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Happy, Happy, Happy!

My happy face anyway!.

My happy face anyway!.

Taking a Rocket Risk  ala  Mary Mcellehattan’s book,.  Going where my heart’s desire is.  Fuflilling my bucket list.  It may be my last hurrah; but I am going.  Learned a lesson.  Don’t wait for somebody else to do it for you.

Create your own happiness.  Don’t wait for someone else to do it for you.  It’s your decision.  It’s your life.  You don’t need somebody else’s permission even if you would like to have it.  Don’t lose the moment.  I am not going to let anybody else’s opinion spoil your day or days spent where you only dreamed of being before.  Being yourself is not necessarily bad and is actually mostly or all good.  Most of us have been raised to seek somebody else’s approval (and sometime it’s even the world’s!) before doing something.

Don’t cloud a life time experience by being scared, afraid, or unhappy because somebody else doesn’t want you to do what you want to do.  Unhappy emotions are for the most part useless unless they are part of the grieving process.  Yes, I may be scared when I announce my intentions.  Just as people have different tastes in movies and music, they have different tastes when it comes to choosing a lifetime experience.  Do you have a certain food that you dislike and you can’t even stand to see it on somebody else’s plate.?  Liver (and onions) is something I enjoy, but I don’t have much company.   Are you always eating where someone else wants to eat as you don’t want to make waves and it’s not that big of a deal. anyway.  Move over Rover, there is a new dog in town.

Experiment!  Campaign for your choices when you are with someone or a group.  How often have you listened to yourself when deciding on something to eat.  Do you wait to see what others are

"Make my day!

“Make my day!

going to order first?   Have you ever thought, “My, wouldn’t that taste good.”  I even eat snails and of course all kinds of mushrooms including those we pick ourselves during mushroom season.  I have to agitate someone to get them on my pizza!

Planning a life experience like I am.  Go ahead fantasize the best trip ever including every thing you want even if you are not sure how you are going to get it.   It doesn’t hurt to be prepared if someone asks you what you want.  It’s your trip, it’s your budget.  What do you like best about visiting some other place?  I like to get to know the people and taste the food.  I like for my trips to be multipurpose and accomplish more than one of my goals.  I want to be met by a local and showed around by a local.  I want them or someone knowledgeable to set my itinerary.  I want to really experience the place while I am there.

Do you want to go through life saying , “I wish I could have done something.”  That negativity can last for a lifetime.  Who is being negative about this.  You oar someone else?  Is it,”If I feel bad about what you are going to do, you should feel bad too and have a miserable time planning your trip, taking your trip, and talking about it after.”  Secretly they may want to ruin your whole life by being this way about things you want to do.  Does someone in your family have this power over you?  To whose benefit is it?  There was a cartoon character  that always had a rain cloud over his head.  This could be you if you let this happen.

“If I am not happy, nobody else is going to be happy!”  Have you heard that before?  Does it have to be true?  How about having a good time anyway.  Happiness is a choice and it’s yours. Don’t listen to this sort of thing.  Don’t let this happen!   Some people are self-sacrificing and if they don’t let themselves do or have something, they don’t want you to either!

Children Who Know Their Limits Are Less Obnoxious

rp_303404356_6ff7a23b4b_m.jpgChildren who know their limits are less obnoxious and thus nicer to have around.  Do you want to set up your children so that people say, “Oh, my God, here come the Jones kids again.”  Do you have relatives who you’d rather not see because of this problem?  Is this because the parents are lazy or because they think that their children can do no wrong.  Can you think of another reason?

Good behavior makes for a better school experience.  Most children don’t want to get a red mark on their behavior chart.  Civilizing or taming young human animals is not necessarily that teacher’s job.  Just like a horse, some maybe most children need to learn how to get “broke” behave outside the home.  If inside the home their are no limits and appropriate behavior is not taught, what is a child to do when he or she has to start meeting other people’s standards.?    It is not doing a good service for the child to do this as eventually he or she will be the one to suffer  long after you are gone.

Yes, it seems easier to not discipline or  set limits at times; but children thrive under consistency and the modeling of appropriate behavior.  They need to thrive under well-earned praise and require fewer and fewer prompts when out in public or in group settings.  If this is not done then something like, “tough love” may need to be done when they are teenagers or young adults.rp_Funny-Children-Safety-Sign-S-6709.gif

If you have been slipping and not meeting the standards yourself.  Children are “tattle tails” and can you spank them for telling the truth about our inappropriate behavior.  Relax not everybody is perfect and most children know this.  They may even tell you this.

