This and that September 06, 2022

I’m coming up empty on what to talk about tonight. We have no good book suggestions to get excited about. My head is not settled on subjects I could pursue. It’s probably because I’ve spent the evening listening to YouTube podcasts. There were a bunch of short ones related to the news of the day, not something I really want to talk about. They weren’t of the feel good type, more of a downer, life is like that sometimes.

The last one, though, has given me much to ponder. It was a long interview, 2 and 1/4 hours long, and in my mind it could have been longer. The interview was between two highly successful men. It was very interesting, mostly because they both got to the heart of the matter in a very real and candid way. It was relatable and left me feeling richer for the experience. I’ll be chewing on it for awhile.

The other unique aspect was that it turned into a double interview. Both of these guys have successful podcasts with huge audiences and of course the interviewee had to have a chance to interview his host. They both did an awesome job of switching roles. I will probably watch it again another day. There was so much to unpack that once is not enough.

I will include the link in case you are curious to see what it was all about. The original guest was inducted into a Canadian hall of fame for marketing genius. His name is Tony Chapman. The subject was marketing but they got into personal territory when they talked about their early life, their families, their jobs and how they got their start and how they progressed to where they are now. Fascinating.

The awesome thing was they wanted to be helpful. They left their egos at home and shared real down-to-earth things. I love this type of interview, it draws me in and touches my life in profound ways.

Anyway, that is where my head is tonight.

It was a good night.

Maybe we will have books to share tomorrow.

Happy reading and maybe even listening.

A rewired brain – abuse, pornography

Abuse and pornography = a rewired brain. Mine has been rewired by abuse starting at a very early age and I’m just now figuring it out.

Probably because I didn’t want to figure it out sooner.

Two things set this event in motion.

One of the comments appearing often over the last several years is that “the body remembers.” I have to say that’s true. One of the fleeting memories I had as a young kid and remember vividly to this day was straddling a metal barrel warmed by the sun, struck by the thought “I’ve had this experience of warmth before somewhere.” There are many other similar memories and thought patterns that added all together lead to a dark place.

Another happening adding to the discussion in my head was a recent podcast where the interviewee talked about his early introduction to pornography and how the practice rewired his brain and made relationships difficult. One of the biggest reasons, aside from guilt, for this difficulty in relationships is connection, or more precisely, a lack of it, and pornography contributes to it. But that’s a subject for another day.

For years I have wrestled with many things about my thought processes regarding men, especially compared to thought patterns of other women. I have an inexplicable love/hate relationship with them. I love having long conversations with my sons and brothers so there’s that. Then, I don’t exactly hate other men, I just run away from any who show interest.

This rewiring is apparent when I can’t understand the fascination young girls, or women for that matter, have with boys/men. The only experience I have with normal teenage thoughts is reading about them in books. I can’t relate to the giggling fascination. Swooning over cute boys, falling in and out of love regularly and sharing all the details of these interactions daily with their friends.

The reason I am happy about this recent new level of understanding about my mixed up feelings is my incessant need to know why. Why am I this way?

I’ve heard other abuse victims say this: there are two sides to the coin. On the one hand you hate the abusive experience forced on you while at the same time, the physical experience has a level of enjoyment to it. Our bodies betray us by liking what is happening.

I guess all of this explains why I have a good attitude toward the physical experience but a negative reaction to the thought of having a man in my life. The unwelcome hazy face rising up at the thought of sharing my life inevitably looks like one I wouldn’t want to be with. A thought killer right there.

I don’t really know how to end this. This whole conversation has been working in my mind for a while and today it seemed like this was the day I finally needed to talk it out.

My journey from abuse to wellness has been decades long and I have to say I am now the healthiest I’ve ever been. I’m grateful. The truth has indeed set me free.

I’m understanding, on a minor level, the kind of abuse inflicted on me, I’ve made peace with the people involved even though they are no longer with us, and I’ve allowed enough difficult memories to surface to make understanding and healing possible.

I can also see the truth in the idea that rewiring by repetition of positive healthy experiences will change neural pathways. We can learn healthy new ways of being. That has been my prayer, that my thought patterns and reactions would be changed to a healthier version.

While I’m still baffled by my complicated thoughts and attitudes toward men, it’s something to realize that over the years (especially the teen years) many of my best friends were guys. It’s with thankfulness that I can agree that the abusive first decade of my life has been somewhat influenced and overwritten by the positive relationships of my free and healthy second decade, the teen years.

