I choose to liv…

I choose to live by choice and not by chance,
I choose to make changes and not excuses,
I choose to be motivated and not manipulated,
I choose to be useful and not used,
I choose to excel and not compete,
I choose self esteem and not self doubt,
I choose to listen to my inner voice and not the random opinions of others.

The Parenting Landscape in “Modern Times”.

Protecting our children and keeping them from harm has become an anxiety laden priority for parents. And while keeping your child safe through being vigilant and alert is a sign of good parenting, the paranoia based phenomenon seen in over-parenting (over coddling), helicopter parenting (hovering too closely) or lawnmower parenting (smoothing out every obstacle in their way) is a classic example of good intentions gone seriously awry.

The difference between being there for your child to teach to guide and to mentor them and hovering so closely whether they need you or not is equivalent to being a good parent that respects and considers their child versus a parent that smothers their child’s natural growth and development.

Children need to live life to learn.

They have to fail, they have to experience frustration, they have to negotiate their own way and fight their own battles, they need to suffer the consequences of their own actions and they have to reap fair, earned rewards or praise for their efforts. Children have to learn the skill to pick themselves up after falling down. This allows children to learn to meet their own needs. It teaches them independence, taking responsibility for themselves, being self sufficient, and brave. The “soft” skills of motivation, persistence, resilience, tenacity, self-confidence, having solid boundaries and a solid work ethic are all based on these life lessons.

Taking away a child’s right to learn and grow in the school of life through over coddling and interference results in a generation of young people ill equipped to deal with life. Young people show limited conflict resolution skills, they show limited frustration tolerance and resilience, they sell themselves short because they fear failure and they trust and rely on others more than on themselves.

Even in parenting, it comes down to balance and boundaries.

It is our job to empower the next generation to live life well and to do this we as parents have to step back so that they can step up!

The 7 Steps to Happiness by SACAP

The 7 Steps to Happiness by SACAP

Authentically me.

Some time in your life, you will go on a journey – it will be the longest journey you have ever undertaken. It is the journey ….  to find yourself.   Katherine Sharp.

We live in a time where we have become “human doings” and we have forgotten that we are in fact “human beings”. We do so much and we chase so hard – we have “to do lists”, “to have lists” and even “to be lists” to keep up with the things we can’t fit into a day, a month or a year. Add to that the boundary problems of pleasing everyone and living up to people’s expectations and you have the right recipe for creating many faces to fit as many an occasions.

It has become very common to hear people say:

  • I don’t know who I am or
  • I don’t know what I want or
  • I am so different to the person I used to be / wanted to be.

Researchers at the University of Cambridge attempted to find out why children think they’re hiding when they cover their eyes. “They seemed to be making a distinction between their “self” that was hidden, and their body, which was still visible. Taken together with the fact that it was the concealment of the eyes that seemed to be the crucial factor for feeling hidden, the researchers wondered if their invisibility beliefs were based around the idea that there must be eye contact between two people – a meeting of gazes – for them to see each other (or at least, to see their “selves”).”

I like this research because it underlines the fact that we have an inner and an outer self. It also shows our nature to want to hide our inner selves and even though we smile and we think the little ones are so cute, we still do the same thing as adults – only we put on a mask instead of covering our eyes. We put on a show to the world to hide our true selves and if we keep doing it long enough – we forget about the inner self and believe all the outer selves we show to the world. We start thinking the outer self is the whole self.

Being connected with who you are is a very important part of boundary setting – internal boundaries. We will revisit self boundaries later, but first we start with “who am I – really”, because then you know why you are important enough to protect. You cannot protect anything if you don’t know what to protect nor can you protect anything if it is not worth protecting in the first place.

Stephanie Marston wrote:

“You can keep proving yourself by pleasing others   Or   you can discover and live your true self – the real you.”

For you to be authentic and true to yourself, you need to identify and respect who you are –

  • What are your needs,
  • Your dreams,
  • Your likes,
  • Your opinions,
  • Your hopes and
  • Your joys?

To be authentic means to be what is claimed – for most people that means to be what lies behind the masks. Be free to be truly you. Be free to live your inner self.

Until you know you, understand you and make peace with you – you will never be or have enough.

Healthy boundaries protect your core identity. A promise to yourself.

I want to be skinny and pretty,

I want to be rich, successful and significant,

I have to be perfect,

I want to be accepted, acknowledged and esteemed …..

Who do you think your worst enemy is? Your boss, your spouse, your out-of-control children, your neighbor  your in-laws? No, your worst enemy is … you.

