Category Archives: Acceptance

A Life Altering Experience – Part 2

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A Life Altering Experience – Part 2

So many losses. Mercy. Words painted gray with disappointment in my head. What was wanted didn’t come. What came wasn’t wanted. We’re left with shattered lives. In the dark, there resides a pounding and persistent uncertainty between us. Ron isn’t who he was. I’m not who I was. The lost parts of ourselves are vast. How do we proceed with a life altering experience? Good Lord, what’s next?

With a blood clot still in his brain two years after his stroke, Ron, tried to settle 10888736_945259278841328_7498673198762713532_ninto the reality of a different life, and so did I. Physicians had decided that the episode of dizziness that Ron had at work was actually his first stroke, not a pinched nerve. Well, that pissed us off. You mean he was misdiagnosed? How do you miss a stroke? A little more than a week later after his “pinched nerve” on that September day, a major stroke turned his life upside down.

There were many activities he could not do. I was sad for him. He hated taking blood thinners to prevent additional clots. He hated the caution he needed to take so he wouldn’t bleed out from unintentional cuts or injuries. He hated me pushing him to do more than retreat to the sofa. He was quiet, withdrawn. Depression was a companion. He battled to accept the many losses of things that were once routine: his job, playing sports, being able. Now he was disabled with no job, and could only watch sports.

It was about this time that I noticed a tremor in my hands. Like that jitter when you’ve had too much coffee. Except I didn’t drink coffee. Maybe it was a fluke. When I saw my PCP, she thought it was anxiety–stress from Ron’s condition and the stress of my job, and stress of medical bills, yeah, stress. No doubt. I had that!

Anxiety medication did nothing, the tremor remained. Then one day at work when providing an oral report in the daily meeting that takes place, the paper I was reading from was quivering. It was quivering because it was in my hands.

IMG_1027Now I was having anxiety over this alleged anxiety!! Then, while in treatment to determine the cause of my hand tremor, on January 18, 2012, my employer of ten years, suddenly and without warning, “eliminated my position.” What? I was devastated. Wait, what? Crushed. Hurt to the core. I laid in a fetal position betrayed. No one could console me. I didn’t understand. I did nothing wrong. Why did they do this? Was it my hand tremor? Because I was unable to hold paper still?

Ron was on disability and I had no job. Fear pooled in all the spaces left in me.

There were many tests of my nerves, muscles, brain, and blood. There were second and third opinions from the best movement disorder clinics. In April 2012, a month before Ron’s third stroke, at the leading Movement Disorder Clinic in the country, I was diagnosed with Parkinsonism at Rush Memorial Hospital in Chicago. I have the symptoms of PD, but it has not progressed into the full-fledged disorder.

I must seek a way to put myself back together because I feel like someone dropped me on the floor. I’ve broken into pieces. What was God doing? God broke me. He dropped me and I broke. What was I going to do?

I didn’t have much time to reflect on that question. Ron came to me saying he had a headache–that’s kinda a big deal when there’s a blood clot lodged in the brain. He also had sudden vision problems.

Back to the hospital where they again tried to remove the blood clot stuck in his brain. No go. It’s still in a location that they didn’t want to mess with. The physicians agreed he should be transferred to Northwestern Memorial in Chicago where leading neurosurgeons were having some success with cases like Ron’s. Well, that could be a life altering experience.

Nope. After a gazillion tests at Northwestern, they weren’t going to touch it either. But they did discover that Ron’s left carotid artery in the neck is 50 percent blocked. Wonderful. Ron’s lodged blood clot is on the left side of his brain. Oh, AND, he’s diabetic. He’ll need insulin injections, twice a day. Okay, so now I know this was some kind of joke, right?

No.

So that’s the story of the past six years. This is how I became a Life Coach and IMG_1267blogger. Ron does a lot of volunteer work at church and it’s given him a purpose in life and it makes him happy. He gets tired quickly, his speech is off, his attention span is non-existent, and he forgets things most of the time. But he’s stable.

We’re both on disability. Oh, and, we’ve lost everything.

I know there are many people with disabilities that are in even worse situations, I empathize. Tell me how you make it through the day. I want what I don’t have. I wish things were different–the way they were before. I play moments the way I want them to be, not as they are. Damn Reality! A life altering experience.

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

 

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

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

Letting Go, Holding On – Dr. Sandy Nelson

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Letting Go, Holding On

We’ve heard the phrase many times: The past is the past for a reason.

Did we not know that? What does it even mean?

