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Polarization: How to Return to Center Part 2 – Downward Spiral   Leave a comment

“Wait, I thought these were supposed to be positive and beneficial?”

 

You dear reader presumed wrong. Each direction may be beneficial if applied correctly to the present moment circumstance for which you find yourself in, yet they will not always be positive. This particular discussion will definitely not be positive.

 

Embrace the pain

 

Pain, nature’s catalyst for change. If one hurts, one either ignores the hurt (which usually leads to an increase in pain) or one must remove the stimulus. Picture the sting of a bee, the stinger pierces the skin and releases toxins letting the damaged area know that all things are not as they should be. Yet, in the pain and confusion it must be recognized that the bee has most likely just sacrificed its life in its final act of protection. So how does this apply to depression, darkness, immorality, and the most depraved aspects of human nature? Quiet simply actually. The stinger represents our violence and survival instinct. The piercing of skin represents destruction of the calm and normal. The releasing of toxins are the poisons we consume, that trigger a reaction that the body is in peril. Finally death, which really needs no explanation.

So let’s move downward into the dark. The shadows of our psyches. Why do we commit “evil” acts? If “evil” is not pleasurable in some way why do we repeat those actions?  An example is being burned. While getting burned is not “evil”, the action creates a response that indicates that it is not pleasurable and unwelcome. Yet, these responses do not apply when someone does something perceived as evil. They do not find the experience difficult in the least, actually in most cases it is the opposite. The spouse that cheats breaks a “moral or societal code”, but does not usually have impotence in the act of sexual relations with someone else. The thief does not find that their hands do not work when they are about to steal something. Yet, if you take your own or someone else’s hand and place it closer to a fire, instinctively there is a retraction of movement. The mind can determine what is positive and negative for the body due to instinct and experience, thus actions perceived as negative or dark by others, may or may not be truly so.

 

Embrace the impulse

 

This inherently means that the “dark impulses” are only “dark” because society deems them so. A person who kills another is not immediately struck dead upon completion of the act. So these impulses that we experience are not dark or light. They are basic and natural, desire produces theft, love and lust manifest into adultery, our instinctive creative and destructive protocols manifest murder.

With all of this being said, should one embrace every impulse they perceive? Analytical study (http://time.com/110864/how-poor-planning-and-being-impulsive-can-lead-to-big-wins-in-life/ ) has shown us that actions are neither “good nor evil” but instead are successful or unsuccessful. Once again “History favors the victors” regardless of “right or wrong”. So it is not our actions that are evil only the perception of our actions by others.

“So, how does that apply to me being depressed?” In sum it means that your actions are not good or evil. It means that you, as a person can further explore without the stigmatized guilt of external bias. So let’s explore the darkness….

 

Embrace the emotions

 

Anger, frustration, desperation, confusion, anguish, lust, ambivalence, some would perceive those emotions as indicators of shadow or darkness. Unfortunately this is not so. The Shadow or Darkness is not present, it is not visible. All of those emotions listed have some external cue by which they can be identified. When someone is in darkness, that is not so. Someone in darkness has embraced the shadowed and repressed aspects of their nature. They understand that they possess aspects of themselves that are counter to the perceived image and they are comfortable with that. The husband and wife who engage in BDSM or “open marriage” are an example. The “white hat” hacker who hacks to catch other hackers is another example.

It is the person who can strengthen their resolve, look in the mirror, acknowledge the face that is there, and look deeper to the face that is not. Nietzsche stated “beware looking into the abyss, for it may look back at you”. I would like to posit another idea, “use caution when looking into the abyss, but know what you are looking  for.” Use the drug, but be completely aware of the side effects and have a plan in case those effects occur. Indulge the urge to kill, but do so constructively, by eliminating a pestilent species, game hunting, or through video games. Steal, but take things without substance and use them to create ideas that others may take and expound upon.

Embrace your sadness, for it gives you time to appreciate your joy and it allows you the necessary process of grieving an experience. Embrace Death, but do so by speaking to those terminally ill and at “Death’s door”. Understand the lessons that dying can teach the living and use those experiences to view your own life. Embrace lust and rage, but use them to create a better version of yourself. Learn self-defense or a better love making technique with your partner. Dwell in and embrace your shadow, let its unconscious solitude and insight guide your conscious actions. Sit in a dark room and let the absence of light enhance your other senses.

The darkness is not cold or warm. It is who you are. The things you hide. The ideas you enjoy, but are taboo. Note: I am not advocating doing anything illegal. What is being suggested is to experience your full self, blessings and curses. Only then can you move in the next direction of experience.

