Monthly Archives: September 2014

Comparing Siblings Assigns A Loser

“The question that’s probably uppermost in the child’s mind is: Why do my parents want to have a baby? Don’t they love me? And if t hey love me, why do they need another one? Aren’t I enough? Imagine for a minute yourself in a similar situation. Your husband comes home and says: “Honey I love you so much, I’ve decided to go get another wife so I can have two.” How would you feel?”    Lawrence Balter 

“The surest route to breeding jealousy is to compare. Since jealousy comes from feeling “less than” another, comparisons only fan the fires.”     Dorothy Briggs

“Take two kids in competition for their parents’ love and attention. Add to that the envy that one child feels for the accomplishments of the other; the resentment that each child feels for the privileges of the other; the personal frustrations that they don’t dare let out on anyone else but a brother or sister, and it’s not hard to understand why in families across the land, the sibling relationship contains enough emotional dynamite to set off rounds of daily explosions.”    Adele Faber

Sometimes trouble-free times are few. Parents may begin making the parental mistake of comparisons or competition. Which daughter has the prettier curls? Which is the taller child? How athletic are the boys? Who is stronger, braver, or has more intelligence or endurance? Which girl is smarter, cuter and feistier? If parents even venture to admit any attribute is better than any other, they have set the stage for fear, leading to worry, distrust, insecurity, envy, jealousy, anger, revenge, distancing, and emotional pain. Continue reading

Our Actions May Increase Or Lessen Fear

“To the outside world, we all grow old. But not to brothers and sisters. We know each other as we always were. We know each other’s hearts. We share private family jokes. We remember family feuds and secrets, family griefs and joys. We live outside the touch of time.” –              Clara Ortega

“It snowed last year too: I made a snowman and my brother knocked it down and I knocked my brother down and then we had tea. – Dylan Thomas

Fear consumes our lives. We base all of our decisions on our fears. Fear is not a rich or poor man’s baggage. It is not an educated or uneducated man’s burden. Doubt has nothing to do with our upbringing, environment, the people we choose for friends, nor the people who are our relatives. It is not based on jobs, capabilities or personalities. Just as we all have to eat and rest for survival, we all share similar concerns.

Strange to find nobody spends much time talking about our anxieties, unless we are going to a therapist. The concerns of others, as well as our own apprehensions, make us feel inadequate. Doubt brings us down. It appears smarter to ignore our trepidations as much as we can. But once in a while, they explode. At those few and far between times we deal with them, resolve them as best we can, and move on. Continue reading

Fearing The Bully

“We fear violence less than our own feelings. Personal, private, solitary pain is more terrifying than what anyone else can inflict.”    Jim Morrison

“A nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people.”    John F. Kennedy

“Love is what we were born with. Fear is what we learned here.”    Marianne Williamson

 Many people may say they do not fear anything and they speak up when they have to, defend themselves and worry about nothing in particular. We are not discussing phobias. We are discussing all of the fears or worries that go into daily living. I can guarantee that likely ninety-five percent of the population is fearful of something or even someone. I am not a statistician and I have no graphs or statistics to prove my theory, other than the hurts and doubts we all admit experiencing every day of our lives.

At a young age, we begin our secret life of anxiety. Parents inadvertently teach us the ways of our society. Bullies are created and honored. The baby bully gets the toy that he grabs when his mom or dad allows it to happen and does not retrieve the toy and give it to the child who originally had it. When we give the baby who lost the original toy a supplemental toy, we are feeding a current epidemic of bullying. Continue reading

Clear Your Mind Release Worries

“The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven.” John Milton

“The greatest griefs are those we cause ourselves.” Sophocles

I know like everyone else, there are days when I must force myself to concentrate. I am attempting  to block the numerous ever-changing thoughts in my mind, that just won’t settle down. I know they hold me back, and force themselves to the forefront of my brain. Even the times when I am aware I should not give them attention, I still get the gnawing feelings and then allow those negative, overpowering and inflictive thoughts to get the focus of my attention.

They work quickly, producing one forceful thought  after another, until they get my mind thinking. I begin reflecting about things I really didn’t want to think about nor look at. I must admit, it isn’t like I feel better after permitting the ideas to manifest. On the contrary, these negative deliberations almost immobilize, and cause one to stop  their work and their concentration. No matter how much time, attention and effort is given, they continue to strengthen their afflictions and reduce  a resolution. I can become their unwilling captive audience. Continue reading

Yanked In Many Directions

“The tension between ‘yes’ and ‘no’, between ‘I can’ and ‘I cannot’, makes us feel that, in so many instances, human life is an interminable debate with one’s self.”    Anatole Broyard

“Let your heart rule your emotions but let your mind rule your actions.” Idleheart

I don’t know about others but there are so many days when everywhere I look there are jobs to be done and turmoil surrounding them. I suppose like rain we must put up with those sorts of days to appreciate some days we have breakthroughs. It is so hard to focus  on those types of days. To add some fuel to the fire you get that person who annoyingly points out something you forgot or messed up on. I wonder how those people continue to exist.

