Personailizing

Personalizing is taking something personally that may not be personal. When one takes everything personally, stressful events feel like consequences of something one personally did…they feel they somehow deserve the consequences. Although, someone who is blunt may express their opinion about something, as they may always do, but someone who takes things personally may be hurt by this person’s words, even when the blunt person did not intend to hurt the other person.

The first tip for personalizers is to realize that not all set backs are the end of the world.
If you feel rejection, that is okay, even normal. Although, we need to keep in mind that this feeling of rejection does not mean that you are never going to be successful one day.
Remember that negative feedback can be useful to improve work, not to point out all of your mistakes. You are talented and skilled!



Second, be kinder to yourself. Give grace to your own mistakes and imperfections. If you can learn to be nicer to yourself about your imperfections, you won’t automatically jump to feeling attacked when other people make comments.

Next, it is important to accurately label emotions you are feeling. Emotions drive thoughts and behavior. Emotions often trigger personalizing. When you can label your emotions accurately you are able to better manage thinking and behavior. Then the next step is to practice. Imagine situations in which feelings of rejection are likely. Now put yourself in that situation. What should you do or think about in this situation? After having this imaginative practice, now it is time to learn through doing. Experimenting through real life situations.

The root cause of this personalization is often due to attachment anxiety. Personalizers often want to  please everyone. They want to be accepted and loved by everyone. The solution is to attempt to be warm to people but maintain better boundaries. It is not your job to please everyone.

I hope these tips help. Remember you can work towards healthy lifestyle change. If you or someone you know would like some life coaching in this area please contact me.


One simple way to dramatically improve your life

It does seem so simple. From a distance it does not seem like it is even worthy of a drum-roll. Although, it is worth it and so much more. This simple adjustment in your life can reduce your stress level, lift your mood and help you focus on what is important. This key behavior is an attitude modification.  Let me explain:

Instead of reacting to stress or crisis, learn to respond.
Instead of letting circumstances determine our mindset, master the skill of adjusting your attitude despite the circumstances.
Instead of letting the present here-and-now trouble control our emotions and thinking, contemplate hope, realize the trouble is temporary and maintain a positive outlook.

The simple serenity prayer is a great reminder. I say this everyday:

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,

And wisdom to know the difference.

*[Serenity = peace of mind.]


How-to:

Let me offer some example. Imagine that there is a last minute office meeting in the board room, completely unplanned. You are put on the spot by your boss (the managing director of the building) to present to his boss (the CEO of the company). You are stressing out! The situation is stressful! Your first initial thoughts are not pleasant (“What am I doing?” “What am I suppose to say?”  ” I want to hurt my boss, he should have given me a heads up!” “I am not going to look good.” “I hate this” – you get the idea). That initial thought is followed with emotions (nervous, stress, anxious, scared, embarrassedunprepared, unworthy) and physical sensation (heart racing, mind cluttered, sweating, nerve pain, shallow quick breathing, blushing, chest tightness, tense muscles, light-headed, feeling out of control and fatigue). All three of these (initial cognitive thoughts, body’s reaction and emotional toll) of these naturally lead to a natural behavior (running to the bathroom, being tense and clamming up in the board room, raging anger towards boss in spite or sarcasm or worse a meltdown). 

All of these behaviors are common natural reactions. Although, instead of behaving naturally, it is better to stop at each step and learn how to respond instead of merely react. The concept is simple in theory but in implementation it takes some practice. So first when we have those initial cognitive mental thoughts regarding a stressor, realize these are natural reactions. Everyone has these fleeting thoughts. The first thing we can do is instead of agree and listen to these thoughts, we can ignore them, or better, we can dispute them by thinking about the situation more rationally. 
The second step is in the emotions and physical sensations, again these are natural feelings. At first it is very difficult to ignore these emotions. We shouldn’t. It is good to acknowledge these emotional feelings and research where they are coming from and why. Bottling up emotions is negative. Somethings just talking to someone is the biggest help.
Finally, our behavior. After having a bad day emotionally and cognitively, it is easy to just react with negative behavior. Although, even after dealing with emotions and thinking, we may still desire to do something negative emotionally. We still have to think about it. We still have a choice to make. We can, with some practice, choice to behave in a positive manner, even after a long negative day full of stressors. 

Going back to the example, instead of embarrassing yourself and making the CEO and your boss like fools, you told yourself quietly  that “I can do this!” and “I am awesome.” Positive self-talk disputes the negative thinking. Second you feel the anxiety but instead of letting it eat away at you, you choose to strike a confident posture and breathe deeply through-out the entire meeting. When the meeting is over you talk to your boss privately about how you were actually feeling. Also when you get home, you deal with more of your negative with your supportive spouse (ideally). Finally the behavior in the board room is driven my the positive reaction you are maintaining. Instead of despising your boss and acting immature, you are flexible and professional. You do your best honest work given the circumstances.  



solar system…

What is the point of the solar system if you are an evolutionist?

How did it get here and how does it fit into evolution of everything else?

The planets are so complex but are they “lower” life form? Yet, we do not understand them….

I am just curious…

Fathoming the universe, it seems that a Creator for all of this would be so much more likely!

Just me thinking

Teach Truth in love

My pastor and I were having a conversation about teaching. It is great to teach truth from the Bible, that is essential, but if you teach truth without love, without agonizing in love with and for the flock then your teaching breaches legalism. We must teach in love. We must not teach love only without the Bible and truth, that leads to liberalism. (And a bunch of other way off base cults, post-modern relativism, etc…)

There is a balance. You must teach truth, but we must teach with love.

It got me thinking, I am passionate about truth and the Word of God, I love God, but am I being legalistic? Am I agonizing over my learners and students? I love my church and my students but am I putting the two together? Am I agonizing for my students? Am I teaching them only because it is truth and it is right? Or am I teaching them because I love them and know that this truth is what is best for them?

