July 30, 2013

Jell-O as in Oh-NO!!


My legs feel like Jell-O as in Oh-NO!! lol I didn’t exercise yesterday. I was pretty down in the dumps depressed and just wasn’t into much of anything. Today, I didn’t think I was going to exercise at all but then my husband said, “Hey...let’s go ride our bikes!” On top of that I have been battling a summer cold. I’ve been trying to push myself to get on the treadmill anyway and for the most part I have been doing alright in that department. So…we rode to the school, threw our bikes over the fence. While the hubs rode with the kids on the track I jogged the straight-aways, skipped the curves, did some triceps dips on the football benches, ran through the sprinkler, walked, and jogged long enough to get in 4 laps around the track. Then we rode our bikes home. I could feel my heart beat through my throat! I know I’m going to feel better about this later but when I’m doing it—boy does it suck!! No pain, no gain—right?? A friend of mine showed me that Plank Challenge up there. I think I'll give that a go!!

Rise



Yes I will rise
Out of these ashes rise
From this trouble I have found
And this rubble on the ground I will rise

Cause He who is in me
Is greater than I will ever be
And I will rise

Elie Wiesel Quote


10 On Tues: No Contact, No more, NO


1. Dealing with a sociopath Have absolutely No Contact: The best way to deal with a sociopath is not to deal with him. Reject him. Cut him off. Have absolutely No Contact. No Contact means do not talk to him on the phone. Do not send, open or reply to e-mail. No instant messages or text messages. No cards, letters or packages. And certainly do not see him. (All of this applies to female sociopaths as well.) If you’re in the midst of legal battles with the sociopath, let all communication go through your lawyer, accountant or another intermediary. (Make sure they understand how sociopaths operate.)

2. No contact is easier said than done: If you’ve been snared by a sociopath, you may find that you have difficulty maintaining No Contact. You may find yourself thinking about the good times and wanting to talk to him or her. Here are some of the reasons—and why they are not good reasons.

3. You’re still in love: The person you loved never existed. It was an illusion created by the sociopath to manipulate you. If you still have feelings for him or her, they are feelings for what you wanted the relationship to be, not for what he or she actually is.

4. You feel sorry for him or her: The sociopath may cry, plead and grovel, insisting that he or she will change. You want to believe. Unfortunately, this is not possible with sociopaths—they do not change. The predator is using the pity play, trying to take advantage of your good nature and suck you in again. Don’t fall for it.

5. You don’t want to admit you were wrong: You may have a lot invested in the relationship—especially if the sociopath has been taking money from you—and you don’t want to lose everything. You think you can force this person to make you whole. Yes, you may negotiate, and he or she may agree to repay you. But don’t expect to actually see your money.

6. You want to have the last word: You want him or her to understand how hurt you are. You want this person to apologize. Here’s what you need to know: The sociopath will never understand your feelings, because sociopaths have no empathy. If he or she apologizes, it will only be a tactic to bleed you some more.

7. Better the devil you know: Some people would rather put up with emotional, psychological and even physical abuse than face the unknown. If this is you, understand that it is unlikely the sociopath will treat you any better in the future, and it is very likely that he or she will treat you worse. The unknown may be scary, but it also offers a chance for a new life.

8. Change the dynamics: Why is No Contact important? Sociopaths are experts at breaking down their victims, piece by piece. If you have contact with him or her, you will be back in the game and the sociopath will continue to manipulate you. To begin your recovery, you must put him or her out of your life. With No Contact, you are saying “no more.”

9. If you must have contact: Unfortunately, you may have no choice but to have contact with the sociopath, especially if you have children with him. If you’re in this situation, here are two important guidelines: Always be on mental red alert when dealing with a sociopath. Never deal with a sociopath alone; have a witness.

10. Out of the blue: Months or even years after you end it with the sociopath, he may show up again. He’ll tell you he’s in trouble, and you’re the only one who can help him. What do you do? Don’t bail him out. Ignore him. Let him suffer the consequences of his behavior. He’s testing to see if he can start bleeding you again. Remember, sociopaths do not change.

