therapy

Day 2355: Blame

Who’s to blame for never writing a post titled “Blame” before, even though it’s one of the thirteen cognitive distortions discussed here?

I’m to blame for that and for repeating that description here:

We blame ourselves for every problem, or hold other people entirely responsible for a negative situation or feeling. When we focus on assigning blame and figuring out who is “at fault”, we are usually ignoring the complexity of a situation. Also, blaming can result in staying stuck in negative feelings, rather than moving towards action and solutions.

Does it help to blame?  What about this major news story?

1 million species are at risk of extinction.  Humans are to blame.

I’m very upset about that news story.  Can you blame me?

However, I don’t want to stay stuck in negative feelings. I’d rather move towards actions and solutions. But what actions and solutions are there?

I try not to blame myself for becoming overwhelmed, sometimes, by the immensity of problems.

I do think there is a difference between blaming and taking responsibility. Blaming keeps us stuck in the past and pointing fingers at each other.  Taking responsibility is more adult, focusing less on shame and more on the next achievable steps.

I take responsibility for all these photos and please don’t blame me if they don’t relate to today’s topic (because I took them all before I knew what I was going to write about this morning).

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Here‘s the witch from Stephen Sondheim’s  Into the Woods singing about the futility of blame:

I take responsibility for expressing my sincere gratitude at the end of every post.  Thanks to all for helping me create this blog and for reading it, here and now!

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, therapy | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

Day 2270: Whatever works

It works for me to tell you about a book a patient loaned me at work — CONTEMPORARY PRAYERS TO [whatever works] by conceptual artist Hannah Burr.

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Every day, I am on the lookout for whatever works and making it fun!

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Whatever Michael does to make his meals so delicious, it works!

Whatever song would work for this post?

 

Are you going to leave a comment?  Whatever works for you.

it works for me to express my thanks to all who helped me create this whatever-works post and — of course! — to YOU, for your time, effort, great energy, and whatever!!

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

Day 2251: What am I?

“What am I?” recently showed up on my office white board.

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What am I that I didn’t write the discussed follow-up to that question: “Chopped liver?”

What am I if I don’t explain that “What am I?  Chopped liver?” is a way some people express feeling expendable, unappreciated, and less-than.

What am I if I don’t link to this entry from knowyourphrase.com and quote this from there?

WHAT AM I, CHOPPED LIVER?

Meaning:

A rhetorical question used by a person who feels they are being given less attention or consideration than someone else.

Synonyms: None.

Origin Of ‘What Am I, Chopped Liver?’
​The origin of this phrase is not really clear. I have, however, heard of two theories that may indicate how this expression came to be. The first is that liver is not always viewed on the same level as others foods. For example, if a person is cooking a chicken, they’ll oftentimes throwaway the giblets, you know, like the liver or gizzard. Or instead of throwing the giblets away, the person will cook them, not for themselves, but for their pets to eat. Hence, since liver is not usually as desirable to eat as other foods, the expression might spring from such an idea.

Another explanation, as Wikipedia explains, is that “chopped liver was traditionally served as a side dish rather than a main course.” So the idea would be that sometimes, a person might feel like their thoughts or feelings are not being considered as fully as they should, so they feel like they are being treated as if they were a side dish.

Example Sentence(s)

1. Jake, a friend of mine, asked what my sister and I thought of his new clothes, but he seemed to specifically ignore my comments… what am I, chopped liver?

Have you read my similarly titled blog posts — Day 1313: Who am I? and Day 625: Where am I?  Why not?  What am I, chopped liver?

What are my photos, chopped liver?

 

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What is that, chopped liver?  No, it’s delicious salmon, brussels sprouts, and quinoa.

What are these videos (found here and here)? Chopped liver?

What are you, chopped liver?  No, you are my valuable and much appreciated readers, so many thanks!

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

Day 2242: How to use your energy

When I was using my energy, yesterday, to return to work after a week at Disney World, I saw this energetic teabag saying:

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An hour earlier, I saw many people using their energy to destroy a building.

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Sometimes we have to destroy what’s there to build something new in its place.  Of course, that takes a lot of energy.

An hour before I took that photo, I had the energy to take this one:

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No matter how much I summon my strength, I have less energy in the winter and also as I’m getting older.  So it becomes even more crucial how I choose to use my energy.

I didn’t have the energy to take any more photos yesterday, but I do have the energy to list what I am NOT using my energy on, these days:

  • worry about the future,
  • regret about the past,
  • guilt,
  • shame,
  • judgment,
  • toxic people,
  • anger, and
  • the news.

However, I do have the energy to think about positive, achievable solutions and I do have the energy to take the next, small steps towards those solutions. I think those are good uses of my energy.

Yesterday, at my first day back at work, many things happened that could have sapped my energy — like multiple crisis calls coming at the same time AND a patient showing up a day earlier than she was scheduled.  It always helps my energy to embrace “the full catastrophe” of life and I survived another work day, with energy to spare.  I’m glad I’m using my energy, at this phase of my life, on work I love and value.

