A LowB World

Friday, June 23, 2006

To come, go, and to have returned

Dear friends,

A lot has happened in the world -of which I am only a small portion. But sometimes I wonder what the importance is of each person. When does a person become important in the world? Why is importance important?

Anyway, some topics



(1) Closer to an answer of "whats the point"

I think the meaning of life lies with being important. Being important to people who are you family and friends, being important to people who you work for, being important for the community, and, as a fundamental belief, being important for the world (this is a bit sassy).

It boils down to finding who you are, and trying to find meaning in what you do with your life. Most people want to earn money? Why do you want to earn money? To have a house and to live comfortably? Why do you want to live for? (and why would you want to sacrifice happiness to earn money so that you can buy happiness -which you cant)

To sum it all up really is that the most important thing is to know how to walk. Although I dislike Mao, I agree with this "A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step". All we need is to start walking and keep walking. To start asking ourselves questions, to find answers, to ask more questions -not to be enveloped in fear (which is the basis)- but to overcome fear and security.

But, as for myself, I'm crap.



(2) Testament of Solomon

Excerpt from Wikipedia:
a) Do you believe in God?
If yes, then you believe in demons and angels: Is this a fair corollary (sp)?
b) Can demons and angels be summoned?
c) If yes, is it a bad or a good thing?
d) Whether it is a bad or a good thing, if it can be done consistently why wont religious groups use it to persuade Athiests?
e) How does the testament of solomon fit in with bibilical texts?


Testament of Solomon
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The "Testament of Solomon" is an Old Testament pseudepigraphical work, purportedly written by King Solomon, in which Solomon mostly describes particular demons whom he enslaved to help build the temple, the questions he put to them about their deeds and how they could be thwarted, and their answers, which provide a kind of self-help manual against demonic activity. The author is obviously a Christian. The date of the text is uncertain, perhaps 1st century to 3rd century; regardless, it is certainly the oldest surviving work that is particularly concerned with individual demons.

When a demon named Ornias harasses a young lad (who is favorite of Solomon) by stealing half his pay and sucking out his vitality through the lad's thumb, Solomon prays in the temple and receives from the archangel Michael a ring with a seal on it which will enable him to command the demons (c.f. Seal of Solomon). Solomon lends the ring to the lad who by throwing the ring at the demon Ornias stamps him with the seal and brings him under control. Then Solomon orders the demon Ornias to take the ring and similarly imprint the prince of demons who is Beelzeboul/Beelzebul.

With Beelzebul under his command Solomon now has the entire race of demons at his bidding to build the temple. Beelzebul reveals he was formerly the highest ranking angel and so equates to Satan, a name that does not appear in this work.

Most of the rest of the work contains Solomon's interviews with the demons, some who are quite grotesque, including one in the shape of a dog and another who has no head and sees through its breasts. Two demons associated strongly with sexuality appear amongst them - Asmodeus from the Book of Tobit, and a female demon named Obyzouth, identical to Lilith in all but name, including the strangling of newborn children. But most of the other demons are otherwise unknown by name from other works even though this does not seem to be new lore but a bundling of various bits of demon-lore from mixed sources.

Some of the demons mention their personal opponent in terms that indicate a future Christ, and, together with its late dating - 100-400 AD - this is one of the reasons that scholars consider it to have been written under Christian influence.

In Chapter 18 the demons of the 36 decans appear with names that sometimes seem to be conscious distortions of the traditional names for the decans and claim responsibility mostly for various ailments and pains. They provide the magical formulae by which they may be banished. For example, the thirty-third demon is Rhyx Phtheneoth who causes sore throat and tonsilitis and can be driven off by writing the word Leikourgos on ivy leaves and heaping them into a pile.

Solomon's final demon encounter involves sending a servant boy with his ring to take captive a wind demon who is harassing the land of Arabia. The boy is to hold a wineskin against the wind with the ring in front of it, and then tie up the bag when it is full. The boy succeeds in his task and returns with the wineskin. The imprisoned demon calls himself Ephippas and it is by his power that a corner stone, rejected as too large, is raised into the entrance of the temple, which purportedly explains Psalm 118.22:

The stone that the builders rejected
has become the head stone of the corner.
This is Yahweh's doing;
it is wonderful in our eyes.

Then Ephippas and another demon from the Red Sea bring a miraculous column made of something purple (translation obscure) from out of the Red Sea. This Red Sea demon reveals himself as Amelouith who claimed to be the demon who supported the Egyptian magicians against Moses and who hardened Pharaoh's heart but had been caught with the Egyptian host when the sea returned and held down by this pillar until Ephippas came and together they could lift it.

There follows a short conclusion in which Solomon describes how he fell in love with a Shunammite woman and agreed to worship Rephan and Moloch (from Acts 7.43, itself quoted from Amos 5.26). Solomon agrees to sacrifice to them, but only sacrifices the blood of locusts considering that to be nothing. But the spirit of God departs from him.

Despite the positive/neutral presentation she is given in the Bible, the Testament of Solomon presents the Queen of Sheba as a witch, indicating that the author had an awareness of Jewish tradition, which had argued the same.

For later writings concerned with different kinds of demons see Classification of the demons.




(3) Self Questions

What are your questions to these I wonder (you can keep them to yourself). I'm working on them too.

a) Why are you reading this?

b) Are you afriad of reading this?

c) Do you question yourself often?

d) Do you have to explain yourself to others?

e) Normally, do you make decisions on your own?

f) Do you find it hard to concentrate?

g) Are you wondering what the point of this is?

h) What would you rather be doing?

i) Would that make you happy?

j) Would you be happy doing that in say 10 years time?

k) Who is someone you admire?

l) What do you admire them for?

m) Do you think you can achieve what they did?

n) Have you tried to achieve what they did?

o) What stops you from doing what you want to?

p) What can you do to overcome whatever stops you?

q) Are there some things you really can't do?

r) Have you considered the use of other people's time and knowledge to help you?

s) In the end if you find it impossible, do you still persist?

t) Is giving up acceptable to you?

u) Are you happy with having the choice to continue or to give up?

v) Are there other goals that you have sacrificed along the way?

x) How do you feel about missing out on some things in life because of other things?

y) Who can do it?

z) Are you happy?



