Day 50 of being “grounded” – 4/24/2020 Lessons Solidified Part Two- Three Human Hungers

This is my second departure from my recent attempts to be uplifting and entertaining.

Well, I think this is still entertaining, but then, I crack myself up all the time with internal jokes no one else gets when I say them out-loud…

50 days into being sequestered, I’m thankfully still coming across wonderful things people are sharing to get through this time, and I will get back to those, but I am also being reminded of some of the more difficult lessons too.

Years ago a Trainee of mine asked me a question…

What are the three or four most important things you can learn in therapy, and then teach as a practitioner?

That’s what this four part series addresses.

(Disclaimer: this is a very shortened, very concentrated version of my answer.)

 

Three basic Human Hungers

People. You gotta love ‘em. We fight with each other over our perceived differences but really, underneath all the bravado or sugar or dark clouds, aren’t we all just looking for the same things?

Basically, what all human beings yearn for, cross culturally, is in essence, identical. It is not cultural but innate to our species. These are natural, normal cravings.

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From the moment we arrive, we have 3 basic hungers that need to be fed throughout our lives. And if they are not addressed adequately in certain stages of childhood developmental, we will walk (or tip toe…or bulldoze) through our adult lives searching, scanning for opportunities to get these needs met.

The hungers are: Recognition, Stimulation and Structure.

Building on the idea that Scarcity is at the core of all issues (addressed in Part One of this series), what happens if there is literally not enough available for each new child in a family, enough for these essential hungers to be met.

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In over forty years of private practice, I have yet to meet the Perfect Family, the Perfect Parents, who could perfectly meet these needs. Each child will be shortchanged somehow, even by the most loving, dedicated, well-intentioned parents, who simply do not have enough time, energy, or support for themselves.

But we are creative beings so even as toddlers, we will figure out how to substitute for what we are not getting.

Unfortunately, what we learn to settle for can be shallow and unfulfilling and can begin a life-long habit of frantic searches for a tiny taste of fuel to feed that original, still growling hunger.

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Defining the Hungers

If we get our needs met developmentally, during the time our brains and bodies are best suited to learn experientially, we’ll still have these three natural hungers but in relatively benign forms….just like everyone else.

Recognition-is about being seen, heard, touched, held, known, claimed, remembered, and held in high esteem. It is essential for a baby, from birth to 6 months old, to receive love and caring treatment that is personalized for them. A baby this age is supposed to be the center of the universe for a while. Plenty of time in later development to learn about the rest of how life works. Babies who do not receive this can fail to thrive, or sometimes, even survive.

Little ones who receive this kind of care can know, at their core, they are lovable, and welcome here on the planet, and they can give that to others without fear of Scarcity!

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“Hand Full of Hope” Photo by Suzanne Arms

 

Stimulation-is about being physically touched, stroked, and inspired intellectually. A toddler needs to be supported for their curiosity and motivated to explore and experiment. This stage is the beginning of being “moved” in all it’s definitions, especially to feel, to be affected, to be excited, and to develop intuition before intellect clutters the brain with words!

When this hunger is satisfied, a toddler can grow to become a confident child, and then person, who is not afraid to try something new, not afraid to fail, excited about learning… and who will be able to trust the non-verbal signs and signals that make up such a large part of our communication with others. The seeds for will power, self-motivation and creativity are firmly planted when this hunger is fed. Freedom to experiment means believing that there can always be enough.

Structure-is about certainty, predictability, a plan, a format, control, knowing what to expect, and the confidence of knowing how to do something.

This internal experience will be essential to one’s future self, believing you have the ability to solve problems and can make your life work.

 

If left too hungry…

When one or more of these hungers is not satisfied while we are developing as humans, the unmet need can show up later in our adult lives with a vengeance!

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Then we have the “Audrey Syndrome” on our hands.

It can create a craving, or even a sense of starvation in our adult lives. In other words, a constant state of Scarcity.

Now, we are so hungry, we are at risk for settling for something really unhealthy, maybe even dangerous, mistakenly believing we are simply feeding ourselves. (Lots of dieting metaphors fit here but I’ll let you play with that.)

