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Avoiding Road Rage And Not Just On The Road

It makes sense if you see someone coming toward you looking like an impending thunderstorm that you should avoid them if you possibly  can,  Do you want to get wet especially when they don’t make umbrellas  to protect you from this type of storm.  Sometimes all you can do is to not agitate  them and try  to get away as soon as possible.

  For example,I had a woman who was checking me out in Wally World and I had many items and I needed a little help; I knew that she didn’t like this and that the skies were getting  darker and darker.  I also needed someone to help me take my groceries out to the car, but I also knew that I probably shouldn’t ask her right at that time so I didn’t and as I pushed my cart away from the checkout station, I  spotted a more likely  associate further  away from  where I had checked out and asked her to help me.

Another problem is letting someone’s facial expression upset you or influence the way you feel. At a play or in a meeting, do you let the way someone looks at the play or in the meeting cause you to change your mind about the play or about what is going on in the meeting? Do you let somebody else’s assessment change how you think about something? Do you get less enjoyment out of the play or do you feel that the meeting is promoting better ideas than you thought it was doing. Are you independent or do you feel less sure of yourself when it comes to the judgment of what is going on around you? Do you unconsciously tune in to what is going on around you and lose your self-confidence about what you are thinking or feeling?

Good And Evil Revisited, Part 3

I am sorry that I am a little bit behind.  I had surgery and it took me a little bit of time to recover.

Evil has no compunction against saying those who are Good are beneath them and are stupid, ignorant, and easily manipulated by both sides when Evil masquerades as “Good”.

Unfortunately, some of the Good are really part of the Evil ones and only are pretending to be “Good” so they are able to accomplish Evil things.  This happens when values deteriorate from concern with doing Good only and with helping others in need of salvation or in need of having their basic needs met.    See Maslow’s basic hierarchy of needs.  Perhaps a social need is for a church to have their worship in a cathedral so everyone can see how well they are doing in their search to glorify God.  Also they “need” a bigger church to safely accommodate their large congregation which is a safety need in the hierarchy. This can often subvert the direction of a church i.e. from housing or feeding the poor to building on to their church unnecessarily.  Many feel good for example when they have a showplace of a church like a Cathedral.  Are they actually “Good” or are they approaching being Evil? i.e. “Look at me.  Look at my church.”

A Concerned Pastor, Might He Have This Problem In His Church?

For example, have you ever even a woman or a man entering a church with a scowl on their face and they appear ready to criticize something at any moment.  In the long run, such people may eventually split the church over doctrine or acceptable values which they piously conceive as Godly.

Hugging, even shaking hands, or friendly greetings to strangers are not present in these churches and it appears that these members of the congregation would appear very uncomfortable doing these things.  Attire is either formal or does not permit certain hairstyles and types of clothing especially not wearing shoes or hats or head coverings which the disciples didn’t do.  In some places, people think that they can’t go to church because they have nothing to wear, clothes that are threadbare or shoes that are scuffed and worn and either too little or too big.  If I stay home on Sunday due to my disabilities acting up, I do not have to dress up.  I do catch at least one sermon on TV when I do that.

Values are deteriorating to fame and recognition, power, wealth, and a much higher standard of living including gold faucets providing high-value items, more opportunities, and living in restricted areas.  Also, such people might have multiples of items where an ordinary person might only need just one or a few.  There might be a corner on the market of beautiful things even by the most of those who consider themselves “Good.”  For example, the price of a fine thing can match a working person’s salary for one year.

Where do you go when you have done everything and seen everything?  Do you consider other people evil because you think they have not worked hard enough to get to the place where they can look down on others like themselves?  Reading the Bible and applying what it says possibly goes by the wayside unless there are some books of the Bible or some particular verses that match what these people righteously think. Was the Bible meant to be read in all its parts and also applied in all its parts?  Probably.  But when an effort is made to read and apply the values presented here,  such an effort is acceptable.  There are other volumes which elucidate a value system but they must be evaluated by the heart and not just the mind.

