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shadow selves

The Little PEOPLE

happyoldercoupleEvery time I think that the Little PEOPLE are getting ahead, I realise they aren’t.  I was very happy with the recent election because I felt that the new administration was supporting the middle class that was no longer the middle class under the current, soon past administration.

grandparent-and-grandchildWhat I have recently realised is that I have joined the lower class (once working class or even middle class in many situations).  We are squeaking by on social security and disability payments (which have been borrowed from to pay other government expenses)  and have to seek help like free food from The Master’s Hand locally.  Also in this area, if you have farm income (that counts against you as it is considered income before farming expenses are taken out) in terms of getting any extra government help.farmgrandchild

Most of us would contribute something to the economy if there was a way we could.  Most of us would like to have a voice in the new administration.  For example, most of Illinois voted for the new administration except for the heavily populated urban areas.  But where is our voice?  No one campaigned in our areas and we feel that no one has listened to our concerns.  What do you think?  Are there other areas of our country in the same shape?

Expert-Full-NYC-3Also who is the voice of the forgotten little people?  On the network that supported the election of the new administration, we are not represented.  They are again relying on experts who have no real life experience or it is so far in the remote past that they don’t remember it or so far removed from it, it doesn’t matter anymore.

rp_362536218_150_150.jpgAlso, there is pressure on these experts, especially women, to conform to certain standards not representative of the men and/or do not reflect what ordinary people look like.  It is nice for some of us to remain “young” and look youthful but is not the way most people look and it is easier to see the standards for men are less stringent than for women.rp_376403644_150_150.jpg

For example, most woman experts on this network look like they are ready to go to a cocktail party instead of a business occasion.  Yes, the men are nicely and appropriately dressed but they don’t have to struggle as much as women do to appear appropriately presentable, youthful and beautiful.rp_374315433_150_150.jpg

When are the Little PEOPLE going to be represented?  The overall wearing, wearing second-hand clothing, or in “high style” Wal-Mart,  but often foreign made, clothing?  We have a lot to say and we don’t have a lot we can do about our situations but suffer.  Welfare often misses us and as our social security or retirement checks do not raise, but inflation and the cost of living does and as things cost more and more, we have to get by on less and less with little or no representation in or help from society or the government!empty pockets

The Little PEOPLE do have something to say!  We have learned something through experience.  We do have “philosophical” discussions.  We can see things others more fortunate and potentially more powerful don’t.rp_228552603_150_150.jpg

Certainly how Little PEOPLE experience life has something to say about the type of life we are promoting for all!  Often as people do better and better economically, they tend to put people down who haven’t and consider their opinions useless and their motivations feckless!  Also other people who have done well often think the same way and might make fun of those who don’t.  How many Little People do you see in certain churches or certain social groups like the Elks?  Nuff said.rp_AVaP8ps9-q4L3Kdb3ETm_150_150.jpg

Whistling In The Dark?

rp_300px-TV_highquality.jpgSmall children not only have problems with object recognition in a dimly lit bedroom, they also in early childhood as young as two or three have good imaginations often telling adults that they see or hear something vividly that is only a figment of their very colorful imagination.  Combine the two and they were easily could see monsters in the dark which their parents then tell them aren’t real and that they should act as if they are not there and go to sleep.  What this really means is that they still “see” monsters but know they have to act as if they weren’t there.

When a child is in bed, they see things from a different perspective than the one they have when they are sitting up or moving around the room.  There is the psychological concept of object permanency which is used when a child is able to see an object such as a bottle from different angles and in different types of illumination and still know that it is a bottle and treat it like one.

Another difference is the rods in the retina pick up and transmit the effect of a black and white picture which is more blurry than that the  very sharp image that the cones give in brilliant color (which are in the center of the retina) in very bright light.  Yes, black and white images in photos and motion pictures are almost gone and “little” ones are probably not familiar with them.The-Sacred-Shadow-Header-1024x462Could this be the origin of fears of sleeping in the dark which are topped off by the parent telling them that what they see and what it looks like (how they perceive it) is wrong and their feelings about it are foolish and should be denied so that the parent (not necessarily the child) can relax and go back to sleep thinking that they have banished the monsters effectively and gotten the child to believe there are no monsters in his or her room when they have done no such thing.  What they really have done has made the situation more scarey because the child still believes there are monsters but his or her parents don’t believe it and now they can’t depend on their parents for help and must face the perceived danger alone and probably without a light to illuminate the dark and scarey corners.

