Thursday, October 31, 2013

Stop fighting and walk away

RESTORATION: One of Aesop's Fables tells of a dispute between the wind and the sun as to which had the greater strength. In order to settle it, they agreed that whichever could force the traveler coming down the road to take off his coat would be proved the stronger of the two. The wind was the first to try. He puffed, and he roared, and he wailed; but the harder he blew, the colder the traveler became and the more closely he wrapped his coat around him. Then came the sun. Quietly and gently he shone down on the road until, in the comforting warmth of his rays, the traveler threw aside his coat. And the gentleness of the sun was proved the stronger than the bluster of the wind. We live in a noisy, competitive, violent world. Headlines shout at us as if blaring through bullhorns. We are encouraged to be assertive, to fight our way to the top, to "look out for number one." Somehow we allow ourselves to believe that roughness and rudeness are signs of strength. We underrate gentleness, thinking that because it does not advertise itself it cannot be important. But the force of gentleness is tremendous. Consider that softly dripping water, quietly and patiently over the years, can wear down a rock. A young tender plant (especially weeds) can seem to force its way through impenetrable concrete or frozen ground. Love is expressed through a gentle whisper, not a jolting shout. Healing comes from the gentleness of a listening ear, the patient presence of a friend. We seem to believe that if we talk in a loud voice, our words will carry more conviction. But it is not the power of our voices, but the wisdom of our words that matters. —From "Grace Drops," by @[1653014503:2048:John Fitts], painting by @[1299308362:2048:Patty Wilson Fitts]

MyCounselor reminded me tonight that with some dragons the more I fight them the bigger they get; however, put down my weapons and walk away they simple shrivel up, since I am the one feeding the dragon. 




 Happy Halloween


Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Harry Potter

"It is our choices...that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities" 
- J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

 I'll start by saying that I went to watch the first Harry Potter movie, The Sorcerer's Stone, along with a bunch of ladies from work. I heard about cool computer graphics and special effects. At the time, I worked for a university in their computer animation program taking care of the computers.  That first movie I had no interest in Harry to begin with.  From the time Hermione fixed his glasses I became enthralled with the story.  (I watched the movie 3 more times to pay attention to the Computer Graphics, CG.) I now own the books and movies.  Yes, I read the last book in one weekend.  I cleared the calendar, bought the book Friday night and finished the last chapter before work on Monday morning.... There were bits and pieces that enthralled me that still stay with me. This particular line had a profound impact.  It is our choices.

One of the cliches that really bothered me is the phrase, "Hurt people, hurt people."  I hated the assumption that because I was hurt then I would choose to hurt others.  An incident a few weeks ago tore at my memories to remind me that during my 7th and 8th grade years at school, I did hurt other people, especially my friends.  I hit them, called them names, I was royal pain in the ass to be around.  When I graduated from junior high to go to high school I made some choices to turn my behavior around.  Chose to work at getting good grades.  I chose to stop hitting my friends.  I chose to change.  I continued this change program into college.  I took classes specifically with the idea of exposing myself to different perspectives.  I took a Search for Identity class, I read self help books, and I worked at being a different person.  I actually had the opportunity to know someone in early years of high school.  He moved away, then came back and met me in college.  He actually told me that when he first realized I was in one of his college classes he was going to have nothing to do with me.  Then I spotted him and started talking to him.  He was surprised by how much I had changed.  I recognize that I did hurt people, but it was my choice to change that behavior.  I believe this is why I feel a bit intolerant when some use the excuse, "I behaved badly because I had a rotten childhood." My reaction is to snort and say, "Now, you have a choice."

What I didn't anticipate in my journey to healing is the lingering feelings of guilt and shame now.  I am thankful that I have a counseling session coming up.  Most of the articles suggested talking to someone I trust...I decided someone healthy, like my counselor is a good place to start.  Like everything else I study, I've done some of my own research.  It is astonishing how many contradictions I am finding in just defining shame and guilt.  I bought a book and looking at articles on the subjects.  Research I believe is just the beginning.


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Opportunity

My sister encourages me to get involved.  This one has a Dead line of Dec 6.  Yes, I know Halloween hasn't passed yet but many are making their to do list and this might be a nice addition.

Holiday Mail for Heroes:

http://www.redcross.org/support/get-involved/holiday-mail-for-heroes

Copied from the web page.

Card Guidelines:

Every card received will be screened for hazardous materials and then reviewed by Red Cross volunteers working around the country.
Please observe the following guidelines to ensure a quick reviewing process:
  • Ensure that all cards are signed.
  • Use generic salutations such as “Dear Service Member.” Cards addressed to specific individuals can not be delivered through this program.
  • Only cards are being accepted. Do not send or include letters.
  • Do not include email or home addresses on the cards: the program is not meant to foster pen pal relationships.
  • Do not include inserts of any kind, including photos: these items will be removed during the reviewing process.
  • Please refrain from choosing cards with glitter or using loose glitter as it can aggravate health issues of ill and injured warriors.
  • If you are mailing a large quantity of cards, please bundle them and place them in large mailing envelopes or flat rate postal shipping boxes. Each card does not need its own envelope, as envelopes will be removed from all cards before distribution.
All holiday greetings should be addressed and sent to:

Holiday Mail for Heroes
P.O. Box 5456
Capitol Heights, MD 20791-5456


The deadline for having cards to the P.O. Box is December 6th.
Holiday cards received after this date cannot be guaranteed delivery.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Guilt and Grace

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourself: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Eph. 2:8–9.)