Who do you look up to?  Does what they do and think to justify following them.  Most of us have a conscience and we know when we are doing what we know somewhere deep inside it is not right.  Too often we don’t speak up because we have the idea that other people are better qualified or more powerful than us.  (See my post on The Little People.) This is the reason for a democracy.  You have the right to vote.  Use it.  I will make an independent vote for governor this fall as I consider neither the current Republican Governor or the Democratic candidate for governor worthy.  I hope enough of us poor little voters will do this to make our opinion known.  We do not want to be ruled by Chicago which we would be in Illinois if we voted for a Democrat or if we reelected the current governor who has the state broke, that probably wouldn’t change.  If you are in Illinois, vote for the independent Kash Jackson and show the state that many of us do not want either the Republican nor the Democratic candidate.

Values in the discussion of Good and Evil, do no good unless you live them even if it is difficult.  Do you have your own mission statement declaring what your purpose in life is and how to follow it?  Also please remember fighting within the Church most often is a grab for power; the righteous have different concerns.  The same type of things goes on in corporations.  Only even more complex.  Have you ever been asked to do something basically illegal at work?  Would you give up your job for your values?

Last Of The Article On Brain Plasticity By Anna Kucirkova

How Exactly Does Plasticity Improve the Mind?

brain-circuit

In his book, Soft-Wired: How the New Science of Brain Plasticity Can Change Your Life, Dr. Michael Merzenich, a leading pioneer in brain plasticity research and co-founder of Posit Science, lists ten core principles necessary for the remodeling of your brain to take place:

  1. Change is mostly limited to situations in which the brain is in the mood for it. If you are engaged, your brain will be too.
  2. Be more motivated and more alert. Those intensely focused on the task and devoted to mastering something will experience greater change.
  3. The strengths of the connections of neurons that are engaged together, moment by moment, are actually what changes.
  4. Learning-motivated changes in connections increase cell-to-cell cooperation.
  5. The brain strengthens its connections between teams of neurons when things occur in the same order over time.
  6. Though the first brain changes are temporary, changes become permanent if your brain judges the experience to be worthy of remembrance.
  7. Brain changes happen through internal mental rehearsal just as physical rehearsal in the real world helps us learn and execute specific tasks.
  8. Memory is the key to learning. When you learn a new skill, your brain notes the good, the bad, and the ugly. The most recent good try is the one that the brain remembers.
  9. When your brain strengthens a connection in advancing your mastery of a task, it weakens unnecessary connections of neurons that weren’t used.
  10. Brain plasticity can go either way; you can generate negative changes just as easily as positive changes.

Maintaining Plasticity

brain

 

We can understand that the brain is designed to be stimulated and challenged, to carefully examine and interpret the environment, and keep track of the details, all of which is necessary for survival.

But, people in society tend to remove themselves from details of life. They don’t keep track of things in their heads anymore; they use smartphones with speed dial, address books, and reminder features. They rely on GPS rather than paying attention to street signs and navigation skills.

As we age, we go from the acquisition of abilities to using the abilities acquired earlier in life. We operate on autopilot. The skills and tasks we have mastered are done simply by rote. We are largely disengaged.

Modern culture has reduced stimulation on the functional level, while we engage ourselves at an abstract level of operations. Details no longer matter and our brains are deteriorating as a result. As we continue to disengage from the simple act of memory recall, we are letting our brain plasticity lie dormant.

But, it is more than possible to maintain plasticity as we age. Humans have the ability to learn new things, master new skills or learn new languages, even into old age. This example of neuroplasticity will most likely involve structural and biochemical changes at the level of the synapse.

Adult brains remember new activities through repetition. When an enriched and stimulating environment is offered to a damaged brain, recovery can occur. Not everyone will be able to recover, however. The amount of brain damage and the treatments and rehabilitation will be the key to engaging neuroplasticity.

Conclusion

The brain is an amazing source of skill, memory, and functionality. Its ability to continuously improve functionally and structurally make human beings one of the most sophisticated creatures on the planet.

We all have the power to train, modify, and heal our own brains through hard work, focused effort, and a belief in the power of the mind.

