Monthly Archives: October 2013

Day 304: The Best Day of the Year

I remember times when Halloween, October 31, was the best day of the whole year.

I got to dress up, as something else …

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… and there was candy.

Case closed.

I’m not dressing up in costumes these days, but there are lots of reasons why today could be the best day of this year, including:

1.  The Boston Red Sox are World Series champions!

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Note: That photo is from ustoday.com, which is including these headlines:  “Home at Last,” and “Red Sox savor title, comfort at home.” (I like a lot of those words, as well as the image.)

2.  It’s Halloween!  I still like seeing how other people (and some animals) dress up, even though I don’t.

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Note: That photo was labelled #Abe”purr”ham Lincoln on Facebook today.

3.  It’s the third anniversary of the day I met Michael, my boyfriend.

4.  Isn’t that enough?

 

During this year —  My Year of Living Non-Judgmentally — I’ve thought and written about Good Days/Bad Days, in many different ways.

For example, I’ve invited people to consider this: “Bad day/good day” thoughts might — at times —  get in the way of the making the most of each moment (see here for a post about that). And people have found that perspective helpful, at times.

But, Geeze Louise!

Some days are just friggin’ great, no matter how you look at them.

Thanks to all of you, for visiting today.

 

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Day 303: What I know/What I don’t know

I, like others I know, tend to focus more on what I DON’T know, rather than what I DO know.

I am trying to change the balance of those thoughts, this year.

It’s only fair, people!

It’s time for lists of (1) what I know and (2) what I don’t know.

Let’s start with the “negative” first (so I can end with the “positive”).

Here are some things I don’t know:

  1. How to get more readership for this blog post.
  2. How to get more people to come to my therapy groups.
  3. The future.

Hmmmm.  That’s an interesting list.  Now that I’ve written those three things down, I feel like commenting on them.

Okay, it’s MY blog post, so I can do whatever I want, right now!

Here are my comments on that list:

  1. I have expressed a wish to do that (get more readers for this blog), throughout this year, but I’ve been ambivalent about doing that, honestly.  If I have TOO many readers, maybe I would feel overwhelmed.  And maybe this blog isn’t good enough to have a kashmillion readers.
  2. I have expressed a wish to do that (get more members for my groups), throughout this year, but I’ve been ambivalent about doing that, honestly. If I have TOO many people in my groups, maybe I would feel overwhelmed. And maybe the groups aren’t good enough to have dozens of participants.
  3. It’s true that I don’t know the future.  I wish I could remember THAT more often.

Okay, now it’s time for a list of some things I DO know (this morning):

  1. I could deal with more readers for this blog.  While that seems like I’m predicting the future, I’m basing that on this fact: I’ve been able to deal with much more difficult things, so far in my life.
  2. I could deal with more participants in my groups.  While that seems like I’m predicting the future, I’m basing that on this fact: I’ve been able to deal with much more difficult things, so far in my life.
  3. It will be very cool, for me and other Red Sox fans, if the Red Sox win this World Series at home, because that is an event that has not happened since 1918 (which is a very long time ago).

Now that I’ve done all those lists, I have another comment on what I’ve written so far.

While I may fear that what I do — here, in the blog-o-sphere and there, in the real-life-o-sphere — isn’t good enough, on some level, I KNOW it IS.

Okay!

It’s time for me to post a few more things I know, as a set-up a photo I took yesterday.

I know:

  1. It’s getting colder around here.
  2. People want those they love to keep warm (and safe, in general).
  3. Some things that are very different from us  — out there in the real-life-o-sphere — have feelings much like we do.

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It’s time to end this post, so I can have another day where I DO know some things,  DON’T know some other things, and — in some cases — know more than I think I know.

Thanks to all of you, for reading today.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Day 302: Taking in/Letting go

During an earlier (and warmer!) season of this year, I created a post —  Day 169: Mindfulness exercise — which described a  focusing exercise I use in therapy groups, to invite people to be more in the moment.

I like the word “invite,” because it gives people a choice. You can choose to follow my directions, or not.  People always have a choice to do that, obviously, but I wonder if they remember. That’s why I like using that language — the word “invite” — whenever I suggest that somebody do something.

