Monthly Archives: June 2015

A Life Altering Experience – Part 1

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A Life Altering Experience

When my husband, Ron, had his first stroke in 2009, he had just turned 58. How is that possible?

It happened before my eyes. It was Saturday, September 26th around noon. Isn’t it remarkable how we remember small details of a life altering experience?

Ron was standing in front of me; we were chatting about his pinched nerve. Just a week before, Ron became dizzy at work, and his employer insisted that Ron go to the emergency room. A co-worker took him to the closest hospital, and an ER doctor suspected that Ron had a pinched nerve that was causing his dizziness. The doctor referred Ron to a chiropractor.

He had just arrived home from treatment with the chiropractor when it hit.

While standing in front of me, in an instant, the left side of his face from his forehead to his jaw drooped down, and his words became a little slurred. He could walk and move both arms. He had no tingling anywhere or dizziness. Was it a stroke? He’s only 58. Was I overreacting? Did he fit the criteria or warnings of a stroke? I had that debate in my head for about 30 seconds and then took charge.

I told him to get in the car; that I was taking him to the emergency room. Like most men, he argued, but he couldn’t see what I was seeing. Hospital personnel approached my car as it came to a roaring stop in front of the ER entrance. I shouted to him that my husband was a “stroke alert.”

A stroke alert upgrades the time frame and service for medical attention, like upgrading to Firsthospital3 Class from Coach. A page overhead was heard throughout the hospital: Stroke Alert, Emergency Room. The page was repeated two more times. Unwillingly, I began to take this all in. Ron was seen immediately by a slew of doctors and nurses. He started having some paralysis on the left side of his body. Alas, the tingling symptom arrived at the party. And he had a headache now. Ron had IVs inserted, and wires slapped on, and beeping in under five minutes. The doctors asked me a lot of questions. They were glad I got him there when I did. I started trembling, realizing, praying. Everyone had solemn facial expressions and serious voices. They believe Ron was suffering a stroke.

The color drained from my face and fear flooded my body. I looked for a chair and sat down, frozen. Ron went for a priority MRI. I waited. Alone for the first time since this nightmare started, I called our son and totally lost it. He couldn’t understand what I was saying. You know how garbled your words are when you’re hysterical and try to talk? That was me. I finally got out some English—”dad,” “stroke.” Our son was on the next plane home. He also had the good sense to call family, but I didn’t know that until they appeared in the ER. I had some support now. And we all waited. Waited to hear how badly the brain was compromised. My mind drifted.

DSC00239We were living comfortably, at the time, in our empty nest. Ron played softball in a league during the summer and coached basketball during the winter. He was very active and fit. We were both working with great jobs that allowed us to have security in our retirement. Ever since childhood, a dream of mine was to live in the country on horse property. We started looking at small farms nearby.

Our son was happy. He had moved to New York City to pursue his second Masters Degree, plus his girlfriend (now wife) lived there. It was a win-win for him.

Life was good.

Then the MRI results were back. The neurosurgeon approached me. He said Ron was being moved to ICU. They found a blood clot in his brain. The plan was to go in and try to remove it. Surgery was scheduled for the next day, first thing. I swear I can hear this conversation like it was yesterday.

Ron handled the surgery fine but because of the location of the clot, it could not be removed hospital4without making matters worse, like killing Ron. It would have to remain in his brain. The hope was the brain would construct pathways around the blockage. So after a week in ICU, two weeks in rehab, and three months of outpatient psychical therapy twice a week, Ron could walk again and use his left arm. His speech improved. But cognitively, the damage was permanent. Ron would not be able to work again.

The medical bills were staggering. And I mean staggering. Ron sold his 79 Roadrunner, his motorcycle, and his Mercedes. And we still owed over $100,000.

But we were just at the beginning of our crisis. A life altering experience for us wasn’t over.

Tune in tomorrow for A Life Altering Experience – Part 2.

FullSizeRender (5)Think about it.

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

 

 

 

The Problem With Religion

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It was shocking. And for most Americans, I think it was unexpected. And then the problem with religion was on stage.

