When Your Adult Child Becomes Abusive

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If your adult child or children were anyone else on this planet, would you allow them the leeway that you are giving to your abusive child or children?

Tough question to answer, isn’t it?  Part of that is because we have that “bond” with our child or children as a parent that supersedes any other relationship that we can have or have had in our lives.  Love is blind as they say so, we often blindfold ourselves to the three dimensional view of our child or children.  We can see glimpses of their flaws and faults but, that’s as much as our guilt will allow us to see.  It’s nearly impossible for us to be as fully objective about our own child or children as we may be able to be with other people.

The word “guilt” was used for good reason. As parents, not only does the love we have for them become overwhelming and blinding but, we tend to tie our own self-worth into our child or children.  The moment we dive deeply into being critical of our own flesh and blood that we brought into this world or even adopted from someone else’s womb, we tie ourselves to that child or children in a way that we cannot tie ourselves to anyone else on this planet.  A put-down of our child even from our own minds and whether we gave birth to them or not, is oftentimes, felt as a put-down upon ourselves as both parents as well as who we are in general as people.  If our child or children are not doing well in life or is somehow “flawed”, we can unconsciously or even consciously, figure that it’s our faults.  We can leap to the conclusion that somehow, we have failed as parents and therefore we are also flawed as people in one way or another.

Not everyone will completely blame themselves for their child’s failures in Life.  Some parents will be able to see that our children have made choices in friends or groups that they’ve chosen to hang around and blame them instead of ourselves.  However, somewhere, deep down inside of us, there’s still a feeling of somehow being imperfect as a parent because our child or children have made those choices whether we’ve discouraged it or outright forbidden it or not. On some level or another, we feel “guilt” in one capacity or another and can tear ourselves to shreds as both parents as well as people.

This then leads us back to the question of whether or not we would allow any other human being to treat us the way that we allow our adult children to treat us.

First of all, were someone else to be treating us with any level ranging from disrespect to outright abuse, we’d likely toss those people from our lives to some extent or another, for some time frame or another or, more likely, until there was at least a sincere apology from that person.  If it was a long-termed thing, we’d likely walk away and not look back.   With family, it’s not quite that easy.  We can even find ourselves being victims as adults to poor treatment from our own parents and siblings out of a feeling of obligation and duty.  However, having said that, we can also come to a point where we begin to distance ourselves either somewhat or totally from them and their abusive or manipulative ways.  Friends or others in our lives are even more likely to be walked away from under these circumstances.  Our children are not quite as easy to distance ourselves from because of the above and for other reasons.

There is likely few people that we put more of ourselves into than we do with our child or children.  Even as adults, we are still invested in many ways in our children’s lives and well-being.  After all, isn’t that our job?  At least, that’s what we may reason with ourselves but, the answer to that is a resounding “no” once our children become adults and, we don’t need to continue to allow them to use, abuse or treat us poorly once they have become adults.  Our “jobs” are done.  We gave birth to them, loved them, raised them, gave them what we could reasonably give them and we supported them in more than a roof over their heads.  There are exceptions of course in the parenting world to this but, we’re talking about the average parent here, not those who were abusive to their own children or neglectful in any way.

There are a few things to take into consideration in how parents can deal with their adult-abusive or even estranged child (a topic that not many sites will deal with).

Your influence over your adult child was watered down many years ago.

We all like to think that we still have some sort of power or control over our children’s lives once they are adults.  For some, this is true but, for the most part, our influences over our child, all of our teachings, morals and values that we feel we’ve instilled into them, was long ago watered down by the influences of many other people in our children’s lives as they grow.  We are no longer their sole source of influence.  Peers, bosses, teachers and society in general, also including technology as well as entertainment venues, have taken over the largest portion of what affects them or doesn’t affect them once they are adults and have been doing so for many years before this point.  Oftentimes, those sources are the biggest reasons for their actions, decisions or choices at this stage of their lives versus us, as parents.  We therefore, cannot continue to place blame upon ourselves for everything that our children decide to do or not do.  Those choices were influenced by many other sources and we are the least likely sources at this point in our children’s choices or lack of them so, we can halt the self-deprecating right there for their poor choices or in taking the blame for the way they treat us now.

Having given your child too much attention or in short, spoiling them.

A lot of parents from the 1980’s onwards are likely guilty of having given their child everything they could possibly give them including monetary things as well as attention, devotion, praise and love.  Parents of children from the 80’s onwards were also victims to a new way of thinking about parenting. Society was at a point where the theory was to reward children for almost everything that they did, including potty training.  They got stars, praise and even rewards or trophies for simply participating no matter how well they did or whether they did anything or not.  They simply had to show up more than half of the time in order to get a reward of some type or another.  Even education was play based and grades were given out according to effort, not necessarily, achievement.

This was a time frame in which parents were also encouraged to praise our children to the hilt for even small endeavours in the home and, it was done by most.  Support, praise, rewards and more of the same.  No matter what children did or didn’t do in those times, they were rewarded for one thing or another.  Not only did that lead us to believe that our children could do no wrong but, it led them to feeling “entitled” to getting rewarded in one way or another no matter what they did or didn’t do.  It was that entitlement that turned a fairly good chunk of those children into little narcissists who believed that the sun rose and set on them no matter what they did or didn’t do.  That wasn’t just parental influence but, also that of society in general.  Even were children to be disciplined at home, they were rewarded for even poor attitudes and skills outside of the home. Parents couldn’t override an entire system and if they tried, the parents became “The Hated Ones” because the rest of society and its systems were telling these children that they were “entitled”.   We did them no favours as human beings because it made it tougher for these kids to grow up into a tough, dog-eat-dog world where they weren’t able to cope well because everything had been handed to them up until this point.  That wasn’t necessarily parent’s faults but rather societal experimentation that failed these children and turned them into narcissistic tending little monsters who eventually, would grow up into adults who felt entitled and angry when they didn’t get what they wanted anymore from Life or their parents.