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Posted July 23, 2018 by Dr. Robert Morse, Psy.D., B.C.C. in Uncategorized

Polarization: How to Return to Center Part 1   1 comment

Lately there’s been a vast chaos within our society. It has come to the point where normal people cannot and will not maintain a level of civility when faced with or discussing the most critical of subjects. This change, a variation of chaos, has mutated society so much that even the most basic ideas become partisan, divisive, and perceived as antagonistic.

Due to these chaotic changes the next few blog topics will be focused on direction. If you are a continuous reader of this blog, then you are in for a treat. What I will do for the next few posts is define direction in such a way that the ideas expressed by yourself and others can be; placed in a particular direction, understood through the others’ perspective, and quantified in such a way that the reality of other perspectives are not dismissed, but instead understood and embraced to a certain extent.

Now let’s look at chaos. What most people may not know is the symbol for chaos is a point with arrows going in all directions. The idea is that all paths are open, are always available, and any and all things are acceptable. In some ways that is the ultimate freedom, yet in other ways it can breed a sense of destruction and insecurity. Chaos breeds change as it forces ideas to come forth from the stagnant waters of apathy, but there is a price for that change and the price is fear, uncomfortability, and loss of the known.

Understanding direction (with respect to chaos) is to recognize that all directions are available and all directions are open. Contrarily however, we as beings seek and crave order. Yet, too much order and we have a tyranny, too much chaos and we have anarchy. Thus, we as a people are charged with finding a harmonious balance. This extends from the macrocosm of life, politics, and social settings down to our individual psychological, physical, and spiritual nature. Everything from craving food to the discipline of reading a book is a balance of chaos and order. Society at this point is pushing for chaos. Our lives are pushing towards chaos and that isn’t always a bad thing. It is change being thrust upon us so that something better can come about. The chaos of a wildfire that burns and destroys acres and acres of land prepares the land for the coming growth of new trees, new life, and new species to inhabit that area forming a new order.

So let’s look at directions. When most people think of directions they focus on north, south, east, and west. These are the cardinal directions which most, if not all of us are taught as children. It is only when we get to higher learning when we understand that direction actually extends far beyond four directions and moves into a myriad of others. For the purpose of these excerpts we will be focusing on upward, downward, past, and future with a special emphasis on centering oneself in the present. Each post will highlight and discuss some of the aspects of these different directions and how we can achieve fluid movement in all directions. Not exactly chaos, but a balance and order within the chaos.

Looking forward one must be able to center themselves in the present moments. If someone in today’s society were to look around focusing on where they are now they would see information overload, stimulation overload, and life overload. We as human beings have neglected the very balance of nature within ourselves in the pursuit of chaotic and unsure things. We eat and consume not for nourishment but for desire. We sleep less than our ancestors did which in turn has decreased certain mental capacities. We have information that bleeds into our very awareness all of the time and science has shown us that our brains do not stop when we are asleep. In actuality some areas of the brain are more active during sleep producing more neuronal firings of bio-electrical signals.

So what does the center look like? There are hundreds if not thousands of books, shows, self-help seminars, and speakers more than willing to guide people to the center of themselves. Which by the way is the equivalent of someone guiding food into your mouth. You, the reader, are the only person that can determine your center. Due to the nature of perception, it is only from the reality of the individual that a center can be established. If a person is to the left or to the right they are not to the left or to the right, they are in their “Center”. This brings a new understanding when dealing or discussing various political or social issues with someone who is not of the same perception as yourself. The political and social ramification of ignoring someone’s center places everyone into categories and labels to which they may or may not belong.

So how does one achieve a center or being centered? The truth is no one knows. Religion and by extension politics and social ideologies are all founded upon bringing someone to a center of balance in their life. Yet, none of these systems are factual in their representation. ***Note I did not say they were false, I stated they were not factual in that, if their messages were tested multiple times under multiple conditions, would the results remain the same? The answer to that historically has been a no. There is no religion, social or political system that has solved all of the world’s problems even though all three preach or teach the ability to resolve conflict and ease suffering.

Now, if you can’t look to religion, societal systems, or political systems, how do find your own personal center in life? While there is no definitive solution there are individual solutions which require self-introspection, self-awareness, humility, and the ability to view oneself as something that is part of a greater mechanism. These tools have been used by countless leaders, gurus, and prophets.