Hope you have enjoyed the article and have gotten useful information from it.  Here is a link to Anna Kucirkova’s article at her site: https://doublewoodsupplements.com/pages/using-brain-plasticity-to-supercharge-your-brain.

Continuing The Series On Brain Plasticity By Guest Author Anna Kucirkova

Ways To Harness Plasticity

harness plasticity

With the right circumstances, the power of brain plasticity can help adult minds grow. Although certain brain functions decay with age, people can tap into plasticity and refresh the brain.

Targeted brain plasticity exercises help to keep our brains fit. Even those suffering from brain damage may be able to retrain their brains for better function. The key is identifying what brain functions to target and how to best exercise them.

Researchers suggest that there are various methods of harnessing brain plasticity:

Intermittent Fasting

The Society for Neuroscience suggests that fasting increases synaptic plasticity, decreases risk of neurodegenerative diseases, promotes neuron growth and improves cognitive function. When you fast, a metabolic shift reduces the body’s leptin levels. Thus, the brain receives a chemical signal for neurons to produce more energy.

Travel

Traveling encourages neurogenesis by exposing your brain to new, fresh, and complex environments. Paul Nussbaum, a neuropsychologist from the University of Pittsburgh explains, “Those new and challenging situations cause the brain to sprout dendrites.” And a week-long tour of another country isn’t necessary to get this benefit; take a weekend road trip to a different city.

Use Mnemonic Devices

Memory training promotes connectivity in your brain’s prefrontal parietal network and can slow memory loss with age. Mnemonic devices combine visualization, imagery, spatial navigation, and rhythm and melody, so they can reach various parts of the brain simultaneously.

Learn an Instrument

Musicians’ brains show sharp connectivity between brain areas. Neuroscientists explain that the multi-sensory experience of playing a musical instrument allows for the association of motor actions with specific sounds, and memorizing visual patterns leads to new neural networks being formed. As you practice a new instrument, the repetition will allow for neuroplasticity to do its work.

Non-Dominant Hand Exercises

Using your non-dominant hand during routine tasks can help form new neural pathways. Doing this strengthens connectivity between your brain cells. Studies also show that non-dominant hand activities improve emotional health and impulse control. Try switching hands during some simple tasks and give your brain a test.

Read Fiction

Studies show increased and ongoing connectivity in the brains of participants after reading a novel. Enhanced brain activity occurred in the brain area that controls physical sensations and movement. Scientists explain that reading a novel can be a physical transportation into the fictional world. Shifting into this mental state is crucial for learning how to have complex social relationships.

Expand your Vocabulary

When you learn new words, the brain’s visual processes, memory processes, and auditory processes activate. The smaller your vocabulary, the more likely you are to have poor cognitive skills.

Sleep

Studies show that sleep “helps learning retention with the growth of dendritic spines, the tiny protrusions that connect brain cells and facilitates the passage of information across synapses.” Getting 7-8 hours of sleep each night will help the brain retain information.

Try at least one of these ways and disprove the old idea that we lose brain function as we age.  The last part of this age will be published next week.

Here is the first post by a guest author which will be a series on Brain Plasticity

This author, Anna Kucirkova, found my earlier article on adjusting to life as we mature and my reference to neuroplasticity there.  Here are the first two parts of her article on

Brain plasticity, also known as neuroplasticity, is a term used by neuroscientists that refers to the brain’s ability to change and grow at any age. This flexibility is critically important during our brain development and in shaping personalities.

Prior to the 1960s, scientists believed that changes in the brain only took place during infancy and childhood. Most believed that the brain’s physical structure was permanent by adulthood. Modern research has concluded that the brain creates new neural pathways and alters existing ones to adapt to new experiences, create new memories, and learn new information, right up until the day we die.

Psychologist William James was the first to suggest (in 1890) that the brain was not as unchanging as formerly believed. In his book The Principles of Psychology, he wrote, “Organic matter, especially nervous tissue, seems endowed with a very extraordinary degree of plasticity.” However, his idea was ignored for decades.

