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understand-the-defensive-egos“Be careful not to mistake insecurity and inadequacy for humility! Humility has nothing to do with the insecure and inadequate! Just like arrogance has nothing to do with greatness!” Joy Bell C.

“There will always be someone willing to hurt you, put you down, gossip about you, belittle your accomplishments and judge your soul. It is a fact that we all must face. However, if you realize that God is a best friend that stands beside you when others cast stones you will never be afraid, never feel worthless and never feel alone.”    Shannon L. Alder

“When you stop living your life based on what others think of you real life begins. At that moment, you will finally see the door of self-acceptance opened.”    Shannon L. Alder

Have you ever had a disagreement with a friend and felt  the defensive egos rising to the  surface? We fault the other person for the majority of the encounter? I have a sense that all of us like to believe we bear the lesser of the blame. Our minds can twist and turn any words said or gesture so that it fits the scenario we perceive as the truth. They spoke unkind words and gave no care for our feelings. They deserve our retaliation because they started it. I am so guilty of this myself but recently for some strange reason I began to rethink an incident and realized that they did say the words I accused them of saying but I recalled their face gestures. I remembered the softness of their face as well as the quietness of their voice. They had not actually been ranting at me nor accusing me just stating what they perceived as the truth. I was the one who was upset and unwilling to give in because of the words spoken even if those words were not in malice.

What I took from the encounter was the fact that it was my own insecurity that made me feel vulnerable and under attack. I lacked the confidence to state my position in a clear manner instead of lashing out negatives. It made me think about other times and situations in which arguments got a little tense or even heated from either side misinterpreting what the words or disagreement was all about. There was obviously an underlying issue which neither party was aware of. How strange this seemed to be. ...continue reading "Understand The Defensive Egos"

I wondered if all arguments were meshed within deeper anxieties and resentments. It also made me comprehend how fragile we all are especially when it comes to our egos. As much as we defend the fact that we don’t have big egos, without a doubt we have fragile ones. Is that just as worrisome? I believe it is. Big egos make huge crashes. Small egos make constant mini crashes. It is something worth pondering. It makes one realize that perhaps a healthy ego that has confidence in itself will not be full of a guarded sense of defending itself.

I trust that a healthy ego is important because it has to do with respecting one’s self which I consider to be relevant. It is only an unhealthy idea of ego that brings about the crash landings in one form or another. I have crashed landed myself and of course had to go back for the apologies. Neither in cases like these we can never be sure the incident is actually forgiven nor if it will be forgotten. I suppose it depends on who and what happened and how secure the forgiver is. Knowing self and having a sense of others brings enlightenment along with a generous heart for forgiveness.

Discussing why a fight or argument gets out of control has more to do with our frail egos than what the subject matter is. When it is over we tend to forget what the discussion was about but remember the crude or hurtful remarks more. Being called names means nothing. Just because someone says we are stupid, a bigot, fool, jerk or other unmentionable words does not change us in any way. We are still who we are no less. The problem can become an issue when we allow it to thrive by perseverating on it for days. It is a waste of time. It might even be better to think about why the comments that were made brought us such anger and pain. That is the true problem.

We are not old fat ugly or any other negative connotation unless we keep that word in our hearts. We live with ourselves so it is important to recall how we see ourselves. If it is in a negative manner then that is the dilemma we must overcome. Tell yourself every day how good you are and how much you do or can give to the world. Every person counts has importance deserves respect and adds to the movement of humanity as a whole. Don’t take affronts as insults because they are most times not meant to be interpreted that way.

You might offer help to one person who perceives this as your acknowledgement of their inability to do the job. To another person it is extremely appreciated because they desired the support. You can’t always be sure so offer it to all and let the negativity slide. The truth hurts most times but those who ask for it or need it will come to realize one day that it was important to have received it. Kids are a prime example. Many times the rules enforced by parents appear to be harsh. It is only when they are grown that they can perceive the truth. Parents therefore must be strong in their teachings regardless of the complaints of their children.

