You Are What You Think: Likes, Dislikes and Change

Mentalist

Have you ever had something come up and you instinctively disliked it?  Was this dislike based on an actual reason, or was the dislike merely because it wasn’t what you were expecting?  Why does something changing have to be about liking or disliking?

Humans have a complicated relationship with change.  We can find it disturbing if it comes upon us unexpectedly, but if things stay the same for too long we get bored.  If we don’t have any perspective or control over our reactions to the changes in life; than we spend our time constantly rocketing from one reaction to the next, a helpless passenger on the roller coaster of life.

I was told recently that you have to divorce yourself from the outcome of a situation and focus instead on doing your best and that is the only way to come through a troublesome situation unharmed.  It was exactly what I needed to hear.  The situation I was going through seemed completely dreadful at the time and I really had no control over it, or any way to make the bare facts of it better.  The sad part, for me, was that I had been looking forward and working toward this moment for quite some time, and now it here it was and it was not at all what I was expecting.  My only option at that point was to try and focus on my attitude toward the situation and not the situation itself and that is what I tried to do.  I will admit that I could have done a better job, as it was I stayed pretty distraught about it for a few weeks.

Looking back now my instinct is to be hard on myself for this lapse but that would be starting the cycle over again.  So instead of beating myself up and disliking my reaction to this change, I’m gonna think about how to do better next time.  Life is never going to stop changing and I’m never going to stop working on myself and those things combined give me something to look forward to.  So bring on the change, life, and I will try to see it for exactly what it is, neither good nor bad but possibly exciting!

Friday the 13th, A Real Life Horror Story

11-13-2015….

11-13-15

Liam Dineen FB

Seems like my entire FB newsfeed is blue, white, and red in support of Paris, France…..

Fox 31 News

Fox 31 News

Mitch Alexander FB

Mitch Alexander FB

FaceBook

FaceBook

Fox 31 News

Fox 31 News

Good Housekeeping FB

Good Housekeeping FB

Stacy Clement FB

Stacy Clement FB

FaceBook

FaceBook

Everyone’s Profile pictures look like French Flags…Even Elvira, Mistress of the Dark…

Elvira, Mistress of the Dark FB

Elvira, Mistress of the Dark FB

Forget where you stand. Forget the political beliefs you carry, forget any opinion on religion you feel, forget what side of the second amendment you stand on….

Remember that lives were lost….

sstorm0730.wordpress.com

sstorm0730.wordpress.com

Dissecting Understanding Part VII: The BFF

pintrest

pintrest

I am amazingly blessed. Being a solid and open person has enabled me to create quite a few strong and meaningful connections with several different people. You already know my business partner, Lollipop, whom I have only known a short while, but with whom it has already been established that we are lady soul mates. As wildly different as we are, the core of our being is so similar that we immediately recognized it in the other. And if you have read any of my blogs, then you also know about “my boys,” my “brothers from several other mothers” (although they all called my mother “mom” too). The core group is my family–I don’t need to see them all of the time to be assured that the love is still there, that it will always be there, and that I am not allowed to ever feel friendless and unloved! And visa-versa. Beyond the core are even more that I am really fond of, and I am sure the feeling is mutual. At work, I am pretty well liked, and usually hear, “Oh my gawd! I love you!” at least once a day, hahaha! In fact, I have several very good friends from a few places of employment. At the risk of sounding arrogant and full of myself, I am definitely not lacking in the friend department! I can make friends fairly easy, fall in love fairly easy, so when you enter the fold, I love you genuinely.

But this blog is about that friend. You know the one that I’m talking about, right? Yup! The BFF!!! (Obviously we became friends in the 90’s hahaha!) Best Friend Forever, besties, sisters from another mister, my heterosexual lifemate, whatever you want to call it; I have one! Desiree + Rachel = Best Friends Forever!! Currently, Desiree lives over 1,000 miles away, *big heavy sigh*, but I did just get back from visiting her!

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I’m not sure how it is for everyone else, but in my world, understanding the relationship that “Rita” and I have is a big part of understanding me. Seeing the two of us together, being able to handle the two of us drunk together hahaha, seeing the depth of our feelings for Buffy the Vampire Slayer and 90’s pop music…it is a lot! And it is important. I don’t make excuses about it–Rita is my BEST friend. Besides my mother, she is the only one who will be at the top of that list. Forever. Didn’t I mention that word before?

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Rita and I met in 1993 on the school bus; she in third grade, me in fourth. I was the second stop, and she, at the time, was the fifth stop. In a rural area, this meant that we spent a lot of time on that bus!! I cannot remember who spoke first and what was said, but I do remember when I realized that we were serious friends–she had tried a new hairstyle, and the kids on the bus were super mean about it (as they are prone to be), and the violent visceral reactionary feeling I had about these effers making fun of my friend, assured me then and there that we were besties!

