Posts Tagged With: shoulds

Day 2522: Hang ups

One of my hang ups is thinking about my and other people’s hang-ups, so when I saw this yesterday on my way to work …

IMG_9058

… I thought, “Tomorrow’s blog topic is hang ups!”

The internet, which is a hang-up for many of us, includes these definitions of hang-up:

hang-up (hăng′ŭp′)
n. Informal
1. A psychological or emotional difficulty or inhibition.
2. An obstacle to smooth progress or development.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

hang′-up` or hang′up`,

n. Slang.
1. a preoccupation, fixation, or psychological block; complex.
2. a source of annoying difficulty or burden.
[1955–60]
Random House Kernerman Webster’s College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.

Noun 1. hang-up – an emotional preoccupation
preoccupation – an idea that preoccupies the mind and holds the attention

2. hang-up – an unforeseen obstacle

hang-up – an unforeseen obstacle
rub, hitch, snag
obstacle, obstruction – something immaterial that stands in the way and must be circumvented or surmounted; “lack of imagination is an obstacle to one’s advancement”; “the poverty of a district is an obstacle to good education”; “the filibuster was a major obstruction to the success of their plan”
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.

I don’t want to get too hung up on presenting definitions and synonyms of “hang-up,” so here’s a list of hang ups that preoccupy me and others, these days:

  • Worry about the future.
  • Regret about the past.
  • Resentment.
  • Excessive guilt.
  • Misplaced shame.
  • A focus on what other people think.
  • Cognitive distortions (including blaming, catastrophizing, personalization,  all-or-nothing thinking, comparisons, labeling, and shoulds).

Do you see hang ups in my other photos from yesterday?

IMG_9059

IMG_9060

IMG_9061

IMG_9062

IMG_9063

IMG_9065

IMG_9066

IMG_9074

IMG_9068

IMG_9069

IMG_9070

IMG_9071

fullsizeoutput_3e3e

fullsizeoutput_3e3f

I am very hung up on Michael’s cooking.

I’ve been hung up on the group Buffalo Springfield for decades.

The original and the cover version of “Hung Upside Down” are hanging up here and here on YouTube.

What are your hang-ups? Any hang ups about sharing them in a comment, below?

Here’s an expression of gratitude hanging up in my office:

IMG_9073

A big thank you to all who help me create these daily blog posts, including YOU.

 

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

Day 2433: A Day in the Life

A Day in the Life …

  • could be the title of this blog, instead of The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally,
  • can be described with words and pictures,  and
  • came to mind yesterday because of this:

IMG_7014

That billboard commemorates a day in the life when Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (the movie) opes in America.  On this day in the life, I’m learning the film version has a 12% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

I’m thinking other things must have happened on the day of July 24 to celebrate, like:

1965  Rock group “The Animals” 1st time in British charts

1967  The Beatles sign a petition in Times to legalize marijuana

1974  Supreme Court unanimously rules Nixon must turn over Watergate tapes

1979 Red Sox Carl Yastrzemski hits his 400th HR

1986 13th Commonwealth Games open in Edinburgh, Scotland

Yesterday, my day in the life included work that I love, meeting up with my old friend Isaac, an incredible Mexican lasagna made by Michael, and many facial expressions.

IMG_7011

IMG_7009

IMG_7010

 

IMG_7008.JPG

 

IMG_7013

IMG_7012

IMG_7015

IMG_7016

IMG_7017

IMG_7018

IMG_7019

 

 

I wonder what I’ll find for “A Day in the Life” on YouTube.

What are your thoughts and feelings on this day in your life?

As always, I’m grateful for every day in this life, so thanks to all who help me create this daily post, including YOU!

IMG_6979

Categories: celebrating, group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Day 2391: How To Make Yourself Miserable

How to make yourself miserable?  Here are some suggestions:

  • Hold on to resentments.
  • Expect people to change for you.
  • Notice the negatives.
  • Compare yourself to other people.
  • Avoid awareness of the current moment.
  • Anticipate the worst.
  • Live in the past.
  • Stubbornly resist inevitable changes.
  • Stay in upsetting situations.
  • Hang around with critical people.
  • Beat yourself up about mistakes.
  • Say “yes’ to everything.
  • Say “no” to everything.
  • Squelch your creativity.
  • Let your fears control you.
  • Cultivate your distrust of the unknown (especially other people).
  • Stay small so you won’t “bother” others.
  • Avoid things that might make you happy.
  • Decide you’re too old to learn.
  • Decide you’re too young or inexperienced to know enough.
  • Be so invested in a particular outcome that you don’t have a Plan B.
  • Focus on should’s rather than could’s.
  • Do not indulge in hope because you might get disappointed.
  • Do not read the hilarious and helpful book “How to Make Yourself Miserable” by Dan Greenburg with Marcia Jacobs.