On June 26, 2015, the SCOTUS, in a landmark decision ruled that same-sex marriages were IMG_1904legal. The hashtag “Love Wins,” flooded the internet, as did “Equality For All.” People were shown hugging with tears of joy. Now, for the first time ever, same-sex couples are protected under the Constitution from any bans that would deny them the same rights as heterosexual couples. That’s how love won.

A paragraph, of the majority opinion, authored by Justice Kennedy prompted comments from people on what they believed to be a beautiful, compassionate and romantic definition of marriage. An hour later, the quote had gone viral:

No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right. —Justice Anthony Kennedy

Then the love won hit the wall.

The problem with religion was ablaze. Conservative Christians, some GOP leaders and Presidential candidates disagreed, intensely, with the ruling. Probably the most wigged-out reaction came from Bryan Fischer of American Family Radio. In just one paragraph, Fischer compared the ruling to slavery, 9/11, the attack on Pearl Harbor, and Sodom and Gomorrah. A frenzied Fischer announced:

From a moral standpoint, 6/26 is the new 9/11, because it was on this day that five justices of the United States Supreme Court became moral jihadists, They became rainbow jihadists and they blasted the twin pillars of truth and righteousness into rubble. And they did this by imposing sodomy-based marriage on the United States through an act of judicial tyranny. Today, June 26, 2015, is a date which will live in infamy. On this day, the United States became Sodom and Gomorrah.

Yikes! God, that’s a horrible thing to say. That’s the problem with religion.

But Fisher was not the only conservative Christian who reacted with agony and sorrow at the prospect of gay marriage across the land. Indeed, there was a great deal of weeping and gnashing of teeth. All of the nay-sayers seem to believe the institution of marriage is at stake. Their priority is to uphold this sacred union. This is God’s will. The Bible states marriage is between a man and a woman.

Now here is where this battle loses credibility.

Divorce is against God’s will and against the teachings in Scripture. Having sex outside of marriage is also a big no-no according to Bible teachings. And living together in sin? A huge taboo.

What’s the difference between these sins and the implied sin of same-sex marriage?

Can someone explain that to me?

I asked that question in a Facebook group that was declaring that America was on the verge of collapse and going to hell because the ruling is against the inerrant word of the Bible. The group could not answer my question, but they did send me a short video of why Obama is bad for America.

I moved on and had a three hour back and forth conversation on a Facebook group belonging to Fr. James Martin. Even with over 11,000 comments, no one could answer the question. That’s the problem with religion.

My point is there is no difference.

Divorce is against God’s will, and Christians get divorced all the time. There’s no hoopla. Christians have premarital sex and cohabitate outside of marriage. Where’s the protest about that to the Supreme Court? Why is that seemingly okay, but same-sex marriage qualifies for continued flogging and imprisonment? That’s such hypocrisy and that’s the problem with religion!

God is love. We are to love one another. Why is that so difficult?

FullSizeRender (5)Think about it.

drsandy@e-couch.net  ♦  ©All rights reserved 2014, Dr. Sandy Nelson, E-Couch.net

My Counselor by Dr. Sandy Nelson

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The Lord is my Counselor

I shall not wig out.

He makes me aware of my gloom and tainted motives.

He leads me to reality.

He restores my heart and mind.

He guides me on the path of
self-respect,
purpose,
and concern for humanity.

He teaches me to
think clearly,
be helpful,
and take responsibility for my choices.

He makes me calm and passionate.

He enables me to remember the people I am not to control,
and to control myself.

Even though I walk through the valley of
frustration,
pessimism,
and indifference,

I am not influenced,

For thou art with me.

Thy devotion and goodness encourage me.

He prepares a table before me in the presence of daily enemies:
pride,
dishonesty,
self-pity,
fear,
and helplessness.

He anoints me with
gratitude,
self-confidence,
and acceptance.

No longer am I defeated; neither am I unsupported.

My cup runneth over with
enthusiasm and determination.

Surely, peace and blessings shall follow me all the days of my life.

And I will dwell on making a difference in this world forever and ever.

Amen!!

 

FullSizeRender (5)Think about it.

drsandy@e-couch.net  ♦  ©All rights reserved 2014, Dr. Sandy Nelson, E-Couch.net

Got A Knife

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Got A Knife

 

I can feel my pulse quicken in fear just thinking about him again. But I’m getting ahead of my story. A true story.

