Tuesday, August 29, 2006


We all have thoughts on gossip. I'm not going to share thoughts here. I just want to point my readers in the direction of a wonderful blog entry on the topic of gossip. Maybe this will help some people take a different view on gossip, because once you realize that everyone does it and for the reasons that they do, it's easier to accept.

The link is here; HOWEVER, I do warn you. The author of this blog is HIGHLY intelligent and I'd be lying if I said I am able to always follow his blogs...HA! This particular entry wasn't what I would say "over-my-head," but at the same time, it does involve a lot of psychological talk.

What can I say? This man was one AMAZING professor to take courses from! It was quite a blessing for me back then, and it is a blessing for me to get to continue to learn from him via his blog nowadays!

Monday, August 28, 2006

I Believe It’s a Judgment Call

It was just a quote. A mere quote I had posted on my facebook profile that lead to some great thought for me today. It started with a smart friend of mine confronting my support of this quote. The friend posted this on my facebook wall today:

do you truly believe the quote you have listed from hamlet? very curious! :) have a fabulous monday!

The quote in which the friend was referencing, which I have on my facebook profile says this:

"There is nothing either good or bad, but the thinking makes it so." ~Hamlet

Upon rereading the quote I thought to myself. “Hmm…you know, I don’t know. Do I really believe that?”

I recalled the time when I posted it and then I was in much agreement with it because it was amidst a time of a lot of debate concerning homosexuality. In my opinion, this quote is true when considering the topic of homosexuality. Depending on how you think, you’ll view homosexuality as either “good” or “bad.” So yes, at that time I was in strong belief that this quote had justification. But for some reason today, I found myself questioning it…

I began to try the quote to topics other than homosexuality. So, what does everyone think of first? Murder, of course. So I debated that one in my head. Thought about a couple other topics I think, then responded back to my friends facebook wall with this…

You would go throw one of my quotes in my face...HA!

Okay, with the "nothing" part of it, it tends to make me want to discredit it based on the absolutivity of the term; however, I can't help but to debate in my head that possibly it IS correct.

At the time when I first heard it, and liked it, it was a time when debating homosexuality was big, so in those terms, I thought it really applied. As of right now, now that I've been "forced" to look at it again, I am having to play some examples out in my head.

I'll tell you what, you help me since you brought this up...HA! I have a feeling you don't believe the quote, so you give me an example of something that is "bad" and not "bad" simply because of the thinking.

This is the response I got back from the friend on my wall:

murder. redrum. however you want to spell it.

Yeah, I was pretty sure that was the response I was going to get, but I thought, might as well let her call the shots…HA! So I responded like this…

You know, that was the response I was expecting to get. And first, I must say, it is probably a good thing you do not want to be a criminal lawyer, otherwise, you might be a big fan of this Hamlet quote.

So I've given good ol' redrum some thought and even after going to dictionary.com to look up the EXACT definition of "murder" I still think you can argue that murder comes down to how we view the situation in which the "killing" took place (our "thinking") as to whether the killing was "bad" or not.

Animals kill other animals and we don't think of it as "bad."

Probably the best argument can come from war. There is killing there, and no one is going to be tried in our country's court of law for killing on the battlefield. By definition that is murder, second or first degree, probably depends on the situation, but I'm sure when that guy is aiming his riffle his intent is to kill--murder.

Less than an hour later I found myself signing back on to facebook to leave yet another response:

My deepest apologies. The more I've thought about what I wrote earlier, I realized I was arguing "right" vs. "wrong" and not "bad" vs. "good." Two TOTALLY different things.

Good thing I wasn't trying to argue that point in a law class...I would have SOOO been caught on that one!

I'll get back to my argument of "bad" vs. "good" later...I have it already in my mind, but gotta work, my co-worker that sits next to me just showed up! HA!

And that brings me to what I want to talk about in this entry, as well as to end with my answer to “do you truly believe the quote you have listed from hamlet”


So is there a difference between right/wrong and good/bad?

I believe there is.

If you think about it, typically right/wrong is in reference to laws or rules or morals—something that clarifies one from the other. “This is right and this is wrong.” Do these have to be written rules? No. Typically morals are not written, but they still help to frame a person’s thought patterns around what is right and what is wrong behaviorally. Religiously speaking, many people gain their thought patterns about what is right and what is wrong from their biblical code.

So is right and wrong always clearly defined? No. Is what I believe to be right going to be what you believe to be right? Not necessarily. However, when discussing what’s “right” versus what’s “wrong” typically people will base their arguments off of laws or rules or morals or traditions—these sorts of backings.

When I think about good/bad I do not think of laws or rules or morals. When I think of how “good” and “bad” are used in our everyday conversations I see a reference to one’s opinions, or one’s judgments.

Good/bad are typically referenced to the situation at hand based on how the specific person interprets it at the time. Yes, many times one’s interpretations could be swayed one way or another by his/her beliefs of right versus wrong, but at the same time, their terming a situation or a behavior as “good” or “bad” is a judgment call. Let me give an example…

How about we use the great example of murder. Murder—many would argue it is “wrong.” There are many laws/rules/morals to back murder as “wrong.” So let’s look at it from “good” versus “bad.”

