Archive | March 2016

Men Are Idiots, Study Confirms

images (1)The British Medical Journal (BMJ) has released a historical study that shows men are far more likely to engage in senseless high risk behaviors than women. They start out looking at the cause of past admissions to emergency rooms for the males. “Males are more likely to be admitted to an emergency department after accidental injuries, more likely to be admitted with a sporting injury, and more likely to be in a road traffic collision with a higher mortality rate.” These historical figures place male risk taking much higher than the females, so it’s exclusively a male trait.

The authors discuss the possibility that these behaviors might be determined by social or cultural differences. But, since they noted that high risk behaviors of males are reported at an early age, they conclude that this may be genetic in origin. They mention many studies to confirm this. However, they don’t discuss the differences within the males. I think that socioeconomic status might have some influence since poverty may be correlated with higher risk taking.

Their definition of idiotic risks are really senseless risks, “… where the apparent payoff is negligible or non-existent, and the outcome is often extremely negative and often final”. They also bring up something called “male idiot theory” based on “the observation that men are idiots and idiots do stupid things “. They also note that alcohol consumption tends to exasperate this tendency in men.

Going to war certainly seems like a high risk endeavor with dire consequences. This is especially appealing to young men. One of the main reasons for this is young men are establishing their masculine identity or manhood. If going to war or engaging in high risk activities seems like a primitive way to be a man, you would be correct. This is an identity of toughness or masculinity rather than one of intelligence and caring. So, this might distinguish which men are more likely to take on this risk.

In their discussion, the authors are at a loss to explain this difference between men and women. Besides forming a masculine identity, I personally think the person is at a loss in finding purpose and meaning in their life. What can women do about it if it affects you? The fact that it exists gets our attention if we see it in our partners behavior. Whether its risk taking in the stock market or jumping out of airplanes, men still have this tendency even in advanced age. I have personally seen this senseless risky behavior in men during the retirement years and that is precisely why I recommend that women become the manager of the relationship. L. Johnson.

 

This entry was posted on March 29, 2016.

How Answering a Simple Text Message Can Ruin Your Life

download (6)You probably think I’ve lost it.

I mean, how could answering a simple text message ruin your life?

I know you’re thinking you can handle the heat. In fact, you might even kind of enjoy it when your Ex texts you saying they miss you and you just ignore them. It feels like sweet revenge. Here they are, trying to get in touch with you after you caught them lying and cheating, and you’re able to keep them in the hot seat, wondering if you’ll ever give them a second chance.

Admit it. It feels good, doesn’t it? To think they’re beginning to regret their poor choices?

I remember those days. Even back before I learned about the concept of going No Contact, I would block my Ex from being able to contact me. Then, after a day or two I would unblock him. Then I’d just ignore him when he’d try to call or text.

I’d go on like that for days at a time, thinking I possessed progressively epic degrees of power the longer I held out. I just knew that if I ignored him long enough he’d come around to his senses. Expressly, if I made him stew for a while, he’d come back to me a changed man.

So, I left him unblocked with full access to send me texts whenever he wanted. Then, when he sounded desperate enough, I’d send him a short reply. Nothing too emotional. Just a little something to make him think I’d begun moving forward without him. And it worked.

Or at least I thought it did. I fell for the false epiphany. I fell for his charming smile, the seemingly sincere look of happiness in his eyes, the wonderful makeup sex, and the promises of a brighter future.

I thought I’d played it smart, until…

Fast forward seven months – I’d been thrown in jail for public intoxication and lost my teaching job one month before the end of the school year. I’d only been in my apartment a few months and had bills to pay and three children to provide for.

All because I’d answered one simple text.

It happens every day. People lose their careers, homes, entire bank accounts, children, and self-respect because they think they can avoid No Contact and stay “No Response”. Some become dysfunctional, wracked with debilitating conditions such as cancer, heart disease, fibromyalgia. Still others become psychotic and even suicidal. You might be surprised at the number of comments I receive on my blog where someone is contemplating ending it all. (If this describes you, call 1 (800) 273-8255 immediately!)

All because they’d answered one simple text.

Luckily for me, the public intoxication charge was thrown out and I was back to teaching the next school year. However, the humiliation alone was enough that I had to temporarily go on medication. Not to mention the major self-work I had to perform to get over the shame and disgrace of my experience.

But not everyone is as fortunate. Lives are ruined because targets of narcissistic abuse eventually fall prey to the uncontrollable need to defend themselves, make their narcissistic partner see their point of view, tell the narcissist how hurtful they’ve been, engage in magical thinking and various other temptations that go along with being in a relationship with a person devoid of a conscience.

If you’re reading this article, that means your partner has crossed lines, trampled boundaries, and destroyed parts of you that feel irrecoverable. I’m here to tell you that your chronicle won’t be the one that defeats all odds. You won’t be going to your friends and family with the success story of the century.

As hard as it is to go No Contact, what’s even harder is what happens when you don’t.