 

It was the week of Thanksgiving, and the mood of the staff I supervised was a bit more lively. It was the PM shift—the 3:00-11:30 pm in what is called the Psych ER of a behavioral health hospital. The staff in our adjacent registration department were in good spirits, too. My son, Bret, worked there after classes at Lake Forest College. He and his co-worker Beth (not her real name) were anticipating the four-day weekend.

 

There was a steady flow that night of people seeking assessments for substance abuse, hospitaldepression, anxiety, psychosis, eating disorders—all areas of mental health and substance use. The outcome of the assessment determined what treatment would be recommended.

 

Later in the evening, an older couple brought their adult son in for an assessment. I’ll call him Joe. He was friendly and responsive, but Joe also was depressed and had some delusional thoughts. These thoughts interfered in his ability to care for himself. So Joe and his parent’s agreed when the psychiatrist recommended an inpatient stay for a few days to stabilize his mood. Joe’s parent’s decided not to wait for the sign-in process and they said their goodbyes until visiting hours the next day.

 

Then, it happened.

 

I was in the hub of our department where all the clinicians and nurses complete their notes, speak with doctors, and so on. From the corner of my eye, I saw Beth running to me from the registration department, shouting something. Then I heard what she kept screaming over and over. I felt like I was under water and someone was yelling something very serious, but it was all a muffled echo. My brain tried to take it all in.

 

“He’s got a knife.” “He’s got a knife.” “He’s got a knife,” Beth yelled pointing to registration. I didn’t have to ask where Bret was. I started running.

 

knifeAs I turned the corner into registration, there was my son …MY SON …pinned against the wall …with a knife pressing on his neck. A KNIFE ON HIS NECK! Someone’s got a knife!

 

I was in charge and I tried to focus, but in one second my brain took in the entire traumatic scene and then warped my mind a mile backward at what felt like the speed of light. What is that called when the brain does that? Disassociation? Paralyzing Trauma?

 

No, no, NO, I thought to myself. Then I was back.

 

“Hey,” I yelled.

 

It was Joe. I startled him. He looked at me still pressing the knife on Bret’s neck. Joe explained he knew we were the FBI and our plan was to kill him. He wanted out.

 

“You want out?” I asked. Without waiting for an answer I said “I’ll let you out.” Joe looked at me and then at my son.

 

“Joe, you let him go and come over to me,” I pleaded, “and I’ll get you out of here. I promise.” I aged 20 years waiting for a reply. Joe slowly took the knife off Bret’s neck and walked over to me brandishing his knife back and forth in front of him, and in front of me. We were face-to-face.

 

“Okay Joe, let’s go. Just follow me.”

 

Joe remained behind me with his knife at my back. I unlocked the door to leave registration. I hospital2could see my staff going towards Bret as we left. I took Joe down the main hallway—the one he used to come in. This way he would know I was keeping my promise and taking him back to the main doors. When a mob of staff appeared to join the fight I waved them back. Yes, Joe should have gone upstairs to an inpatient unit, but how many would be hurt getting that knife.

 

I walked Joe through the main doors and we entered the lobby. I told the receptionist to let him go and Joe walked out our main entrance and into the night.

 

Returning to our department, my staff had already called 911 and the police were outside waiting. Bret was fine. Everyone was okay. We learned the police had Joe in custody.

 

My son, in his late 20s at the time, laughed off the whole experience. No big deal for him. I, on the other hand, needed therapy for months after this event. Symptoms of Traumatic Stress plagued me. Even now, today, I close my eyes and see the image of my son being pinned against the wall with a knife at his throat. It’s been almost ten years but feels like last night. Thank God it’s all in my head!

 

FullSizeRender (6)Think about it.

drsandy@e-couch.net  ♦  ©All rights reserved 2014, Dr. Sandy Nelson, E-Couch.net

How To Hate

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How To Hate

Only a person with self-contempt can contemplate murder. Self-worth and self-respect can’t co-exist with hatred. But organized hatred helps give new meaning to the lives of those who feel marginalized. That’s how to hate.

In 1915, D.W. Griffith used the technology of motion pictures to make Birth of a Nation, a film prejudicethat portrayed African-Americans as stupid, lazy and inferior, and glorified the Ku Klux Klan for standing up for the rights of the white supremacy majority. It was so effective in fostering hate against blacks that even Griffith himself was said to have been shocked.

