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Malevolent or Benevolent

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Malevolent or Benevolent

Last night I listened to a podcast about the psychology of a stalker. A young woman, through no fault of her own, had encountered a patron at her work and treated him nicely, the way she did every customer. The man who received her professional courtesy and kindness took it as a gesture of a personal declaration of her love for him. From then on he would show up at her work, her home, parties and other places. At first, he would watch her for hours, then he began writing poetry, calling her at home, declare his love for her and her for him at different and unexpected places. She reported his behavior to the police, depended on friends to keep him away, moved twice to locations almost five-hundred miles apart. Still, he found her.

He wrote a blog about being a stalker in which he wrote about a love that was benevolent; kind, kindly, kindhearted, big-hearted, good-natured, good, benign, compassionate, caring. He insisted she misunderstood him and accused him of being malevolent; malicious, hostile, evil-minded, baleful, evil-intentioned, venomous, evil, malign, malignant, rancorous, vicious, vindictive, vengeful. He had plans of “fake” kidnapping her and after she went away with him, falling in love with him. His behavior was spiraling and finally, after attacking another woman, he was put in jail for thirteen months for assault, stalking and predatory behavior. Before, during and after being incarcerated, he wrote a book about a man who fell in love with a beautiful woman who eventually learned to love him. People can find the book for sale online today and the blog he still writes.

Love gone wrong, gone bad, corrupted, coercive and corrosive is not love but selfishness painted in illusion. As I listened to the podcast last night I couldn’t help but think a lot of what’s wrong with our world today is people not knowing the difference between malevolent and benevolent.

blessings,
@BrianLoging (Twitter)
thewannabesaint.com

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How do You Feel?

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How Do You Feel?

Yesterday was my three-month check-up with the doctor in charge of the medicinal portion of my mental health plan. As someone with Chronic Severe Depression and a Severe Anxiety Disorder, the psychology group I go to has doctors who specialize in medical therapy and others who specialize in talk therapy. Together with the patient a plan is developed and intended to help them as much as possible.

Yesterday’s appointment was; “Meh, okay.” The therapist asked standard questions; “Are you taking your meds? How do you feel? Have you noticed any changes in mood or behavior? Any major life changes?”  I answered all of them and told her I was following my plan except for one suggestion she’s made many times. We don’t agree and I don’t think it’s a big deal. She, the professional, thinks otherwise. I told her; “Yes, I am still…” she simply replied; “You know how I feel about that!” and we kept going with the conversation. I found it humorous that’s all she has to say and it’s enough. I either have to trust her and do it or not. She’s told me the benefits and even though I don’t see them I choose to fully follow the mental health plan or not. Sigh.

We’ve all been there with people we love and care for. We give them advice about life and after a point, we decide not to tell them again and again. We let them choose and deal with the results. I’ve done this with many of the people I work with but it’s interesting, and a little uncomfortable, to be on the other side.

blessings,
@BrianLoging (Twitter)
thewannabesaint.com

POP! Goes the Ego

RULE OF LIFE: Getting your bubble popped is never as much fun as popping someone else’s.

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Over at Neatorama there is a great video on making and popping giant bubbles.

A long, long time ago in a neighborhood far, far away blowing bubbles was the perfect way to pass an afternoon. A small plastic container with magic liquid and a wand with a circle on the end allowed you to make bubbles appear with a mere puff of air. A quick learner could make double, triple, large, small and multiple bubbles with ease. However, no matter how intricate and complex, the person who blew the biggest bubble was the best.

Egos are like bubble contests, some are impressive, others are complex, but the biggest always lay claim to being the best. We all know people in our lives with massive hubris. They never miss a chance to let you know their accomplishments, they’re in charge, they’re in this to win. In subtle and not so subtle ways everyone around them know they don’t measure up. Whether we live, work, are friends with or related to folks with overstuffed opinions of themselves we must be careful not to get sucked into their ego bubble.

One of our first responses is to POP these people. Not physically, though tempting, but through our own subtle and not so subtle ways of chipping away at their oversized confidence and bravado.  It is slippery knowing when, where, how and if to attempt to pop a swollen personality. Wisdom and life teach us most of the time it’s not worth the splatter.

When we look at our motives for wanting to let the air out of a gas-bag we often discover it’s more about our own ego than theirs. Our feelings have been hurt, we’re underappreciated, our ideas and opinions are not heard, or our egotistical counterpart just gets on our every nerve! Even as adults we want to win the contest.

Being mindful and expanding our egos don’t go together. Letting go of feelings of being bullied, embarrassed, ignored and disregarded isn’t easy. Coming to grips with our own swollen selves can be humbling.

Life isn’t about competing with one another. It’s not having what another possesses. It’s learning who you are and knowing that is enough.

“He who is not content with what he has, will not be content with what he wants.” –Socrates

blessings and burstings,

bdl

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