Monthly Archives: October 2012

Aside

Ten Commandments of Self-esteem

  1. Thou shalt not consort with people who make thee feel bad about thyself.
  2. Thou shalt cease trying to make sense out of crazy behavior.
  3. Thou shalt not keep company with those more dysfunctional than thyself.
  4. Trust thy body all the days of thy life (thy mind doth fornicate with thee).
  5. Thou has permission at all times to say “NO,” to change thy mind, and to express thy true feelings.
  6. What is not right for thee is also not right for thy brethren.
  7. Thou shalt not give beyond thine own capacity.
  8. What thy brethren think of thee mattereth naught.
  9. Wherever thou art, therein also is the party.
  10. Thou shalt sing thine own praises all the days of thy life.

Catherine Cardinal

Ten Commandments of Self-esteem

Aside

12 Critical Things You Should Never Tolerate

Written by 118 Comments
Categories: self improvement

There is so much in life that we just tolerate. Some of it we have to deal with (taxes, bad weather, traffic). But there’s a good portion of stuff that we tolerate even when we don’t have to. We step around things, overlook irritations, and mindlessly accept energy drains. Perhaps we’ve become so immune to these tolerations that we don’t recognize the negative impact they have on us.

Sometimes just recognizing the things we are tolerating in life gives us a renewed sense of hope and energy. If you don’t know what’s pulling you down, it feels impossible to make your life better. Even small changes and shifts with these life tolerations can result in dramatic improvement in your outlook and mood.

However, when you address some of your bigger tolerations, you can completely change the course of your life and open doors to a world of happiness and inner peace that you didn’t know existed.

Think about the poorest of the poor, living in squalor and despair without the hope of a better future. When they are lucky enough to see the connection between education and life success, they have found a portal to escape poverty and misery. It’s a huge shift.

In the same way, we must search for these portals that will allow us to move to the next level of powerful living. Our tolerations are the brambles and vines growing over the portal doorway. We must clear them away to be able to open the door and walk through.

Do you want to walk through the portal to a happier life? If so, here are 12 situations that you should never tolerate if you want to live joyfully. See if you recognize yourself in any of these tolerations. If so, now is the time to clear them away.

1. Unhappiness at work.

You spend nearly half of your life at your job. If you are unhappy, do you really want to give away that much of your life? Think of the impact it has on your emotional well-being, your health, and your relationships. Think of the opportunities missed for doing something that you love, that is fulfilling. Don’t settle for living this way forever. Find a job that you love. Get more education if necessary. At the least, make changes within your current job to lessen your unhappiness.

2. A Long Commute.

A long commute to work by car or public transportation is stressful and empty. Hours in a vehicle adds up to days, months, years wasted in traveling when you could be doing and living. Find a job closer to home, or move closer to your job. Whatever your reason is for this commute, is it really worth the lost time?

3. An Unhealthy Lifestyle.

Are you overweight? Do you smoke? Are you sedentary? Do you eat junk? Do you abuse alcohol or other substances? An unhealthy lifestyle leads to an unhappy life. If you feel bad and look bad, you can’t enjoy life. This is your one and only life, and your body is your sacred garment. Take care of it now.

4. Draining Relationships.

If there are people in your life who are abusive, demeaning, angry, hurtful, not supportive, unethical, or crazy, it is time to let them go. You may have your reasons for hanging on, but do these reasons really outweigh the negative impact they have on your life? At the very least, find ways to cut back on interactions with these people.

5. A Disordered Living Space.

How you live is a reflection of who you are. You don’t need to live in a mansion with lots of stuff, but your living space should reflect the joy, order, and peace you want in your life. It should be clean, orderly, and have some expressions of beauty and warmth. It should feel welcoming to you and to guests in your home.

6. Negativity.

It is around us all the time, invading our minds like termites. We hear and see negative ideas and images on the news. Our friends and associates share their negative stories or reactions to life events. We hear negative lyrics in songs or watch violence and abuse in movies or on TV. Before we know it, we feel negative and depressed about our lives. Turn it off. Walk away. Stop listening. Instead watch, read, and listen to uplifting and positive ideas and information.

