Taking Time to Meditate

Meditation is not just for the yoga guru nor the person seeking some enlightenment or hear their dead ancestors speak to them in visions, it is also a moment to just reflect and remember lessons learned in the past and how they can be learning tools for our future.  Looking back at our successes and failures help guide us to where we want to be in our future.

When were able to reach within ourselves and find understanding of our place in the vast universe we affirm our inner strengths and capacities, face our fears, and listen to the song of our own soul, it’s rhythmic drumbeat speaks to us.  When we have fallen enough, then gotten back up again, and learned how to take the time to meditate and reflect on our past, we begin to grow.

As creatures formed by the great creator, we can best meditate and reflect when we become one with the rest of his handiwork, nature.  We are at a point of change or transition in our lives, shedding what weakens us over time and distancing from negativity as much as possible.  Finding a place among nature to take the time to reflect, we can bring us to a neutral place to be one with the creator.

We’re not so far from the lives our ancestors lived, close to the intimate rhythms of nature. I we could travel back a hundred years, a thousand years, we could see that it’s all right there: the sound of birdsong cutting through a crystal clear morning, the majesty of a sky full of starlight so bright that you can walk around under its glow, the wind whipping through a terrain of deep silence, the feeling of animal beings in their own home territory.

Although modern times have become a part of our world, when we take time to meditate and become one with nature, we once again are no longer separate from the rest of creation.  We are beautiful creatures capable of great things, if we can see the majestic possibilities before us and our advancement of being.

If we do not do this often we become disconnected and the loss of our relationship to God’s creation, nature, means we once again risk losing part of our own soul. In the natural world, a mirror of “human nature,” we can rediscover our wholeness, and there we have the capacity to renew ourselves. When we focus on our goals, and become driven to follow our destiny and what is meant for us we affirm an unbreakable bond between the human and natural world.

©Copyright protected 2010: JD, NWU Local 1981

©United Press International,   ©International Association of Press Photographers and Journalists   Press ID # 1007490467

A sense of Purpose

Do you ever wonder what creates that urge or sensation of extreme restlessness in your life?  Do you wonder why it is that concentration and focus seems out of reach?  Instead of always questioning why, perhaps it is best that we work harder to not just hear our inner being talking to us, but to start listening to what it is trying to tell us.

Inside each and every one of us there is an inner purpose that can be ignored only so long before it creates an overwhelming mass of turmoil within.  This inner calling is a call to the Soul.   It is not as if a voice in our head that speaks to us, but more the questions we ask ourselves, where no one else can hear.

We may question what am I doing here and where am I going in my life?  Is there meaning out there for my existence?  Is this all there is in life for me?  It is not that we feel the lack of success, or that we have under achieved our worldly goals, but that having everything material in life and being a financial success does not always mean we have been successful  any more than being poor and living with the mere basics means we have not been.

Success is determined by how we utilize our full potential in life.  Everyone has a purpose and destiny.  Our destiny is determined by a power higher than all of our decisiveness.  We just need to pay attention to the inner timetable of our own awareness.  When it does, a spiritual alarm clock goes off, and it becomes almost impossible to ignore.  Many have a heightened awareness and perception in life.  At least 1 in 10 do possess good perception, and are considered gifted with knowledge and out of those millions, so few still understand the true Synchronicity and its interconnection to the universe, and their potential to utilize it for good.

Heightened awareness is a sense of basic synchronicity blended with common sense along with using and trusting your intuition.  We all have an interconnection with the Universe.  With this connection we have an invisible weave interlinking us between people and events; that together, in a way, bring what is meant to happen in our lives, into existence.  They are not based in a traditional comprehension of causality.  I am humored sometimes at how people determine sense verses sensible natural concept of probability.  That leads to misinterpretation of the message one senses.  It also is most likely a response to what one perceives as willed desire verses realistic concept.

There are many amazing situations that can happen in your life when your inner awareness changes.   This is also not to be confused with the grandiose sense of knowledge or feeling of knowing.  It is a true awareness of the simplistic inner you, flaws and all.  For acknowledging your weaknesses, they become new strengths to grow upon.   It will eventually guide you to where you will have energetic thoughts that revive your spirit within, bringing about a new sense of change; you may experience intents and direction of interests that take you where you would have never imagined yourself going and desires that will align with all the natural vibrations around you.  When this happens it will mingle together into a harmonious melody of existence.