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Getting each hunger met in healthy and unhealthy ways.

 Here are some very over-simplified and extreme examples of how these hungers could be fed throughout one’s life…in healthy and unhealthy ways

Recognition-you could become a teacher, a leader, an executive, a bestselling author, an Olympic Gymnast, the head of the PTA…or a mass murderer

Stimulation-You might be a downhill skier, a sky diver, a world traveler…or a drunk driver,

Structure-how about joining the military, becoming a scientist, working in academia, or at Boeing…or you could get yourself locked up in a prison. (Can’t get much more structured than that.)

 

The Covid 19 Pandemic

If you, like most of the world at this writing, are living in some version of isolation, think about how this is messing with your three basic Human Hungers!

I personally have been in virtual solitude for 49 days, on my doctor’s orders. (I am apparently in way too many high-risk categories to even go a grocery store.)

I live with James, and a housemate, and my son and grandsons, but I am living in the completely separate, self-contained, downstairs part of my home. I know they are all there because I can hear them!! But I have not seen anyone, except through a window, or had any physical contact for the whole time.

I’m good at being alone and can mostly entertain myself, so Stimulation and Structure are mostly not a problem for me.

But oh, that Recognition Hunger…I feel like I am starving to death, like parts of my spirit and psyche are atrophying.

The logical part of me knows this too shall pass and that James and I will be fine, but the Mom/Grandma parts of me are screaming for contact with all my boys!

And here’s the worst. There is also a little kid part of me that is really suffering. They have a new kitten upstairs I have seriously bonded with, and a now, also a new puppy, and I have been restricted from contact with them also.

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So which Hunger are you most affected by in your life these days?

 

Spirit Lifter-Day 25 of being “Grounded” Part Four

So if you are a regular reader, you know I can sometimes end up slightly off the beaten path…kinda out there…a little weird.

Today is one of those posts, but it’s all my friend Karuna’s fault. (Check out her blog, especially if you like Mother Nature HERO stories. She is one, though she would never call herself that.)

Beauty in My Backyard-Spring 2020

 

Anyway, I credit her with getting me started on WordPress…but that’s not why today’s post is her fault.

Early in my blog, because I wrote about my Bugs, and she blogged about her Worms, we discovered both of us were fairly grossed out by each other’s creepy, crawly passions. So we tried to teach each other about our respective…uh, pets? I could never quite see the whole worm thing (she raises them to help in the gardens or something) and I’m not sure she ever got my bug thing either.

We share one passion for sure though. We both believe there are lessons absolutely everywhere in life. You just have to be open to them. There are huge ones of course, like what the whole earth is learning right now (the hard way, the very hard way).

Lesson example: Given the stunning, clear blue skies showing up across the planet, from just a few days of humans staying inside and not polluting, why didn’t we do that long before now, on purpose, on our own, even for just a cosmic minute, every now and then, you know, to give the earth a break, a breather???

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/national/its-official-metro-manila-now-has-bluer-skies-cleaner-air/ar-BB11IRj2?ocid=spartandhp

 

But the smaller lessons so valuable also.

Because I love Karuna, I continue to work on shifting my perspective on worms and here’s what happened on my morning walk.

Two things you need to know first.

  1. I’ll photograph anything
  2. I was born not wanting to ever kill a living thing

Again if you are a regular, number one above you may have noticed. But the second one, well, here’s where it may get weird.

I’m not sure what all I actually believe, spiritually speaking, but I do know one thing.

I, specifically, am not supposed to kill anything….well, except the carpenter ants eating my house, and I suppose, like most of us today, I would relish killing Covid 19!

But I’m telling you, I brought it here with me.

I also believe that this is a deeply personal thing and not everyone else was born the way. I was.  I try to have very little judgment about others who can hunt a deer, or step on a cock roach, or join the military. (Don’t get me wrong, I have spent a life time “fighting” for peace and protesting wars, but I know ultimately, every person has to make decisions like that for themselves.)

 

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Photo by Rudolf Jakkel on Pexels.com

So back to my walk…

It was exceptionally beautiful out this morning, crisp, cold, bright blue, breezy, and freshly pollen-washed everywhere from last night’s downpour.

