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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 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.

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

Children Are Our Most Precious Resource, Don’t Waste Them

rp_3692285331_9043cf7c46_m.jpg Children are our most precious resource.  Don’t waste them.  This subject is worth repeating.  They need love and affection to thrive.  Good self-esteem is a must for all children to have.  Nor should they lack support.  Enough food and drink so they can grow and be healthy and not be hungry.  These needs are often not met during weekends or in the summer.  For some kids, all the food they get is in school.  How can one study and learn when they are hungry?  Security and safety are another need.  Children should not be afraid or the innocent victims of crime.  Adequate housing helps meeting these needs. Don’t forget adequate schools that can meet these needs too. 

Finally and still important is an education on the rights of people,  the rules we need to respect so that we can all get along, and the development of an inner sense of right and wrong.  History is a necessary  part of education so we don’t make past mistakes and so that we can also learn from past successes.  Children also need protection so that they are not used only to satisfy other people’s needs when it is not in their best interest.rp_6250513028_b874eef6f1_m.jpg

Parents or parent substitutes can be valuable assets to our culture.  Those who take on the responsibility of providing for  their or other children’s needs.  Support is often provided for those parents who fail but not for those who want to succeed at doing this.  Laws should be created and adjudicated with the child’s rights in mind.  Children are not property and are individuals with innate rights.  Custody determinations often forget this.  I know of one county court system that penalizes the worst of their judges by having them do custody cases.  Yuck!!!  Children are not property!

When Is Reassurance Necessary?

Once a child forms an attachment to an appropriate parental figure, it should not be broken unless abuse occurs.  Natural parents should not be allowed to slip in and out of a child’s life threatening his or her security and sense of trust.  Often such unattached children will attach themselves to anybody almost instantly as he or she is so needy.


Life Doesn’t Come With An Instruction Manual!

rp_375649339_150_150.jpgLife doesn’t come with an instruction manual even though you deserve one.  You have to write your own!

Criticism is the little voice in your head that holds you back and hinders your performance.  Even though others say it is for your own good,  sometimes it isn’t.

rp_363849983_150_150.jpgReality is not always what you think it is or what you were told it is. You can miss seeing, hearing, feeling and experiencing some things because someone told you that you just were imagining things.

Sometimes as people get older they don’t get wiser, they just get more set in their ways.  Sometimes a strongly held theory or opinion becomes a person’s life jacket when he or she is drowning in new information.

rp_228552603_150_150.jpgHow hard is it for a person to change his or her mind?  This may be why people are told not to bring up religion or politics at the dinner table.  Maybe this is a good reason to think outside the box.  Many inventions were created this way.

Remember people are natural born originals and can’t be easily shaped into something that they are not.  Gemstones have to be cut into shapes that work with their natural structures.  What about individuals who are being shaped into contributing citizens?rp_6250513028_b874eef6f1_m.jpg



How Well Do You Know Yourself?


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.

Wasting Some Of Our Most Valuable Resources: Children

rp_360159124_150_150.jpgIntroducing this topic, I do want to make it clear that I am Pro-Life (especially if you have not figured this out from my past posts).  Children do exist in the womb.  At eight weeks after conception, all necessary organs for the child exist and the rest of the time in the womb is spent growing and becoming capable of  independent existence.  In my lifetime,  science has found more and more ways to detect life in the womb and to sustain such life either in the womb or out of the womb.   The question is at what point do we determine that another human being does not have the right to exist.   No one is infallible when it comes to making this decision.

Maybe we should call our children the “throw-away generation”.  I think we would all admit that many children are not given the training, experience, and resources necessary to grow up to be responsible adults.  How can we consciously keep the next generation in areas of the country that are veritable war zones in inhabitable surroundings with irresponsible adults and penalize those that do sacrifice resources, time, and sometimes careers to help raise responsible adults whether as parents or teachers or volunteers to provide opportunities to help the next generation grow up as safe responsible citizens.

rp_Truman_pass-the-buck.jpgHere is one example of how ignorant one of the most responsible areas of our government operates in one area of my state.  Custody determinations cases (often done when a divorce is granted) are given to the judges who are considered the least competent and who have little or no training in this area.  This leaves them free to make up their own minds about the cases and/or to depend on professionals who are presented to them as qualifying “experts” by dueling attorneys for each person seeking custody and those agencies who deal with these cases with certain biases as to parental (often not children’s) rights.  This was in spite of well recognized and highly motivated diversion courts for domestic violence, drug addiction, and mental illness.

