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Monthly Archives: April 2013

The Competition To Be Worthy Or Unworthy

A "whimsy" from a nautical-themed wo...

A “whimsy” from a nautical-themed wooden jigsaw puzzle. Puzzle by The Wentworth Wooden Jigsaw Company Limited (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Do you want to be the most important person in the world or do you take the other tack and perceive yourself as the most unworthy person in the world?  With both points of view people set themselves as apart from the rest of the world and because of this, can be seen as egotistical.  People would rather be seen as better or worse than everyone else than not being seen and invisible.  This seems to be the worst possible fate for many people.

It is hard to be the best or the worst of anything.  Mother Teresa?  Hitler?  That must mean we are failures before we even start.  However, if you take the point of view that you are unique, that you have a purpose in life that only you can fulfill, and that the jigsaw puzzle of life will not be complete without your piece, then you are special and nobody else can take your place.

We are often raised to be jealous of one another.  “Why aren’t you more like Heather or Ralph?”  “If it weren’t for you, I could be doing what I wanted.”  Sometimes this sentiment is drilled so far into us that we think of our selves as worthless.  But the most worthless person in the world?  Probably not.

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What A Way To Go

Thinking

Thinking (Photo credit: Moyan_Brenn)

If you watch much TV or look at too many popular  magazines,  you might be led to thinking that you are all washed up when you reach 49.  Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and I never thought that my grandparents looked anything but wonderful to me.  We are constantly told what we should look like, what we should wear, and what we should like to do.

How many well-to-do people get their houses “decorated” by an interior decorator and then worry about it getting, dirty, cluttered, or appearing “out-of-date” or well-worn?  What is the idea of having something if you can’t use it?  On the other hand, decorating a home with comfortable well-made furnishings that are pleasing to the eye can enhance your life and increase your house’s useability.  As a result, you spend more time there; you enjoy entertaining there; and the longer you have had it, the more you appreciate it.

You as a person do not have to be in style.  You can follow your own drummer and as you live longer, you can age well like a bottle of wine.  If you are over 29, 39, or 49, have you changed over time.  Are there things you know and do now that you didn’t do then that make a difference in the way you live your life?  What do you know now that you wish you had known then?  For example, I enjoy children  even more than when I was raising them.  I am freer to look at life with the perspective of some distance and little things don’t matter so much and sometimes they don’t even hurt as much.  I’ve learned from other people how others live their lives and I am not so narrow-minded and have gotten some good ideas on how to improve mine.

Early in life we often focus on getting things and on getting things done.  We sometimes have tunnel vision and we miss the forest for the trees.  As we get older, we can develop our own point-of-view of what is important in life and how to get it.  We may realize that we wasted time focusing on things we thought were important because that was what we were taught and not on what was really important when we started thinking for ourselves.

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Suicide, What’s The Matter

I have a hard time with condemning people to hell and with not burying suicide victims in a consecrated cemetery.  Even those who believe in reincarnation do not give an

inch.  Victims have toDetail of The Death of Socrates. A disciple is...

come right back and deal with the same situation that was associated with their suicides.  I have noted recently a change in attitudes toward homosexuality and homosexual marriage by politicians who have discovered that at least one member of their family is a homosexual.  What next?  Will there be a change in some prominent people’s attitudes towards suicide when one of their family dies that way?

Suicide is often committed when people are experiencing the dark night of their soul.  Mother Teresa had one of these experiences, but I don’t know if she thought of taking her own life when it happened.  At one point I even thought of giving my own life (which I felt was worthless except for this purpose) so that others could be saved.  Martyrdom is overrated.  How can people come to think of themselves as so worthless?

People are constantly competing with each other to be better than somebody else.  Some people become suicidal when they think that they have lost this competition.  Others have so many demons that their life is torture.  For some people dying a “natural” death is so agonizing and costly for the survivors that they want to save themselves from the torture and not handicap the survivors who are already grieving with medical and funeral bills. Combat veterans realistically relive the horrifying nightmare of combat over and over again without any relief.

Believe it or not, I am not encouraging suicide.  I am just trying to get you to see the state of mind that some people are in when they are thinking about suicide.  At the time, there appears to be no way out, but suicide.  Suicidal people often feel that they are alone and friendless and have exhausted all other ways to solve their problems.

Wait a minute.  There are  people (often with personality disorders) who repeatedly make suicidal gestures, but even they can miscalculate and commit suicide when they didn’t intend to.  A dosage they thought was not lethal turns out to be lethal or the person that they counted on to rescue them does not turn up on time.

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Regarding Obstacles

Feeling insecure or unsure often results from being questioned about everything you do.  Not only is the question challenging, but also the tone of voice used.  It is like driving with the emergency brake on; you might have been reasonably sure of what you wanted to do; but what somebody else says leads you to question your decision and perhaps to even not implement it.  This can lead to a backlog of unimplemented decisions which can block your road to success in some desired goal.  Often we spend more time questioning our decisions after making them than we do actually making the decisions.

If you are a list maker, it may be that your lists of things that you need to do something about are loaded with reminders regarding the need to make some of these decisions which you once thought that you had made, but became uncertain about when your decision-making capacity came into question.

As mentioned in the previous post (which was also about obstacles), tasks pile up when we don’t make decisions.  Sometimes we think too much.  For example, you decide you don’t need or use something anymore, but begin to feel guilty about just throwing it in the trash instead of recycling even though there are no recycling pick ups in your area and you wait on making your decision about it because you feel you should recycle it even though it might waste more resources to take it somewhere than it saves by recycling.  If this continues, soon someone will begin to think you need an intervention for hoarding.

Decision Making Chart

Decision Making Chart (Photo credit: West Virginia Blue)

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Obstacles!