My past stayed quiet for many years.  I started counseling a little over 10 years ago.  At the time, I was asked to tell about my childhood.  I answered cheerfully, "It was great, we went to the park and the zoo."  My counselor than asked me to describe an 'average' day....nothing....I knew nothing.  I often felt guilty for having brutal bouts of depression with what I believed no reason.  I didn't know about triggers, flashbacks, or dissociation.  I believed and continue to believe in Christ.  I believed that my prayers led me to choosing KavinCoach as my first counselor.  I believed that his guidance would lead me to where I needed to go with my life at the time.  What I didn't suspect would be the crushing feelings of guilt as I peeled back the onion layers of my life causing long suppressed tears to flow and horrors remembered.  KavinCoach gave me a book on dealing with guilt....I returned it after only a few pages.  I couldn't makes heads or tails of any of it.  My blanks in my memory are still large enough to drive a Mac truck through.  I still wonder where all the feelings of guilt come from.  I remembered enough that I know that the violence I lived in spilled out of me too.  I remember key events through Junior High and High School that I made significant choices to change my behavior.  I kept doing more and more and more trying to resolve the deep feelings of guilt.  KavinCoach and MyCounselor both of talked to me about my feelings, the topic of my feelings of guilt recur over and over.  I was well on my way to accepting that this would be a work in progress and I felt I was making head way.  A month ago an event occurred that caused me to once again doubt my progress....to wonder what events occurred that still disturb me so deeply.  Years ago, KavinCoach counseled me to study the Apostle Paul.  As Saul he persecuted Christians, his life changed on the road to Damascus where he was headed to round up Christians to bring them back to Jerusalem in chains to face trials.  He held the coats of those that stoned Stephen.  Saul was well acquainted with the violence that man does to man.  (Woman to woman also.) His change was so dramatic and so extreme he was blinded for a time.  In college, I sang "Saul." (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5uKhbD37ysQ)  I still remember several sections of the music.  It impacted me then.  Yesterday, my sister and I were walking and talking, I call it Sister Therapy.  I was sharing with her my recent struggles with feelings of guilt.  I studied several articles but felt dissatisfied with the conclusions the authors drew about the scripture above.  I suddenly stopped.  I realized that Apostle Paul meant what he said.  Paul's early life as Saul the persecutor of Christians he understood great crimes against his fellow men.  During his conversion process he was tormented by the heavy guilt of his sins.  Paul understands making terrible choices with long term permanent consequences.  He understands violence.  He understands change.  He understands that there are consequences that no amount of work on his part could repair.  Apostle Paul understands being saved by Grace.


Amazing Grace https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oSd6oJfiUFE

Celtic Women sing Amazing Grace
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HsCp5LG_zNE&list=RD02CDdvReNKKuk

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Let go of the Past

Letting Go of the Past

Dear Past,

Thank you for all that you have helped me learn and discover about myself and the world around me.

Thank you for teaching me to be kind with the unkind and for teaching me how to let go of judgements and always look beyond appearances;

Thank you for teaching me to forgive and forget not only those who have hurt me but also myself.

Thank you for showing me how to let go and live life in a more beautiful, peaceful, loving and harmonious way.

Thank you for helping me discover the beauty that was hidden underneath all that pain, dirt and drama.

Thank you for being with me for all these years, for helping me face, accept and heal my darkness and my wounds and thank you for holding my hand and guiding me towards the light.

I love and appreciate you for teaching me all these powerful and valuable lessons and for making me a better and stronger person.

I will forever be grateful to you for helping me grow, evolve and expand beyond my wildest dreams.

You have been my friend and companion for all these years and even though it's not really easy to let you go, we both know that I have to.

I need to move forward with my life and only by letting you go will I be able to do so. I know you want what’s best for me and I trust you will be happy to see me go...

Goodbye dear friend... Thank you for everything.

Take care :) xx
This is Purpose Fairy's good-bye letter to her past.  I had to remember my past first, now I am in the process of letting it go.  It is actually amazingly difficult.  My past was blank for so long that now I am feeling afraid to loose it again.  I do want to make peace with my past.  I want to be able to feel the same gratitude that Purpose Fairy feels.  Reading her letter gives me a lot to think about.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Flipping Statements

As a teenager, I had a summer job of teaching swimming.  One of the things I learned from my boss was that when a child is running around the pool if you holler, "Don't RUN."  The only thing the child hears is "RUN."  If I wanted a child to stop running using a loud, but not screaming voice, shout "WALK."  Working through the list of 10 things to must give up to move forward what would the list look like if I flipped the statement to 10 things to do to move forward.

1.  Decide for myself what I value and choose to do it.
2.  Forgive myself.
3.  Make a choice and have faith in that choice.
4.  Work on the goals that matter to me.
5.  Choose to act.
6.  Be teachable, or another way, cultivate humility.
7.  Stand my ground when facing a problem and change what I can.
8.  Review my reasons then make a decision that works for me.
9.  See my strengths and use them.
10. Look at my world with gratitude.

This is a list that I could use for months to focus on each one and incorporate into my own life.  I am seeing a few that I need to start on immediately, some I am already working on. Yup, I prefer to flip the statements.  I noticed that when I am told to stop doing something it may work temporarily but I then revert to how I always did what I have done.  However, if I teach myself to act in a new way the old habits fall away.  I like who I have become and I love myself enough not to leave myself this way.

I am here. 



Thursday, October 24, 2013

Savor

We are not held back by the love we didn't receive in the past, but by the love we're not extending in the present.  Marianne Williamson


Finally, #10 of the 10 things I must give up to move forward; I must stop not appreciating the present moment... not acknowledging the good that is happening right now.   Worry about a big project I want to do in the future can rob me of the joy of the moment now.  Acknowledging and mourning my past was essential to bring closure to my past.  Continuing to look over my shoulder with regret and longing will do nothing to change today.  J. K. Rowling included scenes of Harry staring into the Mirror of Erised.  This is the link to Dumbledor's explanation:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kn7cR_8_vAg
This scene describes so well the lost time to longing so much for the past or future events that the time for living is lost.  One of the things I am learning to do is savoring...usually associated with eating.  One of the many tips that helps me as I change my eating habits is not rushing through my meal but savoring the taste, texture and flavor of what I am eating.  Be present while I munch my lunch instead of worrying about what I need to accomplish afterwards.  If the afternoon is already planned, stressing over the next activities robs me of the moment to savor and be aware of what I am eating for lunch. 

