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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”?

Are Churches Ice-o-lating (Not Just Isolating) New members?

  1. rp_7276688008_157c6001e4_m.jpg Do liturgies, choirs, scripture readings, professional musicians, limit those who get to participate and how they get to participate in the worship service? and also what makes the worship service meaningful?
  2. Can members pray and talk about their needs and the world’s needs and their own religious experiences?  Many churches still have all male elders.  Sometimes they have limits on who can speak in church and what they can speak about such as only doctrinal and Bible-related subjects?  Are the gifts of the Holy Spirit encouraged and even demonstrated in front of the congregation.rp_3692285331_9043cf7c46_m.jpg
  3. Is individual spiritual growth encouraged and supported not just in the church and Bible study groups?
  4. Are potential new members and visitors encouraged and welcomed when they come?chinese-grandparents-sitting-grandchildren-26098101
  5. Have you observed how members interact and welcome people to the church?  Are their welcomes warm and inviting or do new people feel ignored, frozen out, and rejected?
  6. Do church members gather in little groups and ignore others who also have something to talk about?  Are children, the lifeblood of the church, not only not welcomed by the church members, but also their parents are sternly disciplined for not keeping them still, quiet, and also maybe even invisible?
  7. rp_9709182109_5fd0b7fbaa_n.jpgWorship and fellowship should be a warm, welcoming experience for all members and possible new members.  Membership in the church should not be kept to the special few who believe the right way, worship the right way and think that they are potentially free of sin, not only now, but also in the past and future.
  8. Cold shoulders by longtime parishioners are not only not welcomed by nonmembers and but also by current members in the church such behaviour fails to spread the Word and Love of God.  Church members should not be critical of others while excusing themselves.judge-not-discernment
  9. Everyone’s sins should be potentially forgivable.  Prostitutes and tax collectors were accepted and blessed by Jesus.
  10. Worship should not be an ordeal but energy producing, love enriching, faith renewing, inspiring and making one ready to go out into the world and follow Christ’s footsteps.
  11. Attending church should be an inspiring and happy experience where one feels welcome and accepted.  Where visitors and potential new members are not considered a problem; but a potential resource for the church and providing a chance for the church to see and meet their needs.beingjudgmental
  12. Is this what atheists see in the church?  If so, aren’t they right?  What kind of an example of Bible-loving Christians are we giving to them?  Hate or love.  Acceptance or rejection?  Solemnity or joyousness?
  13. Thanks to Bible teacher, Joyce Meyer for her inspiration and also thanks to the groups in which I’ve had loving and joyful experiences.

Do Women Think Like Men? Do Men Think Like Women?

rp_228552603_150_150.jpgI wanted to think that men and women are potentially alike; but as I got older and wiser, I don’t think that way anymore.  After many, many years of marriage.  I have learned different.

rp_AVaP8ps9-q4L3Kdb3ETm_150_150.jpgFor example, when I want to ask a man a quick question while he is watching TV or on the phone, I am told to wait a minute which never comes.  If I am doing something,  a man expects that I should interrupt what I am doing tell him the information that he wants to know which usually also involves that I stop what I am doing and do it for him.  However, I am expected to multitask and to not forget what I was doing or going to do to take care of something for him.little things

Another example, men have goals and aspirations that can take a good part of their time and of their disposable? income.  Or else they think to themselves, what else am I working for?  Women work to contribute to the family income and also to pay the childcare costs so they can work to do this.  Certain hobbies and their accompanying expenses are considered necessary “man” things to do.  Women like to look nice and to have a nice place to live which is not as important to men.

pancioneWomen risk their lives and their health in order to reproduce while men usually think it is no big deal.  Even if a woman chooses not to reproduce, it is still her responsibility.  Also often there are men who like to have unprotected sex and who often do not see reproduction as their responsibility.  Birth control and a woman’s menstrual cycle usually are two things women have to take care of and suffer from.  Men often think that these are things a man does not have to be concerned about.livetomorrow

Also having children can create a great big stress on a woman’s body and under certain circumstances can kill a woman.  Any woman who has been pregnant more than once including stillbirths and miscarriages, as well as live births, can tell you that they can all be different.  Even I who had three children late in life seemingly uneventfully can tell that you that I could have lost my third child during birth and I didn’t know this til after she was born.rp_2780384803_28c36076e5_m.jpg