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With my camera (Galaxy 8+) in hand, I took off in search of something uplifting to photograph. In minutes, I spotted this in the low sun, glistening on the wet roadway.

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It was so huge and so cool looking with the sun from behind it, of COURSE, I had to take a picture…for Karuna!

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Amazing, really. You can see all the insides!

But, as I was bending over to get a close up, I spotted the only one of my neighbors I don’t get along with…for many years now. She was headed in my direction. I was rattled because I don’t like pretending to be nice….so with her, I don’t. But that doesn’t feel good either…so I figured, in light of the Zombie Apocalypse, I might try it anyway.

It was then that my phone slid out of my grip…yep, crashing right onto my worm!!

I swear, I could hear it scream! It curled up tight, wriggled a bunch, and then tried to stretch back out to crawl away, but in the wrong direction. I found a stick, lifted it gently and set it down in the grass it had seemed to be headed for when I nearly killed it.

Rescue mission accomplished, I turned around to “be nice” to my neighbor but she had moved on…rapidly, I’m sure having collected more evidence for her file on me. (She plays with worms in the middle of the street!)

On the rest of my walk, I searched my mind and heart for the lessons in this complicated encounter. I won’t bore you with those details because it turned into a whole self-therapy session. A LOT of lessons!!

Bottom line here? I have to call my youngest sister, who has been estranged from me for a couple of years now….

Bessey Girls

 

And just in case, my elaborate story didn’t lift your spirits (like it did mine), here’s a wonderful poem circulating right now.

 

“Lockdown” – March 13, 2020
Fr. Richard Hendrick, OFM
(The Franciscan Order)

Yes there is fear.
Yes there is isolation.
Yes there is panic buying.
Yes there is sickness.
Yes there is even death.
But,
They say that in Wuhan after so many years of noise
You can hear the birds again.
They say that after just a few weeks of quiet
The sky is no longer thick with fumes
But blue and grey and clear.
They say that in the streets of Assisi
People are singing to each other
across the empty squares,
keeping their windows open
so that those who are alone
may hear the sounds of family around them.
They say that a hotel in the West of Ireland
Is offering free meals and delivery to the housebound.
Today a young woman I know
is busy spreading fliers with her number
through the neighbourhood
So that the elders may have someone to call on.
Today Churches, Synagogues, Mosques and Temples
are preparing to welcome
and shelter the homeless, the sick, the weary
All over the world people are slowing down and reflecting
All over the world people are looking at their neighbours in a new way
All over the world people are waking up to a new reality
To how big we really are.
To how little control we really have.
To what really matters.
To Love.
So we pray and we remember that
Yes there is fear.
But there does not have to be hate.
Yes there is isolation.
But there does not have to be loneliness.
Yes there is panic buying.
But there does not have to be meanness.
Yes there is sickness.
But there does not have to be disease of the soul
Yes there is even death.
But there can always be a rebirth of love.
Wake to the choices you make as to how to live now.
Today, breathe.
Listen, behind the factory noises of your panic
The birds are singing again
The sky is clearing,
Spring is coming,
And we are always encompassed by Love.
Open the windows of your soul
And though you may not be able
to touch across the empty square,
Sing.

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Plaza Major, Madrid-as never seen before 

 

 

Veteran’s Day 2019

To some who read my blog, today’s post may seem a bit lazy. But hear me out, OK? I try to write something every year, on both Veteran’s Day and Memorial Day, to thank Veterans for their service, and to honor those who gave their lives for their country.

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Mt. Soledad in LaJolla, CA   11/11/2011

This year is no different except that I can’t really think of anything new to say today.

So I am including a few of the posts I already wrote, even though I still don’t know how to make it easy for my reader to simply click and read. I suspect you will have to copy and paste. (Open to feedback here…)

I also realized this year that I have no idea how many of my readers (supposedly, there are an amazing 486 of you) are Veteran’s yourselves.

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View from Mt Soledad

I’d love to hear from any of you willing to share that about yourself. I’d be honored for the chance to thank you for your service to your country, no matter the circumstances (drafted, just needed a job, or a passionate commitment to a cause). And no matter the country.