The lies and cheating will get worse, the abuse will get worse, and if you have children, they will grow up with very unfortunate beliefs about what relationships are all about.

Going No Contact feels crappy. Some even equate it to death. But the good news is that as horrible and crippling as it feels in the beginning, there is an end to it. The body and mind have enormous wisdom. They know how to heal themselves. Give them the opportunity.

Kim Saeed is an Empowerment Blogger, No Contact Coach, Relationship Coach, Certified Self-Esteem Coach, Best-selling Author, Healing Facilitator, and Radio Guest Expert. Her areas of expertise include helping survivors of narcissistic and emotional abuse to detach and begin their journey of recovery through changing their limiting narrative scripts and learning holistic healing methods.

Following her own painful relationships (which she later discovered were with narcissists (one overt; one covert), she left her career as an elementary school teacher to embark on what has now become a world-wide campaign for empowering men and women to leave unhealthy relationships and reclaim their personal power and self-love.

 

The Difference Between a Scar and a Tattoo

download (5)“Take it from me, a scar does not form on the dying. A scar means, I survived.”Chris Cleave, Little Bee

How much of life have you survived so far?

Are any of the survival moments scars on your skin or on your heart or do you wear them proudly as a tattoo, a story your body doesn’t hesitate to tell?

One night at dinner my son brought home a friend from school. We had amazing food and amazing conversation and as it is when lots of boys get together we got to talking about injuries and scars. The boy stood up and said, “Oh have I got scars to show you.” For the next 20 minutes he proceeded to show us all of his scars, the ones that were allowable to show, and we were all riveted to hear the stories and see the proof. He smiled proudly through it all and he just as proudly knew that life wasn’t finished with him yet, that there would be a lot more scars to talk about as he got older.

Listening to the boy’s stories I couldn’t help but think what a busy, treacherous, boyish, adventurous life he had lived so far and I thought these weren’t scars he was showing us, these were proud tattoos of a life well lived; he was only 13 years old.

“Tattoos are a right of passage. They’re a marker of bravery, of maturity, of cultural acceptance. The tattoo represents not only a willingness to accept pain – to endure it – but a need to actively embrace it. Because life is painful – beautiful but painful… ” Nicola Barker, The Yips

There are lessons we learn in school and there are lessons we learn in life. I’ve come to believe that when those 2 distinct paths cross, that is when we wear our story. When I become aware and present in my life moments I am, in a way, choosing the tattoos I want to brand who I am and who I want to be.

When something doesn’t go the way I want it to it is in the choices I make as to who I then become. When someone hurts me physically or emotionally I can choose to become and remain a victim of the hurt or I can grow from it and own it and wear it like a tattoo of honor or shame and either way I can then create teachable moments to share along my life’s journey. It’s hard though to step back in an emotional moment and realize that there is always a choice to make.

A Scar that Purposefully Became a Tattoo

My daughter faced this very crossroads when the person she considered her best friend did things that proved the girl wasn’t a good friend at all much less a best friend. It sent my daughter into a tail spin and for quite a few years my daughter tried to manipulate her mind to stop fighting a battle within herself to change the friend but rather to accept what was happening. To make a very long story short, the choice she made in the end was to find a way to accept the girl for who she was and to also accept herself for who she was becoming. Not an easy thing to do at all but with lots of patience and practice and self-love she has truly managed to step over to the other side of the pain and wear her lessons learned like a tattoo on her heart. She feels more empowered, more right minded and stronger within her heart than she has ever felt. I see it in her eyes and I hear it in her voice in the way she speaks. She believes what she is working through and how she is working through it and there is a whole bunch of reasons to respect her process. But the question is, how is she doing it? How is she accepting herself and the person that turned out to be nothing like the friend she thought she had? Here are some steps she took to get to where she is right now:

Seek help. The minute my daughter felt the disillusionment of the friendship she talked with me about it. She also casually talked with her other friends. She enlisted the people she felt most comfortable with and asked their opinion, asked their advice, and asked if they had ever been through something like this. She even confronted her friend in order to get a better understanding of where this friendship had gotten so off the rails.

By being vulnerable to the pain she allowed light to penetrate the cracks that were forming in her heart. The light acted like a laser tattooing her heart with the tools she would need for wisdom and compassion.

“When we feel weak, we drop our heads on the shoulders of others. Don’t get mad when someone does that. Be honored. For that person trusted you enough to, even if subtly, ask you for help.” Lori Goodwin

Listen. No matter what stories were being told to her she had enough respect for herself to just listen to what was being said and not said. She took a mental inventory of all the information and let it sit inside her heart for however long it needed to so she could pick and choose the points of information that fit her best.

“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change

Talk it out. There were 3 distinct times where my daughter met with the “best friend” and tried to let her know how she was feeling. It took a lot more than 3 times to get the friend to understand and to this day the understanding is still not completely there but forgiveness has taken root on both sides of the friendship and THAT means a positive change has happened. The part that is most important is in the trying to keep communication open and honest.

