Tag Archives: psychology

Favorite Color

Back with City Sonnet’s photo challenge for July! This one is all about my favorite color turquoise…

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©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Images are from me, Diane, Happy Color, and Google images.

TSAONGAF 1

pointless meanderings

TSAONGAF is the abbreviation for Mark Manson’s self-help book The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck. I’ve read MM’s articles with some regularity, and last week I read his bestselling book. It was a great experience for me and I learned a lot. As I said earlier, I’m going to blog about some of my thoughts on his various concepts.

What does MM mean by not giving a f*ck? He points out that most of us are wrapped up in caring about so many things that we feel perpetually entitled to a perfect world and freak out when things don’t go how we want. I guess you could say that our giving f*cks too freely has turned us into a bunch of whiny Karens. MM suggests we drill down to our basic values (and change them if they aren’t working for us), and then find the few, important things to focus on. “Let the little things go.” We’ve heard that before, right?

Obsessing over way too many unimportant details has been a huge problem for me my whole life. I can’t simply decide not to and that’s that. “Don’t do that” is a negative statement, and when you focus on a negative, well, you know what happens. “Don’t eat potato chips”… now all you can think about are potato chips. I’ve been trying to substitute the negative statements with positive ones. Focus on work. Pay attention to family. Engage in self-care routines. Get more sleep and exercise. Read more books.

Focusing on these positives has had the effect of pushing some of the trivial crap away. It really does work. I don’t have time (or the inclination) to engage in social media arguments (a huge source of past stress) when I’m in the middle of a good book. If I’m filling my time with pleasurable activities, I’m less inclined to click on a new dating site “just to see.” I know that leads down a bad path. I can step back now. It’s a bit harder in some areas, such as driving ~ I still get enraged when someone does a dangerous maneuver. What does MM say about that?

It’s okay for life to suck sometimes, is what he says. We are not entitled to a perfect life, and there’s no need to feel inadequate when something fails to be perfect. So I had a frustrating drive to Los Angeles. That’s just how it is some days and it doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with me or the way I’m living my life. Sometimes traffic is sucky and frustrating. That’s okay. I literally had this ridiculous conversation in my head the other week. I was so stupid for letting my daughter go to UCB. She had a full ride to UCD and wouldn’t have met her future husband there probably. I’d have more money now and wouldn’t have to make this horrible drive when I want to see her. God, I’m so dumb!

But then I got to her house (a half hour later than expected) and had such a great time with my family. I’m not “dumb” because there was a detour and some other drivers were being rude and awful. It’s okay for things to suck sometimes. I’m not entitled to perfection. It’s hard though to keep that mindset all the time… I’m constantly reminding myself to stay positive and not dwell on small annoyances. Being positive is more of a habit now than it used to be though, so I am improving. Slowly.

Okay, that’s the end of this PoiMo. I’ll do more MM musing another time. 🙂

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©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Image originally found on Pixabay.

Philosophical Share

Melanie gives us some brain-crunchy Q’s this week…

1. Must we have evidence to know the truth?

I do, but lots of other people just go with “faith.” If I don’t have tangible evidence of X, or a collection of behaviors/events (including emotional states) to make X obvious, the truth of X remains an open question. I may still take action though. Sometimes you have to.

2. How much control does a person have over their life?

None. Isn’t that freeing? I just read about this in Mark Manson’s book too. Control is an illusion, but you are responsible for all your choices, including your emotional reactions.

3. What is gravity and how does it work?

It’s the irresistible attraction of a pen to a kitty, who must knock it off the table to see if it will fall to the center of the earth.

4. Can a person be happy if they have never experienced sadness?  How about vice versa?

No. You need opposing states to compare, which is why I quit dating.

Gratitude:
Please feel free to share a song, a poem, a quote or an image or photo to show what you were grateful for during this past week.  (Optional as always).

This seems appropriate for these times… so grateful for friends who hook me up with interesting music!