The word savor is often associated with food but the definition I am choosing to emphasize is
3. To appreciate fully; enjoy or relish: I want to savor this great moment of accomplishment.
 
 
Can you imagine a day of enjoying and savoring each moment?  Perhaps difficult to imagine during rush hour traffic.  However, I am taking it as a challenge to savor the time I have to think alone in my car.  I am also becoming more aware of the drivers around me.  Can you imagine spotting a bobbing dandelion being blown around by the traffic next to a road?  Its simple determination to survive and thrive in a hostile environment.  A facebook post that makes me laugh, a nudge by my kitty for extra pats, a reminder while exercising to breath....savoring each moment....




Wednesday, October 23, 2013

See the positive


"I have learned that the greater part of our misery or unhappiness is determined not by our circumstance but by our disposition."
- Martha Washington

Click Here For Success Tip # 062


Ironically in an effort of improving myself I caused part of my own depression since all I saw was the mistakes I was looking for. KavinCoach spent considerable amount of time teaching me to see the positive in myself and my life. It wasn't all bad. #9 of the things I must give up to move forward by Marc, I must give up overlooking the positive points in my life.  The pitfall of self improvement is I focus on my short comings.  KavinCoach and MyCounselor both encouraged me to take a full inventory of my strengths.
 I remember a story that illustrates that I'll find what I look for:

The Two Travelers and the Farmer

North America

A traveler came upon an old farmer hoeing in his field beside the road. Eager to rest his feet, the wanderer hailed the countryman, who seemed happy enough to straighten his back and talk for a moment. "What sort of people live in the next town?" asked the stranger.
"What were the people like where you've come from?" replied the farmer, answering the question with another question.
"They were a bad lot. Troublemakers all, and lazy too. The most selfish people in the world, and not a one of them to be trusted. I'm happy to be leaving the scoundrels."
"Is that so?" replied the old farmer. "Well, I'm afraid that you'll find the same sort in the next town.
Disappointed, the traveler trudged on his way, and the farmer returned to his work.
Some time later another stranger, coming from the same direction, hailed the farmer, and they stopped to talk. "What sort of people live in the next town?" he asked.
"What were the people like where you've come from?" replied the farmer once again.
"They were the best people in the world. Hard working, honest, and friendly. I'm sorry to be leaving them."
"Fear not," said the farmer. "You'll find the same sort in the next town."
 http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/traveltales.html

 If flaws in myself is what I look for than it is what I will find.  Part of moving forward and thriving is not just an exercise in eliminating flaws but in building strengths.   I am working on several books right now all talking about recognizing and using my strengths to create the life that I dreamed of.  These books are actually very challenging to read.  I read them slowly.  I read a little and then try to fit the ideas into my life.  A basic step KavinCoach taught me is: "I am a good person." 


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Excuses - Excuses

"I didn't say that it was your fault, I said I am going to blame you." Read somewhere on a T-shirt. 


Have you ever used, "It's not an excuse, it's a reason."  Wasn't until I was in counseling I understood how often I used someone else's opinion as a reason not to do something.  I was talking to MyCounselor about a decision I needed to make.  I expressed my concern that my choice would upset someone else.  He look straight at me and said, "So."  Wait...What?  I used my fears, other people's opinions, past experiences and many other excuses to keep myself immobilized.  Moving forward involves risk taking.  Risk taking has the possibility of failure.  Failure is hard to take so blaming someone or something else is easier.  Unfortunately, it also kept me from progressing.  I felt like I didn't control my own destiny.  So #8 out of ten of the things that I must give up to move forward is my tendency to make excuses.  Failure is uncomfortable so blaming someone else is a quick fix that sadly binds me to that failure.  When I own the failure or fear, then I can do something to change it.  I can learn from my mistakes instead of being immobilized by them.  I was the excuse that my pedophile used to molest me.  If I wasn't cute, if I wasn't available, if I hadn't let him....really a child letting an adult?  I don't like being blamed for someone else's failure to live a decent life.  He wallowed in filthy behavior because of his choices not me.  Taking responsibility for my actions, gives me control over myself.  I so did not comprehend this at first.  I remember many, many sessions with both my counselors talking about how much control I have over a situation.  I make a decision and I decide if I can live with the consequences.  I don't like the results, I can re-decide and try a different solution.  I took back my power when I let go of the excuses.  I couldn't hang on to my power and grab excuses at the same time.  However, I can learn some of the whys that are stumbling blocks for me.  I learned that if anyone grabbed my wrist or ankle I would freak out.  PTSD was the excuse.  I started wearing a bracelet all the time.  The first day after 15 minutes I threw the bracelet across the room.  I could have stopped right there and hid behind the excuse, "I can't because I have PTSD" or I can try for 20 minutes the next day, then 30 minutes.  I chose to end the excuses.  PTSD is still part of my life, its just not an excuse for not moving forward.  I can now wear anklets and bracelets all day long and sometimes I forget I am wearing them.  If a person grabs my wrist, I learned a move in karate that gets me out of it.  I give up my excuses; I take back the power in my life.  For me, that is an awesome incentive. 