The “experts” are still saying that parents should tell their children they are loved no matter how badly they’ve treated us or, even if they have walked away on us and are now estranged from us.

Not to put down the so-called “experts” but, how many parents have tried with their children, always telling them that they are loved, only to find themselves being either doormats or punching bags for their children?

Answer:  Lots!

Sadly, many parents of children from the ’80s onwards are now finding their either fully adult or nearly adult children, treating them like yesterday’s garbage and being tossed to the side while they’re still telling their child, “I love you” and continuing to do so no matter how badly they are treated by their children.

Far be it from me to tell parents to not tell their children that they are loved and wanted.  Every parent needs to let their children know that much but, when that child not only disrespects that parent but, treats them poorly, it’s time to give up on the loving words and time to get real with their adult children by letting them know that while they are still loved, their attitudes and abusive, using actions will not be tolerated.  Enough already with sending them messages of “I love you” and leaving it there while rolling with the punches.  These are no longer 10 year old children who can’t understand the meanings of their actions fully.  These are fully grown adults who must learn that for every action, there’s an equal or greater reaction.  That doesn’t mean withdrawing love for them however, it does mean that these adults don’t get to treat their parents poorly and still get the benefits that they would if they were treating their parents with respect and love too.  Poor actions get poor reactions.  Withdrawal of love for them is never a solution but, rewarding them by permitting poor treatment is not the answer.  They need a wake-up call for their sakes as well as the parent’s own well-being.

If you wouldn’t let others treat you this way and would walk away from them, why are you letting your child do this to you?  

As has been said throughout this piece in differing ways, rewarding poor behaviour is akin to a form of abuse from parents.  We are not doing them any good by rewarding our children for their poor treatment of us or by putting up with it and giving them more and more of ourselves.  Life doesn’t work that way so, why should we?

When a child is rewarded for poor behaviour, attitudes, actions, choices or decisions, it re-inforces that behaviour within them.  No, they won’t like being said “no” to nor, will they love the idea that they’re not getting their own way or what they want if we do start to stand up to them as adults and let them know that it’s not ok to treat us in a poor manner.  However, continuing to give them what they want, expect or feel entitled to getting, is only bolstering the idea that poor behaviour, temper tantrums, threats of withdrawal from our lives and whatever else they can throw at us to manipulate us into giving them what they want is simply training them to continue treating us as parents, wrongly, poorly and with disregard as well as disrespect.

Let me say something perfectly clear here.

Giving more of yourself and handing everything to someone who is treating us badly, let alone our children, is a recipe for becoming a “doormat” for others.  In short, we are laying ourselves down on the ground and letting people walk on and wipe their feet on us.  That’s not right.  We are people too and it doesn’t matter who they are to us.  

Sadly, sometimes, we have to let them go and hope that they will eventually come back otherwise, we risk our lives becoming infected with toxicity.  

There’s no bigger health threat than having someone we love, treat us like dirt beneath their feet and making us feel like we don’t matter in this life.  That goes for our adult children.  We all need to feel wanted, loved, respected and treated fairly and well.  We deserve that from others especially, the very children that we lovingly raised to the adult level and oftentimes, sacrificed more than a good night’s sleep for.  Many parents can tell stories of having given up great careers, being able to travel or do things that they, themselves wanted to do for themselves that would have made them happy, in order to give everything to their child or children, leaving themselves unhappy, unfulfilled and only to be treated in an abusive, uncaring manner or worse, have that child or children walk out of their lives, without contact, care or concern for their parent(s) and their well-being.

More to the point, those children have become what one can consider a “toxin” to the parent, making them feel as though they’ve wasted those years of their lives on someone who cannot or more to the point, return that love, care or respect to their parents.  Not only that but, it wears on the parent’s psychological well-being and soon after, their physical health.  It’s a vicious cycle especially, when the parent continues to feel as though they simply need to do more, try harder, give more or plead with that child to keep their love or the adult child in their lives.  It’s akin to a dog or cat, chasing their own tails.  It’s a fruitless exercise in not only futility but in a form of an illness of one sort or another.  It won’t change your child and sometimes, the only way to make one person’s lives healthier, is for the parent to either distance themselves, limit their time or exposure to that child’s ill behaviour and treatment or, to completely walk away if the child doesn’t do it for themselves.

Yes, that all sounds counter-intuitive to what we feel or have been taught to think of as “proper parenting” but, this all leads back to the original question….

If this were anyone else in your life, would you continue to let that person abuse or mistreat you?

If your answer is “yes” then you, yourself need to find some counselling because you’re not valuing yourself as a person and instead, are valuing others above yourself.

If you answered “no” to this question then, why are you allowing and encouraging your adult child to continue to do it to you?

From my little corner of life, while this is a longer piece than I usually write, it’s an under said topic that needs addressing more and more fully.  We’ve turned out a couple of generations of children now, both adult and children who need to learn that you aren’t rewarded for treating others poorly.  There are consequences to their behaviours and reactions to their actions of equal or greater proportion.

Be well and let me know what you are dealing with in the comments, please.

Best wishes from one parent to another or to adult children who might be reading this and recognizing what may be happening in their own relationships with their parents.

Comment!

 

 

 

Ralph Smart (Infinite Waters Diving Deep) Viewers Are Getting What I’ve Been Saying All Along

Nothing has brought in more readers to this site than Ralph Smart.  I have to thank him for that readership.