I guess I am a product of the good and the bad.

I’m grateful. Grateful for the good parts of life, grateful for the healing and understanding I have today.

I won’t lie though. The healing is not complete, it’s just markedly better. I’m still hiding away from men.

Somethings may never change lol

Enough of this, I’m off to rescue the dryer.

Current read June 25, 2022, finished – 26th

I’ve figured some things out. Charles Martin is one of my top five favorite authors. There is such depth to his stories. They are real, emotional, and complex. Pretty much like real life. It’s impossible to walk away unchanged after reading one of his books. But…

Despite loving his characters and the life they live there were often uncomfortable moments in the reading that puzzled me. I figured it was something about his style, or the fact that he is a male and I’m not. Everyone knows men are from Mars and women are from Venus. We hear the same words while receiving different messages.

Charles would craft intricately detailed descriptions and explanations that left me confused. Frustrating.

Today an enlightening new thought occurred to me. With further consideration I’ve decided maybe his writing style is not the problem. Maybe it’s my reading style. I’ve gotten used to reading books at 60 miles an hour (figuratively speaking) without missing anything important. Sometimes even skipping whole paragraphs, pages, or even chapters without losing much of the story.

That’s the problem. Speed without much effort. Many of his paragraphs need to have a slow-to-20 sign posted at the entrance.

As I continued through the book I had to admit there was still truth in other contributing issues like male/female thought patterns and lack of subject knowledge on things like places (Florida Everglades) and technical discussions (machines and fishing flies.) Still, the bulk of my confusion would probably be eliminated with slow down.

Sadly, It’s finished.

There is always a sense of loss when such a great story comes to an end.

It has been a few years since I first read this book and it was a shock to discover how little I remembered of the story.

It probably seemed to me like I should remember more because the title has appeared often through the years and since it was marked as read…

The upside of not remembering is the chance for the joy of a first time experience all over again.

I have to say it brightened my weekend.

If you’ve not read Charles Martin, you should. It is always an amazing experience.

I should have posted this on the 25th but I was reading, not paying attention to time, midnight came and went before I noticed. Since it was already the 26th I figured I may as well finish the book first, I was hoping for a good quote to demonstrate my confusion point. There was a perfect one early on but I had read past it, losing sight of it’s location. I was hoping to come across another good one but I guess the new awareness worked against that happening.

Anyway, on to a new story. Haven’t decided what that should be yet. It’ll be a surprise.

This and that March 18, 2022

Photo by fauxels on Pexels.com

This is one of those days when I have nothing on my mind to say so I’ll just start talking and see what happens.

I know I mentioned this yesterday but I can’t get over how quickly the snow melts when the temperature rises to zero and the hot sun shines brightly. The sun really is hot here. It’s crazy. It can be freezing and short sleeves still work when you are standing in the sun.

With these bright days the furnace has hardly been on and at one point today the inside temp was 74 F. At the moment (9:45) it is still 71.

Another thing that is crazy? I measure inside temps and fever temps in Fahrenheit and outside temps in Celsius. I measure mileage in kilometers and fuel in litres, fabric and everything else in inches and yards, and food in pounds and ounces – sort of. It seems like I have an identity crisis. I probably do but I’m not planning on resolving it anytime soon. I’m happy just the way I am. Probably because I wasn’t thrilled with the whole change to metric in the first place. This mixed up system is my mini rebellion.

On to another favorite topic – books. I haven’t been doing well with my book a day goal. Two reasons, mainly. I’ve been busier at work as my workload has increased. I’ve very happy about this for multiple reasons. On top of that, I’ve once again been spending time watching live streams of the people’s convoy, this time in Maryland USA.

I’ve been following ZOT You Tube channel, Charlotte is the host and she does an amazing job. Everyone LOVES her. She loves people, and she is fearless. This causes a great deal of anxiety among her viewers, as well as the people she hangs out with on the ground. Everyone is looking out for her and they let her know. They pay attention to where she is, who she’s with, and what she does or doesn’t eat. This probably makes her even safer. Today she streamed for over twelve hours. From the time she left her hotel until she closed her car door to go back.

This beautiful girl is amazing and, she has publicly shared – she is nineteen.

