I Doubt It

Doubt isn’t the opposite of faith; it is an element of faith.”

Paul Tillich

Doubt lies somewhere between belief and disbelief. It involves uncertainty, distrust, and the lack of sureness in what you know, do, feel, or decide. Doubt questions what you believe as well as your thoughts, feelings, and decisions. It is the rascal responsible for delaying or rejecting a decision based on the fear of mistake. So how can doubt be an element of faith?

Doubt crippled my dancing career. I was seventeen before I slow danced. A decision based on the fear of mistake or embarrassment prevented me from approaching a girl. It was a decision based on doubt. That decision resulted from focusing on everything that could go wrong.

In other words, giving more thought to the bad instead of good is bad.twisting head

A decision involves weighing the options equally then choosing. Doubt that permeates fear is bad doubt. It essentially hijacks the thinking process until the thought of failure takes a seat on the couch. The longer that thought stays, the harder it is to move. At this point, doubt even questions the people trying to help.

This is bad because I move from neutral to reverse. To move back to neutral, shut-up, sit down, and start doing the opposite. It you weren’t praying before, now’s the time.

Temptation is that person, place, or thing that say’s, “Over here.” It alone is not dangerous until the flirting begins; it is the prelude to action. Only execution takes flirtation to the danger zone. Flirting with temptation is not advisable, unless you are prepared to lose.

Between feeling and action, there is a decision to act or not. “Do I dance or not?” This is an intersection worth visiting. It is worth visiting because all the tools are designed to pass through this intersection. Doubt is agathokakological. That’s a $5 word that means doubt, like faith,  is both good and bad depending on you. Weighing a list of pros and cons is good thing to do, if you do it. A tool, like doubt, is only as good as the user.

Here Comes the Judge

 judge-clipart    Others judge one another according to their own rules of fair play. This sense  of justice is a secret bitterness that passively waits for the Day of Judgment. It’s the feeling that someone has done wrong and the day will arrive to point it out.                                         Until then they privately hope for destruction.

 It is most notable in gossip, someone says they forgive but in fact dwell on it. This type of forgiveness is bogus. It is words only with no action. The rational is that others fault dimension their value while magically increasing ours. I trust you see the problem; it is the opposite of love. This thinking, besides psychotic, weakens the design meant to strengthen us. I believe God created all. This is a belief that we all belong to the same family. Therefore any mistake by any of us weakens the herd.

Judgment cracks the relational bond and widens the gap until it breaks. When people “forgive,” in reality they feel it is a get-out-jail free card. The (ill) logic is thinking their past and future crimes get erased so long as the crime is less than the one “forgiven.” Reminding another of their guilt, to justify your wants, goes beyond the border of bad behavior into the neighborhood of crazy town. It accounts to relationship extortion.

People never recall the last good thing as easily as the last bad thing. There is more value in remembering others wrong because of a perverse form of behavior currency. This currency holds worth in others mistakes. The ledger of accounts is held by those who judge.  The ledger is the secret record of wrongs and rights. It is important that others do worse. Then you will always be in the black. Hopefully others do worst; this means you have something on them. So they can never question you. Tell me you see the craziness!

ledger clipart

Everyone keeping a ledger recalls wrongs. They live a relative life because the truth is too hard. It means measurement is not based on accomplishment but rather screw-ups. In other words, the more those around me screw up the better I become. A judge never forgives because they lose power. The more they have on someone the more control and superiority they feel. Kind of like a Pharisee. Keep a healthy boundary between you and record keepers.

Good behavior is just good behavior. The intent and action are the same. It is original, other words, independent of anything anyone else does. It is True. Get it? For no other reason then it’s the right thing to do. Start with being prepared to forgive, that’s natural. Finish with running to welcome with open arms because you can’t wait to forgive because it hurts. That’s Supernatural.

 

Sometimes YOU Fight

I think it is incumbent on anyone who can lift human dignity to the highest possible levels, maintaining one’s own and helping to raise that of others

– Henry Rollins –

 Many know I am a addictions counselor. I started in detox, I was the counselor, thank you very much. From there I worked outreach with Heroin addicts. Addiction is an uncontrollable obsession / compulsion. I say uncontrollable because even when you know better, you still engage in the behavior.

I have been a family therapist in private practice for 12 years. I see all sorts of pain and its root. Sexual addiction ( i.e. pornography, lust) is a drug like no other, it destroys the value of others. It is a root that bears great pain.
Q: Do you know what happens when we humans devalue each other?
A: Things like slavery and human trafficking happens.
fist
Q: Do you want to make the world better?
A: Fight. Stop destroying the dignity of others.