A lot of great stuff to ponder today

AWOL

A Week Of Links

So one of my friends randomly does this about once a month…he posts cool, relevant (to his life), weird, interesting, or just random websites that he has visited recently.

I am going to try doing this once a week or ever so often, especially if I do not have much other content. Because 1. I do not blog as much as I would like to and this is an easy weekly post and 2. I am already visiting cool, weird, relevant, interesting, and random websites on a regular basis, but I usually post them on Facebook. Now I will also post them here…(like I said this will be easy):

1. My main source of Facebook link post is POP URLs. Pop Urls is a really cool website. Simply put it is a genuine aggregator. It takes all the buzz from all of the top news websites (like Digg, delicious, reddit, yahoo, metafilter, technorati, youtube, google, newsvine, nytimes, and much much more) all on one updated page!

THis week:

Practicing His Presence

Ok
so you probably have heard this term before, “practicing His Presence”

But I had not heard of it until today when my pastor mentioned it to me….

It is a good process of thinking. Basically, you practice God’s presence in your life when you

acknowledge that He is present and there in your life.

Once you acknowledge that God is present in your life

you inevitably would live differently. Imagine God is watching your every move…

This way of thinking is an interesting one and a good one.

It should change sinful behavior.

Anyways, just a thought.

I’ve been thinkin a lot about….

Lately I have been thinking a lot about how lucky I am to be an American, how fortunate I am to have spendable money, own toys, have drinking water, own a car, type on this laptop that is mine….

Gosh, God has blessed me more than I know. Ever since I was a teenager I have thought about what it might be like to have grown up in a third world country. I had thought that it was sort of unfair. Although God has reasons for putting me here. I want to do whatever it is that HE wants me to do. I want to serve Him.

Sometimes it is easy to live in my world. To be so focused on me and what I want, what I think I need. I think about the next purchase I want to make, my agenda for tomorrow, my next task or test…I plan my own world. I try to figure it all out. It is easy to be so wrapped up in me thinking that I miss God and what He wants. I miss opportunities to serve Him. I forget about the lost. I forget about those who are less fortunate than me.
I think that I can do something for those who are less fortunate than me. I see how I rule my own life. I see all the money and food I waste. I realize that I have a lot more than many many many others in this world. I realize though that I can do something. 
I want to do something. I feel a desire to do something more. I feel called to help other people. I am not sure exactly how or what that will look like…
I do not know why I feel compelled to even type this, but at a young age I felt called to ministry, at one point I felt that I might even be called to be a missionary…but God is still working the plans. I am not sure where the path is leading right now. I am still learning, growing and training. 
One of the lessons that I have also spent much time contemplating recently is just how much time and energy I (we, as a nation) spend building our own kingdoms….building our own barns, collecting toys, growing our bank accounts, etc…it is very selfish. 

Think about it, none of these things are eternal. Nothing is going to Heaven with us. The only thing that stands forever is the Word of God and God himself. 

Maybe I am different than most people. But I feel the need to spend less time conquering my greedy American dreams and more time helping the less fortunate. 
Another thought that piles on to the equation is this one, “Are you ready if Jesus comes back?”
I don’t mean to sound religiously bigoted or better than anyone, cause I am not. I waste a lot of time and money. I am greedy sometimes. I am working on all of these things in my own personal life, that is probably why I am typing all of this….

But think about it, chasing our American dreams sometimes gets in the way of what we are called or might be called to do by God. God wants us to share our faith and help the less fortunate. God commands us to make disciples. The early church was a
lot more 
eschatological in their thinking then we are, wheter they knew it or not… they knew Jesus was coming back and they lived ready for His return! Are we doing these things? Are we in love with our first love? Are we sharing our faith enough? Are we giving to the poor and helping the widows and children? Are we living like Christ? Is this how the early Church followed Christ? 

I am not saying we cannot have good things and we should not live with the things God has blessed us with…nor am I accusing anyone, but myself of a bad faith or a lost love… But these are things to consider…these are thoughts from my head…. 

Rush Limbaugh…why?

Okay,
So Rush Limbaugh said something really strange Tuesday.
“I Hope Obama Fails.”
Okay so I am conservative. Maybe I did not vote for Obama, maybe I did…
But despite political differences and all, no one should wish failure on our President. For the good of America, our country, even if you do not agree with their politics and even if you do not like them, why would you wish failure on them?

This is ridiculous. Sure, I can see Limbaugh’s argument about liberalism and socialism, but I think he is stretching it.

I think Rush just likes attention. He gets in the news when he does ridiculous things and says stupid things. And I have to admit, I have not always liked Rush and his stances on certain issues. He speaks for conservatives and sometimes, I feel that my voice is heard, but then there are times like this when Rush is just idiotic.

Rather I want to see Obama be successful. I want America to get out of war, out of economic trouble, and start making smart changes for the environment and the economy.

I may not like HOW we are going get there. And when I think the administration is going against what I believe, I will stand up against it. But yet, I am for certain changes, changes for the better. Unlike Rush Limbaugh apparently.

Blurb from Love your God with all your Mind

“We should have good reasons for thinking that Christianity is true before dedicating our entire lives to it. We should have solid evidence that our understanding of a passage is correct before applying it to our lives. we should be training other Christians on how to think carefully about their faith. Apologetics should be a regular part of discipleship.”

This is a paraphrase of JP Moreland from Love your God with all your Mind

What sticks out to me is the difficulty and just how uncommon this concept is.
I wish that apologetics were a normal part of training. Moreland shares a story and explains how we apply passages to our lives based on vague feelings and not by doing the hard work of study.