Seriously though a bad day is a bad day regardless of the weather. I want to figure out why we have so many more bad days than good. I search for my own understanding of a horrible day and assume it has to do with a few things. First of all it is  other people who can alter your mood and turn things sour. They just have a knack for saying or doing annoying things that make one reach the boiling point and then release their built up frustration either in unkindly remarks or by taking it out on themselves internally. Continue reading

A Notion Of Mindfulness

“Mindfulness means being aware of how you’re deploying your attention and making decisions about it, and not letting the tweet or the buzzing of your BlackBerry call your attention.” attention.attention.”     Howard Rheingold

“Mindfulness helps us freeze the frame so that we can become aware of our sensations and experiences as they are, without the distorting coloration of socially conditioned responses or habitual reactions.” Henepola Gunaratana

Mindfulness implores our hearts to get involved in all of our transactions. I suppose there are many that might have a difference of opinion, but when so many children and adults are hurting, it is time to investigate some answers. We are so close to others and have made our world a much smaller place, but we actually know little about the inner world so many of us reside in.

Maybe the quick jokes or heartfelt quotes on Facebook,  have a different and deeper meaning. Maybe our simple comment about the weather, or what we are planning for dinner, is actually an attention getter. So much is freely spoken, yet so little is brought up for review or reflection. Is it our fear of the truth, which keeps us at a distance? We want to be happy of course, and everyone agrees to that  statement. What we bicker about, is how to get to that state, and maintain it. The small tokens of praise, and comfort, along with a dose of attention from coworkers and friends, keeps us going for a while.

Continue reading

Freedom Accentuates Honesty, Integrity And Duty

“Our greatest happiness does not depend on the condition of life in which chance has placed us, but is always the result of a good conscience, good health, occupation, and freedom in all just pursuits.” Thomas Jefferson

Do you ever get tired of listening to people complain? At times it seems like nothing can or will make them happy. Searching for why we believe we are trapped, helps us to comprehend the reasons. I don’t think freedom means a sense of abandonment of responsibilities, nor does it mean we are slack in our duties. Rules equate to freedom.

There are those who search for freedom, with the idea that it alleviates all work, all accountability, and all rules. Freedom means the opposite of all of that. If we abandon rules what is left. Anyone could steal from another, and there would be no consequence. There would be no compensation, for the person who had the items stolen. people could help themselves to money, without working, and take  things from the store, without paying, because maybe it is overpriced anyway. They could choose to go to work on their own time, and leave when they had enough. They could forget about  disciplining their children, and let them torture the neighbors kids. Continue reading

Immunity From Anxiety

“Anxiety is a thin stream of fear trickling through the mind. If encouraged, it cuts a channel into which all other thoughts are drained.”     Arthur Somers Roche

“Its not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it.”     Hans Selye

“Don’t let your mind bully your body into believing it must carry the burden of its worries.” Astrid Alauda

Fear sometimes has to do with our feelings of  inadequacy. So many times we believe we simply don’t measure up to others. This can be in expectations they have of us, or that we have of ourselves. The fear might also creep in, when we constantly review issues we blundered our way through. It may be totally in our own minds, but that is the only place it has to be to cause us anxiety and doubt.

I can’t figure why we are all subjugated by fear. We can go someplace and be confident one minute, but then a word, look, gesture or criticism sets us tumbling to the ground. It is easy to tell ourselves we are being foolish, and it doesn’t mean a thing. It is also silly we realize, to allow another such power, to ruin our day or night. Having confidence in ourselves, doesn’t mean we don’t or can’t make mistakes. It  means we have faith, in our ability to be successful, but not necessarily perfect. Continue reading

Choosing Truth Over Group Mentality

“The human race is a herd. Here we are, unique, eternal aspects of consciousness with an infinity of potential, and we have allowed ourselves to become an unthinking, unquestioning blob of conformity and uniformity. A herd. Once we concede to the herd mentality, we can be controlled and directed by a tiny few. And we are.” Unknown

“What a distressing contrast there is between the radiant intelligence of the child and the feeble mentality of the average adult.”    Sigmund Freud

“Happy will the house be in which the relationships are formed from character.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

To lead an honest and powerful life, one really must do more decision making, and collaboration with others. That means at times, we will find ourselves in smaller groups, or maybe even in a group of one. How much easier it is to be  part of a whole. It relinquishes the necessity of decision making. If we go along with the crowd, we are accepted, feel safe, and have time to do whatever we want. We are also exempt from thinking. How is it so many of us  choose this state of affairs.

Maybe it is by accident that we get into ruts, and want to give up the burdens, and work that needs attention. It takes time to review both sides of issues. It demands courage, to have the strength to overcome pressure, to swing the way others want us to. Perhaps that is why we end up getting lost, within the grid of twists and turns. It is too difficult to figure, so we stand by others we have an admiration for. Continue reading

Tally the Good Dump the Bad

“Does not the gratitude of the dog put to shame any man who is ungrateful to his benefactors?” Saint Basil

“Yet we act as if simple cause and effect is at work. We push to find the one simple reason things have gone wrong. We look for the one action, or the one person, that created this mess. As soon as we find someone to blame, we act as if we’ve solved the problem.”  Margaret Wheatley

“Some people are always grumbling because roses have thorns; I am thankful that thorns have roses.” A[phonse Karr

It is so hard to separate our minds from the hurts we experienced. We rehash the episodes in our minds over and over again until we can recite them to anyone spur of the moment. They become ingrained in our brains and sadly our hearts. Of course as the years pass we record a few more to the list which grows longer with the passing years. Somehow the list comforts us because it justifies our position cause and talking points. By now most friends acquaintances and friendly family members have heard it all multiple times.

