How to succeed at being highly miserable

January 1, 2014

Recently I read an article by Cloe Madanes, The 14 Habits of Highly Miserable People: How to Succeed at Self-Sabotage (Psychotherapy Networker, Nov.-Dec., 2013, pp. 42ff).  What struck me was that if we want to be (and stay) miserable, we can make it happen.

Here’s how to succeed at being highly miserable:

  • Feed your sense of entitlement, never ask for help, stay isolated, take all that is said and done to you personally, and commit to not practicing gratitude.
  • While there are many resources for support all around us, to succeed at being highly miserable you just have to ignore them, make yourself the center of the universe, and do only those things that make you happy.
  • Even though your mind and heart are capable of growth and maturity, choose to allow only those things into your life that bring you pleasure.  Ignore the pain you cause and blame everything wrong on others.
  • Instead of keeping part of your heart open and supple, shut yourself off from everything except your own thoughts and desires.
  • Though you could give to others and relieve their suffering, practice greed and the arrogance that keeps everything you own always in your grasp.
  • Despite the power of hope, never believe things might change and get better.

Yes, practice these principles and you will be quite successful at being highly miserable.

 

 

 

What you feed grows

January 1, 2014

Inside all of us live two natures.  The one we feed is the one that grows.

While there are many parts within, when we work to increase self-energy, we give those parts the opportunity to heal and return to their preferred roles.  When we are wounded, experience losses, are betrayed, abused, or neglected, our self-energy is diminished or even goes into hiding.  When that happens, it like the designated leader abdicates and the children are left to run the home.  While all parts are always welcome and well-intentioned, they are not equipped to lead.  It is important to help our parts heal and invite and strengthen self-energy.  How do we do this?

This brings us to what we feed.  When we feed our fears, feed our isolation by refusing to ask for help, and feed our immature behaviors, we grow deeper into darkness.  We we feed our anger, selfishness, and sense of entitlement, we fall deeper into despair.

Yet, when we feed hope, belief in our God-given goodness, and belief that things can change and we can change, we grow larger.  When we feed the belief that a power greater than ourselves can bring a bright present and future, we grow stronger.  When we feed awareness that when we do our part with openness and honesty  that the outcome will be OK, then we grow in character and integrity.

What are you feeding?

What not to expect from marriage counseling

January 1, 2014

Getting married is easy; staying happily married is hard.  One of the overlooked requirements for getting and staying married is being an adult, which includes the maturity to give and receive.  All healthy relationships reflect the universal law of taking turns.  Just like many of us had the opportunity to learn in kindergarten, everybody gets a turn; none get to eat the whole candy bar; we share.

Don’t expect to enter marriage counseling to get your partner to change.  Enter prepared to make changes yourself.  Actually, whether your partner changes or not is none of your business.  Don’t let the pain keep you focused on blaming.

For each behavior you desire from your partner, be prepared to give your partner their desired behavior.  For each change you desire, be prepared to make a change yourself.   A satisfying marriage relationship calls each partner to make regular deposits in each other’s emotional bank accounts.  When we have sufficient emotional reserves, we can tolerate more frustration and give more grace to those close to us.

Getting married is easy; staying married in a satisfying relationship is effortful; it will make you sweat.  Yet, when we learn effective relational skills and practice them, we grow.  When we get stuck and don’t know what to do next, we ask for help.  All this requires that we be adults who are open to growing and maturing.

 

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