Self-introspection, or the ability to look at oneself and see your flaws, your strengths, your weaknesses, and inevitably your purpose, is not easy. It requires that one must be truthful to oneself. For most people they have been lied to all of their lives so much that the lies become their individual truths. They ignore the obvious and blatant signs from themselves of their own capabilities and look to others for validation and appreciation. When that validation and appreciation is absent various negative consequences appear. Depression, alcohol and drug use, erratic behavior, and to a certain extent social psychological disorders can be linked in some parts to these ideas of the self. Shakespeare’s stated ” to thine own self be true”, a fact eerily absent 400 years later with the advent of social media. Now society is the individual and the individual has become an entertainment for the society. There is a lack of self-reflection because when one is reflecting there are various followers and friends that may expound upon that reflection. Returning again to the original point, one cannot find their center from another perspective.

Self-awareness, or the ability to be fully conscious of who you are and what your purpose is. For many people, the question of “who am I?” and “what is my purpose in life?” is the driving force for most of their lives. The constant strive for an ideal person, usually molded by external perceptions of other heroes, is the motivating factor for why people exist in the way and lifestyle that they do. The idea of a “hero”, or someone that is perceived to have a better life, is critical to development, yet the fundamental stage of “hero death” is not embraced. “Hero death” is the point in one’s life when one surpasses the need for a hero and ultimately removes that stimulus as a driving force. This is critical for one to achieve self-awareness because it forces someone to come out of the shadow and become their own hero.

Finding the center is hard, yet it is inherently achievable as long as we never lose the idea that “our center is an individual goal”. It can only be achieved by focusing on oneself and maintaining the individual ideas without outside perceptions.

Disillusion   Leave a comment

“Disillusion”

Recently a rock group known as “A Perfect Circle” released a song on their latest album, Eat the Elephant. The song is called “Disillusioned” and a link will be provided at the end of this post for viewing. In the song and video, society had largely been reduced to blank consumers. Entities with numbers, whose only purpose was to absorb information or products, foolishly believing that they were in control of their lives and destinies.

Now I know what you are thinking. “I’m not like that, I work, I take my kids to school, I socialize with friends, I control my life to a moderate extent”. However, I would pose to you, where is your cellphone? Your laptop? How far away is a TV from you? How connected are you? The irony is one of those  “connection devices” is likely how you are reading  this , so, after reading this go outside day or night and count to 200. It is a small, yet reasonable way to be in the moment and disconnect from technology.

Now let’s look at the issues. What are we connected to? Where is this connection taking us? How are we connected? Finally, what can be done to minimize or eliminate the “connections”? Notice I did not pose “why”. Personally I feel “why” does not have a direct answer to any questions posed therein, thus “why” is not used. We are here to find questions and solutions, not go in metaphorical circles.

What are we connected to? Media, each other, the internet, the planet, a myriad of things in this cosmos, yet our direct attention is attuned to the machinations of recent technological developments. We use MYSPACE, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIN, Snapchat, Whatsapp, Pinterest and others to communicate ideas, express personal feelings, receive validation, challenge society, find jobs, cook food and ultimately organize our lives. There are apps for everything from music to schedules, babies to homework, stocks and games. The reality is the majority of the western world has skipped past personal and physical development in favor of technological gain. Instead of going to a restaurant and trying the food, we read Yelp to find out how many stars the restaurant gets, in turn the restaurant has to spend money on social media marketing or risk losing customers and revenue. Experience is traded for information, which in turn creates a “lack” of pure individual experience.

Real life experiences are eschewed for virtual reality in ways our ancestors could never dream and that has permeated into every aspect of our lives. There are very few teenagers without phones and social media accounts, and the ones without them are often ostracized among their peers. Society has changed significantly in roughly 30 years with the major catalyst being technology. So what are we connected to? Everything like never before. The intimate  thoughts of a Syrian refuge hiding from a death squad is now a daily blog to be read over a cup of coffee in a free Wi-Fi café while you also get a notification from your social media feed that someone you know is getting married and you are invited. This is the new reality, a Pavlovian society where every time a bell rings everyone checks their phone to see if it is them, while consciously ignoring the tragedies viewed daily. Where the worst thing that could happen is a dead battery or an un-responded message. Where you are not judged by the content of your character, but by the likes of the content of your media persona. Anyone can become famous and the dopamine high from multiple people providing validation is exactly what the system is designed to do.