I tune in, leave it on in the back ground all day, and stop by to watch when ever I have a few moments, or hours. They have been doing a peaceful protest for about three weeks. Everyday they drive what is called the beltway, around the capital. That’s it. Drive the route and then back to the speedway in Hagerstown MD. The authorities know the plan every day and they stick to it, no surprises. There are a few counter protesters who try to provoke a fight but it hasn’t worked. Today there were people in a field throwing large bricks of some sort on the road, One of the trucks was hit and suffered radiator damage. The big trucks with him all stopped for support. Live streamers caught it all on video and they were able to identify the perpetrators. These guys couldn’t have gone far (which doesn’t seem all that smart) because the police were able to arrest them easily. Charlotte was in one of the lead trucks so we got to see this happening.

It was a long day.

They arrived back to a noisy speedway. There were time trials going on for the big race coming up next weekend. The guys in her chat were urging her to go see the cars, her welfare in mind-caregivers were saying go eat first. She opted for food first but it was challenging because there are always people at every turn waiting to talk to her. It’s a bad thing and a good thing. She is very gracious to everyone.

Charlotte was a newbie at live streaming when she started taking daily shifts with the convoy in Ottawa Her progress has been amazing. She has a gift for relating to people and drawing out their stories. I can see a future for her in journalism if she ever decides to go that route.

The protests have been peaceful in both places and the amazing thing out of it is – love wins. A soft answer turns away wrath is really true. Hatred is confused by love. We watched this happen in both places and it was encouraging.

The other awesome thing coming out of this is the changing relationship between the US and Canada. On a grass roots level.

On a personal/individual level we’ve had good relationships across the border. As a body/country, in general, we were neighbors with a passing acquaintance. With all of the events over the last four months we are becoming neighbors with a strong friendship. It’s amazing to watch it unfold. To hear people expressing such love and appreciation is a very emotional experience. Watching ZOT for hours we get to see these expressions over and over.

How can you tell I am just a little bit wound up by all of this.

I watched the goings-on in Ottawa til the end (hoping there will be more) and I will watch Hagerstown to the end too. It gives me, and others, hope in this crazy time.

Well, it seems I could go on and on but…

I’ll save some for next time.

There are many live streamers out there, start with ZOT and you will see others pop up too. Check them all out.

Happy reading, and viewing.

This and that March 13, 2022

What a shock! Time change happened and I wasn’t paying attention. With so much snow in the yard it just seems wrong.

Maybe I am the only one out of sync with the season, my house plants are all starting to grow and bloom again.

I don’t think it’s me. -16C and two feet of snow?

I had things on my mind to chat about, honest, but all this talk about time and weather has derailed all rational thought.
I’ll go for coffee and a bite to eat, maybe that will help.

This is hours later and it didn’t really help. I wanted to have something upbeat and light to talk about but it’s not happening. For a number of reasons

I was reading and liking a book but it didn’t qualify as positive because of the ongoing distressing events facing the characters. It turned out well in the end but since I feel other’s emotions …

And then…

A You Tube podcast was impactful this week. But it too deals with a serious subject.

At one point in the video the conversation was centered around brokenness and a new idea (at least to me) was put forth. I don’t remember the conversation enough to quote it, and that can be a good thing. The question was: in regard to story, are we living and defining ourselves by our old story or by our present story? Most of us are living with our old story.

That’s true for me, when I stop to think about it. The abusive story of origin is the first place my thoughts go when asked about my life. In many ways the old story does define me because of the depth of emotional damage. Like a crippling spinal injury, in some areas it will color the way I do life for as long as I live. On the other hand though, my life as a whole took a 180 once we were removed from the situation. The idea put forth in the video was that we need to write and live by our new story. I can see the positive difference it would make to my view, and the world’s view, of me if I did this.

Replacing the old with the new will take some getting used to. It sounds easy but to do it successfully the insecure view of myself will have to change drastically. That will be the hard part. I think I like the idea enough to give it an honest try though.

Here is the video with the helpful conversation. The part referring to writing our new story happens in the last 10 minutes. Everything else is worth listening to as well. This is a leadership podcast but they cover so much more and it all applies to everyday people like you and me. Although who is to say we aren’t leaders? They say we should look behind us and if someone is following we are a leader, never mind that it isn’t a recognized leadership. The opposite is also sometimes true; there are a few in recognized leadership positions who, if they looked behind, would find no one following.

But leadership is not the focus here, the need for writing our new story is.

Ian Morgan Cron is talking about his latest book and in it he spends time on the idea of writing our new story, explaining why it is a worthwhile and life changing exercise.