A bad custody decision can result in a “life sentence” for some children.  One they didn’t ask for and one they didn’t deserve.  It appears to me that in these situations early and appropriate intervention is desired and those appointed to discharge this duty should be well-trained and held responsible for what they do.  Is there anything “flippant “about making a custody decision? and shouldn’t the best and most well-trained judges be given this duty.  Another point that needs to be made in this area is that the best person for this position of making custody decisions should be someone who is and/or wants to become knowledgeable about child-rearing.

Warm Fuzzies-Cold PrickliesChildren at different points in life need different things.  Initially, it is important that needs must be met that help maintain the physical body of the child such as food and clothing, shelter, etc. and physical gentle, loving touches and caregiving, and by someone who is concerned about the safety and well-being of the child.  How a task is done in caring for a child telegraphs to the child whether or not he or she is safe, secure, and the object of someone’s care and concern.

One of the next steps necessary to a child’s development the ability of the person providing the care and education of the child be aware that children are different and that is not necessarily bad.  Nature requires diversity and  that means that those providing nurturance be able to able to provide and or seek out sources for the education, training, and future achievements possible for each child.

rp_2290679982_1eaafcaf2b_m.jpgChildren also learn at different rates and in different ways.  Having, eight young grandchildren, I have noticed this.  Children progress at different rates in different areas and it does not necessarily mean that the child is “backward”  and may not catch up in this area later when he or she changes their focus of learning.

Over time, children need to become responsible for certain things and to have certain experiences.  For example, you don’t don’t teach a child about dating by not letting them be around the opposite sex until they are twenty-one and then let them figure it out by themselves.  Children need also to learn to make certain decisions for themselves and to experience the appropriate consequences.  Learning is done in steps and certain concepts need to be acquired and practiced before going on to other more advanced and/or difficult ones.

Knowledge, Experience, and Reasoning = Wisdom

rp_2269499855_31a018a8f6_m.jpgKnowledge and experience, combined with reasoning equal wisdom.

As much as we would sometimes like to, rotely learning material does not automatically generate people who can use the material.  Rote learning is good for learning things  that we must be able to recall quickly and what is learned rotely is different from person to person depending on what they do and what kind of information they need to have on hand.  A simple example is memorizing words and their meanings to give a person a good vocabulary that they will use every day.  This is true of what we call knowledge.

A person does a lot of learning when they are still little.  They generate theories with resulting hypotheses that they test out probably before they can talk.  Most adults reason with words, but children start learning how things work before they can talk.  I am sure science will find out just how this is done with or without words someday or may be studying it even now.

They also learn usually through rewards and punishments what ideas that they have about things work or don’t work.  Even animals learn this way although we used to think that animals had inborn instincts that determined what they would do or not do.  Instincts are definitely inborn probably because most animals have to be able to do some things for themselves at birth.rp_360159124_150_150.jpg

Everyone is an individual even before birth.  Their inborn DNA determines many of the strengths and weaknesses they might have.  Thus no child is exactly like one of their parents.  The problem is that sometimes one of the parents wants a child to do what they like to do; but the child was not born with the same abilities, the same brain, and/or bodies.  Thus such a desire can be doomed to failure and the child may receive the blame for not being able or wanting to do what the parent would like the child to do.  The child then often grows up to feel worthless in their parent’s eyes and to fail to develop as his or her individual self.

For example, my mother was the youngest of two girls (no boys) and while her older sister got to help with chores in the house, her father expected her to help him outside at the farm.  He wasn’t unreasonable but she was afraid of horses and while she was young everything was still done with horses.

Children are thinking and reasoning and planning for themselves long before their parents even know it.  Children can recognize different tones of voice, and facial expressions and body postures and how people react to determine if it is safe to do or not do something.  Sometimes the parents may say one thing and mean another.  How about telling a child to go give someone a kiss when the child can tell that either that person does not like them or their parent does not like the person.  Double bind?  Say one thing and do another?rp_3476636111_c551295ca4_m.jpg

We can learn not only from our own experiences we can also learn from other people’s experiences.  But sometimes other peoples conclusions or theories from these experiences may not fit into our understanding of things.  Eventually most parents want children to think for themselves and to be able to make good decisions so they can be independent  (parents usually die before children) and require less and less supervision.

Ultimately children should be able to think for themselves and to be able to evaluate what they have learned and experienced and change their bodies of knowledge some learned through the experiences of others and their theories about how the world works to fit new information.  Sometimes the information instead is changed or rejected because it doesn’t fit their theory.