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©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Bingo Update 11

Read previous update here.

For the bestseller book, I read The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson. I loved Manson when he was much less popular… found him early on when he gave mostly dating advice. Then I began to resent him. Who was this brash young guy (obviously privileged) telling everyone all this crap? And making bank off it. I quit reading him for a few years. But he was still around ~ peeps were always quoting him. Annoyed, I developed a conspiracy theory that he wasn’t even a real person but a character created by a publishing team. That still could be true… who knows.

Then my FB friend Barbara linked to one of his articles when I was depressed. I clicked. Whatever I read that day (don’t remember now) helped me so much that I subscribed to his blog by email. I grudgingly began to admire him again, so much so that I finally bought his book TSAONGAF. I didn’t read it until this challenge however.

Mark’s book is truly amazing. It’s a joy to read because he speaks to you as a friend, not as a high and mighty shrink. He admits to messing up in many areas before he began to view life much differently. He says he too is always growing and learning, and he doesn’t act like he has all the answers. He uses examples from his own life to illustrate his points, which makes his writing feel real and down to earth. Maybe the examples are made up, but regardless they are a great device to draw you in to the topic of each chapter.

My plan is to discuss in detail some of the TSAONGAF concepts that resonated the most with me in Pointless Meanders as time permits. That’s not a substitute for reading it yourself… I already feel better having finished it, and I highly recommend it in its entirety. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Two left! 📚

PS: I have no idea what happened with my phone’s pens, but I couldn’t find the right one for the checkmark, hence the slash.

~*~

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Image from Kriti and Ariel.

The Stars Won’t Come Out… [socs]

If they know that you’re about
Cause they couldn’t match the glow
Of your eyes…
🎶🎶🎶

(“Candida” by Tony Orlando)

Romantic couple in restaurant

While flirty banter and pick-up lines sound cheesy to me when spoken aloud, the same words in a song can be meltingly romantic. Weird! But true. Eons ago I noticed that some songs seem deeply poetic and/or philosophical, but if you simply read the lyrics as text… meh. How about this one?

“With every step you take, I’ll be watching you.”

Omg stalker! That definitely does not sound romantic outside of the song by the Police (written by Gordon Sumner). It’s not the only one either… there are tons of creepy lyrics that seem fine when sung.

One way or another, I’m gonna find ya
I’m gonna get ya, get ya, get ya, get ya
One way or another, I’m gonna win ya
I’m gonna get ya, get ya, get ya, get ya

Yikes, Blondie, take a chill pill! And how about this lovely ballad?

There is a rose in Spanish Harlem
A red rose up in Spanish Harlem
With eyes as black as coal
That looks down in my soul
And starts a fire there and then I lose control
I have to beg your pardon
I’m going to pick that rose
And watch her as she grows in my garden

Get a restraining order stat! Those lines do not sound romantic when read as text. They are scary, right? Dang, I’ve always loved that song (written by Jerry Leiber and Phil Spector). Let’s go with Rod Stewart for the grand finale.

You’re in my heart, you’re in my soul
You’ll be my breath should I grow old
You are my lover, you’re my best friend
You’re in my soul

Think that’s over the top too? Nah, it’s just about football (soccer). 🤣🤣🤣

~*~

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Images from Pexels.

Breakup Songs [MLM]

Jim Adams does a great job in discussing Greg Kihn’s motivation in writing “The Breakup Song,” which has long been on my list of favorites. It illustrates the depression aspect of the grief someone can feel after the end of a relationship. The narrator is sad as he watches couples dancing together while he sits alone. “And now I’m staring at the bodies as they’re dancing so slow…”

Slow dance

No Doubt’s “Don’t Speak” (written by Gwen Stefani and Eric Stefani) is also a homage to the sadness we feel as someone leaves us. We’re tired of talking about the inevitable, wasting more useless words that failed to mend things. Just go. Don’t explain further. “And I don’t need your reasons; Don’t tell me ’cause it hurts…”