Hat Tip: LoveFraud.com
Image Source: Pinterest Pin

July 29, 2013

You Never Let Go



Oh no, You never let go
Through the calm and through the storm
Oh no, You never let go
In every high and every low
On no, You never let go
Lord, You never let go of me

July 28, 2013

Sociopaths Never Do


As a counterpoint to sociopathy, the condition of NARCISSISM is particularly interesting and instructive. NARCISSISM is, in a metaphorical sense, one half of what sociopathy is. Even clinical NARCISSISTS are able to feel most emotions as strongly as anyone else does, from guilt and sadness to desperate love and passion. The half that is missing is the crucial ability to understand what other people are feeling. NARCISSISM is a failure not of conscience but of empathy, which is the capacity to perceive emotions in others and so react to them appropriately. The poor NARCISSIST cannot see past his own nose, emotionally speaking, and as with the Pillsbury Doughboy, any input from the outside will spring back as if nothing had happened. Unlike sociopaths, NARCISSISTS often are in psychological pain, and may sometimes seek psychotherapy. When a NARCISSIST looks for help, one of the underlying issues is usually that unbeknownst to him, he is alienating his relationships on account of his lack of empathy with others, and is feeling confused, abandoned, and lonely. He misses the people he loves, and is ill-equipped to get them back. Sociopaths, in contrast, do not care about other people, and so do not miss them when they are alienated or gone, except as one might regret the absence of a useful appliance that one had somehow lost.

For their own reasons, sociopaths sometimes marry, but they never marry for love. They cannot fall genuinely in love, not with their spouses, their children, or even a pet. Clinicians and researchers have remarked that where the higher emotions are concerned, sociopaths can “know the words but not the music.” They must learn to appear emotional as you and I would learn a second language, which is to say, by observation, imitation, and practice. And just as you or I, with practice, might become fluent in another language, so an intelligent sociopath may become convincingly fluent in “conversational emotion.” In fact, this would seem to be only a mildly challenging intellectual task, quite a lot easier than learning French or Chinese. Any person who can observe human actions even superficially, or who can read novels and watch old movies, can learn to act romantic or interested or softhearted. Virtually anyone can learn to say “I love you,” or to appear smitten and say the words, “Oh my! What a cute little puppy!” But not all human beings are capable of experiencing the emotion implied by the behavior. Sociopaths never do.

H/T: The Sociopath Next Door by Martha Stout, Pages 127-128

Photo Credit: 10 Examples of IKEA Shelving in the Kitchen

Sociopathy Is Ice-Cold


Just as conscience is not merely the presence of guilt and remorse, but is based in our capacity to experience emotion and the attachments that result from our feelings, sociopathy is not just the absence of guilt and remorse. Sociopathy is an aberration in the ability to have and to appreciate real (noncalculated) emotional experience, and therefore to connect with other people within real (noncalculated) relationships. To state the situation concisely, and maybe a little too clearly for comfort: Not to have a moral sense flags an even more profound condition, as does the possession of conscience, because conscience never exists without the ability to love, and sociopathy is ultimately based in lovelessness.

A sociopath is someone who “fails to conform to social norms,” or who is “never monogamous,” or who “fails to honor financial obligations,” for the straightforward reason that an obligation of any kind is something one feels toward beings, or toward a group of beings, who matter emotionally. And to a sociopath, we simply do not matter.

Sociopathy is, at its very essence, ice-cold, like a dispassionate game of chess. In this way, it is different from ordinary duplicitousness, NARCISSISM, and even violence, which are often full of emotional heat. If necessary, most of us would lie to save the life of someone in our family, and it is something of a cliché to point out that a violent gang member (as opposed, perhaps, to his sociopathic leader) may conceivably feel loyalty and warmth toward the members of his gang, and tenderness for his mother and siblings. But Skip, even as a child, was not concerned with anyone, Dr. Littlefield could not care about her patients, and Luke could not love even his wife or his own child. In the workings of such minds, other people even “friends” and family members, are serviceable game pieces at most. Love is not a possibility, or even something that can be comprehended when another person shows it.