Why would people forget they have a choice, when I ask for something?

Because, at work, I am in the role of therapist, or “expert.” And there is a power differential, there,  in that relationship between medical provider and patient.  I certainly have learned THAT, almost from the time of my birth, from the patient side.

So I like to invite people to do things, to support awareness of their personal power. The power to choose.

However, this morning, I am making an exception.  Rather than just give you the link to the previous post, I’m going to be more assertive about this:

Go look at the previous post, people!!!

That was fun.

Anyway, I wanted you to look at that previous post because I thought it would help you get more out of this one.

But I am now losing my investment in whether or not you actually looked at that post.

Hold on …….

Investment lost.

Hey!  That was fun, too.

So, dear readers, I think it’s about time I get to the point of today’s post, don’t you?

As described in that previous post (this is where I let you off the hook for NOT looking), I like doing a breathing exercise which involves these things:

  1. When breathing in, take in something you would like more of, from the moment, from where you are sitting, or from the universe.
  2. When breathing out, let go of something that would be helpful to let go of.

I often have trouble with language, when I’m describing that exercise in writing.  When I’m describing it in person, it’s not a problem.

But in any case, I hope I’ve communicated, well enough, that mindfulness exercise.

For this post, I would like to list some things I’ve used in that exercise, over the years, including some things I would like to take in/let go of today.

I will start with the List of Letting Go:

It helps me, for sure,  to let go of …..

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… fear in general.  Also, fear of heights ….

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… fear of falling:

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… fear of the dark:

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fear of death:

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… and at this time of the year, fear of the cold:

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Okay, I’m running out of time here, this morning, to complete this post.  And I deliberately wanted to end on the positive — something(s) I want to take in more of, from the universe.

I’m also dealing, right now, with another fear of mine:  the fear of not giving everybody credit, who deserved it.

However, I think I can wrap this post up, in time.

How?

  1. I’ve already invited hope into this post, by the images I’ve chosen.
  2. I can make sure I give everybody credit, throughout the day, after I press the “publish” button here.
  3. I believe I have the time I need to finish this post before I publish it, that is,  to post an image about something that would help.

The pressure is on!

Tick, tick, tick, tick, tick.

Okay, so what image would help, right now?

Let’s see, what is the opposite of fear?

Here’s the word that popped into my head, before I could even think of consulting a thesaurus.

hope

 

That works.

 

Thanks to all those who contributed to the creation of this post, and to you, for saying “yes!” to the invitation to read, today.

Categories: personal growth | 6 Comments

Day 301: Bearing up

Yesterday, I met my old friend Lawry in Harvard Square, Cambridge, for brunch, with some members of his family.

It was great to see everybody.  I loved talking to Lawry, his wife, his daughter, his sister, his brother, and his brother’s wife.

It was particularly special for me to spend time with them, because I had been feeling some anxiety, over the weekend, about my health (and some about the Boston Red Sox, too).

And it was wonderful to be back in Harvard Square. (See “What’s the problem?” and “Random Images (paired)“, two earlier posts, for more adventures in Harvard Square.)

Here’s a little photo essay, about my time in Harvard Square yesterday.

A Little Photo Essay

by Ann

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On my way to meet Lawry and his family for brunch, I saw this amazing tree.  I had to stop and take a picture. Thank you, tree.

It was another beautiful autumn day. Those of us who live in the Greater Boston area have been remarking, this year, about how friggin’ great the fall weather has been.  Those of us who dread the onset of winter in the Greater Boston area have been wondering whether this is a good or bad omen about how painful it’s going to be, too soon. (Actually, I can only speak for my own thoughts about this.)

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Moments after  I took that first shot of the tree,  I had to stop and take the above photo. Why?  It’s a sign about a group, people!

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Here’s a closer shot of the sign (and some of the flags) that you can see in the background of the previous photo.

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As I said, it was a beautiful day. Look at those trees and that sky.

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Another sign in front of the church. I snapped this, as a is Note To Self:  “Ann, make sure you sing more (especially as the cold and dark descend)!”

After I took that photo, I stopped dilly-dallying, and focused on getting to brunch with Lawry and his family.