This harmony does not mean there will be no struggles in your life, but it will give you a better sense of how to use your inner strengths to cope with whatever crosses your path.  Our beautiful universe is always willing and waiting to show us something wonderful.  Synchronicities bring to the forefront of your thoughts the information for your waking consciousness along with your subconscious state to gently guide and direct you to what is in alignment with your own personal growth.  It is whispering to your soul a hint, for you to watch and wait.

Listen carefully when your soul whispers for the lessons are sometimes very subtle. Life’s events are not always very transparent; however, this too becomes a lesson in intuition and strengthening your internal hearing.

There are also times when that inner voice happens through other events such as a thought that comes to you while reading a book, reading a blog, glancing at a phrase or seeing an image.  You get a feeling it is speaking to you and it probably is.  Be sure you do not make the most common mistake, and take an offensive stance.  Use it as a learning tool, because although what you see may not have been meant to be interpreted as such, but triggers the inner message within you, that something in your life need changing.  Life is always full of changes, and we as humans are flexible beings and adapt well to changes when we open out minds, listen to our souls, base much less of our lives on self gratification and awaken to more self awareness of our true potential in life.

My point is, what have you been hearing from within lately?  Are you listening with your soul and not the mixed messages based on basic human emotion driven by physical sense of comfort?  Work to find the best within yourself, by listening to what is within you, that you ignore so often.  Be who you are meant to be, no matter where it may lead you.

©Copyright protected 2014: JD, NWU Local 1981

©United Press International,   ©International Association of Press Photographers and Journalists   Press ID # 1007490467

New Years Resolutions.. Quest or Quandry

New Years Resolutions and How to Make Them an Adventure and Not An Unobtainable Quest

Have you ever wondered how in the world your clothes dryer could be so hungry that it eats your socks?  Why the lid on a pickle jar always seems to have been sealed by a ninja?   Why driving down a country road the smell of pig poop always seems to filter in the direction you’re traveling?  Life is full of questions, it is how we choose to seek out which need answering with the mind, by skill or by listening to our inner voice to find the answers we seek, and what we should just take as circumstance.

As the year draws to a close, we tend to reflect upon the past twelve months and prepare to welcome the new.  Sitting right in front of us are some of the most personal questions of all.  What will my new year’s resolution be?  What will I make as my new goal?  What will I plan to give up, plan to achieve, and hope to change?  These questions may seem simplistic, yet matter to us, or we would not have saved them until the socially acceptable time to place them into a resolution has arrived.

According to research done in 2012 by the University of Scranton, Published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology,  almost 60% of Americans make new year’s resolutions yet less than 46% of us successfully follow through with at least one resolution beyond the first six months of the year and approximately 8% continue on beyond that. Of that percentile; the majority were resolutions and goals related to weight loss, healthier living, quitting smoking and other means of self improvement.

So if you’re going to be one of the 60%, make sure you choose realistic goals that you are willing to put some effort into following through with.  Many of us use the New Year as an opportunity to make our personal multi page “bucket list” of things we want to do or total personal or professional makeovers we hope achieve.

Although nice to aspire a drastic change, experts claim the average person has far too many competing priorities that this type of approach will be a set-up for failure.  If we try to aim our rocket of hope to high, and shoot for the moon, we might find ourselves ending up failing to even firing our engines off the launch pad on January 1st.

It is more sensible to set small, simple attainable goals throughout the whole year, rather than singular, overwhelming goals.  Remember to set goals that are tangible.  Making resolutions that are ambiguous can be inspiring and entertaining to our psyche, but the difficulty in achieving them, means that excitement can rapidly give way to frustration.

Resolutions are more successful in follow through when they are bounded by rational, achievable metrics.  For example; if your goal is to lose weight, you may find it easier instead of staring at a scale every morning, and wondering why the numbers don’t drop, choose to make a short term goal, such as; for six weeks I will not eat potato chips and soda, or for two months I will not take second portions at suppertime, and the result may be better choices with a better sense of accomplishment, in return causing a positive result in taking off a few pounds as well.  Be specific and set yourself a clear ambition.  Instead of saying “I am going to get a gym membership in 2014”, sign up for yoga classes or getting on a treadmill two mornings a week.  “Vague goals begat vague resolutions, when you cannot measure some form of progress or success in completion”, Says John Norcross from University of Scranton.

