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happiness

Here I Am, I Can Not Do Otherwise

rp_182075622_e2c5a99240_m.jpgDo you stand up for yourself especially when it means going it alone.  Unconditional love can be hard to find.  And when you give unconditional love, you may not get it back.  Risky isn’t it?  Condemnation comes more easily than acceptance.  Do you want to hurt someone before they can hurt you?  Babies and puppies and kittens can be very trusting and can give their affection without realizing that they might get hurt by doing it.  Back in the teenage years and later as a young adult, a person may not have wanted to make the first move when dating for fear of being rejected.  Rejection can be a very dangerous thing if you are small.  Who can you depend on to meet the needs that you can’t yet meet for yourself?  Do you know at that age that the rejection most likely won’t last and you will be secure again?   What stock of experiences stored in his or her memory does a child have to depend on to be sure that  he or she is will be safe and will be accepted and cared for once again.  Love withdrawal because of this is a dangerous form of discipline.  It is the act that is disliked not the person but the child doesn’t know that.

When a child starts having a peer group, that is another place where a child can suffer from rejection.  Child often learn to quickly gang up on another child and by rejecting that child, make his or

Gossiping

Gossiping

herself feel more secure.  Isn’t being ostracized or shunned often the worse thing that can happen to a person.  How often do we look around at the people in the group that we are in to determine what is the safe thing to do or say?  For example which is safest? being a Christian or being a Muslim or for being for abortion versus being against it.  Isn’t it often that the person that says what other people are afraid to say is the person that is doing the right thing.  Worse yet you can be killed by standing out from a crowd in this way and such uncalled for slaughter is often a satisfactory way of warding off dissent.

rp_8402039996_b8ea3fb471_m.jpgSometimes aren’t animals more loyal and self-sacrificing than humans?  In this case which one the animal or the human is more moral?  Humans can be self sacrificing and share all they have with others in their group.  Giving can be more satisfying than receiving.  I have a wonderful spiritual friend who just bubbled over when it was suggested to her that the most fun in the world would be to be able to give people something they really wanted and couldn’t ordinarily have.

Even some murderers and many other  wrong doers have some sort of a conscience and this is often what trips them up and gets them caught.  There are, however, people out there often called psychopaths or sociopaths who do not even have a remnant of a conscience and can get away with doing horrendous things because there they have no conscience.  Role models are important in the building of a conscience.  If somebody does something for you that they don’t have to do and is even self-sacrificing, you may want to imitate them because when they behave this way they make you feel good.

Life for me is making a closer and closer approximation to a person who believes that other men are his or her brothers and sisters and that certain “truths” rp_The_Meaning_of_Life_with_Gay_Byrne.jpgare worth standing up for and fighting for.  I know when I am not living up to this standard and I believe I have been purposely put on earth to do this.  Current studies of animal behavior also demonstrate loving and caring behavior in such nonhuman animals as dolphins and elephants as well.  Here I stand, I can not do otherwise (Martin Luther).

Should You Celebrate Yourself Before You Celebrate Others?

PsychosisVonnegutCoverIs this an either or question?  Think of Life as a balance scale with yourself on one side and others on the other side.  Too much on one side or the other and the scale won’t balance.  It also can make you grouchy and resentful and possibly greedy.  How about the person for whom nothing is ever right and who is difficult to please.  Too much candy and then none of it tastes good.  You work hard so you can enjoy life and then you never have any time to do what you enjoy.  Rush through things and then you don’t have time to enjoy them.  Best get-a ways I ever had were when we forgot about time and enjoyed the setting, the company, the conversation, and sharing the experience.

Savoring is enjoying what you do have.  Whether it is clean sheets, fresh corn on the cob, a clean car, or unexpected, but welcome, company.   Savoring involves being able to accept a change of pace when one offers it self.  Remember when you were in schoo9l and had a snow day?  It represented a free day to go out and play in the snow.  Did you ever really miss having school on a snow day?  Have you ever read a book while caught in a traffic jam after an accident on the interstate?  I did and it was one I had already read so I reread it.  Did I waste my time grouching and complaining about the jam or the fact that the only book I had I had already read.  Time went faster as I lost myself in the story I had read before.

“Enjoy yourself.  It is later than you think,” was a title of a song.  Did the writer know what he or she was writing about?  On the other hand are you too busy enjoying yourself that you have no time left for anybody else?  Grandma or grandpa are you too busy to babysit your grandchildren because you always have a golf tournament, a card game, or a committee meeting.  You may even rationalize this away by telling yourself that the grand children will be more fun and less work when they get older and then you never find the time then either.

me,me,mejpgAre you there for every meeting your social or church group has and have held every office over the years and some for several years in a row.  Do people say that they don’t know what they would do without you?  Are you tied up babysitting for family and the family always knows who they can get at the last minute.  You!  You tell friends that you would like to do something with them and then are unable to follow through with your plans with them because of family obligations.  You have planned a trip somewhere on a special day and have made all the reservations and paid fees that are not refundable but don’t go because you have to do something for someone else and that is more important than what you wanted to do.

