Blog Archives

Bear Hugs Kettle

Emmet Fox states:

“There is an anecdote of the Far West which carries a wonderful lesson. It appears that a party of hunters, being called away from their camp, left the campfire unattended, with a kettle of water boiling on it.

Presently an old bear crept out of the woods, and, seeing the kettle with its lid dancing about on top, promptly seized it. The boiling water scalded him badly; but instead of dropping the kettle instantly, he proceeded to hug it tightly — this being a bear’s idea of defense. Of course, the tighter he hugged it, the more it burned him; and the more it burned him, the tighter he hugged it; and so on in a vicious circle, to the undoing of the bear.

This illustrates perfectly the way in which many people hug their difficulties to their bosoms by constantly rehearsing them to themselves and others.”

Are you one of those? When something upsets you, do you fuss and fume about it? How long do you do that?  I personally know people that can hang onto bad stuff for days, weeks, months, and years at a time. They feel justified because it was a particularly bad memory. Guess who it hurts? Nobody but you.

Alternative: Let it go. Release it. Know that life happens, one day at a time. You cannot get anywhere when you are driving if you are always looking behind you; in fact, that would be very dangerous. You must always be aware of your surroundings and look ahead as part of that. Life is no different.

History, even that which happened a second ago, cannot be changed. There is no power that can change the past. So let go of it.

If a dog has an itch, he scratches it. He is living in the now. How about you? Can you say that?

If some problem is wearing you out from the inside, become the spectator and see if you can see it from a different view. If you cannot do anything to change it, move into the present, look around for something to be grateful for, and give thanks to your Creator for it.

Can you just let it go? It’s up to you!

Blessings on your journey!

Anger Management

A quote I live by every day: “Life is too serious to be taken seriously.”

I have had at least one person ask me what that means. I just responded, “Lighten up.”

When I was young, my temper would often get the best of me. Then I would dwell on the situation, only making myself more upset by the minute. Often it would take me days to get over some small incident.

Even if someone actually means to do something ornery to you, is a grudge the best way to handle it?

If someone cuts you off in traffic, do you react with anger? Are you still upset at your desk hours later? I figure that  person who cut me off, nearly taking my fender with him, did not actually do it to me — it is a habitual way to drive which is a poor paymaster, eventually causing that person to damage his own vehicle and probably somebody else’s. I bless him on his way.

As I have aged, I grant others the ability to misbehave and make mistakes, knowing that they are doing the best they can at that moment. I do not take it personally. It saves me a lot of wear and tear on my heart and mind because I just do not want to get angry about the situation. When I get angry, I am leaving my center of peace and tranquillity and exchanging it for something that will not be worth the agony it causes. I have to choose to ACT and not REACT. If I have to state something clearly so that a situation is resolved, I do not have to yell or cuss to get my point across. Yet there is no doubt in anyone’s mind what I am communicating.

I took an Anger Management class many years ago. I learned that ACTIVE LISTENING is the key. You repeat back to the person who is yelling at you exactly what you heard. You keep it up. Soon, the volume decreases. People yell because they think you did not hear them. When you repeat what they say, they lose steam. The Anger flows away. You cannot rationalize with an angry person. He/she is not listening to you. You cannot discuss the issues if one person is yelling and not listening. You can even, eventually, agree to disagree and then set another time to actually discuss the issues if it is necessary. I personally had to deal with a very angry 300 pound man who was borderline getting physically violent. The active listening calmed him down until I could ask him to leave. So I know it works.

Anger, in some people, causes them to withdraw as a reaction. They crawl up into a little shell, which only increases the anger expression of whoever is perpetrating the situation. Obviously, that person does not know you are listening to them.  Some people just try to get away from whatever is happening and just run away from the scene as fast as they can. Resolution never occurs.

Bullies love it. We admit that. They like to feel powerful and power-filled. They usually find someone to pick on that is smaller than they are.  They win by intimidation. Some supervisors do that same thing. You cannot interact with them because they know they have POWER. But being quiet like a mouse does not work either as a response. They usually only get worse. Try Active Listening techniques. Perhaps it will help calm the situation.

When someone is angry, it raises their blood pressure, the adrenalin “fight or flight” response, and the wear and tear on the body. It is like a light that goes shooting out at the person or situation. When it is over, one feels empty and drained. If the anger is not expressed properly, however, it turns inward and becomes depression. That is a bad beast to have to deal with.

You can pound on pillows, write a hate letter and shred it, perform physical exercise, imagining that you are stomping out the problem/situation/person. There are lots of ways to exorcise the bad feelings without putting one’s fist through a wall, person, or thing.

I have had three accidents in my life which have impacted my body functioning and hampered how I can do many tasks. I have had to deal with anger over the losses to my healthy body. Life is not fair, and it will never be so. I had to work my way through the anger responses so I could deal with the pain and the situation. That is not an easy thing to do, but it is necessary because I choose to be a pleasant person with a smile on my face. Most people will never know what I have gone through and what is happening to my body at any moment. I do not let the pain or the anger control me and dictate what my interaction level will be with others. I choose to overcome it and share the best that is in me with my world.

