Friday, May 28, 2010

Secrets, Melodrama And Misdirection Are Our Livelihood

Secrets and Melodrama are our livelihood, they are our stock and trade. We are good at manufacturing them and we are good at keeping them and we are good at misdirecting others away from the truth so the truth won’t be noticed and so we can safeguard our own little world. We are good at demanding that others adhere to our need for them to keep our secrets, because we know that without them keeping our secrets none of the melodrama that we believe we so desperately need would exist … really.

Secrets, Melodrama And Misdirection Are Almost Like Substance That We Abuse.

All this need for secrecy and melodrama is fostered by our sense of low-esteem. Secrecy and melodrama is the evidence that we are not in denial that we are, in fact, in delusion.

Denial is said to be a place in our consciousness where we know what the truth is and we simply won’t admit it out loud to anyone.

Whereas: Delusion is a place in our consciousness where we really believe our own melodrama …it’s real as far as we are concerned …thus the need for secrecy and melodrama.

It Is A Form Of Denial We Really Believe.

We hide behind our phoniness, our social images, our bodily images and we hope against hope that we really can beguile people into believing our fantasy as real.

It follows that the basis for most if not all of our relationships is:

I’ll believe you are who you think you are, if you believe I am who it is that I think, say and act that I am.

Unfortunately the truth of the matter is that we only fool and trick ourselves, and the intrinsic problem seemingly lost in this is, we can only do that trick and fool thing for short periods in time before we begin to do serious damage to ourselves.. The only ones who are seemingly deceived by our antics are those who have a vested interest in not being found out for themselves; not being found out so their world maintains the impression … delusion … of being safe … for them, and they are in the role they say they are and thus feel safe. That does not mean safe by the way, the key word phrase in that sentence is Feels Safe.

You see the problem don’t you?

They have it too!

Oh yes, it may seem to take another form, it may seem to be socially acceptable … but they have it too. They are part of the greater whole just like you and I. This becomes problematic by its very nature, why … because they are not about to admit that they have it too, to either themselves or anyone else. No one wants to admit to having a problem that shames him or her. Thus the best way not to have one is to simply ignore it or soldier gather with people who are willing to agree that everyone is fine within the system created by that group, or willing to agree that someone else has the problem or is causing it … but it all boils down to The Sky Is Falling as per Chicken Little.

The Great Producers of Melodrama in my life are:  If you like ... you can write about this ... it helps to see it ... sometimes for the first time ,,,

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Part Three Choice Quality and How To Get There

There is a Door and here is one of the keys
Understanding Me
Being We 

Choice Theory
Proposes the Existence of a
"Quality World."

Our Quality World is an imaginary place in our consciousness and starting at birth and continuing throughout our lives we place the people who are important to us, things we prize, and systems of belief, i.e. religion, cultural values and icons, etc. into the on going creation of this place in our mind. Basically how life should be from my point of view ...

The other major place in our consciousness is our perception of how things actually are ... and this is also dependent on how we are perceiving it too ... But Real World ...

Now the Twist in this whole thing is that we also have a place that Glasser points out is a place where we compare things from My Real World and My Quality World ... the "Comparing Place." This is a place where crazy making can take place ... where the lack of balance in my needs fulfilment can most readily be seen ...
So it naturally follows that:

We Behave to Achieve ...
We Do This As Best We Can ... to Achieve a Match Between Our Real World Experience
And The Pictures We Have On 
How Our Quality World Imaginings
Should Be ...  

Behavior ("Total Behavior" in Glasser's terms) is made up of these four components: Acting, Thinking, Feeling and Physiology.

Glasser suggests that we have considerable control or choice over the first two of these, and little ability to directly choose the latter two. As these four components are closely intertwined, the choices we make in our thinking and acting greatly affect our feeling and physiology.

So it naturally follows that the source of much of our unhappiness are the Failing of Failed relationship wotj those who are important to us: With our spouse, parents,children, friends and colleagues is because of their lack of conformity to how we imagine they should be ... Here in lay the problems most relationships will suffer during the course of their existence. It is not so much the relationship is flawed it is more that the individuals bring to the table a series of unmet needs and personality bruises that stand in the way.

The symptoms of unhappiness are widely variable and are often seen as mental illness. M Scott Peck makes the observation that most if not all human mental disorder is structured in an individuals inability to face their legitimate suffering ... Most personality disorders are defense strategies gone sideways, but they become ...

Glasser believes that "pleasure" and "happiness" are related but are far from synonymous. ie sex, is a pleasurable experience but it can be very distant from the making or the breaking of a satisfactory relationship, which in fact is the precondition for a lasting happy life. Hence the intense focus on the improvement of relationships in counseling with Choice Theory. What follows is a New Reality ...

Choice Theory proposes that most mental illness is, in fact, an expression of unhappiness and that we are able to learn how to choose alternate behaviors that will result in greater satisfaction. As per Peck ... face our hurts, pains and needs properly and move forward.

Understanding Me While Being We ... learning how to make those choices you never thought possible or understood that you actually had an option to make.

This Is What We Do
Help You Set Into Motion
Those Processes
That Allows You Freedom
Deep Appreciation
Of Life

To Be Present in Your Life
So You Can Make
That Allow You to Have
What it is That You Say You Wang

Remember Freedom is Defined As
Being Able to Make Choices 


NDT: For the sake of the exercise and the sharing of the information with my client base I have garnered this information from the net ... Glasser and the Choice theory ...this is instrumental in all recovery discovery processes ... My life and busines partner Lynne has been fully trained and has been practicing this for many years ... I have used the concepts for most of the my time in the people business ... What Wm Glasser has done is struck one of the keys to the foundation to understanding the inner dynamics of the family... Understanding and appreciating the depth of these concepts is essential in the discover/recover/discard movement of today ... I tip my hat to Wm Glasser ...

