Return to Essential Skills
What Are We
Well, just about
everything! Really, we only can shape
our inner attitudes and
what we choose to do in each moment. To
cultivate healthy thinking habits explore
Bob's Story: Learning Healthy Mental Skills
and the choices that
we make in each moment to help keep ourselves in balance.
This is quite
priceless. Just as I was posting this material to the Website server, the
server went down and I got the following message that either the computer
program or server had malfunctioned!
I wrote the following
list in1985 when I was feeling overwhelmed by all of life:
What am I
Things: Dogs barking and "dog DO",
birds chirping loudly at 4 in the morning and bird droppings, computers and technological gadgets,
appliances, cars, stereos, radios, TVs, hot water heaters, clothes to buy
and iron and keep up. EVERYTHING--that BREAKS DOWN, falls apart, and
requires attention (which is really everything).
The world: The seasons, sun,
weather, humanity's misuse of LOTS of things, wars and the military, starvation,
sickness, animals, plants, insects, moles, pollution, the seas and the
rivers, dry land and earthquakes, mountains, and ALL people.
Being human: Having feelings.
Family members' diseased conditions and my distress over it (I have felt
deep frustration, anxiety, fear, loneliness, sadness, and found myself
crying over sick family members' illnesses. I later learned how to
set better limits for myself when caring for others. Explore:
Caregiving.) Having a body, a
mind, and a spirit, limitations, needs. MANY human beings are incredibly
kind and generous! At the same time, many of them may be doing things that
are harmful to themselves or others, things that I can't control. Things
like: smoking, drinking alcohol, taking drugs, overeating, working too
Being a man or a woman, sexual
organs and function, need for intimacy, emotional cycles, body changes,
genetics, changes in appearance and metabolism.
ego: Old tapes or total
self-dislike, mood swings, personality, seriousness, not forgiving myself,
compulsive behaviors. It seems SO easy to adopt harmful patterns and habits,
and SO HARD to change or transform them.
Things I should
do: Be thoughtful, kind,
loving, considerate to all people, use gifts and talents to help people, NOT
be selfish; be happy, joyous, and free; be hard-working and contribute to
People: My mother, father,
brother, grandmother, friends, co-workers--people in my life I REALLY care
for--and I can't make it "all better" for them.
Dirty dishes, sinks, counters, messes from hobbies, old family possessions,
junk mail, flooding basements, broken windows, furnaces (and filters!),
refrigerators, stoves, and dirty ovens.
Responsibilities of life:
SELF--taking care of body and mind, support groups to deal with compulsions; WORK
AND CAREER--updating knowledge, planning and organizing, meeting deadlines;
FAMILY--concerned, helpful, involved; OTHER RELATIONSHIPS-- work, society,
Creator, friends; paying bills, concern for the world and needs of spreading
altruistic activities. Really all of life is being in relationship with self
and countless others.
Money: Loans to family and
friends, worldwide ministries, giving to poor or needy people, world system
of finance, and taxes.
Repetitive tasks: Eating,
shopping, laundry, cleaning house, work, mowing lawns, weeding, edging,
brushing our teeth and using dental floss, taking baths, washing hair and
putting on make up.
God or Creator:
He is IN CHARGE, I'm not! The world is already set up and I just dropped in
to visit! I then am born into a certain family situation which provides many
special blessings and challenges. I'm supposed to have FAITH--our Creator
demands everything of us and then apparently refuses to talk directly to us
(like out of a burning bush, as with Moses! I've always wanted a
burning-bush sign!). There IS a God and I'm NOT it!
It marches on...I can't do
everything all-at-once, nor everything I seem to need to do; the past and
the future; I only have...right now.
How about for you? What do
you feel you are powerless over?
How will you respond to the events in your life over
which you have no control?