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Looking at our phone screens, waiting for it to be 11:11 AM on 11/11/11

Please read as many of these posts as you want and I really do appreciate comments of any kind. I want to know I am earning all the attention of all 486 of you.

11/11/18  https://wordpress.com/post/chosenperspectives.com/17701

11/11/17  https://wordpress.com/post/chosenperspectives.com/16142

5/30/16  https://wordpress.com/post/chosenperspectives.com/4921

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Right after I said YES!
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11:12 AM on 11/11/11

 

And if you actually read all those others, here’s one, also in honor of today, but way, WAY lighter, I promise!

3/04/18     https://wordpress.com/post/chosenperspectives.com/16796

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Pull up a Seat Challenge 10/25/19

I’ve been saving photos for this challenge for a while so here goes:

One of my favorite places to Pull up a Seat (if I can’t be right next to the Pacific Ocean) is on my sister’s porch….especially at, but not limited to, sunrise. Nothing like having your morning coffee on this porch in the early summer.

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Deck Garden 3

But then there are benches all over their property for sitting and becoming one with Nature…

Or you can be like Ola, the Wonder Dog, and plant yourself on one of the bridges over the pond between the house and the gardens and green house. (Although this might be better titled “Pull up a BED“.)

Ola, still on duty

 

Ah, but the memories of me with my grandsons pretend-fishing off these bridges…Maybe that’s my favorite.

Pull up a seat

 

I love seeing where other species choose to Pull up a Seat.

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Then there’s our friend Mark who has a very boring selection of where to Pull up a Seat

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At our Mountain Retreat, someone has chosen to Pull up a Precarious Seat, but for very good reason!

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They were putting in a new glass roof over our other favorite place to Pull up a Seat…our Porch Swing!

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It looks out over a beautiful valley.

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I always hate when this time comes each year when the porch seat gets tied up to make room for firewood…

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Then I just remember all the different butts that have planted themselves here.

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Father/son moment

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Three Brothers

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Then there were two…

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And I know James is not looking forward to being just one…

But he’ll have so many memories to savor…pulling up this particular seat!

porch swing

 

 

Pull up a Seat Photo Challenge 2019-Week 42

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #67 – Candid

I had the same thought as V.J.   ( https://onewomansquest.org/2019/10/16/candid/ )

I immediately remembered this series of photos of cousins meeting for the first time.

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No clue what they were watching but they both look pretty serious. And it was not the first time I caught a glimpse of my grandson’s protective nature!

 

https://lagottocattleya.wordpress.com/2019/10/12/lens-artists-photo-challenge-67-candid/

To my Best Friend’s Best Friend…on her, uh, 40th BIRTHDAY!?

It can be hard to get bumped out of the Best Friend position…that is until you realize what you have inherited…

A new BEST FRIEND of your OWN!!

Happy Birthday Sweet Patty! I dearly love you and am so glad he found you!! (But, let’s ditch him for a bit on your next visit and have some serious Girl time!!)

This post is all for you. Been gathering PINK for you since early Spring!

 

Love you And Happy Birthday!!!

 

(Try clicking on any photo. It should enlarge!)

Nancy Merrill’s Photo a Week Challenge-7/7/19 theme-Grandparents

Ahh, controversial topic for me.

My Mom’s parents figured prominently in my young life, but pretty much continued their emotional excommunication of my mother, with my sisters and me. So there was no closeness. Mostly disdain.

I never met my “father’s” parents because I never met my biological father.

My Dad’s parents were gone before I was born.

I was close, for a while, with a boyfriend’s step grandmother.

Just not much experience with grandparents. So I became dedicated to being a good one myself!

I am “Dammaw”! Hear me roar!

bondingDownload practice 11-11 541Download practice 11-11 543Happy GrammaJuJu not feeling wellRThat's my JJSimona's12-10 175Back ups for missing picture folder 970

 

Disclaimer: I’m responding strongly to this topic, but obviously not with my own photography. 

 

 

https://nadiamerrillphotography.wordpress.com/2019/07/04/a-photo-a-week-challenge-grandparents/