Once one understands that the anger and insults are primarily frustration and insecurity on the other side, one can see through this and tone down a possible quarrel. As much as we all talk and enjoy talking we leave the majority of our truths hidden along with our sensitivity. It makes it difficult for everyone to wade through the waters of life and living. What works for one person does not work for another. The person yelling at another also has feelings which are obvious. The person remaining quiet is manifesting all their ability on maintaining their sensitivity in avoiding a battle. Hopefully in the end we all learn to get along, excuse an outburst of anger and accept each other on a higher level of tranquility.

“I am convinced that the jealous, the angry, the bitter and the egotistical are the first to race to the top of mountains. A confident person enjoys the journey, the people they meet along the way and sees life not as a competition. They reach the summit last because they know God isn’t at the top waiting for them. He is down below helping his followers to understand that the view is glorious where ever you stand.”    Shannon L. Alder

“A man’s spirit is free, but his pride binds him with chains of suffocation in a prison of his own insecurities”    Jeremy Aldana

“The older you get, the more you understand how your conscience works. The biggest and only critic lives in your perception of people’s perception of you rather than people’s perception of you.”      Criss Jam

“When you look at the past without God’s eyes, you subject yourself to deception. The past no longer exists and God doesn’t linger there. However, Satan will show you whatever you want to see and believe, so you will be trapped in an emotion that cannot communicate truth, beyond what you want to remember.”    Shannon L. Alder

“True confidence is not about what you take from someone to restore yourself, but what you give back to your critics because they need it more than you do.”   Shannon L. Alder

actions that avoid conflict"What you dislike in another take care to correct in yourself." Thomas Spratt

 "Our greatest glory consists not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall." Oliver Goldsmith

Insecurity breeds contempt for any kind of boastful comment. Every time a person shares the most recent event in her young or older child's life, does not mean he or she is boastful. Size is not better. Learning is not intelligence. Athletic ability is not valor or prowess. Beauty never denotes inner quality. Why then do we fret? We cannot be insecure in our own hearts.

Pitting siblings or grandchildren against each other creates animosity and tension. Stop self-doubt. Each of us holds the potential for greatness. Maybe if we respond with a simple reply of acknowledgement to the parent, we will avoid confrontation regarding who is the superior person. We avoid making a memory we'd rather forget.

Our insecurity and competition, keeps us at arms length, away from each other. We cover up, hide, and embellish whatever happens, in order to compete against a perceived enemy. If we all partake in this game, none of us will win. We'll all go home defeated. Why are we really competing, or why is it necessary to prove we have a good life, or good kids. If another person doesn't care, and we don't care how intelligent or athletic somebody else is, then why are we constantly attempting to make assessments.

How is it we never learned to reflect on what we enjoy and  what gives us happiness. I love it when a child comes running into my arms to kiss  me, and blesses me with the largest smile. I love it when someone is kind for no reason, and expects nothing in return. I love it when I pour out my heart to another, and they say, "your okay, you just have to see it in another way." I find that I love people, and I admire their kindness. They innocently pour out empathy, without any  expectations.

When I observe this action in children, it renders me speechless. I admire the athlete who never gives up the fight, right to the end of the game. I admire the student, who works for hours studying, to gain the degree, and work at a job they desire. I admire the young graduate, who works hard to make a living, whle offering his time to others. I admire those who have little, yet give so much time and energy to others. I admire the rich, who share their resources, and business finesse, to help the unfortunate. I admire the willing helper who at any time, jumps  to the aid of another, regardless of danger. I admire anyone who notices a need, and makes it their duty to respond.

Kids who share, offer support, and even compliment another, are admirable. Many adults find it impossible to give compliments. I sometimes think this can go back to childhood. When parents hold up the goals they want their kids to achieve, it can leave the kids frustrated, and unfulfilled. Usually one or more of the kids will never accomplish such a goal, because they never accepted it as their own. I guess we can't set up competitions. Someone may notice the athletic prowess of a child, at a soccer game. If another adult chides in, "You should see this other kid play ball", they have diminished the original compliment. Why is it we all get caught in measurement.

