Fatal Game of Playing Chicken

Stubborn in a game of chicken, who will win?

“The principle of the game is that while each player prefers not to yield to the other, the worst possible outcome occurs when both players do not yield.”

chicken race

As said by one avid chicken-owner at the UK World Championship Hen Races, “Listen birdbrain, you either perform for me, or perform for Colonel Sanders.”

Sometimes it is like that between the idea of, everything starts and ends with Me, that we hold here at FriendtoYourself.com and others who say, Love God first.

So, in the spirit of hoping, and “racing well,” let’s discuss.

If we could Love another first, that would just be great.  But we can’t.  (Hear the whine? 🙂  I suppose I have made those sounds before.)  We can’t.  I think that is the curse of Adam and Eve.  We can’t love anyone truly more than ourselves.  It always comes back to me.  We can be thankful for Jesus saving those Garden-of-Edeners, and the rest of us from that lonely circle.  Jesus inserted Himself into our round and round so first, we are never alone, and second, we have Love that is bigger than any catastrophe we think we were born into or happened upon along the way.

When I was a young-in, I studied at Rosario Beach.  We took samples from the ocean and did funky things to them and finally were tested and passed the class.  In this process we studied insertion genes.  These are awesome in their changing power.  This is how mutations happen in nature as well as how we now do genetic engineering.

insertion gene

None of us, like lined up chromosomes, can insert into ourselves the ability to start or end anywhere but with Me.  But, just like the stupidity of working out before you go to the gym, we do not wait for that to be inserted into Me before we pursue Love.   Love inserts in.  Until then, the Love part is foreign to Me.  It is a mystery.  Our life journey of beginning and ending with Me is changed from the one we started with.

Like weaving in magic into the common circle that everything starts and ends with Me,…  But we are not magicians.  I am no magician, although I have watched, “Now You See Me,” 🙂 and I understand that even magicians do not believe what they do is magic.

We have often said and heard others say, “Don’t love Me first, Love God first.”   We are not worth much to our neighbor though if we do not like Me.

So basically any time on our personal life journey, we might have enough insight to perceive the Loving of another more than Me, think Magic.  Someone did you an insert.  Now, even though your circle will still end with Me, your Me is changed and connected to Love.

It is a bummer that so many of us, with inherent self-recrimination, tell ourselves and others to, “Love God first,” when we might as well demand that we do our own gene engineering with Magic.  If and/or when we do love another first, by definition, that is not about Me.

“We love, because He first loved Me.”  ‘Member?  1Jo 4:19

We can, however, enter ourselves in for the insertion.  If we do not put our name in, it is harder to get called I would think.

Self-Care Tip:  Believe in Magic to treat yourself and others kinder, with less self-recrimination, and with more hope.

Questions:  I’m still growing on this.  What do you think?

God and being a Friend to Yourself – A Reference of Blog Posts

English: Givers at Downtown Alive, Lafayette, ...

English: Givers at Downtown Alive, Lafayette, Louisiana  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A Reference of Blog Posts:

Is Religion A Barrier In Your Friendship With Yourself?

Hello Friends.

I’d like to introduce to you, my pastor, John K. McGhee, Ed.D., Ed.S., M.S.P.H.  

We met about ten years ago in Boston, and worshiped together there for no more than a couple of months.  In contrast to how quickly I chose him, I’ve been very slow about letting him go.  He lives around the globe, talking about health, Love, God and individuals.  He has been and continues to be an important presence in my life and although I sit in other churches, he’s my pastor.  May God continue to bless him, his family and his work. 

Guest post by Dr. John Kenneth McGhee.

Dr. Sana’s blog is persuasive, and possibly life-changing.  However there may be some spiritually inclined conservative Jewish, Muslim, Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestants who may be uncomfortable with her emphasis on self-care as a vital first-step to healthy interactions. Isn’t it quite selfish and rather ungodly to focus on self-care?  Don’t the great monotheistic faiths teach that people achieve their greatest potential when they unselfishly focus on serving others?

I wonder what God thinks about self-care?  Probably it is impossible to know with certainty.  Who can know God’s thoughts?