From the 1920s to the 1960s, researchers began to explore the creation of new neural pathways and followed cases where older adults suffering the aftermath of massive strokes were able to “regain functioning, demonstrating that the brain was much more malleable than previously believed.” Modern researchers have confirmed that the brain is able to rewire itself following damage.

Characteristics of Plasticity

brain plasticity

There are a few defining characteristics of neuroplasticity:

It varies by age. Though plasticity is present for a lifetime, certain changes are more likely during specific ages.

Plasticity involves multiple neural processes. Plasticity never stops and always involves brain cells besides neurons, like glial and vascular cells.

Plasticity happens for two different reasons.

  1.    As a result of learning, experience, and memory formation
  2.    As a result of damage to the brain.

The brain never stops changing in response to learning. In cases of damage to the brain, the areas of the brain associated with certain functions may be damaged; but, healthy parts of the brain may take over those functions and the abilities can be restored.

Environment and genetics both have an influence on plasticity. The stimulation and sensory input of the environment will have a direct effect on how the brain grows and changes. Similarly, if you have a genetic predisposition toward learning, you are more likely to take in and retain information and skills more quickly.

There are two types of neuroplasticity:

  • Functional plasticity: The brain’s ability to move functions from a damaged area of the brain to other undamaged areas.
  • Structural plasticity: The brain’s ability to actually change its physical structure as a result of learning.

Both types of plasticity can be harnessed to improve our brains.

This definitely blows a hole in the idea that we lose brain power over time and through injury and illness and that we can’t recover it in any way.  I soon will be publishing a new post titled, “Aging Backwards Rather Than Aging Forwards” which surprisingly I had in mind when I received the E-mail from Anna.

It’s Just Me! Discovering Myself And Ridding Myself of Shame, Blame and Guilt

My happy face anyway!

I have discovered an energy type system which I have followed for a long time now but I had not really found the type of energy that I personify and did not see how the system could help me understand myself and how I could present myself as an example of a type of beauty that would give me a special glow that would attract compliments and increase my self-esteem.  Initially, I picked the wrong type and although I felt some benefits when I  accepted my scatter-brained side of myself and realized I was more of an idea type person than a planner; but then my real self came through and I saw that I am more a motivator who likes to see something come through so I can see the finished product.  The best example is how and when I pursued a professional degree so others could see how motivated I was and how far I would go in pursuing something.

This started when I finished grade school and decided to take college prep classes and to get the highest grades in high school I could get so I could go to a good college and get a scholarship.  I also pursued this goal to prove to my fellow students and teachers and myself that I had what it takes.  This continued in college because I wanted to get into a doctoral program to pursue a doctorate in clinical psychology.  Those goals I pursued continuously for ten years.  I also then completed two years of postdoctoral studies in child clinical psychology and after working for two years in my field, I also completed the studies for and passed my state licensing exam as a psychologist.

My next set of goals was to have at least three children which my husband and I accomplished within four years. This was done by the age of thirty-nine for me and forty for my husband.  You can see that I can set goals and reach them.  Just recently the number of our grandchildren reached ten another goal.

Writing this blog was a surprise for me later on in life and I also have started to occasionally sing hymns in church acapella.  I found that I was also comfortable teaching lecture classes in psychology.  This is the way I represent a Type Four, but I still have secondary traces of Type One as I often have too many irons in the fire and I often multitask keeping too many irons in the fire.  Today I deviated from working on bills to writing this post.  I also want to hang some posters and pictures on my walls especially on the walls in my office which I have as yet to unclutter, but I am working on it.

Stylewise I am edgy and look best in some darker jewellike colors and in dramatic and edgy styles.  Hairstyles require some movement and often streaks or patches of color or highlights.  Jewelry too needs to be edgy, often angular and somewhat bold.  The latest good thing about the whole energy thing is I have started to get some compliments from strangers so far all women.

I have found out that where I have had trouble in the past was where I was trying to go along with some other energy type which didn’t suit me and therefore I had difficulty doing it successfully.  I am not a totally well-organized type of person and as I have said before is that I would write the term paper first and then write the outline.  Also, the types of clothing worn successfully by other energy types do not suit me and make me look bad.  For example, hunting for a suit for job interviews I found very challenging and difficult to do and the suits that I found never really suited me so I was never confident that I looked well and that my outfit was appropriate.  This definitely was a “no-no” when it came to how I presented myself for a job interview.

