Monday, May 16, 2011

I'm tired of other people's dreams.

My observations have lead me to the following conclusions.  I talk about them over and over again, because their truth seems to be continually reaffirmed to me on a daily basis.

1. Most problems can be linked back to the belief that one is never "good enough."
2. Most people have a need to be in control, but not the real kind. The kind that is an illusion.
3. Most people need to be right and prove to others that they are right and make people agree with them.

Today, my update from the don said this:  Respect each other's dream. In a relationship, there are two dreamers with two different dreams. You need to accept the differences that exist between two dreamers; you need to respect each other's dream.  -don Miguel Ruiz

Have you ever met someone who cannot "agree to disagree"?  This is often a hard thing for me to do.  I, like everyone else on the planet, have clear ideas on right and wrong, good and bad, and often think people are stupid misinformed if they disagree with me. I have expended a lot of mental energy not just trying to convince people to agree with me, but being angry when they don't.  I have lost sleep because of this stupid human characteristic.

Does anyone else do that?

Did anyone notice that he did not say "agree"?  Just to accept and respect.  What a concept.

The dream that the don is speaking of, is the experience that we each have as humans.  It's our perspective. It's a combination of our personality traits, along with what we're taught as children. Our basic human training.

I wish that this idea was presented to people at an earlier age. Kind of a "hey kids, did you know that you're going to meet a lot of different people in your life?  They may do some weird things but that doesn't make them wrong, it just makes them different.  What do you think you could learn from someone who is different from you?"

I can't tell you how many little kids I've worked with who thought that drinking alcohol made you a bad person.  Yet, here they are in therapy because they were sexually abused.  Go figure. Different "dreams".  Different realities.  I've had clients who thought it was okay to take things that aren't theirs.  Does that make it wrong? According to the law, yes. According to the person who is doing what they know, not so much. It's amazing how much understanding you can find in behavior if you just let the person tell you what they know to be true for them.  Whether or not I'm able to listen with non-judgement is the trick. Sometimes I can, other times....these things are really hard to listen to.

But finding that understanding takes way less energy than judging the person.

After all, I don't have to live their life. Just my own. Which, is what the title of this post is referring to. What a relief to know that I am only responsible for myself, my thoughts, my feelings, and my behaviors.

Being responsible for everyone is exhausting. And really really unnecessary. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Ain't it the truth?

Have you ever had those experiences where had you just had the time, you could have thought of a really thoughtful and profound description of what is going on? An observation so poignant that the person you're speaking to lights up because they GET IT??

Me neither. I have to wait for a quote to pop up that eloquently says what I should have said.

Recently, the ideas of processes vs. events keep coming up in my discussions. Processing feelings, processing situations, and all those things that we wish would happen once and then we'd be done with them. Like, I wish that once I've cleaned my tub that it should stay clean forever.  I wish that I had gone through all 5 stages of grief and now I never have to be sad about that again.


Oh, that's not how it works?  But that's how I think that it should work. It still doesn't?


When it comes to matters of the heart, we commemorate with events.  Weddings, funerals, anniversaries, dinners out, presents, and what have you.  But you're celebrating a process.  Marriage, dying, birthdays, milestones.

Which brings me to today and thinking about all the troubles people in my life are having. And then I get this: 

A relationship can be a pressure cooker for communication problems because couples have a tendency to rest on their commitment, rather than invest in each other daily. -Mama Gena.

Whoa....she literally just blew my mind. I thought, "that was exactly what I was trying to say the other day when that person had that problem and they wanted it to be over and it never will be and this is why." 

I'm not married.  But I have relationships.  I have friends, family, and coworkers.  I participate in relationships all the time.  I've recently had the experience at work where I had to think about my response to a request that isn't my job. It went a little something like this.

"But that's not my job."

Well sure, if I go back to my job description (my commitment to my employer) and take a look at it, that thing isn't in there.  But if I recognise that I'm trying to help a client (and I'm invested in this relationship today), then it's in the best interest of myself AND this client for me to do what is asked of me in this moment.