The only emotions that sociopaths seem to feel genuinely are the so-called “primitive” affective reactions that result from immediate physical pain and pleasure, or from short-term frustrations and successes. Frustration may engender anger or rage in a sociopath. And predatory success, winning at a game of cat and mouse (for example, Doreen’s success in sending Jenna on a fool’s errand across the muck of a hospital lawn), typically sparks aggressive affect and arousal, a “rush” that may be experienced as a moment of glee. These emotional reactions are seldom long-lasting, and they are referred to as neurologically “primitive” because, like all emotions, they originate in the evolutionally ancient limbic system of the brain, but, unlike the “higher” emotions, they are not significantly modified by the functions of the cerebral cortex.

H/T: The Sociopath Next Door by Martha Stout, Pages 126-127

Photo Credit: Pinterest

Living Well


Thirteen Rules for Dealing with Sociopaths in Everyday Life:

13. Living well is the best revenge.

H/T: Martha Stout of The Sociopath Next Door

Photo Credit: Live Laugh Love

Defend Your Psyche

Thirteen Rules for Dealing with Sociopaths in Everyday Life:

12. Defend your psyche. Do not allow someone without conscience, or even a string of such people, to convince you that humanity is a failure. Most human being do possess conscience. Most human beings are able to love.

H/T: Martha Stout of The Sociopath Next Door

Photo Credit: Blessed Wild Apple Girl

Never Agree to Help a Sociopath


Thirteen Rules for Dealing with Sociopaths in Everyday Life:

11. Never agree, out of pity or for any other reason, to help a sociopath conceal his or her true character. “Please don’t tell,” often spoken tearfully and with great gnashing of teeth, is the trademark plea of thieves, child abusers—and sociopaths. Do not listen to this siren song. Other people deserve to be warned more than the sociopaths deserve to have you keep their secrets. If someone without conscience insists that you “owe” him or her, recall what you are about to read here: “You owe me” has been the standard line of sociopaths for thousands of years, quite literally, and is still so. It is what Rasputin told the empress of Russia. It is what Hannah’s father implied to her after her eye-opening conversation with him at the prison. We tend to experience “You owe me” as a compelling claim, but it is simply not true. Do not listen. Also, ignore the one that goes, “You are just like me.” You are not.

H/T: Martha Stout of The Sociopath Next Door

Photo Credit: Someecards

Swallow Hard and Cut Your Losses


Thirteen Rules for Dealing with Sociopaths in Everyday Life:

10. Do not try to redeem the unredeemable. Second (third, fourth, and fifth) chances are for people who possess conscience. If you are dealing with a person who has no conscience, know how to swallow hard and cut your losses. At some point, most of us need to learn the important, if disappointing, life lesson that, no matter how good our intentions, we cannot control the behavior—let alone the character structures—of other people. Learn this fact of human life, and avoid the irony of getting caught up in the same ambition he has—to control. If you do not desire control, but instead want to help people, then help only those who truly want to be helped. I think you will find this does not include the person who has no conscience. The sociopath’s behavior is not your fault, not in any way whatsoever. It is also not your mission. Your mission is your own life.

H/T: Martha Stout of The Sociopath Next Door

Photo Credit: Pinterest Pin

Question Your Tendency to Pity


Thirteen Rules for Dealing with Sociopaths in Everyday Life:

9. Question your tendency to pity too easily. Respect should be reserved for the kind and the morally courageous. Pity is another socially valuable response, and it should be reserved for innocent people who are in genuine pain or who have fallen on misfortune. If, instead, you find yourself often pitying someone who consistently hurts you or other people, and who actively campaigns for your sympathy, the chances are close to 100 percent that you are dealing with a sociopath. Related to this—I recommend that you severely challenge your need to be polite in absolutely all situations. For normal adults in our culture, being what we think of as “civilized” is like a reflex, and often we find ourselves being automatically decorous even when someone has enraged us, repeatedly lied to us, or figuratively stabbed us in the back. Sociopaths take a huge advantage of this automatic courtesy in exploitive situations. Do not be afraid to be unsmiling and calmly to the point.

