The Source from Which Self-Respect Springs

A relationship without basic trust has no security. Lack of trust creates anxiety. When we can’t tolerate anxiety, we resort to blame. And blame kills relationships. Anxiety is at the core of blame. When we’re upset, disappointed or angry because of another person’s behavior, we often use blame to discharge our feelings. To say it bluntly, we dump our negative emotions onto another person. Carl Alasko, Ph.D., the author of the book “Beyond Blame”.

John is rushing through breakfast. There’s no milk. He’s upset and says to Mary, “Darn it, Mary, why can’t you at least keep some milk in the house?”

In essence, John is criticizing Mary of being too domestically incompetent to even keep track of the household’s supply of milk.

Instantly she gets angry. “You know, John, I work too.” Frequently an accusation follows: “Since when are you so important that you can’t buy some milk yourself?”

Mary’s accusation angers him even more. “I almost got laid off at work and you expect me to stop and buy milk?!” Clearly, this argument is only going to get worse.

The antidote to blame is simple: state your complaint without criticizing or accusing. Admittedly not an easy thing to do.

But here’s how it works. John says: “Oh, darn, there’s no milk.” Not a word more.

Since Mary is devoted to John and committed to their success as a couple, she takes on the responsibility. “Really? I’m sorry. I forgot.” Nothing more needs to be said. Mary already feels bad. Carrying on about it won’t add anything to either the discussion or the reliability of the household milk supply.

To ensure trust, avoid blame. It’s a simple formula that helps keep relationships together.
A decade ago I might have been able to grasp the concept that Dr. Alasko writes about, but I would not have been able to practice it consistently. My anger about the past and fear about the future would have prevented it. How very grateful I am today that storm has dissipated though acceptance, hard work and growth. Today ‘I get it’, thankfully!

The willingness to accept responsibility for one’s own life
is the source from which self-respect springs.
Joan Didion

The majority of what is above comes from an article by Carl Alasko, Ph.D. http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/beyond-blame/201110/how-blame-kills-love

Originally posted here on May 22, 2012

Frequently Uncomfortable

2706077104_70df96a778_zPurely by personal choice soon I will be retiring from professional life in order to pursue a myriad of other interests. It’s an agenda far too long to ever complete, but I am exceeding excited and grateful to have the time to apply myself to it. My ‘new life’ will require some fairly radical habit changes. Lately, on and off, I have been reading thoughts on-line others have shared about breaking routine. Here’s a list of ten things I can start applying even before my time is my own:

  1. Hold a conversation with a new person everyday. Expand your world beyond people similar to you. You’ll learn about ways of life and outlooks on life that are incredibly different from your own.
  2. Avoid wasting time. You have far too little. Don’t watch television. Yeah, I know, you mostly watch the history and science channels. People tell me that all the time. Turn it off and go do something else. Anything else.
  3. Waste time. Relaxation frees the subconscious to connect the blocks of your knowledge and experiences. When you free your mind your subconscious has more power to bring in random thoughts or connect items that are not necessarily related to each other.
  4. Use your lunch, not just for lunch with friends or to run errands. Go to museums, new restaurants, new parks, try new foods. So many people waste this time working at their desks or going to the same restaurant with the same people and eating the same food.
  5. Read books from the Dummies series on subjects you have no use for. Even better, read children’s books; they’re faster. There are millions of subjects you could expose yourself to with a few minutes each day.
  6. Play with Legos and Tinker Toys and Lincoln Logs. The building challenges, the creation of something quickly and easily is both a puzzle solving exercise and builds visualization skills. In addition, anything that triggers childhood memories is good.
  7. Create a piece of art and enter it into an art exhibit. My guess, call it an educated guess, is that most of my readers can not even take this suggestion seriously. You have “No talent, time, tools, techniques, yada yada yada.” So how about taking some of that tenacity and courage and give art a try?
  8. Try writing a short story. You don’t have to be Hemingway. Trouble coming up with an idea? Write the story about a character doing what you do, at work, home, having fun, whatever. Two thousand words are all you need.
  9. Expose yourself to a wide variety of music. Thanks to the internet you can now listen to anything you can imagine and more. …if you normally listen to American Pop then it’s time to try some jazz and classical.
  10. Change your schedule… You’ll see your world differently, you’ll sense different emotions in the people you meet and hear different sounds.  http://www.pragmaticmarketing.com/resources/ten-ways-to-routinely-break-your-routine-vividly

Achieving a different life lived with fresh experiences and lessons is simple, but difficult. Regardless of the challenges I am marching confidently toward my new way of being with conviction. This change of direction seems so kindred, yet just out of reach.

Change is frequently uncomfortable, but in the friction with old habits lies new ways of seeing, being and understanding.  I am alive with anticipation and gratefulness for the opportunity life is affording me.

The only person who is spiritually smart
is the one who has learned how to learn,
unlearn, and change directions instantly,
and start all over again, if your soul calls for it.
Michelle Casto

Thoughts with Photographs

How would your life be different if…You stopped allowing other people to dilute or poison your day with their words or opinions? Let today be the day…You stand strong in the truth of your beauty and journey through your day without attachment to the validation of others. From “Life, The Truth and Being Free” by Steve Maraboli

If you celebrate your different-ness, the world will, too. It believes exactly what you tell it—through the words you use to describe yourself, the actions you take to care for yourself, and the choices you make to express yourself. Tell the world you are one-of-a-kind creation who came here to experience wonder and spread joy. Expect to be accommodated. Victoria Moran

Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.  Oscar Wilde

I am grateful to understand clearly the meaning of all three statements and profess my determination to practice them better this week than I have ever before.

If you had started doing anything two weeks ago,
by today you would have been two weeks better at it.
John Mayer

The Source from Which Self-Respect Springs

 A relationship without basic trust has no security. Lack of trust creates anxiety. When we can’t tolerate anxiety, we resort to blame. And blame kills relationships. Anxiety is at the core of blame. When we’re upset, disappointed or angry because of another person’s behavior, we often use blame to discharge our feelings. To say it bluntly, we dump our negative emotions onto another person. Carl Alasko, Ph.D., the author of the book”Beyond Blame”.

John is rushing through breakfast. There’s no milk. He’s upset and says to Mary, “Darn it, Mary, why can’t you at least keep some milk in the house?”

In essence, John is criticizing Mary of being too domestically incompetent to even keep track of the household’s supply of milk.

Instantly she gets angry. “You know, John, I work too.” Frequently an accusation follows: “Since when are you so important that you can’t buy some milk yourself?”

Mary’s accusation angers him even more. “I almost got laid off at work and you expect me to stop and buy milk?!” Clearly, this argument is only going to get worse.

The antidote to blame is simple: state your complaint without criticizing or accusing. Admittedly not an easy thing to do.

But here’s how it works. John says: “Oh, darn, there’s no milk.” Not a word more.

Since Mary is devoted to John and committed to their success as a couple, she takes on the responsibility. “Really? I’m sorry. I forgot.” Nothing more needs to be said. Mary already feels bad. Carrying on about it won’t add anything to either the discussion or the reliability of the household milk supply.

To ensure trust, avoid blame. It’s a simple formula that helps keep relationships together.

A decade ago I might have been able to grasp the concept that Dr. Alasko writes about, but I would not have been able to practice it consistently. My anger about the past and fear about the future would have prevented it. How very grateful I am today that storm has dissipated though acceptance, hard word and growth. Today ‘I get it’, thankfully!

The willingness to accept responsibility for one’s own life
is the source from which self-respect springs.
Joan Didion

The majority of what is above comes from an article by Carl Alasko, Ph.D. http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/beyond-blame/201110/how-blame-kills-love