Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Still bugs me

 Warning this post is a rant.....if you are in a place today that reading my rant is not helpful to you, skip this post.  Hug a friend or a pet, watch a favorite movie....storms pass, sun still shines behind the clouds.  I put the rant below the picture. 

I thought I was over feeling bugged by people doubting my version of my childhood.  I'm not.  I started seeing a new counselor, she asked me if someone believes what I was telling her.  At the time I calmly answered, "Yes, my first counselor and my sister."  There are a lot more besides that, like the 12 jurors that put him in prison, but I realized in thinking it over and over that this counselor doesn't believe me.  I was terribly depressed yesterday, and binged on chocolate last night.  Yes, if I get enough chocolate it will do a chemical magic that I actually do feel better.  I also slept on the couch with a light on and had a rough night sleep.  People don't want to believe that people exist that chose evil.  Chose to intentionally harm as many people as possible. People that want to see others surfer and revel in that suffering.  People that purposely pick children to torment because they feel bigger and stronger.  Bullies that are looking for victims not a fight.  People don't want to believe that mothers and fathers exist that set out to destroy their own offspring through their own cruelty.  Best trick of the century is the world trying to say no evil exists.  Harry Potter movie the Sorcerer's Stone portrays this with Voldermorts statement. 

Quirrell's lesson from Voldemort, as told to Harry:
"There is no good and evil, there is only power...and those too weak to seek it."

People make excuses for abusers for example, "They didn't know they were hurting you."  "They had a hard life."  "They don't know any better." Shit, shit and more shit......yea sometimes I have done things that I didn't recognize harmed someone else.  When I realized, I apologized.  Having a hard life does not excuse poor behavior.  Every morning I wake up and can choose today how I will behave.  They don't know better because it is convenient not to learn anything else.  Filled with pride and seething with resentment shuts down the mind to where no learning can occur.  Yea, the crap in my life really happened.  Nobody can make me deny it because it is uncomfortable for them.  

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Mentally Strong People Avoid....

Anytime I see information about mentally strong people I want to know what the do and do not do to be that way.  One way to draw a picture is not drawing what is the object but drawing what isn't.  Here are some examples of using negative space in art:

I found this article on what Mentally Strong People Avoid:

I decided to try and express each of these things to avoid as what are the things mentally strong people do.

Avoid 1.    Waste Time Feeling Sorry for Themselves. There is an important difference between feeling sorry for yourself and evaluating and acknowledging what happened to you.  Feeling sorry for yourself involves an element of blaming and expectations that someone else needs to fix it.  I believe a mentally strong person reviews a situations decides what they have control over and starts there.  No time for a pity party when a plan of action needs to be put in place and implemented.

Avoid 2. Give Away Their Power.  I didn't believe I had any power to give away.  A mentally strong person knows they have power and understands that choosing to act instead of just reacting keeps their power.  As long as I am waiting around for someone else to change their behavior, I am giving away my power to the other person.  I have the power to choose and I choose not to give that away.

Avoid 3.    Shy Away from Change. Embrace change, I don't mean change for the fun of changing or jerking people around. I am talking about choosing a path and moving towards goals. When we have goals and a plan we are embracing the change of our choice.

Avoid 4. Waste Energy on Things They Can’t Control. We can not stop the world from turning. Not possible. Therefor, be willing to go with the orbit.  I can't control rush hour traffic or someone with 100 coupons in the check out line.  However, I can explore different driving routes and time them to see what works best.  I actually cut my driving time in the morning by almost 10 minutes.  I can choose to use my driving time as mental processing time.  I can get in a different line at the check out.  I can reassure the cashier that is apologizing for the slowness to lighten their day.  A mentally strong people know what they can control and what they can't.  A child throwing a screaming temper tantrum is trying to control things they can't, some people don't out grow this.

Avoid 5. Worry About Pleasing Others.   Note to self, there is a difference between choosing to do something that brings someone else pleasure and people pleasing.  Fixing my DH's favorite dinner is pleasing him because I enjoy pleasing him.  Trying to please my nasty boss was impossible simply because his displeasure was not about me.  I believe mentally strong people realize that the reaction of other people is usually about the person reacting.  Mentally strong people are confident that they are acting in a reasonable and fair manor.  They are also willing to make some adjustments but recognize that most people demanding to be pleased can't be.  A mentally strong person has healthy boundaries.