Don’t make children deny their feelings, they don’t go away, they just stay out of sight.  They must be seen from the child’s point of view.  For example, mommy, daddy, there is the monster over there and there is his head, there are his eyes and there are his hands and he has claws sticking out.  See he is breathing.  Fuzzy images in the near dark do look like they might be moving or breathing.  It can happen also from a child’s changes in perspective.rp_3363953427_ba6fe42f32_m.jpg

Recently I have been conducting experiments of my own.  There is a night light on in our master bedroom and I often wake up very early in the morning while it is still dark outside and I see things in the shadows and they even seem to move or look unrecognizable especially my husband’s clothes hung on the bedpost or the covers pushed up in a pile at the end of the bed.  It seems very easy to not realize what I am really looking at and could easily identify in broad day light. I’ve seen a goblin with a shiny eyes and a big male pig laying there with two twitching ears.  I have even reached out to touch the apparition in order to satisfy myself as to what the image really is.

Conversation Stopper: People Are Rude Because Other People Are Too Polite To Call Them On It

Arp_300px-Kohlberg_moral_stages_vop.gifre some people rude and obnoxious because they count on other people to be polite?  Also do some people lie because other people won’t correct them for fear of being rude themselves?  Some people say hurtful and insulting things because they don’t expect other people to call them on it.  They will also tell lies because other people will often give them the benefit of the doubt or don’t want to start an argument.

What is often true is that the other person is uncouth and often cruel because they can get away with it.  It is sometimes even extremely obvious that they are doing this but they think that no one will say anything and they usually don’t.  Doing so often accounts for a period of stunned silence from the audience members with it being so quiet you could hear a pin drop.

For example, I once entered the room where a large family gathering was already going on and rp_300px-Determinants_of_Forgiveness_Graphic.JPGeverybody looked to see who was coming in.  The rude person in a loud voice asked, “Who cut your hair?”  It was obvious that person was being critical of the way I looked.  It had already been a long day for me and I replied, “Well, who asked you?” in front of the whole group.  This was met by stunned silence not just at the initial comment that had been made but at my reply.  I felt it had been very appropriate considering that this person made a game of doing such things.

rp_7510823738_6616ac3a63_m.jpgSometimes the only way you can handle such comments is by being rude, obnoxious, and impolite in return.  Such cruel people love to embarrass people and often do this when they have a crowd for an audience.  People who are crude this way often may unconsciously worry that they might have the same problem that they are pointing out in somebody else but we usually don’t call them on it.

When Will You Come Out Of The Closet And Help Yourself Or Others??

rp_300px-Baby.jpgThe value of human life is invaluable but many people want us to hide our light under a bushel basket so that they can let theirs shine.  When are you going to come out of the closet and stop others from making us do this.  Just as it is life changing for a homosexual to come out of the closet so is it life changing for any individual to come out of the closet and expose who he or she really is.

Forcing a belief system on another through coercion is not the way to spread love and knowledge.  We all have something to contribute and to have another’s belief system forced upon us out of the fear that our expressing our beliefs system which is different will restrict theirs.

I believe we all have something to contribute if we believe in our selves from the most developmentally disabled individual to the most brilliant and verbal individual.  When we assemble in a group, why do we almost automatically begin to judge ourselves against each other.  Leaving some people out and promoting other people to positions of leadership over the rest of us.  How often does someone sit quietly in a classroom because they feel that they have little to contribute.  So often people criticize others and complain about others so strongly that they cause others to shut up and make no contributions for fear of being criticized.

rp_3476636111_c551295ca4_m.jpgGreat people like Dr. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross have recognized the contributions of “little” people that most people don’t notice or ignore.  How about the cleaning lady who when she goes into hospital rooms her mere presence quiets and comforts dying patients?  Consider the behavior of the “Father” also known as Pope Francis who has not taken on the pompt and circumstance of being the Pope and thus has discouraged those in the Vatican and Cardinals and other clergy in positions of authority from elevating themselves above other religious or common folk.

How uncertain are we about expressing ourselves when we see what other people can do to us when we express ourselves.  In psychology, this is called relational aggression versus direct aggression which involves actually hurting someone physically.  Rejecting someone and encouraging others to reject them too can be deadly (sometimes resulting in self-murder or suicide or mass murders of innocent people) .  Have you ever feel that your own opinion was as good or better as someone else’s or that your instinct to do something in a given situation would have resulted in a better outcome than someone else got? but we stay quiet.  How much does that actually help the world  if all the good people  keep their mouths shut.