 

To read more of this, check out fight for better.

WWJD

  Remember WWJD?             WWJDIt became popular in the United States in the 1990s. The phrase is a reminder of their belief to act in a manner that would demonstrate the love of Jesus through actions.

Lately I’ve been thinking, something I am doing more of these days. What WOULD Jesus Do?   Our savior is attributed many attributes and we Christians are reminded to emulate these; 1 Corinthians 13:4-8.

Love is patient. Love is kind. It does not want what belongs to others. It does not brag. It is not proud. It does not dishonor other people. It does not look out for its own interests. It does not easily become angry. It does not keep track of other people’s wrongs. Love is not happy with evil. But it is full of joy when the truth is spoken. It always protects. It always trusts. It always hopes. It never gives up.

The final four sentences is Jesus. He protects, trusts, is hope and never gives up. We humans talk a lot, we even make cool bracelets. More than the talk and hype, we need to protect each other. We need to trust before we doubt. We need to hope because sometimes that’s all that can be done. And never stop trying.

Remember what Jesus would do and what he did and why.

It’s About Time

I was told I should change the title and give an example. This is the revised post with example. I am glad to see more than one person follows my blog.

There is an advantage to listening to hundreds of conversations; you learn. In Appalachia, where this Koala lives, they say “I’ll learn you.” And that is exactly what happens, after twenty years, my patients have learn me as much as I have learned them. This week was just one of those times.

Sitting in my office listening to a couple with three children talking about their twelve year marriage, the wife said something that hit me. That’s another thing, even after twenty years of listening, you can still hear things that hit you. This particular statement echoed in my head all week until it formulated itself into a blog post (this post). It wasn’t the words as much as the matter-of-fact delivery that caught me.

“Maybe when the kids are grown and leave the house, we can [emotionally] support one another.” Wow! I witnessed the female species dance around these words for the sake of the male species feelings but never a direct hit rendered with as much emotion as, “Today is trash day.” The male was stunned as he pondered the meaning. When I say male, remember, there were two of us in the room.

I first approached the statement from a gender role perspective. Women, in general, are maternal: pertaining to, having the qualities of, or befitting a mother. Men, in general, are paternal. You guessed it, pertaining to or having the qualities of a father. I know you, already know this, but consider that when the male and female human species are attracted, it is not for the means of reproduction. Meaning when boyfriend and girlfriend are together, behavior and emotional support is reciprocated, you scratch my back I scratch yours. They are the only two with no thought to more. Even when boy an girl become husband and wife, the bond is self indulgent. This is not bad, just the opposite, it is very good. It strengthens the love (bond) of the mates. My children hate it when I use the word mate, which is why I do it.baby-carriage

Remember the rhythm, “Bob & Sally sittin in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G. First comes love, then comes marriage, then come baby in a baby carriage.” When baby comes, that self indulgent bond shifts to maternal and paternal roles. It should shift. let me rephrase that, it NEEDS to shift. My wife obviously was the best girlfriend ever, that’s why I fell in love. The thing is, with the birth of my children, I experience a love that trumps all other love on earth. So what’s the problem? The problem is with mom and dad.

Look up the antonym of maternal and you get paternal. This once self indulgent love of emotional support is now directed towards the baby and the gender roles are not synonymous. In other words, dads role is different then moms role and the two split in their focus. Typically, dad takes on more work to cover mom staying home to care for baby. This split is the initial tear of the boy and girl. The tears continue until one day, in the therapists office the words,  “Maybe when the kids are grown and leave the house, we can [emotionally] support one another” comes out.

My conclusion, after twenty years of listening and twenty-one years of marriage; DO NOT WAIT. You have a 100% effort to give. The mother / father part takes 75%. Give the marriage 10% effort.

juggle timeDo the math. If there is 7 days in a week and 24 hours in a day, then there is 168 hours a week That means 168 hours equals 100%. Lets start with the biggies, sleep, job, and the time preparing for both.

Sleep takes 56 hours or 36%. Work takes 40 hours or 24% The time to and from bed and work takes 20 hours or 11%. These numbers are only for demonstration, I am sure your life is not this orderly. My point is 72 to 75 percent of your effort is spent maintaining your (family) life.  In my scenario you have children, they get 17 hours or 10%. That is a little over two hours a day of personal attention for them. Starts this early and it will save you great effort the older they get. Mom and dad also get 10%. Again about two hours a day, the same rule applies for the kids. Start early and will save your marriage a great effort the older you get. If you do the math; 56+40+20+17+17= 150, that leaves 18 hours to do the rest.