Dearest Self,

Please take the time to get to know yourself more and then make the effort to accept yourself more.

Please take the time to acknowledge and own your own needs and then make the effort to nurture yourself more.

Please have the insight to know what is good for you and then have the discipline to make the right choices for you and please keep the promises you make to yourself.

knowing yourself

Please see yourself for who you are, separate, different and perfect as you are, – No, they don’t know you – you know you – your opinion matters.

Please honor your rights and show yourself that you will fight for you just as much as you fight for others.

Please start by accepting –

then owning and

then liking yourself –

We can talk about loving yourself later.

Comparing self

For now, please promise me that you will “Love thy neighbor AS YOU LOVE YOURSELF.”

Funny, how over time, the last four words have disappeared from the sentence. You respect others, you honor others, you forgive others, you have patience with others, you take care of others – you try very hard to love your neighbor – but you will not fully succeed if you do not start at the right end of that sentence – you will only succeed if you …. Start with yourself.

Yours most faithfully

Your Self

Take your own consequences please!

In previous posts I spoke about taking the wheel and driving the bus of your own life. We looked at taking responsibility for you and not allowing anything or anyone [externally] to dictate how you feel or what you do. It was all about choices and making those choices for you.

There is however an inevitability that follows choices ……

CONSEQUENCES.  Causality.  Cause and effect.  You get what you give.  You reap what you sow.

We are free to make choices, but we are not free to choose the consequences.

On the one hand we need to learn and accept that with every choice we make – and remember if you do nothing, you have also made a choice – we have to accept full responsibility for the consequences of our actions. If you “choose the choice” – you choose the consequence. No blaming other people or our parents or the world – just plain straight forward IT WAS ME.

 I am here today as a direct result of the choices I made yesterday.

I want to spend some time on the flip-side of this coin called ‘taking responsibility for the consequences of your actions’ and that is the issue of letting others take responsibility (and the consequences) for their own choices.

Do you tend to rescue people? Do you bail people out of the pickles they choose themselves into? If I don’t the sheriff will repossess all his things. Do you take the ball and run with it, because everyone else just drops the ball? If I don’t no-one else will. Do you do their homework when they “don’t have enough time”? If I don’t they will fail! Do you pick up their wet towels / laundry? If I don’t they will have no clean clothes. Do you cover for people or lie for them to protect them? If his customers knew that he was drunk again…

Do you allow the people in your life to escape the natural consequences of their irresponsible actions? If so, you are firstly doing yourself a disservice, because you cannot keep ducking a natural law in life – it will catch up to you at some time. But secondly, you are enabling / condoning / perpetuating the irresponsible behaviour. If a person does not experience the consequences of their actions – you hand them a free ride and there is no reason for them to change their behaviour. We all learn through the [sometimes unpleasant] consequences we have to face. That is how we grow and become responsible people. No consequences – no learning and no taking responsibility in the future.

 

 

Your healthy boundaries will force the people who do the sowing to do the reaping. Your healthy boundaries will allow people to feel the discomfort of their own choices and this will motivate them to change or it will motivate you to get outa there!

Consequences are not that hard to predict. If you spend more than you earn – you will have debt.

If you don’t pay your debt – someone will come to take your stuff to get their money back. If you over eat – you will be overweight. If you are overweight – you will suffer some serious lifestyle related diseases. If you don’t work – you will have no money. If you have no money – you can’t pay your house or buy food. If I am the one paying for your house and buying your food, what will motivate you to go to work?

 

“Mom, can you help me with this project? It has to be handed in tomorrow.”

“When did you get the assignment?”

“Two weeks ago”

“WOW – It sounds like you are going to have a long night – I am going to bed – Good luck!”

 

“What are you going to do about that?”

“What’s your plan for solving this?”

“I’m sure you’ll think of something.”

 

Many people focus on their rights or their freedom to choose whatever they want, but I would love to see a world where as many people placed the same amount of emphasis on their responsibilities and in particular their responsibility to reap what they sowed.

This is so true and just as relevant to psychotropics.

sapphirewellness

An ugly thing is sticking it’s head out in the local fitness industry. It’s not a new issue, it’s a resurrection of an issue that seems to have a cyclical component.

The last time I heard of this was about four years ago and then a friend drew my attention to it again last week. I doubt it’s been quiet in the intervening years, I probably just didn’t hear about it for a while.

The issue in question is the abuse of prescription medication for weight loss.

