Friday, April 28, 2017
We're all involved in relationships, and no two are alike. The easy ones bring joy and comfort. The impossible ones may stay for a while, but most of the time they don't last. The difficult ones may take some work, but we usually feel they're worth keeping. And each one is there for a purpose, to bring a blessing and/or a lesson. No matter what, our life is blessed by people.
When dealing with those difficult ones it's wise to first know yourself...to understand your feelings when someone ticks you off. What bothers you and what doesn't ...and why? Do you know your strengths and weaknesses? Are you tactful or confronting...quiet or outspoken...judgmental or accepting? What are your fears and insecurities? And what ability or talent can you express to others? You may have valuable qualities of which you're not even aware. The better you understand yourself, the better you'll understand others, even the difficult ones. So know yourself first, and then focus on the people in your life.
Every man has his secret sorrows which the world knows not; often times we call a man cold when he is only sad. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
A person's behavior patterns are clues that reveal much about them. And difficult people may require closer attention to understand their behaviors. The more you observe and understand, the better equipped you are to deal with them. They may have inner fears or insecurities that cause troublesome behaviors that frustrate or irritate you. Maybe there's fear of losing control, losing position, revealing weaknesses, or some other hidden fear. Or there may be some emotional pain the person is not comfortable sharing. We all try to protect ourselves in some way, and we may use negative behaviors to cope. We can't see inside of another person, but knowing and understanding as much as possible may lead to a better relationship.
Everyone is unique with particular talents or abilities, and these become part of who they are in the world. Some can fix problems, some are comforting, some are fun, some give good advice, some are good listeners, etc. But no one is all of these, so we can't expect anyone to be everything to us. Nor can we be everything to everyone else. But learning a difficult person't talents and abilities can be used to create a more harmonious relationship.
Some of the best people with whom you can have a relationship are the people who challenge your thinking. T. D. Jakes
Years ago when I worked with a mental health team in a jail setting, one Sergeant felt threatened by our presence and always gave us a hard time. So I devised a plan to soften his attitude. I noticed he was organized and had a talent for keeping his floor running smoothly with few problems. So I assumed a subordinate attitude and began complimenting him on the exceptionally good work he was doing. Well, his frown quickly changed as he threw out his chest and smiled with ego satisfaction. From then on, our difficult relationship became one of congenial cooperation. So compliments are sometimes useful in melting a negative attitude.
Sometimes things work and sometimes they don't. So if your efforts to create more harmony are not producing results, it may be time to regroup and alter the way you relate to a person. If there's conflict when you try to discuss deeper personal issues with someone, but it's absolutely necessary, then do it. But try to generally relate to them on a lighter, more surface level, so as not to step on thin ice. Avoid areas in which they become defensive. Try to understand where they're coming from, and help them feel safe with you. But if nothing works, be willing to let them go.
Sometimes God uses difficult people, like sandpaper to rub the rough edges off us. Joel Osteen
If you want to keep a difficult person in your life, try to look past behaviors that disturb or irritate. And don't get caught up in their chaos. There's good in everyone, even those who come across otherwise. So look for qualities in them that you can enjoy. You wouldn't want to keep them if you didn't already see something of value, even something to help you learn and grow. Approach all of your relationships with love and as much understanding as you can muster. You just might find a diamond in some rough exteriors. And their lives just might enrich yours.
I wish you many happy relationships.
Friday, April 21, 2017
Many, if not most people today are familiar with Eric Berne's psychological theory regarding the parent, child and adult ego states, different parts of ourselves from which we function. The parent expresses our value systems, morals and beliefs, and may be critical or nurturing. The child is our feeling self. And the adult uses rational thinking and problem-solving, and tries to keep the parent and child in balance. If we become familiar with these parts of ourselves, we can work with them and create a healthier, happier life.
We've all had traumas and painful experiences as children. But you don't have to be adversely affected by the past when you start healing the child within. Unknown
Since the child is our feeling self, when you feel sad, hurt, angry, scared, frustrated, any painful feelings, that's your child crying for help. And your child needs attention. We're all human, and we will have those feelings sometimes. They're part of life, and we can't totally shut down all negativity. But you can be aware of your feelings, know where they're coming from, and turn to your inner child with love and compassion. You can learn to diminish the negative and increase the positive feelings. And your inner child, and thus you, can learn to be happier.
"It is necessary to own and honor the child you were in order to love the person you are." Robert Burney
As you become more familiar and relate more with your inner child, you'll know right away how to work out any painful feelings. And you and the child part of you will feel more like the one person you are. But it's also important to recognize your parent self, the self that can be critical or nurturing, and your adult self with its rational thinking and problem-solving skills. Then when your parent self gets critical, you can call on your adult self to handle the situation and free your inner child from more hurt.
"She held herself until the sobs of the child inside subsided entirely. I love you, she told herself. It will all be okay." Raven Rose
Seems like you go in and out of different characters, doesn't it? Well, all 3 of them are you, and whether you know it or not, you've been using all of them all of the time...crying with pain, criticizing yourself, and your adult self intervening. Example Scenario: Suppose someone said something unkind to you, and you were hurt and cried (That's your child self). Then a voice in your head said, "Oh, can't take it, huh? Stop that blubbering (That's your parent self). Then you dried your tears and told yourself, "Never mind. You're loved and you do matter (That's your adult self soothing your inner child feelings). We use all parts of ourself automatically.
Now there's another side to all of this. While you're healing the hurts and drying the tears, your inner child would really like to have some funl. You know, the things you used to do before you got so busy. So let her/him out sometimes. Sing with the birds, make funny faces and laugh at yourself, walk in the rain, dance around the house, eat an ice cream cone and let it melt down your belly. The list is endless. The more you laugh, the less pain you will feel. And it will be so much easier being you.
There is a child inside all of us who continues to believe that it can always get better. That it doesn't end here. Vienna Pharaon
When your child self is happy, you look up instead of down. It raises your sights to who you really are...God's beautiful creation who only wants good in your life. You have the strength to successfully meet life's challenges. You have wisdom to make wise choices and create peace instead of pain. You have the courage to bring what's good for you into your life and rule out what's not. You live each day with faith and hope. And you learn to love your wonderful self. You heal your inner child, you heal yourself. And life can be so good.
I wish you fun being you.
Thursday, April 13, 2017
If you're like most people, everyday you drive your car to a destination. And you handle gas, oil, water, tune-ups, and repairs when needed. Maybe you take a bus or train, but you always have transportation during your life journey. So you probably use many vehicles over your lifetime. But do you ever think about the only vehicle that transports you throughout that journey without any trade-ins? Think about it. It's more valuable than any car you'll ever drive. Yes, it's your remarkable body that gets you through your lifetime in spite of all the challenges you may encounter.
I stand in awe of my body. Henry David Thoreau
Our body is an absolute miracle to be cared for and used wisely. But we move through each busy day with little thought of its welfare and the many ways in which it serves us. We don't see it as the vehicle that houses all parts of our total self working together as one beautiful entity. We're usually not aware of our body until aches and pains crop up, but each precious part of us needs daily attention if we're to fulfill all we're meant to be. As a car needs gas, oil, and water to function, our body needs food, water, air, sleep, and lots of TLC.
Do you ever think about the food you take in every day and how it actually nourishes you? We consume protein, carbohydrate, fat, vitamins, minerals, and plant based molecules that serve as antioxidents, anti-inflammatories, and anti-cancer agents. We routinely consume food every day without thought of its value. Do you ever look at a glass of water and wonder why it's so important? Water regulates body temperature, lubricates joints, flushes out waste products, carries nutrients and oxygen to cells, makes minerals and other nutrients accessible to the body, protects body organs and tissues, and moistens tissues such as mouth, eyes, and nose. All that in a glass of water? Remarkable.
We don't think about breathing unless something happens and we're short of breath. And we realize the value of air. Each breath carries oxygen to our cells and powers every process in our body. Then carbon dioxide is released with pollutants and foreign organisms. Sounds simple, but life depends on it. Refresh and Release. Wonderful. But did you know that air also contributes to sound which we need to make words?