Part Two Choice and Control --- Axioms and Keys to Appreciating

There is a Door and Here is One of the Keys

Understanding Me 
Being We 


By understanding the drives for SURVIVAL, POWER, LOVE, BELONGING, FREEDOM, and FUN in people, we become more conscious of the need for our world to be a Quality World of our choosing.

Two Most Important Features

First Feature:

We all choose How We Behave. Even if we choose not to choose that is a choice. This is true at any time and at any place ...

Second Feature:

We Cannot Control Anyone’s Behavior But Our Own.
We may try like hell but it is really just our behaviour we have any say over.

The Ten Axioms of Choice Theory

1. The only person whose behaviour we can control is our own. We may try like hell to change others but the truth of it is You Can't ...

2. All we can give another person is information.

3. All long-lasting psychological problems are relationship problems. Most easily seen in relationships and very disruptive within the bounds of the relationship ...

4. The problem relationship is always part of our present life. It becomes our working definition of normal ... the problem is ever present ... affecting everything we do ... quietly almost unnoticed ... numbed out ... but we can never seem to have the relationship we want ... we know what it looks like ... but we can never get our needs met properly ... we don't know how ...

5. What happened in the past has everything to do with what we are today, but we can only satisfy our basic needs right now and plan to continue satisfying them in the future. We can't go back and get our needs met ... we have to grieve our losses ... in the present ... then come to terms with who and what I am today ... then learn how to met my own needs in a creative fashion ...

6. We can only satisfy our needs by satisfying the pictures in our (Imagined) Quality World. We have to know where to look for the clues and cues on what to do so I can escape the ritual of my past ...

7. All we do is “Behave.” This one is so simple yet so hard to see ... all we do is Behave or Not Behave ...

8. All Behaviours are Total Behaviours and are made up of four components: Acting, Thinking, Feeling and Physiology. An Important Key Here is buried in here ... ...

9. All Total Behaviours are chosen, but we only have direct control over the Acting and Thinking components. Most Important concept ... You are responsible for what you do, how you do it ... we can claim someone else made us ____________ but in actual fact we chose ... All Total Behaviour is designated by verbs and named by the part that is the most recognizable.

10. We can only control our Feelings and Physiology indirectly through how we choose to Act and Think. I can actually take responsibility for what I do ... when I do it ... if I can do this then I can break the SPELL John Bradshaw talks about in his book "The Family"( see page 222 )...
Choice Theory
Proposes The Existence of a
"Quality World."

It is an imaginary place in our consciousness and starting at birth and continuing throughout our lives we place the people who are important to us, things we prize, and systems of belief, i.e. religion, cultural values and icons, etc. into the on going creation of this place in our mind.   Basically how life should be from my point of view ...

NDT: For the sake of the exercise and the sharing of the information with my client base I have garnered this information from the net ... Glasser and the Choice theory ...this is instrumental in all recovery discovery processes ...

Part One Understanding Me being We ... Control Theory...

There is a Door and Here is One of the Keys

Understanding Me
Being We

It is learning how to make those choices you never understood you had or could make before. All healling manuals point out ... regaining choice(s) ... that leads us to a sense of choice ... a sense of power and freedom.

William Glasser's

Choice Theory
Control Theory

Rocks are Hard and Waters Wet
That is True Everywhere
A Test for Truth

This is very powerful concept
when considered from within the nature of family/systems dynamics.

Mary Lynne Fuller, is been fully trained in Choice and Control theory and has been practicing working this dynamic now for many years ...

Neil Tubb uses the concepts that Glasser outlines for years in his practice also ...

At the base of the concept is understanding that we all have needs and we are driven to attempt to satisfy them, and this need is in the back ground contantly quietly at work ...

Wm Glasser was the man who first put the concept all together in one place at one time ... and the nice thing about the whole thing is it works ... What he struck upon in conceptualizing this approach is Key in Family and Personal Dynamics with in a social and or family system ... Why We Tick The Way We Do ... What it really boils down to under it all is: "If you can understand the monster you are up against then maybe you can do something about it but if you can't ... your stuck."

Understanding and appreciating the depth of these concepts is essential in coming to terms with
Glasser also believed in the importance of classroom/group/family meetings that are held for communication purposes and for problem solving. In the classroom meetings context, it is important for teachers/therapist to help students/clients envision a Quality Existence in their life they want to have. Then plan the choices they have to make and the direction they will have to go in so they can in fact end up at their vision of how things need to be.

Under Glasser’s strategy, as the therapist/teacher would hold discussions with clients/students and when introducing new topics and ask them to identify what they would like to explore in depth within the context of what he is introducing. As part of the process, these people need to explain why the material that is being introduced is valuable in their life.

Glasser's Premise
People are Driven by Six Basic Needs Fulfilment Categories.

His presumption is that all of our choices and behaviours are based upon the urgency we feel for the needs fulfilment of any of these needs or any combination of these needs: It is also understood that the power behind the necessity of fulfilling these needs can be for some of the most powerful force any one of us might experience ...  They Are:

We are All Driven by The Necessity to fill Our Primary Needs
They Are: 

• SURVIVAL ... Food shelter clothing ... basic needs ... personal safety ... making sure the species carries on ... etc ...

• POWER ... who am I ... how am I ... what am I ... what is it that I need to do to be me ... My competence in my life ... My significance to me and to the rest of the world ... Am I a Shadow person ... Do I have a Sense of Self?

• BELONGING ... I need to belong someplace ... have my rightful place in the universe ... "Where do I belong" ... it goes in the company of Who Am I Really ... Love is important ... Loving is important ... I need to love and I need to be loved ... this needs to be acknowledged both publicly and privately ... it is by necessity a two way street ...  

