Yes drill sergeant

My twisted-side ego is like a drill sergeant but one that wants me to fail. It screams in my face when I screw up, fall down, question things.

Real drill sergeants, however, ultimately want you to succeed…or quit.

But wait, maybe that negative side of me is harassing me in order to help me succeed in the end. Could it be that there is a nobler purpose in that berating, negative psyche?

ArmyAmber / Pixabay

Bear with me now…

How could something from me want me to fail? Maybe this thing is EXACTLY like a drill sergeant. Maybe I should just answer “yes drill sergeant!”

You freakin idiot! Go faster! “Sir, yessir!”

Look what you did, Lewis! Stop it or you’ll ruin everything! “Sir, yessir!”

 

I think I heard Titus once say that anxiety is good because that’s how the rent gets paid.

 

 

Stop Therapy – Just, Stop It!

Stop Therapy: Stop It!

Why doesn’t this happen more often? It’s extremely sound and useful instruction. People eventually come to accept this but why does it take so much force?

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Fight to Live

“We live to fight another day.”

Living to Fight, to Live

sebo106 / Pixabay

 

 

This old expression makes sense if your purpose is to fight. When it’s us-against-them time and your objective is to win, this gives you reason to rejoice. But what if you are fighting for something else?

 

 

I don’t think I’ve ever heard someone say, “We fight to live another day.”

 

 

Distortion 5: Jumping to Conclusions

[Continuing my series on some of David Burns cognitive distortions. It helps me to really see them for what they are and how I apply them to my thinking.]

 

 

...therefore, splat!

cello5 / Pixabay

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jumping to conclusions–it’s the Andrew Lloyd Weber of distortions in my opinion. Loud, dominating, powerful, and massively appealing. Two particularly sinister varieties: mind reading and fortune telling.

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Grief and panic are inevitable, but hopeful

Today made me really pause and reflect on those events in our lives in which nothing can prepare us or help us through–we just have to go on through it.

In my blog entry Blessing of fear, I talked about fear in fiction, fantasy, or play helped children grow to cope through dealing with real fear later on. But sometimes there is nothing that can prepare a child, no coaching to guide them, and no delayed gratification that can incentivize them. But you the adult know (hopefully, theoretically) that they will be okay and this can turn into something that can help them later on.

You’ve probably seen something like this in the form of a small child’s first real separation from mom and dad. That one kid on the first day of kindergarten that absolutely panics when mom drops him/her off, clinging to her pant leg–“NOOOOOO!!!”

It’s almost comical to everyone on the outside because they know better. But that child is being devastated before our eyes. He has no past experience to draw from; no confidence to take care of himself; no reason to think everything will be ok. In the end you just have to pry him off and turn your back on him–walk out and know it will work out.

You’ve probably seen adults go through it too. When they are abandoned by their partners, betrayed by friends or family, lose a child, find out they’re terminally ill…

“Experience is a brutal teacher. By you learn–my god, you learn.”
Lewis, Shadowlands

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Blessing of fear

My 13-month-old just had a nightmare. I helped him back to sleep.

You know, I have a theory about children and fear. I think they need to interact with fear. That’s why they like to do daring things, hear scary stories–perhaps God even gave nightmares to help us cope and be reassured when we wake from them. Hopefully, they stay in the dream realm and do not become reality.

Fairy tales do not tell children the dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children the dragons can be killed.
–G. K. Chesterton

Don’t get me wrong: I don’t think kids should be flooded by fear. Being overexposed an traumatized is obviously bad for children, but preventing any exposure does not help them. This is why a lot of the most classic children’s literature can be pretty fearful.







Just to reference a few. 😉

In Recovery: a Negativiholic on the path to sobriety

 

“You always do what you want to do.” (W.C. Stone)

 

Perhaps if I approached my negative, pessimistic tendencies as I would a substance addiction, I would have more success recognizing and beating them.

What does an alcoholic do to beat their condition? There are different step schemes, but they follow a general progression. First admit the problem, second get the help you need, third you need to know that it is a disease in which the only hope you have to beat it is to abstain from it completely, fourth quit and don’t look back. This last step is probably where I fall short and end up back at one. Why is that? That’s the worst place to stop.

Matthew Kelly said when you get to a critical choice and it is difficult to decide what action to take, decide based on this question: “Which one will make a better me?” At a crossroads, this makes it much easier to decide which way is right. From there it takes courage to follow that way. I think acting on this is key to recovering from pessimism—I will be forced to see that I have more control, more time, more choice, and more willpower than I thought possible.

Even depression can be turned into energy to make the situation better. W.C. Stone said that the Depression era in America did not hinder his productivity but rather increased it, and expanded his business because his team was inspired to action out of necessity rather than just willpower or other rewards. I have a fear that if I really was in the greatest state of necessity, I would fold. Got to shake that off! I also have a competing hunch that in that state of necessity, I’d be there in the clutch.

Maybe Patton’s treatment for shell-shock and courage under fire is applicable to many situations like this: “When you put your hand into a bunch of goo that a moment ago was your best friend’s face, you’ll know what to do.” The right passion meets the right fear and ignites action.

I suppose I won’t have war stories if I don’t push my way to the front lines.