Do not rob from the relationship because there are not enough hours in the day. Doing so will cost more effort in the end.That means the part that should wait is the part that is robbing the marriage.

Lukewarm Burns Me

Believe that life is worth living and your belief will help create the fact.

William James

If you have a belief, let’s hear it. I or anyone else doesn’t care if it’s not the same as mine. Or I should say, you shouldn’t care; it’s your belief.

In 2011, Ipsos conducted a poll for Reuters News in twenty-four countries. The issue was belief about the origins of human beings.

Respondents were prompted with “There has been some debate recently. Please tell me which of the following is closer to your own point of view” and presented with:

  • Some people referred to as evolutionists believe human beings evolved over a long period of time growing into fully formed human beings they are today from lower species such as apes;
  • Some people referred to as creationists believe human beings are created by a spiritual force such as the God. They do not believe that the origin of man came from evolving species such as apes; and
  • Some people simply don’t know what to believe and sometimes agree or disagree with theories and ideas put forward by both creationists and evolutionists.

The results indicated 41% identified themselves as “evolutionists” and 28% as “creationists,” with 31% indicating that they “simply don’t know what to believe.”

The evolutionist view was most popular in Sweden (68%), with the United States ranking 28th (28%). The “creationist” view was most popular in Saudi Arabia (75%), with the United States ranking 6th (40%).

The interesting thing is the three groups closely divided into thirds, meaning a third Do believe in creation or evolution, a third Don’t and a third are not sure.

tonguefrozenBelief is a powerful thing; it’s not easily separated from the believer. This is what concerns me; a third of us do not seem to have a belief. Unlike the 10th dentist in a popular tooth paste commercial. Remember, 9 out of 10 dentists recommend …. That is a brave dentist, I mean 9 of his colleagues chose xyz and he felt so convicted that he said “No.” I want to know more of the other 9. Did they all agree? If so, my admiration for number 10 grows. I bet at least four could not decide.

The power is in the choice. In my experience the choice depends upon three types of people. The DO, DON’T and DAZED. These three kinds of people or personalities decide the decisions. The DO, solve problems on their own. There is no magic to their problem-solving skills other than the fact of focusing on the solution rather than the problem. They have faith that a solution is out there. The opposing person is the DON’T. These people are obsessed with the problem to the point that they are blinded to any possible solution. Lastly are the DAZED, they are neither DO nor DON’T. Neither hot nor cold but rather LUKEWARM.

I am a Christian and a therapist, therefore, I am a Christian therapist and my belief in God influences my thoughts. Belief is a strong thing, if it is more than a casual acquaintance. When I share my belief, it is not my intention to separate anyone else from their’s  but only offer mine. My belief is just that: Mine. Because belief is so important, the assumption you have one. Guess what happens when someone tells me they have “No Opinion,” that’s right, I get hot. Not lukewarm.

I will tell you what I believe because I chose to believe it, just as you chose your beliefs. Considering a different way to look at a belief does not change it. I say this because many are threatened by considering a different perspective. This should not be the case; it suggests a weakness in the belief.

As a Christian therapist I see God as the Master therapist listening to our problems. He knows the problem better than we do. He will guide us for Bold standoutgood, but that choice is ours. If you’re a Creationist, be BOLD in your belief. If you’re an Atheist, be BOLD in your belief. If you are dazed, seek until you believe.

Listen to wisdom, and do your best to understand. Ask for good judgment. Cry out for understanding.  Look for wisdom like silver. Search for it like hidden treasure.  If you do this, you will understand what it means to respect the Lord, and you will come to know God. (Proverbs 2:2-5)

The Choice is Yours

It’s official, you are responsible. According to my exhaustive research (counting votes) of the poll question,         What make a person LUKEWARM?

40% homeworkof you said it is caused by a lack of conviction. That means not having  a firmly held belief or opinion. You may ask, “How is that possible, everyone has an opinion.” I agree anonymous person, but its not the absents of opinion but rather how Firmly it’s held.

Wishy-washy is a limp noodle. It flip-flops this way and that. 27% said that is the cause. Everyone is so concerned with making everyone happy that they are unconvinced. I agree secret Santa but as a therapist for the last twenty years, I am not convinced people are concern with making each other happy. They should, but lack conviction.

26% say it is learned behavior and therefore is a universal problem to be expected. I agree my incognito compadre  but learned behavior is susceptible to the surroundings and so changes. In a word, it is Lukewarm.