Avoid 6. Fear Taking Calculated Risks. A mentally strong person isn't fearless but they are willing to take risks.  They feel confident in their ability to handle surprise results and make adjustments in their behavior.  A fearful person doesn't do anything for fear the results will not be perfectly as they desire.  Quite off they had experience such out comes.  A mentally strong person recognizes that some things are worth the risk and know that failure is temporary.

Avoid 7. Dwell on the Past. There is a difference between learning from the past and trying to move in. The past is over. Going back there does not change it.  Part of healing is telling your story but I know people that get caught in the loop of telling their story over and over and over without learning anything from it.

Avoid 8. Make the Same Mistakes Over and Over. As noted above, learn from mistakes. Try a new route.   Reassess and make a new plan.  If a mental strong person feels that deja vu of 'been here done that' they try a different solution.  Or try to find a way not to go down the same road, again.

Avoid 9. Resent Other People’s Success. This was not a struggle for me.   I was thrilled when someone esle succeeded.  I experienced several unpleasant interactions before I understood not everyone would be thrilled with my successes.  I also learned about back handed compliments.  Those pesky, "You're great but........"  Mentally strong people rejoice with you.  Besides they are busy creating their own success and don't need to lean on yours.

Avoid 10. Give Up After Failure. As noted earlier, mentally strong people know that failure is temporary.  Too many times people give up just short of when they would succeed.  My sister sent me a post by FrogLogic that encourages a person to work to their fail.  You don't know how far you can go until you push to fail.  I'm still working on this idea. 

Avoid 11. Fear Alone Time. Mentally strong people are one of their own best friends. Being alone means evaluation, planning and pleasure with doing things then enjoy doing alone. There is no need to be afraid of being alone when you love yourself.

Avoid 12. Feel the World Owes Them Anything. Mentally strong people do not feel they are entitled to a life of ease. Their experience taught them that they are not owed anything just because they were born. Since they are not entitled they take responsibility for themselves and their own needs.

Avoid 13. Expect Immediate Results.  Expecting results yesterday only leaves frustration and disappointment in its wake.  Mentally strong people realistically estimate how long things take to do.  A one day diet does not meet a 20 lb weight loss.  Anything worth doing takes time, effort, and a good dose of patience.  I think this last one says mentally strong people are patient with others and themselves. 

Wow  awesome list of qualities.  I wonder if I can come up with one word for each of these?
1. Optimistic
2. Powerful
3. Humble
4. Flexible
5. Confident
6. Adventuresome
7. Forward thinking
8. Teachable
9. Joyful
10. Tenascious
11. Comfortable
12. Self-reliant
13. Patient.

What words would you put with this list?

A new dawn

Monday, July 21, 2014

Struggles and Strength

"I'm thankful for my struggle, because without it I wouldn't have stumbled across my strength!"

Trials, frustrations, challenges, problems, and generally crap happens.  We came to Earth to have life experiences.  Somethings are difficult to learn until you do it yourself.  Have you ever tried to explain to someone what salt tastes like? 

I love the quote, "We are not human beings having spiritual experiences, we are spiritual beings having human experiences." - Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

When KavinCoach first started talking to me about my strengths I was totally confused.  I didn't think I had any.  I saw myself as a weak person that had crap happen to me.  I felt helpless and overwhelmed by my human experiences.  He started pointing out that I did have strengths but he didn't tell me what they were.  He knew that until I saw the strengths it didn't matter if I had them or not.  I needed to see where my strengths were.  As I recognized my strengths I started using them more fully.  I didn't understand how this would work.  KavinCoach challenged me to a game of war with cards.  In the game each person has a stack of cards face down.  Both people turn over the card and the one with the highest card wins.  If the cards match, then there is a war by putting down three cards and turning over the 4th card, which ever card is higher wins.  KavinCoach changed one rule, he got to look at his cards before playing them.  He easily beat me since he used a slightly higher card each time or put the low cards in the war piles and beat me with a higher 4th card.  He knew his strengths and beat me in no time.  He explained that knowing my strengths is more important than knowing my weaknesses.  He encouraged me to use my strengths to build up where I am weak.  Too often I focused on where I was weak, people pleaser, no boundaries, afraid, no self confidence and so many others.  When I started working on my strengths I was stunned that I had any.  I do, determination, never give up, kindness, and other traits I hadn't recognized as strengths.  I even felt kindness was a weakness but KavinCoach pointed out that it takes a strong person to treat others with kindness.  I felt bewildered and confused.  He suggested to me that my foundation of what was good and what wasn't was total crumbled mess and I needed to start over with a new foundation of what to value and what was of little or no worth.  Kind of like remodeling a house from the foundation up and still live in the house.  Doing a complete overhaul on yourself takes work, time, and a willingness to change.  Not everyone is willing to make such major changes.  I still pay attention to the weaknesses in my life but I now recognize that I have strengths to help me compensate for them or to help shore up where my weaknesses are letting me down.  I also recognize that like building body muscle it takes many, many repetitions to build muscle.  Sitting around doing nothing doesn't change how my body responds.  

