Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Preventing Another Orlando Massacre

Last week our country was shattered by yet another senseless massacre of innocent people. A gunman opened fire inside Pulse, a crowded gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, early Sunday morning, leaving at least 49 people dead in the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history. Gays have long been targets of hate crimes throughout the world as have others as well. Heated debates in Congress and among US citizens on gun control laws have been occurring for years but as of late have intensified due to incidences such as this. Some are calling for stricter laws while others insist guns are not the issue since mass murderers will always find a way to maim and kill. The debate continues as people seek to place blame and hold someone accountable. Was it a single person? Did they have an accomplice? Was this the act of terrorists? Having a target enables us to direct our anger at someone with the ultimate goal of bringing that party or parties to justice. In doing so, we feel a momentary sense of satisfaction having restored balance to society and on some level feel a sense of power and control over our environment as well. Tougher gun laws, more surveillance cameras, an increase in security personnel, and harsher punishment for those convicted of such crimes are all considered possible deterrents to these crimes.  However, these only provide a false sense of security for the root cause of such attacks is not being addressed. 

I live nowhere near Orlando yet on some level I must share in the responsibility in this heinous act of violence perpetrated against God's sacred children. And without intent to offend, I also extend that responsibility to each and every one of us as well. Every thought entertained, every word spoken, every action taken is energy, whether positive or negative. And that energy extends throughout the world. The accumulation of every molecule of energy produced by every individual across the planet culminates at some time in some location and in some form. All of the anger, bitterness, hatred, resentment, revenge, prejudice or disdain we have created in our hearts and/or acted out against one other, is not limited to that moment in time nor does that energy dissipate of its own free will. Energy is limitless, without boundaries. What occurs in my home has the potential to impact others in the farthest corners of the Earth. I have no control over it once I've put it out there. It's like a dust particle in the wind: it will travel where it will, with no influence by me or anyone else.

If any of us has ever:
~ Spoken unkindly about another (an individual or specific group of people), deliberately hurt someone physically, emotionally, psychologically or financially, taken our anger out on them and/or failed to make amends, we are co conspirators of the Orlando tragedy.
~ If we have ever sought revenge on someone who hurt us or encouraged others to get even with those who have mistreated them, if we have divided our families, communities, or our country with inflammatory remarks or accusations, we are co conspirators of the Orlando tragedy.
~ If we have held a grudge and chosen not to forgive those who have wronged us, posted hate-filled or derogatory speech on social media, if we have been disrespectful to family members, coworkers, or total strangers, judged someone, or lied about another for our own personal gain, we are co conspirators of the Orlando tragedy.
Every act you and I commit sends the corresponding energy out into the universe. Negative intensifies negative.

 All the gun laws in the world won't prevent another Orlando from happening when the root cause is not how many guns we own nor the type of weapons that are available to us. The cause of the heinous violence committed upon our brothers and sisters is a world that is suffering from a extreme case of moral decay. A decay that stems from the following:
1. A complete lack of respect for all human life. Mankind has taken it upon themselves to relegate humanity into different categories of worth and those on the lower end of the spectrum are subject to maltreatment at the whim of the perpetrator.
2. Fear that propels humans to fight for control over one another in order to preserve the self, their beliefs, and their ways of living that differ from others.
3. Arrogance - a belief rooted in ego that denounces God's authority and His Word and proclaims individual preferences as valid and superior to that of the Divine's.
4. Lack faith in God that life is meant to unfold organically rather than forced accordance with our requirements; that whatever is in our life has purpose and value; to trust in a Divine Plan and a higher purpose to each experience.

One does not have to believe in God to be a good person. They only need to believe in the way of God to live a moral life. That is, they must value all human life as equal; respect and treat one another with kindness and dignity; accept and allow each person their differences and uniqueness; forgive those who mistreated them, whether deliberately or inadvertently; and to love without limits or conditions. Only when you and I make the pledge in our hearts to live, not merely preach, these qualities for all humanity will we ever see an end to such senseless acts of violence inflicted upon God's precious creations. Until then, we must all share in the responsibility for the loss of life in Orlando and beyond. 

I invite you to listen to a very inspiring song that addresses how we can live more peaceful harmonious lives: Listen to God's Way @

Order  The Secret Side of Anger, Second Edition or The Great Truth @

Listen to past shows on iHeart Radio @
Listen to my newest iHeart Radio show, BETWEEN YOU AND GOD, @
Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest, Google+

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

"AR You Ready to Reduce Anger in Your Relationships?"