H/T: Martha Stout of The Sociopath Next Door

Photo Credit: Pinterest Pin

Refuse Contact or Communication


Thirteen Rules for Dealing with Sociopaths in Everyday Life:

8. The best way to protect yourself from a sociopath is to avoid him, to refuse any kind of contact or communication. Psychologists do not usually like to recommend avoidance, but in this case, I make a very deliberate exception. The only truly effective method for dealing with a sociopath you have identified is to disallow him or her from your life altogether. Sociopaths live completely outside of the social contract, and therefore to include them in relationships or other social arrangements is perilous. Begin this exclusion of them in the context of your own relationships and social life. You will not hurt anyone’s feelings. Strange as it seems, and thought they may try to pretend otherwise, sociopaths do not have any such feelings to hurt. You may never be able to make your family and friends understand why you are avoiding a particular individual. Sociopathy is surprisingly difficult to see, and even harder to explain. Avoid him anyway. If total avoidance is impossible, make plans to come as close as you can to the goal of total avoidance.

H/T: Martha Stout of The Sociopath Next Door

Photo Credit: Pinterest Pin

Do Not Join the Game


Thirteen Rules for Dealing with Sociopaths in Everyday Life:

7. Do not join the game. Intrigue is a sociopath’s tool. Resist the temptation to compete with a seductive sociopath, to outsmart him, psychoanalyze, or even banter with him. In addition to reducing yourself to his level, you would be distracting yourself from what is really important, which is to protect yourself.

H/T: Martha Stout of The Sociopath Next Door

Photo Credit: Pinterest Pin

Redefine Your Concept of Respect


Thirteen Rules for Dealing with Sociopaths in Everyday Life:

6. If necessary, redefine your concept of respect. Too often, we mistake fear for respect, and the more fearful we are of someone, the more we view him or her as deserving of our respect. I have a Bengal cat who was named Muscle Man by my daughter when she was a toddler, because even as a kitten he looked like a professional wrestler. Grown now, he is much larger than other domestic cats. His formidable claws resemble those of his Asian leopard-cat ancestors, but by temperament, he is gentle and peace-loving. My neighbor has a little calico who visits. Evidently, the calico’s predatory charisma is huge, and she is brilliant at directing the evil eye at other cats. Whenever she is within fifty feet, Muscle Man, all fifteen pounds of him to her seven, cringes and crouches in fear and feline deference. Muscle Man is a splendid cat. He is warm and loving, and he is close to my heart. Nonetheless, I would like to believe that some of his reactions are more primitive than mine. I hope I do not mistake fear for respect, because to do so would be to ensure my own victimization. Let us use our big human brains to overpower our animal tendency to bow to predators, so we can disentangle the reflexive confusion of anxiety and awe. In a perfect world, human respect would be an automatic reaction only to those who are strong, kind, and morally courageous. The person who profits from frightening you is not likely to be any of these. The resolve to keep respect separate from fear is even more crucial for groups and nations. The politician, small or lofty, who menaces the people with frequent reminders of the possibility of crime, violence, or terrorism, and who then uses their magnified fear to gain allegiance, is more likely to be a successful con artist than a legitimate leader. This too has been true throughout human history.

H/T: Martha Stout of The Sociopath Next Door

Photo Credit: Pinterest Pin

Suspect Flattery


Thirteen Rules for Dealing with Sociopaths in Everyday Life:

5. Suspect flattery. Compliments are lovely, especially when they are sincere. In contrast, flattery is extreme and appeals to our egos in unrealistic ways. It is the material of counterfeit charm, and nearly always involves an intent to manipulate. Manipulation through flattery is sometimes innocuous and sometimes sinister. Peek over your massaged ego and remember to suspect flattery. This “flattery rule” applies on an individual basis, and also at the level of groups and even whole nations. Throughout all of human history and to the present, the call to war has included the flattering claim that one’s own forces are about to accomplish a victory that will change the world for the better, a triumph that is morally laudable, justified by its humane outcome, unique in human endeavor, righteous, and worthy of enormous gratitude. Since we began to record the human story, all of our major wars have been framed in this way, on all sides of the conflict, and in all languages the adjective most often applied to the word war is holy. An argument can easily be made that humanity will have peace when nations of people are at last able to see through this masterful flattery. Just as an individual pumped up on flattery of a manipulator is likely to behave in foolish ways, exaggerated patriotism that is flattery-fueled is a dangerous thing.