Thus we have a system that that plays upon human behavior like an orchestra, combining highs and lows to further entrance anyone connected.  Yet where is this connection taking us? Some have speculated to a point called the “Technological Singularity”. Technological Singularity is the point where Artificial Intelligence (AI) surpasses human intelligence and machines become “aware”. In the movies Terminator and the Matrix, it was this “singularity” that alters human civilization forever. It was at this point AI was greater than human intelligence and could make better, more logical decisions without human direction or input. It seems like a movie, yet with current advancements science fiction is rapidly becoming science fact. Companies have created humanoid robots that can completely mimic facial structure and speech patterns. Other companies have compiled data into household robots that can do anything from ordering food to sending emails, sometimes without your permission. In the movies this lead to subjugation by AI systems, either by eliminating vast sums of human population or slavery and farming systems whereby humanity survived yet was neutered. There are a few possibilities of peaceful coexistence, yet given humanities propensity for destruction, would it really be so hard to believe a higher thinking system, for its own survival, would not see humanity as a potential threat and attempt to resolve the issue?

All of this would not be possible without the vast amounts of pictures, stories, locations, and other bits of information constantly being “shared”. Oddly the very benevolent act of sharing may potentially hold the seeds of human civilization’s downfall. Yet, this is not all doom and gloom. The artificial intelligence may scour the billions of terabytes of data and see the beauty in humanity, its ability to come together in tragedies, its ability to create art and stories. Maybe, with hope, humanity can improve itself so that the better parts are clearly visible instead of the hate, mistreatment, and injustice that exists currently.

How are we, how are you connected to all of this? Well that one is obvious. Yet what is not obvious is usage. Technology is a tool; the question is how do you use the tool?  Is it the Swiss Army knife of your life, fixing every perceived flaw? Is it the hammer and nails building the bridge to your future, or connecting you to members of your past? The question is personal, so the answer is as well, thus it requires brutal honesty and an understanding of the potential consequences. There is nothing wrong with connecting, it is neither good nor evil, however it is what you do with that connection that makes the difference. Do you sow the seeds of confusion that a later intelligence will perceive as a threat or do you share love and compassion which highlights the greatness of humanity?

Improvements:

  1. Have your phone or technological devices plugged and charged outside the bedroom, if possible. Studies have shown that sleeping with the devices near you sets your brain in a receive mode instead of a rest mode. You are listening for a buzz or notification bell instead of enjoying silence. Have one place where technology cannot reach you.

  2. Go outside. Actually do something outside which requires you to move, think, and be in the moment. Every moment must be experienced, but not necessarily shared. This will help build personal memory when you have to actively recall an experience rather than refer to a picture in your phone. Most people only have experiences so they can show off (not share) to other people how exciting their life is, but in the capturing of the moment are they even really living in that experience?

  3. Know your neighbors. Learn the neighborhood you live in. Walk a few blocks on your day off and see what restaurants, stores, houses, and people are near you. Sometimes things are actually closer than you think and walking gives your mind time to unclutter and enjoy the journey. There is something to be gained from the joy of reaching your destination and enjoying the experience of being in your destination. Shopping becomes more essential because you can only carry so much and you may or may not have the energy to spend hours coveting things you do not need. The walking routine will help with physical issues and alleviate stress. It can also help you meet new neighbors and get acquainted with old ones, remember not everything is shared online and sometimes just talking to someone can reveal a need you may be uniquely able to solve. (This works because this is how humans communicated and solved problems for thousands of years)

All is not lost, disillusion is only temporary. Connecting isn’t negative as long as you remember that it is a tool. So when you log in learn quality information. Check the news, but pick a country and read theirs as well. When you check your pictures, find an art website and look at what new artists are doing. After you are finished reading this, go outside and count to 200. That’s 3.2 minutes of your life, but who knows what experience you will see, hear, smell, and feel when you unplug.

 

Tempest: How to Manage Habituation   Leave a comment

“Turning in circles, been caught in a stasis
The ancient arrival, cut to the end
I’d like to be taken apart from the inside
Then spit through the cycle right to the end.” Tempest Deftones

 

Habituation: the diminishing of a physiological or emotional response to a frequently repeated stimulus.

 

Wake up. Get Dressed. Eat. Go to work. Come home from work. Get Food. Watch TV. Go to bed. Repeat. This is the basic repetitive cycle for 70-80 % of human beings on the planet. Humans are creatures of habit. We adapt to changes in stimuli and assimilate those changes to the point they are no longer abnormal. Habituation. So the question is how do we escape? Should we escape, considering that every human shares the same characteristics for a reason? Is there a balance between frequently repetitive stimuli and dramatic stimuli that prescribes change and evolution?