The Story of You: An Enneagram Journey to Becoming Your True Self

Drawing on his training as a psychotherapist and his own personal experience, Ian Cron explains how you can:

  • rewrite the self-sabotaging stories you tell yourself about who you are,
  • free yourself from the tyranny of unconscious childhood messages, and
  • overcome the self-defeating patterns of behavior that prevent you from becoming your authentic self.

With this powerful tool, Cron shows us how each type can shed their broken stories and harness their unique power within to become who we are truly meant to be, shedding the unhappiness we accumulate by trying to live out of the wrong story. Filled with examples from people whose lives have been transformed for the better, Cron maps out a guide for using Enneagram wisdom to reauthor your life and experience deep inner transformation, healing, and happiness.

Rewrite the story of you and find the freedom in becoming your true self!

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His first book in this series is also helpful.

The Road Back to You: An Enneagram Journey to Self-Discovery

Ignorance is bliss―except in self-awareness.
What you don’t know about yourself can hurt you and your relationships―and even keep you in the shallows with God. Do you want help figuring out who you are and why you’re stuck in the same ruts?
The Enneagram is an ancient personality typing system with an uncanny accuracy in describing how human beings are wired, both positively and negatively. In The Road Back to You Ian Morgan Cron and Suzanne Stabile forge a unique approach―a practical, comprehensive way of accessing Enneagram wisdom and exploring its connections with Christian spirituality for a deeper knowledge of ourselves, compassion for others, and love for God.

Witty and filled with stories, this book allows you to peek inside each of the nine Enneagram types, keeping you turning the pages long after you have read the chapter about your own number. Not only will you learn more about yourself, but you will also start to see the world through other people’s eyes, understanding how and why people think, feel, and act the way they do.
Beginning with changes you can start making today, the wisdom of the Enneagram can help take you further along into who you really are―leading you into places of spiritual discovery you would never have found on your own, and paving the way to the wiser, more compassionate person you want to become.

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There are varied opinions on the value of Enneagram. I’ve gone into it with an open but discerning mind and have found much that resonates and is helpful to me.

I have a tendency, like many others along with me, to beat myself up. Brutally sometimes. Learning more about who I am and how I tick has made a world of difference in the way I view myself. More tolerance, less critical, kindness.

I’m looking forward to growing with the latest book.

I hope you will find this as helpful in your journey as I do in mine.

Found it, February 15, 2022

One of the videos I wanted to share earlier but couldn’t find showed up on a popular followed site. Dr. Steve Turley is another well known American figure supporting the tyranny fight wherever it shows up in the world.

This video is this morning’s Trucker news conference with an update and encouragement for the troops. Reassuring and informative. The convoy is highly organized and committees have been appointed for every aspect of daily life. This group is one of them.

In an official two language country we hear everything in both English and French. Just sayin’.

I haven’t checked for new book suggestions yet today but I will. You will hear from me if anything interesting shows up.

I’m currently watching Ottawalks live stream. It’s a beautiful day.

No political commentary, he just walks and does an excellent job at filming.

Later guys.

One more thing Feb 11, 2022

Most of the world has heard about the Freedom Convoy of trucks here in Canada. Yesterday I discovered there is a team of You Tubers on site in Ottawa streaming what is happening on the ground. I watched a few hours of it last night and this morning another four hours has been posted by Zot.

The routine has them walking to cover most of the area just to see what is happening. They stop often to chat with people along the way.

I was watching live streaming yesterday with several different guys, this morning one of them has posted a four hour video from the middle of the night.

Check these guys out. We get to see for ourselves what is happening over there.

PTSD Conversation January 29, 2022

“Do you wanna be well, really wanna be well?” The Gaither Vocal Band has a song asking this question.

I’m just now realizing it’s a question I have to ask myself, again.

I’ve loved this song since it first came out and I honestly thought my answer to this question was a resounding YES!

I’m having to rethink this position, based on my actions, or rather, lack of them.

My conversation with the dermatologist on Tuesday is the catalyst.

His question “how long have you had this rash on your legs?” started this train of thought. Looking at my answer “12 years,” from his perspective was upsetting. Added to that, my comment regarding much scratching “pain is addictive,” tipped me over the edge. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it.

I’ve never sought help in regard to this current, and worst, version of the rash. Why is that?

I can get into the weeds pretty quickly if I follow this train of thought too intensely so I won’t go there.

It is true that for many years I have been working on healing from my childhood trauma and the damage it caused. Honestly though, it’s not as simple as I thought.