But sometimes we feel more anger than sadness, right? There are a lot of breakup songs that explore the angry aspect of grief. A perfect example of this is “You Oughtta Know” by Alanis Morissette (with Glen Ballard co-writing). She’s steaming mad! She sarcastically wishes her ex happiness with his new girlfriend. “And I’m here, to remind you of the mess you left when you went away…”

Angry roar

Hank Williams’ “Your Cheatin’ Heart” is another angry song. He fantasizes how his ex will end up miserable same as he is now. “When tears come down like falling rain, You’ll toss around and call my name.” We want to believe our exes will end up sorry they dumped us, don’t we?

Denial is another aspect of grief we may feel as our world crashes around us. Eric Clapton’s “Promises” is about this concept. (Brandon Casey and others are listed as the writers.) At the beginning of the song, Eric says to his ex that he doesn’t care if she never comes home “’cause I don’t love you and you don’t love me.” He discusses why it’s better they’re apart and that’s fine. But by the end, he admits he would still love her if she’d love him back.

Billy Joel’s “An Innocent Man” is about denial. Look, he knows she’s in pain and couldn’t deal with a relationship, but none of that is his fault. It’s all due to her exes and baggage. He’s willing to explore that with her, but remember… he didn’t do anything! “And although this is a fight I can lose, the accused is an innocent man.” As we know, however, it takes two…

Innocent man angel

What about bargaining? Yep, we also find this aspect of grief represented in song. “Baby Come Back” by Player is an example of bargaining (written by John Crowley and Peter Beckett). He begins by pretending he’s fine and having fun alone (denial), but soon he admits he is miserable and wants her back. “Baby come back, you can blame it all on me; I was wrong, and I just can’t live without you.” If only she’d give him another chance, he’ll take the blame for the things that went wrong. (How many times have we heard this though? 🤣)

“We Can Work It Out” by the Beatles (written by Lennon and McCartney) is another good example of bargaining. Just give us a chance, he pleads. He goes on to mansplain about how life is short and there’s no time for fighting, okay? Just see things his way, for cryin’ out loud. Geez!

Mansplaing to woman

Then there’s acceptance. You know it’s over and you accept it, even if you’re still sad or mad. You’ve quit denying nothing is wrong and you’ve stopped bargaining for a re-do. It’s done and you have to move on. How about “Last Song” by Edward Bear? (Larry Evoy wrote it.) He’s still sad, but he’s done writing songs about her and done hoping she’ll return. “This is hard for me to say, but this is all that I can take.” Yeah. Enough!

Finally, one of my favorite songs about coming to terms with a breakup is Roxette’s “It Must Have Been Love” written by Per Hakan Gessle). “It was all that I wanted; now I’m living without. It must have been love, but it’s over now.”

Woman and path in woods

On our way down a new path…

These songs illustrate the 5 stages of grief: anger, denial, depression, bargaining, and acceptance. The stages can last a long time, and you can experience them in any order, including revisiting some you thought were finished. Emotions aren’t linear! And there are many other feelings that can occur too. Guilt, shame, fear, etc. I read that Elisabeth Kubler-Ross developed the 5-stage model to help explain the process of grieving over the death of a loved one. They may not apply as well to the end of a romance (and are apparently out of “scientific” favor altogether, but like whatever). I think they do help to illustrate the roller-coaster of emotions that can plague some of us when a relationship dies.

I hope you enjoyed reading this relatively long post written for Mindlovemisery. It was yet another insomnia-fueled ramble.

Please feel free to add your favorite breakup songs in comments. 💔

~*~

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Images from Pexels and Pixabay.