Which brings us to the last of our respondents. Seems 7% of you identified with being so Lukewarm you could’t chose. I agree with this 100%, my invisible friend. It is funny that the answer choice I offered as a joke turned into the one I firmly believe. For me 7% of the population is stuck in perpetual neutral. They are neither going forward or reverse. Surprise! The Bible talks  about Lukewarm. That is the bad news for 7%.

pointing-down-hand-clip-art-gg55937556 The good news for 93%, THE CHOICE IS YOURS.

Having a choice is called Freewill. The idea is choosing for yourself. The choice then becomes personal, as in, you chose how to think, act and talk. That said, you are responsible for what you think, act and say.  If unhappy with your current location, you are the one that is responsible to move. If not, the assumption is, you must not be that unhappy. You are always in the driver seat, especially when you Don’t agree. Keep in mind, freewill is not freedom; freedom is dependent upon free choice. Choose poorly, freedom is restricted. Choose wisely and freedom is wide open. Freewill belongs to you alone; freedom is something we all share so be respectful of others when you choose.

Who Am I?

Who am I? This existential question haunts mankind. It begs an answer. The fact that no answer has emerged over the countless generations tells me that these three words are a riddle. To add insult to injury, we live in an era of information overload. The internet will give answer to billions of questions and it is literately at your fingertips. Despite this unprecedented access to knowledge, our collective anxiety has increased, blame Al Gore.

At this point you may be asking, “What caused your existential crisis”? In pursuit of solving the riddle of who I am, I did what any curious American would do; I Googled my name. Yes, Google is a verb.

In the midst of of my discovery, I found that my name is shared with a person I would rather NOT be associated. After the initial shock, curiosity asked a question. How many of my name are out there? Delving deeper into the alternate reality called the virtual world, I Facebooked my name, that doesn’t sound like a verb. I discover quite a few me out there, all with interesting LIKES. This compelled to post a statement of clarification to a Facebook group to which I belong, 30 Day’s of Hustle, to announce I was not the man from Hawaii.

After this, I closed off the virtual world and went to wally world for some reality. That evening I discovered 42 comments  from the Facebook world, all telling their version of dual idenity. Turns out Ashley is a bank robbing yoga instructor that sells cars for Tesla Motors. Paula was a homicidal bank, I guess robbing was not enough . Veronica did not share her name with a pedophile, like me, but rather a porn star. I personally would prefer the porn star. Trish, a  pro golfer, appears to be the most respectable of us. Personally I prefer the golfer over the lawyer, sorry Jennifer. Rachel is a rock star and Laura says she is always in the obituary. Evidently she doesn’t die, I would have someone look into that. Last there is Lisa Simpson, I had to give her last name. If you ever watch an episode of the Simpsons, you know her story. I could go on but you get  the idea.

This made me ponder what  Bill said:

  name

Self identity is key to our psychology. Don’t believe me; listen to music, go to a movie, see a play, or anything else us crazy humans do to express our inner self, like write a blog post. Do you watch reality T.V.? I should ask, Do you admit to watching reality shows, which are not really reality. There’s an existential accident waiting to happen. This is a good time to give you a psycho therapists view of reality programs.  And yes, I separated psycho and therapist on purpose, I don’t know if I have a firm grasp on reality.

We are overly curious into the lives of others. This is why we watch countless hours of programs of people pretending to live a life like ours, even when we know it’s not real. Why? Self Identity. Unknowingly we imprint speech and mannerisms of these programs that begin to surface as part of our identity. I was a victim until eight years ago. One Saturday my  seven-year-old daughter saved me and the family. It happened when I realized my little girl turned into Hanna Montana.

mac_vs_pc_2This is what I call my Truman moment. Today life and time, as I know it, is a true relation. Let me explain. True is life as I see me based on me. Relative is life as I see me based on others.  Relative is comparison to something else. This means that every time I am compared to someone else, it is a relative perspective. Other do this to me. I cannot control what others view but I can control my view. This means that anytime another attempts to measure me by comparison, either good or bad, I discard the comparison. I separate myself very tactfully, because I want to be the best I can be and I cannot do that when compared to another and I do not want to be with others who do not see me.  Only seeing me for me is a true representation, there is no comparison.

Relative perspectives are useful when launching  missiles but not living life. I suppose if you want to live the life of others, relative perspective is more useful than true. If, I suppose, you want to live a true life then relative perspective is not useful. Actually, it is the opposite of helpful.

 

                                                                       Who are you?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Remember Moses when he came across a burning bush? He asked God the same question.

Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?”

God said to Moses, “I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I am has sent me to you.’

Exodus 3: 13-14

So, who am I ? I am I and U are U and that is good just the way it is.