Lose the chains of excuses and take flight.
Found this on Facebook this morning:

How to go from being a child in an adult's body to being a fully-fledged adult? It's simple, but not easy. It requires, first & foremost, that you stop blaming everyone & everything around you for your troubles, & you begin taking responsibility for your own life, happiness & success. Those stuck in child-mind are still waiting for real or virtual "parents" to take care of them; they're fearing that these parent-figures might disapprove of them & they're hoping that these parent-figures will compensate for what's lacking in their lives. People stuck in child-mind also get hung up with external solutions to their problems. They believe that more money or more stuff will take away their unhappiness or give them self-worth; they drown their sorrows in alcohol, numb their pain with drugs, fill their loneliness with food, alleviate their boredom with gambling, & so on. Being an adult is seeing that you have real needs, real problems & real feelings, but that there are no valid external solutions. Being an adult means investing the time & energy into yourself to be happy, healthy & whole. It means facing your hurts & losses so that you can grieve them & let them go; being the one who loves & nurtures the child within you; silencing the inner critic & pursuing the real activities & relationships that will bring you meaning & fulfillment in life.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Endless Possiblities

I love my sister's books.  The third one in her Possibilities series is out. 

http://www.desertbreezepublishing.com/endless-possibilities-book-three-unexpected-possibilities-epub/

If you like Christian romance set in Regency era she weaves a story that doesn't avoid the tough stuff and good triumphs.  I love her books. 

Stop Running!


"It has been my philosophy of life that difficulties vanish when faced boldly."
- Isaac Asimov

Click Here For Success Tip # 041


Just stop....really. Sometimes that is possible...sometimes not. The thing about blanket commands is there is always exceptions to the rules. If a person is still in danger, Run like crazy. For those that are no longer in danger I agree, stop running from the shadows, the memories, the distorted lessons, the nightmares, the fears, the twisted emotions, face yourself. In the list of 10 things you must give up to move forward by marc #7 Must stop Running from problems that should be fixed.  Yup, stop running and get out the tool box to fix things.  Well, I did just that only to discover that I didn't have any tools in my tool box.  This is when I started counseling.  I had no tools except one...shut down.  I ran and hid from myself.  I dissociated.  Counseling helped me to expand my tool set to a variety of different things to help me cope in different situations.  I would have a disruption or upset during the week and my counselor would walk me through different choices I had for solving the problems.  I think that was one of the toughest problems for me, I would be told to stop and face my problems, but I didn't know what to do if I did.  I was confused by human behavior.  I was troubled by why people did what they did.  I spent 10 years learning tools to put in my tool box to fix personal problems, fix emotional problems, fix myself so I could function more fully in relationships.  I wanted to face my problems boldly but it all felt like false bravado.  I remember times when KavinCoach would ask me how I would solve a problem, I would stare at him blankly without a single clue how to even begin.  Without my memories to work with, he requested that I read books about other people.  He realized by my lack of responses that I truly had no idea how to function in the world.  He spent 7 years teaching me.  After he moved, he connected me with MyCounselor he continued my education.  I was fortunate that both my counselors had the goal to help me become a healthy adult with a full set of tools to fix my own life.  I learned about boundaries.  I learned about personal rights.  I learned about "no" being a complete sentence.  I learned that I am not required to love those that hurt me.  I learned to protect myself.  I learned to walk away from dangerous situations.  I learned how to listen to my own truth.  I learned to discern lies.  I spent hours and hours studying, practicing, and changing how I function.  I can now follow Isaac Asimov's philosophy to boldly face difficulties and watch them vanish.  Interesting that I learned bullies flee when faced boldly.  Problems get resolved when tackled with a healthy problem solving skill set.  Life becomes an adventure instead of a house of horrors.  I believe firmly now that the healthy choice is to face my problems and fix the ones I can.  Accept the ones I can't and keep a healthy distance from danger.  Yea yea, I know the last one is supposed to be the wisdom to know the difference.  I am still a work in progress.



 

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Need to be right

#6 of the 10 things I must give up to move forward according to Marc is my need to be right....oh dear.  KavinCoach took weeks and months trying to convince me that sometimes I am right.  I had the opposite situation I never believed I was right.  I always believed I was in the wrong and apologized constantly.  Here is the weird thing to me, in order to move forward, I need to feel like I am going in the right direction.  I believe what is intended that if I believe I am right in everything I have nothing new to learn.  The very essence of learning things is changing what was wrong or changing up with something better than before.  This is easier for me to see in other people.  I watched people destroy relationships in their quest to be right above everything.  KavinCoach worked at teaching me to stand up for myself and believe I am sometimes right.  All or nothing think bogs me down and keeps me from progressing.  Counseling is one session after another telling me how I screwed up and what I need to do to fix it.  I believe a better way to phrase #6 the need to be right always.  For me, this concept is encompassed by humility.  The essence of humility, to me, is the state of being that allows me to be taught, acknowledging that I don't know everything.  I need to assess honestly.  I need to recognize when I am right and accept correction when I am wrong.  I can allow someone else to believe differently than I do without jumping in and saying, "I'm right and you're wrong."  Because many times it is a difference of opinion that has little or nothing to do with right or wrong.  To me I need the humility to recognize the areas I need to change and the self confidence to know when I am heading in the right direction.  I believe Christ is humble, yet he knew who he was and what he needed to do.  However, in Gethsemane he descended below all and suffered for the sins of all of us.  He entreated Heavenly Father that the cup would pass from him but he aligned his will to His Father's breaking the bonds of sin and death.  Christ exemplifies the interesting paradox of humility and knowing your strengths and value.  My desire is to become more like Christ.  I don't always need to be right.  I believe I have many areas that need improvement.  I need to acknowledge and recognize my strengths so I can move forward in life with courage in my heart and hope in my steps.


Link to Amazing Grace: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OO5y2O_hv3I&fb_source=message 
Link to How Great Thou Art: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pLLMzr3PFgk





Saturday, October 19, 2013

Do what you can

"Do what you can, with what you have, where you are."
- Theodore Roosevelt
 

Give up on doing nothing....yup I can do that. #5 is I must give up to move forward choosing to do nothing. I have always believed that choosing to do nothing is a choice. I chose it for a long time. I sunk deeper and deeper into despair until I finally hit rock bottom...then the only way I had to go was up.  I took this step years ago.  I did like the donkey being buried in the well, shake it off and step up.   http://weareone-ruth.blogspot.com/2011/02/shake-it-off-and-step-up.html  The very essence of moving forward is choosing to move.  Sometimes I crept forward one baby step at a time or maybe it looked more like a Cha-Cha with one step forward and two back.  Sometimes I was like an infant crawling forward, just put your head down and put one hand in front of the other.  I allow myself to rest from time to time but never give up.  Winston Churchill stated, "Never, never, never give up."  Choosing to do nothing is a lazy man's giving up.  

