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Monthly Archives: July 2014

Who Does Your Anger Hurt Worse?

Who does your anger hurt the most?  You or the person you are mad at?  Have you ever been so mad you were sick with anger.  Do your guts tighten up?  Does something you can’t stand give you a headache.

We have the capacity to let things go and the reward is often patience, fewer worries, and a peaceful mind.  Why punish yourself again and again by remembering often in great detail what some ungodly person did to you.

Recent someone got mad at me and wouldn’t let it go immediately.  I did not get mad nor did I keep a score card of hurts suffered from that person with that person’s name on it.  I did not respond with anger to anger and did not escalate the situation.  Later we both talked about it.  I reassured the person that I took their upset seriously and they admitted that they were having a bad day that did.  I also admitted that they had a point and I wasn’t dismissing their concern.

Frustrated anger tortures the person who gets intensely mad and can’t let go of it.  You may have heard of the type A personality who is prone to heart attacks.  They can be like that

By God, that makes me mad and I’m going to stay made no matter what the person I am mad at does.  I have a right to be angry and to express my feelings.   It wasn’t my fault.  Gosh and by golly, I might even sue the person.  if I could find a lawyer who will take the case and there are some lawyers out there that will encourage pe0ople like me to do this.  No matter who wins, you will have to pay the piper.  Sometimes the only one who benefits from this type of action is the lawyer.  Who is this hurting?rp_300px-Anger_Controlls_Him.jpg

What price will you pay to get revenge.  Focusing on it every waking moment.  What happens to families and friendships even to  careers if a person narrows their focus to this one thing and  neglects other concerns.

Can you figuratively speaking fight fire with fire?  Depression is anger turned inward and if you are the kind of person who does this then you may feel the only person you can retaliate against is you and this is the reason behind some suicides or worse yet murder-suicides.

Just because somebody gets mad at you should you get upside.  Think how infuriating it is sometimes if you get mad at a person and they don’t get mad back.  It can make  you feel ridiculous and even unaccountedin that situation..

Feelings should be recognized and acknowledged.  People have a right to their feelings, it is how they express them that can be a problem.

Often the source of our anger is that we tend to look critically at others and take offense if they don’t meet up to our standards even if they are strangers we meet on the street.  I am no light weight but I have reduced my portion sizes and have tried not to reward myself constantly with sweets. Yet  I still find it offensive when I find a person on the street that is significantly overweight more than I  still am.  So much so I almost miss the happy smile on the person’s face and great personality because I get mad at somebody else for not watching their weight like I think like I do.  My best friend in first grade had a weight problem but at the time I didn’t even see it.  What if I had let it stop me from making a life long friend who was like a sister to me.  We had so much fun and shared some great adventures.

Anger often is a control issue.  We get mad when we can’t control something.  Actually the only person we can reliability control is ourselves and sometimes we can’t even do that.   If we have a problem controlling something about ourselves, we often focus on that or some similiar problem in someone else.  “Don’t look at me.  Look at him or her.”

We often get in the way of our own happiness i this way and we  can get physically ill in the process.

What is this idea about needing to control everybody else, anyway?  Obviously we are suffering from lack of faith, hope, and trust not only in others but maybe  too in ourselves but with others to.  Don’t get me wrong there are some dangerous people out there and sometimes only when we get mad enough will we do anything about it.



Is It Counterintuitive To “Act” Happy To Be Happy

Is it counterintuitive to “act” happy to be happy.  Have you ever noticed how contagious children’s happiness is?  Have you ever observed toddlers at play trying something new or watching something going on such as a kitten at play?  Their happiness is very contagious unless you are feeling very grumpy?  Think of Scourge and Bob Cratchet in a Christmas Carol.happiness-is-contagious-wx-70842

Sometimes when it goes against the grain, it takes a long time to adopt a new belief or practice.  “Don’t worry, be happy” is a line from a song.  How hard is that to do?  Very hard and be genuine at the same time.  Most of us have been encouraged to be polite and courteous even when we don’t think that way.  How many genuine complements have you given or have you just not known what else to say when asked if you liked something.  It is not considered polite to do the opposite.

The president who was quoted as saying that if he was covetous of a woman other than his wife in his heart, it was the same as actually doing something.  First comes the thought, then the saying, and finally the action.  This can be troublesome if it is something we really shouldn’t do; but it is the same way to manifest something that we know we ought to do.  For example, like be happy and love others as well as ourselves.

When you are accustomed to being depressed, this  is very hard to do.  How can you do anything but “pretend” to be happy and everyone knows that a “fake” smile doesn’t work.





Coercion and Consent

I am a proponent of many different religions and I feel that the devoutly religious often share the same values and goals no matter what their religion; but what I do find offensive is the use of coercion to punish and/or convert people who hold other as deeply held beliefs

This also leads to the radical members of some of these religions to doing offensive, repressive, and unGodly things to convert others to their beliefs or to try to rp_364105908_e38b34117b_m.jpgeliminate them all together.

I realize that for some people just by saying this I have lost my chance for a happy life in the hereafter or even here on earth.  I know this stance is offensive to some people and that they feel that I don’t even have the right to say, feel, or think this way.  Somehow I don’t think of this as practicing freedom of religion.  Oh, don’t let me forget, the rights of atheists, possibly even those of agnostics, idolaters, and people who don’t have any religious beliefs at all and may feel that they don’t need them or want them.

We should practice what we preach even if it makes us uncomfortable.  So far, I have a great admiration for Pope Francis even though I am not Catholic as he practices what he preaches and still reaches out to all.  Look at the ecumenical movement.  Pastors in some cities and small towns share their burdens as pastors, preachers, and priests, chaplains in monthly get togethers..

