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Note: Cross posted from STATIC Youth’s Weblog.

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I love to read, I read books, magazines, newspapers and anything else I can find to read. I love to read different types or styles from Stephen King to Bishop Fulton Sheen. Give me a Catholic book, magazine or

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Note: Cross posted from STATIC Youth’s Weblog.

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Image by Rosie O’Beirne via Flickr

Ok, so here it is, I have been listening to talk radio on the way into work, and the big topic The Arizona law on illegal’s.  The Catholic Bishops seem to think the law is inhuman and some how degrading. The liberal bleeding hearts feel that the law is unjust and takes away the

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Note: Cross posted from STATIC Youth’s Weblog.

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calledtoministry This past weekend I spent my time reading and listing to Catholic radio. Of course I cleaned the house, did my wash and other such tasks, but I spent a lot of time sitting and reading. It was nice, I have not had a lot of time to do that, or should I say I have not made time to do that.

Note: Cross posted from STATIC Youth’s Weblog.

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Broken?

Image by littledan77 via Flickr

The family dynamic is a very complex thing, it offers great joy and great sorrow. People have write songs and preformed plays concerning the family. Most TV shows are based on the family dynamic and certainly we have read many many books on the topic.

My family is no different, we have dynamics. We have out moments of great joy and great sorrows, and often times the co-exist. But at times one will override the other, the great sorrow of the loss of a parent or child will trump the great joy, becoming the dominate dynamic. Yet other times they seem to mingle and and the line between the joy and sorrow becomes fuzzy at best.

This gray area of the family dynamic seems to me to be the area were it sits the most. We seem to exist in a void of high and lows and allow ourselves to tread lightly on the soil of betweenness. Nothing wrong with that, for the most part. The great joys and great sorrows can be extremely taxing on ourselves and the over all dynamic of the family.

This is were I find myself, I am currently walking in the land of betweenness.

I feel no great joy or sadness within the dynamics of my family. Currently I am having “issues” with most of my family members. Not a good place to be… Some of the “issues” are of my doing and some are not, as is the case with most family dynamics. But what is different now is that I do not feel and great emotion over this riff. This saddens me in a way, but in other ways it does not. I am at a point in my life were the fight is not something I want to do. The battle field seems a long walk and I am not up to the walk to the battle field, nor the battle itself.

This fact bothers me, why am I willing to let the battle defeat me with out even a fight? Why am I willing to allow the dynamics of the family triumph over me? Family Dynamics are a powerful adversary to have.

To me, it seems that I have been beaten up for way to long, that I have allowed the family dynamics to control me and now I am just tired of it. I no longer want to be beaten up or controlled. I have bent to the will of others to keep the dynamic in a joyful mode and in doing so place myself in a field of regrets. I no longer want to walk in that field. I now want to walk in a field that I choose, be it joyful or not, it is my choice.

I am sure the family dynamic will mend itself, one day, but I do no that it will not be the same as it was. Each of us have changed and that change will affect the overall dynamic. The new family dynamic will still be filled with great joys and great sorrows but they will be defined a little differently now.

Paul

 

Complex Dynamics: Families and Friends
We are never deceived; we deceive ourselves.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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Yesterday I was reading Our Sunday Visitor, a Catholic weekly newspaper, and ran across an article about a Catholic college that is being sued for following the teachings of the Catholic Faith. The article made me stop and thing, to reflect upon my faith and what it means to me. I am not going to go in to the details of the article here for you, if you want to know more about it read my STATIC Youth blog, there is a link to the article there.

But in the article the president of the college made the statement that he would rather see it close than to not follow the teachings of the Church. That statement really struck me. Be you Catholic or anti-Catholic that statement is a powerful statement to his and the colleges commitment to the faith. How many of us would be willing to say I would rather lose my job than to bend my morals? How many of us can truly say that the teachings of our faith are more important than my job…

Now the college is still there and only time will tell if he follows through on his statement of faith. Will he close the college if he is forced to change the policies of the college? And if so is he truly serving the Church or his own self interest, only God will know the answer to that question. But the debate surrounding this should be fun to follow. And in the end I pray that the college wins.

