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Monthly Archives: October 2012

Having an Affair?

The End of the Affair (1999 film)
The End of the Affair (1999 film) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Do you feel guilty?  Do you accuse your partner of being unfaithful?  It can be a dead giveaway when you do this.  When I run across someone who is complaining that their spouse or partner is paranoid and won’t let them go anywhere without them and he or she is constantly checking his or her significant other’s phone numbers, it is actually a sign that the accuser is the one having an affair.    The wife (it is usually the wife, but not always) is upset because often she hasn’t even looked at somebody else.

Marriage partners and those in committed relationships who are running around with other people often are extremely sensitive to what they consider signs in their partner that they are also having an affair.  Could I say,”It takes one to know one.”  Usually the faithful partner is so busy defending his or her self that they don’t have time to relalize that the accusations are a smoke screen for the other’s misdeeds.

When someone is on the defensive, they often do not think to think that the other person might be doing something wrong and they are unable to launch an offense.  A word to the wise, don’t get blindsided when somebody accuses you of unfaithfulness and miss the signs that it is not you, but them that is fooling around.

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Jealousy, Envy

An emoticon with a smile. For more emoticons i...

Can feelings make us miserable?  Yes, they can.  When you focus on what you do not have that others have, most often it makes us feel bad.  It is sometimes hard for us to be happy for others when they have something that we would like to have ourselves.  Joy! does not have to be selfish.  We can appreciate what others have gotten or accomplished when we have a similar goal or goals ourselves.  From that point of view, we can be happy for others.  When I was first trying to get pregnant, my much younger cousin succeeded before I did.  I had a choice:  be happy for her or rain on her parade.  There were two different points of view that I could have had.  I could have been jealous (and therefore miserable) and focused on my lack of a child or I could join with her with her feelings of anticipation of new life.  It turned out that I was just a little bit pregnant when my mother told me about my cousin; but I didn’t know it then.

To this day, I continue to work on myself and the negative feelings about others accomplishments that I have.  My feelings can change from sad to happy by making this switch.  It is often not easy to do but it changes my outlook on life.  It is just like realizing that being angry after the person or thing that has hurt you is out of your life is futile.  We are brothers and sisters in God‘s eyes at least and when one of us succeeds, we should be happy for him or her.  It helps us more than it helps them.

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How Do You Raise Children?

English: Children at a parade in North College...

English: Children at a parade in North College Hill, Ohio, USA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Do you bring up an obedient child who responds compliantly to commands?  Or do you bring up a free spirit?  Which is more important:  the ability to fit into society and follow the directions of adults or a creative, free spirit?  It may depend on one’s reasons for having children.  In large families where there is a lot of work to be done and younger children to be taken care of the more obedient the child the better.  In a small family or one blessed with only a single child, the parent may feel that he or she should let a child be a child for as long as they can.  In the past, large families were common as parents could not easily choose when and if they had children.  Also some parents feel it is Godly to procreate and expand God‘s family.

It is also important to have some knowledge of what a child is capable of doing at different ages.  Pushing toilet training at too early of an age can lead to unfair harsh discipline of a child who can not yet control his or her bowels or bladder.  Expecting an older child who is still a child him or herself to control younger siblings might lead to the abuse of  his or her power or control over them.  As children get older and they are given more priveledges as they are given more responsibilities, it becomes clear to them that they will benefit from this exchange

As much as possible children should be given the chance to choose what they do when it is appropriate.  Some choices early on are determined by nature such as when they soil or wet themselves, whether they are hungry, and  if they are sleepy.  Infants don’t cry because they want to frustrate their parents.  Children begin to use their senses and explore the world early on.  Children should initially be given a safe place to do this.  It is the foundation of a lot of their learning and reinforces creativity.

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Active, Passive

Passive Me, Aggressive You

Passive Me, Aggressive You (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Which would you rather be active or passive?  Passive lets other people determine things for them.  Active initiates projects.  Often in marriages, one person is active and the other person is passive.  This can work successfully for a time.  Then the active partner gets tired of making all the decisions and taking all the responsibility and the passive partner begins to resent being left out of decisions that affect him or her and having no say in his or her life.  What is very scarey is that when this situation gets out of hand it can lead to murder.  Now who do you think is the murderer and who do you think is the victim when this happens?   You did not guess wrong if you selected the active or passive partner for either role!