Recently I have started wearing shorts again in place of capris or crop pants and I am feeling more comfortable doing this.  I do have to be sure that the shorts are Type Three, a little rough around the edges.  They can’t be flared, a little ruffly or a soft faded Type One or Type Two color. I have to also avoid black or whites which are Type Four.  I am also considering dresses or skirts again in my type.

Look up Carol Tuttle, Dressing Your Truth, on the internet.  She also has some books which will help you.  Also, she has written a book about children’s energy types, The Child Whisperer.  She has a solid background in counseling which is reassuring. You can get some color and pattern cards which will help you select clothes.  When I have a solid before and after pictures I will publish them here.  Remember part of finding your helpful energy type is when you find that it works and you can type in successes and failures related to your energy type and then it feels right.  This doesn’t always happen immediately but when it does you will know it.   For example,  I have always liked statement pieces when I go out to buy jewelry and I usually don’t feel dressed until I have a necklace or bracelet on.

 

Children Are Our Most Precious Resource! Why Do We Waste Them?

Why do we neglect the development of our children?  Why do we do things to children starting as early as conception that will cause harm to them and why do we neglect children in ways that will lead to problems later on.  Then later on in their lives why do we wonder what happened to our children that caused them so much irreparable harm in their development?  After a teenager has killed 10 people in a high school shooting it is too late to do something about it.  Long-term neglect is impossible to completely reverse.

Babies need love, support, and respect.  This is best done before birth.  Do we teach future parents that conceiving a child is a tremendous responsibility?  Most of the time, “no”.  It can be perceived as a burden and a failure of planning and contraception usually after the fact.  The parents themselves could have been perceived as burdens and responsibilities at their conceptions.

Once you have accidentally unplugged the refrigerator and the food is all spoiled and has to be thrown out; you can’t change what happened.  The same is true with a teenage school shooter.  Not only have the children who have survived been left, wounded, and/or permanently scarred, but also what can we do about it now.  We know how much of a problem post-traumatic syndrome is with soldiers who have seen and done horrible things on the battlefield.

Respect for life has to be taught early not only by the way the child is treated him or herself but also by what is taught in words and actions by the caregiver.  Such teaching can never be started too early; but who wants to do this?  Who has been taught themselves how to do this or has received this type of care and attention as children themselves?

By the time children reach school, it can be too late.  Other students can easily identify these type of problem children.  If you don’t think so, ask a first grader who are the problem children in their class if they are not one of them.  Time invested in providing this type of support and instruction early on is not wasted.  There are many teachable moments.  Children often bring up the subject themselves.  The learning process should be individualized if possible.  No two children are alike.  Also, the child involved may not be very similar to the adult doing the teaching.

“Let me see here,”

When I read a book to a toddler or toddlers, I individualize my approach and pay attention to the attention spans of the children involved.  A child is not an adult and should not be expected to act like one initially.  Also, there might be conflict over who gets to do what; and one of the first things an adult might teach a toddler is how to take turns and share.  Finally don’t be surprised if you don’t finish the book or the child gets up and leaves before the book is finished.  Over time you can establish limits and rules but not so much so that it makes the activity a drag.

“Go away kid you bother me” is not the way a kid should be brought up.  This is one reason why both parents and other relatives should be involved with the children in their family.  Children are not a thing that belongs to the parent but a responsibility to society that parents take on when they consider conceiving a child.

It is problematic when adults consider how to solve these problems from an adult point of view.  Children are not adults and children cannot be expected to behave and think like adults especially when they are young or have not been taught or the things that adults have.  For example, infants like to pee or poop into a fresh diaper after the removal of one that they have already used this way.  It can be exasperating and frustrating to the adult who does not know this.

When Is Reassurance Necessary?