You woke up. You’re sipping your Saturday morning coffee while reading the newspaper only to read that your favorite corner gas station was robbed at gun point last night and the cashier was murdered in the monetary exchange with the thief. You think to yourself—that is “bad.” Murder—“bad.”


You are late on your rent once again. You electric got turned off this morning and you have no money. You are driving around in your car trying to decide what to do. You see the 7-11 on the corner. It’s 1 AM. The streets are dead. You go in with intent of getting money to pay your bills. You get the money and knock off the cashier in the process so you can get away. You will get to pay your bills now! This is “good.” Murder—“good” because otherwise you might not have gotten out of the store with the money.

See how the same situation can be viewed differently depending on which perspective you are taking? In the same situation, one can see the murder as “good” while another sees it as “bad.” It’s a matter of one’s judgment and opinion which is influenced by how one looks at it.

Okay. That’s just one example. And I know many probably read that and thought to their selves, “murder is always ‘wrong.’ I just can’t follow you there.” So let’s try another example, one that the action taken is not necessarily “right” or “wrong” based on any written rules.

Your grocery shopping. Just about finished—thank goodness—when you happen down the cereal aisle to pick up a box of Raisin Bran when your 4 year old son spots the box of “Opps! All Berries Captain Crunch” that includes a free Buzzlightyear action figure! What 4-year-old in his right mind can pass that up?!?! Junior asks mom if he can have it, too which mom responds “no”—planning to grab the box of Raisin Bran and hit the registers with just enough time to get home to catch Oprah. Junior could careless about Oprah, and the next thing mom knows, he is kicking and screaming bloody-murder on the floor because he wants his action figure…OPPS…I mean healthy Captain Crunch, of course! ;) To save herself from excruciating embarrassment, as well as to see what new outfit Oprah will have on today, mom gives in: Buzzlightyear, Captain, berries and all.

To mom—the situation was “bad” because not only did her son embarrass her in public with his outlandish outcry, but mom also “gave in” to Junior once again without setting her boundaries. Dang kids! HA! ;)

To Junior—the situation was “good.” He got his way. Not only did he get his extreme sugar-rush box of flavored corn crap, but he also got the Buzzlightyear figurine that he will play with for one day before he breaks it and never looks at it again. Well worth the, what does cereal cost again nowadays--$5 a box! ;)

Okay, so maybe I’ve taken both of my examples to the extremes, but they were sure fun in sharing them! Extremes or not, I think they help to show my point that in the situations “good” or “bad” is determined by how you look at the situation. Even when an action that is considered “wrong” is performed, it can still be viewed as “good” if the person judges the situations as beneficial.

Murder = wrong.

Murder allows one to benefit = get money to pay one’s bills = “good”

Throwing a temper tantrum = wrong.

Throwing a temper tantrum = gets one his/her way = “good”

One’s judgment comes down to how one thinks.

So after giving it my day’s worth of thought…

I guess I do still stand behind my posted Hamlet quote…

"There is nothing either good or bad, but the thinking makes it so." ~Hamlet

…or at least until the next person questions me about it! ;)

It's Monday! YOU Do the Math!

This is a new blog series I will be starting for Mondays. Don’t worry; it isn’t going to involve you doing any specific math equations. I simply use math in the title to refer to the numbers that will be present in each entry in the series. Each entry will revolve around statistics of some sort—typically some interesting statistics I might have happened across recently and wanted to share. I suppose if you CHOOSE to do some math with the statistics I provide, that’s up to you!

I love statistics! Probably why I really enjoy research. Statistics interest me. They give me something to think about; however, I’m always cognitive of the idea that statistics can be misleading, skewed, discrediting, as well as made to look just about ANY way you want them too. And having said that, I want to warn here in the beginning that even as a lover of statistics, I am going to go against the first rule of being a statistician and say that some of the stats I will use in the entries of this series very well might not be from some of the most credible sources. Having said that, I will do my best to always provide WHERE I get the statistics from; therefore, allowing YOU to be the judge of how valid and reliable the information is.

Now, having explained the series let me begin with the first addition to the series…

This week I want to share something I read in a small “article” in the September 2006 edition of “O: The Oprah Magazine.” The article is on page 262 and is entitled, “Why We Think the Way We Do: A new book explains female intuition, long phone calls, love at first sight.” The title in its self got my attention and encouraged my read! But what it shared was snippets from the neurologist, Louann Brizendine’s, new book: “The Female Brain.” Below were some of the snippets that I found interesting…

Although male brains are larger by about 9 percent, women have the same number of brain cells packed more densely into a smaller skull.

Men use about 7,000 words a day, women about 20,000.

“Connecting through talking activates the pleasure centers in a girl’s brain…[providing] a major dopamine and oxytocin rush, which is the biggest, fattest neurological reward you can get outside of an orgasm.”

Men have two and a half times the brain space devoted to sexual drive as women do, as well as larger brain centers for action and aggression.

“Rejection, it turns out, actually hurts like physical pain because it triggers the same circuits in the brain.”

Men notice subtle signs of sadness in a face only 40 percent of the time; women pick up on them 90 percent of the time.