If we searched, we might always find someone who can do better or worse. It isn't necessary to compare. All of the rivalry is the reason adults are in constant fear, doubt and worry, about any group situation. They need to hear about the new car, job etc. This in itself, should not bother us, but it does because it goes back to the contending. The real issue is if we are happy. What makes us happy? There is no fretting, if life is offering things that make you happy. I often think of the person with three or four homes, that have ten to fifteen rooms. How do they even enter all of the rooms within the month? How many  boats, or homes, or material things can anyone own? is their a certain number, that promotes happiness? The interesting fact is, we can be as happy as we choose to be. Honest  truth! Words and talk are just that. The person with the big fancy car may hate their life or worry about vying with those in his or her money bracket.

I think if people stopped comparing, we might find more camaraderie. Our first question may not be how long or big was the baby, but are mom and baby doing well. We wouldn't worry how soon they walked or talked, but rather that they were learning how to get along with others. How we got off track, is mystifying. We are like hamsters on a wheel. We can't stop or get off without help. Time to help ourselves. Everyone's child is special and perfect. They are so unique. You can see it when you observe them long enough. Their expressions are different, as are their smiles, movements, walk, talk, climbing ability and more. That is what defines them and makes them so precious. It is insulting to compare them with any other child, because that would be impossible.

I think whatever kids God  entrusted to you, he believed that you would be the best parents for such a child. If you believe you have a difficult child, be thankful for the trust God placed in you, to nurture and raise that child. Each child comes with their own set of inner and outer qualities. It is up to us to steer them. Nobody mentioned comparing. We are all in this together. Let's not make it harder than it already is. Time to see each other as supporters. We are and can be.  We just need to erase the idea of competition. We can still compete without the destruction of others. When the victor becomes a tormentor, he is no longer a winner. Look always at the size of a person's heart. Measure their love if you need to measure anything.

Viewing each other in a more vulnerable way, just might help us to accept each other. Appreciate each person's effort to live their own life. While at your gathering, look for and enjoy the good of the moment. Even if you are the recipient of boastfulness, smile and mention how proud they must be of their kids. Then mention how much you love, and feel the same way about your own family.

"The hardest thing for any young couple to learn is that other parents have perfect children also." Herbert Prochnow

"All kids are gifted, some just open their packages earlier than others." Michael Carr

“If you want to change the world, measure a person by the size of their heart, not the size of their flippers.”  Naval Adm. William H. McRaven

regret"If children have the ability to ignore all odds and percentages, then maybe we can all learn from them. When you think about it, what other choice is there but to  give up, or fight like hell."  Lance Armstrong

"For me growth begins immediately after I am able to admit my mistakes and forgive myself."  Kimberly  Kirberger

How much confusion we all create in our own lives through our thoughts, fears and jealousies. We sometimes  imagine things that are not really there, or understand what is said or done in a way it was never meant to be interpreted. This causes pain and frustration in any relationship. Our anger takes over our reason and we make a situation worse than it originally was. Minds tend to wander and negatively impact spoken words and actions.

Harsh words render the spirit crushed and mangled. Tempers flair as well as egos. We cut our spouse or sibling or in-law down to size and walk away triumphantly. Later we regret what we said and did. This scenario is played again day after day with various other people. It leaves us tense unsure and sometimes very confused about the path to follow. Changing our attitudes and cutting another person some slack as well as refraining from nasty retorts the next time might just alter a relationship.

"The degree of one's emotion varies inversely with one's knowledge of the facts. The less one knows the hotter you get." Anonymous

All of us have our good days and bad. We have moments of insight and inspiration as well as times of defeat and roadblocks. What we can't do is displace our anger onto another person, on our down days. Don't let others cause you to become enraged. You always have the choice to depart or change the subject. We have our own power of free will and can alter the course of a losing situation.

To imply that we were weak for the moment and gave in to temptations can be our excuse to continue poor behavior with questionable choices. We always have a choice. We may  want a candy without having the money. We may desire another who is already attached. We definitely can pick the morally higher road or the degrading self-satisfaction for the moment. Blaming others doesn't work. We grabbed with the body's desire for instant gratification rather than the minds knowledge of what is right or wrong.

The ability to accept the accountability for our actions even when our actions are known only to ourselves is incredibly good. It probably is the first step in healing as well as improving ourselves and any bad habits. Most of the time we do not want to admit any blame. Others made us do something or led us into undesirable acts. Wow! Do we really believe that? Some people even justify wrongdoings if the ends justify the means. It is easier to give in to our desires and wants, just as it is simpler to pass a toddler a cookie to keep them from crying.