“When you give yourself permission to communicate what matters to you in every situation you will have peace despite rejection or disapproval. Putting a voice to your soul helps you to let go of the negative energy of fear and regret.” Shannon L. Alder

Take a step back. Step away from the situation long enough to allow the silence and the physical space to work it’s magic. Clarity has a chance to surface when distance is allowed in. Constantly working on the pain and the situation at hand can cause more pain and less clarity. Step back, breathe, take a time out and let the dust settle a bit.

“In the space between chaos and shape there was another chance.” Jeanette Winterson, The World and Other Places: Stories

Know when to let go. As painful as it has been for my daughter to admit, she had to get to a place in her heart where she realized it was more painful to deny who she is right now in her own growth toward adulthood than to compromise any more of who she has already become in order to save the friendship. She had to let go of what she wanted the relationship to be in order for the relationship to become what it was meant to become all along. Sometimes we can only see what we want to see instead of what is really right in front of us. Releasing control over the pain allows us to let go and let each person be who they are right now.

“Distance sometimes lets you know who is worth keeping, and who is worth letting go.” Lana Del Rey

Find gratitude. What was my daughter most grateful for in having this person as her friend in the first place? When she was able to truly list from her heart all the reasons she liked having this person in her life she was able to settle down the pain. People change; life changes us on the inside and the outside. Her friend’s life story isn’t pretty and unless you have walked in her shoes you cannot know the scars she wears and how deep they cut. Those scars have a chance to become tattoos of pride when her friend is ready to stop being a victim to the pain and the past. When my daughter came to understand her own gratitude toward the friendship the friendship had a chance at a new life and a new breath.

“Once you start recognizing the truth of your story, finish the story. It happened but you’re still here, you’re still capable, powerful, you’re not your circumstance. It happened and you made it through. You’re still fully equipped with every single tool you need to fulfill your purpose.” Steve Maraboli

In the end, the two friends are trying to re-invent their relationship and from my humble perspective it looks to be a beautiful tattoo rather than an ugly scar.

Call to Action

What lessons are you learning, experiencing, creating, in your life moments that will become a permanent part of who you are?

Will those lessons be a tattoo or a scar?

 

Those 15 Seconds That Change Your Life

download (4)WALKING through the car park I held back tears. An event had just impacted me – an event I was drawn up into – one that swept me up in its current and took me, for a while, downstream. And it lasted all of fifteen fleeting yet eternal seconds.

Picture this scene, at a bustling café, adjacent to a busy road. Here’s the story:

SHEER terror at the realisation that his mother had left him, the six-year-old tore past me, bellowing “Mummy, Mummy… ” out of the café complex, heading for the road. He being hysterical, I could not be sure he would stop short of the traffic, so I ran the fifty feet between us, shouting “It’s okay, I will help you find her.” He stopped and turned and appeared instantly relieved. I invited him to take my hand and he did. As the fear subsided and he began wiping his tears, there was still a great air of doubt in him. We walked straight back into the café, at which point a staff member handed me my coffee. I quickly debriefed the staff member and went on my way.

Then something much unexpected happened. I began to well up with tears. Suddenly it occurred to me that the boy I had just helped was a caricature of me. Many times as a six-year-old myself I’d be worried for my safety without Mum or Dad around me. Then God showed me the scene out of the Passion of the Christ (2004) movie – where childhood Jesus was picked up by his mother Mary having fallen. I guess part of my emotion was also garnered by the acknowledgement of the potential consequences if the boy had kept on running onto the road. And another reason I was emotional is I was in the right place and right time – I was the right person – to intervene on this occasion.

Several observations are possible:

• God places us in situations where we are the only ones who can help. What a privilege it is to serve God when he selects us like that.

• Emotions are bound to creep up on us when something very significant occurs. We are graced with the strength to partake of the emotion yet restrain the excess so we aren’t disabled because of the emotion.

• Moments that imply great emotion speak to our inner core. It is so nice that I know that I was an insecure boy who needed his parents so much. That is no truth to be ashamed of.

• If I were his parent I would never scold him in his fear. His fear is appropriate. What could be worse than losing a parent or feeling abandoned?

• I had just been praying for the staff member who I released the boy to. She had no idea and I had no idea why I should be praying for her, but God, who knows all, goes before us all. My hope is she gave the boy the same safety as I was trying to give him.

• There is no better means of attaching importance to our lives than by being in a God-anointed place at a God-appointed time. I was there for this boy’s time. I was there, in the right place, to do God’s eternal will for that moment. Instant purpose for life.

***

A 15-second time period is long enough to change our lives. God speaks in a moment. His momentary revelations may last a lifetime. But to be touched by God is to know he is real. And by being touched many times, the Christian knows and is blessed.

Much can happen in a moment and moments can carry us a very long way.

 

This entry was posted on March 3, 2016 and tagged .