Swans on a stream at a hazy dawn

"The greater part of our happiness or misery depends on our dispositions and not our circumstances."
- Martha Washington
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"We flatter those we scarcely know,
We please the fleeting guest,
And deal full many a thoughtless blow,
To those who love us best."
- Ella Wheeler Wilcox
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"Giving whether it be of time, labor, affection, advice, gifts, or whatever, is one of life's greatest pleasures."
- Rebecca Russell

  A dove and its reflection in a calm pool

Finding Ourselves

We all have hang-ups, guilt and doubts about ourselves and how we are living our lives. Finding Ourselves is where I want to help you see inside yourself. Each time I will pick a topic that I see that many of you are asking about, doing or don't understand. I want to teach you why this behavior is happening, what brings it on, what is behind the behavior and how you might find positive ways to handle your lack of control, your frustration, pain and confusion.

Remember your 'behaviors' are 'symptoms' not causes. I want you to remember no matter what you are doing, have done or are thinking of doing it is not your 'fault', because you learned how to react. This is not 'you'. But now you are growing up and you are responsible for all of your actions and the consequences they bring. And you will, no matter what you think, pay for your actions one way or another. Learn how to make your consequences work for you so you can be and get what you want. You can have so much power over your life it is amazing; the difference in a winner and a loser is how you see and act on your behavior.

(Click here to choose a different article from the archive...)

How We See Ourselves Determines The Outcome of Our Lives

The other day I was watching the Discovery channel and they were doing a piece on Tourettes Syndrome. For those who do not know what Tourettes is it is an affliction whereby the person has emotional and physical problems. They have these tics that cause violent spasms of their body, their mouth, where they spit involuntarily, scream out obscenities involuntarily. They can have echolalia, which is where someone repeats what you say over and over like a parrot does. Their bodies can act like someone who has Parkinsons Disease. They also seem to have added problems like Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Hyperactivity, distractibility, and impulsivity. These things can stay for long periods of time, change around, come and go no real rhyme or reason. Obviously if all this were happening to you it would cause emotional problems. They are shunned, laughed at, stared at and lead very lonely lives many times. It usually starts when the person is quite young. So going through this during your growing up years can be very traumatizing. Also with the hyperactivity, distractibility and impulsivity there comes many other problems in school, at home and sometimes with the law. It is very hard to control something you dont have any control over. Often times they are mistaken for nuts and locked up. Or for being drunk or on drugs and then locked up. They have a real hard way to go in society and life period. As I was watching this program on Tourettes they were showing these two men who had Tourettes. They were about the same age. They had the same degree of severity and the same symptoms of Tourettes. I was watching this program because I was interested in learning more about Tourettes Syndrome especially because I was able to learn about it from two people who had the disorder. They told both these mens stories about how hard their lives had been because of Tourettes. One man had a terrible Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and cleaned something like nine hours a day. He would even keep his lawn and plants clean. The other man had been in trouble with the law several times because of his impulsivity problems and of course the physical symptoms that he could not hide caused him to get arrested a few times.
So here are two men both with the same problem, Tourettes, both with the same severity of the disorder. They both had to endure all the negative and very hurtful things that came at them from society and in just growing up. They both still have to put up with the hurtful comments, being shunned by people, learning how to just take care of themselves in this world. They both have to be on some medications and have to go out and be stared at when they have these tics.
Now one man the one with the OCD he was a very cheerful and delightful man. He found some humor in his disorder. He was able to sit there and describe all the things he did and he was actually able to come outside of himself and see how insane it was to do the things he did like clean for 9 hours when his apartment was not even dirty. Yet he also realized he couldnt help himself. He was able to make allowances for himself and actually give himself the emotional support he needed to withstand living in his body. I thought it was amazing how he had taken a life that was so difficult and had caused so much pain and scarring and turn it around in his mind and attitude making it just a part of his life that he has to work around. Then I find out he is even more amazing. He actually lives by himself, takes care of himself and is about to graduate as a doctor. Can you believe that? All that has happened to him and all the things that are in his way to stop him from ever having a normal life, yet he has found a way to make his dreams a reality and to go on with making a life for himself. It is almost unreal. I have worked with Tourettes and most of these people can not even live on their own. Yet because this man changed his attitude and his outlook on himself and life he is able to do most of the things he wants to do. Again by not being a victim to his disorder and making the disorder and its symptoms just a part of his life he was able to not let the Tourettes dictate his life. He is able to move forward past the negative parts of his life and bring happiness and fulfillment to himself and I am sure now that he is a doctor he will bring happiness to countless others. This man was a delight to listen to and I wanted to get to know him.
Now the other man whom they were profiling, he was living with his parents. He did not work a steady job. You could tell very quickly, this was an angry man who resented his lot in life and all the things that had come with having Tourettes. He blamed society and his disorder for all negative things that had happened to him and all the things he felt he has been denied because of Tourettes. He was stuck and could not move past his afflictions nor his anger. He had made his disorder his life and because of that he had given the Tourettes the power to destroy his life.
Because these two men were equal, I thought it was so appropriate validating my belief that our attitudes do decide whether we are going to be a victim or if we are going to take back our power. It was so obvious to me that the only difference in these two men, their lives and their opportunities was how each of them chose to look at their affliction and their lives.
There are no excuses only choices and we make them.

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