Thursday, 23 July 2020

Some topics that seemed to come out of nowhere

Communications? Er, yes, communications. Well, I've been teaching human resources, not just HR. I mean, er, I've taught other subjects, too. You know, like, management and that type of thing. I was stammering. We're ashamed of feeling afraid, inadequate, lonely, as if we've failed or done something wrong. None of these conclusions are true. It's a misguided expectation that we're supposed to be serene all the time. A depressed patient once apologized, I wish I could be coming to you for something more spiritual. I felt for him, but like so many people in pain with that commonly held perception, he was mistaken. Facing emotions--all of them--is a courageous, spiritually transformative act. As you look into yourself, this is a failproof formula for liberation: dare to keep expanding your heart even if you've been justifiably wounded by pain or disappointment. The effort is never wasted. As you do, ferociously resist selling out by becoming cynical or shutting down (claustrophobic states worse than death to me). No matter what you've experienced, there is always hope for change and healing. He struggles to respond to even the most straightforward questions. After a few failed efforts to get him to discuss his charges, I move on to basic questions about his birthplace, his family, his upbringing. Sometimes when defendants become annoyed or angry when discussing their legal cases, they fare better on the psychosocial-history portion of the exam. Frank does not.

When asked how many siblings he has, he responds, Quite a few, that's all I can tell you. When asked how his mood is this morning, he says, I plead the Fifth. He refuses to answer most of the questions I ask him. When he does respond to questions, he rambles on unintelligibly about God, about how mental illness is a lie to pacify Satan, and how his attorney is a turncoat and a traitor. At times in the middle of a sentence, he trails off, closes his eyes, and tugs at his unclean beard or greasy, disheveled hair. I ask Frank whether he has been prescribed psychiatric medications, and he responds that he has been but that he stopped taking them some time ago. That is when he came to see me and began to discover the emotional void he had carried around for a lifetime. What was going on? Keith had experienced a Phantom Mom--a mother who was detached and absent. His mother had not abused him, but she had not been emotionally available. Thus Keith never learned how to connect and be intimate with others. In many instances, the Phantom Mom is a lot different than Keith's. He experienced a Phantom Mom who didn't connect but did not abuse. Following are some of the many variations on the Phantom Mom theme: The common and unfortunate scenario in all of this is that the child cannot develop an attachment to his mother that fosters his emotional ability to become a truly relational person. THE NEED THAT WON'T GO AWAY Do you have to wear army boots and not comb your hair? That may be fine for women with good hair, but I have a veritable Kraken on my head. It'll take over the world if I don't comb it, and I don't look good in army boots. The disharmony that resulted from the changing gender roles has caused a lot of tension over the years.

Some men and women retreated to the safety of traditional roles, becoming entrenched in their position that women should remain in the home and subservient to men. Stand by your man, as Tammy Wynette sang. Others landed on the opposite extreme, rejecting everything traditional including the family. The man-haters, or maneaters, depending on one's perspective. However, that left a whole lot of us in the middle. We want to work, and we want a family. How many of your contacts honestly care about you and your success? Do you understand each other's goals and aspirations? Are you doing things to help each other achieve them? The reality is that networking as we know it tends to be shallow, superficial and ineffective. What you actually need for exponential growth and success is a network of transformational rather than transactional connections. Stage 1: Ineffective I'm an introvert. They've put the whole concept of networking in a box labelled `Fear'. Fear feeds on itself, eating away at our self-esteem, confidence and ability to share what's in our own head with anyone else. Worse still, this fear of engaging confidently means we inadvertently engage with failure. Then you can get it right. Taking action is the solution. Now is the time for progress, not perfection, because if you wait for perfection, you will never get started. Creating momentum in your life could be as simple as just taking a single step or action, making that first move.

If you are focused on taking the first step, life has a habit of showing you the next step to take, and the next and the next. Create momentum towards a goal you desire and the plan will unfold around you. Do you feel confused? The unclear Ever had too many choices? With so many opportunities to pursue were you unclear which was the right one to take? So when we go back to our memory files we're working from some pretty shoddy evidence. This means that past and future thinking is taking up our valuable airtime and energy, and to very little advantage. When Past and Future Thinking is Helpful Oh, I remember, this is the man who tried to mug me last month; Oh, this is where the hole in the pavement was that I fell into and broke my skull; When Past and Future Thinking isn't Helpful I ate a really bad snail when I was nine so if I see anything that looks like a snail I have to kill it, even if it's a hat that looks like a snail I reported a man who was wearing a badly fitting toupee for sexual harassment. Now whenever I see someone with a bad toupee I scream, `Rapist! Past and future thinking causes us endless angst because we're constantly caught in a trap of remembering so many imagined disasters that no longer have anything to do with survival and this leads to rumination; Look, Celeste, he told her, Get down here with me and look under the pot. What do you see? She angled her head to where she could see the view he wanted her to, and she could barely believe her eyes. Reddish-black and brown roots had all but swallowed the bottom of the clay pot, pushing their way up from the earth beneath the pot and right into its drainage holes.

She had never seen anything like this before. No wonder she couldn't lift the pot off the ground. These roots had it tied down to the earth! She looked back up at her father with a Now what do we do? And with that he drew from his work belt a small pair of sharp-looking scissors and began snipping away one by one at the invading roots. Celeste watched closely as, snip by snip, the little clay pot began to be cut free. And also, you know, I've written for magazines and newspapers and I'm, you know, used to talking to media and stuff like that. What's your name? Your surname. Cederstrom, I said. Carl Cederstrom. I can send my CV again. No, that's all right. I found it here. Can I call you back in a minute, when I've had the chance to look at this? An hour later the consultant called back. It's a miracle within reach. Don't be afraid to want it. The way to start is to understand the basics of emotional freedom. Here's a mission statement that summarizes the process.

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