I didn’t have any photos of Lawry or his family members to show you today, because I was too focused on interacting with each of them, in the moment. Right now, I wish I had some visual proof of how great they all are, but you’ll just have to take my word for it.

After brunch, I went to Urban Outfitters because I needed a scarf and gloves — that is, gear for winter,  coming too soon to a location near me.

And …  I DID find a great scarf and some colorful gloves there, which definitely cheered me up. (My philosophy: If I’m going to be cold, I might as well look cool.)

While I was shopping  in the store, I couldn’t help but notice this:

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I had never seen anything quite like THAT.  I’ve noticed lots of children — and adults — wearing animal hats in these parts, but a full-bear winter coat?  I was very intrigued, but assumed it was most likely just for display. (I mean, it’s almost Halloween, for heaven’s sake.)

However, when I was in line to pay for my merchandise, I noticed that the people in front of me — a woman and her son —  had just bought one of those bear coats, which was being stuffed into a bag. I blurted out, “Wow!  You got one of those!  Can I see it?”

The woman paused, but then kindly took it out of the bag, to show me. She told me it was for her son, Asa, who was a student at Boston College. “Will you try it on for me?” I asked Asa, as I told them both about this blog.

This was Asa’s reply:

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How cool is THAT?

Now it’s a day later, and I’m still feeling better.

Many thanks to Asa and his mother, Lawry and his family, Christ Church Cambridge, Urban Outfitters, all things that make life bearable, and to you, of course, for reading today.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Day 300: Metaphors of the heart

Dear readers,

I am a psychotherapist, and I learn new things, every time I meet with people.

Here’s something I’ve learned, many times:

Metaphors help people describe and understand what is going on with them.

On Friday, at work, somebody reported that her mood shifts had gotten less extreme.  As many people do, she made a gesture with her hand, to “draw” her experience of varying moods.

Usually, when people do that, they indicate this kind of graph:

Wavelength

This woman, however, used the term “heartbeat strip,” and from her description and gestures, I knew she was describing the an electrocardiogram (abbreviated ECG or EKG):

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She said, “Before, my moods were like this …” and she indicated an EKG that was very dramatic. It looked something like this:

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Lately, she said, her mood shifts had been more even, and she indicated a “normal” EKG:

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(Her description was much shorter than that image, above, from ndsu.edu.)

I found this metaphor amazing , and not just because (1) I had never heard it before and (2) it related to other issues I’ve been thinking about, lately.

I thought it was truly wonderful.

I expressed my appreciation for that metaphor, to the person in my office. And then I added something.

I said, “People often think that any mood shifts are a problem.  However, without ups and downs, people would be  …. flat-lining.” And it was my turn to gesture, like this:

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And, we agreed, that would be very bad.

I told this person that I planned to use her metaphor in the future, saying, “I’ll give you credit, if you want.”

She said I didn’t need to, especially since I had added something of my own.  We  agreed we made a good team,  creating that metaphor together.

And then we moved on, to other matters of the heart.

Thanks to all the people who have taught me so much, in so many therapy sessions. And thanks to you, for visiting today.

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Day 299: Why haven’t I published anything (outside of here)?

This morning, I am posing questions about where I am in my life, right now.

I have enough expertise and skill to be a published author. Why haven’t I made that happen, so far in my life?

What’s gotten in the way of that?

Here are some things I can think of:

  1. Doubts about my (previously mentioned) expertise and skill.
  2. My ability to think of a kashmillion things I would rather be doing other than writing something for publication.
  3. Concern (and perhaps some other feelings) that other people would  have the control to accept or reject something that was important to me (and what makes THEM such friggin’ experts, anyway?!??)
  4. My short attention span. (Look!  It’s a baby wolf!)

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Where was I?

Oh, yes. I was asking the question:

Why haven’t I published anything, so far in my life?

Oh, I wanted to state the obvious, at this point.  I’m not counting what I’ve published here, at WordPress. Because if I did, I’ve published almost 300 times.

I’m discounting that.

Hmmmm. I’m wondering if I’m discounting anything else?