Decision Points

Decision Points (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Trying to get my life in order, I discovered that I have two major obstacles (maybe more like procrastination, but I am not going to talk about them here):  making decisions and solving problems about how to do something once I decide what I am going to do.  These two things can bring me to a stand still.

I have a disturbing habit.  I find my home speaks to me and what it tells me is not comforting.  Because of this, it is not the peaceful retreat that I would like it to be.  Everywhere I look I see something that needs to be done, a problem that needs to be solved.  When I think about it, it all boils down to one thing.  I need to make a decision about something.

There is a lot out about fung sway and the need to declutter.  Also if you do this then it is easier to keep it clean and is less work.  Organizing involves choices like where to put stuff and what to keep and what to give or throw away.  Once upon a time, when the house was new, my family moved us in from the old house and although the new house had a lot of storage, they did not sort through much of the stuff and they stashed it away where ever they could.  I was working and traveling at that time and it wasn’t until recently that I had any time to do anything about it.

When I have an hour or so, I think about tackling this task; but whenever I do I get bogged down making the necessary decisions.  And what initially looks like it should take an hour, may take a whole day or two days if you can not devote a full day at one time.   If I make a decision to get rid of something or to find another more compatible place to put it, the next step is to decide how to do this.  So I have old electronics and appliances that I decide are no longer useful, where do I dispose of them and when I find that out, I find out that I have to go to a certain place at a certain time to do so.  Maybe the decision was not to hard to make, but solving the problem of how to get rid of it is difficult.

Some of these decisions occur because I let them accumulate by not making them when they initially need to be done.  Do I trust my own judgment?  Am I like the little red hen who tries to make bread and winds up not getting it done because she listens to what everybody else tells her to do and does not do what she knows she should do instead.  Sometimes it makes more sense to just do something and go on to the next task then it does to vacillate forever and waste your time when you could be getting other tasks done.

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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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Without A Thought, Effortless Living

Coffee table book

Coffee table book (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Breastfeeding symbol

Breastfeeding symbol (Photo credit: Topinambour)

Can you enjoy, truly enjoy, something without dissecting or analyzing it.  For some mothers breastfeeding is such a moment.  Do you actually look forward to a moment when you are doing a task that is so routine, you don’t even need to think about it.

Lavishly illustrated coffee table books hit the spot for me.  I can do all the looking I want and there is nobody telling me to hurry up or move on.  When I make the occasional excursion out by myself, (if I have time) I make it a point to “window shop” in a new store, one that I haven’t been in yet.  I am very visual.  That’s how I see things.

For some it is a long luxurious hot soak in a bath tub.  For others, it is a shower using all the water you want.  Then you might like to crawl between sheets in a freshly made bed.  Most or all of these seemingly mindless experiences involve the senses and you don’t have to think about them to enjoy them.

You can usually tell what sense the person prefers by the words they use to express themselves such as, “I can see that,” or “Hear me out,” or “How does that make you feel?”

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You Think Too Much

A friend told me, “You think too much.”  Well, I guess maybe I do.  It does kill the spontaneity of the moment.    Maybe it comes from hearing, “What did you do that for?” too much.  Also I am always wondering as I vacillate over making a choice,  if I will regret it later.”  I always have that trouble in restaurants when I am with somebody else. I think that I will wish that I had ordered what the other person did.  That’s why people are always waiting for me to order.

That used to fit the definition of a neurotic.  Someone who’s own behavior bothers them.  A neurotic feels psychological pain about what they are about to do or have done.  Guilt, worry, anxiety, shame are the often worthless emotions that make people miserable without doing anything about the problems they are feeling bad about.  These emotions can make a person stop and think instead of acting which can be good or bad.

As usual, there is a middle way. As impulsive, hedonistic, sometimes even psychopathic people act first, think later.  But you can get so tied up thinking about, “what if’s” that you don’t make a decision and that is a decision in and of itself.  Thus both extreme approaches backfire.

Without Regret

Without Regret (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

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Doing Those Things Others Can’t Or Won’t Do

Lawrence Kohlberg's stages of moral development

Lawrence Kohlberg’s stages of moral development (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What a debt of gratitude we owe to those who volunteer to do dangerous things.  It is a huge step in moral development to do this and (I think) a step backwards for those who, not only don’t do it, but also don’t appreciate it when others do it.  First responders are an obvious example.  The military and especially special forces are another.  There are other people that people don’t think about who either live a reduced life style to do the work of helping others and/or perform their jobs in dangerous situations.

What is also astonishing is the amount of preparation some people need in order to do their jobs like these and also that some of these people never complete the training having been washed out after already exerting a great amount of effort.  They don’t even get a chance to be in the limelight ( if there is any ) that others who do not fail are able to share when they graduate.

Some of these jobs unfortunately don’t have prestige associated with them and those that perform these jobs are sometimes even shunned.  These jobs usually involve thankless tasks that no one else will do, but have to be done.  Can you think of any?

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Mixed Messages

Does someone you know, say one thing, do another, act yet another way?  Have you ever had the experience of having someone say something nice to you and yet it doesn’t make you feel good.  If you were to call them on it they would deny that they were trying to hurt you and immediately take offense that you would think such a thing.  “I was just giving you a complement.”

Ever seen someone hold a baby that they were supposedly drooling over and their body language indicated that they were very uncomfortable holding the child and it may also have looked like their grip was not very secure.  What is the baby experiencing?  The baby may even be crying and squirming.  This person holding the baby may then start to scold the baby and set the baby down.

We have all been asked to comment on a new dress or wall color; but what can you safely say and not give a mixed message.  The more truthful and the more positive the answer, the better off you are.  The person asking the question does not always give the context of the request and in this manner are sending a mixed message that is usually difficult to read..

Mixed Messages (game)

Mixed Messages (game) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

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