• FREEDOM ... To experience and explore me ... to be able to explore both who I am and where I am ... so I can explore the face of this existence ... so I can have an outlet for the Four "C's"... My Creativity, My Caring, My Communications, and My Community needs ...

• FUN ... probably the most important right after Survival ... to have it and enjoy and it ... to refresh me in my place and help me to lift me up to face tomorrow ...

With Needs Satisfaction

There Are

Two Basic Approaches

We are all driven to fill these needs one way or another. It is the undercurrent of all our behaviours. These needs will be met by either a positive approach or negative approach ... When I use an negative approach it will be to my detriment ... and often at someone else’s expense ... When I approach this from a positive place it causes me to invest in me and thus causing a growth ... It then follows that I am invested in me ... and this investment in me creates growth from within ... socially, psychologically, spiritually ... emotionally ...

From the front door ... positive ... the only expense here is to me ... this is my investment into me.

From the back door ... negative ... I do this at the expense of others and don't really invest in me ... thus remain slightly outside of myself ... As James Joyce said, "Mr Duffy lives a short distance from his body."

Glasser asserts that 95% of all discipline problems are the misguided efforts of people (children primarily and initially) ... trying to achieve a sense of self/power ... The business of not having a sense of power is a learned phenomena and usually experienced initially ... early on in life. Now the classic aspect is that once learned, this misguided effort transfers into our Deep Core Belief Structure. then that behavour claims its place in Our Way of Doing Things. Then quietly moves forward with the individual into their adult life and slowly and deliberately wreaks havoc in their lives ... (called the Adult Children Syndrome) ...

Thus the business of trying to achieve a sense self/power in one's adult life can, doesn't have to, but can become an obsessive/compulsive expression of childhood neediness and unmet needs that stems from the deep core belief structures. In the more extreme circumstances this is expressed as personality disorders that can be coupled with addictions, obsessions and compulsions.

Thus when one reaches out into life for adult relationships, the relationships so formed become a sounding board for buried pain and the repressed core issues and that is when all hell will break loose ... So it follows that if one only tries to resolve the relationship problem(s) and the core belief issues are never dealt with ...that is ... they remain quietly in the deeper and darker recesses of the mind, they will rise again at another inopportune time to keep the individual from having the very thing they want ... a loving relationship with another human being ...

What one has to do is: take hold of what they are doing in the present. Then come to understand that they are being driven by parts of their past ... then come to terms with knowing they can act differently ... and finally, understanding there are deep forces at work here when our basic needs not being met ... Then begin the process of meeting those needs from the adult prospective and not the child's ...

Note: in negative approaches to finding needs satisfaction one of the most common indicators is that it is being done at Someone Else's expense ... if he would only or if she could just ... this one is very important to understand ...

If a child can't find the sense of power to identify themselves as an individual, then they will be on a life long journey of attempting to establish that Sense of Self ... One of the inherit problems in this is that it is the child's needs that are in question not the adult ... Hence Adult Children Syndrome ... it can and usually does become a very ugly tread mill ...

By understanding the drives for SURVIVAL, POWER, LOVE, BELONGING, FREEDOM, and FUN in people, we become more conscious of the need for our world to be a Quality World of our choosing.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

After The Door There is a View

A Great Obscenity of My Life seems to be my insatiable desire to surrender and give over my soul and my sanity to those who would eviscerate me.

I mean why? But I just seem to keep doing it!

In my processes of my recovery or is that my discovery thus far, I have come to learn that this need of mine to turn my Life and Will over to inappropriate souls is done with a purpose. The purpose is twisted but it is there and it is demanding and it drives me at times to do things or believe things that are really not in my best interest.

The Purpose seems to be for me to attain a (false) sense of acceptance and security that I seem to believe that I so desperately need. It seems that I have chosen those who are supposed to give that sense of well being to me and I have surrounded myself with them. The oddity that I noticed recently is that all those that I surrounded myself with all have connections to the deeper shadows and ghosts of my past. Now is that recovery or discovery?

None of this is done in my conscious mind, this is all done under the surface of my conscious mind, but it is working, and seems now that it is constantly at work never taking a holiday.

When I saw this in all its many forms and intricacies recently, it was then that I realized what I was seeing (saw and realized are two different places in my consciousness) for the first time. It was as if I stood on a Grand Vista gazing out over eternity and for the first time I could see clearly through the Mysts Of Time. I could see the length and breadth of the spiritual journey that lay before me. What I noticed was that I was only at the beginning of all that is. It ... my life ... would not really start for me until I am willing to go through that Door that sits at the center of the Great Hall Of My Awareness and let go of my resistance.

Then I Can Have

Eternity On My Side


Me finding Me

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


How is hope expressed?

Hope is expressed in a person's life with acts of personal CARING big and small, for yourself and for others. Even the brushing of your teeth, washing of your face, and combing of your hair are acts of personal caring.

Hope is expressed in a person's life with acts of COMMUNICATION. That is, how you relate to yourself, your family, your colleagues. How did you communicate to them this morning?

Hope is expressed in CREATIVITY.

Hope grows and is strenghtened in COMMUNITY.

Hope needs to be practised intentionally and deliberately and that by doing this we not only make a difference in our own life, we contribute to the ripple effect in our community.

Hope Looks Like This ... An Excercise or Two to do

Many times it is more difficult to talk about hope than it is to express hope through images. To deepen your own understanding of where you find hope in your life, here are some little activities to try:

• 1. Take a sheet of 11x17 paper and use it to create a collage about hope. On your collage you might include pictures, colours, words or even objects - anything which will express some of your ideas about hope. Think about every aspect of your life and experiences as you collect images for your collage, use your imagination and have fun!