 

 

To PING or NOT

I PING. You PING. We all PING, for ice PING. Forget that last part, I have no idea what’s a ice Ping. The only time we don’t PING is when PP (Potential Pingers)  are not around . Whenever PP are within, I too ping. I can’t help it, it’s how I navigate the unspoken word. According to Wikiepedia, a Ping is in everything from sonar to politics:

 

For the last of our Pings. I can only imagine that Mr. and Mrs. Ping, fearing that the last name alone wouldn’t ensure teasing, named their son Nim-rod.

We PING off each other because we are sensual beings. Everything we experience in life is only possible though our 5 senses5 senses.The senses are frequently divided into exteroceptive and interoceptive:

  • Exteroceptive senses are senses that perceive the body’s own position, motion, and state, known as proprioceptive senses. External senses include the traditional five: sight, hearing, touch, smell and taste, as well as thermoception (temperature differences) and possibly an additional weak magnetoception (direction).
  • Interoceptive senses are senses that perceive sensations in internal organs.

The PINGER is located in the the parietal lobe of the brain which processes visual, auditory and touch information. The temporal lobe is the primary area for early auditory processing and a high level visual processing area. The occipital lobe processes visual information and sends it to the parietal and temporal lobes.

Why am I telling you all this? To show that you were made to PING. It is how we make sense (pun intended) of our world.  PINGing happens, when you don’t know it. This means you and I are cell towers. Literately because we are towers of cells. Get it? CELL towers. O.K., it was a bad joke. We are also figuratively cell towers because of the way we PING off each other

Let me give you a common example of the PING. It starts when I come home from the office. As soon as I step into the castle, the PINGing begins. I am not sure who or when it starts. It really doesn’t matter since there is continue PING action whenever multiple PINGers are in range. Anyways, the PINGing starts. It could be a look or maybe nothing at all. Might be a word but it doesn’t matter because the PING is interested in the tone, sight, and feel of the word … or lack of a word. Are you beginning to understand the importance of the PING and how complex it is? To make it worst, everyone is on a slightly different frequency.

After 21 years of marriage, the wife and I are on the same frequency. Most of the time. It has required a series of tweaks and fine toning to understand each others PING. That would be good news if it was only the two of us. The thing is; we have three children. That is five PP’s (Potential Pingers) living together. You see were I am going. The more PINGing, the greater the need to respect the PING. My example is a family. Think office, church, dorm, post office, restaurant. See what I mean?

The conclusion is where the blogger (ME) I imparts a pearl of wisdom, here it is, RESPECT THE PING. Realize that from the time you wake till the time you sleep, you timeoutand everyone else is communicating. Either verbally or non verbally, we are always saying something. And that something is being received and analyzed by any number of PP’s in range.You cannot turn off the PING but you can modulate the transmission and reception. This means you control what comes in and goes out. If you are having trouble sending and/or receiving, talking or listening without harming yourself or others, it’s better to isolate your PING until you can control it. This is what the TIME OUT is for.

 

Play the DEPRESSION Game

Depression is an opponent just like any other, YOU struggle to be the one that wins. The thing that makes depression such a deviant is that it steals your desire to play. Forget about winning, your desire to even play is gone. The only defense is to trick the brain. When you trick the brain you are using a strategy called:  FAKE IT till you MAKE IT.

It’s a simple game:

Whoever has the most points (You or Depression) wins.

The following is the list of points.

 

 

Get out of bed when the alarm clocks go off. No alarm clock? Then get out of bed the same time every day. –  9 points

Take a shower once a day at the same time – 13 points

Eat breakfast before noon. Coffee doesn’t count, eat some food. – 11 points

Talk to a friend. Not text or email or Facebook, actually move your lips and speak words that someone hears and speaks back. -15 points

Don’t have a friend … Get one.  – 33 bonus points  (20 if they’re virtual)

Do 20 minutes of some sort of exercise. Yes, cleaning the house counts.   – 17 points

Do not go to sleep while the sun is shining.  – 14 points

Read a little each day of a good Nonfiction book. I can make an excellent recommendation.  – 12 points

Have an entire day with only 5 processed food items.Processed is prepackaged like chips, soda, fast food,  & connivance food.  – 21 points

Taking medication as prescribed each day.  -27 points

Limit alcohol to 2 ounces per day.  This is two 12 oz. beers of glasses of wine  – 29 points

Do something kind for someone else each day.   -24 points

Go to bed each night at the same time.  – 9 points

Each day, be different then those around you – 33.3 points

 

Total Score per Day = 224.3 with Bonus for a friend

 

Rules are easy: Just DO it. The more you do, the more points you earn. The less you do the more points depression gets.

 

Want to learn more? Got something to say? Want to talk?.  Click here to Talk to me