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perception

Should You Judge A Book By Its Cover? What Do You Think Is More Important? Looks? Or Personality??

Drp_300px-Kohlberg_moral_stages_vop.gifo you realize we learn to like certain skin colors, hair types, body shapes, heights, and to discriminate between them.  To me, my mommy was beautiful and my grandmas were a “sight for my sore eyes,”  although they were older and heavier than my mother.  My BFF, who I met in first grade, was not judged by me on the basis of her physical size but on how much fun we had when we were together.  I had a cousin the same age as I was and I often got hand me downs from her as she (although my age) was “bigger” than me.  We have to be taught to see these differences as significant.  The standards of beauty and handsomeness can vary quite strikingly from culture to culture and have you looked at wedding pictures and seen that there is a man for every woman and a woman for every man.

I was having a discussion with my daughter-in-law and discovered that an actress that I considered to be no beauty was considered very attractive by my daughter-in-law.  Also men and women focus on different parts of the anatomy when they try to decide if a woman is beautiful and/or and a man is a potential  “chick magnet.”  Haven’t you ever heard a discussion about what physically attracts a man to a woman: her boobs, her butt, her legs, her hair color, or whatever.

Remember the saying, “Men don’t make passes at women who wear glasses.”  Doesn’t seem to face-partsmatter now.  It used to be what attracted a woman to a man was his profession or his ability to be able to support her in the style she was or would like to become accustomed to.   At mid-life or latter some men look for a younger woman sometimes even young enough to be their daughter.  Then there women who are “cougars” and seek younger men.  Ever hear the terms, “sugar daddy”or “trophy wife”?

There is one particular cable news channel that is often on at my house and one of the recurring “experts” I became acquainted with was so ugly, I didn’t like to look at him; however he was very knowledgeable and had a very credible life history to support his road to being this “expert.”  All of a sudden one day as I was listening to him, I realized he no longer was bad looking to me.  His looks didn’t change but my attitude toward them had.

rp_5798468679_59ea50286a_m.jpgI came to realize that I had been selling other people short when I concentrated on their looks instead of their personality, knowledge, and abilities.  I also I noticed I was selling myself short too when I dressed to impress and probably could not afford it instead of wearing something flattering and comfortable so I could be comfortable being me.  I don’t mean that looks don’t count.  You can go too far in this direction to the point of being offensive.

I had planned to post on the fact that the cable news channel had only impossibly beautiful women in at least distracting (if not very conservative) clothes, dangerously high heels, high maintenance hairstyles, and glamorous makeup that required that these women show up early for work in order to attain this look.  Also of course, the men who had the same jobs were often not necessarily tall, athletic, and youthful and wore more comfortable, less revealing, clothes.  I then realized I was judging these women on how they looked but in a negative way.  They didn’t deserve that either.  They invested a lot of time and money into looking the way they did and should not be judged for trying so hard.

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.

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.

You Don’t See It (All) Coming

Oh, Oh, I have been thinking again and have just got to get it out where you and I can see it and read it.  So here again is another rough draft.

You don’t see it all.  Don’t you think that you could trip over something if you didn’t see it and you might get badly hurt.  Most of us do this all the time psychologically.  If it hurts to think of something, it is easier sometimes to forget it.  If we have a fault, it feels better to focus on the faults of others rather than our own.  Where do you think gossip c0mes from?

Gossiping

Gossiping

If we have a significant failure in our life or think we lack ability in an important area, we might overcompensate by focusing all our time and energy in another area where we think we are might be able to do better or there is less competition.  This often happens in families where an older sibling is a star athlete or straight A scholar.  Have you ever heard about a young girl who is attractive and limber and says she won’t try out for cheerleader because her old sister or cousin was one and she couldn’t compete.    Are we just fooling ourselves  (“Pride goeth before a fall”) or are we making it to a bad situation.