Epilogue

If you have read this, thank you for your time. I hope I havent wasted your time and I hope that you have found some sense yourself somehow.

I wish you well in finding what you want to find..



It's time to turn off the computer and sleep.

It's nice to dream of food that tomorrow brings. Life is like a box of chocolate as they say.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

The Tangled TRIANGLE -by Gordon Hammond

The Tangled TRIANGLE


How to Make Relationships Work


Gordon Hammond


 





INTRODUCTION



“Choice, not chance, determines human destiny.”

I recall the story of a teacher who asked his students to fill a barrel with large stones. When they finally crammed the last rock in, he asked them, “Is the barrel full?” They guaranteed him that it was. He then wheeled in a barrow full of gravel and invited them to keep filling. After they had squeezed in the last handful of gravel, he repeated the question. This time the pupils were less confident, realising that the bag of sand outside the door was another prop up his sleeve. When the last grain of sand had finally topped up the barrel, he asked if anyone could explain the point.

…The actual moral of the story is that if you don’t first attend to the big things in your life, you will find it very difficult to fit them in once your life is filled with the small stuff.



Chapter 1:
CONNECTION



People need people

“A baby is born with the need to be loved –and never outgrows it.”

We have an intense psychological and spiritual need to connect. There are few skills more vital to our overall survival and well-being than the simple art of connecting with other people.

To sum up, physically we need the touch and closeness of others. Emotionally, we need to be affirmed, valued, recognised, and appreciated. Mentally, we need the challenge and wisdom of alternative ideas, insight and advice, of going beyond what we already know. Spiritually, we need to feel that we are not alone in the Universe. We need to know that life has meaning and purpose, and that we have inherent value. A part of us seeks to connect with something, or someone, greater than ourselves.

Don’t leave me

“The essential sadness is to go through life without loving. But it would be almost equally sad to go through, and leave this world, without ever telling those you love that you had loved them.”

Whenever our major needs are not met, we begin to experience fear. It is a frightening experience to face life entirely on our own. Fear and need are the principle motivators behind most human behaviour. We are motivated to seek the presence of others because of our need to connect and our fear of rejection.

“If we could read the secret history of our enemies, we would find in each man’s life a sorrow and a suffering enough to disarm all hostility.”

The messages of childhood are carried through into adulthood. The ageing process may dilute them, but it doesn’t dissolve them. Until we actively challenge and change our childhood attitudes of inferiority, those attitudes will continue to interfere with our relationships for the res of our lives. We not only need to forgive ourselves for our inadequacies, but for many, there is the need to forgive their parents for their failings. If we hold on to the pain of the past, connection with others will certainly be more difficult. We will somehow cope and continue to live with rejection, but life will lack the lustre that it could and should have.

What happens when we connect?

“The greatest happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved, loved for ourselves, or rather loved in spite of ourselves.”

Because we are imperfect and very human, every one of us has experienced some degree of rejection…

However, at an intuitive level, we do seem to understand that effective connection is the best panacea for rejection… Effective connection does not simply “happen”. It is an acquired skill which starts as you connect with yourself. It begins with self-awareness and self-understanding, then moves to a heightened awareness, empathy, and understanding of the needs and feelings of others.

Often a person who has experienced rejection believes that if they can only find someone who will love them, their problems will all be over. If only it were that simple. Let’s face it, if a person cannot find room to love themselves, why should someone else love them? Furthermore, there is a high risk that they will be attracted to someone as fragile and needy as themselves.

“We’re only fragile threads but what a tapestry we make.”

A healthy relationship will foster personal growth, respect individuality, and nurture self-esteem. Dysfunctional relationships, on the other hand, have a way of assigning people to roles that overwhelm their identity. When this occurs, a person may struggle to know who they are and will frequently describe themselves in terms of others and the relationships they have formed.

“Our happiest moments are never lonely.”

True love is more than a feeling. It is a principle of living that has its roots in a belief about human worth. It is a response, not a reaction.

…the starting point for any successful relationship is to connect with yourself… The person who recognises their worth, who is at peace with themselves, whose conscience is clear, who has a sense of meaning and purpose in life –a person of conviction and commitment –will find it much easier to connect with others. In accepting themselves, they learn to be patient and forgiving with themselves, and thus, if they can be this kind with someone so human and so flawed as themselves, then they have laid the foundation to be accepting of others who are equally human.

As you journey through life, connect gently with yourself and then with others.



Chapter 2:
THE POWER OF CONNECTION



The hidden power of connection

“When you cannot adjust the direction of the wind, adjust the sails.”

Once we are aware of the way in which people use power, and gain an understanding of what motivates human behaviour, we can begin to create a new world of opportunity in our relationships.

“Nearly everyone can stand adversity, but if you want to test someone’s character, give them power.”

If I want things entirely my own way with no-one to tell me what to do, or what to wear, or what to think, and no-one ever telling me that I am wrong, or stupid, then I should become untouchable and unreachable, living in isolated splendour.

When two imperfect people connect, they instantly become involved in power interplay. It is unavoidable. This is the give and take of every relationship. At the heart of this giving and taking is where the real pressure and tension of a relationship happens. It is here where we make it or break it. This is where the pain or the joy is born.

