8429.gifFor me death is not an ending, it is a transition.  I prefer to call it that because I believe that life goes on in another way when you reach it.   I realize that transitioning can happen at anytime and for many it comes too early and for others, too late.  I don’t like to keep my brain busy with thinking about  it.

Sometimes it is better to focus on the present moment and enjoy what happens.  For example, a person with early memory problems may enjoy a phone call or reading a card; but then not remember everything that was talked about.    Should family and friends stop communicating with this person because they will not remember all of what is said?  My answer is, “No.”  There is still pleasure in the moment.  Why deny them that?

rp_5238574678_75a3ca1b14_m.jpgFor the person above the pleasure of learning “new” things happens over and over.  Why deny them that pleasure.  Why deny yourself the pleasure of learning new things or of seeing things in a new way?  Holding too strongly onto the “old” can deny yourself the pleasure of the “new”.  Who knows what is left to learn?  Learning new things is known to keep your brain young.  Sharing the joy of learning can bond people of any age.  Why be a “bore” or a “stick in the mud”. Especially to yourself!

Take A Trip This Christmas And Leave Your Worries Behind

Take a trip this Christmas.  It doesn’t matter where you go  if you know you won’t have to do anything but enjoy the ride.  That is what I am going to do when I take a Christmas shopping trip tomorrow.  Somebody else is driving and I don’t have to worry about getting in and out of the vehicle and finding a parking space.  We are going out to dinner and seeing Christmas lights.  The most it will cost me is a small fee for the ride and whatever I decide to pay for my food at dinner.  I have nothing in particular to get and I will be happy to get out and about no matter what stores we go to.  It is out of my hands and I like it that way.  There will be no drama as far as I am concerned as I don’t expect more than what I have described on this trip.

rp_300px-Face-smile.svg_.pngI leaving my worries and bills at home.  My motto at home is ” what house gets kept I keep”;  and I am sure the household chores that don’t get done before I go will be there waiting there for me when I get home.    I will empty my mind and leave room to experience the gift of the present.  I will not be concerned with whether or not I will make friends. . I just want to get along with the other passengers.   I won’t be rude or crude.  I don’t care which seat I get in the bus.  I won’t fight over a window seat .  I won’t try to take control of the group riding the bus and demand that they sing Christmas carols, the ones that I want to sing

I am going to let go and no matter what happens (even if it doesn’t make me deliriously  happy) I am going to accept it and realize that the privilege of getting to go on the trip is enough  and so is having a chance to to leave all my cares behind.  Now your “trip” might not be my “trip”; but do it anyway.  Just let go and do something with few expectations about what will happen.  Give yourself a break.  If  possible, leave all or as many of your responsibilities behind as you can.  You can always take them back up again when your “trip” ends.

Risky Business!

Do you do things everyday that could cost you your life or someone else’s life?  Do you do things daily that would or could cost you a lot of money?  Why do we take these risks?  Are we more moved by the possibility of instant satisfaction instead of safely curbing these impulses to avoid  future penalties?

Is it our inner voice that encourages or discourages this?  Do we listen to others and not our own common sense? Do we have a set of defense mechanisms such as denial and rationalization in place to prevent our listening to warnings in our own head, in the media, or from our family?denialquote,Egypt

How few of the life promoting resolutions that get made at New Years ever come to fruition such as driving safely or living a more healthy lifestyle?

Also do we put our own lives first or do we satisfy everybody else’s needs and neglect our own which then justifies our breeches of safety when we do have a chance to do  something impulsive and costly when we feel that we have a chance to satisfy our own needs versus those of others.

 

 

Celebrate Yourself?

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Do you keep a low profile.  Do you wait for others to celebrate you life landmarks and they never do?  Did you miss your graduation? because it was too much pomp and circumstance and you saved everybody the hassle of coming to it.  I have my Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin; but I don’t know what my academic colors are because I didn’t go.  I didn’t feel I should make everyone make the trip back  as when I finished I was no longer on campus.

Only two people were invited to our wedding, the witnesses.  I don’t believe I have ever celebrated my anniversary with a special date night on the town.  Is it bad to blow your own horn?  I bought my own birthday cake and my friends knew I was celebrating my 70th birthday last November but my family didn’t know it wasn’t an ordinary birthday (Don’t worry it has been almost a year and either I am getting used to it or getting over it (being 70)).  Many achievements in college I didn’t get to celebrate with my family because they couldn’t make the trip but my mother did come for my graduation.  But when my son and my son-in-law graduated from the training academy, we went.

If you don’t celebrate yourself, no one one else will.  If you don’t think you are worth it, no one else will?  Your attitude toward yourself communicates itself nonverbally to others and they treat you the same way you treat yourself.  I can be very professional when I know I am right and have the responsibility to do what is right!  But it doesn’t carry over sometimes to my family and friends.  Even the grand kids have begun to question my authority.  But I’m not going to back down for their sake.

I have a list of complements hidden on the back of my medicine cabinet door that I would like to get; but it is not posted where anyone could see it.  Why are we encouraged to be so self-effacing?  I am the opposite of a narcissist I guess.  Stand up, stand up for what you believe in including yourself.  I hesitate to share my opinions at home or at family occasions so nobody knows what I think there.  I hesitate because I might embarrass myself or others like family or friends.  Keep your mouth shut.   Ever hear of that?