Lying in a lump on the floor when I tried to put away the dishes and collapsed...I lay there for a couple of hours.  My son found me still on the floor when he came home from school he told me to go back to bed.  I crawled back to bed.  I felt like a failure...however, the next day, I got up to try again and again and again.  KavinCoach expressed his astonishment at my persistence.  I know deep within myself the one thing I can do is "Never, never, never give up."



Friday, October 18, 2013

I am a Star procrastinator....

Yup, I excel at putting things off until tomorrow or the next day or the next week or the next year. 
#4 on the list of things that you must give up to move forward is I must give up procrastinating on the goals that matter to me.  Part of the definition of moving forward is reaching for your goals.  As I mentioned yesterday the first issue is knowing what my goals are in the first place.  I know in goal ridden societies the concept that you have no goals drives some people crazy.  The idea that 20 years ago my goal for the day was to get out of bed.  Two goals would be get out of bed and get dressed...now that was a fantastic day. 

I actually did a bit of research on my procrastinating disposition....one possibility I learned from Flylady, if I couldn't do things perfectly why should I start.  Flylady introduced me to the real perils of being immobilized by fear of not doing everything perfectly.  This is a link to one of Flylady's posts on perfectionism and procrastination. 
http://www.flylady.net/d/br/2012/09/27/flying-through-perfectionprocrastination-and-crisis/
I admire Flylady and she helps many people get a handle on house work and cleaning up your life.  I don't follow her as closely as I used to because I was overwhelmed by her emails.  Plus her 15 minute routines quickly turned in to 2 to 3 hours a day of doing far more housework than I wanted to do.  However, should you be interested in getting a handle on house cleaning, mount wash more, and other organizational skills she is one lady that teaches from her own experience. 

I realized that I am lacking a number of skills when it comes to goal setting.  A biggy is that I can think up in 10 minutes more than I can accomplish in 10 years.  I am interested in so many things that I find sticking to just one difficult.  I get easily bored and don't want to finish a project.  I can hit overload where if any one expects me to do one more thing I will crawl back into my shell until everything goes away.  I also joke that I love that whooshing sound when a dead line flies by.  Most of the time I come home too tired to do anything but sit immobile in front of the TV and eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.  I could go on and on and on about all my excuses and silliness over procrastination. The most stunning article I read declared that a person that procrastinates their projects is under committed and not over committed.  If I were truly committed to things I valued, then I would make time for them.  I am easily distracted and I am still working on this concept, "if I say yes to someone else than I am saying no to myself."  To make my dreams and goals come true I need to value them and start heading for my goals.  Progress, not perfection.   I decided how much is enough.  I need to look at all my projects and prioritize them by things I actual do want to accomplish...I think I will do that tomorrow. 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Indecisive

I am working my way through a list of 10 things I must give up to move forward according to Marc.  #3 I must give up being indecisive about what I want.  I am chuckling over this one as in my minds eye I am remembering what I did the first time KavinCoach asked me what I wanted out of life.  I stared at him and didn't answer.  I was seething inside.  This was one of the many times he inadvertently stomped on a hot button.  (He usually really tried to avoid them but I had many, many of them.) The following week I brought back an Almond Joy candy bar with a monster fish hook sticking up through the word Joy.  I figured the only reason he wanted to know what I wanted was to sugar coat a hook and manipulate me.  Over time I realized the rage covered my mourning the loss of my dreams stomped to death before they had a chance to grow.  I am regaining my dreams.  It is easier to be decisive when I have a clue as to what I want.  The hardest thing for abuse survivors to do is resuscitate shattered dreams.  It was difficult for me to know that I had a choice.  It was hard to believe that I could know what I wanted without someone contradicting me and telling me how I should feel.  I was so afraid of making the 'wrong decision' I didn't decide on anything.  The curiosity came from my job as a computer tech.  I became very good at fixing computers.  I could make a decision, defend my ideas, prove someone else wrong, fight for what I believed was right but when it came to my personal wishes and desires I completely shut down.  Shortly after I started counseling, I became friends with a lady that I met in a group for abuse survivors.  It wasn't a regular group therapy.  We kind of bonded there and started going out to dinner or lunch about once every two months.  The first time we went out we agonized over which restaurant.  We struggled over the menu and if we were brought something we didn't order we ate whatever we were given.  Now, we adventurously try different things, we decided what we wanted, and we both knew it would go right back to the kitchen if it didn't taste good.  We both changed so much over the last 10 years.  We agreed, it is much easier to make a decision when you know what you want and believe you can get it. 


