Wednesday, February 24, 2016

How to Change Without Changing (and Why It's Important)

Not everyone likes change. Some are comfortable precisely where they are and prefer to stay within their comfort zone.  Others are more adventurous and enjoy a good challenge. They are more open to trying new things in order to experience something new or perhaps to learn something that will positively impact their life. There is one change, however, that everyone resists: that is when others tell us we must be someone other than who we are. They may try to persuade us to change our way of thinking or the way in which we do things. Those with low self-esteem or who are fearful of rejection may succumb to the demands of others. For everyone else, it is arrogant and disrespectful to ask anyone to be anything other than who they are. Yet deep down inside, we know that everything in the universe is in a constant state of flux and that the opposite of movement is stagnation. So is it possible to actually change without changing? Consider the following:

What can't I change? First and foremost, I need to acknowledge who I am. I am a child of God, a sacred creation of the Divine Source of Love. Who I am intrinsically is pre-ordained. Just as I cannot change my DNA which is given to me by my biological parents, neither can I alter my inherent nature. I am love; I am kindness; I am forgiveness; I am all that is sacred and holy. I am one with Divine Energy. I may be athletic or artistic, shy or gregarious, spontaneous or cautious. I may possess a propensity for that which is contrary and bring it forth to some degree but I can never amend my fundamental self, nor is it necessary since God only creates perfection. 

What I do have the ability to change without changing myself are the following: 

Perception: I can alter the way in which I perceive life, individuals, myself, and situations. Since it is my perception, and not reality, that dictates the choices I make I can teach myself to view all of the above from a more insightful and truthful perspective. I can remove judgments of those who differ from me and replace them with understanding and acceptance. I can look at all of life's challenges and injustices as opportunities in disguise. Each can be a gift for me, thus enabling me to be more appreciative and less angry at their appearance in my life. I can remove the notion that life is unfair and view it for what it really is: exactly fair. Each of us gets exactly what is necessary for our personal and spiritual growth. I can see myself though the eyes of patience and compassion rather than condemn myself for my perceived flaws and mistakes.

Attitude: Attitude is easier to change than most realize. Attitude is a combination of what we think and how we feel. All feelings come from the thoughts we choose to entertain in our mind - our internal dialog, what we say to ourselves. A  bad or negative attitude can ruin my day, sabotage my relationships, impact my health and success in life, and overall make me miserable. If I cannot change my circumstances I can certainly change my attitude about them. 

Behavior: It is also necessary to change my behaviors at times. I would not consider behaving as I did when I was three years old or as I did as a teenager. As I grow and mature, periodically it is necessary to re examine how I do things, how I treat others, and how I treat myself. In any given situation and with each specific individual, I may need to alter my actions in order to better accommodate each. 

But why should I change? As I stated before, the opposite to change is inertia, being motionless. When water becomes stagnant it becomes a breeding ground for bacteria and the stench is repugnant. Water that is in a state of motion supports life. Change allows for growth and 
improvement not only for the individual but for all those affected as well. When I change my perception, I can view an issue as an opportunity rather than an obstacle. My attitude enables me to take a positive approach to life verses a pessimistic one, thereby ensuring I more fully enjoy my time on this Earth. When I readjust my behaviors, I make smarter choices that result in greater rewards and fewer consequences in every aspect of my life. 

One would not consider wearing the same items of clothing day after day. Changing one's clothing is necessary for good personal hygiene plus our wardrobe also impacts how we feel about ourselves and how the world perceives us. And it affects the nature of our relationships as well. Periodically, it's healthy to replace worn out clothing or items that no longer fit us with more suitable attire. So  it is with periodically changing our perceptions, attitudes, and behaviors. Each one impacts our mental outlook on life, the choices we make, and the way in which we interact with one another. Through a process of change and growth, we can continually improve our lives and experience greater happiness and more inner peace. And that eliminates anger. 

So go ahead and change but don't change a single thing about you. Intrinsically, you're perfect just the way you are. 