Self-help materials suggest that you associate with only supportive friends in order to keep your self-esteem high.  Of course that can keep you in denial by only associating with people who agree with you.  Is there a happy medium?  Are you lying to yourself or do other people keep trying to put you down?

Out With The Old, In With The New Or Is It In With The Old Out With The New?

There are a lot of articles about decluttering your house, your apartment, your dorm room or your room at home.  How about decluttering your life or better yet your mind!  How long do we hang on to old ideas like old clothes, old newspapers, or worn out shoes?   We haven’t used them in the last few years or we haven’t reevaluated them recently to see if they still serve their purpose or reflect who we are.  Have you ever noticed a woman or a man who hasn’t changed their style of dressing and/or hair style since they were much younger?  It may not suit them anymore but they continue to wear them.

Now Is The Time That....

Now Is The Time That….

When we are younger, we learn rapidly and may change our minds just as fast.  Have we changed who influences us and/or what we believe? even if we have found evidence or had experiences to the contrary?  Sometimes we are even proud of this.  Yes, if it still makes sense continue to believe it.  Or do you not change your opinions or the way you practice your beliefs because of stubborness and/ or pride.  Or are you afraid that someone will find you to be easy to be led by the ring in your nose? or just plain wishywashy?  Who controls your life?  Is that what you really want?

Who controls your life?  good?  or evil?  How comfortable are you about the decisions you have made?  Are you afraid of losing your identity. of not knowing who you are any more if you realize that rp_KUWtK_titlecard.pngyou need to reconsider some of the decisions  you have made about yourself and your life.  Remember what works for one person may not work for another and you may be unhappy if you follow the crowd and continue to judge yourself by what you think that the crowd thinks is important.  Anthropology is the study of different cultures in different lands and it might surprise some people if they study anthropology that different people find different things and different behaviors necessary to be considered civilized or attractive.  In our society, consider Kim Kardashian’s  posterior anatomy which some men find very enticing.

This is especially true if a person is raised to follow some standard because of what other people might think.  This is as true of teenaged gang members as it is or was of teenagers in Beverly Hills.  Isn’t it amazing that sometimes someone will do something or wear something that is very original that will start a new trend that then it seems like everyone now has to admire and/or follow?  I was raised that way and I wondered why everybody was more important than me.  Such a thing detracts from one’s self-worth.

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There is room for a lot of different beliefs in the world if one believes in freedom.  Why do some people think that they have to destroy or convert (often by threat of death) anyone who does not believe as they do?  Diversity can be a good thing.  It is often a good thing if most people like different things and activities.  If their were no people who liked to cook how would we get something to eat?  What makes one occupation better than another?  Who would fix our toilets or collect our trash?  Is an airplane pilot more skilled than an airplane mechanic.
When my brother was in the U.S. Air Force, he told me that in the Canadian Air Force that pilots were sergeants and mechanics were lieutenants just the opposite of what was true of the U.S.
Air Force.

Another thing to consider is if we should be constantly changing to something new like the new core curriculum in schools?  It appears too complicated for elementary students to grasp or even for adults?  Who is going to help children with their math?  Homework already has been difficult enough for parents to help with.  What happened to common sense?  What happened to the freedom of school districts to determine what and how to teach something.  Different teachers have different strengths and can use different approaches to teach the same thing from other teachers or within the classroom with different students.  Why are these choices being made more and more by people who are far removed from the very situation that  they are making the decisions for.  A good leader uses his or her employees’ or supervisees’ knowledge and strengths in order to make decisions.  They also delegate authority when appropriate..

 

Ruminating? Is It Useful?

rp_8619481133_df8a85fccf_m.jpgHave a problem you can’t solve?  Has somebody hurt you?  Do you like to talk it over with a friend or friends?  Do you want to share your frustration or hurt feelings.  Do you think it will make you feel better if someone thinks or feels the same way you do?

A little coruminating can help but continuous airing of frustrations, bad news, or unrequited love can make you feel worse, especially for women.  Depression can deepen and anxiety increase and you can even drive away friends with your constant texting or late night phone calls.

Pathways can be reinforced in our brains and associated feelings can be intensified with constant musings and repetitious ventilating.  Going over and over a problem for which there is no current solution or recourse is frustrating both for you and the person you are sharing it with.  It may even make it worse leaving you unable to recognize a solution or change in the situation when it happens.

Sometimes you can create a time table suggesting when you should try to solve the problem again or when you really should worry because you haven’t heard from someone.  In the mean time take a break and encourage yourself not to do anything rash or jump to conclusions.rp_300px-High_Anxiety_movie_poster.jpg

For example, being called to jury duty may throw a wrench in your monkey works if you are sequestered in a jury on long infamous trial but you might get excused from jury duty before you even have to report because of something that you didn’t know would excuse you from serving in the first place or after you get called in for the jury selection for a trial.

There is one thing that I usually say to myself when I start worrying about something that might happen or have happened and that is usually when something bad happens, I don’t expect it so if I am worrying that it has, it probably hasn’t happened.

Enjoy yourself.  It is later than you think.  Excuse yourself from ruminating about something especially when you don’t have all the information and won’t have it for a while.  Yes, be ready when the time comes to do something about it.  It is a lot easier to prepare for something and make plans for when something happens when you’re not worried about it and can think rationally.