I believe we are all children of God.  you may not believe this; and both of us should be able to exercise these beliefs as long as we hurt no one.  I also believe in the ultimate sense that no one is innately better than someone else.     This to me forms a caste system where a group or groups by virtue of certain characteristics has privileges that are denied to others.

The most beautiful thing I have seen is when people of different religions share and help each other out rather than  shunning each other and inadvertently making each others lives miserable, both their own and other people’s.  Hanging on to negative thoughts can be as debilitating  as forcing them onto others in the form of guilt and shame.  Finally once you take a person’s life (even if in the name of God) you devalue the lives of all including your own.  War and the accompanying deaths of the “enemy” and civilians who “accidentally” get in the way  is a very serious thing and those who take it seriously and feel that such a thing is really necessary carry a heavy burden and they realize it.

This post  is not an attempt to answer the question, “Is war necessary or Godly.”  Think for yourself.  To me, thinking is a God given ability.  Don’t too easily give this (what I think is a right) away to someone or something else even though you also have the right to do this.  Also when it comes to the practice of your religion is it not a good idea to explore the “Word” (usually considered to have come from “God”)  that you may  base your religious beliefs on.

Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

That seems to have  been the motto for child abuse.  Caregivers should not ask children if they have been abused because it might upset the child, but more likely because it might upset the abuser.  Who are we more afraid for?  Who are we most afraid of?  Adults usually have power and children usually don’t.  Who can make the most trouble if he or she is involved in ongoing or even past child abuse.  Yes, the adult.  Almost every child knows this.  Remember the old saying, “Children should be seen and not heard?”

Often children believe that because they are or were the victim of child abuse that they were at least or somewhat at fault.  They may also believe that because it happened to them unawares that they are not safe and may not then believe that their parents or caregivers can protect them.  In the past it was often easy to sell parents on the idea that adults tell the truth more often then children do.  How many confrontations have occurred in the past where an adults tells on the child and the child gets punished.  How often did the child in the past tell on an adult and the adult got punished?

If an adult does not truely believe that a child has been abused how can that adult be expected to protect him or her.  If an accusation has been made and an adult who is supposed to supervise the interaction if still permitted between the child and the adult under question, do you think that person will adequately supervise the child?  No!  At some point the person doing the supervising will walk away or have their attention directed elsewhere and forget their primary responsibility was to watch the child and allow their attention to be directed somewhere and even leave the room to take a phone call, answer the call of nature or do a chore.  They don’t think either that they won’t be gone that long so the adult won’t have time to do anything without being caught or that the child really doesn’t need all this supervision with this adult.

If you believe a child has been abused, then do whatever possible to take the child out of the situation or if that is not possible that you or someone who will put the child first we should “actively” supervise the interaction and not take their eyes off the child even for a second and of course not leave the child alone with the adult even for a second also.  If he or she has to leave the situation, will take the child with him or her and bring the child back when they are free to continue closely supervising the interaction.

If a person does not believe that another adult might possibly be a danger to the child then they can and probably will not believe it is necessary to supervise and, for example, as long as they are within ear shot, nothing can happen to the child.  Or they were not gone long enough for anything to happen.  Or they can be easily convinced by the adult that the whole thing is silly and supervision is not really necessary.  Then it is easy for the supervisor to be “lax” and/or to cooperate with the adult by giving them some “alone” time with the child.rp_300px-Friendship_love.JPG

Where do faith, hope, and trust come from? (See previous post on faith, hope, and trust.)  They come from the experience of children being able to trust in the people in their life including, but not only, parents, teachers, neighbors, older siblings or other children, etc.  How fragile are these beliefs and they are easily broken when a child can not trust that they will not be harmed, there is no hope that the adults in their life will take good care of them and no faith in those people to do the right thing by them.

Sorry About That

not.talkThis is a very rough draft.  I will be back tomorrow to edit it and spell check it..

Sorry about that.  I have been writing posts asking you to cool your jets when you get mad and/or plot revenge..  I have been reviewing my psychology textbook and I was reminded that sensation and after that leads to how we perceive something can lead to emotion.  They are all tied up together in the brain’s  analysis and response.  This all happens rather quickly and some times we can’t help ourselves and immediately express our feelings whether good or bad or even if we don’t want to do it.

I have been preaching? that one should control their emotions  and subsequent actions to have a better life.  Engineering this kind of change can be difficult.  For a long time in my clinical practice, I have been urging patients to take a three step approach to making this kind of change  See below….

No. 1 is to notice after the fact that you have done something that you want to stop doing.  No. 2 is to begin to notice when it as it  is occurring.  Have you ever thought on this type of occasion, “Here I go again.”  Of course there has to be the initial desire  to change what one has been doing.  It could be eating candy when on a strict diet or the often  thought, “I can’t help myself if someone makes me mad.”  There  is a connection in the brain between these things that needs to be broken.   No. 3 is to realize before you do something that you are about to do something which you are trying to stop and then you don’t do it.  Problem solved.  It’s not as easy as it sounds; because you have to have the desire to do this in the first place.

You may feel that you can’ control yourself; because some of this stuff is on automatic pilot.   That is right.  Some things become habits or automatic reactions when there is no time to think.  This is due to learning, both operrant and classical, which enable us to learn to do something without thinking like riding a byclce or laughing at a joke.  Classical conditioning can be a difficult concept.  Perhaps you have never heard of it.  It is a term used in psychology.  It happens when a There is an automatic response built in to something like salivating in a dog when he or she sees food in their dish.  If you ring a bell when you do this then the sound of the bell will cause the dog to salivate without first seeing the food.  The initial response is hard wired in the dog’s brain.  Other things become habits through learning that something if done will get rewarded or punished.  This is opperrant conditioning.  This then becomes programmed in the brain too.  Both types of learning can be undone if not reinforced or associated with the claasical stimilui.