• 2. Use some play dough to make a sculpture that makes a statement about hope.

• 3. Take a Polaroid camera and wander around the house or the neighbourhood and take a series of three or four photos which capture some of the things that make you feel hopeful. Try to "capture them from unusual angles and lightings that will help others to understand the hope you find in the images.

• 4. Try to write a little story that will share some ideas about hope -- maybe a children's story, maybe a romance or an adventure or a fable... and maybe after you write the story you'll want to create an illustration to go with it!

• 5. Plan a menu for a meal to share with special friends -- what dishes will you serve to create a delicious hope dining experience.

• 6. Get some material and buttons and stuff and renovate an old hat or vest to create your own special hope hat or vest.

• 7. Plan a hope vacation -- include all the things you would like to do and places you would like to go to rebuild your hope after a tough time.

• 8. Make a cassette of hope songs to pop in your tape player when you need to give your hope a boost. What songs will you include?

• 9. Make a special hope decoration for your Christmas tree and write the year somewhere on it. Then next year make a new one, put the year on it and put them both on your tree. Then the next year, make another....

• 10. Create a hope mobile to hang from the ceiling and remind you that hope is always on the move -- an it keeps us looking up!

• 11. Clean all the month old messages and expired coupons and curled up cartoons and children's school work off the fridge in the kitchen and cover it with pictures that will feed your sense of hope every time you open the door in search of something to feed your body.

• 12. Pretend a HUGE winter blizzard is coming and you'll be trapped in the house all weekend. Head over to your local video rental spot and pick up all the movies that will remind you what hope is all about that you want to watch while you veg out. (Don't forget the popcorn!)

What to do With Hope ... !

There is a Way I Can Go ...
Hope will lead the way

Hope is a quality which is found in the stories of peoples' lives and is less found in the counting and measuring which happens in traditional research. Our news media draws us to the tragedies of life but we as individuals have the choice to look in another direction.

Hope is shared amongst us all.

It is a universal human experience which brings us together in our diversity and at the same time is a personal experience which shows differently for everyone.

It is a complex human quality which:

  • -is rooted in our past experiences; 

  • -has an orientation to the future; 

  • -is expressed in how we live today.
 What are the qualities of a hopeful person?
• A hopeful person is someone who lives in the here and now; who lives today and is proactive;

• A hopeful person is someone who has a dream; who has expectations of more; who doesn't settle for limitations but looks for opportunities, A hopeful person is willing to take risks; to light that one candle to dispel some of the darkness,
• A hopeful person is willing to fail and recognizes that hope is a day by day process;
• A hopeful person does this all with a certain sense of humour.

Monday, May 17, 2010

On Finding the Mysteries of Life ...

There are things we must come to understand and then apply to our circumstances to successfully have the life we want  to have ... and there are things we give far too much thought ... so sometimes we have to understand is that our best thinking is not necessarily our best friend ... play releaves the stress of all this.

So ... Find X ...  

If you have to think about this ... take several days off ... right  away

Sunday, May 16, 2010

172 On Creation and Spiritual Awakening and Acumen

EXPERIENCE has taught us that to grow we have to break out of the mould we built to save us from a world we thought would destroy us. We have to come back out into the place we considered so dangerous that it terrorized us.

No longer that lost soul hiding inside trying to grasp at straws and pieces of life’s experience as they drifted by the entrance to our cave.

No longer trying to force the world and what it represents to us into the cubby holes of our minds for safe storage and for our own personal consumption later on, whenever that is.

No longer at odds with everything.

NDT: Taken from Experience Has Taught Us --- 175 Missing Pieces ... published by Bright Star Canada and available at  

On Angels

"In old days there were angels who came and took men by the hand and led them away from the city of destruction. We see no white-winged angels now. But yet men are led away from threatening destruction: a hand is put into theirs, which leads them forth gently towards a calm and bright land, so that they look no more backward; and the hand may be a little child's."
-- George Eliot, Silas Marner, p. 150

Here is a powerful phrase that many are afraid to issue out into the world to be heard by others ...

I Believe in Angels ... 

The word Angel means Messenger.

All of the world’s major religious bodies have Angels or Messengers as part of their primary point of focus in the understanding of the way of things and the ordering of the universe.

Many of us are Sunday morning spiritualists and to talk about matters of spirit and messengers from God on any day other of the week other then Sunday is a scary thing to do ... After all what will people say? What will they think? How will I be seen and the list goes on and on ...

Basic Principle of Life: Everything that exists ... absolutely everything is ... in some way shape or form ... an expression or manifestation of the One Being ... of God and Angels are the messengers of that One Being ...

These messengers deliver the Will of the One Being and the supreme message is the message of the Light ...

NDT: What impressed me about admitting and understanding that I Do Not Understanding How Things Are, is just how complex this place called life is and that I am so small and it is so immense and I am part of it all ... I got a chance to go for the ride ... Now what am I going to do with it ... Hummm

Friday, May 14, 2010

On Self Love and Being Selfish ... On Masks We Wear

There is a difference between Self Love and being Selfish ... they sound very much alike but they are at opposite ends of the spectrum... In between these two bookends lay all the various masks we wear so that we can pretend and be safe ...

Selfish says: “I love you but you have to put up with my emotional garbage ...all my anger dumping, all my childish behaviour, and all the things I never take responsibility for.” Thus to tell someone that you love them and then abuse them is simply not love. It is deeply rooted in desperation, and it hails from childhood dependency needs that have run amok. Also referred to as the Adult Child Syndrome.

Self Love gives you the power to break the spell that was cast by the scripts that you inherited in your childhood. The ones that said you are in fact “not good enough.” There are thousands of variations on a theme on the “not good enough” message but it seems to be always there, always haunting you. The problem is you were lied to by the people in your life that held extreme significance for you and because of the set up of the system you were raised in, you believed them. Doesn’t make it true, you just believed them. They passed on to you what was passed on to them.