“Our brains size up a potential partner, and if he fits our ancestral wish list, we get a jolt of chemicals that dizzy us with a rush of laser-focused attraction.”

This was just a few of the snippets adapted, or quoted from “The Female Brain” by Louann Brizendine that were shared in this “O” magazine piece. The book sounds pretty interesting to me. Let me know if you’ve read it and if the whole book is as interesting as these bits and pieces.

What can I say, the female brain IS intriguing to me!

Sunday, August 27, 2006

825 Alive Reunion...among other things...

825 Alive...

...it's the reference to the four gals who lived in the University Park Apartment #825 during my junior and senior year of my undergraduate college career.

With Friday being August 25th (8-25) we decided it was destined for an 825 Alive reunion! We hadn't all gotten together since our Christmas get together last year. We planned to catch a Ranger's baseball game and then all go to see Sarah's new house and spend the night.

It was when we got to the parking lot to begin the trek to the stadium that Erin broke the news of her recent engagement! It of course was a time of extreme celebration for our group! We were SO happy for her--not to mention blown away by the beauty and sparkle of the ring!! You can see pictures of her fiance on her myspace page which is here. OH, and for those of you who are thinking to their your selves the "big question" let me answer it for you...

...they didn't meet online! ;)

OH...I mean the OTHER "big question"....

...they are planning for the wedding to be next summer.

So we spent a good period of time getting the story of how they met, how he asked her parents, how he proposed (which is a CLASSIC story...all I'll say is that she had a side-ponytail and "big bangs" when it happened...THAT's our Erin...we LOVE her!), and how she was careful to not get shaving cream on the ring while teaching...HA! It was somewhere among these stories that I remember leaning over to Jackie Beth and saying, "Well, this is going to make half of 825 Alive married and half not." She laughed and agreed, and I said, "But hey, we can at least say we are single because we are both still doing school...HA!" Once again, she laughed and agreed.

After watching a miserable Ranger's game we were off to see our sole, for the time being, married "roommate" of the groups new house.

I knew she had moved, though I wasn't real sure where too. I was under the impression that it was not too far from where they used to live in North Richland Hills. Wrong. I like Jackie's description the best...

"Well, remember when Sarah used to say she lived in Houston, when she was actually in Alvin. Yes, she lives in the metroplex." ;)

After driving down some winding and dark roads for quite some time, I figured I was about to go around a turn to see a sign that said, "Abilene 10 miles," but I didn't. We eventually made it to apparently Haslet, Texas, which I had never heard of till now. But yes, it IS still part of the metroplex!

No, really, it wasn't that bad to get out there. It just seemed longer and out in the middle of no where because it was night time when we went out there. Coming home the next morning was different. Not bad.

As for the house. Really cute! I have to say, it seems like a great starter house for a couple! Being the daughter of a carpenter (and we ain't talking Jesus here), I can have a lot of appreciation for a house's layout. This house was laid out nicely. I must say, the master bedroom door going off the living room is different, but not bad. I think that is something I could find to be nice, but like I said, it just seemed unusual. But I loved the openness of the kitchen/dining/living areas. Very nice! Gotta say, nice place Sarah and Brock!

What a good time it was for us to all be together again. It is when I get back together with these girls that I am so easily reminded that friends truly ARE like family...

I mean, I spent two years of my life living in a "house" with these ladies. That IS like being a family. You become so comfortable around one another when you do something like that. You find yourself not even considering impressing one another, or looking "cute," or caring what the others think because you're like a family and you realize whether you woke up that morning looking like total crap, they are only gonna laugh WITH YOU about your hair and then you'll forget it over your bowls of cheerios together while you watch some totally USELESS show on TLC. That's what family friends are for!

So 825 Alive Reunion was a success!

Erin informed us she was engaged.

Sarah showed us her new house.

And Jackie Beth informed me that she does not have a myspace page either!

Such great things. I must say, if you are wanting to do something with me next August 25th, I have to inform you, I've already got plans...

...825 Alive Reunion II. =)


[This is where I need to cover the "among other things" part of this post. This part will make some connections to points that presented earlier in the post. The random colored words are where the connections are coming from.]

I do not have a myspace. I am not going to go into WHY I don't have one on this post, but what I am going to talk about is the fact that I really rarely go look at people's myspace pages. With that being the case, I will say that even though just about EVERYONE I know HAS a myspace page, I only have 4 people's pages bookmarked on my computer. Each of these 4 are bookmarked for a specific reason, and if you think it is probably your page that I have bookmarked, you're probably wrong. HA! Whatever the case, I want to share ONE of the pages I have bookmarked and she knows I have her bookmarked because I told her when I did it and why I did it. This page is my buddy Ellison's myspace.

Low and behold, I knew it was a dark night the night that she IMed me to tell me she was "giving in" (funny how everyone seems to "give in" to that myspace business. What a great backer for your company--"People 'give in' to our business!"...anyways...). I bookmarked her site partly to see how quickly she became addicted (a sick research-oriented side of me), as well as to follow how much she gave into the "have as many friends as you possibly can GET" aspect of the "business." Oh and don't even BEGIN to act like you don't have people on your myspace that you don't hardly know, or even don't consider your "friend" in real life because you don't actually LIKE them! HA! Whatever the case, I am bringing up Ellison's myspace page for this reason...