All of us are diamonds in the rough.  It just takes cutting and polishing to bring out our brilliance.   Some of us are fearful of going through this process.  Some of us do not have enough self-confidence.  What if people like Ghandi kept their mouth shut.  What if mother Teresa had been content to just be an ordinary nun?  Would she have been more comfortable?  When Dr. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross came out against quarantining and rejecting children who had aids (through no fault of their own), she was virtually kicked out of the community that wouldn’t let her take them in.

embarassingquestionsHow often have you been in a group where you kept your mouth shut even though you might have said what many others were also thinking?  This can be true about supporting homosexuals right to lead normal lives without rejection and persecution.  Have you ever kept your mouth shut in a group where someone was trying to do this? or something similar?  I am not wanting to take away anyone’s right to disapprove of homosexuality while taking the right to app0rove of it or at least not to reject it.  On the one hand, everyone  has rights and we have to be careful not to take away someone’s rights while asserting the right to have our own.  On the other hand, have you ever supported someone else’s rights while keeping quiet about your right to your own beliefs?

People With Equal Problems Attract

Getting Back Together With Your Ex

Getting Back Together With Your Ex

I have always said that people with equal problems attract and I admit that was true in my case in a past marriage.  I know you have (like I have) heard recently separated or divorced friends talk about all the problems their soon-to-be ex or ex spouse had.  To hear the story told, your friend is or was a blameless or a helpless victim  in the situation.  Actually a person with fewer problems than the ex- had would not have gotten into a permanent, or ,should I say, semi- permanent, relationship with such a person as he or she described often using not-so nice names like “lazy,” “useless,” “slut,” womanizer, “boozer,” or worse.

Not Her Taste

Not Her Taste

I am sure most people have had a narrow escape where they met a person and got involved with them and escaped before any damage was done.  I once went out with a person whose sex seeking line was, “You wanna?”   He said this at the end of the first date.  He drug me from one college party to another where he would consume “doubles” and “triples”.  I was glad to get out of that relationship as he was the one doing the driving that day and also he had ignored me all day and even stopped on the way home to wait while his buddy had a quickie with the girl he was with.

Anyone who knows me knows I am a cat person like some people are dog persons.  I went out with this guy also for the first time and he told me he liked to go out into the woods and shoot feral cats for fun.  Needless to say, I never went out with him again.  I surely got the wrong number in both cases.

Some people think that they got lucky and escaped into the arms of someone else before their partner could dump them.  No matter what if you left them or they left you, you both could be making the same mistake if you do this.   That is going from one person to another with the same problems.  I did, but I got lucky.    When the first guy I was dating seriously after my divorce dumped me, he revealed his passive-aggressive side which had hurt me before.

It takes at least two years and/or some exploration on your part of what the problems were in your past relationship, both the other person’s and your own, before you can enter into another relationship without making the same mistake as you did before.  Haven’t you heard of women who kept getting involved with alcoholics time after time?

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A Balance Theory Of Self-Esteem

I aselfesteemthinktoohighlyofselfm writing about the balance theory of self-esteem  because I did my thesis on it (but under another name).  High self-esteem exists when a person is able to take a balanced objective view of themselves of both the good things and the bad things about them and the successes and the failures they have had.  Defensive low self-esteem exists when a person only sees their successes as amounting to anything and overlooks or denies their failures.  The scale is over-balanced as far as they are concerned in favor of the “good” things that have happened to them and the things they have accomplished or succeeded at.  To most people,  low self-esteem exists when people discount the good things about them and the good things they have done and over emphasize the bad ones.  Both types of people with the two kinds of low self-esteem are not balanced in their views of themselves leading them to not see themselves in a realistic way and to their not having real high self-esteem.  It was measured by determining how often people chose on a self-esteem test to accept good and bad things about themselves.  They were then put in groups where they were given praise or criticism and it was determined how it effected them depending on their level of self-esteem.

Where do you fall on the balance theory of self-esteem.  Concentrating too much on failures or successes can put you out of balance in terms of self-esteem.  Do you have an inner critic who stops you from doing things (where you might have a chance of succeeding) or do you have a difficult time accepting constructive criticism?  Do you over rate or undervalue yourself?

I recommend that those of you who have low self-esteem with a “downer” point of view of yourself compose a list of compliments that you never got and give them to yourself once a day.  Ideally make list and put them on note cards and put one of them everyday where you can see it and remind yourself regularly of truly how great you are.  Better yet read them out loud and look at yourself straight in the face (use a mirror to do this).

If you have defensive high self-esteem, you truly are afraid of getting hurt which is what admitting that you were wrong about something would do to you.  Try writing a list of those things people have told you or are telling you that you need to change.  Everyday take one of these criticisms and consider it as if it were true.  What would that mean to you?  Consider that it might mean that other people would like you better.