In this age of social media and electronics, make your goals obvious.  Experts recommend charting your goals in some fashion.  Even though there is no universal strategic method for success, sometimes making a clearly defined to-do list is a good enough reminder for one to stay on track.  Try journaling, or creating a personal blog, to share with friends and family you trust and that support your goals, without judgment.  Share your goals with some Facebook or other social media friends as a means of accountability, which will tend to make you want to reach your goals, when you have a personal cheering squad and support system.

I had a friend, who decided she was going to try and curb her shopaholic tendencies and pay off her 24,000.00 in credit card debt.  She decided to make it her New Years resolution,  and knew it would be a hard battle to accomplish on her own, so she went public with it.  She created a blog, and invited all her friends to follow her as she made the effort to transform herself from a shopaholic to a spendthrift.  By sharing what she didn’t spend, and how much she saved by changing her habits publically, she was able to curb her budget and ended up paying off her debt within two years.  She claimed that sharing her resolution was her way of holding herself accountable.

Most importantly have faith.  Believe in yourself. By taking the first step and setting simple and realistic smaller goals, you raise your chances of achieving that goal significantly.  When goals are set too high or without specific means of measurement in progress, we tend to abandon them the moment we hit the first bump in the road.  More often than not, people who are not successful in keeping their resolutions blame their own lack of willpower.  If you’re not ready to stick to it and pursue your goal, or give up what you choose to forego, you will not succeed.  You have to be willing to put in the effort, and only when you’re ready and you’re doing for yourself and not others.

Many times we have heard people say they have no “willpower’.  After doing much research and several surveys on the subject of New Year’s resolutions, I found that most people felt that they lacked the willpower to follow through and that they could not complete their goals because they lost their “drive” to do so.  You have as much willpower as you THINK you have.  Which means; that on some personal level, your journey toward self-improvement through setting your New Year’s resolutions will become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

©Copyright protected 2013: JD, NWU Local 1981

©United Press International,   ©International Association of Press Photographers and Journalists   Press ID # 1007490467

Once a Mighty Oak

Once a Mighty Oak

A Metaphor of Thought to be pondered.  The true and pure individual can comprehend without grandiose and see, this is all, this is we, no solidarity blame be.

My minds-eye is resting upon a stoop, as I do ever-so often, watching the birds fly by; savoring the beauty of their grace in flight.  Rabbits scurry among the rich clover and the breeze blows the wheat in the fields across the dusty road in front of my secret mental place nestled in the rural countryside.  I close my eyes and vividly recall the mighty oak that once sat centered between the two fields, strong, tall and in its grandeur once graced the skyline with her broad branches and lush green leaves.  She was one tree but trunk split as to appear to be two individual trees stemming from one earthen source. Then I open my eyes and am drawn back into reality.

I see that same tree, not so mighty, scarce are the leaves that grow on the eastern side, yet the side on the west still blooms, yet struggles to grow beyond the fragile limbs that sway in the summer breeze.  How can this be?  How can something that once was so grand, so strong, wither to near nothingness between two fields of capable nourishment?  I set out on a quest to unearth the mystery that lie in front of me in a disheartening state of inevitable demise.

I started my quest by inquiring the ownership of the tree, to discover, it was a gift from nature that separated the two fields, of which had individual owners.  The farmer to the east possessed his land first, shortly followed by the farmer to the west.  Each of them, cherishing the beauty of the tree, and wanting to possess it as their own.  The tree, her only task was to answer mother earth’s call, to grow to bloom and to give back to nature the splendor that was bestowed upon her.  Although the tree belonged to neither, in all rights, the farmer to the east felt because he was there first, he would sway the tree to grow in his direction, and tethered restraints to sway her to grow in his direction as she blossomed into a mature mighty stature among nature.

The farmer to the west understood, and wanted to share the beauty of her duplex massiveness that would one day be, and offered solution.  He fertilized the roots upon the western side, and offered this yielded richness to the farmer on the east, who took offense to his skill. Claiming to himself, in his grandiose stance, he took aim to damage the very roots by means vindictiveness and an axe he harmed the tree on the western side, hoping the failure, would wound the view from the west, and cause only the eastern side to grow and flourish where he may benefit.  In this state of grandiose, felt he was right in his actions, not realizing the roots were intermingled, and in his destruction, harmed the beauty of the one tree as a whole.