Because, recent data suggests that I can forget things that I’ve done.  By “recent data,” I am referring to my blog post, two days ago, where I forgot that I had actually taken a photo of Carl Yastrzemski, when I was at the 1st game of the World Series, at Boston’s Friendly Fenway Park.

So, let’s see. have I published anything, outside of  these blog posts?

Hmmm. I guess you could say I have.

About 20 years ago, when I was in Social Work school, I wrote a paper about how people with disabilities were portrayed in the media. I interviewed people from a local chapter of (I believe) the National Spinal Cord Injury Association, and they asked if they could publish a version of my paper in their national publication. Which they did.

And in years past, if you Googled my name, that article appeared. But I can’t find it now, to check my facts (and support my bragging).

So maybe I’ll see if I can find that article, later.

But in the meantime, it’s a beautiful day!

Which means, I would like to wrap this post up.

Before I do, here’s what feels left undone.

I want to ask  myself another question:

Do I WANT to publish (or do I just think I SHOULD publish)?  (Psssst!  The word “should” can indicate a cognitive distortion.)

Hold on, I’m thinking ….

Here’s the answer.

I do want to publish, if it’s something:

  1. I feel passionately about, and
  2. I think would be helpful to share with others.

So what might that topic be?

I’m interested in communication of all kinds, verbal and nonverbal. Maybe I should write a paper on something like this:

The people in the following image (from a national TV broadcast) are having an experience that most would consider joyful:

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That is, they are attending a World Series Game, where their home team is leading by a score of 8-1, one strike away from victory.  What emotions are they communicating, non-verbally? What are the factors influencing those non-verbal communications, from the stand-point of those sending AND receiving the communications?

That’s definitely an interesting topic.

However, I can think of another topic, that’s probably a better fit for the two criteria I listed above: The therapy groups that I have created and facilitate, where I work.

So I would like to take steps to publish, about those.

One last thing, before I end this post: I believe it helps, once you have identified a goal, to make a commitment for action, ideally witnessed by others.

Therefore, I hereby commit, to my group of WordPress readers, that I will take a measurable step, by the end of this year, to publish about those therapy groups.

Okay!

Thanks to  Dan Shaughnessy (the author of “One Strike Away: The Story of the 1986 Red Sox”), thatcutesite.com,  baby wolves (and other distractions), the National Spinal Cord Injury Association, verbal and non-verbal communicators everywhere, and to you — of course! — for witnessing today.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Day 298: Expectations/Family Support

Today is a day when I’m having trouble deciding about a choice. (A NOT unusual circumstance, for me.)

The choice is the title of this blog post.

Should I call it “Expectations”?

Why would I want to call it that? Because in BOTH therapy groups I facilitated yesterday, the first theme that people noticed was “Expectations.”  (In one of the groups, the follow-up/shadow of expectations — disappointment —  was also immediately identified.)

That’s kind of an amazing coincidence isn’t it?  Two totally different groups of people, and — BAM! — the first theme people identify is the same one.

The other title I was considering was “Family Support.”

Why that title? For one thing, I received some photos from my sister this morning,  which she took at the World Series game we attended, two nights ago.

My sister is a good photographer.  For proof of that, here are some of the shots she sent me . And, if you read yesterday’s post,  “My World Series Report,” you’ll see that these photos are great support for the way I told the story about the game.

Photos of Carl Yastrzemski:

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Photos of Wally the Green Monster:

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Photos of some action on the field (the excellent Red Sox pitcher, Jon Lester):

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As I prepare to end this blog post, things that feel unfinished:

  1. If any of my readers are wondering, “What’s the deal with the beards?” here’s an article about that, from the Boston Globe.*
  2. I’m going to drag out something I haven’t used here in a while — the copyright symbol — to protect my sister’s fine photos.
  3. I’ve made my decision about the title of the post.

Okay!

Thanks to my sister and Yaz (again), to  Jon Lester, to Green Monsters everywhere,  to people sporting different types of facial hair, to deciders and non-deciders, and to you, of course, for reading today.