When things become one-sided, anger builds up and the passive partner decides to take action or the active partner decides that they are tried of taking care of their partner all the time.  The active partner feels that he or she has been doing all the work.  The passive partner feels that he or she never gets to do what he or she wants to do.  The active partner gets tired of providing for the passive partner and the passive partner feels that have to take what they get from the active partner and have no choice in the matter. Who’s in control? The active person or the passive person. Neither one. One has someone dependent on him or her which to some extent controls their life and one lets someone control their life. Also partners in different relationships can take different roles: passive in one and active in another.

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I Remember When

Multiplication Tables on gFlashPro on my iPhone

Multiplication Tables on gFlashPro on my iPhone (Photo credit: Wesley Fryer)

Check out the Thesaurus' sibling, Dictionary.
Check out the Thesaurus’ sibling, Dictionary. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I remember when we memorized telephone numbers, learned multiplication tables, and wrote in cursive, do you?  Since the dawn of the computer era, things like these have gone by the wayside.  What would we do without machines?  Having a good memory, good fine motor skills, and the ability to do some tasks by hand (not machine) at least exercise our brain and reinforce the capacity to learn and do new things with our mind, our senses, and our bodies.  I know you think I should use spell check; but I try first to get the spelling right on my own.  I have a Thesaurus (and I am sure you can get an apt for that ); but I try to think of a synonym on my own expanding my vocabulary when I do this.

You know you should exercise your body to keep it healthy and it is suggested that you do something that requires movement on a regular basis.  It can be an activity that you enjoy such as playing a sport, walking somewhere instead of driving somewhere, parking farther away from where you want to go in a parking lot, taking the stairs rather than the elevator, even doing housework or yard work.

You also should keep your mind sharp by exercising it.  This was easier to do when people relied more on their memory than they do now in the information age.  You can learn a new language, take up a new hobby where you acquire new knowledge about some subject such as astronomy, and sharpen your fine motor skills by drawing, doing calligraphy, fixing and maintaining fire arms. etc.

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How We Fool Ourselves

Denial and rationalization are two ways we think we fool ourselves into thinking we don’t have a problem when we do.  Of course, it is not just you, yourself, who does this, other people do it too; but you have more control over it when you work on changing yourself instead of other people.  Also hopefully you will be less defensive about being confronted with what you do than somebody else will be if you do it to them.

When you deny something, you pretend, and sometimes believe, that it doesn’t exist.  It is well known for being one of the stages of the process of grief.  If something doesn’t exist, you don’t have to deal with it; but that doesn’t solve the problem which still exists and which may get worse if you don’t recognize it and do something about it.  College students who concentrate on partying often find this out at the end of the semester when they fail their classes and have to leave school because of their grades.

Rationalization seems to be a more sophisticated form of defense mechanism.  With rationalization, you admit that you have done something but for a good reason.  You were justified in doing what you did.  It is often used by passive aggressive people to justify their behaviors that are hurtful to others.  For example, they say, “But I was only doing this to help you,” when at some level they know it was something that you feel didn’t help at all.  Many times people feel broadsided by this type of behavior.  We often learn this early because it gets us out of being held accountable for some behaviors until somebody catches on to what we are doing.

The clear wings make this South-American butte...

The clear wings make this South-American butterfly hard to see in flight, a succesfull defense mechanism. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


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Be Yourself, Love Yourself


Honesty is the best policy!  The more lies you tell, including white lies, the bigger the chance that you will get tripped up.  I am not suggesting that you expose yourself and leave yourself wide open for scam artists and others who would misuse your information.  If they’re not someone you would consider a friend or a close family member, you don’t owe them your life history and current credit score.  Just kidding.

It is refreshing to just be able to be yourself with somebody.  You are not necessarily trying to convert them to your point of view nor are they trying to convert you to theirs.  You can even discuss religion and politics without having a fight.  You can be open about mistakes you have made now or in the past.  You can talk about your future hopes no matter how silly they might sound to someone else.  You can talk for hours.

This often happens at a time in your life when you have become more realistic and realize that everyone is not perfect nor should they have to be.  The more honest you become with yourself, the more likely you will be able to love and accept yourself.  It often happens when you no longer worship idols like money and fame.  Treat yourself like you would like to be treated.  Take loving care of yourself.  If you don’t, you won’t be able to keep on taking care of others.