Have you ever had your house trashed by somebody’s children or even your own children when you were not there to supervise them?  Isn’t it a nice job to clean up after them?  No it isn’t.  Once you establish limits, children will test you by doing the forbidden thing or by being creative and doing something else that is not completely forbidden under the rules you have set.

The best supervision is in operation a 100% of the time.  Observe parents.  Some parents when actively playing with their children  do a good job of supervision; but once they have stopped playing with the children their attention is usually somewhere else.  Other parents have a built in security system and even though they are doing something else can tell when a child is in trouble whether due to an accident or due to some mischief  on his or her part.  Multitasking and dealing with distractions make it difficult to get work done; but it is necessary when you have children even teenagers.

rp_300px-POL_Child_3.JPGOften a parent has a tendency to spoil their child and not expect much out of him.  The parent sometimes thinks that his or her child will have to toe the line soon enough anyway.  They think they are doing them a favor especially if the parent had few opportunities or things as a child and/or had to do housework or care for younger children.  The parent doesn’t spoil his or herself but focuses on the children having what they didn’t have and not being too strict and expecting adult behavior out of children.  Please take the middle road and save some resources for you the caregiver.  Remember the inflight announcement about the parent needing to put on the oxygen mask so he or she will be able to attend to their child?

Please note that sometimes parents have children who by temperament or because of developmental problems, are difficult to discipline or maybe even to love.  Seek help from a childcare specialist, family, and friends and other parents.   Also Look for support groups with those who have dealt with similar problems such as colic, autism, hyperactivity.  When I became a mother at a later age, I found that associating other (usually younger) mothers of infants and toddlers.  Some people organize play groups and take turns having it at their house.

 

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.

 

 

Let It Go, Let It Go, Let It Go; Why Change Is So Hard

rp_Cant_Get_You_Out_Of_My_Thoughts.jpgLet it go, let it go, let it go.  Why change is so hard.  Did you ever think you were perfect? That you can’t make a mistake.  Many people do and that is why it is so hard for most people to change.  To change and therefore admit that you might need forgiveness for something that you did is almost impossible for some people.  Too often we are so hard on ourselves that we can’t or won’t let us make a mistake.  Changing something indicates that you didn’t do something right the first time.  Edison and Lincoln shared the same “fault?”  They had many failures and thus had to admit that they did something wrong and change what they were doing.

Frequently that is one of the biggest blocks to success in therapy.  The patient has to admit that something or somethings that they did in the past didn’t work and that is why they are not working for them in the present.  For example, men often say, “If I could just find a woman that….” my problems would be solved.  Group therapy is sometimes useful in removing this block because of the feedback that they get from other group members that this tactic is not working.  They may be able to give this man many different examples of how this didn’t work in this man’s everyday life and in the group itself.rp_Crookedfingersdignity.jpg

When it comes to control, the only one you can really control and thus change is yourself.  If you believe that things for you won’t change unless other people change, you are at a dead end.  In our society, we are often looking for someone to blame and yet if the person at fault won’t admit that then things won’t change.

In experiments, it is as often as important to find out what doesn’t work as it is to find out what works.  People often find this so hard to accept that they falsify consciously or unconsciously results.  For example, in a study on snake phobia, psychologists found people who admitted they were snake phobic and thus could be tested for effectiveness of the therapeutic procedure by facing a real live snake.  Real snake phobics wouldn’t do that and thus wouldn’t admit they were snake phobic because they were too afraid that that might happen.rp_300px-High_Anxiety_movie_poster.jpg

These scientists often feel that they have only made a significant contribution if they have found the cure that works which would only have worked in this situation because the experimental subjects they found were not “real” snake phobics.  They would have been hiding in the woodwork where I hid when they brought real snakes into the office hidden in shoe boxes.