Too much pressure and the relationship will blow. No pressure implies that neither partner values the relationship sufficiently to commit to it. It will quickly die. The person who is totally dominated by another, faces an existence with the misery and shame of slavery. Somewhere between lies the balance of synergy, where the energy of the people involved can be harnessed to generate a surplus of energy which can be returned to the relationship.

Winding the clock back

“The present is the necessary product of all the past, the necessary cause of all the future.”

There is a well-defined history to the way we use power. It starts at infancy. The new-born child itself is helpless and powerless.

“All power is trust.”

The quest for identity is a major source of internal conflict that may not resolve for many years… through these years, the emerging adult spends a lot of time observing other adults…

“Example is not the main thing in influencing others. It is the only thing.”

At every stage in the journey to adulthood, our parents, teachers, and other adults were the mentors and models exercising power. Readily “absorbing” their examples, we learned how to use power by “osmosis”.

When we stepped over the threshold into adulthood we not only carried with us the power strategies we had picked up along the way, we also quickly discovered that there were a lot of other people out there who used power in the same ways. We had arrived in the real world of conflict and control.

The power of control

“We do not see things as they are. We see things as we are.”

Power can make connection very difficult, because its use can be so controlling and manipulative, so dominating. Step back just far enough to see what is happening at times and it becomes clear that one person may be treating another as if they owned them.

There are cease-fires and times of calm, but it’s amazing how, at a deeper level, a basic mistrust and fear lurks beneath so many relationships.

“You are free the moment you do not look outside of yourself for someone to solve your problems.”

Why do people remain in such unsatisfactory relationships? There are, no doubt, a number of different reasons but common to them all is limited vision. They cannot visualise things being any different. And they find it difficult to believe that they are the ones who should change. In other words, they are convinced that the other person (the invader) is the one who needs to change.

“Be the change you want to see in the world.”

…Change yourself. This will cause the dynamic of the relationship to change.

The power of positive influence

“Personality has the power to open many doors, but character must keep them open.”

The power of positive influence requires much greater inner strength than the power of control. It is about “me controlling me” rather than “me controlling you”.

…we respond rather than react. It is difficult to become embroiled in power games with someone who as a deep inner strength and is patient, understanding, and fair.

The power of positive influence is an influence. You cannot force it and you cannot accelerate it. It does not rely on technique or personality. The power of positive influence relies on integrity and strength of character to impact in its own time. In the same way that trust and loyalty can only be earned, we earn the right to influence the lives of others. This power only makes demands on its user and not on others.

“Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength. Mastering yourself is true power.”

The power of positive influence recognises the need for legitimate controls and social constraints. It pays due regard to law. In the context of relationships, it respects personal boundaries. It equates freedom with safety –not with the absolute right to do whatever you want. There really is no such thing as absolute freedom.

“People who try to whittle you down are only trying to reduce you to their size.”

We achieve our greatest degree of freedom when we establish clear boundaries for ourselves and acknowledge and respect the boundaries of others. Committing yourself to using the power of positive influence requires a high level of self-control and personal constraint.



Chapter 3:
REACT OR RESPOND



Knee-jerk living

“The language is the expression of thought. Every time you speak, your mind is on parade.”

Basically, when confronted by a stimulus, we behave in one of two ways. We either react or respond… there is only one thing that separates these two, but it is so important that it can completely transform the way we live our lives.

Compare “I caught it because you threw it” with “I caught the ball because I wanted to.” Note the shift in ownership of behaviour. The reactive person sees the cause of their behaviour originating outside of themselves. Someone, or something else, makes them do what they do. The response-able person responds in a way that reveals ownership of their behaviour. They operate from a level of awareness and understanding that enables them to see how they actually fit into the picture. They recognise cause and effect, and can identify who owns what.

The issue of owning our behaviour is at the heart of connection. Effective connection is very difficult with someone who is reactive because reactive people sidestep the reality of their dysfunctional behaviour. They don’t want to own it and they try to avoid the consequences of their inadequacies.

“If we could see ourselves as others see us, we would probably deny it.”

Reactive people do not own their behaviour and therefore do not assume full responsibility for what they do.

“The only fool bigger than the person who knows it all, is the person who argues with him.”

A habit is an action repeated so many times that where we give only passing thought to what we are actually doing. One of the essential factors in creating healthy relationships is to consciously eliminate poor habits by replacing them with good ones.

“Rules for happiness: something to do, someone to love, something to hope for.”

So much of effective living is about choice. You can let the situation control you, or you can choose to control yourself, thus assuming a high level of control in the situation.

“You don’t get to choose how you’re going to die, or when. You can only decide how you are going to live. Now!”

The bottom line in reactive behaviour is loss of control. It is the reaction of a person who has given up on themselves and not one that I would recommend.

Free to choose

“Maturity doesn’t come with age; it comes with acceptance of responsibility.”

Responsible living sounds great in theory.

To start with, we need the wisdom of common sense to know the difference between an excuse and a reason.

If I’m late for work because my car broke down, is that an excuse or a reason? It depends largely on ownership (not of the car). If I’ve been trying to cut costs by not maintaining my car and continuing to drive it, knowing its going to blow up, then who owns the problem? I do. To blame the car is a lame attempt to avoid responsibility for my slackness. That’s an excuse. If, on the other hand, it’s a properly serviced vehicle and the manufacturer has installed a faulty component that caused the mechanical failure, then that is an acceptable reason and a valid explanation for being late.

This is where personal integrity comes into its own. The person of integrity doesn’t need to resort to this dysfunctional way of coping.

Lets deal about… things happening so quickly that you have to rely on your reflexes. Responsible people do two things that reactive people neglect to do.

1. They regain focus
2. They accept consequences without blaming

To be responsible requires vision and determination. It calls for a resilience, optimism, and endurance which fires the very spirit. Even when it would appear that there is no choice, there is always the choice to maintain dignity and integrity. No-one can take that from you.