For example, frequently extremely talented people when their performances turn into money making propositions, often neglect to get good help in managing their assets and live in a fantasy land where they don’t have to think about things like that.  They often give over control of their own organization to someone else while retaining the right to spend what they earn as they see fit.  Can’t you see the train wreck coming in this type of situation?rp_300px-The_game_you_play.jpgFreud called these tendencies to avoid psychological pain and difficulties defense mechanisms.  They are projection, overcompensation, denial, repression, and rationalization.  As good a job as they do of protecting us, they can get in our way of living a full and healthy life.

For example, if you lived in an area with poisonous snakes denying that they lived in your part of the country, might lead to a dangerous surprise someday especially if you go to an area where these snakes are known to live and come out of hiding to lay in the warm sun because they are cold blooded creatures and you both pick the same sunny spot?! to sun bath.  In this case ignorance is not bliss.rp_Crookedfingersdignity.jpgBlame rhymes with shame and that is what we feel when we do this.  Shaming is a powerful tool used by significant others and others in power over us to keep us from doing something or to get us to do something.  Shame seems to have no useful purpose but to thwart us in our desires.  Often this turns into a situation like in the story about the emperor’s new clothes.  The tailor had the emperor thinking that he had such a fine cloth to make him a new outfit that only very special people could see it and thus were able to wear it.  How the townspeople laughed when they saw him in the new outfit that the tailor had made for him and they could only see he had only underclothes.rp_300px-TV_highquality.jpgWhat we see, hear, smell, taste, and feel with our senses and what we make of them are our perceptions.  After you go to bed and turn most of the lights off, you won’t be able to see anything until your eyes adjust and then what you see will be mainly black and white and not as clear as you normally would see it.  Now do you know why toddlers see monsters and are afraid of the dark at bedtime.

Last night my little grand daughter was spending the night and sleeping on the couch.  She keep asking about that black thing over there in the corner and was not satisfied until I went over there and found what she was looking at, a dark blue throw in a heap on the floor next to Grandpa’s recliner.  Since she trusted me and I reassured her with my actions by checking it, she went to sleep.rp_300px-Sweet-dreams-dreaming-of-snow-white-and-the-seven-dwarves.jpgChildren are less stupid than we give them credit for being.  They know less than we do and may have put together what they know in a guileless way, but it still makes sense if you can see it from their point of view.  Unhappily sometimes it is easier to put these children off or tell them a convenient lie than to spend the time it really takes to understand and deal with the situation.  For example, the old there are no monsters under the bed comment which can lead to tears on the child’s part and frustration on the adult’s part.

Do we hide stuff from ourselves by using such things as defense mechanisms?  Then do they come back to haunt us in the future?  Maybe it is better when you do see it all, no matter how uncomfortable that makes us.  How often does one partner not see it coming when the other partner asks for a divorce and/or has an affair?  Yes, we do have to focus in order to get anything done like texting while driving but then we might fatally fail to attend to something else that was going on at the same time.

 

 

Women’s Perception Of Their Place In The World

gender-decision-makingWomen?  What is your perception of your place in the world?  Women are made to have a unique purpose and niche in the world which they often don’t recognize until it is too late.  Men focus on the things that are supposed to make us happy, but don’t.    Still in positions of importance and places of power, you see few women and definitely not in suits and ties.  What has happened to us?  Where are we going?  Men have taught us to distrust other women and for us to turn to them  (they think) for answers to our problems and guidance in our affairs.   It is easier for men to focus on obtaining positions of power and to focusing on amassing large amounts of wealth and control  or ownership of vast amounts of property and  valuables.  Thus they may easily be blindsided by acquiring these things and not seeing the importance of love and spirituality in their lives.

familykidpictureLife is like a speculator sports especially when it comes to having children in your lives,  You are like a football  fan eagerly following his or her favorite team.  You follow along with their highs and lows being encouraging and supportive.  .  It is intriging how little children learn things and get things done in their own way.   You may never have so much influence over another person’s life again.  Two things we are not usually taught are how to handle our own lives and our own feelings.   Two more because of this, we are often not aware how much influence you have or your children’s lives in turn.  Also if you are not the prime motivator of a child’s life, you still can alleviate the effect of those who are.  Many people are not aware or don’t care about how teasing others or making fun of others can effect their lives.  Why is it fun to make someone cry so easily. 