We all start small and then grow.  Challenges help to strengthen us, sometimes in ways we don't recognize or understand.  


Sunday, July 20, 2014

If you're going through Hell....

Keep going.

Truly this is a title of a book I found on my daughter's book shelf.  First the title then the cover caught my attention.

I almost quit reading it several times.  Main reasons is Doug Giles liked name dropping.  Totally useless to me since I didn't know most of the names he dropped.  Plus it was written in 2009 and many of the names are no longer in the news.  I also felt like he confused brutal with strong.  That is a sore spot for me.  I learned from some amazing people that quiet strength is firm but not brutal.  However, every time I put the book down saying I was going to stop reading I was inspired to pick it up again.  The feeling I got was stop looking for a reason to be offended and read what he has to say.  He has plenty to say. 

The one part that really caught my attention was when he pointed out that in the pearl of great price parable how it is worded. 
Matthew 13:45-46
 45 ¶Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls:
 46 Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.

I thought yea, yea we should seek what is of great price.  Nope that is not what Giles pointed out.  He pointed out the the merchant is the kingdom of heaven.  The kingdom of heaven is often a metaphor for Christ.  Giles pointed out that Christ is looking for goodly pearls and gave all He had for us.  

What a switch up.  Christ is looking for us.  He gave all that he had to purchase us.  Christ wants us in His kingdom.  The difference is outstanding.  

I believe that Christ died for the sins and suffering of the world.  I also believe that Christ saves us one at a time.  I believe that if I were the only person on Earth He would still offer His atonement to me.  Christ gave all that he had to purchase me.  What a concept.  

My daughter is letting me borrow the book.  There is a lot more in there that is really quite surprising in his perspective.  Giles believes in Christ and is not afraid to say it.  

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Roller Coaster Ride


I don't have pictures because I didn't bring my camera.  I planned to be too busy playing.  When I was a kid, I LOVED roller coasters.  The first roller coaster I took my children on was Space Mountain at Disneyland.  Then came counseling.  Then integration.  My world was turned inside out and upside down.  I was terrified of everything.  I hadn't been on a roller coaster since the day I took my kids to Disneyland over 20 years ago.  My son-in-law asked very politely if I would like to go on some of the roller coasters.  King's Island didn't have just one.  I took the roller coaster challenge.  I decided to start with the tallest - Diamondback It was right next to the children's ride that I rode with my grandson.  I knew there was a potential of a complete melt down on this ride.  Part of thriving, to me, is doing the things that I enjoyed before integration.  Roll up my emotional sleeves and lets go to it.  First the wait......lines are long, it is summertime and the ride is popular.  We finally get on and the ride begins with a long climb up and up and up and up and then the crest.  There is a portion of the drop down that my body was in free fall. I was no longer in my seat but I didn't feel the restraints either.  My heart rocketed into over time.  All the physical reactions of terror....or excitement.....I could choose.  What POWER!!!!!!!! I could choose what this meant for me and I had a split second to do it.  After a quick thought that it is bad for business to actually hurt anyone, I chose EXCITEMENT.....up, down, zooming, and swooping around a track.  It seemed to go forever and over in seconds all at the same time.  I felt tears on my face.  Not crying in fear but reaction to the wind pummeling my eyes.  The same wind whipped my hair into a frenzy.  My heart was pounding; WOW what a ride!

What did I want to do next.  S-I-L offered me any ride. 

Next, we tackled Racer, an old fashion wooden roller coaster.  This one didn't have the thrill factor of Diamondback but it tugged at emotional memories of childhood coasters.  Dipping into childhood is risky for me.  However, all I came up with were happy emotions and fragmented fun memories.  It was fun but I just discovered that I am a bit of a thrill seeker. 