Relationships are the most challenging aspect of life whether personal, professional, casual or intimate. Even with those we love deeply, such as family members, getting along can prove challenging. Consider this: more than half of all American families are estranged from one another due in part to unresolved differences.  Yet it is not imperative that our differences be resolved, for if they were then we would all be in agreement with one another all of the time. Not only is that is highly unlikely (or should I say, impossible) but it would prove disadvantageous for healthy relationship as well. Differences are actually wonderful opportunities for personal growth and with some effort we can learn how to coexist successfully with one another in spite of said disparities. Consider this: I'm a neat-freak; my husband is, well...not. My style of decorating is simple but unique decor; his is early garage sale. Yet neither of us has tried to convince nor argued with the other to conform to our way of living. We each respect the other person's taste and have found a way of blending them together. In some instances, we've each taken specific areas of the house that exclusively showcase our unique style while allowing our spouse space enough for theirs as well.

Acceptance: One of the greatest sources of conflict between two parties is one or both person's unwillingness to accept the other exactly where they are in their journey through life. We complain that the other party should be different (more ambitious, responsible, adventurous, thoughtful, etc), should know better (how to treat people), should be more like someone else (honest, hard-working, independent), and so on. We compare and complain rather than accept and appreciate.

A great teacher recognizes that although her freshman class is comprised of all fourteen year olds, each one has reached a different level of maturity, has different interests and talents, and learns in their own unique way and time. The teacher will customize her teaching strategy for each child in such a way as to maximize their learning experience in school. She builds a relationship with each designed to foster a healthy learning environment as well. We would be wise to model our personal and professional relationships after the teacher's strategy.

Respect: the second key component to supporting healthy relationships. Respect's universal definition, according to Webster's Dictionary, is "to value; to place value on". When we respect one another, we treat them with the dignity given to a fine work of art. On every level, we express how much we value and appreciate them as they are - as a friend, coworker, spouse, or simple as a member of our universal family. We resist the urge to pressure or shame them into being someone they're not or behaving in a manner that contradicts where they are in their life's journey of is not consistent with what they must learn in that moment. 

One of mankind's primary needs is to feel important, to be recognized for the unique person they are and to be held in high regard. One who is treated this way by others can more easily deal with the challenges that are a natural part of every relationship. When one feels unworthy, devalued or unaccepted the pain they experience can easily convert to anger as they fight for the recognition they deserve.

You can bring out the best in people or the worst. Always encourage their goodness to shine so that all may benefit from their gifts.

Order  The Secret Side of Anger, Second Edition or The Great Truth @

Listen to past shows on iHeart Radio @
Listen to my newest iHeart Radio show, BETWEEN YOU AND GOD, @
Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest, Google+

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

An In-Depth Look at Anger

According to psychologist Charles Speilberger, Ph.D who specializes in the study of anger, “Anger is an emotional state that varies from mild irritation to intense fury and rage. It's accompanied by physiological, psychological and biological changes. When you get angry, your heart rate and blood pressure elevate, as does the level of energy hormones adrenalin and noradrenalin."  Anger can be triggered by thousands of external events but in reality, every feeling we have is the direct result of our thought process. Therefore, whatever thoughts you are formulating about the event you are witnessing or experiencing actually leads to feelings of anger. For example, a driver cuts me off on the highway. I can say to myself (my thoughts), "This guy's an idiot!" and trigger feelings of rage (intense anger). Or, I can choose to express relief that I was able to avoid a collision. "Thank God I have quick reflexes!", thus producing feelings of gratitude and good fortune. 

Nationally renowned speaker Israel Kalman, MS, offers further insight into anger and defines it as an emotional drive to defeat anyone or anything that we perceive as a threat. In this regard, anger alerts us to the fact that we, or someone or something else, is perceived to be in danger. Adrenalin and noradrenalin prepare us for the flight or fight mode as a means to restore our safety. 

Whenever anger arises, we have several options available to us as to how to handle it. First and foremost, we can train ourselves to monitor our thoughts, thus choosing those that produce the most advantageous emotions. I can teach myself to see the goodness and benefits of whatever enters my life as opposed to always seeking the negative. While this may not work 100% of the time, it can become our default method of experiencing life. 

Secondly, we can choose to control anger in the moment. This can prove beneficial under certain circumstances where remaining calm is more advantageous than an immediate expression of our outrage. In a recent incident, a woman was on the verge of being raped. Her husband, naturally enraged, attacked the assailant in an effort to protect his wife.  However, his rage was overpowering and he eventually killed the attacker. Now facing manslaughter charges, had he momentarily controlled his rage, he most likely could have avoided such devastating consequences.