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, February 17, 2016

Your Best Defense Against Anger

Check out Webster's dictionary. Anger is defined as "a feeling of discomfort or displeasure brought about by feelings of helplessness and powerlessness." My personal definition of a victim is one who views themselves as having no power or authority. Many times, a victim will claim that in a certain situation where they made a less than ideal decision, they did so because they had no choice. "I had to pay my mechanic for fixing my car even though I know he overcharged me. I had no choice!" This leaves the individual feeling cheated, taken advantage of, and treated unfairly. The natural reaction is anger since is produces a momentary feeling of power.

There are also many who believe they cannot choose how they feel, that it is others who have dominion over their emotional state of mind. Such comments as "You make me angry", "You hurt my feelings"  or "You embarrassed me" indicate that others determine how one will feel based on what they are doing or saying. Outside circumstances ("Rainy days make me feel depressed") assign that power to external environment. In each scenario, one runs the risk of reacting to the situation rather than carefully choosing how to respond. Reactionary behaviors are rarely productive since they lack intellectual consideration and self-control. One can easily cause any situation to escalate based on poor reactionary choices. 

So what is the best defense against anger? It is a two-fold process. The first is intellect. We have each been given a reasonable amount of intelligence. We are able to collect data, process it, sort it out, and reach a conclusion. In any given circumstance, a rational mind can logically collect all relevant information and determine right from wrong, good from bad, logical from illogical, and so forth. Once complete, a decision can be made based on the desired outcome and the most logical process to achieve it. 

The second  is the power of choice. Each of us has been given the ability to determine for ourselves what we will say or do, how will we proceed to do so, what actions we will take or refrain from, and when we will end the process. Free will, even in the event that I have no control over my current circumstances, enables me to exercise my  authority over my own feelings, thoughts, and actions. No one can dictate how I think about an individual, situation, or event. No one can determine how I feel about said person or what is occurring. Nor can anyone dictate how I respond. Hard as they may try, inevitably I alone determine each of these for myself. Additionally, I choose how I will allow this event to affect me. 

Choice extends beyond the obvious as well. One can choose to be angry with a particular person or situation or not. Every emotion results from our thoughts. I can choose to be judgmental and angry with someone for not conforming to my ways or I can decide to be understanding and accepting. I can get angry when I am treated unfairly or be grateful that I am a forgiving person. 

The best defense against anger is found in our intellect and ability to choose. Therefore, be smart, think things through thoroughly, and choose wisely. Less anger allows for more happiness. It's a no brainer. 

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, February 10, 2016

The Truth About Love, Hurt, and Anger

We're all familiar with the phrase, "love hurts". Too often, we take a witty cliché and assign truth to it. We then refer to it in times when it brings comfort, helps us to make a decision, or emphasizes a point. In reference to "love hurts", those who have been betrayed by someone they  loved and trusted may be deeply wounded by their actions and vow never to love again. One who has buried a loved one, either human or pet, feels the excruciating pain of the loss and refuses to ever allow themselves to feel so deeply for another living creature. And while many singer/songwriters have declared the heartache associated with love, the truth is that it is not love that causes pain. That, in fact, contradicts the very nature of love. In 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8, the Bible tells us that "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  Love never fails." If, in fact, love doesn't hurt then where does all the pain come from in relationships? 

Hurt, one of the three root causes of anger, is the result of such behaviors as:
  • Disrespect - when one feels devalued due to the words or actions of the other party.
  • Anger - raging against the other party rather than calmly discussing what's bothering you.
  • Expressing little if any regard for their partner's feelings or well-being.  
  • Being left out or ignored  - a covert message that you are not important.
  • Pain results when one fails to keep their word, when a promise or trust is broken - the very foundation upon which a loving relationship is built in order to survive and thrive. Clearly the offending party does not consider their partner nor the relationship important enough to remain trustworthy.
  • One who betrays their beloved by finding another love interest sends a clear message that there is another who is superior to them, one that they hold in higher regard and care more deeply for.
  • A partner asking or insisting that the other one change relays a very powerful message that "You are not ok the way you are."
  • To place unrealistic expectations or demands on one's companion creates added stress that clearly shows a lack of regard for the other person's health or happiness.
  • Hurt in relationships occurs when one party takes personal offense to the actions of the other or judges or labels their partner.
  • Clearly, actual love is not the source of our suffering. It is in our selfish attitudes, insecurities, and mean-spirited behaviors that hurt originates.
If not recognized and healed, hurt can easily escalate to anger, an emotion that restores our sense of power and fights to re-establish our authority and control in the relationship.