On to the Beast....  This one was twice as long as any of the other roller coasters; plus, it included dark tunnels and raging speed of 65 mph (105 km per hour). So cool.  I saw my picture after that one.  I regretted that my daughter was holding my purse and I couldn't buy it....the very essence of pure bliss on my face.  I loved it. 

Next to Beast stood Vortex. I've always been afraid of rides that go upside down.  My S-I-L checked in with me, did I want to try it?  So far, I only rode on coasters that I had done something similar when I was a kid.  Isn't part of thriving going beyond what I did before?  I took the challenge.  Shake - rattle - roll tumbling over and over in my seat I ended up bumping my ear in the ride.  No fun getting hurt but I did it and loved this one too.   My body was shook up but I was still standing and loving what I was feeling - Exhilarated. 

We were supposed to meet up with people at a restaurant at the park when we arrived, the doors were locked.  I looked at my S-I-L...I apologized for making him miss meeting up with his friends.  He smiled and said we had time for one more roller coaster.  I felt like a teenager staying out after curfew.  Oh more....decisions....decisions....all over the park were signs about their latest roller coaster the Banshee.  The sun went down.  It was dark.  We lined up.  My heart was already jumping around with anticipation.  This is an inverted roller coaster. 
I included the link to the video....if images bother you, skip the video....but I was set, ready to go.  All my senses were acutely aware - another wait.

We get strapped in.  We were only held in by the shoulder harness and lap belt.  Our feet swung off the ground.  The workers checked every person to see that all the harnesses are locked properly.  They even had music with screeching to add another component to the ride.  Ready-set-GOOOOOOOOO!!!!! I can still close my eyes and feel the sensation of sweeping into the night by this giant roller coaster seat.  A thrill seekers dance orchestrated by the coaster designers intended to push the thrill factor to screaming pitch.  They succeeded.  What a ride that was.  I loved it.  Clambering off I chortled that was one I would do was 10:00 PM.   Fireworks started and the pilgrimage to the front of the amusement park brought the evening to a close.  We gave up our cell phones so we wouldn't loose them on the rides so we scanned the crowds for my daughter and his friends.  I started to feel nervous then reminded myself I trusted my S-I-L this far I trusted that he would know how to join up with everyone again.  At last, we were all gather together, I chattered and shared my excitement.  I so appreciated the wonderful evening to thrive.  I don't need to ride a roller coaster to thrive.  I choose to do what I want to do and fear had no say in it.  That to me is thriving. 

Friday, July 18, 2014

Put the glass down

This was posted yesterday by my friend Colleen on her page Insight for Living's Special Needs Ministries. This is such a great reminder to give God our burdens...He never grows tired or weary and nothing is too big or heavy for Him to carry...
"Amazing story shared on our blog today...A psychologist walked around a room while teaching stress management to an audience. As she raised a glass of water, everyone expected they'd be asked the "half empty or half full" question. Instead, with a smile on her face, she inquired: "How heavy is this glass of water?"
Answers called out ranged from 8 oz. to 20 oz.
She replied, "The absolute weight doesn't matter. It depends on how long I hold it. If I hold it for a minute, it's not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I'll have an ache in my arm. If I hold it for a day, my arm will feel numb and paralyzed. In each case, the weight of the glass doesn't change, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes."
She continued, "The stresses and worries in life are like that glass of water. Think about them for a while and nothing happens. Think about them a bit longer and they begin to hurt. And if you think about them all day long, you will feel paralyzed – incapable of doing anything."...Remember to put the glass down".

I found this on Facebook several times from several different people.  I checked Snopes and this one has reached the level of urban legend.  No one knows if it actually happened.  I appreciated one person that commented that if you hold out your arm holding nothing after an hour your arm will hurt; after several hours anyone would be uncomfortable so in one sense it is not about the water at all.  Phrases, ideas, cliches and other blips catch my attention.  Some I agree completely others I explore their nuances....hold it up to the light of questioning and challenging its validity.  I didn't used to do this.  I would read something and believe it.  Counseling taught me to challenge the obvious.  Rethink my perspective.  Does what I am reading stand up to my belief system?  Does my belief system need to be reevaluated?  I believe the story has value in grabbing my attention because he took a familiar cliche and presented a new question.  My own life was bombing a long in a downward spiral.  KavinCoach started challenging my perceptions about myself, my relationships, my past, my very existence.  To change, I first needed to be aware of what I am doing.  I needed to be aware that I am still holding the water and maybe I need to find a spot to set it down or if I don't want it, throw it away. 

Duck duck