If we want to improve, stop regret, diminish blame, and accept liability for our actions. Our acknowledgement comes closer to home rather than out there in somebody else's world. We created the issue and are accepting the fault and atonement if necessary. It is not about guilt and remorse which happens later. It is about truth, honesty and change. If we want conversion then we must offer forgiveness. Without forgiveness there will be no transformation. The alterations come with understanding and then sorrow for the harm we may have caused rather than any anger directed at ourselves.

It is about evolving into a better version of ourselves. We cannot be afraid to look at truth. By facing it we become empowered to do better, instead of writhing in anguish, pain and regret. That is not going to improve us or make life better. It only depletes energy and the spirit to improve. In the end the learning is what counts. Advancing ourselves to that marker in life raises our humanity. If we believe we can not do better then we deflect any attempts. To have faith in ourselves that we can advance will prove correct. 

We don't walk in another 's shoes and can't comprehend what they feel or think. They also can't comprehend what we feel or think. Our experiences are varied as are our defeats and accomplishments. We can't judge another with our ruler of measurement any more than they can measure us with their ruler. Reflect deeply about what you say before you say it. At what cost will your disparaging remarks deplete the goodness in your heart? As we are confronted with new situations we are aware of one sure thing, we always have the choice.

 "In marriage, with children, at work, in any association-an ounce of praise of sincere appreciation of some act or attribute, can very often do more than a tom of fault finding. If we look for it, we can usually find in even the most unlikely unlikable and incapable person, something to commend and encourage. Doubtless it is a human frailty. But most of us, in the glow of feeling we have pleased. want to do more to please and knowing we have done well want to do better." Anonymous

victory in relationships"Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls. The most massive characters are seared with scars." E.H.Chapin

"Character is the total of thousands of small daily strivings to live up to the best that is in us." Lt. Gen. Arthur Trudeau

“As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live.”
― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Even having the best relationships with family, we still fight to maintain control of our thoughts and feelings. We all want to be number one and second place is never comfortable. I am working on making it satisfying. I remember as a young adult, visiting family at a wedding or gathering. I was always the one to be present when a relative needed me, or needed to talk. My siblings appeared randomly, yet they were sought after first. It was hurtful to miss out on the talks, because my siblings overshadowed me. They got the attention, big hugs and kisses, and the plans to get together. In the meantime, I was basically out in the cold, and unnoticed. At the next function of course, I would be the only attendee and the relatives were glad to see me.

Suffice it to say, I never received any attention if my siblings chose to randomly appear at a family gathering. I understood logically why they were welcomed so much, because they were missing at most of the other gatherings. Like the prodigal son, everyone was happy at their momentary return. As much as all of us get the idea of it, we still anger inside at our quick displacement. It occurred to me how many times we all do this to each other. We owe a tremendous amount of gratitude to others, yet we disregard the simple things. The mundane tasks we received from them quite often go unnoticed.

The excitement of the new arrival, makes us disregard the silent dependable person, that we easily relegated to the background without any thought. I have been at both ends of it, and see some reasons, and some dilemmas with it. We're looking for acknowledgement of who we are, from others. We define ourselves through the eyes of others. We want the quick stamp of approval, and yearn to be part of that persons life or group. Because of our own insecurities, we must be accepted by others in order to feel worthy.

Being so caught up in sensitive feelings, permits us little time to reflect on the many experiences we enjoyed with this group. We love the good times spent with them, even if they took us for granted. However, we decide to decline attending the next invitation, and make a silly excuse.

Perhaps at some moment, we recall the time our relative appeared at one of our parties. Wow we hadn't seen him for years. It was a wonderful night, full of catching up. We stop and become aware and alarmed at how we spent little time with other family members that night. Suddenly we understnd the hurt we may have caused others. It causes us to change our mind, get dressed and hurry to the party.

We've probably all experienced the slight when a newcomer arrives, a popular character comes on the scene, or a long lost relative shows up. we've most likely experienced being the excited family member who ignores the regulars for the lost sheep. It works both ways, and doesn't have much to do with love hate or meanness. In the end those who frequently  attend the party, have the most to recall and many more shared smiles and laughs to warm their hearts.

