I Can’t Change Your Mind

Don’t pretend your argument is perfect. You show me your perfect solution and we’ll show you our pet unicorn. Think Like a Freak

I listen to a lot of podcasts and debates and sometimes I tire of the same arguments over and over. I’m sure the debaters do also. People rarely change their minds even with the proof staring them in the face. One question asked a lot is, “What would change your mind?” A common response is, “Nothing.” It reminds me of the police officer being called in on a domestic dispute. He stands between the abusive husband and his bruised wife. While she stands there crying she will side with that abusive husband more times than not. He didn’t mean to hurt her. He doesn’t know his own strength. I shouldn’t have said what I said. Where will they be next week? Right back at fighting. Familiarity trumps truth.

Is it hopeless to show proof? Not hopeless, but not usually effective.  Also, someone else listening might benefit. The tide of time and the redirection of society’s habits are usually what changes most of us. Look how far we’ve come on human rights. There was a day that it was thought that women had no souls or as in the Aztec society, those of the lower class were considered soulless. So it’s not hopeless. It’s the continual drip. The constant pressure. So we keep arguing and keep proving, not because it will change anyone’s mind today, but because it could change society.

For instance, Clair Patterson,

Clair Patterson, a geochemist who pinpointed Earth’s age for the first time and also uncovered a secret: Lead contamination is a major and potentially deadly problem…After much time and effort, Patterson’s scientific work with lead paid off, leading to a ban on lead in products like gasoline, canned goods and paint in the United States. – Space.com

I like the story of the wind and the sun from Aesops Fables

THE WIND and the Sun were disputing which was the stronger. Suddenly they saw a traveller coming down the road, and the Sun said: “I see a way to decide our dispute. Whichever of us can cause that traveller to take off his cloak shall be regarded as the stronger You begin.” So the Sun retired behind a cloud, and the Wind began to blow as hard as it could upon the traveller. But the harder he blew the more closely did the traveller wrap his cloak round him, till at last the Wind had to give up in despair. Then the Sun came out and shone in all his glory upon the traveller, who soon found it too hot to walk with his cloak on.

I can’t change your mind, but I might change your future. Or you may change mine.

It Doesn’t Feel Right

Truth...
Truth… (Photo credit: -Reji)

Some people make decisions only after thinking on them a while. I’ve spent most of my life basing my decisions on how things “felt.” Sometimes I wonder how right my decisions were, but I never thought of this feeling as emotions. I’m not an unstable person emotionally. I don’t run hot and cold. Apparently this is a part of my personality.

I did one of those personality tests years back. INFJ, the F stands for feeling, but personality tests are not what I wanted to talk about. What I’m talking about is Truth and Integrity. Feeling, for me, is not about anger or love, it’s about being true to who I am.

Integritythe quality of being complete or undivided: completeness.

It is being of a single mind. Singleness of mind and purity of heart is when everything I do is in truth, in cooperation, in unison with who I am within myself. I act from my heart, my calling. Then my actions are true and my motives for my actions are pure—which is integrity (the state of being undivided). And everything I do is in truth, in cooperation, in unison with who I am within myself. Without that I am just a tinkling bell. If I am speaking on loving and am harsh to others-I am two-faced, a hypocrite.

 Truthsincerity in action, character, and utterance. The state of being the case: fact. In accordance with fact: Actually.

You can paint rotted wood, but it won’t make it strong. Your house will still crumble and fall around you no matter how you dress it. Getting to the core of me, and then causing everything that I do to come into agreement with that. Getting there is difficult at times, because we put up a good front and (oh boy!) are we good at putting on a show!  We persevere through jobs and obligations until we are so grumpy with our own loved ones, the ones we say we’d give up our lives for, don’t even know we love them anymore.

Our goals must touch that spark inside of us, otherwise not only do we not have any energy to fuel our goal, we will just be any empty facade. Powerless. A shell cartridge with no gun powder. It’s also possible to have this empty, good-looking, people-pleasing goal and fill it with vanity. Lusts, greed, pride of life (look at what I did) are only a few. These are things fueled not by love for yourself or mankind, but fueled by ego. Why else does a puffed up, power person need pats on the back to reassure them that they are somebody? Why do we need the impressive title or job to feel like a man or woman? When you know something deep inside, you have no need to prove it or have anyone else or anything else to make you believe it.

It’s not clothes, not cars, not houses, and not titles that make you feel more sure of yourself or less sure of yourself. It’s completely from the inside of you.