Consider just who the tally sheet or sheets pertain to. It is most likely a family member or spouse. The feud continues for years, the walls get thicker, the incidences become more embellished and our hearts become cooler or cold. When the person’s name is mentioned our heart beats faster, our breath is quicker and we might even become light headed. Our minds go into overdrive with thoughts and speeches we would like to say to them. Of course the rhetoric is saved for a weary listener.

We never think of other family members who may just love us both. They are caught in the middle and forced to revisit our conjured prison cell. After so many years we most likely refrain from offering advice because so many times it has fallen on deaf ears. Of course the latest noise flash of words or actions leaves us questioning and delving for the truth in the situation. We can almost observe the sweat beading on the upset person.

How any person, at odds with another, gets to this point in time is actually easy. So many of us do it in various forms and depths. Of course any kind of long term bickering is unhealthy for the people involved as well as for those who are caught in the current crossfire. We can’t avoid it. I am boiling it down to jealousy, possessiveness, and insecurity. We don’t feel like we measure up to this other person who we see as deceitful in getting their way. They have something over us we assume and they receive more time, attention, money and support. We want what they have or we fear losing what we have to them. They appear indomitable to us wielding power and might. They make us feel insecure about our position.

We doubt our parents’ friends spouses’ ability to love us as much as they love this person. We need to be number one and if we are not we rebel with our fear and anxiety.  Actually what we can’t fathom is how much we create our own reality through our fears and doubts. We make it happen. By destroying our relationships in one way or another we leave ashes and pain in the aftermath. Of course it becomes harder to see or face the reality of our dilemma. We totally blame the other person and again we review all of the hurts they inflicted on us. It builds up our resentment and anger and this allows us to keep up the barriers. We never look at the hurts we returned to them. Those are burnt away and hardly thought of or remembered.

In marriage the same is true. We remember the aches and pains and injustices. No matter how long one is married, there are plenty of times each person was perfectly justified if they walked away from the marriage. Maybe what keeps the marriage alive is the ability to let the painful issues dissolve. If we refuse to allow the bad things to filter into the future, we have a chance at maintaining an intact marriage. There are no magic potions just maybe a poor memory in regards to hurtful past events and a long memory of the kind and thoughtful episodes.

If you keep a tally going in marriage or in any relationship it becomes a competitive situation. If you mention three painful experiences I must come up with at least three worse ones or four to win. By the time we continue this progress, after many years it is no wonder we finally tire and walk away. The saddest thing is maybe the love was always there but buried under the walls of pain. Neither partner can exhibit the aches. That would be weakness and we need to win because we hurt the most and have suffered the most. We can actually put a name to our emotional burdens. We just can’t say I feel jealous, demeaned, intimidated, fearful or anxious when you are around. That perhaps is because we know it is all in our own minds and we own the problem.

Now the most important item we have forgotten in this mess is to count, recount and celebrate the tally marks of gratitude. We just don’t keep this kind of a sheet at all on anybody. It would embarrass us too much if we realized our partner or friend was kinder to us than we were to them. Have you ever noticed that as soon as a kindness is completed for us it retreats to the very back of our minds and digs deeply into our hearts leaving it hidden? If that same person wounded us we would remember that forever.

With all of the counseling available and books I am beginning to wonder if we just require a memory sheet of good so that on a bad day we can consult it and recall a special deed someone did for us. By checking our list every day, it would fill us up with good thoughts about the people we have a list for. There would be no room for doubt. Our jealousy, fear, insecurity and anxiety would dissipate upon viewing the positive thoughts and actions others showered on us. If we are feeling low and abandoned we might attempt a tally sheet on the person who is the focus of our frustration. It might surprise us into understanding just how wonderful the person we are doubting has really been in actuality. It will make it easier to bury the fault and it will make life happier for us and others.

“Make it a habit to tell people thank you. To express your appreciation, sincerely and without the expectation of anything in return. Truly appreciate those around you, and you’ll soon find many others around you. Truly appreciate life, and you’ll find that you have more of it.”     Ralph Marston

“Appreciation is the highest form of prayer, for it acknowledges the presence of good wherever you shine the light of your thankful thoughts.” Alan Cohen

“When it comes to life the critical thing is whether you take things for granted or take them with gratitude.” Gilbert K. Chesterton

“If your daily life seems poor, do not blame it; blame yourself that you are not poet enough to call forth its riches; for the Creator, there is no poverty.” Rainer Maria Rilke

I’m just thankful for everything, all the blessings in my life, trying to stay that way. I think that’s the best way to start your day and finish your day. It keeps everything in perspective.”  Tim Tebow