“To be honest with others, one must be thoroughly honest with oneself.”

Brief comments about responsible living:

· Be prepared for the unexpected
· Listen to feedback
· Think about your choice
· Make your best choice
· Learn from poor choices
· Stretch yourself
· Own your choices
· Be true to yourself

“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change the courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference.”

After everything has unravelled, it is much easier to see what could have been said or done. That is the luxury of hindsight.

We can learn from hindsight, but it is unable to offer anything much at the time. It arrives too late. Don’t let this bucking horse beat you. Bounce up and make another choice. Get as much information as you need, evaluate the input of others, live by your principles and listen to your conscience. Then go forward with confidence.



Chapter 4:
INVALIDATION
The great disconnector



What is it?

I define it as the process of being treated or regarded as a mental and emotional invalid. Whenever someone regards your thoughts, feelings, needs, and contributions as worthless, or inferior, or irrelevant, they invalidate you –just as an invalid is a person who is limited in some way and needs some form of support or assistance to function. Invalidators treat you as if you are a mental or emotional invalid, assuming that you have a deficiency and that they need to assist you in your thinking and feeling.

“Power: the most constant and the most active of all the causes which degrade and demoralises men.”

The process of invalidation is probably the most destructive force in all our relationships. It sours them very quickly. Furthermore, without some real effort, invalidation wont go away.

Three points should be noted (A.U.S.):

· Awareness
· Understanding
· Strategies

“No one loves him who fears.”

Usually the first inkling of invalidation is a shift in our feelings from safe to threatened, comfortable to uncomfortable.

Some essential ground rules

“No human relation gives one possession in another –every two souls are absolutely different. In friendship, or in love, the two side by side raise hands together, to find what one cannot reach alone.”

Eleanor Roosevelt once observed, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” The invalidator may be a controlling person, but it is our inability to establish boundaries that effectively gives the invalidator permission to get away with invasive behaviour.

“When you take charge of your life, there is no longer a need to ask permission of other people or society at large. When you ask permission, you give someone veto power over your life.”

By reacting to an invalidator, we play right into their hands and risk being hurt. In playing them at their own game, we fall into the trap of becoming an invalidator ourselves. They are usually much more adept at this game than us and, in the long run, we end up losing.

A person assumes the role of invalidator only when they are actually invalidating. It is a description of their actions, not a description of who they are.

“Those who cannot forgive others, break the bridge over which they themselves must pass.”

Harmless interaction can evolve into deep psychological encounters where every word and gesture is dissected and analysed. This is a guaranteed way to alienate people and lose friends.

There is no need to be aggressive or defensive. In most instances you only need to confront invalidation when it threatens the relationship.

Giving it a name –unmasking invalidation

“Let the refining and improving of your own life keep you so busy that you have little time to criticise others.”

The enemy is not a person. It is a process.

“Nothing is more annoying than to have someone repeat word for word what you shouldn’t have said in the first place.”

You never know where you stand with someone who undergoes sudden, unpredictable mood swings. If you stand far enough back from the situation, you will see that they are the one with the problem, not you.

“We often dislike a person not for what they are, but for what we are.”

When someone tries to make you feel guilty despite your innocence or, just as bad, tries to make you feel guilty for something they have done… the important thing, whether we understand their reasons for doing this, or not, is to distance yourself…

“When you judge others, you are revealing your own fears and prejudices.”

Because every feeling is legitimate, no-one else has the right to tell you how you should, or shouldn’t, feel.

“Nothing in life is to be feared. It is only to be understood.”

Invalidators… don’t wish to hear what you have to say , so they erect barriers to keep your reality at a distance. They are interested only in their side of the story.

“The moment you say “must”, I feel “won’t” all over.”

Why? Why? Why?

…[the] mystery is why people, who have such a need to connect, engage in invalidation –a process guaranteed to place any relationship under stress. Invalidation operates at two levels, both of which are destructive, though the strategies used to deal with them are the same.

Habitual invalidation has its roots in the poorer habits of relating and is a reactive way of using power. Mostly, it is done in ignorance and its rarely an intentional attempt to hurt. They do not see their actions as invalidating –they are actually blind to their habits.

“Reputation is made in a moment; character is built in a lifetime. Take care of your character and your reputation will take care of itself.”

Not surprisingly, habitual invalidation is most commonly found in families and among people who genuinely care for, and need each other. Up to a point, invalidation mimics this very necessary role of parenting. At the core of both discipline and invalidation is control, but there’s a fundamental difference between control related to discipline, and control related to invalidation.

Sound discipline sets limits on behaviour. Invalidation limits the individual. Discipline is essential in order to be free. Invalidation erodes freedom of choice as it assaults the integrity of the individual, and leads to fear and emotional captivity.

Perpetual invalidaters are often people who insist on getting their own way. They have to have the last word, and cannot bear to be wrong. They like everybody else, have a profound need to connect. However, they usually go about it the wrong way, and try to force connection.

“A minute of thought is worth more than an hour of talk.”

…its neither defensive nor offensive. Its simply a matter of being careful. You take extra care with what you say and do in the presence of such a controlling person. Consciously avoid reacting to them. Observe more closely and remain focused on your boundaries.

Invalidators are also a product of their environment and background, often having never come to terms with issues that have plagued their relationships for much of their lives.

“People cannot be judged by what others say about them, but they can be judged by what they say about others.”

The person who has to be in control, who has to be right, cannot help but experience an unsettling level of anxiety and fear. Most anger has its roots in fear and frustration.

“No power is strong enough to be lasting if it labours under the weight of fear.”

Invalidators falsely believe that by being in control, they will finally be released from the fear they knew when they were controlled. Sadly, all they do is perpetuate their own fears and insecurity.

Strategies

[1] IGNORE
–Do nothing, say nothing

“The art of being wise is the art of knowing what to overlook.”