One hundred years later, in Charleston, South Carolina, Dylann Roof walked into a Bible study on Wednesday evening, June 17th with a mindset of how to hate. His reason for attending was to shoot and kill everyone there. For an hour, Roof sat with the group and participated in their discussions about Scripture. Later, Roof told police he almost aborted his plan to kill the group because they were so welcoming and kind to him.

Michael Daly of The Daily Beast wrote:

But that would have meant giving up the hate that filled the hollowness of being born of a fleeting reunion between his parents three years after their divorce and of getting no further in high school than the ninth grade, but wearing a jacket with an “Academic All Stars” patch rightfully worn only by seniors in the top 10 percent. 

He had compensated for that false claim by sewing two other patches on the jacket, flags of apartheid-era Rhodesia and South Africa, symbols for those seeking another kind of supposed supremacy. 

And his older sister, Amber, was to be married on Sunday. To have just left the Emanuel A.M.E. Church on Wednesday night would have meant going to the wedding at the end of the week as a rank loser from a fractured family who could rightly declare himself supreme in nothing at all.

Even so, Roof seems to have understood in his moments of indecision that these warmly devout people of the Bible study group were putting the lie to his racism. He may have sensed that the faith filling their lives might also fill his own.

After an hour, just as he was apparently losing his resolve and his hate was slipping away, Roof seized it anew. He allegedly produced the Glock .45 automatic that he is reported to have purchased with birthday money from his father.

That was when Tywanza Sanders is said to have told him, “You don’t have to do this.”

Roof is said to have replied as if he were also trying to convince himself. He was not some loser. He was a champion of the white race about to start a race war.

“I have to do it,” he reportedly cried out.

His next words were the language of white supremacists. “You rape our women and you’re taking over our country. And you have to go.”

Hate is a painful state of being because the mind is not intended to hate. Everybody is born with an inner purpose—to love ourselves and to love others.

IMG_2247It is not only our hatred of others that is dangerous but also and above all our hatred of ourselves: particularly that hatred of ourselves which is too deep and too powerful to be consciously faced. For it is this which makes us see our own evil in others and unable to see it in ourselves, wrote Catholic Monk Thomas Merton in New Seeds of Contemplation.

A zero self-worth is a developed misery. It’s miserable because it’s painful and unnatural to hate one’s self—it goes against our very nature. Our core disposition is to love, not despise; to include, not shut out; to embrace, not isolate.

When we as a society stop the hate, end the prejudice, and embrace all human beings of all ages with dignity and respect they’re entitled to, then maybe the violence will end. When we encourage and support one another, then the inner flames of self-worth are not extinguished.

FullSizeRender (6)Think about it.

drsandy@e-couch.net  ♦  ©All rights reserved 2014, Dr. Sandy Nelson, E-Couch.net

Racial Murders in America

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Racial Murders in America

I am not a politician.

I don’t understand all the finite workings of government in our Congress and Senate.

But I AM AN AMERICAN.

I am an American who is burdened by the racial murders and hate that grows more rampant in our city streets, and our neighborhoods.

I feel deeply moved and impelled to apologize to the African American people of this country.

I realize in the big picture, my apology won’t really matter and it won’t heal the many emotional wounds, but I am so sorry for the hater’s, and the ignorant, and the arrogant individuals of my race. Like the shooter, I am white. And because I’m white I feel disgraced today, and a sense of responsibility to speak up about the hate in our country.

Prejudice and hate are taught. No child is born with prejudice. It starts in the home. Kids, little kids, are learning that people are bad who don’t look like them. They hear adults make spiteful remarks. Kids listening and watching and mimicking. Shame on you parents who raise your children to hate other people of the HUMAN race. Shame on you! There is no superior race. There is only a human race.

How can the American people not realize this pattern of shootings and murders and terrorism must stop, NOW. Or I fear for all of us living in America.

It’s WE THE PEOPLE. I am THE PEOPLE. You are THE PEOPLE. WE THE PEOPLE decide who to place in Washington. WE, as a country, need to face the stark reality that these shootings will not end unless we end the hate. Why hate? What’s the purpose, the goal? I already know what the outcome will be–more dying sons and daughters, fathers and mothers, wives and husbands.