...and that is to give her my award for the BEST music on her myspace site! I have to say, in the time that she has had the site, I think she has only had two songs on it and both have turned into addictions for me at their times. The first was that KT Tunstall's "Black Horse & The Cherry Tree." I know I must have been out of the loop, but I hadn't heard of that song until I listened to it on her site and I was quickly addicted. Fun and catchy song! It is now among my Top 25 Most Played songs on my iPod.

And while I have gotten to the point that that one is less played lately for me, her newest song on her page is my new addiction. Once again, maybe my lack of "paying attention" for some reason I did not know this song either until I listened to it from her page--now I'm addicted. This second song is "The Adventure" by Angels & Airwaves.

With both these songs, now that I have heard them off her site, I have been hearing both of them more and more. That's fun! I must say, good song taste, Ellison!

we are single because--
Why is it that people around my age feel like we have to have an "excuse" for "still" being single? Why did I feel such an impulse to defend JB and my single status immediately like I did in that conversation? Why do women especially feel such a pressure to be getting engaged and married when they are in their 20s?

I guess to give out an award for fighting the pressures of "it's 'bad' to be single" I would give my award to "Jules" for her contribution to the fact that people CAN be in their 20s AND be happy AND be single all at the same time. Her contribution can be seen here.

a house's layout--I can have SOOO much appreciation for a place of residency that is build with a good layout. I can remember one time when I was a young kid, taking my dad's architecture stencils and drawboard and drawing up the floorplan for my "dream house" that I wanted to build myself one day. It was BEAUTIFUL! Two or three floors if I remember correctly. I don't remember a LOT about it, but I DO remember that it had an indoor swimming pool! Maybe my plans were to teach myself to swim SOME day! HA!

Whatever the case, I remember that the pool was on the second floor...HA! So maybe I wasn't the BEST at laying out a house when I was like 10 years old...HA! But today I can truly appreciate a nice floor plan!

Being a person in my mid-twenties, I have SEVERAL friends who live in apartment type residencies. With this being the case, I've surveyed how many different apartment complexes have laid out their living spaces. One plan that I do not care for is the one that has the only bathroom facility off the bedroom of the apartment. Now whoever came up with that floor plan either A) had a social phobia so never had people over to their apartment, or B) they loved people coming through their (apparently ALWAYS kept clean) bedroom.

However, on the other end of the spectrum, out of the different apartments I've seen over the years, the one I for some strange reason fell in LOVE with its layout was, strangely enough, one that I only saw one time, and it's been so long aog, that I honestly don't even remember EXACTLY the layout, but I'll never forget that I LOVED it when I saw it that once.

My award for the BEST laid out apartment goes to JWalk's first apartment in the North Irving area. Honestly, I don't recall what it was about it that I loved, but I just remember that it was a really nice floor plan for a two-bedroom apartment.

does not have a myspace--
I have to go back to the topic of myspace once more, because my new found information that Jackie Beth does NOT have a myspace page was QUITE the delight of my weekend! Explaination...

When that dark night came that Ellison informed me that she had "given in" I had to do another inventory. At that point I knew of one more of my friends that did not have a myspace page. Luckily for me, I was pretty confident with this friend that I would never be alone in the battle against "Tom" the myspace man. [You'll get that last sentence most likely because YOU have a myspace page]. Anyways...I was like, "you know, I'm a strong kid, but it's good to know that there IS someone else out there that does not have a myspace page." So it was okay...I watched Ellison's page change, and "friends" be added, and listened to her songs, and then downloaded her songs...HA!

But then it came: then the darkest night of the year came. It was like tight-rolling your pants going out of style. It was like "Friends" going to all reruns. It was like being left at the alter. It was like being given your final exam and your mind going blank...

...my last friend "gave in" and I didn't know what to do. I kind of starred at the IM message in disbelief and responded with "Wow. I don't know what to say."

Somewhere after a couple more "wows" I just remember saying I had to go and then I "signed off." I didn't know what to do. I was officially "alone."

What did this mean? Well of course it mean that the army of people telling me "you should really make a myspace page" had grown. And the number of people using the excuse of "so-and-so convinced me to do it, so I gave in" grew. And the number of people stalking others online grew. But it also meant I would have to be strong alone.

Luckily it didn't take me long to remind myself of the times when I have been strong in the past, and to remind myself that I made it through those times and that I could make it through this "myspace craze" phase also.

But still I was the only person I knew left who wasn't on myspace...

...until the confession by Jackie Beth some time after 1 AM when we were talking as we tried to fall asleep. It came somewhere between our comments of both LOVING the Taco Bell 7-layer burrito and the thought that we both wondered if we were going to wake up to the next morning having Sarah's dog having passed away. Somewhere in there she informed me that she did not have an myspace page, which I had just always assumed she did have one, as the others of the 825 Alive group do. It was then that I realized that I was not alone anymore! And I thought to myself...