The tree still blooms, despite her roots failing and unable to sustain much life.  She doth still spread her flourishment in the wind, yet now the winds hear her pain and blow her seed towards no field, but to the heavens, pleading for lightning from the clouds to set her ablaze, and relieve the struggle.  This doth not happen.

So she stands, farmer to the east gloating, feeling he has won, since she still blooms, not caring the destruction he has caused,  is not visible to the naked eye.  The farmer to the west, cannot comprehend the volatility of the farmer to the east until he inquires of the fields previously owned, by this farmer were lush, but in haste to exploit his skill did over harvest and destroy those fields and moved on.

The tree, she still stands, and in her state of withering and pain, she knows, she fights for the new bloom in spring, and when the winds set upon her, and seed rise can it carry her between the east and west and the splendor of both be enjoyed?  Or shall she beg once more to nature, and have the winds carry her south?

I open my eyes once again.  I see.  The tree, so much becomes like mankind. It could be you, it could be me.  We find it hard to share all the good that is to be offered, without finding the flaws in one another.  We fight to be the one who has ownership, and do not even realize we have made it our obsession, our goal our conquest to be the sole owner.  There will always be one offering help to another  and share in the best of splendor and one finding they are above help.  They seek out a hidden purpose for the kindness, because deep inside they know, themselves are guilty of the same.  In this action, not realizing they treat life’s gifts as a conquest to be owned as priority to them; the very thing they despise in another.  In one’s exaggerated sense of self-importance, they seek to find someone to blame, and cannot look into the mirror and find where their fault is, and that everyone is without perfection.

We all want the best of nature, and the grandest of “trees”, the greatest of things in life, as we feel entitled, but do not realize, it comes purely, and when we seek to damage the root of existence, and prepare to and then blame the demise on others, we have failed to realize, we were just as wrong, we are not without flaw.

Just as the tree is not without flaw, who planted its seed among two fields,  then split itself, would have been better off growing in a park on the south lawn of uncharted land.  We make mistakes, whether we take responsibility, and not lay blame, we fertilize and create blooms, instead of withering to nothingness. The tree knows her  growth and knows her demise, and knows that nature offers opportunity for re-bloom, yet knows not the direction of the wind without pain.

Thought:  Judging the flaws of others, not only exposes theirs, but shows the world our own as well.  Ti’s better to be a farmer who sows the seed of silent success, than the farmer who plants the seed of discontent and loses the harvest, through bitter action. 

©Copyright protected 2013: JD, NWU Local 1981

©United Press International,   ©International Association of Press Photographers and Journalists   Press ID # 1007490467

My Holiday Challenge to Everyone

My Holiday Challenge to Everyone

JD

This winter season is upon us, and although mild right now, colder days are on the horizon.  Most of us enjoy the warmth of our homes and aren’t particularly affected by the elements and risks it poses, when it comes to surviving.  Unlike many of our counterparts, we do not notice the impact when looking out a window from inside a comfortable house, cup of coffee in hand, and a warm fire.  Consider this Challenge;

Instead, of enjoying that warm thought, take a few moments, close your eyes and imagine if you can, a different kind of winter experience. Replace viewing the outside world from behind a window pane, and see the world through the open end of a worn tarp or box enclosure, tattered from the elements, feel the emptiness and cold,  sense being alone and hungry.

Disregard the thought of living a relatively comfortable modern middle-class suburban life, and envision you are that destitute, homeless individual, with nowhere else to turn.  Through no fault of your own, and stereotyped as lazy or addicted, you fear seeking help to prevent being labeled as such a menace to society.  You have nothing else, but your makeshift residence, shelters are at full capacity, and the only warmth left in your body, is buried under the pain of your wounded soul. What would winter mean for you?

Preparing for winter would become serious and necessary means of survival for you.  Food is scarce and as well as many others homeless, you now struggle to search for food to eat during the days, then when the light fades way, you’ll have to put away some of what you have gathered.  Not because you’re a pack rat or greedy, but you have no radio or television to let you know what tomorrows weather condition may be.  You must plan ahead so not to have to be exposed to any other weather harshness that may possibly come through the night and you do not know when anything will be accessible again.

Food pantries become low on available handouts because most of their money is saved to spend on holiday frivolities, vendors from outdoor public venues have decreased, so their castoff is not readily available to grab from dumpsters, the soup kitchen lines have grown longer and the cold is so harsh, you ache from inadequate clothing to sustain body heat to wait in the line yet still need to gather as much when you’re out to take back with you and store for later.

