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

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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)

What is, is

Listened to some people the other day as they talked about their lives.

Seemed to me they were spending a lot of time worrying about what might happen in the future. When they stopped they filled the remaining spaces being depressed about what had happened in the past.

I decided two things;

 1. I didn’t want to listen to them anymore

 2. It is a lot better if we just live with three words;  What is, is.

Can’t change the past, and sure don’t know what the future holds, but I do know right now; what is, is. j-and-t

    And as far as I’m concerned; it is good!

 

 

 

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I wrote a book called Forever Yours. It is about a couple who meet in the 60’s and spend their journey together finding out how to remain loving and content as they face the trials and uncertainties of the evolving American dream. Jeff finds his voice in a society undergoing a cultural and emotional revolution. Beth embraces the new independence of the modern woman. Their love grows until in the end, not even death can keep them apart. Click here to see more on Amazon.

 

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Wisdom

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Went to get my hair cut the other day, which is always an experience. The haircut isn’t the problem, it’s the lecture and profound dissertation my barber always provides during the haircut. 

I mean, there I am, at his mercy and he is the one with sharp instruments in his hand. I sit and agree with whatever he says, for I value my head and everything attached to it.

The old comedian George Burns once said it was too bad  all the people who really know how to run the country are busy driving taxi cabs and cutting hair. My barber would agree with that thought.

It is fascinating how someone who seems to have such little experience with life can have such large thoughts on what is wrong with the world and what needs to be done to fix it. I won’t even bother to share his thoughts, they are so far out it is impossible to characterize them. 

Plato once said “Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something”.

But one thing I do know about my friendly barber, he gives a good haircut, so I’ll go back again. 

Looking for a good read to avoid your barbers thoughts? Try this link.

BOOK FLYER

Enjoy the Journey

I was watching a man in a kayak the other day. The tide was going out and he was trying to come in, without much luck.

He would paddle for all he was worth, and make some headway, then when he had to rest, he went backward to where he started.

I’ve been there several times in my life, not in a kayak, just in circumstances.

When I was younger, I used to think I had to paddle harder, but I never seemed to get where I wanted.

Now life has taught me to pull over to the side, enjoy the day and wait for the tide to change.

Seem to be getting where I want to go a lot faster and with a lot more fun.

In my book FOREVER YOURS, a couple explores the adventure of life from college in the 60’s to retirement in the 2000’s. Of all my books, this is the one I enjoyed writing the most as it was about my generation’s journey. Take a look at Amazon to see all my books. BookCoverPreview.do

Feeling Small

IMG_0754 A few days each week, I journey into Manhattan NY. I do this to earn a living, not because I love Manhattan. I used to love being in the city, but those days are over. It isn’t exciting anymore, it is just busy, noisy, and really dirty. Some tell me it is because I’m getting too old to enjoy the city, but I think I’m just getting too smart to have to put up with chaos and pretend to enjoy it. To those who love the fast life, I am happy you have a place to go.

Frankly, when I’m in the city I feel very small. There are probably ten million people all around me, most of them moving at a pace that defies understanding. The huge buildings preclude sunshine, which I am sure is not the best for the human race. 

Went to the Grand Canyon once and really felt small there too. But it was a good feeling of being awe struck instead of being struck by a taxi. I know we all have our personal preferences and I am happy this beautiful planet provides so much diversity. The exploration of our life is also a place of diversity and if we can simply enjoy the moment we are in, then the journey becomes quite an exciting adventure. I simply like my adventure more when I’m away from the city. 

In my book FOREVER YOURS, a couple explores the adventure of life from college in the 60’s to retirement in the 2000’s. Of all my books, this is the one I enjoyed writing the most as it was about my generation’s journey. Take a look at Amazon to see all my books. BookCoverPreview.do

Passion

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I was thinking about passion the other day and how important it is to life. Some people think passion is just some sex thing, but in reality it means: fervor, ardor, enthusiasm, eagerness, zeal, vigor, fire, energy, fervency, spirit, fanaticism.

Why is passion important? To me, without passion, life is a routine that becomes a place we get stuck. With passion, life is an adventure.

Bill Cosby, a great comedian and truly a thinking philosopher, once said,

 “Anyone can dabble, but once you’ve made that commitment, your blood has that particular thing in it, and it’s very hard for people to stop you.”

One of my passions is writing. It is just something that makes my life an adventure. Ray Bradbury, a great writer, once said about writing,

“Love it. Fall in love and stay in love. Write only what you love, and love what you write. The key word is love. You have to get up in the morning and write something you love, something to live for.”

What’s your passion? If we don’t have some reason to get up in the morning, then we will probably just stay in bed till we die.