Success and failure are close cousins.  They always keep company with each other.  Where one is the other is not far behind.  How many “successful” people live in fear that one day they will fail and lose it all.  How many one time “failures” learn from their failures and become successes?

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Guilt And How It Sidetracks Forgiveness

Forgiveness Mandala by Wayne Stratz

Forgiveness Mandala by Wayne Stratz (Photo credit: Nutmeg Designs)

Did you ever think about how guilt sidetracks you and keeps you from forgiving yourself?  Many people have difficulty forgiving themselves if they feel guilty about something.  This can be a tremendous burden to bear and it prevents many people from letting go and moving on.  Many people feel that in order to be forgiven that the slate must be wiped clean and the alleged transaction forgotten.  If they can’t forgive themselves and forget, why should anybody else forgive them?

For some people to admit that they might have done something wrong destroys their self-esteem and makes them feel valueless.  They are their own worst critics and to say that they did something wrong can be self-destructive.  Having done a lot of psychotherapy in my life and having been in psychotherapy, the things that are the hardest to admit are the things that we can’t stop feeling guilty about.  Often therapy reaches a stumbling block when one of these issues needs to be brought up.

Sometimes people admit that they secretly are their own worst critics.  Then it follows that if they beat themselves up about something, that other people should tell them that what they did was not so bad after all.  When this isn’t true, therapy often can’t move forwards.  The pain of the self-remorse is so great that they feel that no one would ask them to take the next step forward and say that what they did, thought, or said was egregious.  They think how can anybody love me if I did that if I can’t forgive and love myself?

What is worst is that sometimes in order unconsciously to prove that what they did was not that bad, they continue to do it.  Thereby burying themselves deeper and deeper in the morass of guilt and self-blame.  Take sexual harassment for example, the person involved can’t conceive of themself as a careless cad so they don’t change their behavior.  It was just a joke or something that all girls ask for by their behavior or form of dress.  They don’t realize that the buck stops with themselves no matter who the other person is or what the other person does.  Anyway it is just their perception of the other person that they are responding to and it may actually be schewed.

There is no one here on earth (except Christ, who is here only in spirit, but not in the flesh like the rest of us) who is blameless and self-sacrificing.  Mother Teresa admitted to faults and she was always working on them.  I am sure Pope Francis would say something much the same.

The key to changing this behavior is forgiving yourself and once this is done the repetition compulsion loses it’s steam.   This also makes it easier to forgive others when you realize that in some ways you are no different from them.  In Christianity, God offers forgiveness for people’s sins but often people don’t accept it because that would involve admitting that they really did something wrong.  Forgiveness is free; accepting it is personal choice.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Giving Yourself Away

 

shadowself1Sometimes the things you do are giving yourself away.  All that advice you have for others.  What does it really mean?  Maybe you are telling others things to do which you really need to do yourself.  Do you ever gripe and nag?  Do you call people names when you get frustrated with them.  Maybe those are names that you fear others might call you.  You can attack your demons by examining the advice you give and the things you would like to change in others.  This leads us to our shadow selves.  A part of us that we are ashamed of, maybe the polar opposite of the way we like to present ourselves.  You can’t have one without the other.

Debbie Ford in The Dark Side of the Light Workers does a good job of  presenting these problems and tells stories about people who overcome their shadow selves and grow expotentially.  For example, my husband sleeps too much; he doesn’t get up and move around; and he watches too much TV even when he is sleeping.  What does this say about me?  Do I do the same things which I criticize in him?

Next step is that I like to give self-help advice.  Maybe I should spend some time working through my issues rather than just telling others to do it.

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The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly, Our Shadow Selves

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is a well-known...

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is a well-known spaghetti western (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The good, the bad, and the ugly sides of ourselves are reflected back to us in the mirror of life.  We all have shadow selves.  They are parts of ourselves that we often deny having.  When we are vehemently for something or against something.  This tells a lot about ourselves, especially what we are against.  What we are against reflects what we fear exists in ourselves, our shadow selves.  Read more about this in a book by Debbie Ford, The Dark Side of the Light Chasers.

What you absolutely can’t stand in someone else is what you absolutely can’t stand in yourself.  Control freak, narcissist, homosexual, you name it.  Anything that you dislike and can’t tolerate represents one of your shadow selves.  It is something that you fear that you might be or become.

Take the middle way as Buddha said.  Don’t give over all control to others and resent it.  Don’t always take control away from others and be hated for it.  Do everything in moderation.  Respect not only yourself, respect others too.    Spread love around but don’t forget to love yourself as well.

 

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