To the contrary when I am in a place called Self Love I can move forward and face the responsibilities of my life. I can deal with life on life’s terms. It is a direction toward a destination and the desired destination in this case is a place called Happy.

When we are truly in a place called Self Love we no longer self sabotage; there is no necessity to do that any longer. We are no longer our own worst enemy. We don’t have to drag our world down to the level of our low self esteem. When I am in Self Love, my self esteem is alive and well and active in my life. When I am in Self Love I have abundant self esteem and I can move forward. Not always easily, but I am comfortable in my own skin. I am ok with me being me. When I am in a place with someone else trying to create we or us, I am comfortable there too.

In partnering we next naturally come to the need for Respect: It follows that if I am in a relationship with you, then I need to respect your choices ... I don’t need to agree with them but I do need to respect them. I don’t need to try and control your choices. One of the undercurrents of saying “I love you.” often is my need for or my attempt to ... control, so I can feel safe in the face of overwhelming knowledge that I am Alone And My World Is A Dangerous Place.

In showing respect for you, I allow you to be who you are and I don’t attempt to adjust you to my liking ... the way I need you to be so I can believe that I am safe.

So if I am in a place called respect, I respect every belief you have and every choice you make. Again, I may not agree, but I respect ... Why? Because I love you the way you are not for the way I need you to be.

Now to balance off Respect Spiritually within me, I ... being in Self Love and not narcissism, I have to respect my own life, (wants, wishes, needs and desires) and thus I will not allow you to control how and who I am.

That is a very simple statement of intent to make, just damned hard to implement.

Thus if either of the parties to the relationship do not have respect for each other, (the ghost of their unmet childhood needs is quietly at play under it all) ... Even though they may love each other and announce it to the world, but if they don’t appreciate the necessity of Complimentary Respect values, and their neediness runs rampant then their relationship, as a healthy functioning entity, is at an end before it can get off the ground.

One of the problems that naturally follows from the combination of the ghost of my unmet needs playing with my deep seated desperation is these people often marry and then hope against hope that they can fix the other ... adjust ... bend ... manipulate ... their other ... their now significant other into who they want them to be so they can feel safe.

NDT: We are developing A Workshop on being a couple ... and being free in the relationship see

Thursday, May 13, 2010

“A Response” Not “A Reactivity”

Freedom of Choice is “A Response” Not “A Reactivity”

Freedom of Choice is the best gift God gave you. Why? It allows you to be able to learn how to cope with life on life’s terms. Now you have to do something with it!

Only when you are no longer lost in the tangle of your early childhood scripting can Freedom of Choice be your decision. This opportunity usually comes after your own close examination of all the things, (people, memories, events and attachments) that you clutch onto just to maintain your identity, then quietly letting go of those (false) beliefs developed by those things you examined. Those things that keep you from being in that place where Free Will and Freedom of Choice is your real option...

When you have Free Will then there is only one choice you can make ... Spirit ... God. When ego is no longer involved ... finally I am part of all that is ... I have a place in the universe ... where I belong ... now the only choice is love, joy and happiness.

If you don’t or can’t or won’t make that choice ... then you don’t have Free Will. What you do have is Will Power and some of us are very wilful. We think we can and so therefore we do. That is seen to be a path to fulfilment, love and happiness ... but it is not. It is the Will feeding on itself. Thus the business of round pegs, square holes larger mallets don’t work ... but lord knows I tried ... if this becomes the way of things ... then futility rules the day ... Most notice sooner and later that it doesn’t work.

It is possible to recover your Free Will ... It is not difficult to do, but if you believe it is difficult, then it is. Simple Check List: if the relationships in your life are not working well ... if obsession, addictions or compulsions dictate how you must be or what you can do, then Free Will is missing. Ask yourself: What am I contributing to the dysfunction in my life and the lives of others around me. Who or what I am trying to control or blame for all this dysfunction? How has this become the focus of my life? What can I not talk about and how is that eating me up.

Who or what don’t I trust and why is that of utmost importance to me? And am I conducting the war between the Hatfield’s and the McCoy’s? ... or ... Am I running an ongoing guerrilla war against the ghost of Christmas past? ...

These are egotistical defence strategies from childhood ... they are part of a much larger list that stands between you and you finding happiness as a destination.

NDT: The pervasive nature of our childhood scripting tends to lead us to toward self destructive behaviour ... simply by its nature ...

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

On Being Real

On being real ...

On being a real person ...

On knowing who I am ... really ... especially if I appear to be an adult person. “Appear” is the key word in that phrase.

Does this have meaning for me?

Does this mean I have Free Will?

The real question being: Is That True? ...

To have Free Will means I have the freedom to make life choices ... Now ask yourself, “Is that true for you?”

Do you actually have Freedom of Choice?

Or is it true that I am carrying The Old Scripts I learned ... and learned by some of us before we made it to kindergarten; those scripts that describe how it is that I think I am, supporting old family roles just because I can. So is that Habit or Free Will/Freedom of Choice?

So, Are You Hooked Into The Melodrama Of “Your Terrible Dailyness?”

If that is The Way Of Things for you ... is that Free Will or Freedom of Choice? ... or is that your choice of anger, jealousy ... guilt and or resentment?

Is that what you really want to choose?

Is that the kind of life you want to have?

But is it the life style you are supporting?

Just because we say we don’t want it, doesn’t mean we don’t support it. We are scripted ... and that is the problem: The Script. To change, we need to act our way into a new way of thinking ... not ... think our way into a new way of acting.

Different is a scary place ... totally unfamiliar, that’s why it’s called different, but it is only unfamiliar for a short period of time.