Love is a choice, a decision to always see the goodness in the other person, to see God's presence within them. It is a verb, an action word, to always honor and value (respect) them, to treat them as though they are the most priceless gift in your life even and especially when we are upset with them.
Love is thoughtful, kind, compassionate, considerate, accepting and appreciative. It sacrifices for the good of the other, and puts their love's best interest above their own. Love supports that which is important to the other, refrains from criticism (even the so-called constructive version), and wishes for nothing but abundant blessings to flow into their lives. It is never jealous but rather encourages as much love to enter that person's life as possible from other sources as well.

Keep in mind that what you say to yourself about your partner determines how you feel about them. It is your thoughts that dictate your feelings.*And your feelings determine how well or poorly you treat them. Therefore, if you want to feel more love, think loving thoughts. It's that simple. 

Valentine's Day, although promoted as a day for romantic lovers, is also the perfect time to remind anyone and everyone in your life that you love just how deeply you hold them in your heart. Re evaluate your love relationships. If there is pain, rest assured that it is not a characteristic of love. Look closely at the above mentioned causes and take the necessary steps to correct any hurtful, selfish behaviors. Replace them with kindness, compassion, acceptance, appreciation and the like and you will witness a joyful transformation of your relationship that reflects the love you contribute. 

"I love you for who you are. I appreciate you for what you do."

*Refer to TECO Magic in The Secret Side of Anger
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, February 3, 2016

3 Must Have's That Resolve Conflict

Conflict is a natural and even healthy aspect of life. It enables us to see another perspective of an issue, to creatively discuss and seek solutions to our differences, to learn to be open-minded and flexible, to practice the fine art of compromise or in some instances to graciously concede to the other party's wishes.  On many levels, it can be a very useful tool for our personal growth and development enabling us to better get along with one another. Yet for a large portion of the population, conflict spells f-i-g-h-t, from which we either prepare our defenses or flee the scene in haste. It's not uncommon for some to engage in the conflict resolution process only to be met with frustration and an unsatisfactory conclusion. 

Here are three must have's that enable us to determine the success of finding a solution to our differences. They are:

Communication: a critical technique that few are proficient in, communication is absolutely essential to successfully expressing our point of view, to clarify what outcome we are seeking, and to be able to listen to and understand the other party's position as well. Here are a few simple but powerful techniques to employ when expressing yourself:
  • Listen and speak from a compassionate position rather than a purely intellectual one. Be willing to not only understand logically what the other person is saying but also to feel their emotions as well. This provides a deeper level of understanding. Listen with the intent of understanding, not to determine your response.
  • Speak without offending; listen without defending. That means to speak truthfully and honestly but with concern for the other person's feelings. Listen with an open mind and seriously consider what the other person is saying.
  • Avoid using the terms right or wrong. Differences are simply that: differences. They do not necessarily denote right or wrong. Allow each person to have their own opinions or preferences.
  • Eye contact conveys both confidence (in the one speaking) and interest (in the one listening). Maintaining eye contact indicates both are engaged and invested in this process.
  • Keep it brief, simple, clear, and respectful at all times. Failure to do so can lead to a breakdown in the negotiation strategy.
Care and Concern: It is absolutely critical that each individual feels they are important. From the get go, express your concern for their feelings, needs, and their satisfaction with the outcome of this process. This alleviates concerns from the other party about being treated fairly and enables them to be more relaxed, open, and cooperative. 

Capability: It is critical to be realistic in what we are seeking which will resolve this issue. Do the current circumstances allow for the outcome we desire? is the other party capable of doing what we've asked or giving us what we are seeking? An unrealistic expectation sets us up for failure which will only raise our levels of frustration and prolong the process of resolution. 

Most of our disagreements are relatively insignificant in the grand scheme of life. Keep everything in perspective. Any conflict can be reasonably resolved if both parties follow these simple recommendations. 

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+