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Showing posts from July, 2018

Finding Meaning in Meaninglessness

I was somewhere that I knew I would have to be for a while, and started to get hungry. I finally decided that the over-priced under-nourishing who knows how old it was item was worth the $2.50, only to have the machine take the money, and not drop the item. It is that point when my mind started racing through all the things I could have done with those $2.50. There was no way to logically rationalize why I should be okay with it, and no meaningful rationalization that would satisfy either. Knowing I wasn’t willing to throw down another couple bucks in hope of getting something else, or making them both fall down, and knowing I didn’t want to spend the night in jail or pay a fine for breaking the machine, I just decided to solve my hunger problem was hopeless. The philosopher Kenny Rogers, in his treatise on the nature of life said, “You've got to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em, know when to walk away, and know when to run. You never count your money, when …

Nature of Fear

When it was time for bed, as I got to the doorway of my room and after staring intently to see if anything was moving under my bed, I took a few steps back to get a running start and jumped to my bed without touching the carpet. This wasn’t the lava monsters game, this was the result of my sister wanting to watch the old TV “Are you Afraid of the Dark,” and my mind not being able to comprehend the impossibility of actual monsters lurking under my bed waiting to pull me under. The long-jump was a consistent part of my bedtime routine for quite a long time… I remember thinking that the odds of something pulling me under was low, but that the cost of taking the precaution against it was also low, and so I might as well pay the small price and be safe, right? I wasn’t scared of the area beside my bed during the day, I could be found there with my Legos spread all over the floor on a regular basis, but as soon as it was dark, everything seemed to change. In the light I could see clear to…

Suicide

Suicide
To say, “suicide is not the answer,” implies that there is only one question, “to live or not to live?” Why do we jump to the answer without knowing exactly what the question is? Albert Einstein said, “If I had an hour to solve a problem and my life depended on the solution, I would spend the first 55 minutes determining the proper question to ask… for once I know the proper question, I could solve the problem in less than five minutes.” If there really were only one question, it would not be whether or not to live, but what is means to live. If what is meant by living is breathing, and if what life means is suffering, sickness, and old age, then what would be the point? In his book Confessions, Leo Tolstoy, the great nineteenth century Russian writer said, “The only absolute knowledge attainable by man is that life is meaningless.” He confesses, “I did not myself know what I wanted: I feared life, desired to escape from it, yet still hoped something of it.” “My life came to…

Personality Survey

List, or number in order of importance, the three attributes you feel are the worst, the ones you avoid the most because they have no or few redeeming qualities to them. Also, circle or number in order the three least bad attributes or ones you see some redeeming quality in:

Exploitation (taking advantage) Obligation (guilting) Intolerance Fake or Unkind Rage Provoking Pity Complaining Leeching Fanaticism Pride Bartering (loving with strings attached) Relentlessness (bothersome) Competitiveness Skepticism Manipulation Intrusiveness(nosey) Plagiarism(uncreative) Exclusion(cliquey) Deceit Ego inflation Dogmatization (ideological thinking)



(Answers on conflictandconnection.com) 
Even without knowing the exact meaning I attribute to each word, it is unlikely that your results will be skewed. This is because it is usually not just a single word that triggers us, but everything that surrounds that idea. Likely we can think of a person for each of the interpersonal tools and weapons that pe…

The Nature of Happiness

The Nature of Happiness
What do you fear? What do you want from life? What will make you happy? What we anticipate life giving or throwing at us determines the posture we take towards it. If life throws us a bone and we aren’t looking because we are anticipating something else, we probably won’t catch it. Whether we realize it on not, we are postured to defend against certain fears, and will waste a lot of time and energy being on edge to fight it if it never comes. In wrestling or marital arts there is a saying, “where the head goes the body will follow.” Cognitive behavioral therapy says the same goes for affect, “where the head goes the emotions will follow.” When you are fighting someone, they will take a stance against you anticipating which way you will try to push or pull them, and the goal is to do the opposite. Reality is infinitely complex, and with our finite capacity to grasp it, perception is more something we wrestle with than something we just see. Therefore in this …

Not All Anxiety is the Same

Not All Anxiety is the Same
There is generalized Anxiety, Panic disorder, Specific phobia, Social phobia, Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. I’m sure most therapists and other mental health professionals would agree that self-diagnosis is a bad idea, but since most everyone is going to do it anyway, and since a large portion of people will never end up talking to a therapist, why not? Right? Circle, or number in order of importance, the three attributes you feel are the worst, the ones you avoid the most because they have no or few redeeming qualities to them. Also, circle or number in order the three least bad attributes or ones you see some redeeming quality in: Exploitation (taking advantage) Obligation (guilting) Intolerance Fake or Unkind Rage Provoking Pity Complaining Leeching Fanaticism Pride Bartering (loving with strings attached) Relentlessness (bothersome) Competitiveness Skepticism Manipulation Intrusiveness(nosey) Plagiarism(uncreative) E…

Anxiety and Depression

Anxiety and Depression
Life since childhood can seem to have diminishing returns as we take on responsibility. It’s not just that we childishly still want our crusts to be cut off our sandwiches, it’s not a matter of not wanting to put in the work, it’s a mix between everything being work, and not all that work seeming worth it. It becomes harder and hard to get excited about things the better we understand what they actually cost, and the less novel and meaningful the reward becomes. Not to mention that as a child we had no concept of the impossible, and we were fine excitedly putting in the effort for long periods of time without seeing or even looking for evidence that it would happen. We go so many years being oblivious of dreams that won’t come true, whether it is parents getting back together, a girl or guy liking you back, or just that your letter from Hogwarts will come in the mail. These expectations build up for so long unchecked to the point where they seem to become part o…