We are like puppets of the memories we have, registered long ago when we were learning how to interact with our world. We learned how to deal with situations by watching those around us. If we did not have good mentors (and most of us had parents and others around us who are capable of making mistakes), we respond with whatever we learned, good or bad.

Most of the therapy that people pay for is so they can react and interact with their world differently than what they learned when they were small. They want to be able to be more functional. That is a good thing. It is never too late to change, using whatever tools you can find that work for you, be it a book, a good friend, etc.

If you find yourself becoming angry at something or someone, can you stop for even a second before you light that flame of destruction? Can you ask yourself why you are ready to rip somebody’s head off? Can you stop and breathe deeply, trying to calm yourself, your blood pressure, and your “fight or flight” response? That is the purpose for counting to 10, slowly.

Do you remember the scene in the Harry Potter movie where Ron was facing his fears, and he turned the spider into a clown, with roller skates on each leg?  Do you know that anger can be dealt with in the same way? I quietly think about a scene from Alice in Wonderland, looking for the Mad Hatter, The Cheshire Cat, the White Rabbit with the pocket watch yelling, “I’m late! I’m late! I’m late!” Anything that will add levity to the situation until I can regain my perspective. I don’t have to tell anyone what I am up to…I just do it.

When things gets crazy around me, instead of joining the craziness, I just calmly rise in my air balloon, looking at the situation as a spectator. If I choose to ACT, I can then do so. No hint of REACT is there. (Now, if I had a charging tiger to deal with, I would put my adrenalin to good use. But short of that, in real life, there are not many  dangers out there to react to. It is the imaginary dangers that cause the damage, and most of them never happen. We just worry about it all, nonetheless.)

If have been told that I am a very positive person. I work at it. It is not something that happens by chance. I work on my calm attitudes because I want to be part of the answer, not the problem.

Each morning when I get up, I set my sails so that if some errant wind catches me, I can then adjust my sails so I can keep heading towards my destination, whatever that may be for the day. Lots of people can try to huff and puff, and blow me off course…all to no avail. Circumstances can do the same. I still press on with my hand on the helm, charting my course by my belief system and my faith. with prayers always in my heart.

Life happens. We all make mistakes. We have to continually pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and start all over again.

If you find yourself stewing over some situation and not arriving at a peaceful resolution, just know that you have lots of company. The only questions you need to ask yourself are, “Do I want to continue feeling like this? Do I want to change that?” Hanging onto your anger will not solve a thing. It only wears you out from the inside. Is it worth it?

 

Peace Begins With Me

This new year presents us with a brand new page to begin again, to change what we want to change, to become the person we were meant to be, and one place to start is a song by Vince Gill:

“Let there be peace on earth

And let it begin with me.

Let there be peace on earth,

The peace that was meant to be.

With God as our Father,

Brothers all are we.

Let me walk with my berother

In perfect harmony.

Let peace begin with me.

Let this be the moment now.

With every step I take,

Let this be my solemn vow:

To take each moment

And live each moment

With peace eternally.

Let there be peace on earth,

And let it begin with me.”

Each day, with every word we speak, with every thought we think, we are creating our reality as we know it to be.

We are, indeed, planting the seeds that will bloom in our tomorrows.

Do you want a more peaceful life and experience less chaos?

It all begins with your thoughts and emotions. Do you REACT in lieu of ACT? Did somebody else make you angry?

Do you feel justified in these negative feelings because it is somebody else’s fault?

Guess who pays? It is not the other person, who has moved on and could usually care less.

You baggage just got heavier, didn’t it? Is it worth it to you to drag it around, every moment of every day?

Peace can be maintained as an attitude and a reality if you can truly realize that “Peace begins within you!”

There is nowhere else it can start. Life is so short. Why drag around chaos-creating emotions when you can choose to let it go?

If you could pretend to yourself that you are a spectator on some aggravation going on in your life, would your point of view change?

What advice would you give yourself when you see it from a different point of view? Is it really all that important? Is there something you can actively do to effect a difference in outcome? Are you listening to yourself? Are you listening to others?

Peace is not something that comes wrapped with a bow. It takes work on yourself and your perspective to calm down so you can experience something else that is far more livable and lovable.

Are you interested in PEACE, personally, and moment by moment? Figure out what the price is and pay it in whatever coin required. It could be the coin of forgiveness of self or others, the coin of blessing others on their way, or even the coin of loving yourself enough to be happy anyway. This is not an oxymoron. It is TRUTH.

It is in your hands. What do you choose?

Hibiscus - Adding Beauty

Hibiscus – Adding Beauty

Hibiscus at Christmas

Hibiscus at Christmas

Autumn Seeds

Autumn Seeds

Autumn Seeds

Autumn Seeds

%d bloggers like this: