Posts Tagged ‘health’

I DARE YOU TO ASK THIS

Relationships are critically important in our lives. On a professional level, being a good team player and getting along well with others enables us to maintain our jobs and receive such perks as bonuses or promotions. Also, connecting with the right people can advance our careers providing we have good interpersonal skills. How people feel about us on the job plays an important role in how successful we are professionally speaking.
In our social lives, relationships take on another vital role. Being able to form and sustain healthy bonds with others impacts the number and nature of our friendships, provides opportunities in social settings, allows for ease of living in our neighborhoods, improves our health, and contributes to our overall enjoyment of life.

On a personal level, strong intimate connections bond people together in marriage and secure the future of the human population. Intimacy of an emotional nature holds families together during life’s most challenging times. It also multiplies our happiness and sustains us through our darkest moments. It allows for a deeper understanding of all parties which foster personal awareness, compassion, and growth. We are challenged to become better people as a result of knowing others intimately.

Humans are social creatures by nature and therefore need a strong skill set in order to develop and maintain mutually satisfying and healthy, balanced, long term partnerships. Getting along well with others lessens the chance of damaging conflict from erupting, eases tensions between both parties, enables the individual to forgive the indiscretions of the other, extends support and compassion to each other, and genuinely enjoys the company of one another. Learning to work or cohabitate in close proximity with others is not an easy task but certainly one that is attainable and definitely rewarding.

In recent studies it has been shown that those in healthy relationships are not only the happiest but the healthiest as well. They also have a longer projected life expectancy than those who are loners or who have difficulty interacting successfully with others.

For the most part people put forth a sincere effort in trying to get along with others. After all, it’s just common sense that the more gratifying our interactions are with others the less stress between us. Healthy friendships are easier on every level and people seek to avoid drama as much as possible. When we truly care about others and the nature of our interactions with them, we treat them in a manner that benefits all parties. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” This philosophy has served mankind well for centuries.

Yet even with our best efforts we still find ourselves arguing, fighting, hurting one another, and becoming frustrated, disappointed, and disillusioned to the point where relationships suffer or fail. Many people are clueless as to what went wrong. Instead, of taking ownership for their role, they find fault with the other person: “You’re never satisfied with anything I do for you! I was a good husband/wife – there was no reason to leave me.” “I put my heart and soul into my job. How could they possibly fire me? This is so wrong!”

It’s difficult for individuals to fully comprehend their role in why a relationships didn’t work. We praise ourselves for everything we do right, for all of the effort we put forth, and for everything we overlooked in the other person. We’re also quick to criticize the other person for their imperfections and the mistakes they made. And in doing so, we remain oblivious.

Relationships are like mirrors: they reflect back to us aspects of who we are that we may not be aware of. If I want to look my best, I cannot see precisely what I look like without the assistance of a full length mirror to reflect back to me my own image. If I want to be the absolute best person I can be, I need others to point out to me what they see that I may be blind to. Yet when others comment on what they view as an imperfection, we fail to listen objectively to their comments. I do not deny the physical image the mirror reflects back to me. On the contrary: I am grateful that if I see something I do not like, I have the opportunity to correct it. Yet if someone points out a perceived flaw or defect, rather than appreciate their input, I become defensive and lash out at them. In essence, I deny myself the opportunity to learn something that may enable me to become a better person.

If you want to have strong, healthy, loving, joyful, respectful relationships you must be courageous enough to ask the following question. (And no, it’s not “What don’t you like about me?”) The question is: “Tell me what it’s like being with me?” This question is not for the faint-of-heart and if you are not fully prepared to consider the response, do not venture down this road.

The difference between the two questions I posed is that question number (“What don’t you like about me?”) opens one up to criticism, a perceived attack from the commentator on what they believe to be the shortcomings and liabilities of the listener. Few people are willing to hear such comments and may respond by attacking the integrity of the other party stating that they should be looking at their own faults rather than commenting on someone else’s. The second question, (“Tell me what it’s like being with me?” ), focuses on the individual’s personal experience of being in your presence.
Think of it from this perspective: imagine they are relaying their experience of being in the rain. They are not criticizing the precipitation itself but instead are speaking objectively about their first hand encounter of getting wet. Likewise with communicating their feelings about being with you, the inquiring party: since the focus is not on you, there is no need to become defensive and retaliate. You can simply listen to a recount of that person’s feelings about their encounter with you. Though not necessarily easy to listen to, it can be one of the most insightful opportunities of your life. “When we’re together, I feel uncomfortable, as though I need to monitor everything I say.” Or it can be positive: “When I’m with you, it’s like being with an old friend – very easy.”