It’s a nagging whisper to remind us that whatever or whoever we’re clinging to from the past should be let go. We need to set it down. It’s a jarring reminder IMG_2250that we can’t go back. The past is the past for a reason. It’s a sounding alarm.

How do we set down a past that occupies a great deal of our present thoughts? How do we let go of prior regrets, lost love, anger, and betrayals? These experiences may be dead in the past, but jeopardize our life, happiness and success today, right now.

When we can’t let go, we drag along with us a sack filled with yesterday’s aftermath that we refuse to leave behind. The sack is heavy so it holds us back, weighs us down, and handicaps our current efforts. We’re not able to keep up with the opportunities that are offered today. We may struggle to get ahead because we’re dragging around this sack of the past, we’re stuck in yesterday.

Dragging our pasts through life everyday will never allow us to change any bygone circumstances. Holding on to yesterday will not provide control over IMG_2321what has occurred. But we can be invested in our future and have 100 percent control over our thoughts and actions today.

The past is your history. It’s a history that may have been painful at times, but also made you more wise, more cautious, more kind, and more confident. You can honor who you were by becoming who you are meant to be. I love this quote by Jeffrey McDanielI realize there’s something incredibly honest about trees in winter, how they’re experts at letting things go. How fitting after letting go is their return to the living in spring, more ample.

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

 

 

 

 

Stand-In’s For Self-Acceptance – Dr. Sandy Nelson

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Are you using stand-in’s for self-acceptance? It’s not uncommon.

Many people use possessions as a stand-in for self-acceptance. They acquire stuff to show the world they have value and measure up.

It’s tragic to realize these individuals are merely adding more baggage to a self-confidence2muddled frame of mind. Self-acceptance doesn’t require icons to represent significance or success. There’s no need to prove that we’re significant when we’re thinking correctly about our self-worth. The more uncertainty we have about our worth, the more we need objects around us to represent what’s missing in ourselves.

When we lack self-acceptance, we’re unhappy campers. We’re unhappy because we believe, incorrectly, that we need something to hide behind. We believe we 10433864_10153254889623908_6471637140694356733_nmust have something to simulate the outward appearance of self-confidence and success. There’s a belief that we’re not acceptable the way we are. We may have the tendency to criticize and condemn ourselves. This negative self-talk has been in our minds so long that we never questioned where it came from or why it started.

Come out from hiding. correct your negative self-talk. Correct those lies. There’s nothing amiss about you! Focus on your talents and skills. Use them to better yourself and the world. There will be no stand-in necessary for your self-confidence.

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

Ditch That Godawful Attitude Here – Dr. Sandy Nelson

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Beyond your heart beat, and everything, how do you know if you’re alive? Is there any excitement or interests in your life? Any passion?

Vernon Howard was a man on a mission. In his books and lectures, it was clear that each day he aspired everyone to experience an emotional awareness of being alive. He was probably one of the first trailblazers for mindfulness in the 1950’s with this statement Try to see what attitudes rule your day, then ask yourself what kind of a day you usually have.IMG_2308

What kind of days have you been having lately? Are you sick of the same crap? If the past week has been bleak and negative, or filled with resentment and criticism, chances are high that your attitude on those days has not been working well for you. The bold truth is that if you latch on to a negative outlook you’re experiences in life are going to be negative which then prompts a negative outlook, and so on.

Instead of waiting for life to treat you better before changing a negative attitude, change your attitude first. Focus on the good in your life, find it, accept “what is” in everyday situations, be thankful for what hasn’t gone wrong, and then expect the positive. With that outlook, you’re bound for a good day which then prompts a good attitude!

IMG_2327Joan Baez reminds all of us that: You don’t get to choose how you’re going to die. Or when. You can only decide how you’re going to live.

Most of us are guilty at some time or another of taking life for granted. We’re blinded with the eluding belief that there’s always tomorrow, and next week. In taking life for granted we become immune to the treasures found in each day and instead complain about this or that unfairness. We’re indifferent with other people. Instead of filled with kindness and gratitude, we’re filled with indifference and resentment.

Each dawn is to be a celebration because it’s a gift.  If tomorrow’s arrival was up in the air, how would you live today?

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Dr. Sandy Nelson

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

Got complaints? – Dr. Sandy Nelson

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Malcolm S. Forbes says: The best vision is insight. However, a lot of people have placed their vision on sights outside of themselves—on other people and mostly on what other people are doing wrong.IMG_3247

We will not improve the world by lecturing other people how they should be better while ignoring the responsibility to better ourselves. Obtaining insight requires us to look within ourselves for those traits that hamper relationships, fuel resentments, and assist in our misery.