H/T: Martha Stout of The Sociopath Next Door

Photo Credit: Christ Art

Question Authority


Thirteen Rules for Dealing with Sociopaths in Everyday Life:

4. Question authority. Once again—trust your own instincts and anxieties, especially those concerning people who claim that dominating others, violence, war, or some other violation of your conscience is the grand solution to some problem. Do this even when, or especially when, everyone around you has completely stopped questioning authority. Recite to yourself what Stanley Milgram taught us about obedience: At least six out of ten people will blindly obey to the bitter end an official-looking authority in their midst. The good news is that having social support makes people somewhat more likely to challenge authority. Encourage those around you to question, too.

H/T: Martha Stout of The Sociopath Next Door

Photo Credit: Mimi and Eunice

The Rule of Threes


Thirteen Rules for Dealing with Sociopaths in Everyday Life:

3. When considering a new relationship of any kind, practice the Rule of Threes regarding the claims and promises a person makes, and the responsibilities he or she has. Make the Rule of Threes your personal policy. One lie, one broken promise, or a single neglected responsibility may be a misunderstanding instead. Two may involve a serious mistake. But three lies says you’re dealing with a liar, and deceit is the linchpin of conscienceless behavior. Cut your losses and get out as soon as you can. Leaving, though it may be hard, will be easier now than later, and less costly. Do not give your money, your work, your secrets, or your affection to a three-timer. Your valuable gifts will be wasted.

H/T: Martha Stout of The Sociopath Next Door

Photo Credit: Pinterest Pin

Go With Your Instincts


Thirteen Rules for Dealing with Sociopaths in Everyday Life:

2. In a contest between your instincts and what is implied by the role a person has taken on—educator, doctor, leader, animal lover, humanist, parent—go with your instincts. Whether you want to be or not, you are a constant observer of human behavior, and your unfiltered impressions, though alarming and seemingly outlandish, may well help you out if you will let them. Your best self understands, without being told, that impressive and moral-sounding labels do not bestow conscience on anyone who did not have it to begin with.

H/T: Martha Stout of The Sociopath Next Door

Photo Credit: Pinterest Pin

The Bitter Pill of Acceptance


Thirteen Rules for Dealing with Sociopaths in Everyday Life:

1. The first rule involves the bitter pill of accepting that some people literally have no conscience. These people do not often look like Charles Manson or a Ferengi bartender. They look like us.

H/T: Martha Stout of The Sociopath Next Door

Photo Credit: Pinterest Pin

July 27, 2013

A Bill of Assertive Rights

A Bill of Assertive Rights

1. You have the right to judge your own behavior, thoughts, and emotions, and to take the responsibility for their initiation and consequences upon yourself.

2. You have the right to offer no reasons or excuses for justifying your behavior.

3. You have the right to judge if you are responsible for finding solutions to other people’s problems.

4. You have the right to change your mind.

5. You have the right to make mistakes—and be responsible for them.

6. You have the right to say, “I don’t know.”

7. You have the right to be independent of the goodwill of others before coping with them.

8. You have the right to be illogical in making decisions.

9. You have the right to say, “I don’t understand.”

10. You have the right to say, “I don’t care.”

YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO SAY NO, WITHOUT FEELING GUILTY

July 26, 2013

Friday Weigh-In: Down 5 lbs


I am down 5 lbs for a total of 15 lbs lost and I have 35 lbs to go to reach my goal weight. I am also working on my BMI which is a 32. My doctor has been on my case about my BMI so I am determined to knock that number down. An ideal BMI for me is 18.5 – 25%. Please keep in mind that I did not start fresh today. The last time I weighed myself was 3 weeks ago. So don’t let my progress discourage you. A reasonable goal for me is to lose 1 or 2 lbs per week. I know I need to step it up a notch on the workout and eating front.