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At first, I had to endure many nasty, judgemental, accusatory and raunchy comments.  I had so many of them from Ralph Smart Lovers that I’ve stopped reading them or responding to them a few weeks ago now.  It wasn’t until more recently that I’ve seen the sheer numbers of comments on these pieces climbing that curiosity got the better of me and I started to read them before simply trashing them all.  Much to my surprise, many of the current commenters have made it clear that they have been doing their own research as well now because they had noticed something that just wasn’t sitting right with them about Smart and his many, many videos, the repetitious nature of them as well as what appears to them to be “hogwash”, “watered down”, “hocus-pocus” and so many more terms that I can’t even begin to list them.  Suffice it to say that a lot more people are finally becoming suspicious, thinking for themselves now and doing some research.  Many of them are now writing to thank me for doing the research into him, my viewpoint as well as the thought I’ve put into it all.  That’s gratifying especially, with all of the negative, raunchy and un-publishable comments that I’ve had to trash and endure.

For those who think that they know me or anything about me because they stumbled upon my blog through a Google or other search engine search, let me say one thing, “YOU DON’T”.  End of story.

Whether 19 or 95 years of age, people have been slowly figuring out what I had long ago figured out and are asking questions of both Smart and themselves.  Most of them are thanking me for “opening their eyes” or, “validating what they were already feeling” about him.

From my little corner of life, I’m finally finding that my time wasn’t wasted for many who are self-thinking and not following blindly or without questioning for themselves.

Please Note:  I no longer will be publishing or responding to comments regarding Ralph Smart.  Please feel free to read and comment on several hundred other pieces I’ve written and posted over the past 5 years that I’ve been writing on this blog.  Thank you and best wishes.   

 

Ralph Smart (Infinite Waters Diving Deep) Commenters Save Your Breath

Don’t make me do it.  Don’t make me delete my pieces on Ralph Smart (Infinite Waters Diving Deep from Youtube) or worse yet, write an even more blazing set of pieces than I already have written.  Oh GASP!  I can hear the shouts, cries, inflamed souls as well as the  trashy explicatives people would call me for having done it.  They are already echoing in my ears and brain.

I went to the lengths of putting a note on all of my blog pieces about Ralph Smart (Infinite Waters Diving Deep) that I would no longer be reading, publishing or responding to any further comments about those pieces while asking readers to read something else on my blog from the several hundred pieces that I’ve written on differing topics.  Yet, Ralph Smarters or “The Cultists” as I have come to call and know them can’t seem to help themselves.  They have some sort of nagging need to defend this man with oftentimes, vulgar or insulting messages that I wouldn’t lower myself to respond to, let alone, publish for the rest of my readers. That’s telling me that there’s desperation within a good majority of those commenters who are sadly, Ralph Smart followers, living, breathing and taking in his every word.

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I re-paid a visit to Ralph’s channel on Youtube (no links need to be given here as the chap does a good enough job of self-promotion already.)  What I found were his “worshippers”.  Nearly 100% of them who commented on his videos were young, inexperienced, gullible and seemingly, brainwashed by Smart’s constant barrage of videos that he puts out in a week.  It was then that I realized that those who were commenting on my pieces, are in fact, (in their minds) defending their idol.  Smart has turned himself into both an idol for these younger people as well as a cult-leader.

“Seven Day Vegan Challenge.  Can I get a HELLLO?  PEEEACE.  And we ain’t even had breakfast yet.  Slow motion to this side.”

People have accused me of being bitter, salty, hate-filled, jealous, in love with him and a plethora of other idiotic labels because my pieces were not glorifying Smart.  In spite of me having said in many of them that I had once been binge-watching Smart’s videos until I figured out what he was doing to everyone, people still kept pounding at me and continue to do so.  I have written many more pieces since then but, those coming in, do so because they’ve done a search for Smart or info on him and found my blog.  They only read what they see in those pieces that turn up in their search but, nothing else I’ve written in my several hundred pieces over the past 5 years and somehow, ignorantly assume that they know everything about me.  That’s where the nasty, raunchy comments come into play that I trash because they’re not fit for the human eye let alone my readers.

More than anything, I have to wonder what it is that they are really taking away from Smart’s messages.  It seems that their anger, bitterness, hatred and even self-esteem is still rock bottom to write comments as they do.  More to the point, they don’t seem to have gotten any of Smart’s messages.  If they did, they wouldn’t be writing the types of comments that they’ve written.  Then, it hit me squarely in the face.  The answer was right there all along.

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Ralph Smart (Infinite Waters Diving Deep) has given out few, if any, good, loving or helpful messages.

One need only to have seen the sheer numbers of people who have written to Smart and received no answer from him.  The begging, the pleading, the bargaining from these commenters both here and on his videos are pathetically showing the desperation that these followers have within themselves.  These are not necessarily whole, healthy, self-esteemed people.  These are broken or lost youngsters in search of either an idol, someone to tell them how to live their lives or even (in some cases) a parental figure.  However, Smart will charge you an arm and a leg for his time and the ability to talk to him.  Try to the tune of 350 British Pounds for an hour’s worth of time with him that is undefined as to what that session or time with him contains.

Laughable was the fact that the majority of Smart’s followers, are too young to have that kind of money.  He’s aimed his audience at a target group who will only ever follow his free Youtube videos and beg for him to contact them.  It’s sad to see people leaving their email addresses in public, pleading with him to write to them when he barely re-visits their comments.  He’s already moved onto his next video that he releases daily but, they don’t and won’t see that in him.  After all, he’s a role model, an idol, a “Guru” and akin to a cult leader to them.  He’s got the viewers alright but, he’s got the viewers who will likely never purchase a thing from him and that is what he wants…purchases.  He wants his bills paid by them because he doesn’t want to work a 9 to 5 job and has admitted that in many of his videos.  In effect, he wants troubled young people to pay his bills.