7. Too Much Stuff.

Over the years, we accumulate. We like to buy things. We like to have things. But these things require our time, energy, money, and effort. They lose their shine and we lose our interest. They become a burden — something we have to dust rather than enjoy. Get rid of this stuff and free up time and energy in your life.

8. Financial Problems.

The stress and emotional pain caused by financial problems steals your joy and peace in life. Whatever you are doing now or did in the past to cause the problem, do something about it now. Yes, some financial difficulties are unavoidable, but do whatever you can to lessen the stress, even if it means delivering pizzas for a while. If you are over-spending, stop. Sell some things. Very few “things” are worth the stress of money worries.

9. Living Out of Your Integrity.

Are you living in alignment with your values? Are you being true to yourself? Do you need to apologize for something or ask for forgiveness? When you are living outside of your integrity, it causes a disruption in your soul and your psyche. It drains your energy, fosters guilt, and saps your self-esteem. Get right with yourself and with others.

10. Living Without Fun.

If you life is all duty and work (even if the work is enjoyable), you are living out-of-balance. Fun and relaxation are necessary ingredients for a full and joyful life. By removing some of the other stresses from your life, you can make room for pleasurable activities, travel, and entertainment. The world is your beautiful oyster meant to be enjoyed.

11. Accepting Ignorance and Inertia.

We use both of these as excuses not to do something. We talk ourselves into our own inability to accomplish or change because we are afraid. We are afraid it will be hard, we are afraid we might fail, we are afraid it won’t work. You and everyone else knows these are just excuses to avoid. Don’t accept them anymore. Stretch yourself.

12. Lack of Communication.

In every single relationship you have, especially your primary relationship, healthy communication is essential to your life happiness. We you aren’t communicating properly with someone, you feel anxious, angry, frustrated, and helpless. Open, honest, loving communication is the number one ingredient for successful relationships. If you don’t know how to communicate in a healthy way, then learn how to and begin to implement these skills.

Use the next few minutes to think about one area in your life you are just tolerating. How does this toleration impact your sense of well-being and joy? What is one action you could take today to begin to eliminate this toleration? Even a small change can make a huge shift for the better in your life.

12 Critical Things You Should Never Tolerate

Aside

 Legal and Official Rape in Iran Prisons

Posted 39 months ago|4 comments|29,246 views
Written by
Rudi Stettner
 Moderator
 
 
Women who demonstrate against the government in Iran are risking more than we can imagine. Demonstrators against the regime in Iran are faced with the death penalty. this includes demonstrators who are well under eighteen years of age. But Iran makes justice run through the twisted labyrinth of Shaaria law as it is interpreted by Iran’s corrupt theocracy.

How twisted is it? Consider this. according to the Jerusalem Post, girls who are virgins may not be executed, no matter what their crimes. So how do you execute a girl who is a virgin? Very simple. You have a prison guard marry her. When he consummates his “marriage” to the condemned, then she can be executed the following morning. The Jerusalem Post reports a conversation with a member of the Basij militia as follows.

“When he was 16, “my mother took me to a Basiji station and begged them to take me under their wing because I had no one and nothing foreseeable in my future. My father was martyred during the war in Iraq and she did not want me to get hooked on drugs and become a street thug. I had no choice,” he said.

He said he had been a highly regarded member of the force, and had so “impressed my superiors” that, at 18, “I was given the ‘honor’ to temporarily marry young girls before they were sentenced to death.”

In the Islamic Republic it is illegal to execute a young woman, regardless of her crime, if she is a virgin, he explained. Therefore a “wedding” ceremony is conducted the night before the execution: The young girl is forced to have sexual intercourse with a prison guard – essentially raped by her “husband.”

“I regret that, even though the marriages were legal,” he said.

Why the regret, if the marriages were “legal?”

“Because,” he went on, “I could tell that the girls were more afraid of their ‘wedding’ night than of the execution that awaited them in the morning. And they would always fight back, so we would have to put sleeping pills in their food. By morning the girls would have an empty expression; it seemed like they were ready or wanted to die.