When true Freedom of Choice is present in our life, the only choice you or I have is how to make happy a destination. And to do so at no one else’s expense ... That is God’s only desire for us: To Be Happy.

When you are no longer lost in the tangle of your own scripting, then Freedom of Choice is your decision. By looking at all the things or people or memories that you clutch onto just to maintain your identity of you for you; then quietly letting go of those beliefs. Those things that keep you from being in that place where Free Will and Freedom of Choice is your real option ...

Freedom of Choice is responsive not reactive.

It Is The
Best Gift God Gave You.
Now Do Something With It!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

True Confessions of A Therapist Or Observations and Conversations on the Passage of Time With Me, Myself and God

I would like to begin this journal by telling you a bit about myself. I would like to tell you just how circuitous the journey of me finding me was for me. Just how tricky it was to begin to believe that I was actually having a life and not lost in one. (BTW once found, know this nothing is resolved, it has only just begun)

It begins with me coming to a place of understanding that, just like everyone else who has arrived here on the face of this planet, upon arrival, I was instantly endowed with a survival suit, a body, to live in and work with for the duration of my stay on the planet.

The survival suit seems to be a requirement to be here.

This survival suit/body comes equipped with many interesting devices and processes but one of the most interesting is that it allows us to perform two major functions.

• One: Operate the survival suit.

• Two: Think about things.

The latter was the part that was dangerous for me.

Thinking About Things That Is.

Because, over time, as I thought about it, I came to a place where I firmly believed that this is what I did best ... thought about things.

Now that does not mean that I did this 'thinking about things' best, it just means that I firmly believed that I did. And believe me there is a difference. Of course, with the process of thinking about things, naturally came the notion that I understood what it was that I thought I thought about.

You see the problem, don't you?

It's actually scary when you frame it like that.

Well, it follows naturally, that as these two aspects of my life's predicament settled in upon me, that is, me operating the survival suit in a hostile environment and me thinking about it at the same time ... as these two aspects coupled with my analysis of my thoughts ... more thinking about thinking ... it's a cybernetic feedback loop ... seemly going someplace but always ending up right where I started ... as all this began to weigh down upon my shoulders, I began to make conclusions about my life especially about those significant others who were close to me as I thought I related to them and their circumstances. Did you hear all the thinks in there?

One of the more profound insights that came out of this whole miss adventure was; "I am the survival suit." After all what other conclusion would you come to if you had forgotten from 'whence you came'?

Actually, what I came to understand after a very protracted period of time thinking about it, was that I was just in my survival suit. (Oh yes, nearly forgot and nearly left that out didn't I, from 'whence we came'! . . . Now there is something to think about . . . really! You can sort of get lost in that one without trying too hard, if you think about it that is!)





After three thinks quit,

You can only hurt yourself after that.

Subtle difference in words ... worlds apart in process ... I have also found out through my intermingling with some of the rest of humanity ... observations on life ... that most others don't know that they are just in their survival suits too. They don't know this as a 'truth'. They may know it as a fact but not a truth. There is a difference. I do think that most suspect this is true but prefer to ignore it or if they do know this to be true then they sure as hell don't want to have a damned thing to do with the idea. They, like me, for the longest time, were or are more then happy basking in the bliss of 'playful ignorance'. It seemed safer that way, not nearly as hostile, somehow. So, it naturally followed that they would much rather be who they thought were than whom they really are. And of course there are various levels of support that are necessary for me to believe that I am who I think I am. This generally involved me believing you were who you thought you were and you returning the compliment of believing I was who I thought I was, thus we could pretend to be who we thought we were together. Together is the key word because the problem was I couldn't do that alone. This is often mistakenly called friendship or relationship. Actually one of my predominate variations on a theme was that I thought I was a therapist and I needed you to need me or I didn't like you, if the truth were known. That way, things would appear to be safer and easier to understand at least for the moment. It also served me well because as long as I could focus on you I could avoid me. Any bells ring for anyone here! They did for me.

I believe the next key word here is 'appear' because like me, most put the term 'I hope' in front of most everything they did. I know I did. Sort of like blind faith hoping that the right thing . . . whatever that was . . . would happen and we could make it safely on and into what ever is next.

The Joys of Conditional Prayer

'I hope' became the codicil phrase for a deeper belief structure that haunted me for most of my life. I went through life for the longest time with variations on a theme of this codicil hanging off me or being offered up as my daily mantra. "I hope that" or "I pray that" . . . this would happen or not happen or I can have or not have ... whatever it was that was perceived as being the necessity of the moment ... things I thought I needed just to survive ... for the moment. Sort of Dear God get me off the deck of the Titanic and I'll ... Remember, that after the 'hope that or prayer that' part, just fill in the blank(s) with whatever it is that you want to have appear in front of you or whatever it is that you would like have disappear from in front of you.

Translated This Means!

Dear God please give me (fill in the blank) and finally prove once and for all that I am special. . . . But here is the kicker ... Not in your eyes oh Lord but in mine.

There is something backward in that request and it took me years to come up on it and understand that Ready, Fire, Aim was not necessarily the way to do it, but . . .

Dear Lord prove to me once and for all that I am special.

Well, here is the proof . . . You're here and you're having this experience. You're right in the middle of it. Without the specialness of the creation, you would not be here and neither would any of this, but here you are, right smack in the middle, and having a problem with it all at the same time, and here is here for you to be here in. So, if you want to get particular about it and give it a few thoughts, you may want to notice that there is a 'here' to be in. What a gift! Even though most don't notice it as that!

Simple, isn't it, if only you'd notice!

So if you really want to think about proving specialness try this. Try combining the thought of:

All this reality that we seem to a part of, taken together with the thoughts that we think we are thinking, coupled with the idea that if this wasn't here to be part of or thought about, then we would not be here trying to get what it is that it seems we can't get from whoever or whatever it is that we are trying to get it from.