...if JB, the girl that probably knows more people than anyone I know, can resist the pressures of her friends to "giving in" then so can I! HA! Great philosophy, huh!? ;)

So there you have it. My 825 Alive Reunion and the random thoughts that go along with it!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Questions On My Mind...

Here are a few questions I have had cross my mind lately. I think all of them could develop into nice blog topics, but for the current time, I'll leave them as this: just some questions to put out there to ponder and think about in your free time.

Feel free to leave your thoughts on any of them if you should feel so desired...

1. Have you ever met a homosexual that does not claim they were born that way? Have you ever met a heterosexual that does not claim they were born that way? Why do we simply accept one group for their claims and question the other?

2. Do men ever get upset with their wives who choose to be "homemakers," especially when there are no children in the picture? Do they ever think to their selves, "free-loaders!?"

3. Do you think John Mark Karr is satisfied with the attention he has gained yet? I mean, I have had some real eye-openers lately to people seeking attention, but this is taking the cake. I'm pretty sure he is innocent.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

The Power of Love

It’s an amazing force of nature. It is a feeling that can come from within us, go all around us, go right through us, and tackle us too if we’re not careful. It can be a beautiful thing, but the power it can have can be overcoming at times. So intense that we don’t even realize it. And sometimes, that is the best thing for us! Love, it’s just so powerful.

Wouldn’t life be so much easier if we could describe our feelings of love to another? You can’t describe it, so why we try, I’m not sure, it’s entertaining to us in a sense! HA! We usually just find our self ending with, "Well, you can’t understand." And you know what, you’re right. I can’t understand your love. You’ll never understand my love. That’s okay. And honestly, it might be best that way. HA! Love, it’s just so powerful.

I may NEVER see what you see in “him.” You may NEVER see what “he” sees in “her.” What is “seen” in each case is what develops that “love.” Love, it’s just so powerful.

Love is a force. It’s a power that directs. It directs one to make decisions. One might make a decision to help another out of love. One might make a decision to tell someone "no" out of love. One might choose to share their opinion out of love. One might ask another to make a decision in a situation based on one’s love. Love, it’s just so powerful.

There’s the saying “Too much of a good thing can be bad.” How true is this? I don’t know. I don’t know a lot, but I can tell you one thing, too much power can make a king bad. Too much power can make a parent bad. Does it always? Nope. Can it? Sure. Can the power of love go bad? Sure. Does it always? No. So how can we tell when the power of love has gotten "bad?" I mean, love—Love, it’s just so powerful.

The power of love has gotten too powerful when ______________. Sorry, I don’t know the answer. I have no idea! BUT, this is a PERFECT example of what to expect in therapy when you go in with the expectation that the therapist is just going to TELL you what to do. That they are magically going to know all the answers and be able to “fix” your life for you. I don’t know all the answers. And I’m sure you have NO problem accepting that about me…HA! But what I do know is that through my experience, and listening to the stories I have listened to over the past semester in counseling, I can tell you this. Love, it’s just so powerful.

This is quite possibly the worst blog entry I have ever written. Blogs are funny. We as readers hold blogs to “standards” and we as writers hold blogs to “standards.” Tonight I am writing because I am just purging. I am purging thoughts and frustrations in my mind from a rough client session I had today. Nothing I have shared in this blog entry violates confidentiality with my client(s), nor will it as I continue. What it is however, is my drawn conclusions from working with the clients that I have that leads me to purge the thoughts to others to read and consider. In no way is this entry written for someone or someones specific. It is written for EVERYONE, myself included. I just want to end with some thoughts that will be purged in a manner that might not flow, might not seem pretty, might not meet any “standards,” but thoughts none the less that are based on my experiences. Because honestly—Love, it’s just so powerful.

If I had a dollar for every time I heard a client tell me how much she loved him, or how much he loved her, I could cover ALL the medical bills she has for each trip she made to the hospital following one of his beatings of her…

…it would cover the bills WITHOUT needing insurance coverage!

Do you realize how powerful love must be that it could make someone believe someone who beats them—no, not just a hit, but BEATS them—still believe that they love them? Can love have the power to distort how one views a situation? Is that possible? Love, it’s just so powerful.

“I didn’t love myself, but he loved me.” Aww…that’s so sweet. Maybe he will complete you now. Maybe if you get married and endure the beatings long enough, you’ll love yourself too. It’s worth a try, right? Distorted view? Nah. That’s simply how love works. We complete one another, right? If I get married I’ll surely feel better about myself. He’ll love me. I’ll love him. He promised he was going to stop drinking that alcohol anyways. I know when we’re married he’ll do it. He’ll do it for me. I mean we’ll love one another, you know. Love, it’s just so powerful.

OH, so the power of love only turns out “bad” when it is an abusive relationship…PHEW, I thought I had something to worry about. I’m okay then. This doesn’t include me...

...OH HONEY…JUST WAIT! Do you see the commonality throughout this entry? And no, it isn’t that I’m getting REALLY sarcastic the more I go at this…let me give a hint, LOVE, IT’S JUST SO POWERFUL.