Death. That’s the outcome. That’s the stark reality. Needless death.

My heart is grieving for the community and church members of the African-American Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina.

God help us all.

Think about it.

drsandy@e-couch.net  ♦  ©All rights reserved 2014, Dr. Sandy Nelson, E-Couch.net

 

Constructive Criticism, My Ass

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Constructive Criticism, My Ass

I have a thing about the phrase “constructive criticism.” First of all, isn’t it an oxymoron? It seems like a complete contradiction. Plus, there’s no such thing as constructive criticism, is there? It’s not positive criticism. It’s criticism. Plain and simple. There’s no constructive part about it.

There are many people who use this catchphrase. Usually, it’s with a life is hardcondescending voice. It’s typically someone who is cranky, even resentful, and someone who hasn’t had a good laugh is years. “Can I give you some constructive criticism?” It’s a question that puts me on the defensive. If I’m already objecting to the tone of the question, does it matter if the advice or suggestion that follows is good or bad, or whether I follow it?

There are a million and one ways to make a suggestion, or even scold someone, without actually saying “you suck.”

We can be less sarcastic, less disrespectful when pointing out mistakes or blunders to someone under our watch. We can make suggestions more humorous such as, “You’ll pull less hair out if you try it this way.” Or more helpful with “Hey, let me show you what works for me.”

At one time, we all were doing something for the first time.

Why do we criticize other people at all? Is there a living single person knighted with the sole knowledge of all things deemed critical? If it’s not illegal, why do we have an issue with someone who does something different than we would? Does it matter?

daisy2It doesn’t matter. What matters is our kindness. Yeah, I know it’s like a sappy love song, but it’s true. Because it’s grown in the daisy field hills of love, kindness is a power that can drive out a lot of demons in people. I’ve seen it happen many times. People need kindness. Soon, they may pay it forward with some kindness.

Until somebody comes up with a better idea, spread some kindness everywhere you go.

I think the term “Constructive Criticism” can be tossed in the heap of outdated phrases like “Attaboy,” “Copacetic,” “Scram,” and “Cat Pajamas.” No, wait, not Cat Pajamas. I like the cat’s pajamas. 

FullSizeRender (5)Think about it.

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

 

When You’re Left Out

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WHEN YOU’RE LEFT OUT – Dr. Sandy Nelson

As adults when you’re left out and rejected by a friend, it triggers childhood memories most of us can recall. Those cliques in class that excluded others in the playground games, or the secret chats by the lockers, or the in-crowd table in the cafeteria. Cliques that seemed to have fun seeing others isolated and alone.

Judith Sills, PhD, says in Oprah.com …being left out is not an inherently grown-up phenomenon. It is 1000213_10151708767561439_258385478_na grade-school agony that recurs throughout life. Being left out is an emotional drama that unfolds in three acts: discovery, distress, and, if you can get there, detachment. These psychological rhythms prevail whether you are reeling from the whispers of a group of girls at recess or excluded from a bridge game in your assisted-living home. Being left out is the dark side of friendship…

Female cliques—and the power they wield to trample feelings—are not just an unpleasant memory from junior high and high school. These groups that are aloof to outsiders thrive in the grown-up world too. It makes feeling welcomed as a newcomer difficult. When you’re left out, you know it. You feel it. It’s perplexing to be ignored or dismissed after a group has invited newcomers.

11046458_999199456780643_2534625398824416841_nDebbie Mandel, author of Turn On Your Inner Light: Fitness for Body, Mind and Soul writes: Cliques tend to be more about power and control and less about the open door of friendship.

Clearly, there are good reasons to better understand the effects of being excluded when you’re left out. Humans have a fundamental need to belong. Just as we have needs for food and water, we also have needs for positive and lasting relationships, says C. Nathan DeWall, PhD, a psychologist at the University of Kentucky. This need is deeply rooted in our evolutionary history and has all sorts of consequences for modern psychological processes.