Four years ago, a friend and colleague in the fitness industry who was new in town asked for recommendations for a GP so that she could renew her prescription for her thyroid medication. A fellow personal trainer ( yes, a supposed professional), told her that if she went to a specific pharmacy and told a specific pharmacist that he had sent her, she…

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Boundaries – What else is it?

The greatest day in your life and mine is when we take total responsibility for our attitudes [thoughts, feelings, actions]. That is the day we truly grow up.

John C. Maxwell

In the first part of “Boundaries – What is it?” I spoke of choice – the fact that we all have a choice and the fact that we ALWAYS have a choice. The next pillar of boundaries is based on our ability to take complete responsibility for all your choices or put in a different way: Taking complete ownership for who we are and what we do.

Words used to define Responsible, Responsibility, Taking Responsibility are: Loyal, Blame / Ownership / Liability / Guilty, Duty, Dependability, Reliability, Trustworthiness, To take control, To take over, To take charge, To look after things.

What I would like to know is how do you define ‘taking responsibility’ for yourself? Have you ever really thought about what it means for you? I think we should all have a look at our own definitions of this word, because as I look at the list above, I see some pretty inspiring words, but in the same breath, I see some pretty loaded words that could easily get you into boundary trouble.

The written rule is: You are responsible TO others and responsible FOR only yourself. This means:

  • I take only responsibility for me. I am the only one responsible for my thoughts, feelings, attitude and behaviour. No one can make me do or feel anything I don’t want to. I choose to submit to people’s guilt trips and emotional blackmail. If I am at choice, I can still choose to do so, but it is my choice and not their fault.

When I only take responsibility for me, it does not mean cold, selfish and uncompassionate. It does mean self-sufficient!

Back to definitions: Selfish = self centered  self seeking, self interested, egotistical. Selfish is a process of taking everything for yourself to the detriment of others. Stepping on people with the overt intent to take for yourself.  Me me me and bugger you.

Self-sufficient = independent, autonomous, self reliant and self contained. Self-sufficient means I can look after my own emotional needs. I can stand on my own two feet in a relationship and be more available to my partner, because I am not needy or emotionally demanding. Me and you. When I am taken care of – I have more to give.

  • I control [am responsible for] me. When I am fully responsible for me it means that you [your words and moods] can’t control me anymore – I choose to act in a certain way, but the other side of the same coin is that I am responsible for getting my own needs, wants, desires and dreams met. If I don’t say what I want and I don’t get it – it is my own fault. Own your choices and don’t blame others or the environment.

Here’s an illustration we have all witnessed.  Two people go out on a date. He asks “What do you want for dinner?” and she replies “I don’t mind, whatever you want….” So he goes for the Chinese Restaurant. If she really didn’t care about what type of food, then all is well, BUT if she was dying for Italian – we have a dilemma. Whose “fault” is it that she didn’t get Italian? His? He is a selfish brute for not considering her. If he knew her / loved her / considered her …… he would have known. NOT TRUE.

If she handed the responsibility for her life to others, she would blame him and resent him. If she takes full responsibility for her own well being, then she will know that if you don’t take it, no-one else is going to hand it to you.

If you don’t own up and say something out loud – for all intents and purposes, it does not exist.

Other examples in relationships are:

You should know what I mean? … Compared to: You should just say what you mean.

You know me better than anyone, why should I need to say it? … Because it is your responsibility, not mine.

What’s wrong? “Nothing!!!!”…  Cool – then nothing is really wrong – end of conversation.

When someone misunderstands you and you respond with – “No, man, you know what I mean”…. It is your responsibility to say what you mean, not mine to figure out what you mean.

It isn’t my fault ….

He made me …..

Say what you mean and mean what you say.

 

A story about pleasing everyone.

One day an old man, a young boy and a donkey were going to town.

The boy rode on the donkey while the old man walked. As they passed a group of people it was remarked that it was a shame that the boy rode while the old man had to walk. The man and the boy thought that maybe their critics were right, so they changed positions. Again they passed some people who were quick to remark that it was a shame that the old man let the young boy walk. Again they considered their critics and both decided to walk.

Soon they passed another group of people who thought they were stupid to both be walking when they had a perfectly good donkey to ride on. After considering the new opinion, they decided to both ride on the donkey. Now they passed a group that expressed disgust at them for putting such a load on the poor donkey. Again they considered the critics and decided to carry the donkey.

As they crossed a bridge, they lost their grip and the donkey fell into the river below.

Moral: If you try to please everyone, or if you keep thinking that you cannot say no, you might as well watch your “ass” float down the river.

 

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