There are times when the best thing you can do is ignore the invalidation. Before doing or saying anything, evaluate the situation. There’s nothing to be gained in engaging a dysfunctional stranger in combat.

There’ll be other times when someone close to you will invalidate you. It may be unintentional, a slip of the tongue, or they may simply be having a bad day.

[2] CONFRONT
-Do nothing, say something

“If you are patient in one moment of anger, you will escape a hundred days of sorrow.”

The five “C’s” of confrontation
*Cool –keep your cool and be cool
*Courage –it takes guts
*Control –be patient, hold your tongue and listen
*Clarity –remain focused on the problem, not the personalities
*Conclude –do your best to make sure you’ve been heard and understood

“You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.”

The skill of confrontation
*Rehearse –think about what you want to say and how you want to say it
*Determine ownership -…whether the problem is jointly owned or whether the problem needs to be handed back to the person avoiding the responsibility
*Reflect back –“This doesn’t seem to be describing how I feel. Is this where you are coming from?”
*Clarify
*Answer a question with a question –develop the art of parrying questions
*Discover agenda –Are there any undeclared or hidden agendas that you should know about?
*Use an “I feel” statement –For example “I feel threatened when you stand over me and shout. Could you move back and not shout at me please.” Is much safer than “You are threatening me. How dare you shout at me!”
*Relieve tension with appropriate humour

“To be conscious that you are ignorant is a great step to knowledge.”

Remind yourself that what you are trying to achieve with confrontation is safety. Until you are on safe ground, safe is still off the leash…

Confrontation should involve directing the energy toward eliminating fear all round. Again, this demonstrates how you can influence a situation through personal integrity. By taking control of yourself, you change the dynamic of the relationship and steer it towards safe ground.

[3] DISTANCE
-Say nothing, Do something

“The function of fear is to warn us of danger, not to make us afraid to face it.”

Some people are so insecure and so locked into their reactive habits that confrontation seems to have no effect. Or maybe the relationship is so entrenched that it wont budge –not unusual in the case of families. This option is not necessarily the most desirable option, but it can be the safest one. You can effective put distance between you and the invalidator.

Physical distance.
This can mean anything from measured avoidance to a total cutting of ties. With families or friends, it might result in putting limits on the frequency and duration of visits. You may feel guilty… If you are clear about your boundaries and are acting responsibly, the feelings of guilt will quickly subside.

Psychological distance.
*Become more private –The less they know about you, your thoughts and your feelings, the less vulnerable you are. This allows you to remain pleasant and civil. Its easy to say “I want to give it more thought!” Don’t make your life an open book with an invalidator
*Distance yourself from their emotional garbage –If it’s clearly their problem, and they use their emotional eruption as a tool to manipulate you into giving in… provided you’ve maintained your integrity, remind yourself that you did not upset them. They are upset because of ongoing issues in their own lives. To address those issues is up to them, not you.

[4] RECONCILE.
-Do something, say something

“Settle one difficulty and you keep a hundred others away.”

Face the problem squarely and invite both parties to seek resolution. For reconciliation to be successful, there must be a high level of commitment and willingness from all concerned.

There must be a willingness to:
*Listen and understand
*Forgive and let go of the past
*Change yourself
*Allow for emotional ventilation
There must be a commitment to:
*Integrity –honesty of word and intention
*Discover a win/win solution
*Change –doing it differently in the future

“Whenever you face a decision, you have three choices: do what you please; do what others do; or do what is right.”

Make every attempt to do this in a safe environment. You don’t have to wait for someone else to make the first move. A safe climate is something you make for yourself.

*Maintain your personal integrity –be true to yourself. Earn trust and respect, rather than demand and expect it
*Rely on the power of positive influence
*Don’t judge
*Try not to be defensive
*Strive for genuine empathy
*Accept the uniqueness of each person –[assumptions] can create a false sense of security because its based on the shaky assumption that people are basically the same
*Recognise the legitimacy of feelings
*Be humble and teachable

At the end of the negotiation process… there needs to be agreement or alignment… people need to know that their time and energy was spent on more than mere talk.

We can exercise an amazing amount of choice in the direction of our lives if we let wisdom do its gentle work.



Chapter 5:
BOUNDARIES
Where lives intersect



Boundaries –where we connect

“If people knew how hard I have worked to gain the mastery, it would not seem wonderful at all.”

Connection demands its membership dues. We pay a price when we connect –we give up something of ourselves and take on something of the other. The deeper the connection, the more this is the case.

Every relationship has its own “us”, and each “us” is the unique combination of interacting personalities. It is here that we share ideas, and influence and impact upon each other. It is the area where we connect.

“When one life is changed, the world is changed.”

A safe relationship is one that invites healthy connection while at the same time respects and preserves individuality. They are free to create many safe connections with other people. Boundaries are well-defined.

In an invalidating, or dominating relationship, a healthy “us” is suppressed. Connection is forced and boundaries are disregarded. Attempts to connect with anyone else are usually not very successful due to the poor concept of boundaries and the possessive nature of the relationship.

Some relationships are so enmeshed that they suffer too much from “us”. The individuality of both parties are swallowed up by the relationship –as they define themselves by the relationship.

With limited connection, there is a very small “us”. This is a comfortable level at which to relate to invalidators, and this is where relationships with most of our casual acquaintances exist.

“I have sometimes regretted living so close to Marie… because I may be very fond of her, but I am not quite so fond of her company.”

Whenever boundaries are disregarded. The relationship will deteriorate. It will lack structure and definition.

What is a boundary?

“We can never replace a friend. When we are fortunate enough to have several, we find that they are all different. No-one has a double in friendship.”

Boundaries are about finding a balance between two things –identity and connection. Boundaries are the limits or constraints that we place on our relationships, and on our actions and thinking, in order to achieve connection without sacrificing individuality, identity, or integrity.

