Argue that!

Arguing is a waste of time.
People who argue want to be right and nothing will change their minds. Even after hours of heated “discussion” they end up no wiser.

Isn’t this ridiculous? No one makes an effort to understand what others have to say and yet everybody is frustrated that they cannot get their point across. None of your arguments, however profound, will convince the other side. Challenged in their thinking they feel wronged and will defend themselves. They will try to shred your opposing opinions to pieces and make their beliefs stick. And now you defend with counterattack….

Myth-conception: Admitting lack of knowledge is a sign of weakness.

Isn’t arguing a sign of weakness?

What kind of person would make the following statements? “That’s an interesting point! Let me think about it,” or “I haven’t thought of this. That changes the way I see the situation now.”

Forcefully “winning” an argument is considered a sign of outer strength.
The willingness to listen and learn is a sign of inner strength.

Argumentative people are afraid of change. Defensively and sometimes aggressively they will challenge anyone who questions preconceived ideas or dogma they adhere to. It is impossible to convince others through arguing. Instead of getting them into our camp they will dig in their heels and fortify their position.
Why do we have such a need to convert others? Maybe we don’t believe in all we are proclaiming. Maybe there is some truth to what the opposition is saying. Maybe there are some flaws in our thinking. Maybe there is a bigger picture that only can be realized when we listen to each others and learn from each other. People who feel secure within themselves have no need to argue.

Maybe there is some truth in all this, but you can argue that!
Company without misery

We love to gang together and talk about problems we have with other people!Here we voice our dissatisfaction about politicians, bosses, co-workers, neighbours, spouses, parents, children, and other family members. We also target teenagers, men, women, senior citizens, lovers, street people, the rich, the poor, other races …. The list is endless.

In sometimes heated discussions we can dissect the misconduct of others and pinpoint their problems. There is so much to talk about when involved in idle gossip or engaged in deep and “meaningful” conversations. But when we leave the cozy group of faultfinders we probably will become their next target.

We must realize picking other’s apart keeps us stuck in negativity.

So why are we doing it?

Most likely we just don’t know how else to relate. After all “misery loves company" and we have guaranteed friendships as long as we share grievances. We would rather remain miserable than have no friends.

Also taking others apart can give us a sense of self-importance. And in making them the guilty party we don’t have to look within. Maybe we know their problem so astutely because we can identify it within our self.

Interestingly enough those targeted in our discussions are never present. Maybe because a direct and honest get-together could resolve the disagreement and then what would we talk about? And this is the catch. When it comes to sharing the positive we soon run out of things to say.

To continuously find good things to say about those absent is absolutely challenging. And to formulate positive comments can become real tongue twisters. It’s like learning a new language. At first the vocabulary is small, but it will grow in time.

The efforts of learning the language of love and acceptance are ultimately rewarding.

Can you have company without misery? You decide!

Compromised by compromise

Every time we compromise to become less, we compromise ourselves.
Early in life we have learned to compromise our true nature in order to fit in. Even now many hold back to express who they truly are in order to be liked. Sadly some settle for superficial harmony in a world filled with regret.

Relationships are based on a give and take. A delicate balance of giving and receiving will produce great harmony. To find this middle ground can be very challenging, especially when we adhere to old thinking.

Myth-conception: To compromise is a sign of weakness.

On the contrary, to work out solutions where everybody wins shows great leadership. Uncompromising, hardliners put themselves in a battlefield of wills where even the winner loses. On the other hand being too accommodating and self-sacrificing breeds all kind of resentments.

The secret lies in collaborating and accommodating each other without compromising what is important to each of us. We need to engage our imagination and find ways where every party wins. This entails attentively listening to each other’s needs and wants. We have to surpass habitual thinking and find creative solutions to otherwise never-ending conflict.

To come from the heart and show flexibility can alleviate a lot of pain and move us into a new direction. We can work out agreements that allow us to keep our integrities and enhance our individualities. Otherwise we will end up watered down versions of our selves. And as we become less so do our communities.

To compromise and find all-embracing solutions will help everyone to become more. We are challenged to leave our comfort zones, learn from each other and accept different points of view. This will keep us flexible and open-minded, citizens of the world.

