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Who? Me?

Have you ever tried to figure out who you really are?  I have and have usually wound up confused and/or have found myself wanting!

We need to accept ourselves and others as who we really are.  Studying to be a psychologist, I have studied many different theories of personalities which delineate many different types of personalities, describe them, tell how they originated, and how they affect what a person does.

For example, a person can be introverted or extroverted. Yet, I have found that I have been both at different times in my life.  I used to hide behind my mother’s skirts as a small child and now I more openly express myself and care less what other people think.  Now,  I am me and less likely to change that depending on what other people think.  I accept myself as I am unless I see a good reason to change it.

I also view myself as having found a way to judge myself as a person and have found ways that helped me to become that way.  I am, unfortunately, somewhat judgmental because of this which is something I don’t approve of generally and have trouble understanding why other people are different from me and why we don’t always agree or get along.

I also don’t understand why I am vulnerable to certain things and sometimes make the same mistakes over and over.  Now I think I do.  Many times in the past I have explored the metaphysical science of astrology and I have not been able to master it.  Yet, other people seem to do quite well with it and they can often answer with it the questions that I can’t seem to answer.

I have decided that I am going to explore something called “Human Design” by Karen Parker which is based on astrology, but seems to present it in a different way than I have been used to and possibly seems fertile.

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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.

Arguments And Fear Of Upset Feelings

rp_228552603_150_150.jpgI just talked about fear and the biggest fear is of fear itself.  If we don’t talk about things until one of us, either partner gets mad, then it is hard to overlook how bad it makes us feel and deal with the issues themselves.

I don’t know about you but my very sense of security can be threatened.  It got this way in my first marriage and maybe if we had the fights that we did when we were divorcing all along, the marriage could have been better.

Not trusting your partner is very destructive in a relationship; especially not trusting them to make a fair compromise and to not penalize you for bringing something up that needs to be dealt with.

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.

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Sometimes You Have To Let Something Go To Make Room For Something New To Come In

rp_300px-Sabbatical_titlescreen.jpgAs you can see I am taking a sabatical this fall.  I have no classes to teach this fall which means it will be a squeeze financially but I will have more time to devote to writing for this website, more time to babysit grandchildren (which is a mixed blessing), more time to meditate in several different ways, and more time to pursue my own personal growth.

While I was teaching this summer (and taking an art class myself), I was feeling stressed out and at times it made me physically ill.  Do you think that as a psychologist I should have known better than that?  Maybe.  But I just know from past experiences that it is a sign that I should take heed of and do something about.

It took time and money out of my pocket in order to teach even though I have been enjoying it and growing a lot doing it.  Yes, I was paid but as a part-time instructor and only for what classes I taught each semester.  This summer I made an hour round trip trip to town four days a week for two months spending the whole day there two days a week.rp_300px-New_Life_Ranch_Sign.jpg

I will take two road trips this fall to see the evangelist Joyce Meyer and attend the homecoming celebration of my undergraduate college in honor of my class’s 50th anniversary.  I will be doing this on a shoestring; but I am not going to miss these chances to do something I want to do which only comes along once in a blue moon.

I have already gotten one surprise phone call offering me some financial help for one of my upcoming seminars after it was decided that I was not going to teach this fall. I also have recently found some books that answer questions I have been asking, but did not get the answers for that I have been gobbling up.

Yesterday, I caught up on some of my sleep and decided to do nothing that I didn’t have to do.  I missed one of my regular salesmen while I slept in the afternoon and I did not check on most of the things that I am checking on today and I did not turn my computer on.

I am growing.  I intend to explore new and old things that I have not gotten around to doing recently.

Stop! Think…Could A LadyBug Be Self-Actualizing?

rp_5854234616_9eb56eac3d_m.jpg(Work in progress.  More to come.  Including the essay that was the idea for this post.)

The epitome of personal achievement in Humanistic Psychology is the self-actualizing person who only reaches that point after overcoming the hurdles of satisfying basic needs: physical, security, social, and self-esteem ones.

It is not the person you might expect him, or is it her, to be?  ( Don’t we generally think of ladybugs as female?)  Fame and wealth aren’t necessarily the highest goals and meeting the needs for these self-aggrandizing or often other-exploiting objectives often can leave a bitter taste in one’s mouth and a sense of “Is that all there is?”

Then what is a self-actualized person?

Maslow’s characteristics of self-actualized people:

1) Self-actualized people have realistic perceptions of themselves, others and the world around them.

2) Self-actualized individuals are concerned with solving problems outside of themselves, including helping others and finding solutions to problems in the external world. These people are often motivated by a sense of personal responsibility and ethics.

3) Self-actualized people are spontaneous in their internal thoughts and outward behavior. While they can conform to rules and social expectations, they also tend to be open and unconventional.

4) Another characteristic of self-actualized people is the need for independence and privacy. While they enjoy the company of others, these individuals need time to focus on developing their own individual potential.

Now what has a ladybug got to do with this?  This description of a ladybug that was brought to my attention by one of my honorary “sisters” (as I only have brothers) fits most of the description of a self-actualized person quite well.   To be continued…

Part of the Lady Bug series

Part of the Lady Bug series

A ladybug in the essay is a very realistic person who knows where she stands, what she can contribute, and what those around her need.

A ladybug has a sense of what is right and wrong and endeavors to follow this self-created code no matter what others think or try to tell her.

After achieving the ability to do what others consider to be correct and being able to conform to the desires of the world, the ladybug develops a sense of individuality and what makes her “tick” and begins frequently marches to the sound of her own drummer inside.

Yes, a lady bug has her own drummer and a need to follow her own beat.  The determining of which is her own private goal and often involves some inward searching which does not always require the presence of others.

Earlier a lady bug was described in “The Self-actualized Lady Bug”as a necessary part of the garden  of creation and often overlooked in the scheme of things but as very necessary for the maintenance and growth and health of the plants there in.

She contributes to the welfare and well being of others and can be very industrious even considered insignificant until she is no longer there to do the work.  Sometimes she stands out by her choice of bright wrappings which may be even considered frivolous by others.

She is self-motivating and concerned with the needs of others.  She also knows the “right” things to do and is motivated to do them.

Could there be Gentleman Bugs?  Of course!

 

 

Positive Attitudes, Winner or Loser

not who you are 344Why are we so afraid to create positive expectations of future situations?  We are afraid that if we do this we will be badly disappointed when it doesn’t work out.

Have you ever played pretend and created exactly what you wanted in every detail?  You probably did so as a child when you were only limited by your imagination.  I used to think that the president and his or her family had access to every thing a person could want and many things that ordinary people, even rich people, didn’t have yet.  They had color TVs in my child’s mind before they were even invented.

For example, my best friend and I created beautiful ballgowns in our heads that we could really see.  Daydreaming, you say just daydreaming….  Did the candy taste just as sweet if only in our imaginations and everything starts with an idea before it becomes a reality.

Your frame of mind can influence your outcome.  How do you act if you know you will get something?  How do you act if you are sure you won’t get something as things are unfair and no matter how good you are you don’t have a chance!

 

 

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.

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?