“Stuck in a Rut”

The idea that your life is on autopilot and that you have no real stimuli in your life to motivate you, is the most common feeling of people who work defined hours over a years or decades. The idea of being a slave to the system of order day in and day out, is repugnant to most, but why? Some would say there is a lack of stimulation. Stimulation is the catalyst for change and without it potential energy builds. So let us address the aspect of energy, potential and kinetic.

Most people who have complain of complacency feel tired, exhausted, or worn down. They feel they do not have the energy, the will to manifest a change, even though they know it is required. This feeling of lethargy is a manifestation of “potential” energy. Law of Conservation of Energy states that the total energy of an isolated system remains constant — it is said to be conserved over time, energy can neither be created nor destroyed; rather, it can only be transformed from one form to another. So the potential energy that exists in your life is actually the same kinetic energy that changed you to become who you are. So the “rut” isn’t really a “rut”. It is a recharging point, building and conserving the energy needed to go further. So embrace the potential, observe the common, and enjoy mediocrity, for what comes next is change.

“Brace for the glory”

People fear what they do not understand and no one understands change. The alternative to the lethargic, boring pace of day to day life is kinetic. It is the movement of life beyond what a person believes they can handle. You lose the job, get into an accident, your spouse leaves or cheats, the children are causing problems, or the ultimate change “Death” visits your home. Your life becomes a tempest. It is “moving day”. Everything and everyone must go and there seems to be no control in what goes where. It is terrifying and disjointing, yet beautiful and cathartic. While in the moments the changes invoke fear and confusion, yet looking at them in hindsight, the changes were “not so bad” and possibly beneficial to you. Returning to the concept of energy, the changes are not as chaotic as they appear in the moments.

“An object at rest will stay at rest and an object in motion will stay in motion with the same speed and direction unless acted upon by unbalanced force” Sir Isaac Newton. So an unbalanced force changes your state from potential “stuck in a rut” to kinetic “my life is chaos”. Yet, if we look, the “unbalancing force” isn’t that strange or foreign. It is usually currently connected to us in some way. It is the dramatic example to shake us from our apathy, created by the very same potential force that sustains said apathy. So in essence the Tempest is our own creation, manifested by our dormant will to invoke change.

Hamster Wheel of Life

So we need both? Yes.

One propels and propagates the other. As the song says “turning in circles, been caught in a stasis”, which is an apt metaphor, it’s a beautiful cycle that is lost upon the most. The wheel is turning only because you are moving it, when you stop it’s your energy that is propelling it onward. You desire direct control and, if you consider all of the factors involved, you have it. Yet, people still feel lost on the wheel. This self-contained system confuses and bewilders some, but how or why?

Lost in self. People have the ability to become so consumed with the actions they propagate that they become lost in their own mind. The hunter that is so obsessed with the hunt for food he forgets to eat. The woman, who takes care of her entire family, yet falls to exhaustion because she did not take care of herself. The wheel is turning only because you are running on it. Do not forget that in your daily steps. “I turn the wheel with my will. I am the determiner of my path and destiny. If I choose I determine where my energy should go or lay dormant and growing. I did not create the wheel, but I am the master of it.”

Posted March 15, 2018 by Dr. Robert Morse, Psy.D., B.C.C. in Uncategorized

The Equation   Leave a comment

Intention + Attention + Action = Manifestation

We all know the equation from “The Secret”, Tony Robbins, or any other self help book. It’s understood that focusing one’s will toward a goal, will inevitably yield the results of said goal. It is understood that dedication, effort, and some faith will result in the impossible becoming quite clearly probable. So why should you read this article? Because this is an article about the manifestation.

What to do when you score the goal. What do you do when you achieved the partner, job, dream you spent years working and searching for. You reached the mountain top, now what? For many people this induces a slight level of depression. “My goal is achieved, what is my purpose? Can I find new purpose?”.

Manifestation leads to exaltation, yet with that comes depression, for one cannot have a high without a low. Sometimes it is brief period (moments at best, days to weeks at worst). You’ve won, now what? From pregnancy to lottery winners, it’s all the same.

Consciously the mind searches and pleads for answers. It surveys the landscape. Is there a new task? Unknown. Can the old task be repeated?  If yes, then the mind readies itself by replaying the previous task mentally and searches for ways to improve. If no, well that opens a new level, a new door to be “painted black”.

The old quest is completed. How do I refresh, revitalize, and recover? In the US military, after each mission, the unit does an After Action Review (AAR). The AAR highlights the success and failures in the mission, yet it also offers a secret gift very few notice consciously. It offers “closure”.

