Monthly Archives: March 2015

Is there evidence in your life of self-respect? –by Dr. Sandy Nelson

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images (40)People who demand respect from others are often the very individuals who lack that feature internally. With no self-respect, they look to others to treat them with regard. But in The Art of Worldly Wisdom, 16th century author and philosopher Baltasar Gracian said: Respect yourself if you would have others respect you. The trait of self-respect has long been a inner quality of accomplishment.

Individuals who have self-respect do not need to request or demand it from others. Self-respect is a trait that is evident in your attitude, morals, and actions; and it is the integrity in your attitude, morals, and actions that provides you with the respect of others.

Treating yourself with dignity, honor, and esteem is not due to a sense of pride, it is due to self-respect. Pride is vanity, narcissism, egoism, and status centered. Self-respect is accepting yourself—your strengths and weaknesses, talents and limitations, successes and mistakes. Pride denies or hides weaknesses, limitations, and mistakes. Self-respect announces them.

It can consume all self-respect to withhold a reply to an angry or rude people. IMG_2954Impulses of wanting to set the jerk straight or ask who they think they are talking to are very strong. However, replying in anger to an angry person is really the worse reply possible. Acting rude to a rude person also is not a great idea. Standing still—remaining quiet with self-respect—is the best strategy and keeps you from becoming a jerk, too.

The harmful things anger triggers you to do and the good things it keeps you from doing can be subtle and insensible, like putting up an emotional wall, or using the silent treatment. Anger can set off a chain reaction of outcomes that will ruin your health and your relationships.

It is a fact that self-respect can not occur without being able to control your anger, and handle someone’s anger toward you.

Think about it.

drsandy@e-couch.net  ♦  ©All rights reserved 2014 Dr. Sandy Nelson E-Couch.net  ♦  Photos courtesy of Pixabay.com

What if tomorrow doesn’t come? —by Dr. Sandy Nelson

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IMG_1999Gosh, we live hectic lives. I mean, seriously, busy lives. And each year appears to pick up speed. Our day’s ordinary routine seems to blur into the next sunrise. Our daily agenda’s become something we take for granted, even if it’s one of boredom. Our family and friends come and go with hello’s and bye’s. The day leaves us exhausted as we lay our tired body down for sleep planning the next day’s schedule and obligations.

But what if tomorrow doesn’t come for us? What if today is the last day granted to us on this earth?

Sounds kind of real, or scary, doesn’t it? The tick-tock of reality is one verity weIMG_1902 tend to shove aside and not think about. We may realize that our date of departure from this earth is marked somewhere on a universe calendar, but when we tuck ourselves into bed at night, we rarely think about that date being tomorrow. We hope it’s a time way off, down the road, decades later. Yes, maybe.

Time. The supreme calendar of existence for us—of living, breathing, thinking, loving. What is it that we take, or make, time for? Should our priorities change? What should we do differently?

We have only so much time.

IMG_2922It’s a matter of mindfulness, I think. Living in the here, now. Being aware of this moment. Paying attention to one another. We can easily pick out from a crowd those who are attempting to live and give the fullest to each day—those who are kind to one another, who seem thankful, who are helping, who speak with an enthusiasm for life.

We all have a reason to be here today.

Our lives matter. Each of us have a specific task and purpose that benefits humanity. We all have gifts and talents to contribute for a better tomorrow. Because, when tomorrow arrives, life goes on.

Think about it.

drsandy@e-couch.net  ♦  ©All rights reserved 2014 Dr. Sandy Nelson E-Couch.net  ♦  Photos courtesy of Pixabay.com

 

 

Seven Ways To Age With Spunk

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Let me ask you a question: what is your outlook about getting older?

forgetThis aging business is not for the weak. Aging. Growing older. Sucks. It takes guts. It feels like a second puberty stage, but in reverse. I resent aging. And I’m fighting it tooth and nail. My dresser top is packed with creams, serums, lotions, and round-Stridex-like-pads that are not Stridex, they are some type of over-the-counter peel. Is any of this stuff working? When will my 20-year-old lips return?

Why didn’t someone warn us about the changes that come with getting older? Why didn’t my mother pull me aside and say, “Look, one day you will have more crow’s feet than crows, and there will be a map of lines on your forehead, and the skin on your body will slide a full six inches down, but, hey, you’ll be okay.”