Sometimes the greatest findings are made by mistake.  Something goes wrong in the experimental process and the scientists are in spite of this successful.  This can be true in therapy.  Often when a person is trying to find someone to love them, they are not aware that person really has to be him or herself.  How can you love yourself if you do things wrong and can’t forgive yourself, let alone find others to forgive you.  No many people think mistakenly that you have to be perfect for others to love you and you can’t admit that you have done anything wrong and get the love you need.rp_300px-Determinants_of_Forgiveness_Graphic.JPG

 

Adoption Of Slavery Eats At The Soul

Whenever man chooses to use some form of slavery to amass a fortune and gain power over others, he loses his soul.  In order to do this a person has to lie to himself, herself, or others to do this.  The most unfortunate thing is when a person lies to him or her self about what he or she is doing and comes to believe it.   The worst person to lie to is oneself.rp_300px-Accounting_bruce.jpgOne lie leads to another.  Watch the movie, 12 Years A Slave.  The plantation owner’s wife was led to deceive so she could keep her husband and plantation.  The plantation owner deceived himself and how he treated his mistress who was one of his slaves.  The slave herself lied to the plantation owner and those who lived on the plantation about her feelings about being forced to be his mistress.  The other slaves and the plantation owner’s wife didn’t know that the mistress was doing this against her will and she endured cruelty from the plantation owner’s wife, other slaves, and as well as the plantation owner himself.

What a life we live when first we practice to deceive.  Does the end justify the means?  How often do you lie to yourself or others in order to not feel guilty or shamed about something.  Especially if we are vulnerable to the judgment of others.  Rationalizing is giving a “good” reason for doing something that others will accept without criticism.  It also could be said that someone was justifying something they did.rp_Truman_pass-the-buck.jpg

Confession is good for the soul.  The place to start is with your own conscience.  Examine yourself.  Are you telling any lies of omission and/or co-mission.  Remember only a fool believes his or her own lies and lets them becomes his or her reality.  If you believe you can’t for give yourself for something you did or said, it is more likely that you can’t reveal  that you have been rationalization and justifying these things to others and yourself.  Your justifications and rationalizations you do reveal even to yourself what they really are lies.

Do you conveniently forget stuff you have done that makes you uncomfortable?  Do you tell a “made up” reason for doing something so frequently in order to be more comfortable, that you have forgotten the real reason.rp_300px-Boy_and_girl_from_Mauritius.jpg

As adults we often find it easy to bamboozle our  children and get them to believing something that is not true.  Then we laugh at how they react.  Sometimes they even cry.  Yes, it is easy to lie to children or to others who don’t know what we know; but should we.  Taking their innocence away from children is stealing using lies and deceit.  Children are not called “innocent” for nothing.

Charlatans and psychopaths know when they are lying, but they don’t care if they are telling the truth or not.  Do you?  Get something the “right” way or don’t get it at all.  When you lie, you lose everyone’s respect including your own.

Ruminating? Is It Useful?

rp_8619481133_df8a85fccf_m.jpgHave a problem you can’t solve?  Has somebody hurt you?  Do you like to talk it over with a friend or friends?  Do you want to share your frustration or hurt feelings.  Do you think it will make you feel better if someone thinks or feels the same way you do?

A little coruminating can help but continuous airing of frustrations, bad news, or unrequited love can make you feel worse, especially for women.  Depression can deepen and anxiety increase and you can even drive away friends with your constant texting or late night phone calls.

Pathways can be reinforced in our brains and associated feelings can be intensified with constant musings and repetitious ventilating.  Going over and over a problem for which there is no current solution or recourse is frustrating both for you and the person you are sharing it with.  It may even make it worse leaving you unable to recognize a solution or change in the situation when it happens.

Sometimes you can create a time table suggesting when you should try to solve the problem again or when you really should worry because you haven’t heard from someone.  In the mean time take a break and encourage yourself not to do anything rash or jump to conclusions.rp_300px-High_Anxiety_movie_poster.jpg

For example, being called to jury duty may throw a wrench in your monkey works if you are sequestered in a jury on long infamous trial but you might get excused from jury duty before you even have to report because of something that you didn’t know would excuse you from serving in the first place or after you get called in for the jury selection for a trial.

There is one thing that I usually say to myself when I start worrying about something that might happen or have happened and that is usually when something bad happens, I don’t expect it so if I am worrying that it has, it probably hasn’t happened.

Enjoy yourself.  It is later than you think.  Excuse yourself from ruminating about something especially when you don’t have all the information and won’t have it for a while.  Yes, be ready when the time comes to do something about it.  It is a lot easier to prepare for something and make plans for when something happens when you’re not worried about it and can think rationally.

 

Time On My Hands. I paid The Price.