Closure is the next step after manifestation. “It is finished.” Accepting that the labor, task, or dream is completed, that it cannot ever be done again. You cannot reverse time, you cannot restitch fate, “what is done is done”. That is the key to avoiding the dreaded lows of success, accept the victory with the defeats of the process. Accept that the person who started the journey is gone and a new person has grown in their place. Once that acceptance comes, the next step is as natural as it is inevitable. “I’m a new being, so I’m going to do something new”.

That “ new thing” is unknown and that’s great!! It’s an unexplored level of yourself, heretofore unconceived. You didn’t experience, months before, the understanding of being at the top of the mountain, now you have. It is in the past and the present self has new abilities the previous didn’t. So the process begins again, but before it begins, celebrate your victory and losses. Come together and have an AAR with your current and previous self. Attain closure and then ask yourself, who am i now that i I was not before? Then do what the new you has to do.

Intention + Attention + Action = Manifestation

                                                                                        Closure

Posted February 12, 2018 by Dr. Robert Morse, Psy.D., B.C.C. in Uncategorized

Revolve   Leave a comment

Revolve

30 kilometers per second, or 67,000 miles per hour

460 meters per second–or roughly 1,000 miles per hour

“https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-fast-is-the-earth-mov/”

A new year is upon us. The beginning of a new cycle, the prospect of something new arising. Most people make resolutions in the hopes that some aspect of their lives may improve. Most resolutions only last a few weeks until the inevitable occurs. Who you are overpowers what you want to do. It is the common mistake of humanity to believe that, due to its intelligence and malleability to the elements, it may change “at will”. Evolution is a process, a process that must be followed step by step. The environment affects the organism. The organism must respond by changing itself in some way to adapt to the environment. These changes take place over time (days, months, years). Yet, humanity maintains the belief that “I can change what I do without changing who I am.”

This article is not about how to correct those unresolved resolutions. This article is a lesson of acceptance. Its purpose is to provide a sense of awareness of self. Who you are determines what you can do. Willpower determines how effective you are at what you can do. Yet, it all revolves around who you are. You can never maintain going 67,000 mph for 365 days. It would cause multiple health issues and you would die. The Earth can and does, because it is the Earth. It fulfills its purpose every year, only making one resolution, to be itself. It does not resolve to go faster, become slimmer, get into shape, and stop using oxygen or water. It produces the same things it has always produced, making the necessary changes gradually over millennia.

Now you could say, “what about the negative aspects of me that I would like to make positive? Wouldn’t it be a noble enterprise to try and improve those aspects?” To which the universe says sure go ahead, sharpen your claws, strengthen your fangs, just do not forget you are what you are. Before you can change what you do you must acknowledge who and what you are. For most people that involves looking deep inside oneself, accepting the person within. Accept that you may be wrong politically, socially, or spiritually. Accept that your fashion, music, and food tastes may be wrong. This is how you face the truth of who you are so that you may become the best version of yourself. Carl Jung called it embracing the “Shadow”. The repressed aspects of yourself that are socially, morally, and personally reprehensible. Yet they are you. Most people want to try to change what they do without acknowledging who they are IS the lazy, drinker, addict, sexual deviant, abuser, and unstable emotional monster that exists. In not addressing this “Shadow” every resolution is a promise to fail because inherently there is no change in self. Only further denial of the unified self.

Start with the premise, “what I know and believe is false” now I must focus only on facts. Facts are defined as a verified truth, tested by experience. Alternative facts are lies. There are no alternative facts. If the decisions you have made in this life have lead you to a false life existence then start with yourself. Look inside the “dark side” of yourself. Address your fears and repulsions, your hidden desires and impulses. Question yourself as to why those feelings exist, do not judge them. In judging them you will only conceal them deeper and further. To recap, be factual with yourself. Accept yourself for exactly what it is, understanding yourself and the changes that you need to make to fit into the environment. Only after these steps can you truly revolve around the light and shine.

Posted January 8, 2018 by Dr. Robert Morse, Psy.D., B.C.C. in Uncategorized

Getting the Most out of Daily Losses   Leave a comment

At some point people, no matter who they are, lose things. Even personal setbacks are a form of loss which causes just as much emotional turmoil as the actual loss of a loved one. Now I know what most of you are thinking, “I haven’t lost anybody recently”, but you have suffered a “daily loss”. Well, the purpose of the article is to expand the “5 stages of grief and loss” and learn how to incorporate them into our everyday experiences.