In a healthy environment the strong are willing to bend and empower the weak.

Coping or living?

We avoid dealing with uncomfortable issues as long as we can; hoping the problem will go away.
As masters of procrastination we find all kinds of excuses and distractions that put our life on hold. Stagnation in our rapidly changing world generates tremendous stress and friction. Small problems grow until they become major obstacles and make life unbearable. Now, with no escape options left, we have to face the results of our inaction.

Why wait for a crisis?

We take better care of our car than our own wellbeing. Proper maintenance and service checks improve the performance and lifespan of our vehicle. Foolishly ignoring signs of malfunction could endanger our life.

However, when it comes to maintaining a healthy body and mind we are full of good intentions but seldom follow through. Preventing a breakdown in our personal life doesn’t seem to have priority, yet it can cause greater damage than a car failure.

We allow specialists to help us with our car troubles, and when it comes to fixing a personal problem we try to patch it up in any way we can.

Myth-conception: Asking for help is a sign of weakness.

On the contrary, to be able to access specialized resources gives us tremendous strength and power.

Tools and skills for personal growth are readily available in books and courses. Improve your problem solving skills and prevent problems from escalating. Listen to warning signs nip problems in the bud.

Living life is to keep improving yourself and make changes before you have to. This adds an element of fun and adventure.

Coping takes the joy out of life. To let things slide invites crisis after crisis with increasing intensity. Decades of neglect cause overwhelming problems.

Change is inevitable.
The question is — are you choosing to cope or to live?

Divorce is not a cure

To divorce or not is a choice not a cure-all.

Sometimes it is easier to start fresh when things have gotten into a rut. Leaving a relationship that has outlived its purpose can bring you much desired freedom.

Yet, the problems that culminated in a divorce will not simply disappear. Instead they will resurface in every new relationship once the honeymoon phase is over and your rose coloured lenses fade.

It is crucial that you take time and do some honest soul searching. Ask yourself what part you played in allowing or directing the demise of your marriage. This is easier than failing in every new relationship until you are forced by crisis to have a deep look into yourself.

The lazy way is to point the finger in blame. This diversion doesn’t solve a thing. As a matter of fact it makes things worse. With blaming you have given away your power to your spouse. Now unless she or he changes you can find no resolution. Good luck! In your years of marriage you have probably discovered how impossible it is to change your partner.

The only person you can change is yourself. Be accountable for how you have contributed to the ending of your marriage. To be honest with yourself is the key to change.

What hurtful behaviour was repeatedly triggered by your spouse? Trace it back in time. Where did it originate? Most likely you have formed these patterns in early childhood. It is time to heal and move on. Learn what you need to learn about the situation and stop acting out of habit. Otherwise you stay stuck in the past always reacting to life in the same old ways.

Relationships bring out the best and worst in us. It is imperative that you begin to act with awareness. What a great potential for personal growth!

Two final questions:
What happened to the person you fell in love with?
What happened to the person in you she or he fell in love with?
Failing perfection

The insatiable need for perfection leads to self-destruction.
Nothing will ever be good enough as long as you are fixated on the impossible. No matter how well you perform you will always find ways to criticise yourself.

Why do you ask of yourself more than is humanly possible?

There are two main reasons for doing this.
First reason: You have either done something or allowed something to happen that you will not forgive yourself for. Ever since then you have been trying to compensate for your mistake with perfection. This cannot work unless you are willing to forgive yourself first and move on in life.
Furthermore, if the same thing had happened to a friend; would you forgive them? Of course you would! Stop demanding of yourself to be superhuman and allow yourself to be human, because this is what you are.

Second reason: You feel deeply inadequate and hope by achieving perfection you will gain the love of others. You are doomed to fail in this as well. Just ask yourself “Do you love people who are driven by their need for perfection? Do you love ‘perfect’ people?”

The fact is, we resent overachievers who put tremendous pressure on any group dynamic. We prefer people who are human beings and allow themselves to make mistakes. In their company we can relax and be ourselves.

We can learn from their trial and errors and they in return can learn from our mistakes.

To strive for perfection or excellence is what life is all about. We all want to better ourselves. It is the journey of self-discovery and learning that makes life interesting.

The only mistake we can make is to be too afraid to make mistakes!