But back to the question, are you strong enough in your faith to take such a stand, to me it is a modern day form of persecution of the catholic faith and the college is the David with the Law being Goliath. The fight has started and little David is holding his own, but for how long?

We all are David’s in a world full of Goliath’s, are we willing to take up our stones in the battle with the giants of this world, is our faith important enough to us to fight the Goliath of secularism? Are we strong enough to fight off the armies of political forces intent on watering down the faith to make it less Catholic and more politically correct, more worldly and less Godly.

Can you say that your faith is strong enough to handle the on slot of attacks. Most of us avoid conflicts  at all cost, we will walk across the street or forgo a gathering to make sure we avoid the argument or conflict.  How many of us are willing to stand tall for our faith? How many of us are willing to take a stand and allow it to go were it will go, and willing be take were it leads?

just a question, I am not sure were I stand on this, I pray that I have the courage to take a stand for the faith, but truth be told, I don’t know, I have yet to be truly challenged.

In my pursuit to always improving myself, this is a issue of some importance. Will I stand the test of time, will I be able to stand tall when the world is coming at me, or will I crumble and fall, will I fail when the winds blow hard and rattle the foundation I have created? And the same holds true for my faith, faced with my Goliath, will my David prevail? Can I win the battle?

 

Paul

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This was sent to me from a friend in India, not sure who the original author is, he never stated it… But I thought I would share it…

Positive words.bmpI remember my dad teaching me the power of language  at a very young age. Not only did my dad understand that specific words affect our mental pictures, but he understood words are a powerful programming factor in lifelong success. 

One particularly interesting event occurred when I was eight. As a kid, I was always climbing trees, poles, and literally hanging around upside down from the rafters of our lake house. So, it came to no surprise for my dad to find me at the top of a 30-foot tree swinging back and forth. My little eight-year-old brain didn’t realize the tree could break or I could get hurt. I just thought it was fun to be up so high.

My older cousin, Tammy, was also in the same tree. She was hanging on the first big limb, about ten feet below me. Tammy’s mother also noticed us at the exact time my dad did. About that time a huge gust of wind came over the tree. I could hear the leaves start to rattle and the tree begin to sway. I remember my dad’s voice over the wind yell, "Bart, Hold on tightly." So I did. The next thing I know, I heard Tammy screaming at the top of her lungs, laying flat on the ground. She had fallen out of the tree.

I scampered down the tree to safety. My dad later told me why she fell and I did not. Apparently, when Tammy’s mother felt the gust of wind, she yelled out, "Tammy, don’t fall!" And Tammy did. fall.     

My dad then explained to me that the mind has a very difficult time processing a negative image. In fact, people who rely on internal pictures cannot see a negative at all. In order for Tammy to process the command of not falling, her nine-year-old brain had to first imagine falling, then try to tell the brain not to do what it just imagined.

Whereas, my eight-year-old brain instantly had an internal image of me hanging on tightly. This concept is especially useful when you are attempting to break a habit or set a goal. You can’t visualize not doing something. The only way to properly visualize not doing something is to actually find a word for what you want to do and visualize that.

For example, when I was thirteen years old, I played for my junior high school football team. I tried so hard to be good, but I just couldn’t get it together at that age. I remember hearing the words run through my head as I was running out for a pass, "Don’t drop it!" Naturally, I dropped the ball.     

My coaches were not skilled enough to teach us proper "self-talk." They just thought some kids could catch and others couldn’t. I’ll never make it pro, but I’m now a pretty good Sunday afternoon football player, because all my internal dialogue is positive and encourages me to win. I wish my dad had coached me playing football instead of just climbing trees. I might have had a longer football career.           

Here is a very easy demonstration to teach your kids and your friends the power of a toxic vocabulary. Ask them to hold a pen or pencil. Hand it to them. Now, follow my instructions carefully. Say to them, "Okay, try to drop the pencil." Observe what they do.

Most people release their hands and watch the pencil hit the floor. You respond, "You weren’t paying attention. I said TRY to drop the pencil. Now please do it again." Most people then pick up the pencil and pretend to be in excruciating pain while their hand tries but fails to drop the pencil.   

The point is made.         