Some women don’t want to bother with being pregnant but still have to deal with mixed feelings about having an abortion and the often dangerous lack of skilled care at abortion clinics.  On the man’s side is the possibility that when an abortion is involved, he may still want the child if the woman doesn’t!rp_5135526403_dff3680e03_m.jpg

Sometimes I think that some men can become so attached to their ideas and accomplishments that they can’t accept the idea that their ideas may no longer work with new discoveries being found and can stand in the way of necessary progress.  Academia reinforces this with its publish or perish mandates necessary to obtain tenure.  Women are more flexible and more able to see different points of view.  Relationships for women are more important for women and often make up for the fact that they are less attached to a job or position or a theory.rp_332608716_150_150.jpg

How Well Do You Know Yourself?

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Or Is It The Beginning?

Who are you?  Everyone is different from birth.  Lots of things that happen to us can change our perception of ourself.  People around us expect us to be like them and as a child, we often don’t know any better.  We all have different kinds of potential and that potential helps define our purpose in life.  We often are so busy responding to the demands put on us by the outside, we have little time or opportunity to discover who we really are inside.  Often we are caught up in doing what we think we should be doing but not really what reflects our purpose in life and uses our unique talents and abilities.  Sometimes this is reflected an adolescent rebellion or in a midlife crisis and others don’t discover this until they are facing retirement.

Change Your Perspective, Change Your Attitude; Change Your Attitude, Change Your Perspective

Have you ever been told to change your attitude about something? For example, whether it is about “stay at home moms”, “homeschooling” or any subject up for discussion?

Have you ever thought about it this way?  Which comes first in this process, changing your attitude or changing your perspective?  Have you ever changed your attitude after you have changed your perspective? or vice versa?

rp_5617089955_d20fe0f1ab.jpgBecoming unsatisfied with the available public schools, might lead to you changing your mind about the appropriateness of homeschooling for your family.

Debate teams prepare to be able to defend both sides of a disputed issue and this prepares them to see the points of view or perspectives of both sides.  Lawyers often participate in debating in order to help them to be able to take both sides of a disputed issue such as “guilty” or “innocent” in court.

rp_2269499855_31a018a8f6_m.jpgWe often jump to conclusions and staunchly take one side in an upcoming vote in our government.  Who do we prize? People who can change their minds when necessary and alter their perspective to do this or people who stick to “their guns” no matter what?

Gaining knowledge is a process of gathering information and evaluating the appropriateness of it as well as altering theories when necessary to fit new information.

Versus Bad Vibrations

Versus Bad Vibrations

Think of how science has changed when it comes to considering what matter and energy are made of.   Initially, it was atoms, neutrons, and protons.  Then it was found that matter and energy were interchangeable.  Now we focus upon waves of energy as the foundation of matter.

Yes, being too flexible can be inappropriate at times.  For example, you go to a car show where different car dealers are offering their latest models for sale and as you go from booth to booth or exhibit after exhibit, you find yourself constantly persuaded that the latest car offered is the best.

rp_6544823393_9183bdeff5_m.jpgIt may be that from one perspective, i.e. cost, one vehicle is the best; but from the perspective of safety, another car is the best.  Or the vehicle that might attract the younger crowd appeals to the man or woman in a mid-life crisis.

 

Continuing Growth Is Necessary For A Psychotherapist

loud-noisesNo, once chosen the profession of a psychotherapist or counselor requires continuing growth.  Sometimes in surprising ways.

Freudian psychotherapists have raised the subject of transference in the relationship between a therapist and a client.  Transference can go both ways.  Something about the client makes them see the therapist in a certain way.  Sometimes something about the therapist makes them see the client in a certain way.

Education in a profession such as psychotherapy can lead the practitioner to believe they must present themselves as  experts in the field and as not vulnerable to the types of things that bring ordinary clients into therapy.  This can lead to rationalization and denial on the therapists part.

Rationalization means that the therapst can create a good explanation as to why he or she is not vulnerable to the types of problems his or her patients have.  Denial can also result from the taking of this position and it can cause therapy to not move forward for the client.

Personal growth is one way possibly to help stop this from happening. Does the development of one’s self-concept and concept of life stop with attaining one’s maturity whether at 18, 21, or 35?  No, it does not.  Our perspective on life constantly changes with new experiences.