Time is a Tickin'

Time is a Tickin’ (Photo credit: im elsewhere)

This being under the weather sucks.  Everyone thinks you have time on your hands when what you actually do is get behind and have to pay the piper.  Nothing gets done without your presence and when you do return, they clamor for your attention.

I was recovering quite well when I decided to help my 2 1/2 yr. old grandson get in my lap after an absence of over two weeks due to my “bad” cold  (You don’t always tell the whole truth to two year olds.).   I strained some muscles in my neck and back.  Well, one step forward, one step back.  This left me not able to turn my head or bend my neck to look at things.  (Actually I could do this but the price in terms of pain was too high.)  Indirectly, this kept me from typing too.

Insomnia

Insomnia (Photo credit: schnappischnap)

The other price I paid for being sick was not being able to get any sleep.  In the first place, I couldn’t stop coughing long enough to fall asleep.  In the second place, if I tried to get comfortable in bed, I set off a muscle spasm.  It hurt to get into bed and it hurt even more to get out of bed.  When I got out of bed, I was extremely stiff and could hardly move a muscle.

P.S.: I am not kidding even though it is April Fools Day.

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When Are You Helping? And When Are You Medling?

The Three Gossips

The Three Gossips (Photo credit: Christmas w/a K)

When are you helping and when are you medling.  Do you think of something somebody has shared with you as juicy gossip or an unspoken prayer.  Do you actually make things worse?  Understand always.  If it is not your personal business, be sure whatever you do helps, not harms.  Do what the other person wants even if you think you know a better way.  Help is not help if it is not what was sought.

Divine Machines

Divine Machines (Photo credit: hersheydesai)

Sometimes control of a situation is the only thing a person has left when they are at a lost as what to do.  If someone has a problem, don’t make it worse by gossiping about it.  Above else do no wrong.  You may not agree with them; but this may be the only shred of dignity the person has left.  Controlling how the news gets out is the only thing that they have left that they have any control over.  Don’t take that away from them.  In this case, it is not all about you.  Don’t make it that way.

Prayer Mormon

Prayer Mormon (Photo credit: More Good Foundation)

Don’t be a drama queen and be the first one to tell the story even if it is not yours to tell.  When somebody has a problem they like to focus on themselves and the other people personally involved not other people who want to grab the attention for themselves.

How many times have you started to talk about a problem and someone interrupts you to tell you about their similar problem which (at least to them) was much worse.  What you can do is just pray.  For this you need no audience.

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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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Decision-Making Time

myopia

myopia (Photo credit: haglundc)

Adolescence is decision-making time for many.  These decisions might effect a person’s whole life.  Have you ever felt that you couldn’t take back something that you have said or done.

There is sometimes a cockiness to adolescence which gives them the power to make judgments, not only for themselves, but others as well, usually their parents or anyone whom they do not really understand.

What preparation do adolescents have for these often very enduring decisions?  “Do what I say; don’t do what I do,” some folks seem to imply when disciplining their adolescents.  Adolescents can be near-sighted and see things only from their own point of view.  They are quick to see the faults of others, but not their own.  Someone else’s problems, especially those of older adults, are easy to solve if they just did what the adolescent thinks that they need to do.

Knowing the repercussions that would accompany most decision choices are usually necessary precursors for making these judgments.  A lot of topics that adolescents need information about are not always covered in public situations but it is reserved for the family or church to do teach these things and ultimately if they don’t get this done, the electronic media or equally uninformed peers do it.

It is amazing who and what teaches our kids.  Their babysitters, preschool if it is a choice, and then there are the parents if they make to decision to keep the children at home and sheltered from outside sources of this information.  In the past, we tried to protect our kids from disturbing information only for them to get it elsewhere sometimes under less than desirable conditions.  Some parents take their responsibility very seriously and others do as little as possible and sometimes they can’t wait to kick the teenager out of the house and on their own at 18 with little or no preparation for independence.

Adolescents ultimately have to make it on their own.  They need to know who they are, what their values and talents or abilities are, how they view the responsibility of being sexually active, answering the question of, “Why am I here“,  and solving their own problems so they can live a happy life.  Also there are 0ften also the jobs of picking a life partner, parenting children, and finding a way to support oneself and dependent others.

What are some other decisions that adolescents usually have to make?  Are they prepared?  Also one part of the brain that has to mature in order for them to make good decisions and to be able to consider long-term over short-term effects of making decisions is not fully developed until sometime in young adulthood.

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