If you tell your brain you will "give it a try," you are actually telling your brain to fail. I have a "no try" rule in my house and with everyone I interact with. Either people will do it or they won’t. Either they will be at the party or they won’t. I’m brutal when people attempt to lie to me by using the word try.

Do they think I don’t know they are really telegraphing to the world they have no intention of doing it but they want me to give them brownie points for pretended effort? You will never hear the words "I’ll try" come out of my mouth unless I’m teaching this concept in a seminar. 

If you "try" and do something, your unconscious mind has permission not to succeed. If I truly can’t make a decision I will tell the truth. "Sorry John. I’m not sure if I will be at your party or not. I’ve got an outstanding commitment. If that falls through, I will be here. Otherwise, I will not. Thanks for the invite."             

People respect honesty. So remove the word "try" from your vocabulary. My dad also told me that psychologists claim it takes seventeen positive statements to offset one negative statement. I have no idea if it is true, but the logic holds true. It might take up to seventeen compliments to offset the emotional damage of one harsh criticism.           

These are concepts that are especially useful when raising children.

Ask yourself how many compliments you give yourself daily versus how many criticisms. Heck, I know you are talking to yourself all day long. We all have internal voices that give us direction.         

So, are you giving yourself the 17:1 ratio or are you shortchanging yourself with toxic self-talk like, " I’m fat. Nobody will like me. I’ll try this diet. I’m not good enough. I’m so stupid. I’m broke, etc. etc."   

If our parents can set a lifetime of programming with one wrong statement, imagine the kind of programming you are doing on a daily basis with your own internal dialogue. Here is a list of Toxic Vocabulary words.   

Notice when you or other people use them. 

But: Negates any words that are stated before it.               

Try: Presupposes failure.     

If: Presupposes that you may not.   

Might: It does nothing definite. It leaves options for your listener.

Would Have: Past tense that draws attention to things that didn’t actually happen.

Should Have: Past tense that draws attention to things that didn’t actually happen (and implies guilt.)         

Could Have: Past tense that draws attention to things that didn’t actually happen but the person tries to take credit as if it did happen.             

Can’t/Don’t: These words force the listener to focus on exactly the opposite of what you want. This is a classic mistake that parents and coaches make without knowing the damage of this linguistic error.       

Examples:           

Toxic phrase: "Don’t drop the ball!"   

Likely result: Drops the ball     

Better language: "Catch the ball!"   

Toxic phrase: "You shouldn’t watch so much television."             

Likely result: Watches more television.   

Better language: "I read too much television makes people stupid. You might find yourself turning that TV off and picking up one of those books more often!"   

Exercise: Take a moment to write down all the phrases you use on a daily basis or any Toxic self-talk that you have noticed yourself

using. Write these phrases down so you will begin to catch yourself as they occur and change them.

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Below is an article I read and I thought it would be very helpful to others, enjoy…

Paul

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7 Ways To Keep Going

By Therese J. Borchard
April 7, 2009

A woman who lives with chronic pain said to my mom the other day, “You can’t sit around and wait for the storm to be over. You’ve got to learn how to dance in the rain.”

That’s a perfect description of living with depression, or any chronic illness. But what do you do on the days you don’t think you can take the pain anymore? When you want so badly to be done with your life … or at least be done with the suffering? What do you do when anxiety and depression have spun a web around you so thick that you’re convinced you’ll be trapped forever in those feelings?

I’ve compiled a few tools for moving past that harrowing darkness, suggestions on how to emerge from a place of panic, and techniques on how to dance in the rain.

1. Escape from the pain.

Lately, when my thoughts turn dark, I’ve been telling myself that I don’t want another life … I want a reprieve from the pain. I’m usually at a loss on how to get there. I’m tired, frustrated, desperate, so my thoughts follow the path that has already been blazed throughout the years … and I fantasize about intoxication or some other destructive behavior that doesn’t require a lot of imagination.

How else can I escape … in a positive way? Instead of romanticizing about death or inebriation from booze, I can research new kayaking routes, bike paths, hiking trails, and camping sites. I can invest the time I lose in unproductive and dangerous thoughts into planning creative outings for myself and for the family that will give me/us the reprieve that I’m craving. I can be proactive about finding sitters for the kids so that my thoughts won’t revert back to “stinking thinking.”