“I remember hearing them cry and scream after [the rape] was over,” he said. “I will never forget how this one girl clawed at her own face and neck with her finger nails afterwards. She had deep scratches all over her.”

The individual who spoke with the reporter was himself later arrested. What was his crime? Knowing what was in store for a female detainee, he set her free, rather than subjecting her to a legalised rape and execution. Apparently there is a decency among common folk that seems to elude their spiritual leaders. Even the “professional husband” employed by the Ahmadinejad regime suffered pangs of conscience.

The article in the Jerusalem Post also describes Basij members abusing their authority to go on “wilding “sprees which include robbery, violence and sexual abuse. The populace has no recourse against the goon squads that have been invested with official powers.

The image of Islam is disgraced by the latest revelations to come from Iran. The supposed ‘theocracy” in Iran is nothing but a pack of gangsters that should be denounced and fought for their violence and their fatuous fatwas. The factions of the clergy in Iran should speak out against the atrocities committed in the name of Islam. What started out as a revolt against a stolen election will become a revolt against corrupt theocracy. Silence is complicity

This is the new Iran, supposedly voted for overwhelmingly by its electorate. Even though there is little our government can do directly, where is our voice? Hillary Clinton, our Secretary of State who has spoken so loudly for women’s rights is silent. Are Iranian women children of a lesser god? It is unfortunate that Ms. Clinton recently broke her wrist in a fall. Did she lose her voice as well?

Reprinted with permission from Magdeburgerjoe.com

Photo of the women’s ward of Evin prison in Teheran, Iran is from the Montreal Fazette

Legal and Official Rape in Iran Prisons

Aside

DONT TRACK US

When you search Google,

Fig. 1

and click on a link,

Fig. 2

your search term is usually sent to that site,

Fig. 3

along with your browser & computer info,

Fig. 4

which can often uniquely identify you.

Fig. 5

That’s creepy, but who cares about some random site?

Those sites usually have third-party ads,

Fig. 6

and those third-parties build profiles about you,

Fig. 7

and that’s why those ads follow you everywhere.

Fig. 8

That’s creepy too, but who cares about some herpes ads?

Your profile can also be sold,

Fig. 9

and potentially show up in unwanted places,

like higher prices and getting insurance.

Fig. 10

But there’s more.

Fig. 11

Remember your searches?

Fig. 12

Google also saves them.

Fig. 13

Your saved searches can be legally requested,

and then come back to bite you (happens).

Fig. 14

Or a bad Google employee could go snooping (happens).

Fig. 15

Or Google could get hacked (happens).

Fig. 16

That’s why we don’t send your searches to other sites.

Fig. 17

Or store any personal information at all.

That’s our privacy policy in a nutshell.

Fig. 18

So don’t get tracked when searching.

Use DuckDuckGo instead.  Add to Browser

Privacy is just one of many reasons why it’s awesome.

Fig. 19 Google tracks you, we don't

For maximum protection, use these apps too:

Abine Privacy suite. Firefox | Chrome
Adblock Plus Blocks ads. Firefox | Chrome
AdBlock Blocks ads. Safari | Chrome | Opera
AdSweep Blocks ads. Opera | Chrome
Beef Taco No ad network tracking. Firefox
Disconnect No tracking from major sites. Chrome | Safari
HTTPS Everywhere No tracking between you and sites. Firefox | Chrome
Tor No tracking by being anonymous. Bundle (includes Firefox)
Ghostery No third-party tracking. IE | Safari | Chrome | Firefox | Opera
RequestPolicy Manage third-party tracking. Firefox
RefControl Manage what gets sent to sites. Firefox
BetterPrivacy No tracking from Flash. Firefox | Others
NoScript Blocks JavaScript. Firefox
JavaScript Blocker Blocks JavaScript. Safari
ScriptNo Blocks JavaScript. Chrome
NotScripts Blocks JavaScript. Opera | Chrome

DuckDuckGo.Com

Aside

Wow.

 

Essay
 

The last word: He said he was leaving. She ignored him.

When Laura Munson’s husband asked for a divorce, she ducked instead of fighting. He needed to learn, she says, that his unhappiness wasn’t really about her

posted on August 13, 2009, at 11:19 AM
Happiness starts within. Eventually, my husband got it.