Keep in mind: this is not a question for the fearful or insecure. One must be willing to listen quietly, open-mindedly, and without interruption to a complete recount of what the other person encounters when in your company. In doing so, you are able to see yourself through their eyes and gain some deep personal insights into the manner in which you portray yourself. The way we perceive ourselves is rarely the same as others do. Most of us live in denial about the way we behave or are eager to make lame excuses for our actions that we would not afford others.
This exercise is critical in determining whether or not we fully know ourselves and are portraying ourselves accurately (i.e. we are living authentically, do our actions perfectly reflect our intrinsic nature?). Additionally, we will discover what works well and what doesn’t with the other person. I may have a very strong energy that for the majority of people does not present a problem. But for my best friend I may project myself as aggressive or angry. Knowing this allows me to adjust the way I interact with her in a way that she can better relate to and feels more comfortable with. Doing so naturally improves the quality of the relationship.

If I want to look my best then I need a full length mirror to reflect back to me what I cannot see on my own. If I want to be my best, then I need the assistance of others who also mirror back to me what they see that is troublesome so that I may remove it from my persona or improve upon it. Only in doing so can I become the best version of myself possible. I owe that to myself, to others, and to the One who created me. So take the plunge: inquire of others “Tell me what it’s like being with me?” Then sit back, close your mouth, open your ears, and listen with the intend to understand and evolve. What others think of you really does matter.

In each of our relationships, let the well-being of the other person be our primary concern. Always be certain that their lives have been enriched for having spent time in our presence.

Order The Secret Side of Anger, Second Edition or The Great Truth @ http://www.pfeifferpowerseminars.com/pps1-products.html

Listen to past shows on iHeart Radio @ http://ow.ly/OADTf
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EMOTIONAL /SPIRITUAL RECOVERY FROM TRAUMATIC EVENTS

Life can change in a heartbeat. A few weeks ago, a family was stopped at a red light and rear-ended by a drunk driver. Their 10-year old son, Matthew, suffered a severe head trauma and is in a medically induced coma. The prognosis is not good and the family struggles to make sense of what was an act of sheer reckless endangerment. While hopefully many of us will never experience a trauma of this magnitude, we will all face some type of serious emotionally shock that we need to deal with. In some instances, the ordeal can be so severe as to dramatically alter who we are and the course of our lives. One’s life becomes unrecognizable in an instant. Even in those circumstances when we are given time to prepare for the inevitable, such as the death of a loved one suffering with Alzheimer’s or MS, the loss can be significant. In any event, one experiences a wide range of emotions that need to be addressed and healed in order that the individual can minimize any long term damage.

Trauma is defined by the American Psychological Association as the emotional response to an extremely negative event. It can manifest physically as well as emotionally. It is absolutely vital that one acknowledges their feelings rather than deny them. Every feeling has purpose and value and denial of such in no way dissipates them. They reside within causing unimaginable issues on multiple levels until identified and treated, much like termites on wood.

All emotions are the direct result of our thought process. What I think, my internal voice – the words I say to myself – dictates how I feel. Therefore, I choose my feelings. In any given moment, I can change how I feel by changing what I’m thinking. What makes trauma so challenging from our day-to-day emotional state of mind is that we continually replay the powerful event in our minds giving it energy to grow larger and more powerful. An understandable obsession that continually reinforces the horrific event we just experienced keeps it alive in our minds long after it has ceased. There are also neurological changes that occur in the brain after trauma as well.*

Common Emotional Reactions and Spiritual Solutions

Shock occurs when an event is so sudden or unexpected that we experience an extreme state of disbelief. Oftentimes, our belief system has conditioned us that such a terrifying act could not possibly happen to us. We believe we are immune to such a severe type of crisis. Initially, the shock can be so acute as to cause one to shut down emotionally, experiencing a sense of numbness and stoicism.
Slow, deliberate deep breathing enables oxygen to travel to the brain providing much needed nutrients that maintain mental clarity and stimulate our logical thought process. Realizing that no one is immune to tragedy and that God continually provides every resource needed to navigate this dark path gives us hope and strength to continue. That same faith in our loving Father reminds us that on the other side of tragedy is triumph as God heals our pain and restores inner peace and even joy.