Keirsley Temperament sorter

Your Dad Said

Summer-Fun-3My family is traditional Midwest/Southern patriarchal. They believe women grow up and walk down the aisle to marriage. If you couldn’t find a suitable marriage partner, you got a job. Simple. My mom worked in the family business and kept the checkbook, but dad made the decisions. Recently my mom needed a new car, but it never occurred to her to ask for one, pick out one or even test drive one. She has her money, but she’s never controlled it. She’s a woman of her times and has no desire to control it. So anytime she and I have a conversation, I know that if I say something that isn’t parent approved, I’ll get a call later. Mom will always start by saying, “Your dad said,” as in, “Your dad said he’d pick you up,” or “Your dad said we could loan you the money,” or “Your dad said that Kansas City is too far for you to drive alone.”

I’m a girl.

It’s usually because I’m doing something that belongs in the male category like financing a house, buying a car, or even driving a long distance by myself. Even though I’ve proven time after time that I can cope as well as anyone, it doesn’t matter. As a child, the boys went off and hunted, with guns. I didn’t care about hunting or fishing so much, but I liked exploring. Yes, I realize I was younger. Yes, I realize I was a girl. These are obvious and reasonable concerns, but I know it wasn’t only these reasons, even though those are the reasons that were stated. Girls weren’t capable, even if they were capable.

I can do it.

The fact that I can take apart a dryer or washing machine, replace my faucets, re-tile my floors, and negotiate a loan never makes it past the first facade, I’m a girl. And girls weren’t capable. I’ve spent a lot of effort trying to show my mother my independence and abilities and until recently I hadn’t realized why. I’m a girl, and I am capable. And I’d like her to stop second guessing my decisions all of the time. I want the respect that the boys have. I want her to see me, not just see a girl. I realize it won’t happen, though. My mom is a girl and has no desire to be otherwise. She sees me as she sees herself.

I’m tired of trying to prove myself because it’s not about me.

She’ll just have to stay in her patriarchal world where boys will be boys and girls aren’t capable. Me? I abhor the caste systems, and I hate being boxed in. I didn’t grow up in a time when women were limited. Today we have the freedom to make choices and live our lives. And I will just continue and do my thing.

 

Check the Label

English: Cut Green Beans Español: Habichuelas ...

When I was a kid you could buy discounted canned goods in a little store nearby. They were damaged. Some were labeled and some were written on with a Sharpie, and some you had no idea what was in them. But they were cheap. So you shake the can and listen to the rattle and slosh. Does it sound like corn or green beans? Maybe peas. You can compare the cans by size and shape and sometimes match them.  This is so much like dating it’s ridiculous, except without the shaking. Does he dress nice? What type of car does he drive? I-I-I don’t know, she’s rude to her mom, will she be rude to me later in the relationship? When we say I love you, we sometimes think we mean the same thing or that the other person understands what we mean.

Just four months into their marriage, Pond said she became frightened for her safety and began making plans to leave. The couple separated and Pond went public the spring of 2009 with her fears that he killed his first wife. – Lucky wife, from ABCnews

The label may say love, but is that what’s really inside?

Love is just a feeling of connection to another person or object. It’s so easily misidentified as “I can’t live without this person.” There may be love inside there somewhere, but codependency is not love. Also, love doesn’t mean that this relationship is healthy. There are those I have loved that I had to get away from. I have active mirror neurons. People don’t come with labels and we can’t shake them to hear the rattle, but we can try to read the signs. Paranoia isn’t necessary but ask your friends who’ve met the person you’re interested in. Sometimes they’ll see things you don’t. Sometimes it’s only after a relationship ends in disaster that family and friends will speak up, but we need to listen to them earlier. So speak up people.

If you didn’t need them, emotionally or physically, would you want to be with them?

One of my issues in the past was romanticizing the relationship, projecting forward a future coupling of our perfect relationship and not living with the real relationship. It’s difficult to see the reality when you’re watching the fantasy. Take off the rosy glasses. Get real. Be as truthful with yourself as you possibly can then enjoy what you have. No relationship is perfect and all of them change, so it’s possible to think you start off okay and then watch it dive off of a cliff. If that’s the case, reassess and do what needs to be done. Life happens.

Immature love says: ‘I love you because I need you.’ Mature love says ‘I need you because I love you. – Erich Fromm

Ten faces of love – psychology today

Ugly Zones

Roscoe Considers Recording a Podcast
Roscoe Considers Recording a Podcast (Photo credit: zoomar)

We all have one, that one room in the house that’s not finished. Or the drawer that always sticks or falls out of its carriage. We cringe when someone sees the broken shower tiles because it’s our bad side. Our ugly parts. Maybe you don’t show your belly because of the stretch marks and no matter how tight your abs would ever become, those scars will show. It’s okay. We all have ugly zones.