No, wonder the rich in the Victorian era had nurseries and nannies for their children and only saw them when they were well-fed, had been cleaned up, and were in nice clothes after they had had a nap.  Mothers then often employed wet nurses who had babies of their own to feed their babies so they didn’t have to breastfeed them themselves.

If you don’t start something right, how can you expect something to end right.

 

Good and Evil Revisited, Part II

Evil does not obey laws, only the Good do.

Recent visits to the book of Daniel (see Chp. 6), one of the Old Testament books of the Bible, and following the Mueller investigation of the Trump campaign have convinced me that following the letter of the law while common for those who are basically good is also a tool of Evil.  Evil persons use it as a trap for Good persons.  Currently, a new CIA director is being considered who follows the letter of the law even when it involved the torturing of terrorists after 911 which killed thousands of American citizens.  It is being used to stop the approval of this well-qualified candidate who followed the law at that time as part of her job and it promoted Good over Evil.

Daniel in the Bible was worshiping his God openly three times a day when evil persons who disliked him and what he stood for got the current king who liked and had promoted Daniel to declare that he, himself, the king only should be worshiped for the next month.  Helplessly the king had to order that Daniel be thrown in the lion’s den for worshiping his God, not the king.

Thus the law is often used by Evil to trip up the Good.  Law is seen by the Evil as a chance to manipulate things so that they can come out ahead and acquire, wealth, power, fame, and triumph over the Good.  Consider the uranium deal that got promoted and passed while  Hillary Clinton was secretary of state and how money got moved around so that the Clintons and their foundation benefited from the deal.  It put our nuclear defense system and our nuclear medicine resources in jeopardy.

For the Good, it is often required that they not only obey existing laws but also sometimes even higher laws required to perpetuate Good which are not contained in the letter of the law.  Currently, not criticizing others and/or coveting the wealth, fame, power, and possessions that they may have acquired could be such a higher law for the Good. Doing this wastes time that could be spent doing better things, makes one unhappy, encourages a negative attitude, and focuses a person’s sights on useless things that usually only eventually make one angry or resentful.

The above is a hard thing to do with modern-day advertising and with what the media focuses on in their reporting.  Truly good people are ignored, those who focus on the more important things in life are ignored such as good deeds, happiness, sharing what we have with others, and being a source of  “light” and “love” in the world.  How useful really is gold (you can’t eat it, breath it, or use it for shelter unless you have a lot of it).  How useful is fame?  It is often fleeting.  Think of Kanye West who admitted he voted for Trump and many people stopped listening to his rap.

Even people in power, which can give them access to almost everything, hold their grasp on power until there is some kind of a coup overthrowing their rule.  God, the force of good in the Old Testament, showed how easy this was for Him to do.  Regime after regime fell there which is backed up by history.  As God predicted in the Old Testament of the Bible through prophets, visions, and proclamations made during actual appearances there, that many of the governments there would go in and out of power even when they felt assured that they would stay in power. What a precarious position that can be.

What would you rather do?  It is not easy to be Good; but what profits Evil?

The Devil Made Me Do It

Haven’t you heard that before?  Is it really the devil or are there self-defeating thought patterns that cause you to make a mistake, a big mistake.

Then when you are fired, have a traffic accident for which you are considered to be a fault, or blow it somehow and lose a relationship, you are initially entirely mystified as to how you could have fallen into that predicament and until the shock wears off, you are thinking, “Hey, what did I get into?  How did that happen?  Who, me?”

When the initial blankness wears off, next you face the consequences which can be overwhelming.  “Me, how did I get pregnant?”  “How will it change my life?”  “What happened to my car?”  “Is anyone hurt besides possibly me?  Will I lose my license?  How will I ever find another job with this on my record?”

Decisions may also have to be made at the moment which you might or might not regret later.  You can possibly become defensive and whatever the consequences of your decisions you can and will defend them.  You can then can become “Mr. or Ms. Neverever Wrong” and this too can prevent you from learning from your mistakes.