Do not demand perfection of yourself, but strive for it with a light heart.
Forever helpless

Legitimate victimhood is short-lived.
Yes, we can get victimized, but as adults we don’t have to stay stuck in helplessness. No matter how big the challenges we can accept present conditions and gradually improve our situation. We have friends and community resources that can help us overcome despairing situations, if we let them…!

Maybe there is more power in perpetuated helplessness than we dare to admit. We can revel in the love and caring we are receiving from friends and family. Bathing in the limelight we skilfully deflate any potential solution even though we somehow realize we are paying with misery.

In choosing to remain helpless we shrivel up and regress and become a child in a grown-up body. Here, with no intention of growing up, we can avoid being responsible.

Myth-conception: Victims are weak and powerless.

Think again. How many times have you tried to help a friend in great need and nothing ever worked?

Those attached to victimhood skilfully pull your heartstrings and make you dance for them. They play on your need to feel needed. You are made their special friend who in return gives them special attention.

Sooner or later you realize that all your efforts to help have fallen on barren ground. Feeling used you think: “If I hear this sob story one more time I’m going to puke!”

Next time listen with empathy and call their bluff: “I hear you and feel for you. And what are you going to do about it?”
This can help them drop their victimhood or they will catch another person in their net of pity.

Victimhood is a state of mind; two people in exactly the same predicament can have completely different responses.

Chosen victimhood comes with the hefty price of having to prove your helplessness with a pitiful life.
Green thumb parenting

People with green thumbs love their plants. They will do everything to help their plants thrive.Will green thumb parenting spoil children? You can spoil children with things but not with love. Your loving attention helps them blossom and unfold. They develop self-confidence and self-esteem which helps them to make healthy choices in life.

A houseplant withers and dies when no loving attention is given. Children in order to survive have to pretend that their parents act out of love, no matter how bad the situation. They form twisted conclusions in their heads such as “My father beat me and it did me a lot of good. It hurt him more than it hurt me.” “Mother doesn’t spend time with me because I’m so unlovable,” “Nobody listens to me because I’m stupid.”

Thus children end up in self-blame.
Feelings of “There is something wrong with me”, “I’m not good enough”, and “I don’t deserve” run rampant through our society. When these feelings surface in us we know that we are still stuck in childhood beliefs.

Let go of blaming and punishing yourself. You have survived your childhood and no longer need to put yourself down.

As a rule of thumb, treat your children the way you would have liked to be treated and pair it with the innate wisdom of your heart. This takes courage as it makes you more aware of your childhood pain.

To avoid pain many resort to Old World thinking where children were considered as basically bad until you made something good out of them.

Consider this: children are basically good until they feel unloved and unwanted. Then they will act out to get your attention one way or another.

The loving attention you give your children is the wisest investment into creating a healthy and happy family.
I'd rather complain

Complainers never run out of complaints!Why are they willing to pay the price of constant frustration?
Complaining can give us a temporary feeling of superiority or self-importance. And there is royal power in expressing displeasure.

Displaying our discontent can give us a momentary sense of power at the price of victimhood. Yet in avoiding responsibility and accountability we can continue to moan and groan about the hardships we encounter.

Also, to find fault in others diverts attention from our own short-comings. And blaming others becomes a cheap and easy solution to our own problems.

As complainers we sit back in judgment and find ample fuel for our dissatisfaction, especially while targeting the successful. With an ever critical eye we scrutinize those who pave the road to progress. As a result we rather hide and complain than stand out and be criticized.

Complainers astutely see what needs to be changed and yet change never originates from them.

We tend to complain when our needs are not met. This can range anywhere from nagging and fussing to protesting and accusing.

Maybe we need to grow up and begin to meet our own needs.
Maybe we need to look within and examine how we can be part of the solution.

Focusing on the positive is so much more uplifting and rewarding. This does not mean that you have to accept everything. You can stand up for yourself and voice your grievances. Occasional complaints can stir the pot and bring about positive change. Chronic complaining becomes a poisonous disease that infests our personal world. And there we have so much more to complain about.

You can either sit back and complain or contribute to help create a better world.

You can either be a builder or dismantler of society; it is your choice.

