Category: Understand Yourself and Others (page 1 of 6)

A Test Of Character?

The Ascetic Experience is a blog I subscribe to because I love the pictures and meditations of this group of Greek monks. Orthodoxy has a unique beauty.

They wrote a small piece about how to find a good spouse, and one of the points was this:

“Observe him around girls or women with whom he is not interested in having a relationship, like a sister or feeble or old woman. How does he behave around them? Here you will see his true character.”

Obviously you can substitute ‘her’ for ‘him’, but I think the point has merit. Every life has value and something unique to offer. Don’t settle for a friend or spouse who ignores certain people or treats them like they’re worthless.

Everybody Needs a Hug

A friend just let me know that today is National Hugging Day.

So, hugs for everyone!

Don’t neglect the gift of a loving touch for people and pets – and even a beloved stuffed toy or doll.

I’ve Been Thinking

It’s the title of a very nice book by Maria Shriver about finding a meaningful life. In it she includes the Prayer of Saint Francis:

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:

where there is hatred, let me sow love;

where there is injury, pardon;

where there is doubt, faith;

where there is despair, hope;

where there is darkness, light;

where there is sadness, joy.

O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek

to be consoled as to console,

to be understood as to understand,

to be loved as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive,

it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,

and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

Amen.

Room For Improvement

What does it feel like to be you right now?

What part of you hasn’t shown up in your life yet?

I have a big project to work on this year. It’s called me. I have to excavate some troubling traits and backfill my life with the qualities of people I admire.

The greatest gift you can bring to the table of your relationships is a healthy, kind, forgiving, loving, encouraging, helpful, connected heart. It’s never too late.

Thank God for that.

Some Corporations Have a Soul

Or at least pretend to. You have to hand it to Westjet and their marketing team. Watch this. It’s very nice.

Pay Attention to Your Life

Time really does fly. How can it be that I had stuff on my upstairs bathroom counter for 20 YEARS until I finally figured out the solution of a medicine cabinet. Does this lack of noticing happen to you or am I just crazy? This is just one example of things not paid attention to – FOR YEARS!

“This practice of paying attention to the moments in our lives that open up big questions is something Rainer Maria Rilke wrote about beautifully in his famous Letters to a Young Poet. “Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue,” he wrote. “Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.”

Written by Kristin Lin
Editor, The On Being Project
onbeing.org is a blog I subscribe to.

A Sweet or Bitter Heart

A kind hearted person is a joy to be connected with. Here are some warnings of the other kind from an article by Lesli White on Beliefnet.com:

One of the biggest indicators of a bitter heart is a person who holds grudges. These people always feel like they are right and believe the person who has wronged them is automatically bad. They also have a tendency to justify their bitterness as appropriate and well-deserved. They think that because the person has done something so hurtful and insensitive, they deserve punishment. One of the big issues with this is that the anger that comes along with the grudge is often disproportionate to the wrong that was done. Often, they’re not just punishing a person for what they did but also for all the same wrongs other people have committed against them. They hold so much anger and resentment inside, it can really tear them apart.


People with bitter hearts are often narcissistic and experts at creating confusion, chaos and conflicts. The narcissistic lover with a narcissistic personality will create turmoil on a regular basis and on purpose to keep you in a heightened state of anxiety. He or she will do this even when things are good so you don’t expect the relationship to go left or to be kicked to the curb. This is why the silent treatment always catches us off-guard, sending us into a tail-spin trying to figure out what happened. Creating chaos is one of the oldest narcissistic tactics in the book, next to the silent treatment and is absolutely intentional.


Bitter people are often jealous of what other people have. Most of the time, this is a result of their insecurities. They are not happy that other people are in better positions than they are and many times they can’t even hold back their bitterness. Sometimes, jealousy can even bleed into their relationships with others. Have you ever heard jealousy signals passion? This is a very common misconception, especially in relationships of emotional abuse. There is a difference between a partner who cares a lot and a partner who gets upset and controls a lot. While your partner’s jealousy may appear like they are extremely passionate about you, it signals major issues of insecurity and control. Constant jealousy, rage or envy is not only unhealthy but will tear your relationship apart.


You would never think it but people with bitter hearts are experts of flattery. They want other people to think that they’re better, more attractive, more interesting and smarter than everyone else. In the initial phases of a relationship they tend to tell whoever they’re dating that he or she is wonderful, attractive, interesting and smart, because they think that it reflects well on them: they’re marvelous, so they choose marvelous partners. The trouble is that they can’t deal with the inevitable result of what that proves: your development of affection for them. So what do they do? They flip the script. The minute you start getting close to them, the fear of exposing their intrinsic lack of their ability to love starts to kick in and they’ll begin to push you away, leaving you confused, upset and in pain.


If your partner is constantly consumed with their life and their needs, proceed with caution. People with bitter hearts will take advantage of you. They play on the kindness and sympathy of good people, and then try to mislead them. They will demand mercy, but never give any themselves. They will also push for warmth, forgiveness and intimacy from those they have harmed with no empathy. They also have no real intention of making amends or working hard to regain lost trust. A partner that does not concentrate equally to both individuals in the relationship will not change their priorities down the road.

OK Boomer

Not being around very many young people, this phrase was new to me just this week, even though it’s been around for a while.

It’s the latest way for Millennials to dismiss the opinions and wisdom of the older generation, and close off all conversation with a mindless slogan.

According to Wikipedia, the phrase “OK Boomer” is a pejorative retort and ageist catchphrase used to dismiss or mock perceived narrow-minded, outdated, negatively judgemental, or condescending attitudes of older people, particularly baby boomers.

You know, all the stuff that’s been true forever, which they have arbitrarily decided isn’t anymore. They know better.

The Red Guard in Maoist China and the infamous Hitler Youth also had the sublime confidence of youth.

Do You Know Your Soul Age?

Have you ever met a younger person who seemed to be wise beyond their years? Or a 50-year-old who was stuck in the eternal temper tantrum of a terrible two? These are expressions of what some writers call your soul age. A young soul is typically concerned with success and building a career. A mature soul is more interested in relationships, and an old soul is more philosophically oriented.

Some of the literature links the theory to re-incarnation, which is not a belief I hold, but I did find the descriptions interesting.

You can Google soul age for more information if this is a topic that interests you. Here is an article about old souls, just in case you know any.

An Easy Way to Make People Like You

I have been doing everything wrong according to this article.

But it’s so much fun to bitch and complain when others agree with you.

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