Good idea but, wrong crowd, Ralph.

More comical are the words that he utters in most of his videos.

“I’ve been helping millions of people for many, many years now,” he says, never wiping the smile from his face while I can’t stop the laughter coming from mine.

At this writing, Smart is still 30 years old.  He started Infinite Waters Diving Deep as a Youtube channel about 3 or 4 years ago.  So, how many years has he been “helping millions” as he phrases it as though delusional?  The math can speak for itself.

Still un-proven as no one who complains has yet to be able to give me a credible source that actually states that Smart is a real, certified psychologist as he claims.  While we know that he obtained a combined degree in Psychology and Criminology, that B.A. doesn’t make him either a Criminologist nor a Psychologist.  Being a psychologist requires either a PhD or a Master’s degree and at least 3 years doing clinical work as well as writing a board exam to get his license.  To the best of my research, Smart did none of this.

As a matter of fact, the closest that I’ve been able to find of Smart having done anything “clinical” comes in the form of him, having been placed in (yes, I am not joking or exaggerating this point as he admits it on a video of his during his early days linked HERE where he appears almost “manic”) a Psychiatric Ward, himself and given meds.  Don’t believe me?  Watch for yourself.  The link is there, above.  However, it did lead me to question whether above and beyond Smart’s split B.A. in psychology, if he had considered that hospital stay his accreditation in being a “psychologist”.  While I haven’t been in a psychiatric ward of any type even as a visitor for someone else, I have studied psychology myself and, as stated in another piece, I do not consider myself a psychologist because I have accreditation in some psychology education yet, apparently he does.  Again, if anyone has a credible source as to Smart’s accreditation as a psychologist, please let me know and I will reconsider at least that portion of his claims.

Several people have asked me what is wrong with him making money off of his time?  There’s nothing wrong with him doing that however, having said that, he charges an arm and a leg for it.  If you doubt me, as I’ve said in a previous piece, try this converter and see what 350 British Pounds amounts to in your part of the world with THIS CONVERTER.  In my part of the world, with today’s exchange rate, that’s over $576 for one hour.  Even a real psychologist doesn’t get paid that much and how he can expect younger people who make up the bulk of his viewers can afford that is beyond me.

Many have said, “I don’t buy anything off of him.  His Youtube videos are free.  I watch them and get so much out of them.  He makes no money off of them or me.”

I have news for those who think that Smart isn’t making money off of his videos.  Even if you aren’t buying his ridiculously priced, undefined sessions that are without description or merit, his books or his cd’s, Smart makes money off of every click that he gets onto one of his videos from Youtube.  Why do you think that he’d spend the time to put out so many of them?  Do you really believe that he’s doing it out of the goodness of his heart?  How does he pay his bills?  Have you asked yourself those questions?  I’ll bet not.  Yet, you’ll spend the time to write comments on both his videos, begging him to write to you, talk to you or praising him or, you’ll write to me to blast me for what I’ve written about him.  Are you thinking for yourself as you do that?  Can you not see what he’s doing to you and others?  Give him an “A” for marketing.

Finally, if you are reading this, please note that it’s a waste of your time to write to me with raunchy defensive or defending style comments as I will NOT be reading, publishing or responding to them as I’ve posted on the bottoms of the rest of my blog pieces.

From my little corner of life, I’m too busy writing other pieces about other topics and Ralph Smart is of little consequence to me.  What does become my business are the comments that I have to trash every day that a search engine sends to this blog by people who are searching for something on him.  Just what they are searching for is only a guess but, I’d hazard one to say that people are searching for further information on him because they either love him or they are skeptical as I was.  Either way, good luck.  He’s been careful to erase his steps so that you’ll have difficulty finding them on the net.  And, by the way, as far as I have been told by a source, he lives with his sister and mother still. There’s your idol.

And, by the way, I make NO money from this blog nor, do I want to.

I do not hate Ralph Smart nor, do I want to be like him.  I am not jealous nor, in love with him. (I’m old enough to be his mother.  My daughter is older than he is.)  Most of all, I am  far from stupid, a fool, un-enlightened or anything else you can throw in my direction so, hang onto those insults for your enemies in the play-grounds or troll some other place like Twitter.  Trump does it.

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Blessings, Love & Light.

 

 

Happiness Part V: We Know Too Much

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Day in and day out, we are being bombarded with information.  Some of it will be correct and some of it will prove to be incorrect yet, we will absorb it all as though through osmosis.  Whether we are truly paying attention or we’re subliminally and subconsciously picking it up, we have most of that info, rumbling around in our brains somewhere and it’s acting upon us like a slow release pill, coming out in dribs and drabs. It’s likely that we don’t even recognize that info is there or that we’re utilizing it in one way or another.  Our brains are wonderous machines with a filing system that makes computers look like toys.  Reality is, we know far more than we need to know and it’s causing us both stress and distress.  It’s a road block to being happy.

Remember back a few entries ago when the scenario of children being happy was the centre point of that piece?  If not, you can review it here.  Part of the reason that children are generally happy is that they don’t know enough to be un-happy.  Not only have the brains of children not developed enough but, they don’t know enough to be upset, stressed, worried or any of the adult things that we, as adults, have come to learn to do.  They live in moment because they can’t really foresee much trouble in the future.  Ignorance is sometimes, bliss.

Let me give a scenario here that may help demonstrate that point better.