IMG_5919

I hope none of my other photos make you miserable, here and now.

IMG_5920.JPG

IMG_5921

fullsizeoutput_3a30

IMG_5924

IMG_5925

IMG_5926

IMG_5928

IMG_5933

IMG_5935

IMG_5937.JPG

IMG_5934

IMG_5953

IMG_5952

 

IMG_5941

IMG_5943

IMG_5947

IMG_5944

IMG_5948

IMG_5949

IMG_5950

IMG_5954

Here‘s 7 Ways to Maximize Misery:

Here‘s Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now by The Smiths.

Heaven knows I’m not miserable now that I’ve written today’s daily blog.  Thanks to all who helped me create this post and — of course! — to YOU.

IMG_5620

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

Day 2259: Putting yourself out there

Yesterday, when people were putting themselves out there in a group therapy session, I put this out there on a white board in the group room:

img_2822

What happens when you put yourself out there?  What out there gets in the way of your putting yourself out there more?

Tonight, I’ll be putting myself out there at an Open Mic, as I debut my latest original song, “What are other people thinking about you?” I’ll be putting a keyboard out there on the stage and putting, myself, out another blog post tomorrow with a recording of that performance.

Empathy involves putting ourselves out there into other people’s shoes.  What happens when I put these photos out there?

fullsizeoutput_36de

img_2813

img_2825

img_2809

img_2816

img_2817

 

img_2819

img_2818

fullsizeoutput_36dd

img_2827

img_2815

 

I’m putting myself out there to share that in yesterday’s therapy group, we talked about shoulds and transforming unhelpful shoulds like “I should exercise more” into “I could exercise more and I choose to do other things to sustain myself until I feel ready to exercise.”

I’m putting “Putting Yourself Out There” from the movie Eighth Grade out here in this post:

I’m putting myself out there to state that Eighth Grade deserved some Oscar nominations, instead of receiving none, which makes me very put out.

Please consider putting yourself out there in a comment, below.

As usual, I’m putting gratitude out there, for all who helped me put out this post and — of course! — YOU, for putting up with me.

fullsizeoutput_36d8

 

Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Day 1942: Obviously

Obviously, sometimes people are going to say things you obviously don’t want to hear.

Yesterday, somebody in therapy was obviously perturbed about people expressing unsolicited and often indirect opinions about what they obviously thought she should do.

Obviously, we  made a list of how she could reply.

IMG_8583

Obviously,  having a list of possible replies to upsetting comments can help reduce stress.

Obviously, I like to take photos and share them with my readers.

IMG_8581

IMG_8582

IMG_8578

IMG_8575

IMG_8574

IMG_8580

IMG_8579

What’s obvious about those photos, to you?

Obviously,  my handwriting is difficult to read, so it might not be obvious that we talked, wrote, and drew about dreams in a therapy group yesterday.  Obviously, it would be helpful if I typed what I wrote.

DREAMS

When I was a child, I had a dream I didn’t want to wake up from. It was so beautiful and soothing and cool.  Magical land with lots of colors — pastels.  (I was) walking or riding down a road. Not like nature, not “normal” but safe and sweet and lovely. Trees and structures

I was never able to dream that again.

However, many years later I was at Disney World on a ride about imagination and one of the parts of the ride looked like my dream.

Obviously, I enjoyed that ride at Disney World.

Obviously, “The Obvious Child” by Paul Simon is a great song to include here.

Obviously,  I’d like to know your reactions to this post

Obviously, I gather and share gratitude in this blog, even if the words aren’t always completely obvious.

IMG_8577

IMG_8576

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 20 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.”

IMG_6455

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.

IMG_6460

IMG_6459

IMG_6458

#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!

IMG_5359

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

Day 1747: Supplies you need

In order for me to generate a daily supply of blog posts, I need inspiration from what I see around me.