In the experiences I have shared thus far, there is a commonality of abusive relationships. This is the type of client population that I’m working with at the current time. And these are the BEST types of situations to SEE the power that love really can take on. These examples show it CLEARLY to anyone NOT in an abusive relationship that the “love” was blinding the individual. It was distorting their thoughts. Distorting their perceptions. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had clients do things they most likely would have never done before had it not been for the “love” they were so involved with. We can lie to our friends. We can lie to the world. We can lie to our self. Oh BOY can we lie to our self. We tell our self we will never settle. We are telling our self we will only marry the guy who will let us remain the Executive Director at our job, even though it means I am making more money than him. And next thing we know, a mere month later we have given our two-weeks notice and plan to have this guys 5 kids and be a stay home mom. Settling? No, we are in LOVE! This guy is WONDERFUL! We love one another. We ARE “the one’s” for one another. Love, it’s just so powerful.

Is this a good place to share about the clients who gave up what they had going for them to be with a guy who was “the one” who didn’t turn out to be that guy after all?

Do you know what the common theme “feeling” I’m running into with clients is? Guilt. It is guilt that one experiences when they allow the power of love to guide all their decisions and then they find out later that it was distorting their views all along the way. Love, it’s just so powerful.

Sometimes we need to stop and make sure we are not having our thoughts and perceptions be distorted. Do you truly believe someone else can “complete you,” if you do not feel “complete” on your own? Do you really think someone else can make you love yourself? Do you really think someone will change how they are because you marry them? "Love" will answer “yes” to all of those because, Love, it’s just so powerful…BUT…

…we must find the power from within US to guide the love.

My supervisor told me this today. We were discussing how does one tell when a feeling is enough. How do you tell if you are “mad enough” for what happened? How do you tell if you have been “sad enough” for what happened? When does a feeling get to a point that it is excessive. My supervisor said this—she said "when you feel that you are no longer driving the feeling, but that the feeling is driving you, THAT is when the feeling has gotten excessive. When the feeling is driving your life."

So when has the power of love gotten TOO powerful? I don’t know, but I can sleep at night knowing that if I feel I am driving my love in my life—the love I express and the love I allow myself to feel—and I don’t feel that it is driving me, I believe I will remain in control of my thoughts and my perceptions. I can rest assured that whether I run into disagreement based on my decisions made out of love or not, I know I made the decision(s), not that the love made it for me. Because you know, it can be scary. Love that is. It’s just so powerful!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

A Christian Friend

I’ve had the pleasure of keeping in touch with a widow of a mentor of mine that passed away nearly two years ago. This woman is precious! She and I have become rather close through mailing correspondence, as well as the every-once-in-a-while telephone conversation. In all actuality, I am not even sure she would be able to pick me out of a line-up, though we’ve talk in person briefly on two occasions that I recall: once at my undergraduate graduation, and the second time at the visitation service for her late husband. At those times, neither of us knew the friendship that we would end up developing, nor were we aware of the impact we would have on one another’s lives. There’s no doubt in my mind that this lady has been quite the blessing to me, but apparently from what she writes in her cards to me, I’ve had some impact on her life too. A statement from her most recent card to me says, “Kimberly, I loved talking to you and I think of you so much. The beautiful “Tribute to the Life” [of my late husband] was so amazing and I still love to read it.”

So many times, along with the card she sends me a gift. Each gift I’ve gotten from her sit proudly around my bedroom. This most recent card was no different, in that a gift was included. This time it was a cute frame with a statement inside reading, “Christian Friend. It is such a blessing to have a Christian friend like you. God bless you.” This lady is such a giving precious friend. You can expect I will be picking out a place in my room for this gift too! But before that time comes I can’t help but sit and read the statement within the frame and ask myself, “What makes a ‘Christian Friend?’”

Sure, technically, when going “by the book,” a Christian is one who has been baptized into the family of Christ. So without having taken that action in one’s life, one is not entitled, so to say, to labeling one’s self as a Christian. I can understand that, and I do not debate it. Nor do I claim the title personally, but let’s go beyond the technicalities for a bit.

What makes a “Christian Friend?”

Is it the “Christ-like” behaviors that one might take on? Can one pick out a “Christian Friend” by his/her lifestyle? By one’s behaviors in their everyday life?

Granted any of you who are not reading this weblog for the first time, are probably aware that I’ve never been baptized, so you most likely would not call me a “Christian Friend,” but what about those who do not know this about me.

I can look back on a note I got from a friend a few years back and it says, “I am thankful that I am your sister, not only in Christ but in GATA for life.” Was she referencing me as a “Christian Friend” in slightly different words? Never did I tell her I was a baptized Christian. Was it just simply assumed? Or did my behaviors lead her to thinking I was?

Can a “Christian Friend” be someone who lives their life in a manner that is striving to be just to the point of the Christ-like example?

I’ve got a card from someone else from a few years ago that states, “Your Christian example is so impressive, and so many people have noticed it! God has used you in an incredible way, and I pray that you can always remain as influential as you are now.”

So can a “Christian friend” be someone who is just setting a Christ-like “example?”

Then there’s the email from another individual stating, “I appreciate your loving and Christian attitude in your letter.”

So there has to be more to the “Christian Friend” and “Christian example” and “Christian attitude” than the process of being baptized into Christ.