I read an older book a while back called Body Outlaws. It’s a collection of essays about self-image. Here’s an excerpt,

Ironically, I’ve had a better career as a big-girl model than most skinny models have in their lifetimes! And the best part is, I did it all on my own terms. I love to witness the moment when someone’s perspective shifts before my eyes. It’s the moment I go from being “pretty for a bigger girl” to just being pretty. – Kate Dillon, Body Outlaws excerpt 

I’m a perfectionist by nature, but over the years I’ve developed tolerance. What helps me the most is to drop the expectations. For example, I listen to a lot of podcasts. They keep me entertained while I’m working my 9 to 5 job. The thing about podcasts is they have few rules. The subjects vary from science to poodles to Magic the Gathering gaming. On some you never know what they’re going to talk about and if they’ll even hold to their topic. They’re fun. They’re entertaining. They’re not perfect. And for me that’s what I like. The same goes with my friends. I have no perfect standard for them other than friendship. Low expectations mean low judgement. And that leads to fewer ugly zones.

Even as we continue to embrace the diversity of sizes among us, we must ask, what does a healthy body feel like? -Dyann Logwood-Young Body Outlaws excerpt, (emphasis mine)  

  • fill your life with activities that have fewer expectations
  • befriend other non-perfectionists
  • read less Cosmopolitan and more Oprah or Reader’s Digest
  • listen to fun podcasts
  • change your perspective
  • interact with others on the web or at your local library
  • share your experience with others

Here’s a list of my favorite free podcasts:

  1. Savage Lovecast
  2. The Thinking Atheist
  3. Dogma Debate
  4. Caustic Soda
  5. Freakonomics
  6. Geologic Podcast (not geology)
  7. Mysterious Universe
  8. StarTalk Radio
  9. The Skeptics Guide to the Universe
  10. Irreligiosophy
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The Promise of a Great Nation

"Jehovah" at Exodus 6:3 (1611 King J...

You would think that if you had a visit from the one and only true god, the one who created the heavens and the earth, and he gave you instructions to build a kingdom, you would think it would be the most amazing kingdom EVER.  This god could tell you where to find gold and diamonds. How to store your food and how to farm your land. Your walls would be built of the best materials. You would know the most effective fighting methods with very little loss of life on your part. I’m referring to Abraham and later Moses and the promise of a great nation made by Jehovah.

There was blood spilling everywhere (not love)

Would he really need to cause a plague to destroy half of the people because one person sinned? One person married a foreigner or kept a piece of gold that they shouldn’t have. Couldn’t he just tell you? Instead of grandeur or wisdom, we see hundreds and thousands of years full of strife, discord, internal fighting and struggles to survive. Famine, war and plague. The methods were no different from the other warring factions surrounding them.

It’s among the same traditions that existed of the day (nothing new)

Some would ask, why are you criticizing god? I’m really not trying to criticize any god. Not Jehovah, Ahura Mazda, Thor, Odin or Ra. What I’m saying is, either this “god” isn’t who he says he is, or more likely, there wasn’t a god that was instructing them to create their society. This could be a story made up by someone, since it’s really not a new way of thinking. Wouldn’t a great god come with a novel idea? Fresh ideas. Ways of acting that were helpful and wise? Maybe even create a society that was different from their neighbors? Like Cyrus the Great did? I take the stand of First John 4:20,

Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar.

If the word of god comes down from the god of love, it should show love. Which leaves me with the thought, maybe this promise of a great nation didn’t come from god, but a man and his ego.

If you’re into history of the ancient times, here’s a good podcast, Ancient World podcast.

 

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Misfires and Misinterpretations

Transsexual Eyes

Listening is not the same as understanding. I might say “The sun is an enormous gaseous flaming ball, burning through the centuries.” If your vocabulary is different than mine, your brain will translate what it can and dump the rest, leaving you with the automatic translation, “The sun is a fire ball.” We come from different lives. Have various experiences. Even in the same age generation, you find opposite perspectives. It takes some effort to truly understand another person.

Here is a good example from one of my favorite shows. (Breaking Bad Spoiler Alert, season 4) Skyler is afraid for Walt’s safety. Walt is afraid to of getting caught by the police. It’s an interesting conundrum.

“Breaking Bad: Cornered (#4.6)” (2011)

Skyler White: Walt, please, let’s both of us stop trying to justify this whole thing and admit you’re in danger!

Walter White: Who are you talking to right now? Who is it you think you see? Do you know how much I make a year? I mean, even if I told you, you wouldn’t believe it. Do you know what would happen if I suddenly decided to stop going into work? A business big enough that it could be listed on the NASDAQ goes belly up. Disappears! It ceases to exist without me. No, you clearly don’t know who you’re talking to, so let me clue you in. I am not in danger, Skyler. I am the danger. A guy opens his door and gets shot and you think that of me? No. I am the one who knocks!