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Facing the Facts

High Anxiety

High Anxiety (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Avoiding a problem makes it grow.  I force myself to open bills and look at them when I get them rather than putting it off.  I try not to put off looking through all the mail (not just the bills).  That is the time to recycle paper, catologs, etc.  If I have access to a computer, I check my bank account and credit card statement everyday.  Current bills to be paid, bills that are coming due in the near future, and past due bills (yes, I have those) are kept in a folder on top of my desk where they can be easily reviewed when it is bill paying time, which is at least twice a month when I get checks.  Also at bill paying time, I catch up with my check book and keep track of upcoming monthly withdrawals.  I also keep an appointment book with important dates and I try to review that at least once a week on the weekend to see what I have going on in the next week and have to plan for.  Things coming up in the next week might highlight some necessary expenditures that might otherwise be overlooked.

Facing the facts is often anxiety arousing for me; but it is better than putting it off to find out later that I have missed an important appointment or have not remembered a bill I have to pay.  Many of us feel that out of sight is out of mind and that way we avoid worrying about things.  In the meantime as time passes and we avoid dealing with the problems associated with these bills and responsibilities, things that were minor irritants become major ones.  Not only do we have more work to do if we put off dealing with these things, there are consequences of missing things like deadlines.  Balancing a check book after a long period becomes a major undertaking and there can be mistakes that have been made that have long term consequences.  The same is true about scheduling necessary checkups.  Little medical and dental problems can become big problems if not caught early enough. A little anxiety in the present can avoid a lot of anxiety in the future. The problem with putting off things is as the anxiety increases with every postponement, it becomes harder and harder to deal with and makes it even less likely that it will be done.

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Making Judgments

There are some things worth making judgments about and there other things not worth making judgments about.   When life or death decisions are to be made, it is important to use good judgment.  When personal taste is involved, it sometimes makes no sense to always inflict our opinions on others.  Not everyone has the same standard of beauty or shares the same taste in food.  Newlyweds or those couples living together for the first time often find this out rather quickly.  I was in a grocery store once and a young couple were making their first shopping trip together.  They couldn’t seem to agree on anything.  My husband and I both cook, but I am more likely to add salt to things and he is more likely to add sugar.  I mistakenly believed too that who one thought was a beautiful woman or a handsome man was shared by others.  One of the females in my family and I were talking about actresses and I found that certain actresses that I thought were not beautiful were found to be very attractive to her.

Gossip 0ften mostly involves making judgments about others’ “bad” qualities or behaviors.  Usually when such comparisons are made,  we feel better about ourselves by comparison.  Rather than making judgments, perhaps we should practice making and giving complements.  In psychology it has been found that giving rewards such as praise for “good” or desired behaviors is more effective in changing behavior than punishing or criticizing undesirable behaviors.  I have found that rather than joining in when someone is making negative comments about someone or their behavior, if I point out some good qualities of the person and/or my more positive personal experiences with that person, it changes the tone of the conversation and makes it more productive  “Bad” reputations never did anybody any good..  .  .

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Dumb Animals?

I guess I was very impressionable when I was in grade school.  It was a christian school and I was thoroughly indoctrinated.  I didn’t know what I believed, but I knew what I was supposed to believe.  Being raised in the church and having the added experience of a religious education, was not totally a bad thing as it was there I learned about values and how to live my life in a way that considered others as well as myself.  It was from this advantage point that I developed my concepts of why we are in this world and what our purpose in life was.  As a result, I am not an atheist.  Unfortunately not everything I learned was helpful.

As I have said in another post, teachers often give their own point of view on the subject that they are teaching and children especially can easily accept their words as law.  Hopefully when they grow up they will find out that some of the things the teacher said did not represent the “gospel truth.”  I did, but not before making a few incorrect conclusions based on these teachings.  One belief I kept for a long time was that animals were dumb, not intelligent like humans, and their behavior was only based on instinct.  Also I thought humans were superior to animals in every way and that there was nothing an animal did that a human couldn’t do better.  I also believed that animals didn’t really deserve a place in God’s kingdom like man did.

When I first studied psychology, I learned that animals were acceptable substitutes for humans in experiments studying the origins and expressions of many behaviors.  Certain animals were more appropriate for use in such experiments than others depending on their similarity to humans. At the time animals were not considered to be intelligent like humans and could be used in ways that could not be used on humans. Recently (or at least since I was a student) we have learned that at least some animals can think (not everything they do is because of instinct) and/or use language which we used to think was reserved for humans. Also animals are special creatures that can do things that humans can’t do or do as well. I strongly suspect that as time goes on, we will find this to be more true rather than less.

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