Should I assume that each of these people’s statements would have been taken back had they known at the time that I was not a baptized Christian? One of the above quotes was actually made by someone who reads this blog. So knowing I am not baptized, would I, or anyone else not baptized not be a “Christian example” or a “Christian Friend” or have a “Christian attitude” any longer for you?

Just some thoughts…

[As I look back on this entry I feel like it comes off with a tone of sounding as if I’m confronting or accusing people of false statements, or that I’m trying to place people in the wrong. Please realize that is NOT my intent at all. I am merely trying to get a better understanding on people’s views of using “Christian” as an adjective. What makes a CHRISTIAN ______? Does that make sense? As I reflect on “Christian” being used as an adjective, I am curious as to what makes it appropriate for usage when describing.]

Tuesday, August 15, 2006


A friend of mine recently posted on her blog about her fears. She expressed interest in reading about other’s fears so I thought: "uhhh…okay."

Well, initially I learned a few years ago that divulging one’s fears isn’t always the wisest thing, because then it gives your enemies, or in my case, my rival prankers ammunition to use against you; however, as I have aged over-time and discovered that I am just too old for pranking anymore, I don’t worry to often about that kind of thing nowadays...HA!

So let me start with this, some clarification. Many who know me, know I can be a pretty anxious person. I do not deny this. Matter of fact, as most know, just about ALL psychology/counseling type people go into this career path because they are looking to address their own “issues.” HA! I laugh, and if you’re in a similar field, you’re laughing too, because sometimes, well goodness gracious, the true is just plain funny (and ironic in this case)! Whatever the case, my “issues” for addressing have always been anxiety-oriented.

As for a progress check-up in the area of my “addressing my own issues”, I am proud to say that with a masters degree in the area of “counseling” only a matter of weeks away for me, I can honestly say I have climbed mountains in concurring my anxiety issues and I am easily MUCH less of a nervous and anxious person as I was say some 5, 6, or 7 years ago. Today, I know SO much more about what causes me anxiety, and more importantly, I have learned how to address the anxiety when it comes and how to de-escalate myself and “cope” in the situation!

[Now doesn’t that above paragraph just make ALL you anxious people out there wanna go sign-up for a counseling degree plan right now?!?! HA!]

Now, another thing to note is that a highly anxious person does NOT have to have a lot of fears. One can fear only a few things/occurrences/situations and still be anxious a majority of the time. It simply comes down to how prevalent these couple feared things/occurrences/situations are, because if only one of the feared circumstances is consistently present, the anxiety will remain high.

Going with myself here, I’ll say that would more likely explain me, compared to someone who might have a list of ten or twenty good “fears.” Though I would not consider myself a highly anxious person, or someone that is constantly nervous, I would say that though my quantity of fears is minimal, their occurrences can be more consistently occurring than some common phobias.

Let me just list them and let you analyze for yourself…

The typical fears that I share in…

Rodents…mice, rats, opossums, gerbils…gross!. I swear it is the tail! We used to have a couple hamsters growing up, and they really didn’t bother me. But mice and rats especially scare the crap out of me!

Reptiles…snakes and lizards. They are too sneaky, small, and fast. We have lizard-type animals ALL over at my house and they scare the crap out of me all the time when I come outside and they scurry off up a tree or along the sidewalk. GROSS! Not to mention the time SOMEONE thought it would be funny to put a lizard down my shirt at a GATA officer meeting! I about KILLED that person that night—in between the shivers and twitches I kept experiencing all night thinking it was still on me crawling!

Heights…probably because I’m short and that leaves a long way to fall! But believe it or not, I helped roof a house once. I just stayed away from the edge unless I had a good hold on something!

Blood/Having Blood Taken…luckily I’ve NEVER had to give blood before. Never been real sick and had to, nor have I done it for the heck of it for a full check-up (that might not be good at my age, but I don’t care…HA)! As for blood drives…I steer clear of those things! Just thinking about them can make me start getting sick to my stomach. Seeing blood…it’s weird, but the couples times I’ve come VERY close to fainting were times when I had to watch someone bleeding. Blood in movies or tv…doesn’t bother me, but in real life, it get REALLY weak. I look for the nearest chair and you’ll be able to SEE the perspiration engulf every inch of my body. Strange…I know. HA!

Answering a question in class and being wrong or embarrassed by the response I give…yes, this IS a “typical fear” meaning it IS common. What is NOT common about it is people reporting it as a fear of theirs, because many times, people just don’t think about it, but trust me, MANY have this same fear. Think of all those people in your classes that NEVER spoke up in class. Yup, I would be willing to say at LEAST 75% of them struggle with this fear as well! HA! What fuels this fear, you ask? Pride. Who wants to be wrong PUBLICALLY? Why not just refuse to answer the question and then find out if you’re right or wrong by yourself. Who needs others to know!? HA!

The not-so-common fears…

[These ones are more anxiety-driven situations (situations that just make me nervous) versus the above list, which are more specific fears, which happen to be fairly common fears in the human race.]