If setting a boundary involves placing limits on myself as well as someone else, doesn’t that mean that I am, in effect, trying to control them?

*Controlling others create barriers, not boundaries
Boundaries are not an excuse to control another person. They are created to ensure safety within the relationship. Boundaries liberate and unite at the same time. In contrast, the power of control erects barriers and gives scant regard to safety. Its focus is possession. Barriers separate and divide.

*It is what happens in relationships
For example: at short notice, I make arrangements to attend a social function after work. My wife plans to attend a seminar at the same time. She needs the car and wants me to look after the kids. This is what happens! We do not live in isolation. Therefore, we impact on each other. Boundaries are about making the impact manageable and safe, allowing each person to be themselves

“To have a respect for ourselves guides our morals; and to have a deference for others, governs our manners.”

The starting point for boundaries is self-respect and respect for the other person. To invalidate another is to undermine their integrity and disregard their right to be themselves.

*It only takes one person to establish a boundary
Its helpful to understand that boundaries do not have to be mutually decided.

“Real friends are those who, when you’ve made a fool of yourself, don’t feel you’ve done a permanent job.”

*We have a right to determine how close we get to another person
We can place limits on the other person to discourage them from getting too close. Or we can redefine boundaries to allow us to be closer to those with whom we are comfortable. This is obviously the case with intimacy.

Intimacy is about being there for each other while still making sure there’s enough room to be yourself.

Alternatively, people build walls in their attempt to being hurt. A wall is a defence mechanism based on insecurity, whereby someone cuts themselves off from others. Walls may be the most rigid of boundaries, but boundaries are not walls. Boundaries can be flexible as well as firm. They include as well as exclude. In intimate relationships, we actually invite someone to cross previous boundaries as we begin to trust them and feel safe with them.

“You have the freedom of choice, but not freedom from choice.”

*Every “us” is different and unique
Each “us” enriches our lives. There’s a great security and happiness in belonging to a circle of friends who share so much of themselves without detracting from our or their individuality. We should not expect each one relationship to be identical to another. Its also not fair to compare one relationship with another.

By now, we can see that boundaries are important for two main reasons
*They preserve and enhance our sense of identity and our individuality
*They set the parameters of every relationship, from the casual to the intimate

“It is the province of knowledge to speak, and it is the privilege of wisdom to listen.”

Every relationship is different and subject to change. And is so often the case with human behaviour, you lay down the foundational principles, then work out with the rest with common sense, experience, good advice, and intuition.

What makes a good connection?

“He that has no fools, or knaves, nor beggars in his family, must have been begot by a flash of lightning.”

There are two levels at which we connect.

[1] Connections of circumstance
We have limited choice; …these relationships are of convenience or necessity, the most obvious examples involve work colleagues and family members and relatives.

The acid test is to ask yourself: “How many of my relatives/workmates would I continue to see if we were not related?”

Its easy to equate frequent family contact with depth or quality in terms of relationship. But this can be an illusion. It can actually be fertile ground for guilt-loading and stress.

Family members are often enslaved by the expectations of each other, shackled to unrealistic roles they wish would change.

“Cultivate the qualities you desire in a friend because someone is looking for you as their friend.”

[2] Connections of choice
We specifically choose the company of certain significant people for three main reasons

*Affinity
Affinity is a harmony of souls and a source of profound comfort and delight in the presence of each other. I think affinity is most evident in moments of shared silence, when two people sense that they’re of one mind, without ever exchanging a word.

*Chemistry
The physical and sexual attraction that makes the world go around.

*Compatibility
Common interests. Backgrounds and beliefs that coincide. Compatibility is more concrete than affinity, and can result in connections that are mutually rewarding and very satisfying.

“Friendship is a responsibility, not an opportunity.”

Over time, relationships of choice that we make will develop a life of their own. In our most enduring friendships, they will move from friendship to intimacy through the sharing of experiences and the emergence of a private history filled with significant memories. Confidences and secrets, shared pains and joys, ups and downs, a tapestry of life created by two people who trust, accept, affirm, tolerate, forgive and bless one another unconditionally.

A rule of thumb for boundaries

“A moment’s insight is sometimes worth a life’s experience.”

Three simple guidelines for establishing most boundaries

*Safety
If your security is in any way threatened, think “boundaries”. Do whatever is necessary to guarantee your safety. This applies to both physical safety and psychological safety.
*Comfort
This is very subjective but is nevertheless important. Its difficult to feel relaxed when you’re uncomfortable, so ask yourself what you expect out of the relationship and assess the comfort levels.
*Appropriateness
Every culture and sub-culture has its own intricate set of rules, norms, mores, and so on, that determines what is, or is not, appropriate behaviour.

“There is never a wrong time to do the right thing.”

Be gentle and firm when setting a new boundary, even when people resist, until the message is understood. Be consistent too. If you vacillate… no-one will take it seriously.

“The sum of behaviour is to retain a person’s own dignity, without intruding upon the dignity of others.”

We cannot avoid the reality that setting boundaries inevitably brings its own set of consequences. To settle for dominance means continuing to live with pain –not a pleasant option to choose. To walk away also means pain. Separation may be unpleasant, but sometimes it’s the safest choice. Nobody said that setting boundaries is a cinch.

How do you actually set boundaries?

“Self-control is more often called for than self-expression.”

Creating a boundary has the capacity to totally change the dynamic of a relationship. You cannot eliminate the risk that it may precipitate a cooling off, or a distancing, resulting in some form of rejection.

The boundary statement can take a couple of forms:
*A clear statement about what is acceptable and what is not acceptable –it makes sense to give reasons
*A “consequences” statement –make a clear statement outlining what action you’ll take if the boundary is not respected. Its important that these are not idle words. You’ll need to be able to implement a plan of action. And you must be prepared to carry it out. Added weight can be given to this by including an “I feel” message. E.g. “I feel berated when you break my confidence. If it happens again, I will not confide in you in the future.”