Lost dreams

Dreams renewed.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Shame

Years ago KavinCoach tried to help me with my feelings of shame for what I did in the past.  I didn't get it.  On this list of 10 things you must give up to move forward by Marc #2 I need to give up my shame for past failures.  I have a problem with this that I am struggling with.  The pedophile in my life felt no shame for how he treated me.  My mother feels no shame for the words she used with me.  Both see nothing wrong with hurting me.  I do not want to be like either one of them.  I am also to the point of my healing that I recognize that shame can and has been used to control me.  I am working on how shame can be used to help me recognize when I have violated the rights of someone else.  I believe shame can be a motivator for change.  I don't want the opinions of others to control my life yet I don't want to go through life stomping on other people and leaving a wake of destruction behind me.  I believe that the lack of shame in society is part of the reason why people in position of power continue to hurt others.  They see nothing wrong with taking advantage of other people.  They steam roller their way through life then feel no shame for hurting others.  I believe that shame can be a useful motivator to improving how I treat others.  I believe shame can set me in the direction of speaking more kindly and treating others with the loving care that I would like to receive.  I also believe that like all good things it can be twisted into a hideous whip to beat me down until I feel like I can never make things right.  I agree with Marc that my past does not equal my future.  I disagree that all that matters is what I do right now.  If I hurt someone yesterday, I need to make restitution and make it right today.  My today is available to me to make corrections to improve how I treat people around me.  Shame can motivate me in that direction.  On the other side of this coin, shame is one of the manipulative tools used by narcissistics to get me to buckle under their despotic rule.  I am going to be working on this one for the next little while to see where shame fits into my life understanding.  I don't want shame to beat me down but I also don't want to go through life with no shame if I did something to hurt someone else.  #2 is one of those statements that can look good on the surface but has hidden pit falls that need to be revealed.  I will be working on this over the next few weeks.  

The ground around this pit revealed nothing of its hideous depths.
Gathering up pieces from my past I have opportunities to correct past mistakes. 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Graduating feels good

SELF-WORTH. Sometimes your greatest teachers in life had no idea just what they taught you. Especially those who treated you the worst. The day you said, “I deserve much better than this” was the day you graduated from their class. — Unknown


I am rereading what I wrote yesterday about the brief conversation I had with my mother. I am feeling good realizing that her usual questions about my weight change didn't fluster me, didn't send me to the cookie jar, and I didn't feel a need to explain myself. I am realizing it felt good to give a simple yes to the question about my weight loss and even better when she probed with are you feeling good? Yes. I am learning that 'Yes' is a complete sentence.

I just realized that this qualifies me for #1 things to give up that my sister posted on Facebook.  A chart listing 10 things to give up to move forward with life. 
http://www.marcandangel.com/2012/08/20/10-things-you-must-give-up-to-move-forward/

I need to give up {#1 Letting the opinions of others control your life.} if I want to move forward in life. 

I remember talking to MyCounselor during a session and expressing my concern that a choice I was considering might make someone else angry.  His response, "So."  My face must have looked pretty peculiar when my jaw hit the floor and the bewilderment was very evident.  He repeated, "So, he gets angry, that is his problem."  Much of my life I coward in fear of the opinions of other people.  People that didn't treat me kindly.  People that did not have my best interest at heart.  I am finally grasping this concept that my opinion is the one that matters.  How cool is that.  Its official I am a 55 year old teenager. 


Things I like:






Monday, October 14, 2013

Take Personal Responsibility

"You must take personal responsibility.
You cannot change the circumstances,
the seasons, or the wind, but 
you can change yourself."
- Jim Rohn 
 


 I have noticed that I can get quite irritated when someone tells me what I must do. It gives me the feeling that I am some how inferior and they must tell me what to do.  In this quote, I focus on the second sentence.  It is reminding me yet again that I can't change many things, not my past, not the seasons, not the wind....however, I do believe I can change my circumstances and myself.  For too many years, I accepted that my circumstances couldn't change.  My health problems seemed permanent.  I felt like my circumstances blew me around like a leaf in fall.  In changing myself, I discovered that my circumstances also change.  Changing myself, changed my perspective of my circumstances.  Changing myself altered how I interact with my circumstances.  Changing myself changes my present and my future.  I cannot change choices made by others but changing myself alters how I interact with them.

Here is a simple example.  For years my mother lectured me on loosing weight.  Please, understand these suggestions, admonitions and nagging started when I was in high school and weighed 125 lbs at 5' 4" tall.  Her obsession with weight colored my relationship with her.  Over the years, I gained quite a bit of weight.  Yes, I did have thyroid problems but I also had poor eating habits.  Over the last 5 months, I worked hard to loose quite a bit of weight.  Yesterday, my mother asked me if I lost weight...I simply replied yes.  She asked me if I felt good and again I responded yes.  I didn't justify, brag, complain, or any of the other things I used to say in an interaction with my mother about my weight.  Her questions became a complete non-issue.  I can't change my mother but the change in myself has forever altered how we interact.  I am taking responsibility for myself.  By changing me, I change everything.  

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Miracles

“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”

Albert Einstein
 
Don't believe in miracles - depend on them.
Laurence J. Peter

Miracles happen everyday, change your perception of what a miracle is and you'll see them all around you.
Jon Bon Jovi 

Miracles, in the sense of phenomena we cannot explain, surround us on every hand: life itself is the miracle of miracles.
George Bernard Shaw

 I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing, kissing a lot. I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles.
Audrey Hepburn
http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/miracles.html#HlrJaDT2grj3YM8S.99


“Just because you can explain it doesn't mean it's not still a miracle.”
Terry Pratchett, Small Gods

“A miracle every day would cease to be miraculous—it would be mundane. Though even a boring sunset is still glorious.
”
Jarod Kintz, Seriously delirious, but not at all serious

“I believe Jesus wasn't thinking about miracle when He performed it.
He's just doing normal activities as he did in His heavenly kingdom.”
Toba Beta

I wanted to share a few thoughts and pictures of miracles.  Enjoy. 
















Saturday, October 12, 2013

Pebble in your shoe

I get emails about books that are designed to inspire and motivate anyone in business or personal life.  I bought this book since it hits the nail on the head with an issue I am working on.  The problem isn't a big bolder like I have worked on.  It is a pebble, annoying, irritating and doesn't seem to want to shake loose.  I ignore it but it is still there. 

This is the excerpt that came in my email.


An excerpt from
The Pebble in the Shoe
by Jim Fannin What's your pebble?