Of course everyone is aging as the years go by. It’s reaching a certain age, however, that shock and awe tend to take us by surprise. It occurs in front of a mirror where we view changes made by nature that only leave hints of our former self. There will be gasps of horror. What the hell happened? It’s different for each of us what age this is.

I often ask myself if I would blow 50K to have something done to my face and body to look younger. Women have, for a long time, worked to fight the aging process with plastic surgery. Men are doing more about their appearances, too. In February of 2014, The American Society of Plastic Surgeons reported that 15.1 million cosmetic procedures were performed in 2013 in the United States; which marked the fourth consecutive year of growth. When it comes to reversing signs of age, it appears many of us are taking it lying down. But, surgical alterations are not even an option for most of us.

Dealing With Change

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It’s quite humorous to think we can cling to a comfortable redundancy—days ord83194e0-d432-4f1b-a35d-5ac0bd979803-medium years of routines that have brought solace through familiarity. We even may be proud that nothing can or will change us. I envision the universe chuckling at our unwavering stubbornness as the seasons and currents are ever-changing and taking us with it, ready or not.

Lucy: Do you think anybody ever really changes?
Linus: I’ve changed a lot in the last year.
Lucy: I mean for the better.
—Charles Schulz

How silly to think we can be the only elements in a vast universe unaltered by time or change. If we realized how natural and often we alter our opinions, the idea of change would not be so scary. The truth is that we change constantly. Our taste, our preferences, our appetite, our hairstyle, and our favorite color are just a short list of aspects in our lives constantly being altered.

President John F. Kennedy said: Change is the law of life.

We can resist change—even refuse to change, but that will not stop change from occurring. The seasons consistently change and so do our circumstances. The people in our lives change, too. Everything is in constant modification. Today, look around you and note the things that are in a state of constant change—trees, flowers, children, pets, gasoline prices, appetites, even moods. We redecorate to make a change. We even move for a bigger change.IMG_2946

But sometimes change is no laughing matter. Unwanted change requires a letting go of a security and safety found in a way of life we’ve always known. This is true when we lose someone or something close to us. As life thrusts us forward, what we leave behind is a part of ourselves. Loss causes a basic and radical alteration in all those experiences of assumptions underlining our lives. It demands a reconstruction of who we are, without what we had.

Think about it.

drsandy@e-couch.net  ♦  ©All rights reserved 2014 Dr. Sandy Nelson E-Couch.net  ♦  Photos courtesy of Pixabay.com

 

Compliments, Pride, and Humility

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images (57)You can discover a great deal about a person when you compliment his or her triumphs. If the response is one of sincere gratitude and humility, that recognizes (through praise) the efforts of others, too, then that suggests the person has a character that is not self-absorbed or defined by grandstanding. If a person seems to frequently point out or brag about what he or she has accomplished, and tends to carry on about all the drudgery it took to achieve it, then you are speaking with someone who is probably insecure and self-centered, and looking for praise from you to feel good about him or herself.

Journalist Horace White said: Abraham Lincoln did not ‘put you at your ease’ when you came into his presence. You felt at ease without being put there.

It’s effortless to find respect for those individuals who have not allowed images (54)accomplishments or status to go to their head. They have their feet planted on the ground with the rest of humanity. Their humility is attractive whereas self-conceit repels. It’s illogical the amount of people who see themselves superior than others for any reason. It’s not possible to respect or like someone who believes he or she is better than anyone else.

Even as early as the first century people with arrogance and conceit were earmarked as disreputable and obnoxious, as seen in this quote from Seneca: You can tell the character of every man when you see how he receives praise. 

No one should attempt to diminish the life or contribution of another person. Every individual is important and necessary for humanity. And now you know how to determine the individuals who believe that. Just give them a compliment, and wait to hear their response.

Think about it.

drsandy@e-couch.net  ♦  ©All rights reserved 2014 Dr. Sandy Nelson E-Couch.net  ♦  Photos courtesy of Pixabay.com

Is rudeness a profession?

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Unkind people are prevalent. It seems likely that your daily path will bring you images (3)face to face with rude people. They’re the ones who seem to resent wherever they’re going and because you happen to be going in that direction, they resent you. They bump into you and just keep going. They can’t be bothered holding a door for anyone or giving up a seat for someone. If you ask them something, their spiteful reply sounds just like a snarling bulldog. Most people who have made rudeness a profession can be pretty intimidating and their mantra seems to scream, I just don’t care.