Is “wallflower” your middle name?  Do you let everybody else take all the credit, get all the prizes, and celebrate all the milestones?  Would you be surprised if nobody showed up for your own funeral and/or that your relatives didn’t even have a memorial service for you.  In fact, while you are alive you even encourage them to do this when you die.

There needs to be a nice balance here.  You are just as important as others are and others are just as important as you are.  Giving and receiving are both part of the equation.  Knowing what might really please you now may be the inspiration for something you can do for somebody else later.  Parents of young children often know this as do members of families with a chronically ill loved one or a recent unexpected death in the family.

kindness,acts ofGiving is important.  Gratitude is important.  Giving as a form of gratitude is one of the most sincere forms of thanks.  You give me some of what you have and I give somebody else some of what I have.  It is the daisy chain of gratitude.  I may not be able to pay you for the tank of gas I needed to get to the doctor, but may be I can mow the neighbor’s yard.  Remember the old story about someone who gets out on the wrong side of bed and kicks the cat who scratches the dog who bites the mailman, etc.  Start your day off right and who knows who the favor might effect?

Ever skip a meal to get something done (maybe even for someone else) and then wind up so hungry you bite someone’s head off?  Was that a really good idea to begin with?  Being self-sacrificing can lead to “gunny sacking”  in which you expect the recipients to pay you back without you asking them to do it or to stop asking you to do things for them or to say, “No,” once in awhile when you offer to do something.

 

Celebrate Yourself?

rp_Crookedfingersdignity.jpg

Do you keep a low profile.  Do you wait for others to celebrate you life landmarks and they never do?  Did you miss your graduation? because it was too much pomp and circumstance and you saved everybody the hassle of coming to it.  I have my Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin; but I don’t know what my academic colors are because I didn’t go.  I didn’t feel I should make everyone make the trip back  as when I finished I was no longer on campus.

Only two people were invited to our wedding, the witnesses.  I don’t believe I have ever celebrated my anniversary with a special date night on the town.  Is it bad to blow your own horn?  I bought my own birthday cake and my friends knew I was celebrating my 70th birthday last November but my family didn’t know it wasn’t an ordinary birthday (Don’t worry it has been almost a year and either I am getting used to it or getting over it (being 70)).  Many achievements in college I didn’t get to celebrate with my family because they couldn’t make the trip but my mother did come for my graduation.  But when my son and my son-in-law graduated from the training academy, we went.

If you don’t celebrate yourself, no one one else will.  If you don’t think you are worth it, no one else will?  Your attitude toward yourself communicates itself nonverbally to others and they treat you the same way you treat yourself.  I can be very professional when I know I am right and have the responsibility to do what is right!  But it doesn’t carry over sometimes to my family and friends.  Even the grand kids have begun to question my authority.  But I’m not going to back down for their sake.

I have a list of complements hidden on the back of my medicine cabinet door that I would like to get; but it is not posted where anyone could see it.  Why are we encouraged to be so self-effacing?  I am the opposite of a narcissist I guess.  Stand up, stand up for what you believe in including yourself.  I hesitate to share my opinions at home or at family occasions so nobody knows what I think there.  I hesitate because I might embarrass myself or others like family or friends.  Keep your mouth shut.   Ever hear of that?

Self-help materials suggest that you associate with only supportive friends in order to keep your self-esteem high.  Of course that can keep you in denial by only associating with people who agree with you.  Is there a happy medium?  Are you lying to yourself or do other people keep trying to put you down?

Robin William’s Suicide, Completely Misunderstood!

(No media have been added because to do so might  make light of this tragedy by focusing on the “clown” not the person.)

Laugh clown, laugh.  Could it be that comedians and persons with depression who commit suicide are some of the most misunderstood people in the world.

We all enjoy laughter.  It has even been proven scientifically to help people fight cancer.  Why do we laugh when others put themselves down?  Why do we laugh when we put ourselves down or worse yet why do others put us down and expect us to laugh about it?

What people don’t realize is that if people feel threatened enough to put us down that we may be more powerful and talented than we think.  Otherwise why we would be seen as such a threat?

Things people say about us create mind chatter.  It may even have a little truth in it.   Also most of us  believe it is better to laugh than to cry.  But why would someone who loves us do this to us anyway?

Have you ever been told that you don’t have a sense of humor when other people make jokes about you at your expense.  Maybe it is a way for comedians to control being put down this when they make fun of themselves.  Other comedians ridicule others to get the same thing.