We are worthy. We are unique. We are not defined by what others think of us or do for us. We are defined by our freedom to make decisions. We can elect to stay home and miss the party. We would be missed and the next time probably get a lot of attention. Question is, do we want to miss a great social just to smooth our emotional state?

 For me it reinforces, that I am striving to accept what I cannot change. Therefore if I am relegated to second or third place in any or all relationships, I must attempt to deal with that. Those that I love have my unconditional love. That means they don't have to earn it. They don't have to indulge or please me. They can hurt my feelings and I will forgive them and continue to love them with my whole heart. It's not about me and my feelings. It's about my unconditional love for them.

Do I fall short, yes. When I am hurt do I come back for more, yes. Is it worth the effort, yes. Am I improving, yes. Our lives on earth are about learning how to love, truly love unconditionally. When we get it, and learn it, we come to realize everyone is our family. What a wonderful world we would have, or create, if that could become a reality.

"Not in the clamor of the crowded street, nor in the shouts or plaudits of the throng, but in ourselves are triumph and defeat."

"Very often a change of self is needed more than a change of scene."  Arthur Christopher Benson

“When you're different, sometimes you don't see the millions of people who accept you for what you are. All you notice is the person who doesn't.”
― Jodi Picoult,

“Because one believes in oneself, one doesn't try to convince others. Because one is content with oneself, one doesn't need others' approval. Because one accepts oneself, the whole world accepts him or her.”
― Lao Tzu

find serenity in the moral struggle "Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex and more violent. It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." Albert Einstein

 We all have varying degrees of flexibility. As children, most of us exhibit lots of flexibility. As soon as a friend calls we are out the door. Growth and maturity appears to dampen our willingness to bend or stretch in different ways. If we think about this situation, we realize the sadness of our plight. We may be free in body but our minds and thinking become more and more enslaved until we perform our duties ritualistically.

We must call our parents, water the plants, clean the house, get a recipe for dinner that will impress our friends, find the right clothes for the right look etc. In all of this commotion have we thought over what we are doing and if we are truly living or simply surviving? Reflect on how much love is given to us unconditionally by our parents. Ponder the living plants and the awesome beauty they bestow on us. House cleaning is overrated as much as connecting with people is underrated. Fabulous meals have more to do with the companionship we have with those who share the meal with us.

Duty and ego have replaced love and affection. When we visit others we look back and recall the great conversations and spirited mood we enjoyed with them. We don’t even think about the manicured yard or neatly picked up house. Maybe it is time to reflect on our inner human focus rather than the outer peripheral nonsense. We would most likely save ourselves time and money.

We all love artistic beauty but not at the expense of the beauty we find in each other. Less time spent on silly jobs leaves us with more energy to give to the important things in life. Our priorities perhaps are messed up at the moment. As children we knew what counted. As adults we get lost. If we keep cluttering our minds with jobs that are really meaningless, we will miss doing what counts.

It is more important to spend time talking to your child than it is to mow your lawn. I watched two dads in two situations dealing with their children while they were working in the yard. Both children were two years old at the time. One dad screamed at his toddler for digging in an area where he had recently planted some gorgeous flowers. The child went screaming and crying alone, into a corner of the yard. I wondered to myself, what had he just taught his child.

Another father in an adjacent lot had finished planting a row of various colored flowers. He stopped to take a long drink of water when his young son was standing in front of him with a fistful of flowers. They were a beautiful bouquet. His young son said as he shoved the flowers into his father’s hands, “I love you da”. I watched for the dad’s reaction. He was surprised when he realized they were the newly purchased and just planted flowers. The dad immediately scooped his son into his arms and hugged him tightly as he said “I love you too and thanks for the flowers.” Somehow I believe those flowers meant so much more in the dad’s mind and heart than they could ever mean to any observer who chanced to walk by them growing in the ground.

Children are a gift from God. Love them and tell them so every day. Recognize your obligation to them by respecting and nurturing them. If you are rough in your speech, or actions towards them especially regarding discipline, rethink and alter your behaviors and habits. Children can teach us to be spontaneous and how to recapture our love of living. They remind us to be flexible because when we are flexible our disappointment and anger decreases while our love and awareness increases.