At that point you have a decision to make. Will you return rudeness for rudeness, or will you refuse to allow anyone to alter your character and remain in self-control? You may want to give this bulldog a piece of your mind, but that would mean losing your peace of mind. The examination of good manners is to be tolerant with bad ones.

images (1)To use poor manners on someone displaying poor manners is against your better judgment, isn’t it? The more your patience wears thin the longer your mental list becomes filled with objections and criticisms. And in no time your words, too, may be snarling like a bulldog. Don’t do it. Don’t let a jerk gain control of your attitude. Refuse to change your character because someone else lacks one.

Kindness matters. Manners matter. And the world needs a heavy dose of both.

Think about it.

 

drsandy@e-couch.net  ♦  ©All rights reserved 2014 Dr. Sandy Nelson E-Couch.net  ♦  Photos courtesy of Pixabay.com

Control Freaks Disassemble

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I am a recovering control freak.

images (25)I realized that my effort to control individuals in my life was the opposite of love and respect because my love was conditional on their compliance—agreement with me. That was wrong. I placed these individuals in the position of having no freedom to disagree with me or state different thoughts, opinions, needs, or preferences. I was wrong. People do have the right to see things differently, to prefer something else, and to do things the way I wouldn’t. That’s what I’ve practiced the past decade.

How have you handled individuals who have verbalized their right to say no to you, or to disagree with you? With anger or with respect?

It’s important to accept and respect the opinions, thoughts, feelings, choices, and decisions of every individual rather than see it as a responsibility to convince the person they’re wrong, misinformed, or whatever. When we accept and respect others, we demonstrate healthy, adult behavior and self responsibility—we allow them to be who they are and we focus on who we are.

If we’re upset, mad, resentful, or hurt, when someone disagrees with us, then we’re not accepting and respecting the other person. Were saying that our acceptance of them is conditional on their compliance with our opinions. As you accept others as they are, you become less needy and dependent on them for happiness and well-being. You become more independent and self-responsible.

Wayne Dyer states: Love is the ability and willingness to allow those that you care for to be what they choose for themselves without any insistence that they satisfy you.

We need to grant others the freedom to be themselves and be unlike us. People who accept and respect others don’t withhold their love or approval, don’t use guilt trips, and don’t try to manipulate the situation if someone sees things differently.

belief15Your motive for saying or doing something needs to be one without conditions, strings, or expectations from the other person. This is exactly why knowing your motives and reasons for what you say and do is vital to healthy relationships! Ask yourself: What is my motive for saying or doing this? If it’s to get your way, change the person’s mind, prove that you’re right, gain approval, or criticize, it’s an unhealthy motive.

If you grew up fearing a loss of love if you disagreed with others or didn’t comply with their wishes, then today treating other people the same way is just the reenactment of your childhood atmosphere. You’re doing exactly what the adults in your childhood did, and remember how that impacted you! Take responsibility to correct any thinking that prompts you to control other people.

Think about it.

drsandy@e-couch.net  ♦  ©All rights reserved 2014 Dr. Sandy Nelson E-Couch.net  ♦  Photos courtesy of Pixabay.com

Dealing With Loss

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photo-camera-219958_150In the past decade, Americans have endured such ruin and bereavement that it compares to the years of the Great Depression under the failed policies of Hoover¹. People have lost their jobs, their savings, their homes, their cars, plus in many cases, their self-confidence. And there’s still an additional one in three Americans on the verge of financial ruin.²

American author and Social Worker Virginia Satir wrote: Life is not the way it’s supposed to be. It’s the way it is.

Well, unless you’re rich, the way it is sucks. It’s a good thing that we’re Americans because there are days that it’s only that spirit that has kept us going. It’s that tenacity found in our heritage that stirs the fight to endure. That and are own guts.

Psychologist and Business Consultant Dr. Kathryn D. Cramer says: People who suffer a loss must reinvent their lives.

Really? You think?

That reinvention isn’t a choice, it’s survival. It’s motivated by a resentment that isn’t often able to let go of the whys, the regrets, the anger, and the pressing sadness.

No one wants to grieve this crap. No one looks forward to Friday because they plan on grieving over the weekend. Grieving involves sadness, regret, heartbreak, weeping, suffering, and pain. Who wants to experience all that, at the same time, for a period of time?