©  2013  Ellen Koplow (for photos), All Rights Reserved

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* I hope you can read that article, from the Boston Globe,  no matter where or when you’re reading this post. If not, you might have more luck with this article, from theweek.com.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Day 297: My World Series Report

Hello, sports fans,

I was at the first game of the World Series last night, with my home team, the Boston Red Sox, and their oft-played World Series competitors, the St. Louis Cardinals.

Yes, I  well remember the 1967 match up between these two teams:

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That was the year when I first fell in love with the game of baseball, and with the local team.

My hero, that year, was Carl Yastrzemski. In Yaz, I saw a lot of attributes that I admired:

  • Humble
  • Team-oriented
  • Hard working
  • Kind

That’s the way that Captain Carl appeared to me and (I think) to almost everybody.

I saw Yaz at the game last night!

First, here:

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It was nice to see Yaz, last night, looking so spiffy and getting the admiration he deserves.

Then, I saw him again!

I was thrilled when I heard that Yaz was going to throw out the first pitch of the game last night.

At the moment, I don’t have any photos to show you of that.  Maybe I’ll insert one, later.

When I did a Google Images search, right now, on “Yaz first pitch,” I did find some photos that seemed to fit the bill:

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(see here, regarding that photo)

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(Google attribution: http://boston.cbslocal.com.)

However, those were both photos from an earlier time.

In any case, I was thrilled  to see Yaz, on the field, looking so spiffy and getting the admiration he deserves.

I didn’t take any photos of Yaz on the field, last night, because (1) my phone was running out of power and (2) I figured there would be lots of photos of this, elsewhere.

Here are some more photos I WAS able to take last night, before my phone went dark:

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I love the look of Fenway Park.  John Updike once described it as a “lyric little bandbox of a ballpark” (a description I adore) (although I always forget the word “lyric”).

My sister and I got to the park really early, last night. After we got to our seats, we met Liz and Fred, from California:

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It was great to talk to them.  They both come from California. Liz was in town for a conference, and she managed to get these tickets and surprise Fred with them!  I quickly took their picture, as soon as I heard that Fred had taken the red eye from California last night to get to the game.  Here are some things we found out about them:

  1. Fred loves the game of baseball, no matter who is playing.
  2. Liz is a psychotherapist, who uses Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.

I hope Liz and Fred like that photo (even though it’s blurry).

As for our dining experiences last night, we focused on items that were tried and true, and warming. First, my sister recommended that we visit the best place in the park to get hot dogs. Here’s our chef and maitre d:

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Our compliments to him!

On our way back to our seats, I noticed an interesting hat, so I asked the owner if I could take a quick photo. She graciously agreed:

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That’s Wally, the Green Monster (the Red Sox mascot). He was definitely looking good, up there.

Later in the game, the real Wally walked right by us and posed with many happy fans.

However, I couldn’t capture that. My phone was long gone.

It’s time to wrap up this post, dear readers, with my last photo of the night.

Wait!  When I just took another look at my camera roll, I discovered that  my memory was quite faulty, there.

That makes sense, what with all the excitement (and maybe some anxiety I was having, about my phone dying, etc).

Here are the facts: I took a few more shots, before I lost power:

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It’s Captain Carl!!

Thanks to Carl Yastrzemski, heroes and team players everywhere, lovers of baseball, and to you, especially, for visiting today.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Day 296: The other side of containment

“The other side of containment.”

That was the title on my mind, when I woke up today.

And I just want to warn you: it’s going to take me a while to work back to that title.

So let’s digress together, shall we?

I’ve blogged a lot about cognitive distortions, this year, including this one:

Shoulds. We have ironclad rules about the behaviors of ourselves and other people.  For example, “I really should exercise. I shouldn’t be so lazy.” A more effective way to motivate ourselves is to identify positive results, rather than whipping ourselves with guilt.  For example, “When I exercise, I feel better.”

I’ve seen “shoulds” do a lot of damage to people; and yet, people naturally think those thoughts.

There is a particularly nasty form of “should”-ing, related to feelings.

Two examples:

I shouldn’t feel this way.

I should be over this, already.

As I’ve written before, cognitive distortions are human, so I assume that you have thoughts like those. I know that I do.

So they’re human. Yet, I have never experienced a helpful “should” thought, about feelings.