Everyone has had a pebble in his or her shoe. You may have one or two now. It's the small, nagging thoughts that eventually weigh you down. Some pebbles have been hidden, undetected for years. Others push, prod, and make their presence felt every day. Each pebble intrudes into the lives of the unsuspecting. At different times in life the pebbles arrive. Although they are small and mostly undetected, they represent many unresolved thoughts, images and experiences. Some are pebbles of doubt. They form from a single thought that occurred years, months or weeks before. Some pebbles are lodged only in your business shoes. Some reside in your house slippers that you tuck under your bed. Some pebbles find their way into your golf shoes while others form in the shoes worn while you parent. Unfortunately, some pebbles travel in all your shoes regardless of where you walk or run.

Some pebbles are of fear. Others are created from guilt, rejection or shame. Maybe not today, but they eventually arrive unannounced and usually at the most inappropriate time. What challenges do they present?

To run the marathon race of life at your most efficient speed, you must be free of embarrassment, guilt, rejection, fear, envy, jealousy, anger, impatience, frustration and worry. All can be lodged in any shoe, from a pair of loafers worn by a city dweller in Manhattan, to a pair of boots on a farm in Montana. These intangible pebbles are crippling. They destroy relationships. They contribute to overeating and gaining unhealthy weight. They coax us into drugs, alcohol and other addictions. They destroy families and alienate friends. They thwart the potential of our children and physically snuff extra years from our life. These are the pebbles in the shoe.

The pebble can cause you to quit or perform with complete indifference. It can help instigate a fight or add disrespectful silence to an otherwise dynamic relationship. Even the desire for fame, fortune or power can turn into a pebble in your shoe if left undetected. Most pebbles stir up the past, cloud the future and keep the present to a blink of the eye. Like a garden that's been freshly tilled, a pebble can reappear without warning or detection. Prevention and removal are your only options for simplicity, balance and abundance.


I don't believe that any of us will be totally free of every worry, fear, or uncomfortable emotion.  We seem to pick up new pebbles as we move along through life.  I am very interested in how to remove a few from my shoe.  I'm ordered the book and will report back my perspective of what I think of it. 



Friday, October 11, 2013

12 Step inventory

Where am I at?  mulderfan's comment about step 4 in the 12 step program sent me looking for an inventory for myself.  I happen to agree with mulderfan that the 12 step program can be tweaked to meet different problems to overcome.  So I went looking for 12 step inventory, there are a bunch out there... 

Some that I found interesting:

http://step12.com/step-4.html

http://www.12step.org/docs/Step4_Inventory.pdf

http://www.upperroomcomm.com/bbsguide/

http://12stepwork.com/pdf-downloads/

More information:
http://12step.org/worksheets/12steporg-worksheets.html

This is only from the first page of links.  There are a lot of solutions available.

For those that are curious about what the 12 steps of AA are check out this link:
http://www.aa.org/en_pdfs/smf-121_en.pdf

What other organizations are discovering is this basic recipe for alcoholics also works for other addictions and problems.

****Important Reminder from mulderfan: Important reminder! The 4th Step is not about beating yourself up, it's about BUILDING yourself up!

This is a bit cynical, but I often say, "There's no need to waste time beating yourself up when there's a whole world out there just waiting to do it for you."


From me:  Negative tapes may try to shout out their agenda and drown out the positive things I do.  This assessment is to evaluate where I am at right now, good, bad, and indifferent.  

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Start where you are?

"Everyone who got to where they are had to begin where they were."
- Richard Paul Evans
 


But what do I do if I don't know where I am?  During the first half of my marriage, our family moved around... a lot.  We tried new places and explored different possibilities for living...big cities, small towns, down South and up North.  One of the places we lived is an area called Tri-Cities, Washington.  3 cities, 3 freeways, and 3 rivers seemed to me no matter where I was going I got lost in their confusing exits of left or right, both being used.  I kept a map in the glove box of the car.  I would get lost, get the map out, and figure out where I was then I would check the map once again to see if I could get to where I needed to be.  On one occasion, I took my parents into this area.  After getting lost for the third time, my father asked me if I knew where I was going.  In total exasperation I exclaimed, "I know where I am going, I just don't know where I am."  I noticed my life offers me many opportunities of knowing where I want to get to but I don't know where I am or what I need to do to get to what I want.  I believe J.K. Rowling described this feeling with the Mirror of Erised.  You can see the reflection of what you want but no means of how to get it.  Sometimes I get moving in a direction but I feel like it is getting me farther away from the things I believe to be most important.  Only I discover it was a necessary detour to get around an obstacle I didn't see.  I think this is what I use counseling for now.  I have a fairly clear idea of what I want out of my life.  I even have a few clues of how to get there, then I hit a dead end.  Or a problem crops up again and again and again.  I feel like a hamster on a wheel putting forth a great effort and going no where.  When I talk to MyCounselor I need to clearly describe to someone else the things I am observing.  He expects me to work out as much as I can on my own then I can ask him questions on how to better function.  I draw on his experience and what he learned works for other people that might be helpful for me.  I also research problems myself in books and the internet.  One advantage I had with helping at a junior high school, I taught myself how to research on the internet.  I learned how to use words that will narrow my search quickly.  I also learned to recognize dead ends.  I learned to look for web pages that are more likely to have reliable information.  I am learning that where I am is in this moment right now.  What I do happens in the next 5 minutes...and right now I need to get some sleep...Good night.



Wednesday, October 9, 2013

One step forward...