See? Mind blowing.

In romantic relationships, I often hear people say, "haven't we already dealt with this?" Or "I can't believe this is coming up again." But what people don't see is that while the instigating event has come and gone (and may not even have a solution) the feelings surrounding the event will come up over and over again.

Even if you've "dealt" with it.  It's important to be aware when this happens that you're not dealing with the "problem".  You're having a feeling or your partner is having a feeling.  And feelings don't need to be fixed.  They just need to be felt so they can be released. We just don't like to feel badly so we pretend we're mad at something else to pull us out of that bad feeling.

What would happen if we all started processing our feelings rather than focusing on what has 'happened'?

One can only dream....

Monday, April 25, 2011

I heart radio.

Heal yourself, and your relationship will heal, too. If you can heal yourself, then you are going to be ready for a relationship without fear, without need. If you and your partner each work on yourselves, you will see how quickly progress is made.  -don Miguel Ruiz

If anyone here listens to X96, you'll know that they used to have the Psychic Margaret Ruth on to answer all of your love questions.  They stopped doing this for a while, and she disappeared. But now she is back! She and the Painful Circle (i.e. Kerry, Bill, and Gina) tell it like it is when people call in about their love and romance issues.

Most of the time, it's ends up that the caller is being stupid. They have no problem tell you that either, which is the best part.  It's nice to know that some of my ideas about relationships aren't just crap I make up in my head. Local celebrities agree with me!

But really, most of their input is sound and down to earth. Kind of like, if you don't like fish, then don't eat it.  Der. 

But one thing has always stuck with me, something that the love psychic herself always says:

It takes three things to have a successful and happy relationships: love, common vision, and two whole healthy happy people.

Love isn't really all you need.  You need all three.

The first two, seem to be easy enough to find.  You meet someone, you think they're neato, they want to get married and have kids too?  Ta-da! 

Whoa whoa whoa (or whoazers whoazers, as my mother would say), that just isn't going to cut it. I really wish it did.

But we live in a society where we're basically taught to hate ourselves.  Then we project our issues onto our partner and expect them to fix us or to magically make us love ourselves.  Overnight, if possible.

It seems counter intuitive to work on yourself to mend a relationship, but it really is the beginning step.  If we all took the time to be complete whole people prior to searching for a relationship, would we find anything different?

Yep. We'd find other people who are whole and happy. If we really get back what we put out, and we're doesn't take a rocket scientist to see why everyone is so unhappy all the time. 

My beef with this whole idea is that not a lot of people believe it.  Even though I've seen it work over and over again, both professionally and personally, people really do go about their lives feeling badly and thinking that there's nothing they can do about it.  And that it's not really their fault anyways.

Those of us who know this idea is true, then have to deal with all the negativity and projection that is constantly being spewed.  It's too bad that so many people don't know that they already possess everything they need to be happy.  Do they just not want to do the work?  Are they really not aware that they're unhappiness is self inflicted? Do they have several convenient scapegoats? 

I have a ton of scapegoats. My dad died. My boyfriend left me. My last job screwed up my finances.

I had nothing to do with any of it..... *shifty eyes*

If we're not able to be accountable for our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, then how can we move forward? This is the part where most get stuck. Because most of us, myself included, feel justified in every thought, feeling or behavior, regardless of whether or not they have merit. Because we think we're right, we push our "rightness" onto everyone around us, and then get offended when they don't agree. 

It's exhausting. I'm exhausted just thinking about it.

This is opposite of true accountability.  True accountability includes not only being responsible for yourself, but being open to new ideas and opinions of others.  Trying to find understanding of how people have come to their own conclusions, when they differ from ours. Being respectful of every one's right to agree or disagree, without the need to push your ideas on them. Not judging or calling someone misinformed when they have a different opinion. 

They're not misinformed.  They've just had a different experience. 