We will have better self-respect when we have a better self to respect. We will have better relationships when we have altered the parts of ourselves that pump doom into them. We will have a better planet when we take responsibility to correct the mind-set in our private world.

IMG_3277The transformation of your life begins with an examination of your thoughts. In Everyday Grace, Marianne Williamson writes: Our thoughts, not just our actions, create our experience. If you’re not happy and successful, investigate your thought content. Look for hidden complaints, resentments and grudges. When you stop railing against other people and stop blaming other people for your lack of prosperity, your mind and heart are then in a position to receive the happiness and success you desire. Instead of asking what’s in your wallet today, ask yourself what’s in your head.

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

The Painful Paradox of Parenthood – Dr. Sandy Nelson

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Life affords no greater responsibility, no greater privilege, than the raising of the next generation. –Unknown

It’s not natural to guide, protect, teach, and give to children for eighteen years IMG_2109and then sit back and let them go out into the world on their own. It’s unnatural. Letting go of a kid is so adverse to being a parent. It’s like attaching your child to a helium balloon that holds the parenting of 18 plus years–love, academics, guidance, morality lessons, wisdom, and values. You stand back with awe and apprehension, wondering if the balloon will ascend. Does it have enough of everything it needs inside to take flight? And then suddenly, your child rises up and floats away to his or her own future and life, on hope and a prayer.

And you’re never the same parent again. 

IMG_1714The task of every mom and dad is to raise a child to be an independent, moral, and responsible addition to the world by the age of eighteen. Blah, Blah, Blah. Of course, that makes sense. But it’s not biologically innate for a mother or a father. Even though the parent’s are proud, it’s painful to experience the changes that come with an empty nest. The dark bedroom that had once seen many transitions of paint and many different styles of wallpaper from zoo animals to concert posters and blaring music, is now vacant. The chair at the dinner table is empty. The everyday banter about everything and nothing is absent.

But, this is the child’s milestone, not the parent’s.

When a child grows up, a child is no longer a child. He or she is someone who can contribute to mankind and knows how to lift the spirits of other people. Someone who is a good person and a good friend to those pals along that path. Someone who is caring, responsible, and genuine with the world in the horizon. Someone with a separate life to live.

And, just like most other important experiences in life, it’s a paradox.

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

5 Ways To Be Rejected – Dr. Sandy Nelson

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5 Ways To Be Rejected – Dr. Sandy Nelson

1. Think only of yourself

If you’re looking to be rejected among pals, co-workers, and even as a romanticme1 partner, make everything all about you. Be sure to make it obvious you have no interest in conversating about stuff that doesn’t involve yourself. Do that, and the goal to be excluded will be only moments away.

Healthy relationships require a mutual genuine caring for and interest in another person. As the saying goes There’s no “I” in Team.

 

2. Don’t compromise

Compromise? Don’t be silly. You want things your way. There’s no meeting half-way for you. All plans voiced by others are iffy until approved by what works best for you. Refuse to have any consideration for the needs or preferences of those around you and soon enough you’ll be left in the cold.

Making concessions with others is only necessary when you value a relationship and want to be a decent human being.

 

3. Act like a Know-It-All

You think you know everything. In fact, it’s a dumb idea for others to question knowyour authority on everything. The words: I don’t know never come out of your mouth. You’re a chatter box on thee way to do all things on earth and you’re happy to be the interrupty of conversations to point that out. So it should come as a no-brainer when you’re kicked to the curb because no one likes a Know-It-All.

I repeat, no one likes a Know-It-All.

 

4. Be dishonest

Here’s a good idea: make yourself look good using lies. Tell tall stories that inflate who you are, what you do, and who you know. In conversations expand on your fake talents and gifts to the world. Makes promises you have no intention of keeping. Forget having any relationships because that would require the real you, who even you don’t know anymore. When you dodge the truth, c’mon people know you’re lying, and those people will dodge you.

Real relationships require real people.

 

5. Practice prejudice

Acceptance is a word thrown around, but rarely considered by you in chats prejudice1about other people. No way. Suspicion is what you preach when talking about cultures and races different than your own. You denounce any way of living that doesn’t meet your authoritative standards. Judging and condemning people by the color of their skin is the least you can do. Your ignorance leads you to perceive that you possess supreme superiority. Rejection will be a cakewalk.

Here are two human enlightenment’s: 1. There is a God.  2. We are not him.

 

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