Two men are in a car, stuck on railway tracks.  They cannot move back nor forward.  The elder gentleman in the car has a form of dementia and is busily reminiscing about days gone by that he remembers with fondness.  The younger gentleman, fully able to compute the dangers of what is happening, is trying not to frighten the older man while trying to start the car again with no success.  Off in the distance, he sees the faint lights of an oncoming train and keeps trying to start the car, filled with panic now.  The elder man is completely unaware of what is happening and continues on his trip down memory lane with pure joy and delight, laughter and a smile while beads of sweat drip down the younger man’s forehead.  Finally, in vain, as the train approaches rapidly, the younger man exits the car, opens the door of the passenger’s side and drags the old man out of the car to safety.  The train soon demolishes the car into a tangled heap of metal before coming to a stop.  The young man tries to catch his breath while the elder gentleman simply says, “why did you stop me?  I wasn’t finished my story.”  Both men experienced the same situation.  The difference in their reactions were simply that the younger man knew what was going to happen while the elder man was blissfully unaware of the danger lurking down the tracks.

None of this is to say that we shouldn’t be aware of dangers or ignorant of facts nor, uneducated.  What it is saying is that we are overloaded with information that oftentimes, is false, misleading and most importantly, un-needed.  We can’t be child-like because we now know too much.  As a matter of fact, we know more than we really need to know and that, in and of itself, causes stress, distress and un-happiness.  We are now incapable of simply living in the moment and being amused with simple things like the taste of our coffee, the smell of freshly cut grass, the clouds that are floating past us above, the purr of our cat, the sound of a stream, a song that we love or many other of the most soothing and amusing things in Life.  Instead, we are analyzing everything silly, thinking about what lays ahead, how much damage it’s doing to us and the world, some study that proves that the caffeine in our wonderful tasting coffee can kill us or how the water in our bottle of water might pollute the earth or be polluted by the chemicals in the plastic bottle or wax that lines the paper take-out cup is toxic.  We’re usually reading or listening to the news which is filled with doom and gloom as that is what sells air/paper time and we’re using technology devices such as our cell phones to look up more crazy-making information.  The list is endless as to how information is slowly not only taking away our happiness and ability to be happy but, is potentially causing us stress that will or could kill us sooner or later.

How many shootings do we need to hear about before we can say, “there’s a lot of kids, killing others with guns”?  How many studies have we all heard, read or talked about that eventually get reversed or at the least, changed because newer studies have proven differently and yet, we’ve given up that great tasting coffee or bread or eggs and, it’s now not only ok to have them but, we find out we should have been having them all along as they’re beneficial to us?  How many car accidents do we need to see on the news at night with people we never met, don’t know and never will know before we get the idea that driving a car in today’s world and in traffic or driving distracted or impaired, can kill us? Do we really need 24/7 news stations that cover a story live and have “experts” on panel to discuss every nuance of the situation?

The bottom line is that we have far too much information floating around in our heads that not only don’t serve us beyond simply having a fact/knowledge but, are harming us in one way or another.  It’s all certainly a stumbling block towards being happy.

If you want to feel a bit happier,

  • Turn off the news or put down that newspaper
  • Quit Googling or Binging or whatever search engine you use for a bit
  • Turn off your cell phone or use it to actually CALL a friend or relative and enjoy talking to them instead of texting or ignoring them.
  • Stop taking every study too seriously because it will eventually turn out to be changed or reversed by another that will follow.
  • Either turn up your favourite music and sing or dance with it or, listen to the birds chirping, the stream sounds or your cat purring for a change
  • Watch a comedy or inspirational movie instead of a horror, police or crime show
  • Read a book or story with an inspirational message behind it
  • Buy yourself an adult colouring book and colour for a change.  Heck, get out the crayons and colour a child’s colouring book.
  • Ditch the “Know-It-Alls” who are walking encyclopedias but, are as negative as hell
  • Limit time with or eliminate those people who are bringing you nothing but headaches or demands for you doing something for them
  • Spend more time with people who make you feel good and most of all, make you laugh
  • Get silly. Roll down a hill, play with toys, splash around in a local pool just for the fun of being in water and weightless or buy yourself a teddy bear.  Seriously.
  • Stay out of your head and thinking for even an hour a day.  Just pay attention to things around you that are soothing and relaxing.  If you can’t find that, find them in your memory bank.  They’re there, believe it or not.
  • Be thankful for what you have right now even if it’s not your dream situation
  • Set aside a worry time of 20 minutes where you write your worries out into a dollar store notebook then shut the journal and tell yourself worry time is over until your next planned session then, get on with something light, silly and funny

These are just a few ideas.  There are plenty more.  If you’re going to Google anything, search for ways to have fun.

Stay light, stay laughing, stay away from people or information that brings you down to a stressed out level as much as possible.  Just be.  Be in the moment and enjoy the little things in Life.  Be happy!

Blessings, Love and Light from my little corner of life to yours.

 

Happiness Part IV: Change A Thought

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There was once a time on a trip where I started to feel “odd”.  I told my husband and fellow travellers that I was feeling strange but, couldn’t peg what it was that was feeling off.  My husband, in all of his wisdom, asked if my stomach was upset, headache, toothache, ear ache, body pain and the list went on almost endlessly until I finally realized something.

“NOTHING is wrong,” I shrieked out with delight. “I’m feeling great!”

For the first time in years, I had no aches, pains, headaches, not even my allergies were acting up.  As a matter of fact, I was feeling darned fabulous.  So, what was my problem?  Why did I think I was feeling so poorly?  The answer was simple.  I wasn’t used to feeling no pain, angst, anxiety or even allergies.  I was used to feeling miserable in one way or another.  Feeling wonderful was a foreign feeling to me so, I thought something was wrong with me.  How sad is that?