And that sentence I just wrote? That fits the “duck test” for another cognitive distortion:

All-or-Nothing thinking (also known as “Black-and-White thinking”).

Things are either all good or all bad, people are either perfect or failures, something new will either fix everything or be worthless. There is no middle ground; we place people and situations in “either/or” categories, with no shades of gray, or allowing for complexities.  Watch out for absolute words like “always”, “never,” “totally,” etc. as indications of this kind of distortion.

It was the word “never” in my sentence,  that tipped me off.

However, that sentence IS also the truth. I have never experienced a helpful “should” thought, about feelings.

I think it’s time for me to re-approach my topic, for today:

The other side of containment.

Why was that on my mind, this morning?

Because I have been having some difficult feelings lately. And I often hear people talk about containing difficult feelings.

What are the difficult feelings I’ve been having?

Fear, for one.

It’s time to go to my old friend, Google, for images about fear:

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Speaking of fear,  I fear,  right now, that I won’t be able to complete this post before I need to leave today.

And why am I afraid that I won’t finish in time? Because fear wasn’t the emotion I was intending to write about.

Here’s the emotion I planned to tackle, this morning:

anger

But it’s more difficult to write about anger. At least it is for me.

I have some fear about anger, people. And I know I’m not alone in that. Here’s  some immediate evidence, from the Google Image Buffet:

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Here’s a particular fear I have, about anger: I fear that I (and others) judge and disown our anger.  And I think THAT can be dangerous.

When I see that fear of anger in others, sometimes I respond by saying:

Anger is just one of the basic human emotions.

Anger is the human response to not getting our needs met.

And I hope that’s helpful.

But what does this all have to do with containment, my alleged topic for the day?

Here’s what:

When I was hospitalized as a young child, I got some messages that anger and fear were not okay.   I got the sense that people did not want to see — or deal with — any anger or fear I might have about what was happening to me.

Therefore, I believed  (whether or not the messages were really there) that I needed to contain those feelings.

In this blog, I have written about several containers, for feelings and thoughts (like here and here).  And those containers can be useful, for sure.

However, I will say this:

When  a therapist talked to me, recently, about the technique of imagining a container for difficult feelings, I replied, “Personally, I would need such a  container to be open.  I wouldn’t want to believe that I have to close off my feelings, no matter how difficult they are.”

Therefore, I imagined a container, like this:

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but opened, like this:

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And that seemed like a good idea.

Before I end, I want to mention/brag about one more thing.

I am going to Game One of the World Series, tonight!

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Earlier this morning, I had this thought about that:

What’s the matter with you?  You should be ecstatic!

There it is, again: another “should” thought about feelings.

Earlier this morning, I also had the urge to yell, to get some anger out. And I thought, “I can’t do that!!”

But what about this, as a solution?

I’m going to the World Series tonight! What better place to yell??!!?

YAY!!!!!!!!

Much better.

Thanks* to the Boston Red Sox, the St. Louis Cardinals, to containers of all kind, to people who have fear and anger, and to you, too, for visiting today.

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Also, for the images, to theguardian.com (for the “fear face” and an interesting article), chrisperruna.com (for another “fear face” and interesting article), HowStuffWorks, rozsavage.com, Rebuilding Divorce Recovery, and what-buddha-said.net.

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Day 295: Random Images

Hello, dear readers.

Today’s blog post is a collection of recent photos which I like.

That’s right, I like them.  I could be polite here and say, “I hope you like them, too,” but that’s really besides the point, you know?

Because I can’t control how you are going to react to them.  And, throughout this year, I have dispensed pearls of wisdom such as this:

You can’t control other people, especially their thoughts.

Other people’s thoughts can’t hurt you.

If you are going to assume something (including about what other people are thinking), why not assume the best?

These aren’t exact quotes, people, but what do you want from me?

Geesh!

It’s in the middle of the night, I’m having trouble sleeping (probably from a combination of excitement — e.g.,  WORLD SERIES TICKETS — and some fears about unknowns/new things that have been happening here).  With all that, I am NOT going to check my past posts, just to make sure that those quotes are correct.

