Category Archives: Uncategorized

For When You Can’t Forgive: The Power of Pity

Let’s say someone has wronged you grievously, possibly repeatedly over the course of your life. People keep telling you that you’re “only hurting yourself” by holding a grudge, that forgiveness will set you free, but… it just doesn’t sit right. It’s a square peg in a round hole. You try to forgive, but it chafes at you because it feels wrong.

Life is full of petty little tyrants, bullies with a hard-on for their own power. That boss who treated you like an insect because he had risen to the lofty position of “manager at a Starbucks.” The friend who manipulated you for years for seemingly no reason other than caprice. The abuser who controlled you because… why? They had a taste of power over someone else and their first impulse was to instill shame.

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Got a Sudden Pain or Spasm? Try this Trick

So, sometimes I post stuff on Facebook, especially when it’s just a link to something that I found useful, a series of thoughts I have that are under 500 words, or sometimes a video that I don’t think deserves the Youtube treatment. For instance:

What do you think? This works pretty consistently for me, though it doesn’t seem to work as well for jaw pain as my usual technique.

Want to see more crap that comes out of my brain? Follow me on Facebook or Twitter!

How To Manipulate People (But in a Good Way!)

What would you do for a thousand bucks? Would you work extra hard? Would you network with lots of people, even if it made you initially uncomfortable? Would you try new job roles and throw caution to the wind?

What would you do for love and acceptance? Would you suppress your own opinions and desires? Would you lower your freak flag, choosing to do what it takes to receive that acceptance? Would you lie to yourself or others?

This is the important question: How do those past rewards affect the choices you make today?

My beloved readers, I’m talking about something called conditioning, specifically operant conditioning, a phenomenon you might have learned about (and swiftly discarded) in Psych 101.

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Dealing With Your Inner Jerk

I love the brain. It’s beautiful in its complexity, but, down at its depths, it’s the same bits you’d find in a lizard or chicken or chupacabra. Our cerebral cortex, with its billions of neurons and trillions of connections, sits atop a bare-bones, eons-old structure, like a mansion built atop an old workshed. This situation, my friends, is why we tend to suck so much.

You see, these old structures are built solely to keep us alive, whether that means breathing, pooping, or making you eat three plates at a buffet.  I’m kind of lumping a lot of brain structures together, but it’s to emphasize a point: The parts of our brain that have dreams and hopes, that have standards for what we eat or who we date, the ones where romance and love and symbolism arise; these all have to contend with a big subcortical jerk.

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The Courage to Be Imperfect

Perfectionism is a curse. It can be loosely defined as “the compulsion to create only the very best, and thus to create nothing at all.”

Look back at your own perfectionist tendencies and tell me it’s not true. You start with a good idea, but you defer implementing it until “just the right time,” “when inspiration strikes,” or “when everything is ready.” Think of how much has been left undone because of this poisonous idea, how much creativity and productivity has been stolen from the world.

ALL GLORY TO THE HYPNODOG
Credit: Jolene via Flickr, CC BY 2.0

The very fact that I’m writing this blog is amazing to me, because I had to pass through a number of thick, gelatinous membranes of perfectionist compulsion to get here. Enjoy that imagery for a moment. Indeed, this is probably the third or fourth incarnation of my blog, with a graveyard of other blogs with even sillier names left in its wake. I had this strange idea that I needed everything to be right before I started in earnest, so I did a lot of faffing about (which is British for “fucking around”) for a few years. In the end, I was only faffing myself.

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