Miss-takes

What’s wrong with me? I make so many mistakes!
In childhood we were punished, ridiculed, or criticized for the mistakes we made. Today admitting a mistake is considered a sign of weakness or incompetence. “It’s not my fault!” becomes a vehement denial to avoid punishing consequences, embarrassment, or criticism.

We can beat ourselves up for every mistake we make or – relax…. A mistake is only a miss-take. It’s just like shooting your own movie. You do one take after another until you are satisfied with the end result.

Sometimes miss-takes surprisingly lead to creative outcomes. Without trial and error there wouldn’t be any new movies — just reruns….

Myth-conception: To fail is a sign of weakness.

Many successful people have failed miserably, but persevered. Maybe to fail without learning and correcting is a sign of weakness. After all, the most severe miss-take is to be too afraid to make mistakes.

Myth-conception: As a grown-up I have to have all the answers. Life is a journey that begins at birth and ends with the last breath we take. Every learning experience enriches us. Hopefully we will continue to progress and evolve through the many challenges we encounter. Learning experiences from mistakes mark the path of a fulfilled life.

It is natural to make mistakes. That’s how we have learned to walk and talk. And yet life has become too complex to learn everything from scratch. Therefore it is necessary to observe and learn from each other’s successes and failures. Thus we can avoid the pitfalls others encountered and incorporate the wisdom they have gained.

Realize, your mistakes are a gift to those who learn from them. Therefore dare to be alive and become all you can be. We are destined to make mistakes and practise makes perfect.
No take-backs!

I wish I could take that one back!”
When we react without thinking the consequences can be devastating.


Yet survival depends on our ability to quickly respond without having to think. We rely on our reflexes to immediately deal with danger. Therefore unthinking responses based on experience are an essential part of living.

Unfortunately we can function completely without thinking by switching to automatic pilot. Operating in this mode we depend on learned patterns of response often originating in childhood. When triggered we get mad and lash out without concern for others; defend and counterattack without acknowledging our part; jump to conclusions without really listening; or prejudge without evaluating and considering other points of view. Half consciously we blunder through life without considering the cost. The trail of hurt we leave behind can cause deep wounds that reach far into our future. Damage caused by one unkind word or careless remark can take a long time to heal.

Realize, before you automatically react there is a tiny invitation for change. For a fleeting moment you know you could control your anger if you wanted to; you know you could forgive instead of retaliating; and you know you could decide to wave a hurtful remark. Yet the habitual momentum can be very strong.

Your feelings are your responses and you can change them. Nobody can force you to be angry; people can provoke you at best. And the moment you become aware of this you have created the space needed to effectively and maturely respond to every situation.

When instead you take the lazy, reactionary route you imprison yourself to the past; re-enacting old pain over and over and over again … until you consciously choose to update your automatic responses with conscious thinking in that tiny window of opportunity.

You are all right!

The sky is green,” says the one with the green-tinted glasses.
“No, the sky is rose coloured,” counters the one who sees through rose-coloured lenses.

Of course they are both wrong – the sky is blue! But do you perceive without distortion? Is the sky really blue or is this just an illusion created in our atmosphere?

What appears to be the truth is often not.Truth is jaded by our individual bubbles of reality, the direct result of how we were raised and by what we were made to believe in. Inside your bubble of reality you are convinced that you are right.

Maybe you want to be right, because you are afraid to be wrong. This could invite anything from criticism to humiliation especially when you are supposed to have the answer. To be wrong is often taken too personally and translated into “I’m wrong”. Instead of realizing that it’s only your thought process that is incomplete, based on misunderstanding or misconception.

People who want to be right don’t learn.
With an attitude of righteousness they protect the bubble of their black and white reality and seek alliance and support from likeminded. In their company they can fortify their views about their spouses, parents, children, bosses, government, religion, and more. The good guys versus the bad guys. Myth-conception: If you are right then I must be wrong.

Step outside your black and white reality. We both can be right seeing the situation from different angles. Let’s put our “rights” together and expand our bubbles of reality. Maybe there is some right in the wrong and some wrong in the right. Maybe there are shades of grey and even colour to the greys.

To learn from and with each other requires a humble mind.
Peace begins within you; and, of course, you can prove us wrong.