Unpredictable

Man in sunglasses

He had a history of being unpredictable, but she thought she could be the one to tame his wild streak. When he was happy, she encouraged him, and when he was cranky, she tried to soothe him. She built her world around his moods, devoting all her energy to an attempt to understand him. But it was never enough, for he was an endless abyss of needs he could not even articulate. She listened in vain for clues, but there was nothing, just naked silence, echoing back from infinity. Finally, she gave up and locked her heart away. And then one day, he announced he was leaving, in the softest whisper, but it did not go unheard. Ghosts climbed out of the darkness and packed his suitcase.

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©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Image found at Pixabay.

5 Things [I Enjoyed Doing During Lockdown]

Bitmoji relaxing with book

Dr. Tanya returns with the #5Things topic for today: 5 things I enjoyed doing during the lockdown.

1. Nothing! That’s right ~ I enjoyed doing nothing for a while. I’d been super tired, without a real vacation for years, so it was lovely just to chill. 🥰

2. Reading! I’ve read several books over the last few months. It’s been great to have the time to participate in some fun reading challenges. 📚

3. Writing! I’m pleased to announce that I’ve made significant progress on my novel Ghosted. 👻

4. Organizing! I bought lucite holders from Target and straightened up all the junk in my bathroom. Rearranged some other misc stuff as well. 👍🏻

5. Bonding! Spending so much time at home has allowed my roommate’s cat to become more comfortable with me. She hangs out with me now while I’m at my laptop. Of course, my own kitty has had more quality time with me too. 🐱

Striped kitty face

Here she is, purring on my lap. ❤️❤️❤️

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©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon

Images from Bitmoji and me.

Soul’s Dark Night

Demons in the dark with glowing eyes

Ripples across a receptive mind
Disturb the soul’s dark night;
Awakening comes slowly as
Suggestions of connections
Form then dissolve again.
There is no space
For revelations
Until ancient demons
Are forced to vacate.
Some go quietly;
Others scream in outrage,
Their claws sunk deeply
In the foundation.
When the last devil is pulled
From the cave,
You stare into its face:
A mirror.

~*~

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Image credited to Pexels.

Written for Mindlovemisery’s Sunday Prompt.

30 Day Book Challenge 3

30 day book challenge

I’m going to do this challenge in groups of 6 so that I will have only 5 posts total in June on this topic instead of one per day which would be an annoying chore. Here are my third set of books…

13. The Black Swan by Nassim Taleb is an excellent book about history, finance, politics, and (especially) human psychology. I highly recommend it. The last third is full of math, but you don’t have to pore over that to get the gist of the book (I did not).

14. Speaking of swans… Swan Song, a twisted adult fairy tale by Jess Haines was a magical love story, with a bittersweet/philosophical ending. It’s a retelling of The Swan Princess, which is a pretty bad love story imo, and Ms. Haines writes a much better one with a way cooler hero. (PS: it’s not that “adult.”)

15. Wesley the Owl by Stacey O’Brien made me cry sad tears and no this was not meant to be a bird-themed set of books! I look on Goodreads to find books I’ve read that fit the motifs. Or, if I can’t find something, I will read a new one, such as #14. Nothing wrong with reading a new book! But I digress. Wesley is such a wonderful story… please read it ASAP. I guarantee that you will love it, or… um… nothing. Owls are awesome!

16. I’ve read many books more than once, but let’s go with The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera, a most excellent novel. Please don’t feel you know the story if you’ve merely seen the movie, which was good, but it didn’t (and couldn’t possibly) do justice to this complex philosophical work. It’s okay to read it in small doses and think about it. I did. It’s so very brain crunchy.

17. Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine was such an unexpectedly weird read, but I enjoyed it a lot. I guessed part of the mystery early on, but I still liked it and wanted to see where it went. I recommend it if you like stories that are a bit offbeat.

18. For my RIP author, I’m going with Ray Carver and his book of short stories Where I’m Calling From. Many of my favorite stories are in there, including the title story as well as Fat, What We Talk About When We Talk About Love, Neighbors, etc.

Alrighty then! See you with my next set on the 24th. 🙂

~*~

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Image stolen from Sandmanjazz.