Now I’m using my energy to share the original use of “the full catastrophe” in a very energetic movie.

Here‘s another energizing scene from Zorba the Greek:

I hope you use your energy to share your thoughts and feelings about this post.

As always, I use my energy to express gratitude to all who help me create this blog and — of course! — to YOU, for using your energy to read it.

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Categories: gratitude, health care, personal growth, photojournalism, therapy | Tags: , , , , , , | 24 Comments

Day 2116: How to respond

Yesterday, people were discussing how to respond to a particular type of comment:

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How to respond to my 7 other photos and 1 video from yesterday?

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How to respond to somebody who is letting her hair go gray?

How to respond to this post?  However you choose.

How to respond to the people who helped me create this post and to you for being here? With thanks.

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Categories: original song, personal growth, photojournalism, therapy | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Day 2013: Object

I object to my primary blogging tool — my laptop computer — turning into a useless object.

I hope you don’t object to my sharing a definition in a new way, by taking a screenshot on my phone:

Because I was aware of my useless laptop as an object yesterday, I took many photos of other objects. I thought the object of today’s post was going to be “Still Life” — allowing me to make this pun: “Even though my laptop is dead, there’s still life in me and in my blog.”

I hope you don’t object to my calling today’s post “Object” instead. Here were the objects of my attention yesterday:

Last night in a therapy group, nobody objected to exploring the topic “What I Say/What I Don’t Say.”

Here‘s “The Annoyed Objects” by DeStorm Power:

I look forward to the objects of your comments, below.

You are all now the object of my gratitude. (I assume you do not object to being that kind of object.)

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

Day 1956: This Way and That Way

These days, some people tell you it’s right to think and act this way

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while other people  tell you it’s right to think and act that way.

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In our way, there are so many ways that divide us.

My way is to celebrate life’s moments,

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invite hope,

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express myself,

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work on stress,

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promote self-forgiveness,

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be smart,

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help people reach their potential,

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appreciate the arts,

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accept the child and the adult,

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walk past the news,

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stay away from death,

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deal with people leaving,

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focus on our chances,

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let go of worry about the future,

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eat healthy meals,

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look this way and that way on YouTube,

and express my gratitude, every day.

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I’m thankful, here and now, that I can ask this community:  What’s your way?

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

Day 1832: I don’t want to

I don’t want to

  • go outside when it’s “historically” cold,
  • move my left arm,
  • cook,
  • clean,
  • over-eat,
  • over-commit,
  • waste time,
  • watch the news,
  • check my mail,
  • worry about the future,
  • dwell on the past,
  • offend people,
  • get hurt,
  • squelch feelings,
  • read,
  • do much of anything, or
  • complain (too late!)

I do want to

  • blog and
  • share my photos from yesterday.

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No offense, but do cats — modern or otherwise — really need a lifestyle magazine?

I don’t want to be judgmental, but people who say “No Offense” are often offensive.

I don’t want to listen to music, but I will anyway.

I don’t want to set the world on fire, but we could all use a little warmth.

I don’t want to end this post without expressing my sincere thanks to the Ink Spots, to everyone else who helped me write this post, and — of course! — to YOU.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, therapy | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 29 Comments

Day 1829: Worry vs. Planning

I didn’t plan to write about this today, but no worries.

In therapy, we often talk about reducing worry. A lot of people believe that worry is an essential part of planning. They confuse worry with planning and have trouble separating the two.

I suggest to people that

  • you can plan without worrying and
  • worry doesn’t help with anything, including planning.

Yesterday, we made a list of Worry vs. Planning:

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I wasn’t planning to put that list in this blog so I didn’t write neatly.  I’m not worrying about that.

You might not have planned to think about this today, but what do you think are the differences between worry and planning?

Here are some other unplanned photos from yesterday:

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I didn’t plan on sleeping late this morning, but I did.  I’m not going to worry about that, either. I’m just going to quickly find a video for this post, publish it, and get ready for work.

 

I always plan to thank everybody who helps me create these posts and who reads them. These days, I’m not worrying about how I express my gratitude — I just do it.

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

Day 1766: Trapped

Yesterday morning, somebody in therapy talked about feeling trapped and how that affects anxiety.

Later in the day, we heard how people in New York City were trapped, injured, and killed in a  pedestrian pathway .

This morning, I’m reading how New Yorkers are refusing to be trapped by terror.

Here’s how we worked on feeling trapped yesterday:

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What do you do when you’re feeling trapped?

Do any of my other images relate to being trapped?

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Here‘s  the New York Halloween Parade from last night, after the terrible attack.

 

My deepest sympathy to all who suffered losses. Thanks to all who do their best to heal  every day (including you).

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, therapy | Tags: , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

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