“Greatness lies not in being strong, but in the right use of strength.”

Avoid being aggressive when setting boundaries. Just be sure.



Chapter 6:
LOVE
The power of connection



The three dimensions of love

“Love is immortality struggling within a mortal flame.”

Of all the skills that we can acquire, none is more vital to our happiness and wellbeing than that of being able to love.

In daring to love, there is always a risk –the risk of failure and subsequent rejection, followed by the pain of a broken heart. When you think about it, you realise that a commitment to love another will always end in pain because it inevitably ends in separation –the final separation being death itself.

To love completely is to be totally vulnerable. Yet the rewards of loving far outweigh the risks. The alternative to a life of loving, is bleakness, isolation and rejection.

…”love” [is] a beam of white light passing through a prism to reveal its spectrum… of the three basic dimensions of love

[1] Physical Love
Physical love is incredibly compelling and difficult to constrain, providing its own logic, which is not necessarily rational, but usually associated with pleasure.

There is the urge to nurture and protect; the coveting of one’s own offspring; the willingness to sacrifice even life itself so that the newborn can survive.

Sexual love is overtly biological. Sex may be wonderful… but none of this, however, is any guarantee that the deeper needs to be cherished, affirmed and valued will be met.

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”

[2] Emotional Love
Emotional love focuses on “us” in the sharing of our lives. It thrives on generosity of spirit, care, affection, kindness and unselfishness, and is strengthened through reciprocal sharing.

In working at our relationships, there is always the hard grinds. There are no shortcuts.

“Lord, make me an instrument of your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; Where there is injury, pardon; Where there is doubt, faith; Where there is despair, hope; Where there is darkness, light; Where there is sadness, joy. O Divine Master, grant that I may seek not so much to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love; for it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned, and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen.”

[3] Spiritual Love
Spiritual love holds to a strong belief that it is in giving that we receive –give without expecting anything in return.

The four facets of love

“Most of all, love each other as if your life depended on it. Love makes up for practically anything.”

[1] Love is something you are
It is important to understand that love is in you. It doesn’t simply “get there” [though]. You must accept it, seek it, ask for it, work at it, nurture it, give it, return it and regard it as your most treasured possession.

The person who hasn’t put the effort into character growth will struggle to love because the essential ingredients are lacking.

[2] Love is something you do
Love doesn’t just happen. The behaviour of love is a responsible and repeated choice. Love is premeditated. You already know the ways that you wish to respond.

Love is reflective. You think back on things you’ve said and done, and you ask yourself if you were true, and genuine and loving in your actions.

Love is an attitude that we choose to adopt.

Love is a commitment to a way of operating based on clearly established principles that are not negotiable.

Love must be practised. There’s no point concluding, in your mind, that the way of love is very attractive is you are reluctant to practise it through action.

Love is forgiving –you forgive yourself and you forgive others for making mistakes.

“To be loved is better than to be famous.”

Here’s a rule of thumb about love:
Start with yourself. Learn to truly love yourself first –not in an egotistical sense, or selfishly. Be patient, kind and forgiving with yourself. Be honest, fair and firm. Come to respect your own worth, and treat yourself accordingly. Through this process, you learn to love not only yourself, but others too.

[3] Love is a belief
Love is a belief in the principles you choose to live by.
Love is a belief in the intrinsic value of yourself as a worthy human being.
Love is a belief about the value and worthiness of others.
Love is a belief in the rewards that you and others will receive in loving.
Love is our strongest and most important belief.

“Love never asks how much must I do, but how much can I do.”

[4] Love is something you feel
Love is more than the warm feelings associated with intimacy, affection, acceptance and closeness. There’s a deep sense of peace and contentment in the harmony that love creates.

Love is the feeling of quite confidence and satisfaction that comes when you’ve been true to yourself and your conscience is clear.

Love is the feeling of certainty that comes when you know that the wisdom and guidance of love is reliable.

You feel pleasure as you see others blessed, uplifted and encouraged by your loving influence on their lives.

You feel awe and humility as you ponder the amazing power of this wonderful force changing you and your world.



FINAL WORD



“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers a multitude of sins.”

As you learn to respect yourself and trust your own judgement, people will come to affirm you and honour you.

Your life is in your hands.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Copy Life Paste Life

Life



Life isn't about keeping score.
It's not about how many friends you have
Or how accepted you are.
Not about if you have plans this weekend or if you're alone.
It isn't about whom you're dating, whom you used to date,
and how many people You've dated,
or if you haven't been with anyone at all.

It isn't about who your family is or how much money they have
Or what kind of car you drive.
Or where you are sent to school.
It's not about how beautiful or ugly you are.
Or what clothes you wear, what shoes you have on,
or what kind of Music you listen to.

It's not about if your hair is blonde, red, black, or brown
Or if your skin is too light or too dark.
Not about what grades you get, how smart you are,
how smart everybody else thinks you are,
or how smart standardized tests say you are.

It's not about what clubs you're in or how good you are at "your" sport.
It's not about representing your whole being on a piece of paper and
Seeing who will "accept the written you."

LIFE JUST ISN'T.


But, life is about whom you love and whom you hurt.
It's about whom you make happy or unhappy purposefully.
It's about keeping or betraying trust.
Its about friendship, used as sanctity or a weapon.

It's about what you say and mean, maybe hurtful, maybe heartening..
About starting rumors and contributing to petty gossip.
It's about what judgments you pass and why.
And who your judgments are spread to.


It's about whom you've ignored with full control and intention.
It's about jealousy, fear, ignorance, and revenge.
It's about carrying inner hate and love, letting it grow, and spreading it.