Honestly does a psychotherapist think that they can understand exactly how they learned to be who they think they are and stop growing.  Wouldn’t personal growth experiences for psychotherapists help with this?

Is there only one answer?  Hasn’t science found this out.  What things did scientists believe were true when your parents were children and what have you or your children learned in the present that scientists’ did not know or believe then?

Remember the old saying, “Do as I say!” not “Do as I do!”

Also the more defensive barbed wire a therapist puts between him or herself and what he or she is asking their patient to do, the more “phony” and indefensible they become as therapists.

New learning and new growth leads to enthusiasm to carry this over into the psychotherapist’s work.  Insights developed this way can help a therapist be more responsive in therapy.   I now hear and see more things than I used to see or hear in everyday interpersonal interaction.

For example I can still learn from a four year old that grandma is not always smiling and looking happy when she thinks she is especially when I am feeling that I am working at something and forgeting to enjoy doing it.

 

 

The Need For Security Comes From Within

Women, men? Does the need for security control your life?  Are you afraid to fight with someone because it might end your relationship with them?  Women, people who put you down, often the man in your life, often win a potential conflict with the first blow.  If he or she is mad at me, it is all over.  It is very convenient to make a complaint or even make an angry comment when asking about something you don’t like or understand.

Anxiety and fFear

Conflict seems to be more natural for men.  They can almost fight one minute and be friends the next.  It can get pretty brutal one day and the next they are back to being the best of buds.  Many women are different making a denigrating comment to another woman can end a relationship forever.  So how does a woman react when someone puts them down.  If they are depending on the relationship for support and security, they go into emergency crisis mode and/or feel “knocked up beside the head” by someone they thought loved and appreciated them.

Women can take a lot of negative comments from a man in a relationship often things the man forgets about as it wasn’t that serious to him or the man didn’t even realize the woman took it seriously or so hard.  Men are constantly jousting, jockeying for position, and they don’t even think that seeing things ( from this perspective) that it was taken seriously.

Hypocrites? (Warning X-Rated?)

When  man “fools” around, he is just being a man.  When a man gets it on with a  woman he considers “easy”, he will often say later, when men are talking about women who are wh–res or sl-ts, that she is one of them.    What does that make him?  Some men have sex with a willing woman and then put her down for doing it.

What about countries where women who are the unwilling victims of rape are considered to blame for what happened, not the man who did it, and are put to death.

Aren’t men more easily turned on by physical things or how a woman looks to them and what they fantasize about her and then they blame the woman for leading them on when she refuses to cooperate or reciprocate their ardor.  Women are more carried off by romantic notions and anticipated intimacy.

Why can’t a woman be more like a man (from “My Fair Lady”, the musical) and why can’t a man be more like a woman?  Men and women are different in terms of what physiologically arouses them.  This is why it takes longer for a woman to be ready for intercourse and longer to “come” to orgasm once she is aroused and her partner could become impatient.

Thus women sometimes “fake it” because the woman wants to please the man in order to support the relationship which is import to her.  Women are often more concerned about pleasing others and putting the needs of others first before their own in order to do this.

Thus communication is important for the relationship,  Sometimes men and sometimes even women expect the other person to instinctively know what turns the opposite sex on.

No wonder women when talking to other women talk about how they “fake” orgasms and they are more likely to have had “unwanted” sex especially the first time.  Men have often had more solo practice at coming to orgasm and arousing themselves then women have so they may be more “ready” for sex than the woman is and can make a woman feel guilty if she doesn’t comply with their desires.

Sometimes a relationship implicitly implies that a couple will have sex.  This can be the origin of a “date rape”.  This can result in a man using the less than gracious “come on” line such as, “You wanna?” after a long, boring, and tedious date during which the man got drunk and ignored the woman.

Are there precious and gracious men out there?  Yes there are.  Ones who use rose petals and candles to set the stage (often for marriage  proposals).

Atmosphere can be very important.  Don’t choose a fishing camp or a hunting lodge for your first encounter whether before or after marriage.  The back seats of cars and the typical bachelor pad are often not very romantic.  In the front seat, the steering wheel and/or the gear shift can get in the way and the smell of dirty socks and well worn running shoes is often not very pleasant neither is a bare mattress that may have never seen sheets..  Nor is the possibility of a roommate snoring prone in the next bed or carrying on with another girl on the couch in the next room.