You may also have to come to some conclusions which you may regret later.  Did you intend to do it or did the devil make you do it?  You don’t have to be Christian to think this, but it helps.  You may say that you won’t have any regrets because whatever happened, it wasn’t your fault and get yourself lost in denial even if it is not what actually is found to have happened.  Sometimes reality can become really, really hazy when this happens.

You can see how your self-concept can keep you from seeing or acknowledging your mistakes and how valuable life lessons can be lost this way.  Recently I had a conflict with a friend and lost my relationship with her.  I didn’t know it at the time that the heat was getting to her worse than I knew and I was more concerned about my own ability to handle it.  I learned, as much as I didn’t like it, that I was not acknowledging the signs she was giving me about her own deteriorating physical wellbeing.

I  had had a long-ago lesson ( that pertains to the above situation) where an aunt of my husband’s who was helping me get my baby to the doctor in a far away city didn’t really want to do it and I learned that she really wanted me to read her mind when she said, “Yes” and she really meant, “No”.  I was hurt when I found out that she felt I had taken advantage of her and was mad about it.

My husband’s aunt got really mad at me like my friend was when she had heat prostration.  I learned that I had to read minds and therefore read between the lines when I was in certain situations even when I was not told something.  It initially exasperated me, but I eventually got the hint.  It was a very expensive lesson when I also learned that my friend and also a close friend of hers were very mad at me and did not want to communicate with me.  Again they felt that I had taken advantage of her and was insensitive.

I certainly was part of the problem; but what if I considered that the devil made me do it.  I am sure he would be happy creating conflict among people and making them behave less like a Christian.  In the Lord’s prayer is the line,”and lead us not into temptation”.  We need to keep on our guard as hurt feelings and confusion are a potentially bad mix.  It has caused me a lot of grief.  Can you conceive of the devil enjoying this?.  I can think that is what God meant when he gave Christians this part of the Lord’s Prayer.

For a long time I was very rational about this part of the Lord’s Prayer and I didn’t think I needed pray it because I always knew what I was doing; but then sometime’s I made some dumb mistakes. For example, one was making a left-turn onto a four lane highway holding my fast food that I had just bought in one hand.  I totaled my new car and wound up driving a used Cadillac. I always wanted a Cadillac but not that way.  Who was at fault? me? God? or the Devil?

Also sometimes I have been very dense and as a result get caught in the same situation over and over.  Was it my fault or the devil’s fault?  I felt very strongly that I had to solve my own problems and often was confused in certain situations when I did not catch onto to what others’ wanted of me.  I knew I was not meeting their standard’s but I did not know why.  I was not getting their hints; but it was not malice on my part.

I have a little true story about me that illustrates this that I might have used in some other of my posts.  My lady supervisor at a clinic told me that I had an odor problem.  This was confusing to me because I was a regular bath taker, used deodorant, frequently changed my clothes, and washed those that needed it or sent them to the cleaners.  Needless to say, I immediately either washed all my clothes or had them cleaned; but the odor persisted.  It was very embarrassing and the staff felt  like that I had some kind of problem that I wouldn’t admit like to being homeless or living in a dive and had no plumbing.  Later I figured out that it was a perfume that I was wearing that didn’t mix well with my body chemistry.  I stopped wearing it. Problem solved.  But that never did connect with what the staff was thinking.

As a Christian, I latter learned to call on God especially for problems that I couldn’t solve and not to entirely depend on myself and view it was some kind of a test that I might fail.  I felt that the devil always won in these cases.  I had failed some kind of a test.  I did in an indirect way (I didn’t ask for help); but I think I either had some kind of lesson to learn or I was inadvertently making the devil happy.  Often it is the little things that bring us down.  I don’t think the devil likes us to be happy, without serious worries, and confident that we are okay.  What do you think?