Have you ever been denied a job you knew you should have gotten?  Have you been rejected by a lover or significant other?  Have you watched as your favorite sports team went down in the flames of defeat? These are some examples of the very same losses that are experienced in the passing of someone, yet most would perceive them as miniscule compared to the passing of a 30 or 50 year spouse. In truth the process is exactly the same; most people just do not realize it.

So let’s start with a little history on the “5 Stages of Grief and Loss”. Dr Elisabeth Kübler-Ross in her 1969 book “On Death and Dying”, was inspired by her work with terminally ill patients. Motivated by the lack of curriculum in medical schools on the subject of death and dying, Kübler-Ross examined death and those faced with it at the University of Chicago medical school. [1] The stages are Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance.

Where the stages are made critically manifest in situations of extreme loss, what is rarely noted is the minds ability to adapt the same process to “daily losses”. Throughout this article, will be highlighted, the specific stages and how they are exposed in the “daily losses”. Also this article hopes to expose the benefits of acknowledgement of those “daily losses” and to improve the tools to withstand the “greater losses” in one’s life.

 

Denial: “Say it ain’t so!

 

How many times have we said “no way” as someone steals your parking space? Or “this can’t be happening” as the final seconds tick away to your favorite teams’ season ending loss? There are hundreds, if not thousands, of examples in the day of how we experience those “daily losses”. Those losses are so common and the denial is so prevalent that there are a multitude of phrases. Even as this article is being created, there are many within the US or around the world in a sense of denial about current political, sociological, and ecological losses. Denial helps to incorporate the changing reality with our current understanding of the one we perceive. We, as humans, have to acknowledge variation and from that point a choice occurs. Do we accept that the perception is real or do we reject it? Oddly this whole process can take our minds moments or decades depending on the variance of change being perceived. An example would the repatriation of Japanese and German Americans after World War II. After the United States had won WWII and released its Japanese and German American prisoners from US based internment camps, there was still a huge division between those former prisoners and the rest of America. Where they to be trusted? Could they still follow in their homelands ways and establish domestic terrorism? Terms like “Japs” and “Krauts” became derogatory terms, much like “Colored” and “Ni**er” had for African Americans.  As with any “loss” the initial response was to deny the change. Segregation and denigration are symptoms of “societal denial”. “They are different so they must not belong in my reality”, becomes the rallying cry of “conservatives” (Note: I do not invoke the political movement, only the definition of the term). It is a broader case of denial made manifest in the society, originating from the personal denial of the change of one’s own perception of reality. Yet, it is the personal perception that is the key point of infection. The idea that when one person refuses to accept reality that misplaced perception is shared by others until it becomes societal and thus blight upon the culture as a whole. There are a multitude of examples from Nazism, Class Warfare, Nationalism, and Islamic Jihad to name a few, all stemming from denial of perceived reality and a sustained effort to try and resist the changes that have already taken place. When said denial and resistance efforts fail the individual moves to the next of the “5 Stages” Anger.

 

Anger:It’s our right! Right?

 

You lost the job, the girlfriend/boyfriend, the personal belongings, the big game, what do you do? You calmly sit down and have a glass of tea, contemplating the greater purposes of the moments within the day. Hell No, we rage. We retaliate emotionally to the drastic change that we can no longer deny and must accept, but truly have aversion to. That’s anger in an abbreviated definition. Many psychologists agree that “it’s ok to be angry”, pop culture celebrates the “Angry Hero” theme in in such a way that it seems the Hero only reaches his “truest potential” when he is “angry and cannot take anymore”. So everyone gets angry and it’s been proven by doctors to be beneficial to express that anger, so why can’t I express my anger in a “daily loss”?

Actually you can and already do. Cursing, hitting a wall, swearing, raising your voice or tone, are all examples of expression of anger within the frame of “daily loss”. These examples are actually more prevalent than denial because of the physical manifestation of emotional turmoil. Just saying the words “I’m angry” has nowhere near the emotional affect as a person flipping a desk or throwing something important. Society has defined dramatic expression of anger as “normalcy”, where as it is the abnormal person that calmly and without any physical movement describes their rage. “Seeing red” is ok, but when that red becomes “white hot” (oddly this is even expressed in nature with a star becoming a Red Giant, then a White Dwarf before it dies out) then the person is a dangerous threat to others and society as a whole.