Walter White: I am the one who knocks!

Sometimes people misunderstand what I say. It happens. Other times, I’ve often been talking with someone and been too quick with my hearing. Later I’ll look back on the conversation and understand what the person truly meant. It’s a moment of humility. I’ve tried to develop the habit of not forming a hasty opinion, waiting for a more true picture. Sometimes putting information on my mental shelf for a bit can help. I may not agree with your opinion, but I want to understand.

 

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What’s Your Trigger Say About Your Beliefs?

DSC06430s

While driving home today I noticed two different people. A jogger waiting at the stoplight, ponytail swinging, matching shoes and outfit, then further along the way was a teen in dropped khaki pants, well, not fully dropped. No boxers were showing at least. Both of these styles can trigger either interest or anger. I’ve seen people go on full tirades about both styles. We all have our triggers and what really fascinates me is how obvious they seem to me. I wonder if everyone notices them. A coworker mentioned her young son’s crazy habit of making up words. It bothers her. It frustrates her. Why? They aren’t real words. So she corrects him. That bothers me because I know that he’s developing language skills. But I didn’t say anything because I’m practicing on being quiet and minding my own business. Here are some examples of things that set people off:

  • baggy pants
  • trash on the floor
  • interrupting a conversation
  • cutting in traffic
  • an unmade bed
  • white shoes after labor day
  • pantyhose and open toed shoes
  • watching TV all day
  • shyness 

Our inner rules guide us from birth to death on how we should dress and how we should act. If it’s something we’ve worked hard to master or it has value attached, it can trigger strong emotions. Most interesting is what our triggers say about our values. Take a look at behaviors that most consider good behaviors for example:

  • combing your hair
  • tucking in your shirt
  • washing your car
  • eating all of your food
  • reading a book
  • travelling the world
  • speaking a foreign language
  • outgoing

To the uniformed, those that do the first are bad people. Or in the least, they are considered sloppy, lazy, and worthless. The last group would be considered neat, tidy, and productive. Which ones trigger anger or pleasure in you? What value or belief is it reminding you of? I’m trying to be slower to judge and less quick to correct. For all I know the kid with the dragging pants is an excellent student with a scholarship to MIT and is just trying to fit in with the crowd.

Maybe it’s none of my business.

 

 

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Failure is Relative

Am I a failure at relationships because I can’t give someone what they want? Or, maybe they need to find what they are needing somewhere else.

Does it make me incapable of being intimate if my need for aloneness is huge? Taking time for myself is essential to who I am. Am I the other’s property? A doll to dress up and approve? Do I need to ask permission to wear blue or take a nap? Who do I listen to, myself or to other people? Is their need (even if they are a lover) more important than my own?

I need space, but that doesn’t make me cold. I love reading, but movies are wonderful also. I love blue and red and green and purple and black. Taste the rainbow. I cannot live in one man’s pastel world. I cannot be there for his every need.

I deal with these feelings of anger and sadness because I’ve felt like a failure at times. Old issues seem to resurface. I’ve heard the accusations, You weren’t there for me. You’re cold and emotionless. But I’m not.

If I take my love back why are you complaining? It was mine to give in the first place. You don’t own me.

 

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To Love Yourself

Love
Love (Photo credit: Swamibu)

Most of us would agree mutilating our body because we hate ourselves is unhealthy. Acting against our health by withholding food or making unrealistic demands on ourselves seems obviously wrong, but yet we see it happen. Neighbors, actors, models, even family members mutilate themselves out of hatred.

Sometimes we also try to better ourselves because of fear. We feel we don’t fit in or we aren’t pretty enough. We are too fat, too ugly or too nice. So we try to change because we fear rejection.

I’ve heard many times that we need to love ourselves as we are today. How do we do that?

  • Highlight one part of yourself, your voice, your slim fingers and focus on that one attribute.
  • Steal someone’s persona. If you adore a well-known actress for her hair and yours is similar, hijack that feeling. Someone once told me I reminded him of Kate Winslet. Recently Vogue photographed Kate and used Photoshop, as is their norm, creating a big brouhaha. Kate Winslet’s Vogue Cover.  Once before, GQ visually slimmed her down but stated it wasn’t drastic. I’m glad that someone noticed her original beauty.
  • Be. Just be who you are and meet your own needs. Don’t withhold food, clothing or love. Just as you would see a child’s need for these things, see your own need. 

That’s where I’m at. I’m still looking and may stumble upon other ways to love me. What’s yours? In the meantime, I refuse to be cruel to myself.

 

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