Choices

Almost daily, as therapist, we both deal with clients who have a common problem. They are in love with being a victim. This is not only a crippling position for relationships, but it is the epitome of a life that is stuck and sinking rapidly.

What is a victim? The easiest understanding of victim thinking is this: Who or what do you blame for the circumstances in your life? A victim will find outside people, places, or events to blame for their current problems or life trouble. A healthy, non-victim will realize that all life is simply a series of choices and our place in our life today is a result of choices we made yesterday.

A client presented a problem to us concerning a relationship she was having with a man she was dating for some time. She believed the problem was his request for her to spend more time with his family as they were a very important part of his life.  She was an only child in a tremendously dysfunctional family, and had no desire to be involved in his “family” functions. This dilemma had been going on for months and was beginning to take a toll on the relationship. She felt that he was being way too dogmatic and was ruining her life and their future.

The victim thinking she presented was simply “He is wrong and is destroying my life.” Our position was, “you have made a choice to be with this man even though he clearly told you he wanted a close relationship with his family. It is your choice to stay with him and he is not ruining your life. Your choice is simply not one that fits into your expectations.

As always, when we confront a victim with a sense of reality, the client has a tendency to dislike our input, and often responds with anger.  Most victim thinkers will respond with anger if they are made to be accountable for their own lives.   What is your thinking about your current (or past ) relationship? Are you blaming your partner for your discomfort, or do you take responsibility for your choices?

Examples:

  1. He doesn’t seem to care about what I want. He makes me so angry.
  2. She is so demanding. No matter what I do it is not good enough. She make me unhappy.
  3.  He is a slob and never picks up after himself. He drives me crazy.

Why are these victim thoughts – because no person can make us feel or act in ways that are negative unless we allow them to do it.  If the person is doing something I don’t like, then I have a choice. If I stay in the relationship, then I better just get used to the thing I don’t like. If I really can’t stand it, then make a choice to get out of the relationship, but don’t blame them for your emotions. It is simply your choice. The choices we made yesterday provide the life we experience today.

Let us know what you think about this, but don’t get angry, that is how a victim would react, and you don’t want to be a victim.   Dr. Jan and Dr. T

One of my books, Off The Hook, explores this type of choice and the difficulties of not playing “Victim” in daily life.   Click here to see more information.

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Giving Thanks

thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a time to give thanks. Lot of people are complaining about a lot of things and I hope they can give it a rest on Thanksgiving. I have to consciously remind myself that today is a great day. It is the only today I will ever have because it will become yesterday when I reach tomorrow.

 I have concluded if I spend too much time thinking about yesterday, I will not enjoy today.

 On the other hand, if I spend all my time worrying about tomorrow, I will once again not enjoy today. 

So my intention is to simply enjoy today! So far – so good. Happy Thanksgiving to all.

I am also thankful for the privilege of being able to write books others can read. If you have spare time, check out my books and audiobooks (click here)

Heavenly thoughts for writers

gates

A lot of communities are now known as “Gated Communities” which simply means nobody gets in unless they’re invited. As I entered one of these communities, I suddenly realized according to general religious consensus, Heaven is a “Gated Community”. The Pearly Gates keep out unwanted visitors and protect the residents from bad people. I guess St. Peter is supposed to be the “cop at the gate”. Hmmm, for what’s supposed to be a friendly place to live, it doesn’t sound so good from that perspective.

Anyhow, the reason I got into thinking about heaven was a joke a writer friend told me. Goes like this:

A writer died and was given the option of going to heaven or hell.

She decided to check out each place first. As the writer descended into the fiery pits, she saw row upon row of writers chained to their desks in a steaming sweatshop. As they worked, they were repeatedly whipped with thorny lashes.

“Oh my,” said the writer. “Let me see heaven now.”

A few moments later, as she ascended into heaven, she saw rows of writers, chained to their desks in a steaming sweatshop. As they worked, they, too, were whipped with thorny lashes.

“Wait a minute,” said the writer. “This is just as bad as hell!”

“Oh no, it’s not,” replied an unseen voice. “Here, your work gets published.”

Sad but true.

J.T.Twerell is a practicing psychologist in Manhattan, New York and author of several award winning books including:

Signal 30 – Readers View Reviewers Choice Book of the year 2011
Catch and Release – Top winners at London Book Festival, Los Angeles Book Show and Beach Book Fair 2013
Off the Hook – Winner at Feathered Quill Book Award and Southeast Book Show 2014
Catch and Release – Winner Best AudioBook at 2014 Paris Book Festival
Dragon’s Orb – Honorable mention – 2014 Paris Book Festival
Dragon’s Orb – Winner Best Mystery – 2014 Beach Book Festival

Visit his website at www.JTTwerell.com or go to Amazon.com click here

PASSION

passion

When I check my thesaurus for the word passion, I find substitutes of desire, hunger, thirst, lust, urge, ache and several others. When people ask why I write, I simply state it is part of my passion, which is a true statement. However, when I research further I find the word passion is from the Latin verb pati, which literally means, “to suffer”. I guess when I think about writing and passion, I can truly understand the suffering part. I’m not into playing victim or feeling like a martyr for my cause. Far from it, as writing is my choice and I willingly enter into my passion with eyes wide open. However, let’s think about the suffering:

  1. We suffer when we don’t write because characters, plots and other diabolical schemes pound through our brain.
  2. We suffer when we do write because all the characters, plots and other diabolical schemes now have freedom to pour out of our beleaguered brain.
  3. We suffer when our creative efforts are finished because now our characters, plots and other diabolical schemes fall pray to editorial warfare, which generally leaves behind many wounded.
  4. We suffer when it comes time to present our creative effort to the world around us and find our voice lost in the multitude of other creative works filled with characters, plots and other diabolical schemes.
  5. We suffer when our creative effort finally finds a voice and is recognized by the world around us, for then the outside critical voice begins its campaign to find fault with our characters, plots and other diabolical schemes.
  6. We suffer when we walk away from this process of creativity, swearing we will never subject ourselves to its cruel devices.
  7. We suffer when we don’t write because characters, plots and other diabolical schemes pound through our brain.

And we begin once more. Why do I write? It’s my passion. How about you? JTT