Tag Archives: Self-Responsibility

You Will Make A Difference by Dr. Sandy Nelson

Share

Someone once said:
The highest reward in life is not what you get from it, but what you become by it.

You are capable of doing something that makes a huge difference in this worldf5813ce0-8791-4e6f-a526-32c953e7bba1-medium (1) every day, HUGE! Do you believe it? Your caring attitude, your kindness, your respect for yourself and life makes a difference not only in the lives of those who cross your path, but also makes a difference within you. No one can be exactly like you. No one will make a difference exactly like you will.

We have great challenges as adults in this world. Many people believe themselves too inadequate to make a difference; too flawed to contribute. Great things are rarely done by great intelligence or great ability, but by average folks with great hearts who care. I promise, you will make a difference in the lives of everyone you come into contact with every single day. It will be either a positive difference or a negative one. It will be one of encouragement or of dismissal; kindness or cruelty; respect or rejection. Which difference will you make?

American social critic and scholar of education, Edgar Z. Friedenberg, said:
What we must decide is how we are valuable, rather than how valuable we are.

When we explore our personality and characteristics for positive features and urban-438393_640skills, it can be a bit awkward. We do the world a service; however, when we recognize how we are valuable in any scenario of need. What we can give is more important than why we can provide it.

Sharing specific talents with a community or volunteer organization goes a long way to better the world. Even if that’s not what you can commit to, it will make a difference and it’s takes no time from your schedule to smile and be pleasant to people you see each day.

Author of Think Great, Lailah Gifty Akita, wrote:
Encouragement is life. Many people would have given up in life without encouragement. May your words be gracious to those who hear it.

Words have no price tag. It doesn’t cost a penny to speak. But the impact of what you say holds life-altering power.

Think about it.

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

Dealing With Change

Share

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

 

Is rudeness a profession?

Share

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

Share

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

Share

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

Do Men Owe Women? Part 2

Share

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

Dealing With Disappointment

Share

There’s no doubt that today we live in a spoiled society. There’s little delayed gratification and a lot of stuff we feel entitled to have, or to experience—now. The more things we think are deserved or that we should possess, the more disappointed we are when it doesn’t occur.

IMG_0866 - CopyDr. David Brandt, author of Is That All There Is? wrote: Not all disappointments are equal. Some are devastating. Others scarcely seem to matter. It all depends upon the degree of emotional involvement in the expectation. The greater the investment, the more severe the disappointment. The greater the underlying wish for an event to occur, the stronger the pain when it doesn’t. 

French author and Nobel Prize winner, Andre Gide, was right when he said: Long only for what you have. However, no one really wants to hear that. Instead of recognizing on a daily basis what we already possess and then work towards what we want, we may recognize on a daily basis what we don’t have and ignore what we do. We may dwell on what’s lacking in our life, and harp on all the instances we failed to acquire what we wanted. This type of attitude towards disappointment can destroy self-esteem, gratitude, and motivation.

Individuals who often experience disappointments may not be able to identifyfailure1 what disappointments are intended to teach. There could be a pattern of expectations that are not rooted in reality. Dr. David Brandt puts it this way: Whether out of fear, disapproval, or anxiety, those who repeatedly experience disappointment have a psychological history that has produced expectations that are unrealistic, too absolute, too high or low. They need to readjust those expectations, but forces in their personality prevent them from doing so. 

If we don’t process disappointment, accept the outcome and adjust to the reality that is presented, we’ll continue to want what we can’t have while taking for granted the many blessings inside our front door. We may think that having something or someone is necessary in order to feel happy and okay. Thinking that we “have to have” anything places the source of our well being and happiness dependent on something outside ourselves.

Acceptance of “what is,” is a struggle only when we can’t let go of the attachment to what we wanted. This doesn’t mean that we don’t try again or plan something different in order to get what we want, it means that we accept that it wasn’t acquired this time. It’s important to accept and appreciate what we have, and to keep thinking of what we want and plan the next effort to get it.

Think about it.

 

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

Ways to Handle Problem Relationships

Share

IMG_2070What do you believe is the purpose of a love relationship? To complete you? To make you whole and happy? Hollywood movies and romantic novels often portray the unrealistic idea of romantic love. A person can add to your happiness, but can never make you complete or happy—you’re the only one who can do that. Healthy, loving relationships result when you seek them to add to the happiness in life you’re already experiencing. The regard you receive from someone else can’t replace the regard you need to give yourself.