I think it’s more like a mirrored disco ball. There are many facets and I’ve been honest about some but not others. My behavior shows the truth. No doctor visits in a decade. Never (rarely) leaving my house. Avoiding any gatherings with certain types of people in attendance. (it’s probably more honest to say avoiding gatherings with people in attendance, never mind types.)

Where do I go from here?

I don’t know. For now I think my acknowledgement of the truth is enough. My behavior often changes when my perspective changes.

Baby steps.

The song is based on a bible story found in the New Testament, the book of John, chapter 5, verses 1 – 15

I do want to be well, I’m just not so sure about making changes in some areas.

I like interacting with people in this arena. Maybe, along with honesty, interaction here is all that’s needed. I could live with that.

Why do I like Carey Nieuwhof so much? Jan 22, 2022

If you haven’t explored any of his podcasts shared on this site, Carey Nieuwhof is a popular internationally known podcaster with millions of downloads. That isn’t why I like him but it helps.

He started out in radio as a teen, went on to become a lawyer, practiced law for a short time and decided he didn’t love it. Next he went to seminary, decided to try out pastoring, starting with a small congregation that over time became a very large one. After twenty-five years or so, developed a succession plan for the church to survive beyond his time there and gradually worked himself out of a job.

Retirement was unappealing. Looking around for a hobby or two he settled on blogging and then podcasting. He didn’t plan for it to go anywhere, one thing led to another, though, and it just did.

It was a lot of hard work but he had dreams and was brimming with good ideas. Mentoring his successor as pastor provided an added a dimension to his plan. Eventually he found himself mentoring leaders in the church world as well as in the corporate world.

Carey has a gift for asking the kind of questions that will turn interviews into something special. He can draw the best out of people and leave us feeling like the conversation only scratched the surface of what was still there to be discovered.

Here’s what I like best.

Every interview is like reading a book, only better. For one thing it is a multi-dimensional experience. Particularly if you watch the video version. Hearing the voice, watching the expressions, adds to impact and understanding.

The main attraction though is content. Every guest is there because of a gold mine to be explored.

Last but not least, I love these interviews because they get right down to the meat of the issue. It’s like reading Cliffs Notes, we get to skip the lengthy explanations.

And, if we want more we can order the books that were the impetus for the interview in the first place. Carey is good about populating the show notes with an abundance of useful information, most of our questions should be answered there.

So, now that I’ve shared a brief glimpse of why I have faithfully followed Carey Nieuwhof, I want to share a video that reads like a book. It’s one I can barely understand and it will be life changing in the world of internet.

It needs it’s own post, though, so that is what I am going to give it.

In the meantime I’ll leave you with a picture of Carey and one of his many books.

Didn’t See It Coming: Overcoming the Seven Greatest Challenges That No One Expects and Everyone Experiences.

Something bigger is going on. January 15, 2022

My take-away from this new interview – in this present day with it’s upheaval and polarization the discussion here has a different perspective, we are missing the real point.

The title identifies today’s topic as Future Church Trends. This is true but it’s not the whole truth. These days we are in hot debate, coming close to blows over things like Covid, global warming, CRT, and so many more. The discussion here expands to embrace the global view, not just the church view, of our struggles and it encompasses all the areas of life we as a culture are fighting about.

Mark Sayers has taken a step back to look at the global in-fighting and has reached the conclusion, there is something bigger going on here.

His view on this speaks to me.

A number of weeks ago, as we watched the massive destruction of farmland and major highway systems in south western Canada, due to major flooding, a realization came over me. For years we have been engaged in the heated philosophical debate over climate change and how to combat it. We have totally ignored the practical aspects of infrastructure maintenance. If the level of energy given to the climate change debate had been applied to the consideration of practical areas, like fixing the reported weaknesses in the local dykes, the disaster could have been significantly reduced.

On a global level, are we so caught up in our emotional and opinionated disagreements that we are missing the reality of what is going on in our world?

Mark Sayers is not offering any thoughts on what is truly happening but I think he could be right, there is something.

The world could be falling apart all around us and the way we are fighting, we wouldn’t even notice. Until it was too late.

Personally, I’m taking a few steps back to think about what we could be missing here. What is truly going on in our world? I don’t think there are any easy answers. If we are vigilant maybe we will see the truth exposed in time to do something about it.

So, who is it? Happy to see us consumed in heated arguments while they steal the rug out from under us?

I think generations coming up behind us need us to lay aside our feuds and pay attention to reality.

Enjoy.