Monthly Archives: January 2018

Day 1847: The fear of making things worse

I hope I don’t make this blog worse with today’s topic.

I hear people talking about the fear of making things worse with action AND with inaction.

The fear of making things worse can lead to

  • hesitation,
  • paralysis,
  • second guessing,
  • sleeplessness,
  • indecision,
  • self-judgment,
  • wheel spinning,
  • worry,
  • guilt,
  • anxiety,
  • over-thinking,
  • stress,
  • shame,
  • blame, and
  • all sorts of emotional pain.

Cures for the fear of making things worse include

  • “Just do it!”
  • “Just don’t do it!”
  • “It might get worse but that’s not the end of the story.”
  • “Most things are NOT irrevocable.”
  • “Things will get worse then better then worse then better, no matter what you do or don’t do.”

Yesterday, my boyfriend Michael  did not make things worse with this story about his twin brother, Steve.  When people complain and worry, Steve tells them, “Don’t worry about this! This is nothing! Guaranteed,  something MUCH WORSE is coming along.” I heard that as an unusual invitation to enjoy and appreciate the present, and it made me smile.

Let’s see if any of my recent photos make things worse:

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Janis Joplin makes things better with  “Hesitation Blues.”

If you have any fear of making things worse with a comment, please let that go.

I have no fear of making things worse by expressing gratitude and affection for all who helped me create today’s post and — of course! — for YOU.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , , | 28 Comments

Day 1846: Smile

Even when there are many reasons not to smile, studies show that consciously putting a smile on your face can improve your mood.

I’ve got a smile on my face, right now, because I easily found that article which supports my opening sentence about why we should smile even when we don’t feel like it.

When I smile and when I see other people smile, I feel better.

However, when people tell me to smile, I don’t feel like it.  I smile when I choose to, people.

Any smiles in my photos from yesterday?

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Even though I was tired yesterday, Vivian the social work intern made me smile with the Google art app and her do-it-yourself fortune.

I smile  when I listen to Take 6 sing “Smile.”

A grateful smile for all who helped me create today’s “Smile” post and — of course! — for YOU.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 30 Comments

Day 1845: I should have known better

#1 on my personal list of what doesn’t help is telling myself “I should have known better.”

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At this point in my life, I should know better than to tell myself “I should have known better.”  Nevertheless, I’ve been telling myself “I should have known better” a lot lately, even though it doesn’t help.

What would be better than telling myself “I should have known better”?

Self-forgiveness, acceptance of what is, and identifying  achievable and helpful next steps.

Therefore, I forgive myself, accept what is, and identify these achievable and helpful next steps:

#1.  Include my other photos from yesterday.

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#2. Share some music (which should be here and here on YouTube).

#3.  Express gratitude to all who helped me create this should-have-known-better post and  to you!

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

Day 1844: Everlasting impact

We don’t know how long the impact of any deed, word, or moment will last, including this one:

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Sometimes, I fear that a mistake — like a “wrong” decision — will have everlasting impact. I also hope that compassionate, kind, and loving actions will have everlasting impact.

I believe that people can fear AND hope for everlasting impact.

I wonder how long the impact of these seemingly random photos will last?

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Lasting readers of this blog might know that I’m someone who loves tea, my work, and  macaroni and cheese. Yesterday, one of my patients brought me A LOT of macaroni and cheese.

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I wonder how long that will last?

Here’s music with “lasting impact”:

 

If you make noise, here or elsewhere, it will have an impact.

Everlasting thanks to all who helped make an impact on today’s blog and — of course! — to YOU.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

Day 1843: The New Normal

Yesterday, in a new therapy session, somebody was talking about the new normal.  Because the new normal has been changing  all the time (which can cause new stress and new anxiety), we discussed new coping strategies like self-care, setting new limits, mindfulness, and taking a breath.

New snow is predicted today for New England, which is normal for this time of year.

Are there new normals in my new photos?

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Normally, every time I see that new hotel marquee it has a new musical message. Whenever I see a two-fingered peace sign, I hope that peace may become the new normal (even though today’s new normal is “Gimme! Gimme! Gimme.”).

Here‘s that new normal, by Abba:

 

It’s normal for me to ask for new comments and to express new thanks to all who help me create these blog posts and — of course! — to YOU.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Day 1842: The Least

At the least, I should share why I’m writing about “The Least” today.

U.S. President Donald Trump has declared

I am the least racist person you have ever interviewed.

I am the least racist person that you have ever met.

I am the least racist person.

At the very least, I should back up these quotes with some proof, here.

I don’t know who the least racist person is, but at least I know it is not the person who claims to be the least.

Yesterday, I tweeted

He is the least President you have ever interviewed or seen

which received at least seven likes.  The least I could do was quote him (although I left out the least unimportant word).

Going from the least to the most, here are the most quotes I have found about “the least.”