Our reality, our happiness, is what we allow ourselves to become used to feeling.  If we feel miserable 90% of the time, the feeling of being miserable is what we’ve become used to and therefore, anything outside of that misery, feels foreign to us.  We measure our wellbeing and happiness, according to how we usually feel and want to get back to that familiar feeling even if we hate it.  It’s what’s familiar to us.  It’s what we see as our “normal” in spite of our blood pressure being through the roof or our stomach in knots almost every day, if not every day.  That’s our gauge.

In my last segment on happiness, I requested that you take note of the thoughts that ran through your head for a couple of days and jot some of them down.  If you weren’t able to do that yet, stop reading here and do it then, come back and continue reading.  It will help you to see where we tend to go wrong in our days with our thinking patterns.  Remember that our thoughts can create our emotions so, if we change our thoughts, we can change our emotions.

I journaled my thoughts over the past couple of days.  My thoughts went something like this:

  • The cat threw up 3 times in one week. She must have a stomach tumour. She’s going to die.
  • I have 3 doctor’s appointments in one day coming up.  How could I be so stupid to book in all of those appointments in one day?  I’m not going to get to them all.  Traffic will be bad and if it’s not, how am I going to fill in the time between appointments?  I’m not going to get through this day.  I’ll be exhausted.
  • The vacuum just quit.  Now, I’m going to have to buy a new vacuum and I can’t afford it.  In the meantime, my allergies are going to go nuts with all of this fur and dander.  I’m going to feel like I have a cold 24/7.  I’m sure getting this fixed will cost as much as a new vacuum.  I’m sunk.
  • My brother is in trouble, mentally, emotionally and physically but, my sister-in-law  doesn’t like me.  I have no money to give him and he won’t call me to talk or come to see me.  I can’t help my brother and he’s going to end up in a psychiatric facility or a hospital.
  • It’s been over a year since I last saw or talked to my daughter.  She’s taken off with a drug-riddled, demented jerk and I will never see her again.  I’m cutting her out of my Will.  I never should have had a child.  I shouldn’t have put all of my energy into raising her to make her happy.  Now I have nothing to show for all of those years.  I’ve wasted 34 years of my life.

That’s only a few of my thoughts these past few days.  Can you spot a pattern in my thinking?  Does your stomach sink while reading my thoughts?  Aren’t those thoughts alone, enough to have you wanting to curl up into a ball even if this is my life, not yours?

In practically all of my thoughts, I can see a pattern that emerges and know that I do it to myself.  I can see that most of my thoughts are not only negative but, they’re catastrophic thoughts and they are fortune-telling with a doom and gloom or worst case scenario style ending.  Instead of simply recognizing that the cat threw up 3 times in the week and assessing her other daily habits (eating, playing, purring etc.), I leapt to the conclusion that she had a tumour and was dying.  In actual fact, she threw up a hairball a day or 2 later.  Rather than seeing that my brother and my daughter’s choices were not within my power to rectify unless they wanted me to help them (which I would gladly do), I jumped to some pretty horrific conclusions about them both.  As for my vacuum, my neighbour had an extra vacuum which she gave to me the next day and can keep until I can afford another one.  The 3 doctor’s appointments in one day, I’ve yet to experience but, I’m sure that I will get through them even if I see it as the world about to cave in on me.  None of them are life threatening appointments and are, for all intents and purposes, preventative rather than appointments that need to go to but, I can’t and won’t cancel them. I simply know now that I should check my planner and space these things a little better in the future.  Lesson learned and there’s nothing catastrophic about going to have a coffee in between if I’m early for one or another of them.

However, I’m sure that I’m not alone in how I think.  Even if your patterns don’t match mine or, you’re nowhere near as bad as I am with my thinking patterns, we can all learn that our thoughts can have great impact in how we’re feeling at any given time.  Our happiness or, in my case, lack of it, depends upon how we think.  We have power over our thoughts no matter how deeply ingrained they may be.  We can learn how to think differently.

There’s more to being happy than our thinking patterns but, that’s for another entry and it’s coming.  If you haven’t checked your own thinking patterns thus far, give it a try.  Even writing them on a napkin or a scrap piece of paper will suffice.  See if you can find a pattern to your thinking.  Let me know what you find by leaving me a comment.

More to come.  Stay tuned.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happiness Part II: Childhood Making It Easy

Happiness is not an eternal state of bliss or, walking around feeling totally content, singing out loud with a smile plastered on your face 24/7.  It also doesn’t mean that you are never going to feel down, grief, upset, anger or any of the negative emotions one can think of to insert into the equation.  Happiness is complex and yet simple at the same time.  It’s the state in which one feels that for the most part, one has freedom and a sense of control over one’s life even if only for part of your day.

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I remember summer days seeming eternally long and adventuresome as a child.  Every morning that I opened my eyes was a chance for something wonderful to happen, something magical.  I’d leap out of bed with both eagerness and joy to begin my day. I loved to play out in the sun or making blanket forts, climbing my grandparent’s tree or just laying back in the grass, looking up at the clouds, creating pictures in my mind as to what shapes they formed.  I also took pleasure in eating ice-cold popsicles from the freezer, ice cream cones or tumbling down a hill and the feeling of freedom as I rolled and rolled, seemingly endlessly.  Winter snowball fights were filled with laughs and giggles, unless one struck me on the face and hurt, in which case, I’d run into the house, crying until Mommy told me it was alright and back outside I went to play again.  Jumping in puddles, building snow forts, playing in mud and making mud-pies, splashing in water, letting waves at the beach wash up over my legs and back while I constructed sand castles.  Just about everything I did, made me feel happy back then.

