Posts Tagged ‘interview’

Achieving Self-Compassion

At times, human beings can be incredibly compassionate towards one another. A family member going through a difficult time is encouraged to take extra care of themselves. A teen struggling with adolescent challenges is given support and encouragement. We offer our assistance to a neighbor who’s spouse is seriously ill. When others are at their worst, humanity is at its best. And yet, we are sometimes remiss in extending to ourselves the same tender care we offer to others. Is it that we feel we are not deserving of such compassion or can a little pampering be misconstrued as a sign of weakness or indulgence? Regardless, God tells us to “love your neighbor as yourself.” He is instructing us to extend the same mercy to ourselves that we do to others. What can we do to extend compassion and understanding to ourselves? Here are a few suggestions:

1. Be your own best friend. When asked, “Who is your best friend?” I would venture to say that people don’t respond with, “I am!” Typically, we think of our best friend as the one who is always there for us, kind and thoughtful, who accepts us as we are, and so forth. Do we posses those same qualities that could qualify us to be our own best buddy? The consideration we show to our friend – are we willing to treat ourselves in the same manner?

2. Develop beliefs that work for you. Do you have belief systems that were imposed on you by others? Do they work for you? A particular religious belief, a healthy living plan, an idea of what a successful life looks like – these are all beliefs that can cause internal unrest if they do not align with what works best for us.

3. Know your inherent worth. You are not who others say you are. You are not your mistakes, flaws, or bad choices. You are first and foremost a sacred child of God. Your value has been pre ordained by the One who created you and no one or nothing can ever diminish that.

4. Do not project your needs onto others. Expecting others to want the same things as you, to feel as you do, or act in the same manner causes unnecessary stress and frustration in life. Be free to be yourself and extend the same courteously to others. Life is much easier that way.

5. Choose happiness and peace of mind. Would you advise your best friend or child to be happy or miserable? Would you recommend that they fret over things they have no control over? Of course not. When you care about someone you encourage them to be happy and at peace with what is. Each is a choice. Love yourself enough to give yourself the gifts of happiness and inner peace.

6. Take good care of yourself. From the physical, to the emotional, intellectual, and spiritual aspects it’s important to give yourself only what is absolutely in your best interest. Carefully choose your friends, foods, activities, beliefs, feelings, and intellectually stimulating material making certain that each enriches your life in some way.

7. Tune into your authentic self. In other words, know thyself. The ancient Chinese philosopher and writer, Lao Tzu, author of the Tao Te Ching, stated that “He who knows others is wise. He who knows himself is enlightened.” One must first know their authentic self before being able to provide all of their needs.

8. Eliminate negative reactions. The simplest way to avoid reacting to any situation is to train yourself to stop and assess the situation before responding. A deeper understanding of what has transpired coupled with an evaluation of what one hopes to achieve by responding, allows for a more thoughtful and positive reply, thus ensuring the situation improves rather than deteriorates.

9. Appreciate what you have. Gratitude goes a long way in bringing us joy and happiness. Those who focus on what is lacking are generally miserable and unhappy. Give yourself the best. Be grateful.

10. Enjoy the present moment. Too often, we are trapped in the painful experiences of our past, leaving us feeling helpless, remorseful, and bitter. Excessive focus on the future can lead to anxiety and worry. Regardless of where you reside, if you are doing either, you are not fully embracing the present. Let go of both. Live in the moment.

11. Pass your compassion on to others. Remember the same love we express to one is meant to be shared with all. In this way we can be an instrument of compassion and thoughtfulness to others. Good deeds have a way of paying us back tenfold.

Confucius once said, “Remember, no matter where you go, there you are.” Treat yourself well. You deserve it.

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Grief, Healing and Wholeness

Elizabeth Kubler-Ross defined the five stages of grief in her 1969 book, On Death and Dying. Grief is a deeply personal process and each individual experiences it on their own terms. Some may endure all five stages, others only a portion; some progress in a seemingly reasonable period of time, for others the process is much slower. In any case, it is important to recognize that there is no right or wrong way to grieve and no time frame that is considered normal. It is equally important to understand that grief, like every other emotions, fluctuates. One is not condemned to a lifetime of suffering from the loss of a loved one. Likewise, the grief process does not simply apply to human loss: loss of a pet, a lifestyle, a career, a home, estrangement – each can trigger the five stages of grief. With the proper resources, support, and attitude one can embrace an emotional and spiritual healing and be restored to wholeness.

The Five Stages of Grief:
Denial: a numbing sense of disbelief, refusal to accept the facts. This defense mechanism is used to avoid feeling pain. Shock serves to protect the individual from becoming overwhelmed all at once and can last for several weeks.

Anger: As the shock dissipates, one experiences intense pain and suffering. Although unbearable, it is critical to acknowledge pain rather than try to suppress or deny it. This is a critical period when some individuals may turn to alcohol or drugs to numb their emotions. However, feelings do not heal spontaneously. They need to be identified and worked through. The root of anger is hurt, fear, and/or frustration. Any or all of these are part of the grief process. Anger towards others (“who can I hold accountable for their death?”), anger at the self for what was said or done that shouldn’t have happened (hurt) or what one failed to say/do, words left unspoken (regret/guilt). Fear (“what will happen now, how can I live without them?”); frustration (“I couldn’t save them.”) Self-pity may also surface during this stage.