"Blessed are the hearts that can bend. They shall never be broken." Albert Camus

save a combatting relationship“Genius is the ability to reduce the complicated to the simple.” C. W. Ceram

 “The life of a winner is the result of an unswerving commitment to a never-ending process of self-completion.” Terry Bradshaw

 Avoiding conflict of course is easier said than done. One needs to think about strategies before the conflict. Planning your approaches beforehand is essential to their implementation and success. It is strange how most of us want the discussion with the person we are fighting with, during the heat of the moment. Nothing could be worse. We are all in such a keyed up state of mind that we are not close to wanting any compromise. We are out for proving our argument or seeking revenge. Our mind and body need time to clear, calm down and take a second look when the fire is out.

If one designs how to arrange and review problems, they are halfway to a solution. Most of the time we are so happy the argument is over we overlook the causes and sweep them under the rug so to speak. The same issues arise again at a future time because we never really handled them in the first place. Now we each throw in a few more irritating things and dig up the old problems. This is not going to make our disagreements any easier. We are multiplying our struggles to the point of breaking our relationships.

How to disagree can be manageable. When we truly reflect, we admit our own guilt in any situation. This helps us to give position to the other person’s point of view. In doing so, we have broken down a barrier. This takes more courage than to equip ourselves with words for a fight. The other person can grasp our honesty and vulnerability. It is important to arrange a time to discuss issues. It should be when we are ready to compromise and not when we want to prove our viewpoints. When we have a desire to be at peace, the percentage of our being right or wrong is not important. The focus is on a common base.

In the heat of a battle, we are not prepared to compromise. It is essential to recognize this. We can’t be afraid to broach the problems when our relationship is on track. If we fear facing the problems then our relationship can’t be on solid ground. If it is that fragile then it is even more important to tackle our problems. In the end if we don’t challenge our relationship issues, our connectedness will deteriorate and end. By coping with our differences calmly, we can accommodate each others schemata. We may be surprised to find that what we thought was power, control, disrespect and intolerance in our partner, was actually fear, doubt, anxiety and low self-esteem. At this point we can begin to work out the real issues instead of fighting over imagined ones.

Solving problems is never easy but working on the real problems is simpler than attempting to fix something that isn’t broken. Honesty may be the best policy when we want truth and understanding in our relationship. If we trust the other person then we have confidence they will handle and accept our true characteristics. If we hide our actual identities then the other person has a more difficult time figuring out how to create a compromise or bond with us. Commitments will be broken because our merger is false in a sense.

Have faith in yourself as a worthy individual. You are likable and lovable. All of us have our own faults which we like to keep hidden. If your flaws are causing a relationship to falter, you don’t want to keep these deficiencies so close. You may attempt to release your inner shortcomings by disclosing them to your partner. Acknowledge each others weaknesses and attempt greater closeness through sincerity.

Peace comes with authenticity, openness, non-judgments, trust, reflection and a letting go of fear. Begin your discussion agreeing to disagree. Assume you will not approve of everything said but agree to listen assimilate and accommodate another’s ideas. You will be closer to a real union as well as a greater expansion of the mind.

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.” Marcel Proust

competition"People love others not for what hey are, but for how they make us feel." Irwin Federman

Mothers-in-law who encourage any type of competition might possibly find it can influence the closeness of their children. The result may be a competitive relationship amongst their children. Downplaying competitive behavior allows for a more supportive kind of connection to develop. None of us will discuss our mistakes or trials to another person that we view as a competitor rather than a supporter. We then lose the chance of gaining support and encouragement. Losing does not always spur a person to try harder.

Many times, it makes us to recoil and give up. Spending time with relatives becomes tedious and stressful. If we support one another we are happy to see each other and look forward to helpful discourse. Parents should begin right from the beginning with their children to make an effort of refraining from comparisons of any kind including who walked talked and toilet trained first. After all we are looking for harmony joy and pleasant rewarding and memorable times together as children and adults.

"Constant kindness can accomplish much. As the sun makes ice melt kindness causes misunderstanding, mistrust and hostility to evaporate." Albert Schweitzer

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