2. Track your mood.

An essential piece of my recovery is keeping a mood journal. This helps me to identify certain patterns that emerge. As I said in my “Me on the Bad Days” post, depression can flare up seemingly out of the blue, like a thunderstorm. But often there are telltale signs that can clue me in as to why I’m feeling so fragile. You can catch these if you’ve been recording your mood over time.

3. Talk about it.

I can’t get a therapy appointment round the clock, so I had better invest in some friends that won’t tire of me telling them that my thoughts are turning to mush again.

Over the weekend I called two friends and my mom. “I’m going there again,” I explained. They know what THERE means … without my having to explain or justify. I don’t fully understand how gabbing heals, the scientific explanation of why venting does so much good, but I can surely attest to it, and confirm the connection between talking about something and feeling better. It’s like you’re a scared little kid in a lightning storm, and a neighbor, seeing that you’re locked out of your house, invites you inside and makes a cup of hot chocolate for you. Well, maybe it’s not that good, but it’s close, which is why our phone bill is way up this month.

4. Repeat: “I WILL Get Better”!

As I said in my video, “I WILL Get Better,” I think about my Aunt Gigi every time I wind up in the depression tunnel, and remember her repeating to me over the phone a few years back: “You will get better. Repeat that. You WILL get better.” Peter J. Steincrohn, M.D., author of “How to Stop Killing Yourself” wrote: “Faith is a powerful antidote against illness. Keep repeating – and believing: I WILL get well. If you believe, you help your doctor and yourself.” And this paragraph from William Styron’s “Darkness Visible” always reassures me:

If depression had no termination, then suicide would, indeed, be the only remedy. But one need not sound the false or inspirational note to stress the truth that depression is not the soul’s annihilation; men and women who have recovered from the disease–and they are countless–bear witness to what is probably its only saving grace: it is conquerable.

5. Take baby steps … a day at a time.

On mornings that I wake up with that nauseating knot of anxiety in my stomach, everything seems overwhelming. Getting myself to the bathroom so that I can brush my teeth feels seems like a triathlon in August. So I don’t attempt the triathlon. I only have to worry about getting my left foot down on the ground. And then my right one. And then I have to stand.

I’ll look at my to-do list and cross off two-thirds of it. “What on this list do I absolutely HAVE to do?” I say so myself. Everything else can wait. And then I start with the first thing, and do the first mini-movement that I need to do in order to accomplish that. If it’s getting Katherine dressed, that means 1. Finding Katherine. (That’s harder than it sounds.) 2. Picking out an outfit. (Ditto.) 3. Helping her out of her nightgown and into her clothes. (That’s where my nervous system almost shuts down.) And so on. Each item on the list can be broken down into a dozen mini-steps.

6. Distract yourself.

Some days I’m just not worth much. All I can do is distract myself … to keep myself from thinking about how awful I feel. Just like Fr. Joe carved figurines out of soap when he was depressed, and Priscilla made jewelry to keep her mind off of her anxiety, I will try to do anything to keep my brain occupied and away from my hurt, sort of like I did when I was in labor: baking chocolate-chip cookies, looking through old pictures, listening to Beethoven and Mozart, watching a comedy, swimming, running, biking, or hiking through the woods. (I didn’t do all of that in labor, though.)

7. Get out your self-esteem file.

For the past few days I’ve been carrying around letters from my self-esteem file in my pocket like a baby blanket. Some people have told me that my self-esteem must be shallow if I have to rely on praise from other people. Maybe it is. But I have to start somewhere, and anyone who has sat in that panic place where you want to end it all, knows that it’s virtually impossible at that time to come up with a list of your own strengths. So you have to believe what other people say.

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Therese J. Borchard writes the daily Beliefnet.com blog Beyond Blue (voted by Psych Central as one of the Top 10 Depression Blogs) and moderates Group Beyond Blue, the Beliefnet Community online support group for depression. Her memoir “Beyond Blue: Surviving Depression & Anxiety and Making the Most of Bad Genes” will be released in January of 2010. Subscribe to Beyond Blue here or visit her at www.ThereseBorchard.com.

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