So how does one use that anger without burning out or succumbing to the rage and becoming a pariah in society? Everyone has the ideas of the guy who is at the bar, just a little too passionate about the home team. The home team losses in a brutally contested match, the guy, a little too passionate and slightly drunk, starts a fight, releasing the pent up anger he has for something he has no control over, and subsequently winds up in jail. This leads to Bargaining as a means to rectify our inability to accept the reality through denial and or emotional reactions of anger.

 

Bargaining:Please baby, please” James Brown

 

Begging, the old fall back point. It is said, “Tis better to beg for forgiveness, than ask for permission”. Bargaining is nothing more than begging with perceived leverage. As stated before the change has already happened, there is no going back and changing time. Denial attempted to ignore the change and failed causing Anger to respond to the lack of control, so what is left? Use what modicum of the old reality that still exists and try to position for a better place in the new one. It’s the company that is bought out and each employee is fighting to prove they still have worth and need a job. It is the terminal relationship that has one party promising to do better or be better if only things would not change.  It is the customer begging the store owner to see if they have one more copy of the latest greatest product in the back so they could give the best gift.

Bargaining is seen as “swallowing your pride”, yet it isn’t truly. It is strategic and tactical; it is the perceived losing of something small to gain the objective. A dog lowering his head and whining is doing so to gain the advantage of something it wants.  Unfortunately, what most people fail to conceptualize with “loss” is that the objective no longer exists. In death, it’s begging with God for more time, denying that the clock has stopped. In our “daily losses” it’s trying to find a way to salvage a bad situation, completely oblivious to the fact the event has come and gone and there is only the result left to account for. This phase is usually characterized by the word “if”. “If this than that”. If one group does this then the results could be changed, (substituting any myriad of examples from politics to grocery store exchanges). It’s all trying to accept and change an outcome that has already been determined and is moving forward. The flaw in bargaining is when the “reality” that the objective we are bargaining for no longer exists, then when we move to the next stage, Depression.

 

Depression:I’d look on the bright side, if I could find it.”          -Eeyore, Winnie the Pooh

 

The “daily loss” has occurred. We denied it, emotionally reacted to our inability to control it, and attempted to achieve an objective that no longer existed, so what’s next? The long ride home. It’s the moments of silence when you couldn’t achieve the job, the relationship, the team, the perfect toy, the perfect parking spot, or any other examples of “daily loss”. It’s the idea that you failed, you could not stop the change, or seize the disappearing objective and now you are faced with reality as it is. You do not like it and you cannot do anything about it.

While there are many ways to cope with “loss depression” (it should differentiated from Depression as a clinical psychological DSM-V disorder) one of the most critical is the idea of “letting go”. It sounds easy and has been proven to be affective in alleviating the stress of some “losses”, yet it seems almost impossible to do in some circumstances.  How many times have we been told, “its just a game, girl, boy, job, parking space, toy, etc”? It’s a method of trying to get the person suffering to see things in a perspective, to see the “bright side” of the reality they have tried to so hard to fight against. In most cases it is “holding on” to the perceived loss that fuels depression and the subsequent actions that accompany the feelings. Once one has learned to let go (you won’t forget, though, sorry) the final step is approached, Acceptance.

 

Acceptance: ““Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.”  -John Lennon

 

The final and crucial step towards moving through a loss is acceptance. In terms of our “daily losses” those steps may be quicker than the deep personal loss of a loved one. So you lost today’s game, there will be tomorrow. So he dumped you, Mr. or Mrs. Right will be around soon enough. So you missed your bid on the brand new gadget on EBay, there will be a new auction in a few minutes. Its surprising how people can become resilient and stronger by facing the changes that occur and accepting the results, even if unfavorable.

It can almost be argued that unfavorable changes, the “daily losses” of life, help to define the human experience and help to create a better person. So that when major changes occur one can look back on the smaller victories and recognize that all hope is not lost. It creates a sense of “I have gotten through tough times before…”.

This is an amazing, yet often overlooked, aspect of the human experience. A human being will go through smaller, almost imperceptible, experiences to help reinforce themselves for larger ones. When thought about, it actually brings about a sense of enlightened bliss in knowing that every major experience, albeit loss or success, has been previously achieved. Time and place may be different, but understanding, that “everything changes, yet nothing is truly lost” provides an awareness to even the most minuscule of stressful situations which impact us and our society.

The Universe is an amazing classroom with examples of lessons both within us and in nature of how to cope and achieve peace through and within loss. The 5 stages, while popular, are actually natural mechanisms within us to help alleviate the pain and stress of the human experience.

 

 

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K%C3%BCbler-Ross_model