Happiness starts within. Eventually, my husband got it. SEE ALL 110 PHOTOS

Let’s say you have what you believe to be a healthy marriage. You’re still friends and lovers after spending more than half of your lives together. The dreams you set out to achieve in your 20s—gazing into each other’s eyes in candlelit city bistros, when you were single and skinny—have for the most part come true.

Two decades later you have the 20 acres of land, the farmhouse, the children, the dogs and horses. You’re the parents you said you would be, full of love and guidance. You’ve done it all: Disneyland, camping, Hawaii, Mexico, city living, stargazing.

Sure, you have your marital issues, but on the whole you feel so self-satisfied about how things have worked out that you would never, in your wildest nightmares, think you would hear these words from your husband one fine summer day: “I don’t love you anymore. I’m not sure I ever did. I’m moving out. The kids will understand. They’ll want me to be happy.”

But wait. This isn’t the divorce story you think it is. Neither is it a begging-him-to-stay story. It’s a story about hearing your husband say, “I don’t love you anymore” and deciding not to believe him. And what can happen as a result.

Here’s a visual: Child throws a temper tantrum. Tries to hit his mother. But the mother doesn’t hit back, lecture or punish. Instead, she ducks. Then she tries to go about her business as if the tantrum isn’t happening. She doesn’t “reward” the tantrum. She simply doesn’t take the tantrum personally because, after all, it’s not about her.

Let me be clear: I’m not saying my husband was throwing a child’s tantrum. No. He was in the grip of something else—a profound and far more troubling meltdown that comes not in childhood but in midlife, when we perceive that our personal trajectory is no longer arcing reliably upward as it once did. But I decided to respond the same way I’d responded to my children’s tantrums. And I kept responding to it that way. For four months.

“I don’t love you anymore. I’m not sure I ever did.”

His words came at me like a speeding fist, like a sucker punch, yet somehow in that moment I was able to duck. And once I recovered and composed myself, I managed to say, “I don’t buy it.” Because I didn’t.

He drew back in surprise. Apparently he’d expected me to burst into tears, to rage at him, to threaten him with a custody battle. Or beg him to change his mind.

So he turned mean. “I don’t like what you’ve become.”

Gut-wrenching pause. How could he say such a thing? That’s when I really wanted to fight. To rage. To cry. But I didn’t.

Instead, a shroud of calm enveloped me, and I repeated those words: “I don’t buy it.”

You see, I’d recently committed to a non-negotiable understanding with myself. I’d committed to “the End of Suffering.” I’d finally managed to exile the voices in my head that told me my personal happiness was only as good as my outward success, rooted in things that were often outside my control. I’d seen the insanity of that equation and decided to take responsibility for my own happiness. And I mean all of it.

My husband hadn’t yet come to this understanding with himself. He had enjoyed many years of hard work, and its rewards had supported our family of four all along. But his new endeavor hadn’t been going so well, and his ability to be the breadwinner was in rapid decline. He’d been miserable about this, felt useless, was losing himself emotionally and letting himself go physically. And now he wanted out of our marriage; to be done with our family.

But I wasn’t buying it.

I said: “It’s not age-appropriate to expect children to be concerned with their parents’ happiness. Not unless you want to create co-dependents who’ll spend their lives in bad relationships and therapy. There are times in every relationship when the parties involved need a break. What can we do to give you the distance you need, without hurting the family?”

“Huh?” he said.

“Go trekking in Nepal. Build a yurt in the back meadow. Turn the garage studio into a man-cave. Get that drum set you’ve always wanted. Anything but hurting the children and me with a reckless move like the one you’re talking about.”

Then I repeated my line, “What can we do to give you the distance you need, without hurting the family?”

“Huh?”

“How can we have a responsible distance?”

“I don’t want distance,” he said. “I want to move out.”

My mind raced. Was it another woman? Drugs? Unconscionable secrets? But I stopped myself. I would not suffer.

Instead, I went to my desk, Googled “responsible separation,” and came up with a list. It included things like: Who’s allowed to use what credit cards? Who are the children allowed to see you with in town? Who’s allowed keys to what?