“The least I can do is speak out for those who cannot speak for themselves.” — Jane Goodall

“One can rarely achieve greatness on the path of least resistance.” — Wes Fessler

“The path of least resistance makes all rivers, and some men, crooked.” — Napoleon Hill

“Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.” —  Oscar Wilde

The least I can say is this: Maybe we should give somebody a mask, so he will tell us the truth.

The least I can do now is share some photos which were at least taken by me.

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The least I can do on this blog is squawk about what’s bothering me and share some music — “The Least of These” by Matt Maher.

The least I can do, at this point, is thank all  who helped me create today’s post and — of course! — you.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 31 Comments

Day 1841: Today

Today is Martin Luther King Day in the United States.

How to honor Martin Luther King, today?

Two years ago, I wrote about the void left by his death and tried to fill that void with quotes from him.

Today, I want to spend  MLK Day contemplating his dream …

… and what is happening to his dream today.

I’m noticing that two of my recent photos are relevant today.

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I think that those who miss the boat on respectfully coexisting with others who are different from them are dinosaurs.  I’ve got to believe they’ll become extinct. Not today, but someday.

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Today, as always, I end my post with gratitude. Today, it’s evermore thanks to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and to you.

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

Day 1840: Trying

I’m trying to decide what to include in today’s post.

Some people assume that creating a daily blog post is very trying. I’m  trying to explain that blogging helps me deal with trying times.

When I’m trying to  compliment somebody’s progress, the person often says, “I’m trying.”  Trying to acknowledge they’re doing more than just trying, I sometimes reply, “You’re succeeding.”

I’m trying to capture the world around me in photographs. I’m trying to put those photographs in some kind of order to communicate what’s trying and what’s succeeding.

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I’m trying to look at that “try denial” kitchen magnet without thinking about the deadly mudslides in California, but I can’t deny those thoughts.

I’m trying to remember that my son, who left for university in Scotland last night, will be back in May.

I’m trying to keep up with other people’s blogs, but I’m not succeeding.

I’m still trying to choose the right music for every post.

I’m trying to encourage people to express their thoughts and feelings, here and elsewhere.

As always, I’m trying to express gratitude to all who helped me create this “trying” post and — of course! — to you, for trying.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

Day 1839: Use of self

Psychotherapists (like myself) use the term “use of self,” which includes thoughtful self-disclosure, transparency, and sharing aspects of one’s personal self for therapeutic connection.

I’ll use this quote from the Amazon description of the book  The Use of Self in Therapy.

One of the most powerful factors in therapy is that it involves the intensive relationship between two (or more) human beings. The issues of transparency and self-disclosure therefore become important concerns for therapists; how can they use themselves effectively in their work without transgressing on professional regulations?

I’m going to use myself in the following example of use of self.

Yesterday, I was asked by a doctor to meet with a Spanish-speaking patient whose mother had recently died in the hospital.  The meeting included the tearful patient, a hospital interpreter, a social work intern who was observing me, and myself. The patient told me, through the interpreter, that she felt guilty about the death of her mother and also that her doctor had previously suggested she see a therapist for treatment of  depression. I assumed that this patient would resist the idea of seeing a therapist for many reasons, including a culture-based stigma about mental health treatment.  As we discussed the realities of therapy, I told her she might be surprised how many people saw therapists for helpful support.   I decided to self-disclose. “I see a therapist,” I told her. Immediately, the intern revealed, “I see a therapist, too.” The interpreter said  — in Spanish and then in English — “I do, also.” All four of us laughed, as I observed that the patient was the only one in the room who was NOT seeing a therapist.

Is there use of self in these photos?

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When our world turns upside down, using our selves and our shared humanity can help us stop and connect.

Here‘s James Brown’s use of self in song:

I look forward to my readers’ use of self in the comment section, below.

Speaking for myself, use of self always includes thanking all the selves that help me express myself and — of course! — YOU.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Day 1838: Holes

I see that holes are in the news this morning. Sad.  That’s why I’m reusing “Holes” as a blog title.

Here’s my first thought about holes, here and now:

Anybody who uses the word sh*thole to label an entire country is an *sshole.

Do you see any holes in my logic there?

Let’s fill the holes in this blog post with some photos, shall we?

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To fill the holes of judgment and negativity with some goodness, compassion, and forgiveness, I’ll say that *sshole is a common label for somebody with a personality disorder.

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Then why did I use the word *sshole above?  Out of anger and fear. Anger and fear can  feel like holes in the heart.

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That heart-shaped cookie filled a hole in my stomach last night, after a therapy group where people talked about filling the holes in their lives with compassion, connections,  and helpful activities.

I’m sharing a song by Hole today, because I hope we’ll Live Through This.

 

Thanks to all the holes that helped me create today’s post and — of course! — to YOU.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 38 Comments

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