IMG_4168

Apparently, nobody needs supplies there. However, I need supplies of

  • kindness,
  • consideration,
  • respect,
  • safety,
  • honesty,
  • love,
  • awareness,
  • humor,
  • nourishment,
  • friendship,
  • engagement,
  • rest,
  • acceptance,
  • choice,
  • connection,
  • self esteem,
  • confidence,
  • support,
  • sunshine,
  • nature,
  • music, and
  • macaroni & cheese on Fridays.

What supplies do you need?

Here’s a supply of more photos, which I need to share:

IMG_4169

IMG_4167

IMG_4164

IMG_4165

 

I also need a yearly supply of “So You Think You Can Dance,” which I choose to attend in Boston this evening. Lex, the winner of this year’s competition, has an amazing supply of incredible moves (seen here and here on YouTube):

I also need a daily supply of comments from my readers.

Finally, I have an endless supply of gratitude for the supplies I’ve been given and — of course! — for you.

IMG_4166

 

 

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

Day 1012: Piece of Cake

“Piece of Cake” is an idiom that means “easy.”  I’ve never understood where that idiom comes from, since making a cake isn’t easy (although eating one is).

Want an explanation about the title of today’s post?  Piece of cake.

  1. I often think about what’s easy and what’s difficult for me and other people.
  2. In group and individual therapy, people talk about how changing old behaviors and patterns of thinking is NOT a piece of cake.
  3. I’ve changed my diet to drastically reduce all sweets, including pieces of cake.
  4. Including photos in my blog SHOULD be a piece of cake, but isn’t.

IMG_5744 IMG_5745 IMG_5746 IMG_5749 IMG_5748 IMG_5747 IMG_5754IMG_5752IMG_5751 IMG_5742 IMG_5750IMG_5757

Taking photos like those is a piece of cake for me (although sharing them with you isn’t).

Hungry for some quotes about cake?  Piece of cake!

“Love is like a good cake; you never know when it’s coming, but you’d better eat it when it does!”
― C. JoyBell C.

.
“I suppose I wanted to have my cake and eat it.
But then again, what were you going to do with your cake if not eat it?
Frame it?
Use it as a sachet in your underwear drawer?”
― Marian Keyes, Watermelon

.

“SITTING TIGHT? Holing up? Waiting for answers?
Those are things I’m not good at.
Planning a massive attack against mechanical geeky-like things when i was already furious and itching to kill something?
Piece o’cake”
― James Patterson, Max

.

If you wait for a cake to be given to you so you will be happy- then you will be happy when someone gives you a cake. But if you buy a cake (or bake one) for yourself so you will be happy, you have found the way of happiness.”

― C. JoyBell C.

.

Mma Ramotswe sighed. ‘We are all tempted, Mma. We are all tempted when it comes to cake.’

That is true,’ said Mma Potokwane sadly. ‘There are many temptations in this life, but cake is probably one of the biggest of them.”
― Alexander McCall Smith, In the Company of Cheerful Ladies

.

“It baffles me that people think that obliterating the past will save them from its consequences, as if throwing away the empty cake plate would help you lose weight.”

― Timothy B. Tyson, Blood Done Sign My Name: A True Story

.

“Out of love I made you a cake. Also out of milk, eggs, flour, sugar, and vanilla.”
― Jarod Kintz, The Days of Yay are Here! Wake Me Up When They’re Over.

.

“You never know. Say the arena’s actually a giant cake-”

“Say we move on,” I broke in.
― Suzanne Collins, The Hunger Games

.

“I tried to explain as much as I could,”  Poppet says. “I think I made an analogy about cake.”

“Well, that must have worked,” Widget says. “Who doesn’t like a good cake analogy?”
― Erin Morgenstern, The Night Circus

.

Deciding what music to feature in today’s post?  Piece of Cake!

It’s a piece of cake to find Cake’s “Symphony in C” on YouTube.

What piece of cake do you like best in this post?

Piece-of-cake thanks to all the amazing cakes, people, and one cat contributing to the baking of today’s post and to you — of course! — for being the icing on the cake, today.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 41 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!)

baby_wolf_cub-600x618

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:

Slide3 (2)

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 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:

fear460

.

fear-4

.

072407_fear_poster

.

fear5 (1)

.

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:

anger_danger

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:

IMG_1336

but opened, like this:

IMG_1339

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!

wsredsoxcards102013

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.

___________________________________________________________________

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

Blog at WordPress.com.