I looked through the list and passed it on to him.

His response: “Keys? We don’t even have keys to our house.”

I remained stoic. I could see pain in his eyes. Pain I recognized.

“Oh, I see what you’re doing,” he said. “You’re going to make me go into therapy. You’re not going to let me move out. You’re going to use the kids against me.”

“I never said that. I just asked: What can we do to give you the distance you need … ”

“Stop saying that!”

Well, he didn’t move out.

Instead, he spent the summer being unreliable. He stopped coming home at his usual 6 o’clock. He would stay out late and not call. He blew off our entire Fourth of July—the parade, the barbecue, the fireworks—to go to someone else’s party. When he was at home, he was distant. He wouldn’t look me in the eye. He didn’t even wish me “Happy Birthday.”

But I didn’t play into it. I walked my line. I told the kids: “Daddy’s having a hard time, as adults often do. But we’re a family, no matter what.” I was not going to suffer. And neither were they.

My trusted friends were irate on my behalf. “How can you just stand by and accept this behavior? Kick him out! Get a lawyer!”

I walked my line with them, too. This man was hurting, yet his problem wasn’t mine to solve. In fact, I needed to get out of his way so he could solve it.

I know what you’re thinking: I’m a pushover. I’m weak and scared and would put up with anything to keep the family together. I’m probably one of those women who would endure physical abuse. But I can assure you, I’m not. I load 1,500-pound horses into trailers and gallop through the high country of Montana all summer. I went through Pitocin-induced natural childbirth. And a Caesarean section without follow-up drugs. I am handy with a chain saw.

I simply had come to understand that I was not at the root of my husband’s problem. He was. If he could turn his problem into a marital fight, he could make it about us. I needed to get out of the way so that wouldn’t happen.

Privately, I decided to give him time. Six months.

I had good days and I had bad days. On the good days, I took the high road. I ignored his lashing out, his merciless jabs. On bad days, I would fester in the August sun while the kids ran through sprinklers, raging at him in my mind. But I never wavered. Although it may sound ridiculous to say, “Don’t take it personally” when your husband tells you he no longer loves you, sometimes that’s exactly what you have to do.

Instead of issuing ultimatums, yelling, crying, or begging, I presented him with options. I created a summer of fun for our family and welcomed him to share in it, or not—it was up to him. If he chose not to come along, we would miss him, but we would be just fine, thank you very much. And we were.

And, yeah, you can bet I wanted to sit him down and persuade him to stay. To love me. To fight for what we’ve created. You can bet I wanted to.

But I didn’t.

I barbecued. Made lemonade. Set the table for four. Loved him from afar.

And one day, there he was, home from work early, mowing the lawn. A man doesn’t mow his lawn if he’s going to leave it. Not this man. Then he fixed a door that had been broken for eight years. He made a comment about our front porch needing paint. Our front porch. He mentioned needing wood for next winter. The future. Little by little, he started talking about the future.

It was Thanksgiving dinner that sealed it. My husband bowed his head humbly and said, “I’m thankful for my family.”

He was back.

And I saw what had been missing: pride. He’d lost pride in himself. Maybe that’s what happens when our egos take a hit in midlife and we realize we’re not as young and golden anymore.

When life’s knocked us around. And our childhood myths reveal themselves to be just that. The truth feels like the biggest sucker-punch of them all: It’s not a spouse, or land, or a job, or money that brings us happiness. Those achievements, those relationships, can enhance our happiness, yes, but happiness has to start from within. Relying on any other equation can be lethal.

My husband had become lost in the myth. But he found his way out. We’ve since had the hard conversations. In fact, he encouraged me to write about our ordeal. To help other couples who arrive at this juncture in life. People who feel scared and stuck. Who believe their temporary feelings are permanent. Who see an easy out and think they can escape.

My husband tried to strike a deal. Blame me for his pain. Unload his feelings of personal disgrace onto me.

But I ducked. And I waited. And it worked.

This essay originally appeared in The New York Times. Used with permission. All rights reserved.

The last word: He said he was leaving. She ignored him