My friend Becki is into the Marble Jar Motivation, too! I'm really digging her San Diego State Cups! What a great way to tap into a good memory to help motivate!! 

Check Out My Fitness Visual


The Foundation


The Boulders 


The Rocks


On the Left: 50 lbs


My weigh in 3 weeks ago!!! 

The idea behind the fitness visual is to work my way through to the God rocks. The God rocks are going to be the last 6 lbs of my weight loss journey. First I will need to eliminate the rocks and then the boulders to reach the God rocks.

July 20, 2013

Level Four Skills - Completed!






If we lived close to a beach these two would be on a boogie board every day. They LOVE the ocean and they have a lot of fun swimming together.

When we got home from our vacation the girls could not wait to start their swim lessons. They both started off their swim lessons picking up where we left off in Level 4. After two straight weeks of practice both girls passed Level 4 and I could not be more pleased with their efforts.

Here's what they mastered: 
  • Headfirst entry from the side in a compact position (in water at least 9 feet deep)
  • Headfirst entry from the side in a stride position (in water at least 9 feet deep)
  • Swim under water, 3-5 body lengths 
  • Feet first surface dive, submerging completely
  • Survival swimming, 30 seconds (in deep water) 
  • Front crawl open turn
  • Backstroke open turn 
  • Tread water using 2 different kicks (modified scissors, modified breaststroke, or rotary) 2 minutes 
  • Front Crawl, 25 yards
  • Breaststroke, 15 yards 
  • Push off in a stream lined position on back and begin flutter kicking, 3-5 body lengths 
  • Push off in a streamlined body position on back and begin dolphin kicking, 3-5 body lengths 
  • Elementary backstroke, 25 yards 
  • Back crawl, 15 yards 
  • Sidestroke, 15 yards 
  • Safety Topics 
  • Exit Skills Assessment #1 
  • Exit Skills Assessment #2 

Awesome job, girls!!! 

July 8, 2013

July 4, 2013

Fun On the 4th of July














We had a lot of fun at the baseball game last night. After the game we got to watch a spectacular fireworks display. The weather was a perfect 76 degrees. I am looking forward to the festivities today, too. We are having friends from church over for a BBQ and some street fireworks later on tonight. Wherever you are in this world I wish you a very Happy Independence Day!!

Independence Day

Today is Independence Day

Today is Independence Day in the United States. Set yourself free from the coward (or cowards) in your life.

The person who shames and blames everyone else and never faces his own shitty-ness is the epitome of a coward.

We are all imperfect, but we are perfect in our willingness to be accountable for all of our imperfections. Cowards are never accountable.

So don’t allow a coward to dictate and tell you who you should be or how you should live. You know better than anyone what you want from life. You don’t need some controlling fool screaming at you and belittling you. Or ignoring you until you feel worthless.

Besides, in truth, anyone who tries to dictate your life has no handle on their own. They want to restrain and contain you because your potential is so obvious, it scares them. They fear you’ll abandon them.

And their fears are justified! Because you do matter and are worth so much more than their treatment. Ironically, in their attempts at containing and controlling you, you begin to realize how free you could be, and you begin to despise and hate them.

But don’t feel guilty about your hate. Don’t try to turn off that hate. You are absolutely allowed to hate someone just as much as you are allowed to love someone.

Why?

Hate is a survival mechanism, an emotion that empowers you to act. Hate gives you the motivation you need to free yourself from the one who oppresses you.

And once detached and free, the hate dissipates, too. It’s actually very simple: eliminate the cause of your hate, and the hate will magically disappear.

Stop over thinking things. Listen to your gut. Walk away and be free!

H/T: Set yourself free from the coward in your life!

July 1, 2013