What do you want from me, people?

Blood?

Oooops!

I’m mind-reading, aren’t I?

I’m assuming that YOU want my posts to be “perfect.”

That urge for perfection comes from ….

…. not YOU, but …..

(Three guesses, and the first two don’t count.) (Whatever the hell THAT means.) (Actually, see here for an explanation of that.)

Did you guess?

Whether you did, or not, the answer is …..

ME.

That’s right, dear readers. I’M the guilty party here. I’m the one who has the high standards that are so tough to fill.

Nobody else (I’m told), expects as much from me as I expect from myself.

Sooooooooo, the good news is this:  My standards are high, and I LOVE THESE PHOTOS.

So who cares what you think?

(Actually, I think I’m repeating myself, at this point.)

So, therefore, I’m just going to post these friggin’ photos, make a half-assed attempt to link them together somehow, and call it a blog-posting day.

And, maybe if I (and you) are in luck, the attempt won’t be half-assed.  Maybe it will be somewhere between 85-95% assed.  (I was going to say “completely assed,” but that would be perfectionism, wouldn’t it?)*

PHOTO #1:

As I believe I have mentioned in a recent blog post (look for the reference yourself, people!!), “Yummy” is one of my favorite words. I have recently been thinking about the possibility of helping to open up a local restaurant with that name.  So what do I see, two days ago, on Sunday?

IMG_1974

FIgures. (Although I would include an apostrophe.)

PHOTO #2:

I saw this on Sunday, also, during a walk with my friend Kathy. (See here for a picture of Kathy, at Fenway Park!)

IMG_1977

That’s a rather startling image, isn’t it?

Now why did I take THAT photo?

  1. It reminds me of several funny jokes about penguins I’ve heard, over the years**.
  2. Maybe I feel trapped by existential issues I cannot control.
  3. (Fill in your own answer, here.)

PHOTO #3:

IMG_1978

I saw this, on Sunday, with Kathy, too. (Kathy is a professional photographer, by the way. I’m not sure why, but that seems ironic to me, right now.)  (If my son reads this blog post, which is unlikely, he will probably tell me that I’m misusing the word “ironic.”)

Anyway, what do I want to say about this photo?  This cheered me up, somehow, when I saw it on Sunday, and it’s cheering me up right now.

PHOTO # 4:

IMG_1998

This photo is from last night, and demonstrates continuing progress in the process of introducing a new cat (Harley, close to piano) to established cat (Oscar, closer to photographer). Would you believe me if I told  you that I  had just helped the process along by actually singing  the song “Kumbaya***” while the three of us (four of us, if you count the mouse), were sitting in this room?

Because it’s true.

Okay, those are the photos I wanted to post.

You know what? I’m going to make a completely non-assed attempt to link those photos together.  That is, I am going to end this blog post, without identifying a common theme among them.

Although, maybe I’ll do a little more, before I end.

This is something I do in therapy groups, after everybody has had a chance to speak.  I sometimes say, “Do people notice any common themes in what they heard?”

So I guess the ball is in your court, readers.  Do you see any common theme(s) among those photos?

Okay!

Thanks to insomniacs everywhere, amateur and professional photographers, real and stuffed animals, and to you, especially, for visiting today.

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*The half-assed/completely-assed thing is an “homage to” (read “steal from”) the movie,”The Graduate”:

Mr. Braddock: Ben, this whole idea sounds pretty half-baked.

Benjamin: Oh, it’s not. It’s completely baked.

** I was going to post some favorite penguin jokes, here, but screw it!  I’m tired.  Here‘s a link to a google search about penguin jokes.

*** Here’s a quote from the Wikipedia description of Kumbaya:

“Kumbaya” or “Kumbayah” (Gullah, “Come By Here” — “Kum ba yah“) — is a spiritual song from the 1930s. It became a standard campfire song in Scouting and summer camps, and enjoyed broader popularity during the folk revival of the 1960s.

The song was originally associated with human and spiritual unity, closeness and compassion, and it still is, but more recently it is also cited or alluded to in satirical or cynical ways which suggest false moralizing, hypocrisy, or naively optimistic views of the world and human nature.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

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