When Loosing an Argument, Change the Subject

I am a passionate person with strong beliefs and I’m a little ornery too.  Occasionally, this combination gets me into some heated discussions.  I fight fair.  I listen to the other person’s argument with an open mind, trying to find something in it that I can agree with.  There’s no way I can know everything about everything and I understand that.  There very well may be a side that I haven’t explored yet.  I will not state anything that I do not know for sure or cannot prove.  Lastly, I work very hard at keeping my emotions under control and remain respectful.

It is very frustrating to me when the other person doesn’t even try to prove their point.  So often it’s because they just don’t know why they believe what they state.  Not only that, they wont even consider any evidence I toss their way.  It’s one thing to be ignorant of a subject.  It’s wholly another to pretend your aren’t ignorant and stick to what you say even though you can’t prove it.

A famous tactic of this breed of person is to either A) change the subject or B) personally attack their opponent.  Very seldom do I run into a person that is willing to admit that they have not thought the subject through enough to come to an educated conclusion.  I’ve been around long enough to know that it is unlikely that a person will change their stance based on one or two conversations.  It is my goal though, is to plant some seeds or nurture the seeds someone else has already planted.

Like I’ve stated before, I am under no illusion that I alone hold the secret knowledge to a happy and healthy life and am solely responsible for dispensing it.  However, I have spent a tremendous amount of time gathering, analyzing and putting into practice information on multiple aspects of life.  I’ve made bad choices and survived the consequences.  The largest difference between me and many folks is I have spent a great deal of time learning from my mistakes instead of hiding them and remaining ignorant.

Wanna debate? Let’s go!  Teach me something, but please be open to possibly learning something too – I promise it wont kill you.

The Lent we Choose vs. The Lent we’re Given

Years ago I read an article about a young lady who reflected on a rough year. She had planned a very holy lent filled with sacrifices and prayer. Towards the beginning of lent she was in a terrible accident and ended up in a body cast. Instead of serving she was stuck in bed and forced to allow others to serve her. Every year I try to keep the lessons she learned in mind. Lent and life in general is not all up to us to plan. We have to be soft to God’s will and find opportunities to grow in our faith in the circumstances we’re handed. This year I planned to avoid hitting the snooze button and have more time for morning prayer and get to work on time. Then several challenging health diagnosises were sent my way. We also endured a health scare with my young daughter. My addicted husband and the strain that puts on my family is always difficult. Truly all of life’s trials seem more difficult when you marriage isn’t on track.

When will We Learn Rules are Good for Us?

When I was little I was told to not touch the hot stove – I wanted to see for myself what would happen and touched it anyway.  Quickly I learned there’s a good reason I shouldn’t touch a hot stove.  As a young driver I learned all the rules of the road before I was allowed to drive.  Once I was turned loose with that license and 4000 pound killing machine I decided speed limits were suggestions and more applicable to  old people with slow reflexes.  Besides bad things just don’t happen to ME.  I ended up getting scared into submission when I attended the funeral of a friend and fellow lead foot.

I’m not a genius and sometimes I have to make the same mistake a couple of times before I get it, but I do get it at some point.  Not everyone does.  I know a lady who is focused on pleasing herself.  Nothing will ever come between her and her fun – not her child, ex husband, rules, nothing.  If she wants to do it she will find a way.  Her amazing determination could take her so many places, but sadly it usually only takes her to the bar. She often brings home the flavor of the night and cant figure out why she feels more empty and sad the next morning.  She got what she wanted.  Why isn’t she happy? Read the rest of this entry »

I Do What I Don’t Want To

Sneaking a cookieBeing good is hard.  It doesn’t matter how old you are there is always temptation lurking.  One seemingly innocent temptation leads to an other less innocent one which leads to an even less innocent one and so on.  We can have an impact on temptation by being weary of the so-called innocent temptations since they are the easiest to say no to, but the problem is they are the hardest to recognize.

For the child it might be sneaking a cookie before supper.  If this is done successfully it may make them feel brave enough to try sneaking money out of mom’s purse.  If this is done successfully it may make them feel brave enough to try….?

For a teen or an adult a little innocent flirting with someone they shouldn’t can easily lead to more suggestive conversations and it’s no secret where that can lead.

I don’t think people want to do bad things or make the wrong choices.  Nobody wakes up in the morning and decides today is the day they’ll try their first drug, become a prostitute or have an affair.  A bunch of tiny little choices leads up to those kinds of decisions.  Collectively, those tiny little choices place us in positions where we are forced to choose between turning a trick and something that sounds a lot worse.

