Friday, January 31, 2014

I Want to Understand Points of View Other Than My Own

I've been puzzling for days over Mike Huckabee's comment that Democrats are trying to make women think we need the help of the government to regulate our libidos.  I'm completely lost.  Since he said it in terms of birth control, I guess it must mean that if women could regulate our libidos, we wouldn't need birth control.  I guess if I would have been able to regulate my libido, I would never have become pregnant accidentally. 

I guess unwanted pregnancies are a function of women's unregulated libido rather than lack of birth control.  Which adds up to:  don't have sex unless you want to get pregnant - which would be about twice in a lifetime for most women.  Not only would we women have to have tight control on our libido, that would pretty much mean a whole lot less sex for men - except and unless they paid for it or got it from women who wanted endless numbers of kids. 

Well, I can't really figure this out.  Was he serious?  Is that really what a lot of conservative men think? 

Sunday, January 19, 2014

I'm Censoring Myself

Sometimes my mental censorship is a good thing.  Sometimes it's not.  A lot of what I think is not necessarily a good thing to share.  I used to believe that my thoughts were the truth and that they represented me - who I am.  I've learned - and a fabulously helpful lesson it was - that a great many of my thoughts are pretty meaningless.

One of the spiritual journeys I've taken and am still on, is the practice of watching my thoughts.  Some of what I observe might be useful to someone else even though I would probably get quite a bit of disagreement from a number of people.  When I'm watching my thoughts, I try to set aside those things that might be useful from just the random stuff that wanders through my mind.

It occurs to me from time to time that all of us seem to be focusing on a bunch of things that are pretty irrelevant to our quality of life and ignoring things that might really help us live our best lives.  I can't speak for anyone but myself, but when I'm ignoring stuff that could really be in my best interests to pay attention to, I'm usually unconsciously trying to protect myself from noticing that I am the one who could stand to make some changes!

Here are some things I tend to censor:

Nutrition - It's clear from all the scientific research that the quality of our lives is hugely dependent on what we put in our mouths.  In relation to how massively important it is, the amount of attention I pay to what I eat is pretty small.

Exercise - I have many, many excuses for why this item isn't near the top of my priority list.  After all, I'm kind of old, kind of disabled, and what do you expect of poor little old me?  Oh, come on:  once again exercise is at the top of the researchers' list for creating quality of life.

Meditation - Many amazing things have been discovered by studying regular meditators.  It doesn't seem to matter what religion they are or if they even have one, but spending some time being quiet and still for a few minutes every day seems to make a huge difference in their stress levels, their ability to get along with other people, etc. etc. 

Okay, okay.  I'll stop censoring the thoughts about these obvious priorities and put some more effort into them instead of the bologna I usually pay attention to and report back.

Responsibilities I Believe I Must Take Seriously

I recently had a conversation with a friend who was very upset with a couple of people whom she's close to in her life.  Being a very talented problem solver, I started trying to share some ideas about ways to solve the conflicts without trying to change the other person.

She got even more upset - probably because she was venting not problem solving and I was wrecking her vent with solutions.  The thing is, she had already told me about these problems multiple times and in my mind the venting wasn't doing either of us any good. 

My responsibility that I lost track of in that conversation because I was trying to please her, was my responsibility to myself.  Once I realized she wasn't in a problem-solving mood, I could have just excused myself politely from the conversation.  But because I care about her and knew there were some easy solutions that would take her out of her upset, I foolishly tried to convince her to problem solve.

What a waste of time that was!  I ended by apologizing for my foolishness and made a mental note to at least remember to ask people who are venting, if they want me to help them problem-solve or not. 

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