Confusion: lacking clarity and direction. When one’s brain succumbs to emotional overload, it can be difficult to think clearly and make rational decisions.
Enlisting the aid of others willing to share their knowledge about what transpired can help you better understand what occurred. Expressing your hopes about what you want to do next and your longer term goals gives others the opportunity to guide you in the right direction and offer valuable resources to assist you. Breaking things down into smaller segments helps make the process more manageable and alleviates anxiety and feelings of being overwhelmed.

Denial: one’s unwillingness or inability to accept the reality of what transpired. Extreme disbelief deceives us into believing that there was a horrible mistake or that this is simply a bad dream from which we will awake. Fueled by fear, it keeps us trapped in an alternative reality.
Both logic and faith are the team mates that will help to bring us to victory over the inevitable. With the assistance of facts and the input of those we trust, we can face the truth about said event.”The truth shall set you free” is more than a catchy cliché. It is a powerful belief that reminds us that only when we deal with reality are we really able to take back our lives and move forward. Remember that God has already prepared us to face every challenge that enters our life and with each one our lives are enriched.

Sadness results when life does not cooperate with our plans. We experience disappointment and a sense of loss. One’s marriage was supposed to last forever yet somehow ended in divorce; homelessness is for those in underprivileged neighborhoods, not for the college educated. Sadness is a powerful emotion that robs us of the joy and motivation necessary to fully embrace life.
Prayer, our conversation with God, is a great tool to remove sadness and restore joy. Reminding ourselves of all that God continually blesses us with each day, what still remains in our lives to be grateful for, is the perfect antidote to sadness. One cannot be sad and grateful simultaneously.

Anger is derived from feelings of helplessness or powerlessness and is an outward expression of intense vulnerability and weakness. Extreme anger leads to rage. One experiences anger when their expectations are not forthcoming.
Everything external is beyond my control. I have no authority over anything outside of myself and my thought process. Realizing that life is not intended to conform to my demands and by putting my faith in the One who created and loves me beyond measure, I can relax and allow life to unfold organically. I understand that whatever enters my life has a higher purpose and is meant for my spiritual evolution. I can refocus my energies on how I allow my new circumstances to affect me, strengthen me ,and enrich my life.

Regret: one feels remorseful over what they failed to do or what was done improperly. An intense desire to relive the situation so that one can craft a more desirable outcome is not uncommon.
Recognizing that every experience, good, bad or indifferent, is a necessary part of one’s emotional and spiritual journey brings great comfort. Additionally, choosing to learn from the experience and share that knowledge with others so they may learn as well, adds immense value to a tragedy. Vowing to refrain from repeating the same unfortunate choices builds confidence that future traumas can be averted.

Fear is the antithesis of faith. We worry that the event will reoccur or that we may not survive what we just witnessed. Anxiety also arises from our concerns that we and/or others may not be fine with their new circumstances. Extreme fear can result in panic attacks, creating an immobility that prevents the individual from moving beyond the incident.
On a practical level, one can rely on their inner strength and attitude to overcome fear. Building on prior experiences of overcoming hardships helps to strengthen one’s self-confidence. However, faith in God, trusting in the promises of the Lord, is the true path to overcoming fear. When one truly knows that God would never allow anything to enter our lives that we were ill-prepared to handle, and handle well. His perfect love for us would shield us from that experience if necessary. Therefore, I need not fear the here-and-now nor the future for the same loving God is ever present.

Blame is a self-defeating behavior directed at the one we believe to be rightfully responsible or it can be wrongfully aimed on the self. People may hold themselves accountable for something they had no control over. For example: a parent whose child is diagnosed with a severe disease may feel as though there was something defective within them that they inadvertently passed along to their child, causing their child to become ill. Some blame God. However, our loving Father cannot cause bad things to happen as this violates His very nature. He gave us free will, intellect and choice. Events of the human genre are caused by man’s own actions.
Blame involves judgment which is a defeating action as it devalues the individual. Taking ownership for one’s mistakes while being compassionate of mankind’s imperfections removes shame, self-loathing, and misdirected anger. Forgiveness for their misguided actions and for their weaknesses allows us to move beyond anger and blame and restore the peace God intended for us.

Revenge often follows blame (of others). There is a natural human need to seek justice on those who perpetrated the offense against us. However, vengeance never produces justice as it cannot right a wrong or undo what has happened. One is still left with the residual effects of the event and a healing must still occur. Revenge is often thought of as a learning tool for the offending party as well as a deterrent from committing the atrocity again. However, neither has ever proven effective and only perpetuates suffering onto another.
Vengeance is mine, says the Lord. This in no way implies that God will punish those who committed the offense. On the contrary: Divine Love seeks to teach and heal and that is what God seeks for all His misguided children. Prayer is a powerful deterrent to revenge. Pleading for mercy for the offender heals the one making the request.