What A Drag Being Female

Women know this and yet, men often think that women have it easier.  It is obvious that most women spend more time on their appearance and that some of the things they wear including their shoes are uncomfortable and often require uncomfortable positions in order to appear ladylike.  I have bunions and hammer toes, some of which had to be corrected by surgery, which was difficult because feet take longer to heal, which were exacerbated by wearing too small shoes in order to be ladylike and to accommodate the current fashions of pointed toes and high heels.  I was on crutches for awhile and in a cast when my foot didn’t heal with just a boot.  Excess weight, aging skin, and gray hair are easier for men to handle as their clothes often cover some of these “sins” and gray or white hair is often considered distinguished on men.  Women require a more extensive and varied wardrobe then.  Who notices when a man wears the same suit more than once a week?  Hair and makeup are an added cost for women and take time to apply and maintain.  (Psst: most women’s cosmetics and body and hair care products are, for a fact, more expensive than men’s).

A woman can feel like she has a ball and chain attached to one leg because of her female gender and this is often not recognized by the general public and by most feminist groups.  Being physically female has a lot of problems attached to it from the beginning of puberty and it never goes away for most women.

It starts with the embarrassment of the first period.  What to do about it and where and when to take care of the menstrual flow.  I remember in puberty that it was not acceptable to have not yet had a period when a girl reached a certain age.  I was thirteen when I got mine so I didn’t have to bother with it until I got in high school and yet I still was a woman when I became a high schooler.  It’s a normal function but most facilities do not make it easy to take care of it.  Also, it can be embarrassing to “bleed through” and have to change and have nothing to change into.  Ick?

Then as a girl turns into a woman she has other things to worry about like gynecologist visits, bladder and vaginal problems including contagious diseases.  Then there is birth control.  The responsibility for which most often falls on the girl.  Usually not just when she is having intercourse, but just in case when she is not planning to.

No matter how a girl gets pregnant willingly or unwilling she is the one that has to deal with it whether she chooses to terminate the pregnancy or not.  There are always risks to her life and to her fertility and there are the stress and possible guilt that goes along with doing it.

Methods of dealing with the problem of getting pregnant are sometimes risky, a “pain” to obtain, costly, and sometimes awkward to use.  The responsibility of taking care of this problem usually lies mostly on the woman.  I had a vaginal implant (the Dalkon Shield) that was recalled and miserable to get taken out.  That is not what I had opted for, but it happened anyway.  Such things result in more often regular doctor’s visits than men usually require.

There is the possibility of inherited diseases like breast cancer, ovarian cysts, and (in my case) fibroid tumors.  They are often unexpected and they are the cause of many medical treatments and sometimes hospitalizations.  I bled for a year until I had my complete hysterectomy and at the time was working within the confines of a large prison.  There is also the possibility of death as I had undetected multiple blood clots in my lungs after surgery which were not detected by my gynecologist at my post-surgery visits. Yes, my nurse practitioner detected that there was something wrong and eventually I was hospitalized and diagnosed by my doctor and did not die.

Some of the responsibilities of having children are borne mostly by the woman during the pregnancy and birth and after if she has complications giving birth and breastfeeding.  There is also the risk of death during or after the process.  In the old days, men often had several wives in the process of having their families.  For proof of this go to an old cemetery and look at the headstones in family plots.

With my last baby, I initially took her with me to staff meetings in a baby carriage and used a blanket to shield what I was doing when I fed her.  Then when I worked and left her behind, I used to spend twenty minutes in a toilet stall pumping breast milk by hand at twice a day and then had to find a place to keep it until I could take it home.  Also, most or all of what I made went moneywise for child care.

The question is:  do women really have the freedom men have to focus on their careers?Menstruation on the battlefield would seem to be impossible.  Having the time to put into a career as a woman.  Being laid low by menstrual pain or the problems of menopause.  Women are usually expected to “work” through it or drop out of the workforce or take a job with fewer responsibilities because of their feminine problems.  The motto seems to be “act like a man” even if you are a woman.

There should be some sort of compromise, but we haven’t hit it yet.  Yet men are very mad at women for trying to or actually taking their place in the workforce.  However, women know that it is no fun doing this for them either.  Later on, when retirement(?) comes, couples are often dependent on both of their checks and when one of them dies, he or she can’t make it on their own.

Yes, I didn’t have to go to war but competed on the same battlefield with men in college and graduate school.  I did not have the camaraderie as men often have to be part of the old boy school and get jobs.  Easy?  I wouldn’t say so.