Thirdly, once the anger has manifest, we can choose to safely express it verbally or choose benign ways of expending it, such as through physical activity. Readjusting our expectations, forgiving those who have offended us, accepting that which we have no control over in life, appreciating every person and event that enters our life as a necessary part of our journey, and prayer are just some of the techniques that help alleviate anger in any of its stages.

In conclusion, remember that anger is an emotion and like all other emotions is neither good or bad, right or wrong. It’s what we do with our anger and how we manage it that makes it a motivating force for positive change or a destructive one that creates additions problems in our lives. 

Remember the formula called T~E~C~O Magic: your Thoughts create your Emotions which cause you to make certain Choices.  And everything we say or do has an Outcome. If you are not happy with the results of how you handled your anger, change  your thought process and everything that follows will change as well. Negative thoughts ultimately produce negative results; positive = positive. 

Order  The Secret Side of Anger, Second Edition or The Great Truth @

Listen to past shows on iHeart Radio @
Listen to my newest iHeart Radio show, BETWEEN YOU AND GOD, @

Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest, Google+

A special thanks to my guest, Bob Ciampi, LCSW. Find Bob @
Bob runs a General Psychotherapy group in Montclair, NJ. Call (973) 865.5012 for details.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

How to Start and/or Stop an Argument

Being a part of any relationship for a period of time affords an individual the opportunity to learn what works and what doesn't with each respective person. I may be able to discuss politics with Uncle Joe but Aunt Sue? Never! He's open minded to other people's views and enjoys a lively debate. Aunt Sue, on the other hand, is opinionated, is a right-fighter (one who always has to be right as Dr. Phil refers to them), and becomes nasty with those who disagree with her. I can joke around with my husband and refer to him as my "hairless honey" but my friend Steve is very sensitive about his lack of locks. 

One of my favorite topics to discuss is God. I'm madly in love with Him and like a teenage who's fallen in love for the first time, I can't stop thinking and talking about Him. But try to have a discussion about our Lord with a defensive non believer and you may be in for a rough ride. (I learned that lesson the hard way on facebook - some of them can get down-right ugly!)

We all know what topics we can discuss with certain people and which ones to avoid. We also know what turns a harmless discussion into a vicious argument. (A disagreement is not synonymous with argument by the way. The first is simply a difference of opinion. The latter engenders hostility and sometimes aggression.) Granted, there are those who love the drama - they seek out opportunities to incite a good fight. I'm not one of them. While I enjoy a good debate, I abhor arguing and will do my best to avoid it. Then, too, there are some who engage in a discussion and wonder why every conversation results in quarreling and hurt feelings. "People are so sensitive! Everything you say they take the wrong way." They fail to recognize their own contributions to the contamination of the dialogue. 

Here are some surefire tips to convert any conversation into an argument:
  • Know what issues the other party is sensitive to or passionate about. Engage one of those topics for discussion.
  • Know what to say or do to provoke them, being certain to push their buttons whenever possible.
  • Infuse a hefty dose of criticism, sarcasm, and insults. Insert a few expletives and round it off with a threat or two for good measure.
  • Always be right. Never admit to being mistaken about anything.
  • Be as arrogant and close minded as possible. Never listen to or consider the other person's position.
  • Exaggerate and embellish whenever possible. This will certainly destroy your credibility.
If you would prefer to keep things civil, try the following:
  • Refuse to engage in highly sensitive or provoking topics. Don't initiate or participate in them regardless of how much the other party persists.
  • Stay out of other people's business. If it does not concern you do not be concerned.
  • If necessary, walk away before the conversation turns nasty.
  • Remain open and respectful of the other person's position. Acknowledge their feelings, beliefs, and needs even if you don't understand or agree with them.
  • Be sensitive and kind but firm when necessary.  When speaking, be crystal clear and judiciously concise.
  • Carefully choose your words, tone of voice, and attitude. Always consider how they would sound to you if the other party said them.
  • If the situation becomes heated, know what to say or do to calm things down. A simple validation is often enough. "I can see how important this issue is to you."
  • Don't take personal offense to what the other party is saying. Their behavior mirrors their inner self and is in no way a reflection of you.
Discussions are a vital aspect of every healthy relationship and enable individuals to acquire greater knowledge of one another, the issue at hand, to find resolution whenever necessary. They also serve as a means to  strengthen the rapport between all parties. With a few simple techniques and a bit of restraint, anyone can keep a dialogue civil and productive. 

Order  The Secret Side of Anger, Second Edition or The Great Truth @
Listen to past shows on iHeart Radio @
Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest, Google+