Children have the easiest time being happy and feeling happy.  Part of that reason for that is that they don’t yet have the understanding that things can go wrong in life.  The other part of that reasoning is that children don’t yet have many responsibilities nor, the understanding of what it’s like to have to make decisions which can oftentimes, have serious consequences for themselves and, or others.

Have you ever noticed a child, playing with toys or, frolicking in water, carefree and seemingly amused by simple things in life?  The joy and even concentration that the child shows while participating in such activities can make an adult wonder, “what went wrong with me?  Why am I not happy like that with things anymore?”  The answer, of course, is that we grew up and have had to face the reality of both advanced abilities to think as well as responsibilities that have mounted onto our shoulders.  When was the last time that you saw a child, sitting, pensively worrying about how to pay bills, keep a roof over their heads, food on the table or clothes on their backs?  While we may see a younger person ask questions like, “what’s happening with Grandma?  Is she going to be able to play later on?” we rarely see them worry about it much beyond whatever answers we choose to give to them.  Answers like, “no, Grandma is sick…very sick.  She’s going to Heaven and won’t be here with us anymore soon,” will conjure up perhaps, a sad, curious look on the child’s face and maybe some tears but, neither that look nor the crying  will last long.  For the most part, the child will fairly quickly go back to playing or whatever they were doing previous to asking their question.  Once again, they feel either contented in doing what they are doing or, go back to singing and playing, seemingly happily.  They don’t know enough or haven’t yet trained their minds to worry, fear, feel or understand loss, responsibilities or imagine the consequences of their actions or choices much beyond the idea of “if I don’t go to bed or brush my teeth, Mommy/Daddy will be mad at me.”

As adults, we’ve learned that every choice and decision that we make, has a consequence attached.  Furthermore, we’ve learned that we have responsibilities towards not only ourselves but, to others in this world as well.  One way or another, we are no longer the centre of our universe and there’s no one else who is going to shoulder those choices, responsibilities etc., for us.  That’s where fear comes into play especially, when we doubt ourselves.  We also fear that others will dislike or even hate us if we don’t live up to either their expectations or our own.

A child will feel loved for the most part.  He/she will have faith that someone, somewhere, somehow, loves them for who they are, as they are.  Whether that be Mommy and Daddy or Mommy and Mommy or Daddy and Daddy, a child usually feels loved.  Feeling loved is an important part of feeling happy.  Whether Grandma goes to Heaven or not, is of not much importance as long as Mommy and Daddy love him/her and will be there for him/her.  That’s what’s lacking in most adults.  We don’t feel certain of love nor, our worthiness of being loved.  We tend to doubt it within ourselves to some level or another and that’s where we get into trouble.  We start depending upon other people to mirror back to us what they are feeling towards us in order to know one way or another.  We stop simply feeling worthy of being loved and start relying upon others to let us know if we are worthy of love or not.

In Part I, I mention that relying upon other people or possessions to make us feel happy, is a potential disaster, waiting to happen because at any given time, it can all be taken away from us or, simply disappear and leave us without that safety net or reassurance.  Everything can become an unhealthy dependency.  That’s not to say that we shouldn’t love other people or be able to rely upon them.  Not at all.  What it is saying is that when we base our happiness solely upon other people and our possessions, we are setting ourselves up for a great likelihood of some or all of that being removed from our lives and therefore, we can be left feeling uncertain, helpless, hopeless, far less than worthy as well as unhappy.  In this type of scenario, where we base all of our happiness on other people and, or possessions, we are handing over our own power of being happy to others or things.  We are giving it away but, we need to hold some of that within ourselves and for our own wellbeing.  Happiness comes from within, not others or things.

Back to our child scenario.  As children, we have to depend upon others for our wellbeing.  We cannot cook, do our laundry or tell ourselves what’s dangerous for us to be doing or not doing.  We do have to rely upon others for those types of things as we don’t know enough to be able to function on our own.  Our teddy bears or dolls or blankets that we carry around have become “security” items as well for us and soothe us.  We rely upon possessions for our happiness as well.  There is no choice in the matter but, we don’t know the difference yet.  We don’t know that these things can be taken away from us or us, from them.  We rely upon faith and lack of knowledge that they can leave or be taken away.  Childhood is a magical time where though we have fears, cry, become frustrated, irritated, angry etc., for the most part, we are happy.

How do we find happiness again as adults?  Can it exist?  Is it possible?

Part III coming up soon.

 

 

 

Why You Can’t Ignore Other People’s Thinking Or Feelings Without Consequence

I recently read what one could call an “inspirational” book that had an entire chapter dedicated towards the idea of speaking one’s mind in a non-confrontational way but, getting what one wants.  Within a few hours of finishing that chapter in the book, I was told about a video that contained a similar type of message but, expanded to include the idea that one should only hang around those who have the same ideals and lifestyle that you have.

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We’ve had a few large snow falls lately and my neighbour across the street whom I will call “Jane” had called me, upset and grumpy because her next-door neighbour has been outside with a loud snow blower at 6:30 a.m., clearing his snow from his property almost every morning.  The noise awoke Jane of course and her late shift working husband.  This happened three days in a row and, she was about to lose her cool with this man’s early morning work habits.

The snow blowing wasn’t the only thing this man had been doing early mornings though to get her to this point of frustration.  Summer or warmer days included 6 and 7 a.m. lawn mowing, electric hedge trimming and, a radio, hung in his garage full volume which acted like a megaphone blaring out onto the entire street from 6 or 7 a.m. until roughly noon when his work day was over and everyone was up.  He’d then, take a nap.

I thought about this scenario carefully and thoroughly.