How does this apply to relationships? In order to make changes, you have to admit that there's something wrong with the way you do things. That's not easy for anyone. Often times, one partner will see the need for work and the other will not. This creates a new dynamic, and a whole new set of issues. I've seen relationships end because one person decided to take care of themselves while the other did not. It's sad, but what's the alternative? Try to make some positive changes with someone there to tell you that you're never going to accomplish your goal?

To add to the don's message here, I'm just going to quote my mother.  Who happens to be the smartest lady on the planet (who may or may not have had a lot of therapy in her life):

It takes a hell of a man to be better than no man at all.

It works with women too. :) 

Is anything more true than that?  I have met so many people, and I have been one of these people before, who make exceptions in how they're treated simply for the sake of not being alone. We've settled for less because we don't think we deserve better.  We've all done it. It's time to stop. Be that healthy person. The people in our lives will either decide to hop on board, or they'll leave.  Which, as the don says, is a blessing.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Crazy not stupid....

By now I'm sure everyone has heard about this guy......

As I listen to the commentary about this man and his choice to publicly burn the Koran, igniting attacks in Afghanistan, I have to wonder how much of this (and all of the world's other problems) could be avoided if we didn't feel the need to insist that others see things the way we do, and not get offended when they don't. 

Of course, I think that the burning of the book was insensitive and disrespectful.  But above all of that, it was childish.  Do you remember being on the playground in school and getting picked on and the only good comeback you could come up with was, "Well yeah??? Uh, you're ugly!"

Ooooooooh, you sure told that kid, didn't ya?

Enter Terry Jones. "I don't believe in what you believe so I'm going to hurt you by doing something bad to something that you love."

DUMB.  That's what a child would do.

The violence it ignited was also tragic and unnecessary.  Books (or anything for that matter) can be replaced. The only thing that can't be replaced in this horrible situation, are the people that are getting lost in the crossfire.  All in the name of "being right."

I understand the book has meaning. But the physical book doesn't mean anything without the people who believe in it. Burning it doesn't make it any less meaningful. Burning it doesn't make you forget why you believe in it or what you've learned from it. Those people handed their personal power over to Terry Jones in a silver platter.

I know I'm certainly not in this situation and it's easy for me to make an observation. I suppose I just don't understand. I don't understand a lot of things.

What would have happened if Terry Jones had said, "Hey! I'm going to burn the Koran!!!"  and we said, "Okay."

I wonder.  I really do. If we would stop perpetuating the crazy, perhaps damage control would be a little easier.

And, I don't know, maybe less people would DIE.

Just a suggestion.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Did the 4 of you miss me???

And......I'm back!

Where did I go?  I have no idea.  My blogging love ebbs and flows these days.  Some days I can't shut up. Other days, I have nothing (valid or otherwise) to say.

It wasn't until I read this next quote that I felt inspired to share:

Every human is an artist, a storyteller with a unique point of view. When we see ourselves as artists, we no longer feel the need to impose our story on others or to defend what we believe. We know that every artist has the right to create his own art.  
-don Miguel Ruiz

Recently there has been a big hoopla over the liquor sales in the great state of Utah.  I know, when is liquor NOT an issue here? Never. It's just in the news these days. 

The idea is to shut down several liquor stores to "cut spending".  And now, this nutter wants to take beer out of convenient stores.

(I'm all for saving money, but why would you shut down an entity that's making money? To save money?  I'm confused....)

Now, believe me when I say, if you don't drink, GOOD FOR YOU.  Good on ya!  My experience tells me that it's expensive and probably causes a ton of unnecessary problems for people.  It helps us make stupid decisions and look like idiots, and this is when incriminating photos and videos end up on the interwebs. 

However, that isn't the point.

So I have a couple questions:

  1. Is this issue really about alcohol?   It doesn't seem to be. The older I get, the more I realize that most people don't impose on others because they care.  It's simply because they believe they are right.  If you disagree, then you are wrong.  Or uninformed.  Or you just don't know what is best for you. 
  2. Why is this even a problem?  When did it become so important to be in control?  When did it become okay to say that one person is right and another is wrong?
It's inspiring in a way that someone who believes so strongly that alcohol is wrong would go to these lengths. Okay, I can dig that even. I respect this opinion and everyone's right to have one.