We are one in the spirit and what hurts one of us hurts all of us.  Causing pain and suffering even if only of the mental and emotional kind can be cruel and unthinking of us.  It can create the type  of wound that may never heal.  Fear of what will others think of us  has been drilled into us in our society.  Why do we pick on the powerless and weakest of us in this way.  Many of us have not been taught to have respect for the life around us. 

emotional-abuse-disney-princess-16471851-496-479It is more probable that women are aware of this and have been made aware of this in their upbringing than men.  We (women) are the nurturers of the rest of us.   Men and children depend on us to take care of them and to recognize their needs and to meet them.  Men have more problems late in life when they are left alone and women are becoming more and more aware later in life that the men who want them to marry them at that time, do not want to be alone and do not know how or do not want to meet their own needs themselves.  When they learn this type of ability to live independently they blossom. 

Women are more likely to develop faith and spiritual powers to be better able to help others and the whole world and the universe than to meet concrete, self-oriented goals.  Women are more likely to know that our perception of the world and of the things and forms of life within it can easily change and that we have often been  egotistical and to thought  that the world revolves about us.  This creates a self-centered lifestyle.  In actuality women are often not self-centered enough and to expect others to meet their needs because they have met theirs.  Women are more likely to live vicariously and to be the power behind the throne.  Consider our First Ladies in our country.

When men have found that they have metaphysical powers, they often abuse them and use them to control others and things around them.  That is why some spiritual societies as Atlantis and Lemuria self-destructed.

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Children Are Fearfully And Wonderfully Made

A smiling baby lying in a soft cot (furniture).

A smiling baby lying in a soft cot (furniture). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Children are fearfully and wonderfully made.  You can always learn something new.  As you might know, I am teaching a child psychology class this summer.  What I am reading is reinforcing what I already knew.  Children are busy little beavers from birth and they come equipped with amazing hardware which enables them to perceive and understand their environment.

Children are fearfully and wonderfully made.  They are not just passive receptacles of stimuli.  They are programed to take it in in a certain way and then use it to form an amazing 3-D, multi-sensory model.  It forms their conception of what the world is like.  From this, they proceed to make assumptions about how things are and they use these assumptions to draw conclusions about what will happen in their environment.  This will lead to developing concepts like depth perception and object permanence.

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The Mirror Of Life

life-is-a-mirror-1024x682(pp_w649_h432)What we encounter in the mirror of life is important for our personal development.  Things come into our lives to reflect different parts of ourselves that we often can not see otherwise.

The mirror of life does not reflect the same things to different people.  Psychological studies have shown that when people who witness the same scene are asked to recall what they saw, they will recall different things depending on who they are and what they are interested in.  Picture a murder scene in a mansion.  Besides the family of the murder victim, there are three witnesses.  An interior decorator remembers the abominable decor and what horrible taste the murder victim had who owned the mansion, a mechanical engineer remembers how hot it was in the room and that the air conditioning system must not have been working and that the body would decompose rapidly, and a psychologist might have noted that the members of the murder victim’s family who were present were not very upset.  Different things struck the attention of each witness and it effected what they remembered and/or found significant.

life is a mirrorThe mirror of life just does not only reflect our interests in life, but also presents certain things for us to see and experience.  Some religious or spiritual people feel that certain people and certain things show up in our life for a reason.  For example, a person who is not comfortable being around people with developmental disabilities might find themselves having a child or grandchild with Down syndrome.  Other people who are sensitive to certain kinds of slights are more likely to interpret or misinterpret what might seem to another person just to be a harmless remark.  An extreme form of this is paranoia.

The judgments that you pass about a given situation or certain person may tell more about you than it does about the situation or the person that you make a comment on.  Psychologically a person or persons who find overweight people disgusting may be hiding the fact that they have an eating disorder and are secretly scared that they might become overweight themselves.  On the one hand, what you comment on in a given situation presented to you by the mirror of life might reveal more about you than you would like.  On the other hand, you can use this information to understand yourself better and possibly even make changes in the way you do and see things.