Deep underneath what does it do to one’s self-esteem?  As the thoughtless mind chatter is repeated over and over, it can become the truth at least from our point of view and maybe others too.  Ridicule is not funny and eats at your insides.  It is worse enough when others do it to you but what about when you do it to yourslelf.  Traitor!

When you get real good at it, how can you stop yourself when other people begin to expect that you will put your show on any time, any place.  Can you imagine a comedian at his or her spouse’s funeral making a joke of it.  I can. What a Sad Sack.

If you get recognition and also re-numeration for it; it must be be worthwhile  and it often becomes who you are.  Then why are you so unhappy?  Why would you commit suicide to get out of the situation?  You can’t or shouldn’t always take work home with you; but comedians do.  On top of that no one wants to cry with you when all they expected from was a few good laughs.

Imagine a prostitute who doesn’t enjoy her work.  Doesn’t a comedian somewhat prostitute him or her self to make it in the world.  You can’t just pretend to be or act happy to be happy.  Only the real thing works.

On top of this, put depression, the dark night of the soul when a person feels hopeless, like the worst person in the world ,and possibly even deserving of hell if they commit suicide,  even if it doesn’t seem reasonable to others.  It is a job  hazard associated with being a comedian especially if the depression feeds a dark sense of comedy which makes other people laugh at and accept him or her.  This could be considered as reinforcement for being depressed.  Drugs are also a way to self-medicate and they work for awhile but eventually can  lead to self destruction and death and/or an “accidental” way of committing suicide.

Add to this the possibility that a person is not only severely depressed at times but also has manic states, possibly extreme manic states, which fuel their comedy and creativity and impair their judgment.  Often to medicate this state results in killing the goose that lays the golden egg.

Please do not condemn Robin Williams for ending his life as he saw it and not as we think we understand it.  Aren’t suicidal people often in hell on this side before they ever go to the other side?  Who are we to condemn them?

 

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.

 

 

Am I Better Than You?

achievementAm I better than you?  Competition is what it is all about.  Our society is all about winning and losing.  Some people give up before they start because the perceived competition out there is so overwhelming.  Worse yet, even when you don’t want to compete, someone else might enter you in the competition.  This is often true about children and their parents.

Yes, you should do your best; but you should enjoy yourself doing it.  I learned this lesson early; but it didn’t hurt me.  I was almost always picked last for the pickup ballgames in the schoolyard; but I still enjoyed playing.  Winning was not so much on my mind then.

“Whether you win or lose, it’s how you play the game,” is a famous quote.  Do you agree with it?  It is like seasoning something you are cooking.  Too much salt, too little salt, too much pepper, too little pepper, or too much sugar, too little sugar.  In our society, we sometimes don’t want anyone to lose so everybody wins.  What should the emphasis be on?

Or are you so competitive that everything you do is a contest?  I was that way in my classes in school.  It even spread over to my life outside of school.  Every time a party I attended played games; I wanted to win every time.  Did that make me a spoil sport?  Did that take the pleasure of playing the games away from everyone else who didn’t win?

Even if I am better than you, I shouldn’t gloat.  Making people feel bad in this way may eventually drive them away.  Remember the song, “I can do anything better than you?”  Plus the strengths, talents, and abilities that our society admires are not always what is needed to solve the world’s problems or fix society’s faults.

Aren’t you excited when somebody on a reality show makes a fabulous find of something previously undiscovered.  Who knows that when it comes to other people and even ourselves what hidden things we might have that might better ourselves and/or others.,

Happiness Is Contagious

The lilt in your voice, the smile in your eyes are contagious.  Happiness is the most contagious with little kids.  It is easy to improve their mood by doing this.happiness-is-contagious-wx-70842

We often look without seeing, hear without listening.  We miss so much precious information when we are in too much of a hurry to go somewhere or do something to spend the time to process it.  It is surprising to discover that the smiles of children sparkle; their voices tinkle with a tune.  Little children spread happiness and it is contagious.

Usually if we can’t accept what we are hearing or seeing, we just deny it.  Psychically other people can be an open book if we are reading their expressions to get more information about them so we can understand them better and help them.

English: A Swedish box of chocolates called &q...

English: A Swedish box of chocolates called “Aladdin” (top layer, identical to the bottom layer). Svenska: Den svenska chokladasken “Aladdin” (övre lagret, identiskt med undre lagret). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Spread the word.  Life can be a bowl or cherries or a box of chocolates if you want it to be.  Ever start the day by getting out on the wrong side of the bed?  That has serious repercussions.  Pay attention to how you start the day and do it in a different way for your own sake.