I don’t declare a day to be a bad one.
“Here this!  Today is going to be a bad day for me.  All you selfish, grumpy, controlling people gather around and do your stuff.  All the pleasant people should go home and take a nap.  I wont be acknowledging your presence today.  That is all.  Thank you.”Bad day announcement
Yet I allow them to happen.  The aggravating co-worker draws a glare or snide comment out of me.  I let the inconsiderate driver  make me yell obscenities.  The shopper that is totally unaware of anyone else in the world but them and the product they are after destroys my mood.  I know better than to let this happen and yet it happens.

It usually starts with a nagging, negative thought that I can’t get out of my head – a memory of a mean comment or a situation that I can’t solve.  Once I let these thoughts take over, I’m already defeated before anyone else even has a chance to attack.  My patients becomes the tablet you toss in the fishbowl when your going on vacation.  All the hungry fish take bites out of me until my patients totally dissolves.  I try to be aware of it when this happens and turn my attitude around before it’s taken out on some undeserving soul.  There are times that the best I can do is to just remove myself from everyone for awhile. It’s important to not allow this way of being to become a way of life.

No matter how far down the wrong path we have allowed ourselves to go, we must give ourselves permission to turn around.  This takes a tremendous amount of courage because usually other people are involved.  These people expect us to behave in certain ways.  When we start acting in new ways some of them will start putting pressure on us.  They demand to know where all the changes came from and why.  We’re afraid they will be hurt or we will loose them if we change any further.  So we balance between the hurt that our behavior causes us and the hurt that may be caused if we change.  Bad move.  Become the best you can be and never cease becoming.  Anyone that holds you back, isn’t worth holding on to – let them leave.

Others may be skeptical of the sincerity of our adjustments and wait for us to fail.  We are so afraid to prove them right, that we remain frozen.  We think a failed attempt will make our goal even more impossible.  Truthfully, every failure can bring us closer to perfection if we allow it.  People who struggle and succeed are much more robust than those who just succeed.

Make overMaking changes is hard even without outside pressure.  It requires going against the grain of who we’ve become.  It requires being open to criticism from ourselves.   Sometimes we have spent so much time sleep walking through life that we wake up one day not knowing who we’ve become.  Staying awake and being in control of our lives instead of allowing life to be something that happens to us takes practice.  It is so easy to fall back into the same old rut because the hours of digging out makes us weary.  We make excuses for giving up, ‘I’ve survived this long living this way there’s no point in changing now’.

Once we commit to change, we have to understand that it isn’t going to happen overnight.  It takes drastic changes inside before they are evident on the outside.  We must expect to fall down occasionally and forgive ourselves when it happens.  No matter how hard we try, we are always going to end up doing something that we don’t want to do.  The important this is to learn how to recover from those moments of weakness and not allow those moments to become habits.

What is it that you do, that you don’t want to?

Living Life with your Eyes Wide Open

I had a tendency to deny what I didn’t want to believe.  Head in SandThis is not a trait that was unique to me.  A lot of people still do it everyday.  As long as they can find other people to proclaim the same beliefs, they don’t need to know why they hold it.  If someone else believes this, it must be true and so they cling to the belief like their life depended on it.  Any evidence to the contrary is immediately disregarded without a second thought.  So the belief, or set of beliefs, stays with them like an insurance policy – not completely understood, but always there just in case circumstances call for it.  People who fail to analyze their beliefs and refuse to acknowledge the possibility of an other way, fail to Read the rest of this entry »

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How to Raise Brats

bratChildren will always live up to our expectations.  Have you come to expect your kids to act up when you’re on the phone?  They can tell.  They easily adjust their behavior and act out when they know they can get away with it.  They also behave differently for different care takers.  Do your children behave far better for the sitter than you?  It is natural for your children to challenge you more than the other adults in their lives.  Hopefully, they are around you more and feel more comfortable with you than any other adult.  However, if you can never get through a shopping trip without at least one grand-mal fit and the sitter routinely has problem-free outings, you may consider making some adjustments.

Discipline minus love equals rebellion, but love minus discipline equals insecurity. – Joe White in “What Kids Wish Parents Knew about Parenting”

Most behavior problems stem from a combination of Read the rest of this entry »

Preparing Teens to say I Do

WeddingPicking the right one will not guarantee a blissful marriage free of hurt and struggle.  Hurt and struggle are normal and healthy ingredients to all marriages.  There are some things you can do to minimize your struggle and increase the likeliness of a marriage that lasts.

The first and most important thing you can do is protect your dignity.

It is a huge misconception that the teenage years are meant for nothing more than Read the rest of this entry »

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