Talking on the phone with strangers…this is a strange one for me, in that it is true in many cases, but not in other cases. Like I refuse to answer phones at my job. They know that and I am perfectly fine with refusing to do it…HA! Luckily, I can still keep my job with this refusal. I hate making phone calls to companies to ask questions about something or a product I might have gotten or a service I need to inquire about. If possible, I’ll look it up on the internet instead. I don’t like the case management end of social work because I don’t like to make phone calls. But basically, it comes down to the person on the other end being someone I don’t know I guess, because I have NO problem talking on the phone to my friends for hours. HA!

Not being able to escape without embarrassing one’s self...sounds interesting and ridiculous huh? Would you believe that there is an entire psychological disorder for individuals who struggle with this fear? Agoraphobia—check it out sometime. Do I meet the criteria for this disorder you’re wondering? Thank goodness I can respond with no—or at least, not anymore. Do I believe I could have been labeled with it at one point—most likely (it’s a decision I constantly find myself debating—whether or not I was ever bad enough that I was diagnosable). Still, today, though no where NEAR as bad as this fear once was for me, I find myself behaving in ways that are encouraged by thoughts of this one-time STRONG fear of mine. It’s interesting, in that it is more of an anxious feeling that is not driven by a constant thought of the specific fear its self, but more of an anxiety that is encouraged by mere presence of a situation, since it is not an “object” to focus on. I don’t know, it’s hard to explain…

Hmm….I guess that is my list as of what comes to mind. Feel free to remind me of any that I might have left off. HA!

I want to end with a portion of a comment I left on the blog of my friend that originally posted the list of fears that I modeled this entry after. My comment is as follows…

Though I myself might not be one of many “fears,” I can say I know the state of being anxious as well as most. And what I have rest assured in over time is the fact that anxiety is one of the most treatable feelings. I am quick to remember the words of one of my most favorite graduate school professors, “Mood disorders [which is like depression] and thought disorders [which is like schizophrenia] are best treated with a combination of medications and therapy; however, anxiety disorders are treated best through merely therapy.”

Common or uncommon, your fears are most likely all derived from personal experiences that can be explained through good ol’ classical conditioning. Remember the lovely Pavlovian dog experiment with the dog salivating when the bell rang? Taking ANY Introduction to Psychology course would have covered it! ;) That’s classical conditioning and it explains how most fears/phobias are developed.

I guess I’ll end like this…

Feel free to share your fears (if you’re brave enough)! ;)

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Some Thoughts...

Okay, we all know this is NOT something I would write, so instead it is something my friend “Kelly” has written and I thought I’d just post it on here to help “her” out and get some thoughts on the matter… ;)

Here are “her” thoughts and feelings and “she” is just looking for some thoughts and reflections on the matters…

What do you do when you find yourself in a situation when you have a guy that likes you (as more than a friend), and you find yourself thinking to yourself that you really don’t have those same feelings toward him at the current time. When you aren’t with him you think to yourself, he isn’t really “the one” for you in “that” sense, so you need to let him know that, but at the same time, you find yourself thinking, how much you enjoy being with him when you are with him. So in other words, when you’re with him you think, “I do enjoy being with you, maybe it will just take time.”

You wonder, “Will liking him ‘like that’ possibly grow over time?” or is that one of those things that if it isn’t there in the beginning the train probably ain’t comin’?

Then you find yourself looking at the guy (not literally, of course) and thinking to yourself, “that really isn’t anything like the ‘picture’ I had always seen drawn up for me all along. The ‘picture’ of the guy I had always wanted to see myself with.” The things you always thought were what you would find in the man you’d want to be there aren’t really there, but at the same time the things that ARE there aren’t, so to say, “bad”—just not what you expected or had always “planned” on.

Many would say, “Well, maybe the ‘perfect guy’ is something you came up with in your head, but he really doesn’t exist.” “Kelly” doesn’t know, but she told me that the things she had always “planned for” in a guy do exist in a guy she knows, but at the same time, “she” does not see herself ever being with that guy. [“Kelly’s” really strange, but she doesn’t read this, so I can say that and she’ll never know.] “She” even told me that once she asked this guy who seemed to be the kind of guy she had always seen herself with (and is the type of guy she would like to be with), if he thought he was unique and that there really weren’t more guys out there like him. Unfortunately, he said he did see himself as different from most guys. I guess this means momma’s right when she tells her baby just how “special” and “unique” they are! HA! ;)

“Kelly” likes to argue the debate of “settling.”

What is “settling?” Are you “settling” if you go for any guy other than the one you had always thought you’d find yourself with someday? The one you’d always “pictured” yourself with. Isn’t “settling” meaning you are accepting “less” as “fine?” What if the guy you find yourself with isn’t necessarily “less” in your mind, just “different?”—not what you expected, so to say.

I guess it could be the state of the guy not meeting the “pictured” description that had been drawn-up for OH so many years that could be keeping the liking him “like that” from occurring. Possible? Probably, but does that mean overcoming the idea of what the “picture” should look like would mean the deeper interest in the “not pictured” guy will just come about? Or should one even consider “overcoming” the “picture?”

“Kelly” has too many thoughts. I told her that already. She agreed to let me end this passage with the comment that she can and will understand if none of this made sense, because I told her I’d just do my best to express it as I seemed to interpret it from “her.”

What can I say? Difficult clients?? ;)