The issue is simply that everyone does not share this opinion.

We're not talking about the problems that alcohol creates either. 

For example, some nut job will probably argue that if we're going to let it run free that we should just let everyone drink.  Let's just give it to minors then!  Well here's the thing.  There's medical research that indicates that our brains are not fully developed until our early-mid twenties.  So when I say that I don't support providing minors with alcohol, and that I support the laws that prohibit it, it's based on scientific fact.  It stunts physical and emotional development. It causes learning disabilities and issues with impulse control.  What we're talking about, is our adult right to put whatever we want in our bodies.  So should crack be legal? Why not? I'm still going to choose not to use it, either way.  There is also strong scientific evidence that indicates that using crack probably isn't the wisest choice for most people.

Those who are trying to make it about the alcohol will inevitably bring up drinking and driving or alcoholism and it's effect on families or some other such and such.  This indicates that these people are completely missing the point. No one is arguing that alcohol can destroy someone's life.  But so can work.  So can overeating.  So can depression. So can driving and trying to talk on the phone or use your iPod.

Where's the evidence that over regulating liquor decreases people's use, decreases people's decisions to break other laws, or increases other alcohol related issues?  I haven't seen any.  If you have, please let me know. 

In fact, human nature makes people want to drink more when you make such a big deal out of it.  Chances are, if you would just shut up about it, people wouldn't be so upity.  If you tell me I can't, I'm going to tell you to eff off and do it anyway.

How do people not know this? 

We have become so focused on finding solutions, that we jump the gun and create something that won't work. Guess who's fault it is if they drink too much and then go out and kill someone? That person. Not the bartender who sold him that last drink before he walked out the door.  Being drunk doesn't make you any less of an adult. 

Not to be all therapisty, but even in a DUI situation, alcohol isn't the's the symptom....just sayin'.

It's not about that. How many times have I said this now?

What I see, and what has been so eloquently stated by the don himself, is that if we paid more attention to our own stories, our own bodies, our own lives, we would finally feel fulfilled to the point that that need to impose our beliefs on others would be eliminated. 

Live your own best life.  Do what is best for you.

What a concept.  Live and let live.  Because who am I?


And the only person I am an expert on, is me. For me to tell someone that the way they do things is wrong is completely pointless.  I can offer my point of view.  I can offer new perspective.  I can tell you what I'd do in any given situation. I can make observations and tell you what I think.  But none of this makes you wrong.  There is no wrong, there is no problem.  If there is no problem, then you don't need a solution.  It simply is.

If someone wants to drink, do drugs, work 80 hours a week, run 10 marathons, eat a whole pizza, have 4 wives, be homeless, or whatever, what right do I have to say their way is not the best way for them?


None whatsoever.  When those choices begin to affect me, then I get to be a grown up and decide for myself how I am going to pariticpate. 

Because that's what grown ups do.

Passing laws based on moral beliefs that have little or no research to back up their effectiveness, is what babies do. 

But that's just my opinion....

Monday, March 21, 2011

Lessons, lessons everywhere....

Regardless of the language we speak, our intent manifests through the word. Through the word we manifest everything; we express our will, our intent, our love, and our faith, which are all the same thing.  -don Miguel Ruiz

The other day, after listening to my complaining, my mom said to me, "Stop puttin' that out there!"  Whaaaa? Has my mother been listening to me this entire time? I kind of felt like i was in an alternate university, you know, where people listen to me and my ideas and then believe them. Not that she doesn't know what I'm sayin'.  

Anyways, with her prompting, I was reminded that I had fallen victim to negativity.  And I was certainly "puttin' out there."

For the whole university to hear.



For the bajillionth time.



After this revelation, a few days later, someone then told me:

 "I love how positive you are!"

Aww, thanks dude.  It's a struggle. 

I mean, it's EASY!  Jeesh. I need to start catching myself quicker...

Friday, March 18, 2011

dear university,

thank you for bringing blessings of love and peace to myself, my family, and my friends.