It’s not only loss that requires change, it’s reality. It’s not optional. Something 793c70f5-805c-4b35-8655-785a91de8436-mediumisn’t the way it used to be and will never exist again. Something isn’t the way it should be and never will be again. The purpose of grieving is to adjust to the change in life that reality demands. It’s to bring us to the point of making necessary changes so we can adjust in healthy ways, even if we resent having to do so.

Think about it.

¹http://www.vanityfair.com/news/2007/12/bush200712

²http://www.marketwatch.com/story/1-in-3-americans-on-verge-of-financial-ruin-2015-02-23

drsandy@e-couch.net  ♦  ©All rights reserved 2014 Dr. Sandy Nelson E-Couch.net  ♦  Photos courtesy of Pixabay.com

Unsuccessful? Unhappy? This could be why.

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Around the beginning of the nineteenth century, French psychologist and pharmacist Emile Coué, introduced the use of a mantra-like conscious suggestion—what we call today a affirmation1positive affirmation. The Coué method centered on the routine repetition of an affirmation—preferably as much as twenty times a day, and especially at the beginning and at the end of each day. Unlike the commonly held belief that a person’s strong will constitutes the best path to success, Coué maintained that unblocking some of our obstacles requires a change in our unconscious thought. It was his belief that the power of a positive thought far exceeds that of the will.

A century later, researchers have confirmed what Coué already knew. Your thoughts can rocket your life into abundance and happiness, or plummet you into homelessness and joblessness. Coué wasn’t the only person who realized the connection between our thoughts and our experiences.

Former Britain Prime Minister, Benjamin Disraeli said: Nurture your mind with great thoughts, for you will never go any higher than you think. 

Even Buddha preached: All that we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think, we become.

You can expect situations to evolve in your life as a direct result of what you say affirmationto yourself and think about. Focus on what you want to happen in your life and you will then create situations to obtain it. Resist thinking about what you don’t want to happen. If you focus on not wanting to be rejected, more rejection is what you’ll get. If you focus on avoiding inconveniences, you’ll have more inconveniences in your experiences.

It’s easy to get on board with millions of people already experiencing the benefits of utilizing affirmations. Here’s what you do:

  1. Consciously focus on what you want to achieve. Envision it your mind. See yourself in the circumstances that you want to accomplish. Meditate, as often as possible each day, on what you visualize.images (44)
  2. Think of an affirming thought or short phrase that can help you succeed, or be happy, or whatever you desire. Keep it short. For example, “I will find love,” or “I am going to succeed.” Recite your affirming thought or phrase throughout the day, every day, whenever you have a moment.
  3. Use sticky notes to jot down your affirmations and keep them visible to serve as reminders to stop for a minute and meditate. You can also journal your phrases and expand on what achievements you desire.
  4. It’s crucial that your visions and thoughts are of a positive nature. For example, rather than concentrating on “I want to avoid unreasonable people,” make it a positive by focusing on “I will be patient and calm with people.”

What you choose to think about and the attitude in which you think about it is so significant that becoming conscious of this fact alone can alter your life and what you experience day-to-day.

Think about it.

 

drsandy@e-couch.net  ♦  ©All rights reserved 2014 Dr. Sandy Nelson E-Couch.net  ♦  Photos courtesy of Pixabay.com

Do Men Owe Women? Part 2

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What women have learned about intimate relationships does not come from a recorded history of loving partnerships with a no-fail list of do’s and do not’s. ext (1)There are few chronicled examples of conflict resolution, problem solving, compromise, or the other behaviors required to sustain an intimate relationship. Today women get confusing messages about love from society, Hollywood, books, and even The Holy Bible. They are spectators of quite a paradox. Women witness romantic interludes and passionate exchanges on the TV or movie screen with the devoted couple living happily-ever-after; and it leaves within them a hodgepodge of exciting expectations about the meaning of love.

Then they sink into despair when their Knight in Shining Armor fails to act like the leading man on the screen. Alas, there are no rose petals leading to a candlelight dinner he prepared as a surprise. Women read a romance novel that leaves them enchanted with the charming and thoughtful male character they have decided looks like Brad Pitt. Then, their fantasy is interrupted by the belch heard two rooms away from their not-so-thoughtful male counterpart in the kitchen.