Guilt is not an uncommon reaction to a traumatic event particularly when others have suffered more than you, been severely injured or lost their lives. Survivors guilt is a common occurrence when others have passed away.
Understanding that you were in no way responsible for the event occurring, nor could you have prevented it is a good beginning. Many survivors find great comfort in realizing that God has a special plan for them. Realizing this and fulfilling His Will can be very comforting and alleviate residual guilt. It is also important to remember that even for those who have been injured, their experience is just as much a necessary part of their life’s journey as your suffering is for you. This in no way minimizes it but simply helps one to find some sense of peace, though rarely in its entirety. As for death, many view it as an end or a punishment. It is neither. Death is a transition from the temporal physical world back to the existence of eternal spirit which is our ultimate goal. One can find great comfort in knowing the other party has achieved a state of permanent salvation.

Never allow your life or who you become to be defined by your trauma. You are not your ordeal. It was a life experience that has a higher purpose. Your knowledge of and reliance on God will enable you to better navigate your way through a devastating event to a more empowered and meaningful life.

Acceptance of what is or what must be for our higher spiritual awareness allows us to find peace in our new circumstance.

Order The Secret Side of Anger, Second Edition or The Great Truth @ http://www.pfeifferpowerseminars.com/pps1-products.html

Listen to past shows on iHeart Radio @ http://ow.ly/OADTf
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*https://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2015/09/16/the-science-behind-ptsd-symptoms-how-trauma-changes-the-brain/

THE T-I-B-Bs AFFECT ON ANGER

Although we often classify a person’s actions as problematic, in truth a person’s conduct is never the real problem. Behavior is nothing more than an outward expression of an internal issue. For example, if an individual is in a bad mood and arguing with those around them, the fighting simply indicates a possible insecurity or fear. Perhaps the person is worried about their health and others are offering unsolicited advice. Their angst is overwhelming and can easily be expressed as agitation, causing them to vehemently dispute every suggestion for possible treatment.
A common reaction for a child who is being teased is crying, followed by an angry outburst. The emotion that proceeds the anger is critical to identifying the underlying cause: crying indicates pain or hurt – either physical or emotional. Like an animal who’s been injured, one lashes out as a means of self-protection. Fear of experiencing further pain compels the individual (or animal) to summon their rage in an attempt to get the attacker to back off.

Keep in mind, too, that the offensive behavior may in no way be connected to what is transpiring in the moment. Very often, there are old unresolved issues from one’s past that are being triggered by what is currently taking place. The person is not necessarily responding to the present stimuli but it serves as a reminder of a prior event.

In prior shows, I’ve discussed the three root causes of anger: hurt, fear, and/or frustration. As I just mentioned, the preceding emotion to anger invites a deeper insight into TIBBs: The Issues Behind the Behaviors. Certainly people can deny their anger or try to suppress or control it. However, none of these allows for a healing to occur. Denial of cancer does not heal the disease. Only when it is identified and treatment (whether conventional or holistic) begins does the afflicted activate the healing process and restoration of wellness.

So how does one identify the issues behind the behaviors? Again, taking a moment to ascertain the prior emotion is a perfect beginning to unraveling this puzzle. From there, one needs to work backwards to the point of origin, much the way a detective at a crime scene would. Here are some examples:
Monday night I was not in my typical cheerful frame of mind. Having to take a family member to court is something I prayed for a long time would not occur. But luck was not on my side and an attorney needed to be retained. Whenever I have contact with him, I become extremely distressed and conflicted. Being inquisitive as to how this issue was progressing, my husband queried me as to what the latest news was. If humans could growl, my response to him, while not disrespectful by any means, had a hint of canine in it. “It’s not going well at all! I just don’t want to pursue this but I’m caught in the middle and have to continue.”

I was annoyed (the mildest form of anger) and responded abruptly. But what emotion kindled the irritation? Hurt, for certain, that such a close family member could set out to deliberately harm me. Secondly was frustration that without legal representation I was basically powerless (from a purely human/physical perspective). Granted, I could choose to do nothing at all but doing so would only give cause for a continued problem with said family member. Lastly was fear – not the terrifying kind but a deep concern that justice would not prevail and that this individual would continue to cause duress in my life as they have for many years prior.