"Long-range goals keep you from being
frustrated by short-term failures."
- James Cash Penney
 


2 back...sounds like a Cha-Cha to me.  Many problems seem to reappear over and over and over....sometimes they never go away in the first place.  If I focus on just the one problem, I feel discouraged and out of sorts.  Humans don't deal with one problem at a time.  A whole slew of things bombard us every day. Waking up is the first challenge.  Feet hitting the ground and pain is there.  Open the bottle of medication, a daily reminder of yet another problem.  Then head for the kitchen for more decisions and challenges if trying to loose weight.  I can make 100 good choices in a day then focus on one mistake.  Agonize over that one thing until all the good choices fade while focusing on one issue.  Sometimes this is important.  When I worked as a computer tech this ability to hyper-focus on one issue is a real asset; however, for living day to day I can get bogged down and feel frustrated that I am not making progress because I am focused on one problem.  I don't get an F for the day with one error.  Reviewing long range goals I keep myself headed in the right direction.  I might zig and zag or have set backs but I can keep progressing in the general direction I want to go.  My friend mulderfan reminds me "Progress not perfection." 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Limiting Beliefs

Enjoy reading the complete article....I listed my reactions below. 

http://www.purposefairy.com/9822/letting-go-5-limiting-beliefs-blocking-your-happiness/

1. Life is fair

I have watched people make themselves absolutely miserable expecting live to be fair.  It starts out when you are born....one person born to loving parents and another born into an abusive home...it starts out unfair and goes down hill from there.  

2. Suffering is bad

I will agree that suffering is not comfortable but that doesn't make it bad.  I am upping my work outs and my body is suffering a little.  However, as I persevere my body gets used to the new level and feels stronger and better than ever.  Too many times in the midst of suffering I lose sight of the fact that all things change, including suffering.

3. You are in control

I learned this fairly young that I am not in control of life....what I missed was the point that I can control some things...just not everyone around me.  Through counseling, I learned that I can control myself but not another person or life events....sometimes Crap Happens.  

4. People are obligated to love you a specific way

I would have these fantasy dialogs in my head as to how people would treat me if I did something in a certain way.....fantasy rarely matches reality...if I want a romance to go a particular way, I need to write a romance novel so I can have some control about how my characters love each other. 

5. Keeping the peace actually keeps the peace

 This is the largest fallacy of all...I was raised with the philosophy of peace at all cost....I learned that it would cost everything.  Keeping quiet when I need to speak up, helped no one. 

If I rewrite these statements to reflect what I learned it would go something like this....

1. Life refuses to be fair....it is programmed into the system.
2. Suffering can build or destroy character depending on what I do with it. 
3. I can control my reaction to a situation...the rest is kind of wild and not in my control.
4. People love me how they are capable of loving me and sometime people I care about won't love me at all. 
5. Keeping my internal peace depends on my protecting my boundaries and accepting that sometimes I have to fight for peace. 



Monday, October 7, 2013

Awareness

"Awareness unlocks our potential. As our awareness grows, so we grow. Whether you face a major crisis or just want to make things better, new awareness makes all the difference. Re-frame, restate and reform how you look at your current situation to reveal something new that might have been hidden. As we change our view of the situation, we can discover new forks in the road." Don Shapiro, author Life Is A Fork In The Road


This is why counseling was so important for me...I didn't have clue and needed someone to help me see the forest through the trees.  I bring a problem to my counselor with the express purpose for getting a different perspective.  If I could figure it out on my own, I wouldn't ask.  Now, I am blessed with the additional feed back from you, my readers.  Comments left on my question about weight really helped me to take a new look at what was bothering me about people noticing I am loosing weight.  A combination of validation and suggestions helped me to re-frame my challenges with people noticing I am loosing weight.  I also discovered that I do not have the negative reaction when people I trust notice my weight change.  At the beginning of counseling, I could describe my perspective as similar to tunnel vision and it all looked black.  Re-framing, restating, and reforming are all ways of changing how a problem may look.  KavinCoach taught me to ask myself several questions:

The person with the discomfort is the person with the problem, who is uncomfortable with the situation?

Is the problem my problem, or is someone else attempting to make it my problem? (Sometimes a boss can legitimately make a problem mine by assigning me to solve it.) 

Is the problem worth solving? (Yup, I discovered some problems are not worth solving....better to just walk away.)

Is it possible for me to solve the problem? (Some problems, like earthquakes, are totally outside of my ability to solve.)

I use these questions to start me rethinking about a situation and how I can resolve issues, challenges and problems in my life.  Sometimes a new perspective makes all the difference.




Sunday, October 6, 2013

Hierarchy of needs

Maslow theorized that humans meet their needs in a pyramid type of progression.  At the base of his needs are the physical needs, next comes needs for safety,  not until these needs are met does one search to meet the needs of love and belonging.  Then he suggests that we proceed to know and understand then aesthetics, a need for beauty, eventually we progress to self-esteem and finally to transcendence.  Now many of these pyramids of needs removed transcendence completely off the pyramid.  Transcendence being a connection to a Universal supreme being.  This is being taught in many schools.

I propose mixing this up a bit.  Making our connection with God as our basis for all our needs.  The ten Boom sisters that shared their story of the concentration camps in the book the Hiding Place, placed their faith above all else.  The suffered in every way yet their faith did not waiver.

The barracks where Corrie ten Boom and her sister Betsy were kept in the Nazi concentration camp Ravensbruck were terribly overcrowded and flea-infested.

They had been able to miraculously smuggle a Bible into the camp, and in that Bible they had read that in all things there were to give thanks, and that God can use anything for good.

Corrie’s sister Betsy decided that this meant thanking God for the fleas.

This was too much for Corrie, who said she could do no such thing.  Betsy insisted, so Corrie gave in and prayed to God, thanking Him even for the fleas.

Over the next several months a wonderful, but curious, thing happened.  They found that the guards never entered their barracks.  This meant that women were not assaulted.  It also meant that they were able to do the unthinkable, which was to hold open Bible studies and prayer meetings in the heart of a Nazi concentration camp.

Through this, countless numbers of women came to faith in Christ.

Only at the end did they discover why the guards had left them alone and would not enter into their barracks.

It was because of the fleas.


Betsy's faith and understanding surpassed all her other needs.  Corrie grew to know that Christ in her life made all else possible.  I am working in my life to make Christ the base of my life.  Christ's love for me comes through over and over again.  His desire to help me and every other person to return to our Heavenly Father played a vital roll in my survival.  Faith makes a huge difference in my life.