Jane has a back issue and pain in spite of chiropractic care, heavy medications and physiotherapy, often keeps her awake most of the night.  It is often 4 or 5 a.m. before she can simply fall into a bit of a peaceful sleep.  Her husband tries to sleep during the mornings and into early afternoons.  Jane was not only in pain and getting depressed through lack of sleep but, her husband wasn’t getting his much needed sleep either.  Both of them were upset, angry and frustrated with the situation as well as one another. Even I have to admit that this man’s early electronic work habits were also being heard across the street and upsetting myself as well as other neighbours who also aren’t early risers either.  One neighbour has a baby who wasn’t sleeping through the night and needed her sleep when baby slept.  In short, it has been annoying everyone around the neighbourhood.

The video maker that I watched, had endorsed the idea of speaking one’s mind.  He  advocated that people not care what others thought yet, was “hurt” by someone else who felt that what the video maker was doing, was unfair to him as it disrupted his sleep far too early in the morning.  A commenter on this video, had brought up a few good points.  He/she had asked why the video maker was hurt by the fact that someone else had done exactly what the video maker was advocating people do by speaking their mind.  It hit me that the video maker was being unfair in expecting that there should be allowances for the endeavours they were setting out to do.

In my neighbour’s case, the man who was out there making loud noises at 6 and 7 a.m., that was a normal time for him to be out there, working.  He goes to bed at 9:30 or 10 p.m. and he rises at 5 a.m..  For him, 6 or 7 a.m. wasn’t early and he’s retired so, his time is his time.  He can do what he wants, when he wants for the most part.  Like the video maker had pointed out to him by his neighbour, the neighbour in my area didn’t take into consideration that he was not only breaking noise by-laws but, he didn’t take into consideration what everyone else living around him might think or feel.  He was doing as he pleased, as was the video maker in this case.  Truth was, by someone ignoring other people’s possible situations and doing what they wanted, when they wanted, these people were opening themselves up to other individual’s potential anger and the likely hurtful words and actions or reactions that will most likely ensue.

While in theory, it’s all well and good to say “do your own thing, how you want, when you want and not worry about other people or what they have to say,” unless you are living in a cave in the desert with no one else around you, you have to take other people and their circumstances into consideration as well, not just your own.  Not only had the video maker not taken this into consideration but, the neighbour in my case wasn’t doing that either.  As a matter of fact, the video maker had advocated standing his ground and continuing to do what he was doing at 7 and 8 a.m. no matter what effect it was having on his neighbour. Yet, he was talking about feeling hurt by his neighbour’s words while telling viewers to rise above someone else’s circumstances by changing how to think about it all and continuing to do it as wanted.  Wrong idea because I know what happened when the person on my street continued to ignore other people’s feelings, doing what he wanted, when he wanted.  It wasn’t pretty, kind or nice.

First of all, no…you don’t need to bow down to everyone and take their flack or put up with everything that they do and, yes…it is more desirable to just stay out of their way and be with people who don’t annoy you but, that’s not always possible to do.  We have to live next to these people and we have to sometimes, work with these people.  Most of us aren’t retired or living isolated from others.  Nor, is that desirable to do.  We need other people and we do live (most of us) in communities where we will have others to consider in a reasonable manner as to what we do, how we do it and when.  As a matter of fact, the video maker, contradicted themselves in several parts by saying the exact opposites of what was being preached in that video then, telling viewers how to mentally get out of that situation.  How about just stop doing it your way and compromising?  Did that not cross the video maker’s mind?  Apparently not.  It seems that the video maker wanted to do things his way and convert other people to his lifestyle or way of doing things.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch here, (not literally a ranch) it took a group of us to go and speak to this early bird neighbour and let him know that others are not as early a riser as he is and his work habits were ignoring everyone else’s rights to sleep later than him and that we all had reasons why we weren’t up at 5 a.m., ready to hear his snow blower, lawn mower, hedge trimmer or radio blaring by 6 or 7 a.m..  Since he was retired, we asked, could he not do this type of work and leave the radio off until at least 9 or 10 a.m., a more reasonable time for loud equipment, doing something else quiet, instead?  We met with resistance when he declared that it was his wish to get that done when he wanted to do it.  We tried citing the by-laws on the noise factor but that we didn’t wish to call city officials or police but, if he persisted, we’d have no choice but to do so.  What became clear was that he really and truly didn’t care.  He wanted it his way, on his time frame and nothing we said, no explanation was going to change that with him.  This is exactly what the video maker was saying as well about their own choices and yet, couldn’t understand why he had “hurt feelings”.

We still haven’t solved our own issue but, one thing does stand out.  When others don’t care about anyone else but themselves, their own wants and needs and, doesn’t take others into consideration, that’s a recipe for not only disaster but, likely hurt feelings as others shun and get angry.  It’s akin to the 2 year old who is told over and over again to stop jumping on the couch and getting a smack on the bottom or time out because the child persists in doing what he/she wants.  It’s going to happen.  One cannot simply change their thinking to suit what they want to do.  We have to take other’s feelings into consideration to some degree or another in a lot of instances.

One need not become a doormat, always thinking about what others will think or do if we do what we wish to do but, we also can’t simply ignore other’s rights by changing our thinking so that we can continue upsetting others and do what we want.  There’s got to be a balance somewhere and, unless we’re dealing with a difficult person who simply wants to control everything and everyone, we owe it to both ourselves and others to think twice about what we’re doing and how we can change that somehow to compromise to a suitable degree.  One cannot be selfish and expect not to have hurt feelings nor, can one always move away from those who bug us or don’t live as we do as the video maker would have us believe.  That’s narcissism from my perspective in my little corner of life.

Love, Light and Blessings.