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

FOREVER YOURS – MY NEW BOOK

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Book and ebook on Amazon (click here)

From 1946 to 1964, 76.4 million “baby boomers” are born in the United States, making up almost 40 percent of the nation’s population. Forever Yours, a mainstream fiction, reflects the story of this generation as they face the trials and uncertainties of the evolving American dream.

In 1963, James and Beth meet in college, fall in love, marry, and then traverse the following decades through various countries, tragedies, adventures, and children. Their love grows stronger until in the end, not even death can keep them apart.

Jeff becomes a writer who struggles to find his voice in a society undergoing a cultural and emotional revolution. From Vietnam through the Kennedy and MLK assassinations, his world is cast in startling and often frightening fashion. Beth is a free spirited individual who embraces the new independence of the modern woman. From her same-sex affair, the completion of her Ph.D., and the tragic death of a child, Beth continues to explore and love life.

The challenges of existence take on a larger-than-life twist through their good friend Steven “Bugs” Cramer, a talented musician who embraces the love and beauty of the world around him. Tragically, he is killed in Vietnam, yet his continuing presence in their lives demonstrates there is more to this journey than meets the eye. They lose a child at birth and yet are comforted by the supernatural presence of their friend Bugs. Ultimately, their love meets the final challenge of mortality, and even then Bugs helps them transcend this world’s limited understanding.

Writer’s Digest 2nd Draft says, “This story is full of memorable scenes, lively characters, anecdotes that make the story-world come alive, and various other elements that all highlight the work of a very talented writer.”

Appreciation

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I was thinking about how the value of our house appreciated over the years. In spite of several poor economic downturns and other factors, it is worth more now than when we bought it, for which we are very grateful.

However, my car is worth less because it has depreciated, a fact I anticipated but still don’t enjoy.

Appreciation is an increase in the value of a specific object or idea. When I appreciate a book, it increases in value to me and possibly to others if I share my appreciation. If I appreciate my wife, then she increases in value to me and hopefully my appreciation will help her increase in the value she holds for herself.

I decided to be very conscious of what I appreciate as it will increase the value of my focus. I appreciate my ability to write and improve in my skills daily. I appreciate my good health. I appreciate a great marriage. I appreciate my good friends. I guess I could say I appreciate my life.

How about you? What do you appreciate?

I you appreciate life hit like.