Bargaining: Bargaining with God is a tool used to pull oneself out of despair. (“If you just bring my husband back I promise to go to church every Sunday!”) We seek to restore some sense of power over the situation that we feel has been taken from us.

Depression: Months after the loss it is not uncommon to experience periods of depression and deep sadness. The magnitude and finality of what has occurred sets in and some may withdrawn from family and friends. Melancholy brought on by time spent reflecting on certain aspects of your lives together can lead to feelings of emptiness, loneliness, and despair. It’s critical at this time to reach out to others for support. Isolation can lead to more serious problems.

Keep in mind, that these stages do not necessarily occur in order nor are they complete once you’ve experienced them. It is not uncommon to revisit those emotions that you thought had been put to rest.

Acceptance: In this the final stage of the grieving process one reaches a point of acceptance, a quiet recognition of reality, an objectivity that allows for a clearer view of what is still good about life. There is oftentimes a sense of emotional calmness and inner peace.

Healing And Wholeness
One need not suffer indefinitely from a significant loss. There is hope to restore wholeness and a sense of joy to your life. Here are some additional suggestions:
• Understand that death is a natural process of life. It is not an end but rather a transition from the physical (temporary) world back to pure spirit (eternal).
• Put your focus on feeling gratitude for the time you spent together.
• Honor your loved one’s life by doing something in memory of them.
• Seek the lessons in the loss: to love more freely, to appreciate those while they are present and let them know; to forgive more readily, and so on.
• Replace the pain of your loss with the warmth of fond memories.
• Allow God to heal your heart and mind from your loss.
• Use this experience to bring you into a deeper understanding of our loving Father. All healing comes from the Divine. He will provide all of your needs so rest peacefully in His loving care.

Psalms 39: 7 “And so, Lord, where do I put my hope? My only hope is in you.”

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

My husband is brutal: he teases and torments me unmercifully. But I’m just as bad. From the moment we wake up until we crawl exhausted into bed at the end of the day, we are constantly harassing one another. In fact, the first words out of his mouth as he opens his eyes at 5 am are “Are you annoying me yet?” To which I respond, “I can begin whenever you want.” Or perhaps I’m feeling more considerate at that moment: “I’m trying really hard not to but it’s not working.” If, later in the day, he asks why I’m being so irritating I simply reply, “Because you make it so easy for me!” Then we both have a good laugh. It doesn’t matter how many times we repeat this exact scenario, we still find it hilarious. We know each others funny bones intimately and are well aware of what each person is comfortable with in terms of teasing as well as what crosses the line. I can tell simply by his body language if I’ve gone to far. It may be that I’ve touched upon something sensitive or perhaps he’s simply not in the playful zone at that moment. Either way, I immediately acknowledge my lack of sensitivity and apologize. He, like each of us, decides what is and isn’t amusing to him or when something, once taken in jest, has lost its lighthearted component.

But how can one know if a cutting remark is playful banter or a biting insult? There are a few key elements that distinguish the two. To insult is “to treat with indignity or contempt; to injure or offend; rude” – powerful words all indicative of disrespect with an attempt to harm. Good natured, witty, and joking are words used to define banter, quite a contrast from a verbal slur. In addition to one’s choice of words, intent is critical in determining whether a comment is impudent or witty. Your best friend may refer to you as crazy. Insult or banter? If that term suggests that you are mentally imbalanced and possibly dangerous you would probably take offense. However, if she was referring to your unpredictable, free-spirited, and fun-filled behavior you may very well delight in her assessment.

Prior to engaging in playful banter, consider the following:
o Know person’s level and style of humor before making any remarks.
o Pay careful attention to your motive: is it playful, light-hearted; intended to make the other person laugh?
o Avoid sensitive topics or anything that may be perceived as offensive or impolite.
o Be certain the individual is in a jovial mood.
o Check your sarcasm at the door. Sarcasm is not humor – it is passive/aggressive anger.

The following characterize insulting behavior:
o You seek to get reaction out of other party, to exert power and control over their feelings and actions; symptomatic of bullying behavior.
o Your comments are embarrassing, humiliating, hurting or causing discomfort to the intended party.
o Your comments are unkind, disrespectful, negative, and serve no productive purpose.

If in fact, you are subjected to derogatory statements, take positive action:
o First and foremost, seek to understand why their comments bother you. This experience can truly be an enlightening moment if you allow it to be. Ask yourself, “What within me needs to heal?”
o Speak up, be assertive. Inform the other person that you do not care for what they are saying to or about you. Set and enforce firm and reasonable boundaries.
o Remove yourself from the individual or situation. Re evaluate if it is in your best interest to continue having a relationship with them and if so, to what extent.
o Remember, their comments are not reflective of you but rather are a portal to their issues. Forgive them for their insensitive remarks.

Conversation needn’t be stuffy or restricted. One can speak openly and honestly to others even concerning sensitive issues. But when words hurt, we need to take a step back, re examine ourselves, consider the motives behind such statements, and choose how we interpret and respond to them. Words can fill our souls with joy and laughter or rip our hearts to pieces. So choose them wisely for once spoken they can never be retracted. And the effects can be long-lasting.

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