Phew . . . Now there is one to think about.

There really is no other proof when you stop and think about it no matter how you try. So the job at hand seems to be that I have to accept me as me and then I have to consume and process the fact that I am a being ... separate in my own right yet a part of something that is far larger then I can possibly imagine ... all this taken in the midst of something I did not create ... I'm just here ... and the reason is not exactly easy to see ... really quite straight forward if you stop and think about it.

It Is Really Quite Simple. My life is mine and the specialness of my existence is simply proved by my being here in the first place. A Gift of Peace quotes A Course in Miracles nicely as it develops this thought. I quote:

The Pursuit of Specialness

The pursuit of specialness is always at the cost of peace.
You are not special. If you think you are, and would defend your specialness against the truth of what you really are, how can you know the truth?

Specialness always makes comparisons. It is established by a lack seen in another, and maintained by searching for, and keeping clear in sight, all lacks it can perceive.

When peace is not with you entirely, and when you suffer pain of any kind, you have beheld some sin within your brother, and have rejoiced at what you thought was there. Your specialness seemed safe because of it.

The pursuit of specialness must bring you pain.

Forgiveness is the end of specialness. Only illusions can be forgiven, and then they disappear. Forgiveness is release from all illusion.

It is said somewhere or other that God will do for you what you can't do for yourself ... not what you would like to have done for you or what you are too lazy to do or get or too befuddled to do on your own. If you can do it then you have to. That seems to be a great cosmic law. If you can't, then the Greater Power will supply "it" only if "it" is really necessary.

And only if!

That's life.

When I came to the appreciation of this understanding of the 'Way of Things,' it was easier to believe in the truth of 'whom' I really was and that I was actually having a life and not just lost in one.

There are a few naturally occurring complications along the route called my life path.

The first and foremost is a thing called "The Parents".

We all have some. Some parents are nice about it and some are not. Some are ever present, some disappeared years ago and some left us to our own devices. But if we are here now ... we either have a set or had a set someplace, sometime. Often as not, they are as conspicuous in their absence as they were in their presence. Now if yours are anything like my parents, they had ... some still have ... agendas for you. They want(ed) you to grow up and become somebody … have an ego … be just like them. Sometimes that meant that the 'somebody' they would have liked you to be was in fact "nobody" at all ... but it was their hope and dream that we would develop into some sort of "somebodyness" ... just like them.

But the prerequisite seems to be that as long as the 'somebodyness or nobody-ness' is just like them, or what it is they are or were not, or would have liked to have been or . . . and the variations on that theme become endless then they are the gods of our determination, as far as we are concerned. They held the agenda for our growth in their hands or so it seemed at the time.

This idea may be defined as part of the problem or as part of the conditioning we received, and that really is more semantic and completely depends on your point of view. The problem here in lays, that as children, we actually believed that they know what is best for us. Often that was true and they did know what was best.

That explains why most of us did not play in traffic all that often or snake-handled too much ... but ... that blind faith in those that stood before us as our imagined gods ... actually launched us onto the path of spiritual growth.

Why "launched onto a path of spiritual growth?"

Simply out of the fact that at the very beginning of our life's journey there was a little confusion about who and what was God.

Oh well, best not reveal too much too soon.

There are signposts, benchmarks and station stops along the path. It is essential that before embarking on life's journey, we understand how to read the instructions that were left for us. But first, most of us have to come to terms with and accept the fact that directions were left for us and that hopefully those directions mean something.

Simple Statement of Fact:

We have to be able to read the truth these signposts' hold because our very future depends on us being able to understand what it is that we 'think' we are seeing and what it is that they are really saying.

Carl Sagan used this concept as one of his organizing principals in his book "Contact". It seems that we have to learn how to read the weave of signposts for what they really say without trying to twist the messages into what we think they should be saying. This urge to twist our perception seems to want to happen out of desperation and a deep-seated frustration at having been dumped into a life, into a system, that we never really asked to be dumped into in the first place like: why am I here, really? All of this is a part of the conundrum of life and all of this is part of the journey along the path called life.

Two Opposing Forces

As I began to pay attention to these processes of attempting to appreciate my own life's conundrum, I noticed that there were always two opposing forces that set up in my consciousness. Each with its own set of observations and values, each separate from one another, yet at the same time contingent upon each other, and all was about what it is that I thought I noticed and appreciated about my experiences on the path of life.

It seems that as I paid close attention to these phenomena of ying/yang, black/white, either/or, I was actually beginning to notice the signposts or benchmarks for my journey. I still could not read them, but at least I knew they were there to be read if I could. It seems to follow that the spiritual truth of the message contained in the signpost always had a complimentary egocentric message that offset the truth of the spiritual message contained therein. My conundrum seemed to be to know the difference ... which one was which. Because I knew that sooner or later I would have to use some form of the message as I made my next move along my life's path.

These opposing forces can be defined differentially as 'of Spirit' and 'of Ego'.
One set of variables connects us to 'all that is,' and other keeps us tied to 'our terrible dailyness' of self-seeking definitions, or of having to understand ever more hollow and never satisfactory reasons for "why?" and always leaving a sense of despairing emptiness deep inside.

But neither force reveals its nature until a bite of the apple is taken and swallowed. Sort of resembles being the King's official food taster. The ups are wonderful and the down days are deadly. Either one, spiritual or egotistical has myriad sets of consequences that seem to need endless amounts of unraveling ... that can consume even the most seasoned traveler on the path.

Discernment is what is called for ... but how do I do it by myself? Well you don't. You do it in conjunction with someone or something.