 

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Take Good Care Of Yourself

Have you ever said to yourself, “Take good care of yourself.  You belong to me.”  If you haven’t, you should.  How often do we focus on what others need and not on what we need?  Or do we give secondary needs priority over primary needs like breathing, needing to relieve ourselves, or eat.  I passed up eating breakfast because I got up late for work.  Then on my way out from work, I skipped taking bathroom break (leaving it for later when I got to my next appointment).  When I started to go out the door, I discovered that a snow storm had started while I was in class.  I decided to head directly for home before it got worse and skipped stopping to use the bathroom and/or finding something to eat.  It was also lunch time by then.  I realized that if I got stuck in the snow, I might extremely regret not having stopped to do either of these two things.

Take Care of Yourself

Take Care of Yourself (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Do you put off doing things for yourself so much that you wind up putting off a potty break until it is almost too late and/or or you held it in passing up several chances to use the bathroom to do something else. Have you not shaved or put on makeup because you didn’t have time because you were rushing to finish other things before you left for an appointment.  Getting the family ready to go somewhere, might mean that you neglect getting ready yourself.

Have you ever fixed a meal and not eaten yourself?  Washed a car that wasn’t yours when  your car badly just as badly needed to be washed.  Whose clothes are in the laundry right now?  Yours or someone else’s?  Have you done without sleep or given someone else money that you really needed to pay one of your bills?  Have you volunteered to do something because you couldn’t say, “No,” when you were already over scheduled?

Santa and moose

Santa and moose (Photo credit: Jenny P.)

Have you ever played Secret Santa for someone? You think of something nice to do for your person everyday before Christmas.   Could you try doing this for yourself?  Make your bed, start your car and warm it up before you have to leave, wash a load of socks or underwear before you run out, fix a decent meal for once which includes meat, vegetables, and fruit. You could take a break and do something that you want to do that you don’t have to do including take a nap, read a frivolous book, magazine, or newspaper, or watch a silly TV show or movie.  Finally you could take a whole day and only do what you want to do not what you have to do or need to do including where you go, what time you get up, when you go to sleep or when and if you take a nap.  Accomplish nothing that day, but to feel good and be happy.

Take good care of yourself.  You belong to me.

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Find Yourself, Not Someone Else

Find yourself; not someone else.  It may be admirable to have a child or even children who are like you and follow in your footsteps; but he or she or they may not be comfortable in your shoes.  In times past, it was important for people to have children so they could pick up where they left off.  Parents trained their children to take their place someday and to be of help to them in a labor intensive time.  Parents usually were not happy if their children did not take over for them.

Now it is more a matter of self-validation.  It confirms to the parent that he or she took the right path when the children take the same path.  Sometimes it is like the story of the ugly duckling.  Remember that one turned out to be a swan, different, but beautiful.  You can feel like the ugly duckling if you don’t fit into your family, class in school, or community.  Some children like the ugly duckling even look different from the people that they are being raised with when if they were being raised with their own genetically kind (people who would probably look like them) wouldn’t look different at all.  Down syndrome children and some biracial children are even often seen as different from their relatives.

English: Vilhelm Pedersen illustration for &qu...

English: Vilhelm Pedersen illustration for “Ugly Duckling” in public domain. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you study genetics and how traits are passed down from parent to child, you will often find that it is a very complex problem and doesn’t always work the way it seems it should.  Children can have the same parents and have surprisingly different traits.  This is also true of apptitudes and abilities.  Add into this what happens to them from the time of conception to birth which may not be like their siblings and the children and their parents will still be related; but can be very different.  Also traits may get passed down, but not to the desired child or sex (like first born male).

Children inherit tempraments which may or may not be like that of their parents.  Sometimes oil and water do not mix.  An “easy” parent may inherit a slow to warm up child and he or she can’t understand why his or her child does not easily take to new things.

Some talents or abilities which might be very strong can not be desired or appreciated in the family or society into which a person is born.  I was born on a farm and eventually married a farmer (after doing other things) and I can understand why he sometimes does not understand why a “city” boy does not know how to do things farm boys know how to do and he has difficulty valuing what the “city” boy can do by virtue of his college education even if it was not in agriculture.

As much as I love flowers,  I don’t want them to be all alike all the time.  I like seeing new and different ones.  Also some flowers that some people call flowers around here are called weeds by other people in other places.  This might even be true of people growing marijuana when flowers appear in their plots.  (I am not recommending that  you start growing marijuana however.)

Be yourself as long as you are not deliberately hurting yourself (or others for your own gain) and when you find yourself, you will make your contribution to the world and become what YOU were or are meant to be.  I believe finding yourself is why we were meant to be as we each have our own contribution to make.  If we pay too much attention to what others tell us we should be, we may get led astray.  It may not be easy, but it often will be rewarding.  For example, how many shoes at how many shoe stores do some of us have to try before we find a shoe that fits us, feels good, and wears well.  It usually is a personal thing.  What shoe style works for one may not work for another.  Also many people, especially women, pay the price for wearing shoes that they think they should wear because they are in fashion, etc.  (Check out Oprah on this issue.)

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