The Bible is another basis for confusion. Religion, past and present, does not IMG_2234seem to replicate the same attitude towards women as Jesus of Nazareth demonstrated throughout His life. Jesus displayed high respect for women, unlike and despite, the people and the law of the times. Women were valued and esteemed by Jesus—all women. He approached women, listened to women, hung out with women, blessed women, thanked women, healed women, loved women, and treated them identical to men.

Yet, most of the authors of the New Testament failed to imitate and practice this example in their writings. In fact, any women who pursued the mission of Christ after the crucifixion would have been excluded by the authors of Scripture, not by God’s bidding, rather from man’s unyielding prejudices when writing it. The Apostle Paul, who is credited for writing a significant part of the New Testament, especially disliked women. Paul believed that man came from God, but woman came from man (1 Cor. 11:2-9). This leaves women with the suggestion that only man was created in God’s image, and that meant women were sub-standard.

Professor Joseph Francis Alward, at the University of the Pacific in California, states:

No teaching in the Bible is clearer, more consistent, than the one which teaches that women are inferior to men. If it’s true that the Bible is God-breathed, and therefore an all-powerful, all knowing God of the Bible exists, then women are not as righteous as men; are not clever enough to enter into contracts; are to keep silent and seek answers in private from their husbands, and are to treat their husbands as if they were God. (http://www.thegloryofman.com/) also (http://www.usurpingwomen.com/)

There are many theologians today pounding the pulpit condemning women’s interest in equality with men. However, there are just as many religious leaders (thank God) that uphold a woman’s sameness with men. In Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism, Bishop John Shelby Spong writes:

For Paul, women were clearly inferior. Yet, he could say in Galatians that
in Christ “there is neither male nor female” (Gal. 3:28), and these words
occur in his powerful argument to demonstrate the inclusiveness of all
people, especially the gentiles, in the Christian movement. He also, in this
same passage, said that “in Christ there is neither slave nor free.” The fact remains that Paul accepted uncritically the patriarch attitude of his day
toward women, and the cultural reality of the institution of slavery. …
He viewed women with something less than enthusiasm. …He exhorted women to keep silent in the churches …women were not permitted to
speak, but should be subordinate, as even the law says. …The God who is
love cannot be approached except through the experiences of living out
that unconditional quality of love. That is why the church must be broken
open and freed of its noninclusive prejudices. That is why slavery,
segregation, sexism, bigotry, and homophobia tear at the very soul
of the church.

1800-1920History leaves a mortified trail, twenty centuries old, of men born with the primary purpose to receive unquestioned civil liberties and privileges from women that had nothing to do with love, and women legally helpless to prevent such mistreatment. Just 167 years ago, a small group of New York women got together and took on the toil and resistance from society, the government, and men to make changes for woman’s equality that would not begin to materialize until 72 years later. A woman’s right to vote (her first right) just occurred 95 years ago.

The far and few between love relationships throughout history that were based on mutual respect and regard have not been enough to leave us footprints to follow on the healthy relationship path. There are too little cases of love’s ideal union. Instead there is an abundant history of relationship conflict, disappointment, criticism, blame, rejection, resentment, betrayal, murder, and historical lines of broken hearts.

When women study the relationship patterns of their ancestors, they can see charles-landseer-94058_150it is filled with female dependency and woman inferiority. Are women still living under the unjust roof of inequality if only in their minds? Are there traces from history, so deep-rooted, that still want women to believe they are not worthy, they are inferior, and they do need a man? Beliefs well-remembered that refuse to be forgotten provide a steady rhythm that contradicts female self-respect and self-confidence. It is no surprise then, when women look at the disillusioned relationships in unions today, that they can be found confused and angry.

Enough.

IMG_0502(2) - CopyWomen in our time say they want a relationship in which they can experience respect and equality in a partnership. However, how many women today respect themselves, and believe in their independent right to have opinions, needs, happiness, and success? What women say they want, and more importantly deserve, is slow to be taken seriously even among themselves. How can women obtain a cultural shift in attitudes towards the female capabilities if they doubt themselves to achieve it? Women need to believe in what they deserve. That belief is one that only women can accept.

Do men owe women?

Think about it.

 

©All rights reserved, 2014, Dr. Sandy Nelson, E-Couch.net
Photos courtesy of Pixabay.com