If you are like me, you do take time to speak with a Higher Power but the secret is that you take the time to speak with your Higher Power ... share ... yes I know it is a strange concept ... but actually share. It can be done quietly in your head or sometimes I do it in the middle of traffic. Sometimes sitting alone or laying awake late at night, just thinking about things. Having a deep desire not to be alone, as my wife sleeps and breathes deeply beside me, ever present ... but deeply involved in being who she is in that moment and ever so removed from me ... all at the same time as her body rests against mine. So, I reach out in my mind and from my heart and share with the 'Great Unknown' a few moments about my day, or my wishes or my wants, or about what I think I need, or what I did, or what was funny, or what was not.

Sometimes it's just about my day, no big deal.

Sometimes it's the great prayer of desperation. If only 'You'd' save me from . . . fill in the blank . . . than I'd do . . . fill in the blank . . . I promise I will ...'

Sometimes it's just me simply sharing what it was like to be me today, or what happened during my day; every now and then it is me asking what the Creator wants me to do for Him. Imagine that, I asked if I could be of service.

Coming to terms with accepting that there might be a Higher Power in my life took some time for me to get past, considering my first experiences with a Higher Power my parents.

Once on the other side of that psychological and spiritual ridge, I could see that they were just like me, working as best they could with what they thought they had, but baffled by the signposts and benchmarks just as I am. When I saw this, I could accept a Higher Power into my life. Now I never said that He, She or It was not there all along ... what I said, was, that I could accept It as being there in my life.

This is about where I'd like to pick up the idea I like to call True Confessions of a Therapist or Observations and Conversations on the Passage of Time, with Me, Myself and God.

"Experience Has Taught Us " also flows from this thought.

The ideas and thoughts are simply outlines ... of and ... for deeper experiences, some from me but mostly from others. Not every one of these passages moves a person in the same fashion or the same direction.

What I have learned is that only we can create those supposed mystic, deeper experiences for ourselves. We do this as we begin the exploration of our newly discovered 'truth'. And that process of exploring more deeply into our newfound truths, in and of itself, creates more experience … deeper, subjective expressions … and then those outcomes create more effects and so on and so on. It is really a proactive chain of events that requires only one thing. You and I getting off our collective ass-ends, and doing something for ourselves ... just me for me and with my God, as I have come to know Him, Her or It, us working together.

It seems to be how each individual spiritual path is built. It seems to be there for the building. The idea seems to be 'trusting' that it needs to be built and the journey taken. That is all it takes, just a little faith. Mustard seed size actually. One thought or experience leads to another and to another and another. It's like following the jellybeans and eventually you'll arrive at a place called 'different'.

I have come to notice that the various outcomes of my endeavors have many levels of observation to them but there seems to be a consistency to them that is highly personal. Here is a collection of those observations I have made about myself, my journey, and the effects of my journey on others and me.

There doesn't appear to be a way for me to give someone else what I know. All I can do is help create opportunities whereby they might see "different" for themselves.
When I do attempt to give someone else what I know or what I think I know and then make the fatal mistake of believing I have succeeded in passing on this piece of wisdom, I often discover I have not. I have often discovered to my own chagrin that by thinking I have succeeded in keeping someone from going through one more private, painful little hell, I haven't. And the long run always proves me wrong. That can be disheartening at times. It seems that it is a universal rule that they have to go through that private, painful, little hell for themselves. It is as if it were necessary, a rites of passage, part of the 'deal' of being here, it needed to be done - it seems as simple as that. So…

The truth of the matter seems to be that each person has to learn 'it' for themselves and usually experience it over and over again before the message is ferreted out and understood at the deepest levels of the psyche. And…
They seem to be able to do this better when I have stepped out of the shadow of my good-guy helper role and am just here as a facilitator. So…

It's obvious to me now that many of the problems I have to face in my life are a result of how things were when I was growing up. This seems to be true for just about everybody else too!

It follows then, that my life's conundrum is:

I am here spending the rest of my life suffering for personality traits I never really asked for.

Where is the justice in that?

Well, there isn't any ... is there!

But on the other hand I was never promised justice was I. So
It seems that healing, health and life style are all really the same thing.
They are all simply habits. Habits that will, one way or another, develop along the way. Learned as actions and/or reactions that should become involuntary or habitual at some point. Habitual, and hopefully, helpful, towards discerning my life and what to do with it now that I am in the middle of it.

That's The Theory Anyway!

So it seems that there are more complex conundrums to solve as I move deeper into my journey. It seems that I have to overcome my original "involuntaryisms" - habits - the ones that I picked up early in life to save me from a fate that nearly scared me to death. The ones that helped me originally survive 'til now. I still carry them with me and use them daily. Actually I trip over them now more then I use them but they are and were the habits that I really trust.

Here is the problem: These habits are the 'grandchildren' of those habits I used to survive, in the face of overwhelming evidence that I either wouldn't survive the next few moments or shouldn't have survived those few moments but did.

These 'grandchildren' of my survival traits are all cloaked in a strange aura that seems so inviting and strangely familiar but I am learning that they are dangerous. They seem to work best only in my mind.

What I am coming to learn is that when I (do) attempt to put those old habits into practice in reality ... they hurt, and cause pain for, both others and me.
But they are so familiar, and they are my habit.

One wise soul likened this situation to the person walking around with the Kick Me sign hooked unbeknownst to them on their backside. Eventually one awakens to the fact that what they are doing must change, must go and they have to come to a place of understanding that what they learned 20 or 40 years ago is not what will work now. Then be prepared to work very hard at creating 'new and different'. Be prepared to make mistake after mistake and then work very hard at staying put in this new place in their consciousness that they have created.

To do this they need to be in a place where they can appreciate that they just might have to come out of hiding, and take risks, and learn how to trust someone other than themselves.

Neil, Victoria, summer 1999