Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Accept, Change, Know

The trip was wonderful.

The bride was beautiful....inside and out :)

The groom...their daughters....I felt like family...they sure treated me that way.

I'm so grateful that I was able to go.

It's think that this is my life!!!

I was thinking, on the flight a few short years ago....considering what Kimber's life was like...and what MY life was completely unlikely this weekend really was....that the two of us would meet online....that she would marry....that I would be able to go (to AFFORD to go, for one)...but not just the money....getting past the shame and MENTION to my husband that I wanted to go...well...on so so many was amazing that I was able to be there....I will never forget it...neither will she :)

So I read on the plane. Something else I do compulsively, I am a 'buyer of books'....I love books....I love knowledge...wish I had more time...

anyway...I brought three books with me, not sure what my mood would be...but I ended up sticking with the first one I had a look at...

"What You Can Change... and What You Can't"- *learning to accept who you are, by Martin E. P. Seligman, Ph.D.

fascinating stuff.

The author has been studying helplessness, depression and pessimism for over thirty years.

The book addresses depression, anxiety, stupidity, meanness, traumatic stress, alcoholism, fatness and sexual "perversion".

He cites animal experiments to illustrate points...but mostly twin show which traits have a biological influence in humans.

He talks about, for different 'conditions'...the overall effectiveness of different approaches...medication, cognitive behavioral therapy (basically changing the way one thinks...and acts), other types of therapy (interpersonal, behavioral, etc.) and even electric shock!

I haven't finished the book...and the author seems biased against using drugs, stating that side effects can be terrible and the effects are temporary (stop using the drug and the condition reoccurs)....but it is very interesting...

I mean...if this is a process (and for me it is) of evaluating ones' self....and attempting to make order that I might improve my quality of life......
and also....
of learning to accept people, places and things that I have no control over....

I have maintained that the only person, place or thing that I can really control is me....but

are there things about me that I really CAN'T change? I'm sure there are.
so....I don't want to waste my precious time and energy there....something else to feel depressed about (I am such a failure).... best to identify and ACCEPT those things that I cannot change (easier to do, maybe, if I believe I have little or no control over it)...

I'm keeping in mind, though...that there are ALWAYS people who accomplish what generally 'can not be done'.... so I won't rule anything out....but....maybe I can be kinder to myself about not being successful in those areas....IF...I am not successful :)

So I haven't finished the book...I'm curious about the chapter on Alcoholism (since my belief is that..'addiction' is, in fact, one illness)....but I figure...if I wait til I FINISH the book before I mention may be quite a while...

I hope not.


the rat race is back, final preparations before the boys return to school, blah blah blah

ok -- time for me to make my list....what I will accomplish today...hmmmm
I can add 'reading a few pages' to that list...

what's one more thing?

God, grant me serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.

Attributed to Friedrich Oetinger (1702-1782), and to Reinhold Niebuhr, "The Serenity Prayer" (1934)

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