 

 

Do You Hear Only What You Want To Hear?

Do You Hear Only What You Want to Hear Or See Only What You Want To See?  Do you sometimes tune things out and skip parts of the material that is given to you? or that is shown to you?rp_3126327492_30718d4524_m.jpgI go to a place to meet my spiritual needs and I go to hear what God wants me to know.  I try to go with no preconceived notions of what I will get from attending church that day.  I quiet myself and pay attention to what is prayed, said, or done.  It is a time to be in the moment, not about feeling bad for what has happened in the past or being anxious or worried about the future.

Something was said yesterday during the service that I caught and am presenting here.  This idea not only applies to worship services, but also to doctor visits, books, lectures or workshops.We often hear what we want to hear not actually was said or intended.  When we learn something new, we often make changes to other ideas we have held or if this makes us uncomfortable we decide to tweak the material that was presented so it fits our notions of how the world should be.

Gossiping

Gossiping

Ever play the game of gossip and noticed how distorted the original message became?

We may tune in and tune out adjusting what we do hear to make it more acceptable no matter what the content.  We can have attacks of boredom.  We can become irritated because we have to sit there and listen to the speaker drone on and on.  We can day dream or even fall asleep.  Pay attention there may be something useful there.

This also can apply to visual material like posters, power point presentations.   Did you read the quote presented at the top of this post.  Here it is again.rp_3126327492_30718d4524_m.jpg How did it make you feel: comfortable or uncomfortable.  Are you generally open and receptive? or do you not like someone else telling you what to do and/or commenting  on your appearance, possessions, and family.  You have your own ideas and are comfortable with them.

I realize when I jump to conclusions I don’t pay attention to what is being presented.  Stereotypes of people and cultures leave much to be desired and prevent us from encompassing diversity and learning what these people and cultures are really like.

Now you may understand why that Active Listening (Carl Rogers) is so important in communication.  Being able to repeat what the other person has said before giving your reply encourages people to hear everything that was said.

Flowers Versus Weeds. How Were You Raised? What Are You Raising?

rp_8150559597_f6b72c73b6_m.jpgIt all depends on your point of view.
The problem is that in your garden you may have been taught to see certain plants as weeds and which should be “weeded” out and others as flowers which should be cultivated.  Many people when they plant their gardens expect to get flowers but the truth is that when you plant a seed, you may get not get what you expected which is someone like you and you don’t know how to cultivate them.  How do you handle this mystery seed as a disappointment or as a wonderful new discovery  if you got what you were hoping for.  Why take it out on the plant, because you have to learn new cultivating  techniques and, for example, provide different amounts of water, different amounts of sunshine or shade, and different kinds and amounts of plant food as well as protection from different types of insect infestation.  Some require  more space than others or grow taller and block the sun getting to other plants and/or your view of them.  You can look on this as a pleasant surprise or as a serious disappointment and/or you might learn new things about growing different “plants”.

rp_300px-Drill.jpgThe famous Kennedy family had their developmentally disabled daughter unsuccessfully operated on to deal with her unconventional behavior and then institutionalized her because they couldn’t cope with her unfortunate behavior changes after surgery and her perceived inability to benefit (they thought) no longer from family life with the other children.  Could she who was seen as an unfortunate weed that needed to be changed been raised successfully (at least for her if not for them) in the in the Kennedy family compound? They felt that they couldn’t cope with her behavior and poor ability to comprehend and benefit from what was going on around her.  It was an unfortunate decision and at the time, they didn’t know that the operation would not help her, but injury her further.

Did you get what you individually needed to grow and flourish as the flower that you actually  were or were you treated unfortunately as an unwanted weed? Also what were your parents considered to be by their parents, teachers, and even peers?  Flowers or weeds? and how were they raised? you-are-exactly-who-you-are-suppose-to-beTaking account of the differences as well as the similarities is important in raising your own off spring or the children you have contact with, students, nieces and nephews,  etc. .  Consider such happenings  as a pleasant  surprise and  as a splendid way to learn new things and see life from a different point of view and not as dealing with an unwanted pest and, at best, as at least an inconvenience to have such a child and set them the child up for the rest of his or her life to be seen as a failure or to be at the least second best when compared with a sibling or or siblings who might more meet your expectations and fit your style of dealing with life itself.