Once able to identify the root cause(s), I need to continue regressing to uncover the issues behind them. The hurt I was experiencing revealed several concerns: first that someone I loved and trusted for my entire life could become so vengeful towards me. The trust we shared for more than half a century was broken and most likely would never be restored. Betrayal is a deep wound that could take years to heal. Add to that the fact that a valued relationship had ended and I felt a sense of grief as well.

Behind the fear existed the deep sense of a responsibility I was granted that I may not be able to fulfill due to unforeseen circumstances. There was more at stake here than just myself. Many others were dependent on my ability to fulfill my duties. I was deeply afraid of disappointing them, even though on every level they would understand completely. I was also concerned that I would be letting down the ones who entrusted this task to me. When given a responsibility, I have always felt compelled to follow it through no matter what. I was taught to never quit and it is nearly impossible for me to do so, even when completely justified. In that regard, I see myself as having failed and for me, that’s a tough burden to carry.

Interestingly, the frustration arose from conflicting beliefs. When one feels powerless over a situation, they need to stop and inquire if said circumstance needs more energy or effort of another kind, or does it fall into the not meant to be category? Ego and its need for justice was at odds with spirit who argued that perhaps God wanted me to let go and trust that He would right this injustice.

So in summary, my (mild) anger was not the issue. Behind it lied the trifector: hurt, fear, and frustration. And beneath each of those resided issues of a broken trust, grief (loss of a loved one), a possible exaggerated sense of responsibility, fear of disappointing others, and inability to accept a perceived defeat. The battle between ego and spirit was at the root of my frustration: seek justice or allow an inequity to prevail? Or is the real issue to allow God’s justice to triumph over my version?

In this particular situation, the issue was a bit more complex than in others yet the process to uncover TIBBs (The Issues Behind the Behaviors) is the same. In order to heal anger, one must be willing to undergo this somewhat lengthy, and sometimes, challenging process in order to emerge strong and healthy. Failure to do so only gives license for those unresolved issues to fester and grow, interfering with one’s ability to be happy and live unencumbered by life’s relentless challenges.

What I need to work on are these:
Healing the hurt: only when we set up expectations of others do we put ourselves at risk to be hurt and disappointed. As much as I disapproved of the actions of my family member, I also realize that I have no right to impose my ways on her. What she is doing, as morally reprehensible as it is, is a necessary part of her spiritual journey. Once I am able to fully accept this, I can remove the judgments I’ve placed on her and find the inner peace I am seeking.

Healing the grief: we hold on too tightly to our relationships, especially those of a personal nature. We subscribe to the adage that blood is thicker than water; that you should always be able to count on your family. Yet in truth, our families are made up of imperfect beings with their own issues and agendas. No relationship, sans God, is meant to last forever. I need to remind myself that we shared a lot of good years together and as in death we are no longer a part of each other’s lives.

Let go of responsibility: even the most trustworthy and conscientious people sometimes fall short of fulfilling their duties. Unforeseen circumstances can deter the most determined of us. Like the weather, there are some things we simply don’t have control over. This in no way indicates a failure on the part of the entrusted one. I have always defined failure as a lack of effort. As long as one makes a concerted attempt there is some success that has been achieved. Letting go is in no way a reflection of my integrity or worth. It can be a recognition of the wisdom of letting things simply be; trusting that life is meant to unfold naturally and not necessarily according to my desires.

Neutralizing frustration: the battle between spirit and ego is a universal one that plagues all of humanity. In this instance, I need to remind myself that God’s Will must take precedence over mine. Relying on Scripture for guidance, I found passages that seemed to contradict themselves. From Isaiah 1:17: “Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.” Yet Luke tells us in Chapter 6:29 “If someone slaps you on one cheek turn the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them.” Therein lies the root of my concern: how can I fully know how God wants me to proceed in this issue?

If you were diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and your doctor gave you a list of activities you must abide by in order to heal your body, there would be no hesitation in following his directives immediately and completely. Yet many will be hesitant to embark on this journey of emotional healing claiming it is time consuming and tedious. But this I can promise you: that if you put forth effort you will achieve success. And as with any new practice, in time it will become second nature and you will more easily be able to decipher and heal the underlying issues behind your anger. Here you will discover your inner sanctuary.

Remember, behaviors are never the problem but behaviors can create problems. Identify and heal TIBBs and there you will find your peace. I wish you the best.

Order The Secret Side of Anger, Second Edition or The Great Truth @ http://www.pfeifferpowerseminars.com/pps1-products.html
Listen to past shows on iHeart Radio @ http://ow.ly/OADTf
Listen to my newest iHeart Radio show, BETWEEN YOU AND GOD, @ http://ow.ly/OADJK
Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest, Google+