But most of all, it's about using your life to touch or poison other
People's hearts in such a way that could have never occurred alone.
Only you choose the way those hearts are affected, and those choices are
what life's all about.

LIFE JUST IS !

Saturday, May 28, 2005

mouse maze game

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

adult swim

joke

Mr. Cikoch was a biology instructor at a snobby suburban girl's junior college. During class one day he asked his student, "Miss Simison, would you please name the organ of the human body, which under the appropriate conditions, expands to six times its normal size, and define the conditions."

Miss Simison gasped, and then said, "Mr. Cikoch, I don't think that is a proper question to ask me. I assure you my parents will hear of this. "With that she sat down red-faced.

Mr. Cikoch then called on Miss Hakar and asked the same question. Miss Hakar, with composure, replied, "The pupil of the eye, in dim light."

"Correct," said Mr. Cikoch. "And now, Miss Simison, I have three things to say to you. One, you have not studied your lesson. Two, you have a dirty mind. And three, you will some day be faced with a dreadful disappointment."



swimming

Backstroke is really relaxing... You look at the ceiling, moving in the water; you forget time and recall your childhood -hearing nothing, the water is gentle to your body...

Anyways, I like swimming.

But i have to learn freestyle properly...

(freestyle) Strokes Made Simple

The most effective applications of propulsive force occur when the insweep and outsweep are made on a diagonal of 50 to 70 degrees. . . The patterns range in depth from 61 to 74 centimeters and in length from 29 to 45 centimeters." Well, there is your lesson on how a freestyle stroke is supposed to work. Now go try it.

That quote is typical of the content in most source books on swimming technique. These books are loaded with, among other things, minutely detailed descriptions covering every angle, degree and inch of movement in swimming.

It is no wonder so many fitness swimmers are intimidated by the thought of polishing their strokes. The advice they get makes efficient swimming sound like nuclear physics.

Coaches who usually have just Saturday and Sunday to get athletes swimming smoothly, need to spend their time teaching what really matters, nothing else.

Let's focus on the simpler and far more critical job of streamlining_adjusting your body position to minimize drag. For speed, it's at least twice as important as how your hand pulls you through the water.

If you get your body balanced (see my column in the Jan/Feb issue), then rotate your trunk and hips as you stroke, you'll move through the water pretty well, flawed stroke or not. Students at my camps have improved their speed and efficiency as much as 30 percent in two days, making few changes in their arm movements.
Here is a stroke-made-simple lesson:
Slice your hand in as soon as it passes your shoulder. Extend it in front as far as you can. Take your time about beginning your pull, and pull back straight under your body, neither too deep nor too close to your trunk. Then take your hand out of the water and do it with the other hand. You're swimming just fine.

Are there useful refinements beyond those mentioned? Of course. But they pay off far more if you're eyeing a berth on the Olympic team. Consider this: the typical novice is maybe 10 to 20 percent as efficient as a world-class swimmer, but can close most of the gap_to maybe a 30 percent spread_by simply improving body position, rotation and alignment.

Basic, sound swimming comes down to this: Lean into the water with your upper trunk (to balance) so your suit is just breaking the surface; rotate your hips around your spinal axis (to propel), getting them completely out of the way as each hand passes through. Think of your arms as extenders for increasing the length of your body line_which automatically makes you faster.




So hard... if normal person is 10% of professional swimmer... I am only 3% -.-

Sunday, May 08, 2005

a model covere letter

To: Human resources, Neopost
Re: Credit and collections manager


I am responding to your job posting on monster.com for a Credit and Collections manager. I am currently in the market for a job in this field, and on one of my daily visits to your site I was thrilled to discover that Neopost was hiring. I have waited a long time for this opportunity, and I am including my resume for your review.

My resume details my fifteen years of extensive experience in Credit and Collections management. It feels like I have worked in Credit and Collections management all my life. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to call me. This opportunity is once in a lifetime, and I assure you that I believe in what your company is doing one hundred percent. And, I have certainly been watching closely.

My first encounter with Neopost came two years ago, while I was on the Internet looking for alternatives to the traditional postal system, ( which had previously caused the death of my entire family. ) I found Neopost's web-site to be pleasantly designed and informative, and I immediately saved the address in my "Bookmarks". On a subsequent visit I began to realize the full implications of the existence of services such as yours.

Using equipment purchased on your web-site, I have begun to construct my own post office in the basement of my house. Your company has provided me with the finest in mail-room furniture and high volume sorting and folding machines. The newest addition is, of course, a 30kg digital scale, for weighing mail and determining the rate. It's interfaced with the mail machine, and I have named it Susan because that was my youngest daughter's name.

The chance to put my Credit and Collections management experience to work for your company is something I am willing to die for. My post office is almost finished, but I know that I will need to build one in every town before I can fully replace the Postal service. The employee discount that you will hopefully provide should make a helpful dent in the costs associated with that as well.

The depression and suicidal fantasies of three years ago are nothing but a memory to me now. I am a man consumed with passion, and your products have given a new meaning to my life. Without you I do not know where I would be, and I do not want to know. I am happy now, pursuing my goal. My dead family and I are in your debt, and I long to help you in any way I can. I feel I could make a real difference at your company.

Thank you for taking the time to consider my resume. I am willing to relocate to anywhere in Canada.

Yours,

Joey Comeau.

but if you get a job... is it that good anyway?
haha maybe not that bad; oh i really like my job btw, its fun -.-


Sunday, May 01, 2005

even someone you love...

You dont want to be with them all the time.

We need a break even from someone we love.

It can get tiring.

What am I saying? People like this...?



No, go away -.-

Sunday, April 24, 2005

The perry bible fellowship (comics)

The Perry Bible Fellowship Comic!




































































































































Ps: Good idea for cooling hard drive!