However, one can find ample evidence from the Holy Books to support a few principles about self-care.

1.  Self-care is promoted in the Torah.  Genesis 1:28 – 2:3   clearly identifies that God told Adam and Eve to have plenty of sex, and babies; eat nutritious food; and enjoy a delightful weekly rest.

2.  Self-care is promoted in the New Testament.  3 John 2 clearly identifies a principle stated by the human being who was one of Dr. Jesus Christ’s closest friends.  “Beloved I wish above all that you would prosper and be in health.”  Here we recognize God’s concern with finance and health care on a very personal level.  The language implies that there is a direct action involved by God’s friends that they would become financially viable and do what it takes to remain in good health.

3.  Perhaps the most concentrated teaching on self-care is given by Paul who mentored Timothy so effectively.  In I Timothy 4: 7 – 16, I find the following direct commands:

  • Train yourself in godliness – this requires time to read, time to pray, time to think, time to do acts of kindness;
  • Don’t let anyone put you down because you are a young teacher – this requires time to nourish a healthy ego, time to know who you are, time to build character;
  • Do not neglect the gift(s) you have received – this requires time to write; time to develop musical or other artistic talents, time to share gifts with others in a faith fellowship community;
  • And finally Paul counsels Timothy, “Pay close attention to yourself.”

Questions:  What conflicts do you have in becoming your own friend with your religious beliefs?  Is religion a barrier to you being friendly to you?  Or, how has it been otherwise?  Please tell us your story.

Self-Care Tip:  Be aware of barriers to friendship with yourself, even religion.

The Gift in Wanting – Water, is Taught by Thirst

Water, is taught by thirst. 
Land -- by the Oceans passed. 
Transport -- by throe 
-- Peace -- by its battles told 
-- Love, by Memorial Mold 
-- Birds, by the Snow.
-Emily Dickinson

“Some people think of the glass as half full. ...

I have been quiet here for what seems like a long time and I am happy to be talking out “loud” again.  Thank you for being, friends.

Over the past year-and-a-half of writing and reading with you, of speaking and hearing, teaching and learning – instead of diminishing my interest, exhausting my energies and instead of completing this “task,” I am rather in process of crescendo.  This thing called, being a “friend to yourself,” apparently must continue.  It must because otherwise we would not.

Emily Dickinson knew the value of what was missing; but more so, she knew the value in the wanting of it.

Water, is taught by thirst.

I am ever aware that you and I do too.  It is this wanting that spurs in us our creative genius in this effort.  In any area of interest, in fact, whether it is this, to cultivate the caring of our own person, or to improve our eye of canvas, to swing our sword or to put pen to paper – if we do not sense potential, pleasure still to come, if we do not see beyond where we are to what might be and if we don’t want it, we will miss our selves.  We will lose our pearl to the muck that hides us.

Counter to intuition, presence is in fact enhanced by our wanting.  We clarify our point of reference to each other and to Love when we realize that we are toward something greater than ourselves.  Having that point of reference is nourishing.  It is active and it is connected.  The understanding of what we want still, have yet to obtain, rather than destabilizing or isolating us, it improves our footing and our community.  And like Emily, we give up much just to experience the exquisite process of joining our own journey.

This is what thirst has taught me.  What about you? Please tell me your story.

Self-Care Tip – Before the gift of your thirst, pursue it knowing you are blessed.  Be a friend to yourself.

Site Related Articles

What Is Your Life-er?

Cover of The Cowardly Lion of Oz.

Image via Wikipedia

I’ve been doing my usual struggle with lifestyle, health, weight and image maintenance.  It’s one of my life-ers.

There are some things we will courageously and sometimes cowardly maintain our fight with.  These are our life-ers.  We will have it on our docket every day.  There are times when this will blow us away with frustration, hopelessness and feelings of impotence.  Other times we will see it more calmly for what it is.  It is.  No more or less.

It’s helpful to say these things out loud.  That way when we wake up and see the life-er there, or catch a reprieve with distraction, or work like a mad-dog to get friendly with ourselves despite it all and find that that doesn’t take these life-ers away, we will maintain hope.  We will see these life-ers, although part of us, don’t define us.  We will own them and weave them into our friendship with ourselves – flawed and perfect selves.