Wisdom comes with time and having learned to be able to think for oneself as you have accumulated knowledge and experience.   Strange or new information can be frightening and it might be easier to reject it, but the cost, in the long run, is greater than if the person had worked it through even if it was scary or painful to do so.  Many people do this with physical problems and sometimes if they do do something, it can be too late.  Yes, we all have the right to make mistakes and sometimes we can learn from them; but fear of change or possible consequences can keep us from even trying to do  it.

Have you been brainwashed as a child?

Have you been brainwashed as a child?

Colleges and universities used to be places where you could learn new things and try new ideas out.  It was supposed to be a safe place where things could be discussed freely and new ideas often tried out safely.  Professors could have different ideas about the way things should be; but there was open debate encouraged in classes.  Yes, you may have been expected to learn certain things especially in certain areas of work or professions because you were expected to know these tings to graduate and go on in your field or the college was not doing the job they were getting paid for.

Wisdom is usually obtained over time and there are things that are not learned through study or only by experiences in universities or medical or law schools.  Wisdom is also flavored by individuality and people’s individual tastes.  It never hurts to try something even though you think you might not like it.  I have had experiences that I might not been completely ready for that gave me strengths that I might not have been able to develop any other way.rp_300px-Little_girl_drawing_with_blue_pencil.jpg

You are never ready to do anything, but at some point you have to go ahead and do it because the time when you are completely ready might never come.  Wisdom truly comes from these experiences. I didn’t truly understand grief until my best friend, her unborn child, and her young daughter were killed in a traffic accident.

I may be older than you; but I might be wiser than you in many ways that is one of the reasons I write this blog.  Do I expect you to believe or learn from everything I write, no.  But it might it expose you to some information that would spur you to do or think differently in a way that would benefit you.

I also am a teacher and I have learned that students are all different especially in terms of the knowledge and experiences they come into class with.  They are also different in terms of their mindsets about learning.  This is especially true when it comes grade time.

Think for yourself.  Evaluate what you have learned just don’t accept something without thinking about it or testing it  if possible in real life.  There is a reason that all science classes includes laboratory sessions so the students can have experiences that they can relate to the material being presented in lectures.  This called critical thinking and it is something dictators don’t want people to do.

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.

Why People Can’t Change

Why people can’t change:

1.  They would have to admit they were wrong about something.

2.  They might have to make some other changes too.

3.  It would take too much time.

4.  They are waiting for somebody else to change first.

5.  They would have to admit that they wasted time or money doing the wrong thing.

6.  They might have to admit that somebody else was right and they were wrong or too much pride and too much emphasis on winning some type of competition.

7.  Having to be always right even if it kills you.

Why they should change:

1.  To stop putting money down a rat hole.

2.  To become an example for somebody else.

3.  To stop wasting time defending why they can’t change.

4.  To save more  time and money after investing some current time and money making a change.

5.  To stop having to hide some deficiency from others.

6.  To learn something new.

In the long run there are great benefits:  For example, learning to drive as an adult.  Erased my dependency on others.  Gave me freedom.





Does Therapy Come Too Late?

rp_228552603_150_150.jpgWhy didn’t we learn to help ourselves in school?  Where were the role models of good adjustment at home?  Parents are often as clueless as their children and are afraid to admit it when they didn’t also get the instruction at home or school.

There are self-help books for adults.  Where are they for children?  Do parents feel that it is to their advantage to have children who don’t know anymore than than they did when they were children?

rp_300px-TV_highquality.jpgDo children learn how to deal with life from video games, violent programs, or from the drama they see and/or experience at home.  Values, ideals, and spirituality are close to being forbidden in schools or anywhere in the public eye.  Wholesome shows have been replaced by shows with lots of drama providing bad examples of how to behave in relationships or deal with problems.

Practicing therapy can be a frustrating business especially when it comes after a person’s beliefs and problem-solving behaviors have become crystallized and so much a part of a person’s identity that they feel threatened when challenged to change.  It has a lot to do with how a person’s self-esteem is developed and the practices that they are taught to maintain it.  Lying, deceiving, and avoiding responsibility are often used by someone when a person is afraid of being criticized and ultimately rejected.rp_Anxiety.gif

What results is a fear of change and a learned helplessness instead of developing helpful problem-solving skills and a desire to change for the sake of doing better.  We are evolving individuals and making mistakes and changing what we do or think is part of the process.  I once wrote a story or a poem about “Old King Never Ever Wrong”.

Stories are to teach and not just to amuse or vent rage.  Before most people could read or write stories were a way of teaching things and were passed down orally from generation to generation in order to do this.  What about the parables Jesus told in the Bible?  What about the Bible stories that are still taught in Sunday school or church?