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In Sync?

5 Senses

5 Senses (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Continuing the discussion on the senses, Without A Thought, Effortless Living, ” if you use the same sense as your conversational partner prefers when talking about how he or she perceives things,  you will be more in sync with them and you will find that he or she may be more agreeable and more likely to accept your point of view.  This could be a very good sales technique and it is also used in establishing rapport in therapy or inducing trances, especially in a conversational style of induction.  In any relationship, paying attention to such things would give you a clue as to the type of activity or gift someone would like.  How about, “That smells good,” for example.  Makes you think of fresh baked goods or scented candles or perfume or aftershave.

As you grow psychologically and focus more on your direct experience (Ah la mindfulness), you will probably become more aware of your own sensory experiences.  Colors may become brighter; sounds, more noticeable; smells, more attractive or more obnoxious.  You may become able to create a more realistic experience when you imagine a restful scene when using relaxation techniques.  Start with your area of strength, usually the one sense that you use the most when describing things.  By doing so, you can get in sync with yourself and have a more intense experience when you do this.  The more of this you do, the better your visualizations (for want of a better word that would include the use of all the senses).

The Collection ('N Sync album)

The Collection (‘N Sync album) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Seeing Things as They Really Are

5 Senses

5 Senses (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So many of us are too busy thinking of what to do or say next that we do not pay attention to what is happening in front of us.  When we really see and hear this and pick up on what  is being communicated or what is really going on, we can make better decisions then if we jump to conclusions and react to what we think is going on before we give it a chance to unfold.

Recently after spending time learning to meditate in the past year or two, I have noticed that I am more in the moment when something is going on in front of me and notice things that I failed to notice before.  Too often we see what we think we are seeing even if that is not what is going on.  The act of perception is often a filter which keeps us from taking in what is really going on.

We spend too much time thinking when we ought to be receiving information from our senses which we can then use to create a picture of what is going on when we have all the information.  Endless mind chatter can block and/or distort information coming in from our senses.  If we don’t have the whole picture,  how can we come to accurate conclusions.

Have you ever been so angry that you couldn’t see straight.  Have you then been mistakenly rude to someone who made an innocent remark?  You weren’t thinking clearly were you?

When you are not overcome with emotion and your mind is quiet, you can focus on what is going on around you.  You might be surprised at what you might have been missing.  Others who are able to do this often have an advantage when it comes to understanding and interpreting what is going on around them.

 

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Perception

senses

senses (Photo credit: joaoloureiro)

We are limited by our senses in the ways that we can perceive the world.  We can see, hear, taste, touch, and smell.  We also can feel hot or cold.  Yet, there are other things going on in the world that we can not perceive directly.  We now know that there are such things as electric currents and magnetic fields.  We do not know these things directly but we can use the senses that we do have to monitor them indirectly.

We are limited also by what we are taught from birth.  Everyone is usually exposed to different cultures, religions, and/or belief systems.  We often see, hear, taste, smell, and feel what we expect to experience based on what we have been told.

All senses perceive a broad spectrum of physical qualities and do to training and experience we may focus on a certain portion of that range.  Our brains are very adaptive and areas of the brain which are receptors for certain sensations may be atrophied through disuse or enhanced by use.  Thus people from different parts of the world can perceive it differently with more or less sensitivity.

DNA may determine which sense a person or animal favors and/or how well they can use them.  It would make sense that chefs are more sensitive to tastes and smells than musicians and musicians are more sensitive  to sounds.  I lived in a student living facility where one of the students living there constantly complained about a high pitched sound that the rest of us living there couldn’t hear.  Also dogs and especially certain breeds are very sensitive to smell and can discriminate between many different kinds of smells that humans can’t differentiate among or even in many cases can’t detect.

What is going on out there in our world that we haven’t learned to detect yet?  What are other living organisms able to sense that we are not able to sense?  Will we be able to confirm the existence of extrasensory perception in the future?

 

 

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