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1993-Present….that is a long time! We did everything together! We made up dance routines to TLC and Immature, she endured all of my crazy favorite movies, we reenacted our favorite scenes as dramatically as we could, she taught me how to walk in a straight line (hahaha), fell in love with Clueless together, watched every awards show or Miss America, became full-fledged boy-banders together, started our own pop group and sang covers and copied dance moves from our favorite pop stars (TuiT forever!!!), ghost hunting, driving, the dating of best friends, became enraptured Buffy nerds….we even got kicked out of church together, hahaha, for not leaving each other’s sides!! (We were in different grades, after all. We “did not need to come back if we were only there to socialize!”) We had planned out our entire lives together!! Of course, nothing went as planned, but we are still together, hahaha!!

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I sincerely believe that best friends are important. They are that one person who really know you, who you cannot not be yourself around, who knows that you are crazy and will still drop everything to be with you when you need them. Rita and I, of course, have had our highs and lows. We have both done things to each other that seemed to be the “very worst thing imaginable and there was no way our friendship could survive that!!” It did, we did. We have slid out of each other’s lives and come back only to find the other in a situation that made us both go, “Really? You? You are doing that? Color me startled! But I love you anyway!” And guess what? We both eventually left those things, hahaha, once we were back in each other’s lives! We can lie to ourselves, but you can’t lie to your best friend…not really…

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Now, just a few days away from her entering “the 30’s” with me, we have definitely grown beyond being capable of petty fights with each other. Spending a week with her and her family was so incredibly easy. If I could, I would live there with her, in her guest room, sharing a bathroom with her daughters, for the rest of my life. Rita would totally be down, and I believe her husband would too, hahaha! Because I make her that happy and I am good with the kids, and my papa raised me to be a happy little handyman, which he is not, hahaha! But that is one thing Rita and I never got to do together, was have our own place. However, I was engaged on my 18th birthday…so I can see why it didn’t work out, but it still sucks. And even today, we cannot feasibly work out even living in the same state, dang it! But we are together. 1,000+ miles apart and we are always together.

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Thank you Desiree, for being the bestest friend ever. Thank you for loving me despite all of my ‘ish. And thank you for all of the amazing memories! “You complete me!!” Hahaha! TuiT Forever!!!

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“A part of you has grown in me. And so you see, it’s you and me together forever and never apart, maybe in distance, but never in heart.” ~Facts About You

An awesome blog that helped inspire:

http://www.puckermob.com/relationships/signs-you-and-your-best-friend-are-meant-to-grow-old-together

You Are What You Think: Judge Not

What  you think is the true basis of your whole personality, it directly informs your feelings, words and actions.  In this series that  I’m calling “You Are What You Think”, I am going to explore why what you think about is so important and the causes and consequences of different thought habits.

Character

Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote this quote during the 19th century and it is as true today as it was then and for a very obvious reason.  What we think and how we view things are completely intertwined. A liar, for example, is unable to trust others because he always suspects others of being as deceitful as himself.  Ken Keyes put it another way during the middle of the 20th century…

Mirror

This is why it is so important to pay attention, not only to what you say about others and what you say about yourself, but to what you put into your brain and what you think about or how you process that stimulus.  If you continually let your baser impulses run wild, if you don’t repeatedly and thoughtfully pursue empathy and rationality, you really have no basis on which to judge others or the world in which we live.  You cannot say “I am a good person and that person is bad”, because your own perspective is biased.  Thoughtfulness or mindfulness in your approach to life is the only way to be sure that your perspective is as accurate as possible and when you view the world in this way, you are often less inclined to judge others, because of your increased awareness of what you do not know about that person’s feelings or motivations in acting the way they do. To round this quote session out, here is one from a favorite TV show of mine from the 21st century…

asshole

When you act or speak in ignorance of what another’s circumstances might be, you reveal that ignorance to the world around you.  Or to put it one last way, from an even older source than Emerson, “Judge not lest ye be judged.” Another problem with spending so much thought energy on judging or disparaging a situation or another person is that you are wasting time and energy on a thought process that will ultimately leave you, in no better position than when you started out. A better use of your time might be to acknowledge the issue and then turn your thoughts away from the problem itself and who’s to blame and toward finding the best solution to the problem going forward.

Good News! Never Underestimate The Power of Hope!

Chant BeautyWould you have clicked on this post if the title had been bad news?

I turned on NPR this morning just in time to hear a gentleman say that you will never get someone to change their mind by yelling at them.  That comment tied in perfectly with this blog that I was already planning.