Being on the receiving end of a social snub causes a cascade of emotional and cognitive consequences, researchers have found. The social rejection of when you’re left out increases anger, anxiety, depression, jealousy and sadness. It reduces performance on difficult intellectual tasks, and can also contribute to aggression and poor impulse control, as DeWall explains in a recent review (Current Directions in Psychological Science, 2011). Physically, too, rejection takes a toll. People who routinely feel excluded have poorer sleep quality, and their immune systems don’t function as well as those of people with strong social connections, he says.

As mature adults, shouldn’t we be more embracing of people who have initiated their interest in our clubs, groups, or even our coffee house gatherings? Isn’t this the gift of affirmation and inclusion we all seek?

FullSizeRender (5)Think about it.

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

My Fall From Grace: A Loss of Balance

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MY FALL FROM GRACE: A Loss Of Balance – Dr. Sandy Nelson

 

Is there any way for a woman to take a nose dive gracefully?

As if that was the plan all along? Like you meant to do it?

If it were into a swimming pool, maybe. But skimming a rock border on your way down into a bed of hostasIMG_3012

In the front yard?

Mortifying.

If only I was a few decades younger, I could have pulled something out of my hat and made the tumble look like this cartwheel. Ta-Da! But I’m at the age where I’m all cart and no wheel. If only I had taken yoga more seriously, it could have looked like I was in the flying pigeon pose.

Nope. I went down head first, slid like a seal trying to steal third base. It was ugly, not graceful.

 

images (73)Walking to my front porch, I tripped on nothing but the sidewalk (this is a talent of mine), veered right at what felt like 30 mph, and my legs landed on the rock edging of my bed of hostas where the rest of me ended up, eventually. Like I need another reason to hate gravity.

 

Brain to body: “Damage control, come in, report!”

Body to brain: “Whaaaa? Wait, what? What happened? Hey, we’re stuck.”

I could not get up. Thank goodness I wasn’t home alone. I called out for my husband who was grilling our dinner in the backyard.

Nothing.

I yelled for my husband with a little more intensity.

Nothing.

I screamed for my husband.

No f-ing response.

Seriously?

I wondered how long it would take him to realize I wouldn’t be at the dinner table. Ten minutes? A day?

But the god of Weebles Turn And Tumble took pity on me, and two young, good-looking men from across the street heard my cries. Yep. Two young, good-looking men…wait…do I have makeup on?

FullSizeRender (2)One of the kind rescuer’s retrieved my husband from his Weber Grill, and he tried to pull me up by my one free arm with the same determination he uses to yank a weed. No, no, no, that’s not going to work. So the new hero’s, one on each side of my body, lifted me up to my feet–like that slow motion sequence in The Horse Whisperer where the horse Pilgrim rises from the ground with Grace on his back. Yes, Grace!

I glided to my feet and felt I was okay. Sore, but okay. Embarrassed, but okay. Nothing felt broken (thank you calcium supplements).

The hostas, however, are flatten to the ground. But they should bounce back. I’ll be busy practicing a Weeble posture.FullSizeRender (1)

Think about it.

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

People Have A Right To Be Wrong

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PEOPLE HAVE A RIGHT TO BE WRONG – Dr. Sandy Nelson

We are not satisfied to be right, unless we can prove others to be quite wrong. —William Hazlitt

Some years ago I discovered an important and liberating truth: people have the belief15right to be wrong. Including me. People didn’t need me pointing out where I thought they were misinformed or misguided about global warming or why their opinion about renaissance art was misconstrued or why GMO‘s should be banned from the planet or why Jon Snow should never be killed off.

Instead of trying to force unto others the beliefs I was passionate about, I found it incredibly freeing to grant others the right to their opinion! Imagine that! I no longer became frustrated with people who held views that opposed mine. The urge weakened to butt in and debate their opinion.

niceJudging the choices of others is not the best use of our time. Judging other people isn’t the best use of our character either. When we look down on people who have different opinions and beliefs, it appears we’re superior and we can get snotty and snobbish. UGH!

We all have preferences and opinions that we want respected and accepted but we can be brutal towards others whose preferences and opinions differ from ours. Acceptance of someone’s differing opinion doesn’t mean submission. It means you accept and respect the right of the person to hold his or her own views.

Today, join me in respecting the choices of other people—even if you think their preferences and views are inaccurate. And, better yet, ask why they hold the opinion they do and listen, not debate, listen. You might learn something unexpected.

FullSizeRender (8)Think about it.

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