What is your life-er?

Self-Care Tip – Knowing what your life-er is, is part of being a friend to yourself.

She Is Worth It, But Maybe Not Because Of What You Think

Woman in satin dress holding mirror

Image by George Eastman House via Flickr

She is worth it!

Have you said that? Half crazed from this-way-that-way behaviors, your battered psyche crawls out of the smoking heap from your most recent relationship collision. There are times when this is absurd to continue. But have you ever seen those people who crawl out smiling? Sure their eyes are rolling around on their face but they are smiling. That might be you too. And there’s a reason for it. However the reason may not be what you think.

She is worth it!

I’m not disputing “her” value in this admirable exchange that takes all your energy. But what I do dust off from the good “encounter” we just spoke of is that although she may be worth it, I propose that isn’t the reason you think it is. The reason is you.
You find pleasure in it because of what it does for you. You think you are worth it, and you are.

Even the Bible says,

We love because He loved me first. 1 John 4: 19

We love because of what it does for Me. God isn’t surprised by that or looking down His nose at our motivation. It sounds like He is actually embracing it – fully consented.
Remember when we talked about inevitable selfish motives, secondary gain and the absence of altruism in us? Is that an ugly thing about us? I don’t think so. It is what it is.

Now this does not evaporate the connection, the realness of the exchange between two, the value of the bond or its quality. See blog-post, Things Will Always Be About “Me.” It does nothing else but discuss the motivation. I believe understanding our motivation to remain in a relationship is important not to devalue it or value it differently, but to help us take care of our own selves.
She is worth it. That isn’t the question.

What can go wrong in our self-friendship when we think we are motivated by reasons outside of what is in it for Me? What do you think? I think it distracts us. It’s wasted energy and we don’t have enough to waste. Getting it right, puts energy into us. Getting it wrong, takes energy away.

Yesterday we talked about wanting to connect with someone who has character pathology. Any of us can say that this is hugely energy depleting at times. If we think we are doing this for any other reason than for ourselves, we will get “burned” much more often than we might if we understand that we choose, consented, freely and for ourselves. We will wear the victim-crown and die the death of worn out do-gooders who lived to do nothing really but bemoan their special suffering existence. See blog-post, Please Don’t Say “But.”

Self-Care Tip – Do things for yourself with self-knowledge.

What Must I Do To Be Happy?

Today, I can’t get my thoughts away from the frolic in temperament-land.

Teacher, what must I do to be happy? 

Who hasn’t asked this?  I remember Nicodemus who asked Jesus,

Teacher, what must I do to be saved? 

A Certified Fresh logo.

Image via Wikipedia

I bet he was wondering, too, about happiness.

I’m not equating happiness with salvation or morality.  I am saying this might have been a parcel of his question.  Happiness is an emotion per our language and cultural definition.  And we have enjoyed our path of discovery in seeing how emotions are tools we use to interpret the world around us.  They are not universal or constant between us.

After I read,

Individualism, a stronger predictor of well-being than wealth,

in R. Fischer, PhD’s Meta-Analysis of Well-Being, I followed my thoughts toward the Jungian Typology of Temperaments.  Remember our pasture and barn people?  The Jungian Typology of Temperaments is our playground where we have a wish-basket equipped with supplies to become any variation we might choose of what our design requests.  Read the article and you might follow a similar path of thought.  Or not.

In case you’re wondering, and per Dr. Q (who is a poor statistician so take this for what it’s worth,) a meta-analysis is a study of studies.  A meta-analysis brings together a number of studies that reflect a population of people and a methodology that is as objective as we can find.  We compare them and through the tools statistics and logic offer, we make a summary conclusion.

If you are familiar with the tomatometer on RottenTomatoes.com, you already have a sense of what a meta-analysis does.  (I love rottentomatoes.com.)  There is more power in the indexed findings of many studies than in just one study.  There is also more power in a fresh tomato than a rotten one.

Questions:

  1. Do you see happiness as something that reflects your condition of spirituality and/or your condition of brain health?  Why?
  2. What do you perceive brings you happiness?  Please tell me your story.