So would you click on a bad news link?  Maybe and maybe not, but don’t we all have enough negativity in our own situations without getting more of it from others?

Life is too short to be constantly focused on the bad stuff but unfortunately it’s human nature to obsess over the things that go wrong.  It takes effort to focus the mind on the good stuff.  It takes effort to count your blessings.  The reward from that effort is that you eventually train your brain to see the good without effort and you train the people around you to think of you as a source of inspiration and positivity.

When I became a stepmom I did a lot of research on child rearing and one of the suggestions I came across repeatedly was to not overuse the word no.  Instead of constantly harping on what the child is doing wrong and the dire consequences that will follow their mistakes, try to tell them what the right thing to do would be and the positive consequences that result from good decision making.  If you are only telling them what not to do, you leave them with no way forward, they are stuck knowing that what they did was wrong but with no information on how to make it right.  This same principle applies to every sort of human communication in our lives. It would work quite well in romantic relationships too.  So don’t be a nag, be a cheerleader!

The take away is this: if  you have a message that you want to get out there to the world, if you want to change peoples minds about an issue, I would suggest you take the advice of the quote above.  Don’t lead through fear or righteous indignation.  Don’t tell people what they shouldn’t do.  Tell them what they should do and why it would be better for them if they did!  Never underestimate the power of hope!

Skirting the Abyss

I know that this blog says “Philosophy Sunday,” (but Funky, it’s Tuesday!) but I wasn’t really up to writing this then….I don’t think I am up to it now, but I will at least give you a little bit of a heads up as to why I haven’t really written anything in so long….

So I have…had a dog, Precious. She was almost 16 years old. In the summer, I had called a vet to come out, because I felt it would have been in her best interest to go ahead and put her down, because she was urinating all over the house, and attacking our other dog and the cat. Her hips were getting bad, she had a huge lump on her leg, and she was going both deaf and blind. The vet said no.

So I did what I told him I was going to have to do, and made her an outside dog. For the next three months, I had to watch her deteriorate further and further. She was having a very hard time walking. She was getting stuck in her dog house, or behind it…eventually she could no longer stand up. Finally, my aunt gave me her vet’s number.

Yesterday, I had her put to sleep.

I still cannot talk about that just yet. But if you have read any of my other posts, then you might be aware that I have some serious issues with death. This is no exception. I am caught in between denial and anger–I’m really trying to cling to denial because I want to be numb….but I am angry. I haven’t figured out who exactly I am mad at…but it is pretty bad. I won’t go into it.

Anyway, that is the reason that I have not really written anything. I’m wrapped up in my grief….

Thanks…..

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Precious

True Love – What It Is and What It Isn’t

True love isThe quote above is meaningful in so many ways. So let’s start at the very beginning, it’s a very good place to start.

“True love is not just physical”…  It’s not just physical, although the physical is a huge part of it.  Of course when you hear that love is not just physical, you interpret it to mean that it isn’t just about lust but I think it goes beyond that.  The definition of physical from the oxford dictionary is.. “of or relating to the body as opposed to the mind”.  So in a deeper way it means that true love is about the mind or rather the mindset as well as the body.  If your attitude or mindset is negative toward the object of your affection than it is not true love because either this person is not right for you or you are not willing to do the work to keep your mindset positive.

“Nor romantic”…  One of the oxford dictionary’s definitions of romantic is “of, characterized by, or suggestive of an idealized view of reality”.  Don’t get me wrong, this viewpoint is important!  You should think that you are the luckiest person in the world and you should view your relationship through rose-colored glasses but what this quote says is that you need balance.  Romance is not the only component of true love.  No person or relationship is 100% positive all the time and you need to be able to see the down side of your mate and your relationship and still think it is worth it.  Which leads us to the last part.

“True love is an acceptance of all that is, has been, will be and will not be.”  This last part reinforces the need for more than a romantic viewpoint, because to some extent you need your love to be rooted in reality.  If you are waiting for your love to change, to become the person they should be, so that you can be with a “perfect” partner, than it isn’t really true love because you aren’t in love with who they are, you are in love with a figure that you have made up in your own head.  If you know that your love doesn’t want kids and you do and you are just hoping down the road they change their mind then you aren’t respecting them or their views in a way that you should with a true love.  When you talk to people that have been together forever they will all have stories about times when they were disappointed or frustrated and their relationship was on the rocks.  The one thing that made their love last was not that it was perfect, it was that they valued it enough to hang in there.  They valued it enough to accept it for exactly what it was and still hang in there.  That’s what true love is.  It’s seeing yourself and your love as clearly as you are capable of and still knowing that you wouldn’t want to be with any one else.