Commitment in love isn’t a feeling or a grin-and-bear-it obligation. It’s an act of IMG_1996your will. Commitment means riding out tough times of disagreement and struggle and discussing the middle ground of compromise. The success of any relationship depends on the ability to focus on the strengths of the other person—his or her positive traits, not on the flaws. Reflect on the reasons you like and respect the person. Dwell on his or her positive qualities and assets; and in grace tolerate those quirks that get you batty. After all, your own quirks need to be tolerated by others, too.

IMG_0363When a relationship is in trouble, it’s usually because there’s a tendency to blame the other person and to focus on his or her faults and wrong-doings. This not only doesn’t work—it makes things worse. The more effective choice is to focus on yourself—your own thoughts, feelings, attitudes, and actions in the relationship. Today, focus on what you need to be giving to the other person and what needs correcting in yourself; not on what you’re not getting from the other person and what he or she needs to correct. Take responsibility for your part in the relationship. Focus on self-responsibility and solutions, not blame and resentment.

Think about it.

 

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

Has your inner voice become a nagging critical bullhorn?

Share

Long time writer for The New Yorker, S. N. Behrman¹ said on reaching the age of 75, I have had just about all I can take of myself. 

Has your inner voice become a nagging critical bullhorn? If your inner monitor has you feeling like a louse because of some wrong doing, then it’s time to investigate if those feelings of guilt are true or false.

IMG_2286True guilt is that icky gnawing feeling of remorse and regret when you have failed your moral standard. But after amends are made and you forgive yourself, you’re free to do better next time; and those icky internal feelings dissipate. False guilt is that same icky gnawing feeling that flogs you day after day when you decline to make amends and refuse to forgive yourself. Instead, you feel compelled to punish yourself and rolling in guilt is the most popular choice.

Believing the truth about who you are is necessary for a happy and successfulIMG_1720 life. If you’re dragging around the weight of guilt, regrets, and self-condemnation, it’s impossible to be happy and successful. Guilt won’t allow the belief that you deserve happiness and financial gain. Regrets won’t allow self-confidence and self-esteem. Your opinion of yourself is powerful fuel for life. The words you say to yourself, about yourself, have an enormous impact in the body, and in your mind.

As long as you hold yourself hostage for past mistakes, you’re chained to the pain of yesterday. You hold the key to those chains today, right now. Pardon yourself. Make amends if you’re able. Realize that staying in bondage to the past won’t allow you to make a difference in your life today, and that’s just another mistake.

Think about it. In caring, Sandy

¹http://snbehrman.com/biography.htm
©All rights reserved, 2014, Dr. Sandy Nelson, E-Couch.net
Photos courtesy of Pixabay.com

Aren’t we worried about what might happen tomorrow, and aren’t we occupied with what happened yesterday?

Share

Margaret Bonnano¹, famous author of seven Star Trek novels, wrote: It is only possible to live happily ever after on a day-to-day basis.

Do you live day-to-day? There’s much attention placed on the catch phrase “One day at a time,” but do we really live that way? Aren’t we worried about what might happen tomorrow, and aren’t we occupied with what happened yesterday? Our brains feel like a swarm of bees bringing back and forth to the hive worries about yesterday’s fiasco, and tomorrow’s anxiety about money. All this buzzing going on while we try to face today’s demands while sustaining sanity.

IMG_0702Most of our blunders from yesterday, last month, or last year are rubbish–we forget them. We make mistakes, we learn, we grow. The End. But sometimes, the memory of a past fault creeps into our minds and tortures again with its pain and regret. It makes us feel shame, depressed and unworthy. Don’t let that memory of the past have its reign over you again. It’s true that we face the future with our past. But a huge part of who we are today, what we stand for, and what we believe about ourselves and life comes from the lessons we acquired from screwing-up, yes, even those major debacles. Those of us who show up everyday in life expecting the best, doing our best, and giving our best have not been discouraged by yesterday’s failure, or reduced in value by its hurt.

IMG_1614Former New York Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan² once said: Life is one day at a time. And thank God! I couldn’t take much more. Doesn’t that describe most of us? There’s enough to sort through, solve, organize and work-out in one day, imagine if we were expected to handle the toil of two days in 24 hours? There’s enough to be concerned about today so adding worry about tomorrow and regret from yesterday isn’t a good use of time and energy.

Monitor your thoughts and notice how much time you’re spending dwelling on yesterday and how much you’re thinking about tomorrow. Deal with what’s happening now and what needs attention now so that when you awake tomorrow morning you’ll have energy to do it again.

Think about it. In caring, Sandy

 

¹http://www.margaretwanderbonanno.com/
²http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniel_Patrick_Moynihan
©All rights reserved, 2014, Dr. Sandy Nelson, E-Couch.net
Photos courtesy of Pixabay.com