Thinking about our body, we can't forget about our brain. That's what keeps us on the right path on our journey. Our brain is equipped with several levels of brain waves, ranging from very alert to deep sleep. And they're constantly in motion depending upon what we're doing. Theta Healing says, "Everything you do or say is regulated by the frequency of brain waves." During times of deep relaxation, Theta brain waves activate the body's natural self-healing processes. What about that....your body can heal itself.
I used to think my body shut down when I slept, but according to the National Sleep Foundation, during sleep our bodies restore and rejuvenate, grow muscle, repair tissue, synthesize hormones, and solidify and consolidate memories. And after sleep, we retain information and perform better in memory tasks. I better check on that one. I don't feel that smart in the morning.
"Most people have no idea how good their body is designed to feel." Kevin Trudeau
Much is constantly happening in your body, but you carry more than flesh and bones. You're given a mind to understand and reason, to choose, to create, and relate to others; your heart keeps faith and hope, it loves and forgives, and brings smiles instead of tears when life knocks you down; spirit comforts and reminds you of who you are; and your soul is who you are. The years take their toll, but inside is the spark....the light....the eternal motor that keeps you going while all the finite parts serve you on your journey.
Your body has needs only you can supply. So listen to your body for direction. It's the barometer that knows what you need no matter what your mind may be thinking. And you'll hear it speak if you pay attention. Love and care for this magnificent gift, and allow it to take care of you. You are blessed.
What I've presented in this article doesn't even touch the magnitude of this remarkable creation. And you may disagree with some of my thoughts. But I continue learning. And I invite you to learn too.
I wish you health and happiness in your discoveries.
Wednesday, April 5, 2017
Music is the voice that tells us that the human race is greater than it knows. Napoleon Bonaparte
Healing music fills our world and runs through our lives everyday. But we're so busy we miss the beauty that comes with meaningful music that touches our heart and really makes a difference in our daily life. And health issues, anxiety, and depresson either take us down or run beneath the surface hidden from the world as we struggle to function.
A few years ago, I developed a chronic health challenge that kept me wired up, and I was in a constant state of anxiety and depression. Then I discovered two sources of healing music. And oh, what glorious sounds.
Stephen Halpern's incredible music is like nothing you've ever heard. He uses music for healing, without continuous rhythm or recognizable melodies. And it draws you into a natural state of harmony and balance. When I sat quietly and listened to Halpern's Chakra Suite, I was embraced in the quiet relaxation and peace I longed for. This music touched my soul, and helped me through a difficult time.
Then there was Il Volo, three amazing young men who brought their glorious music and Italian voices to the world. I didn't understand the Italian words in most of their songs, but their voices spoke to me about life. And their expression touched my heart with the realization that we humans are blessed with beauty we're not even aware of. As I listened, I felt alive. And my life was meaningful.
But as time passed and I felt good again, I forgot and drifted away from my daily music routine. And fatigue, anxiety, and depression crept back in. So I've returned to Halpern and Il Volo. Perhaps my angels are teaching me a new lesson, because listening to Halpern and Il Volo now, I've become aware of other voices in the world, the ones we don't hear as music. But sometimes that music we don't hear can fill our hearts with joy and heal our deepest pain, if we listen to its songs.
If the sight of blue skies fills you with joy, if the simplest things of nature have a message that you understand, rejoice for your soul is alive. Eleanor Duse
That healing music is all round us; a song in the wind blowing through trees, waves hitting notes against the shore, bees humming around a flower, or children's laughter. Now I even whistle with birds in my back yard. Yes, really. It's all music. And our most important song is inside of us. We all have our own voice, the unique way we express ourself. And we have the power to choose our songs.
In the grocery store, one of the clerks always smiles, asks how I'm doing today, and if I want paper or plastic. She sings the same words everyday, and the title of her song is, "I care about you." I know this because I feel her caring voice expressing the words. (Some really do care) My niece sings with smiles from her wheelchair, and I know writers who put their songs on paper. Ah, the music.
Michael Jackson said, "To live is to be musical, starting with the blood dancing in your veins. Everything living has a rhythm. Do you feel your music?" It can lower your stress level, help heal your body, and lift your unhappy soul to new levels of peace and balance. Each day listen to the music your world has for you, and express your own music to others. You have the voice within you to choose your song. Sing it to the world. There's healing and happiness in sharing the music.
I wish you songs to sing and joy to share.