The winter is here. Our people need to eat. They need shelter from the storms and bitter cold. They need protection from the elements and we as citizens that do not take the time to understand the challenges ahead, but far too often turn a blind eye on how simply we can reach out, help them meet these challenges. Our people will need us through the months ahead.

Everyone has a gift, it is called caring, yet so few of us bother to use this gift, because it has never impacted us, we have never been homeless.  Our gift, our caring matters the most this time of year.  Now is the time to give and winter is the time to give it—unselfishly and without hesitation and judgment.  The scenario could be any one of us, if we’re not too arrogant to think we are above that type of existence.  We’re not really all that far removed from that image of society’s forgotten life.

No, most of us don’t live in tents, tarps, boxes, or in the stairwells of an abandoned building, but most homeless at one time not too far in the past weren’t either.  Yes, in these economic times we are facing our own sort of hard winter ahead, but nothing in comparison to someone who has lost hope, who has no warm place to lay their head at night and be comforted, bathed in warmth of a good fireplace or furnace.  They lay their head upon whatever is available, and if lucky, they will have dry socks, shoes with no holes, a coat, and mittens.  As you draw a warm blanket over your shoulder, imagine only having but a scrap of cloth, or just the remains of a blanket found in someone’s trash along their journey through life.

I won’t list the many forms of metaphorical winter challenges facing our homeless people today, because I know the majority of my readers will not even go so far as to finishing this article, because they are too shallow to care, or feel they are exempt from exposure to such a life because “this just doesn’t happen to anyone they know, let alone them”.  So why waste time listing what is evident.

Winter is here. What will you do? What is your vision in how you imagine the differences you can make and how will you find compassion? Don’t fool yourself into non-action. You have something in your house right now you can give away. That extra pair of gloves; put it in your car and when traveling out, maybe on your way to work, be prepared to share them.  The next time you see that person on that corner, cold hands emerging from a tattered coat, trembling and holding a sign, looking for a few coins for that next meal, open your heart, then your window and hand him a dollar and that pair of gloves.

Perhaps once a week, when making your lunch, pack an extra sandwich, and do the same, if you don’t pack a lunch, when you do go out, grab an extra sandwich, and pass it to a hungry soul on your way home from the office.  You will be amazed at the smile and thankfulness that will come from the recipient, and the reward you will feel inside for actually giving a damn.

Please do not let the simplicity of my challenge to you, to help one homeless individual this winter keep you from taking that single first step. Begin caring, and begin to make a change. Use what you have because winter won’t wait several more months for you to take time to “think about it” and actually care. Take that first step and your soul will answer kindly, this I promise from the depths of my own heart, for once I felt homelessness, and also helped the homeless and knew the inner joy of feeling someone I didn’t know cared about me as well as the blessing, when I shared with someone I saw, a warm pair of mittens, socks or sandwich.

Your people are hungry, cold and in need. When will you feed one of them, cloth them, or give them a blanket for warmth?  I challenge you to find your compassion.

©United Press International,   ©International Association of Press Photographers and Journalists   Press ID # 1007490467

Getting Disconnected

Unplugging from all sources of media and news for brief periods of time becomes the most rational an even more, the most obvious choice for finding some inner peace. It doesn’t take a crisis in our world or personal lives to feel the power of spending time out among nature, the peace of sitting beside a rambling creek, or the unspeakable wisdom exuded from old trees whispering in the winds. The land is always there; ready to accept us and all we bring to her.

Finding inner peace is not an overnight process, but more of a never ending process we continue throughout our lifetime and carry over into the next.

To be human is to experience hurt. Rare is the individual who manages to make their way through life without suffering many scars to the emotional body and will. Sometimes our scars are given to us by others; sometimes they are self-inflicted by allowance of what we should avoid.  We are human after all. Either way, the pain can run deep.

Our wounds may be clearly visible to us; we know the exact moment, circumstance, and person with whom inflicted them upon us or when we allowed them to be self-inflicted through actions of our own. Then there are the occasions that the perpetrator of the wounds, are not so easily identified until the damage is done.  We just learn how to take the time to be one within nature and heal the pain and move beyond the scars to find the inner being, to find our purpose and to grow.

Our purpose is held in our souls and there’s no better mirror of the soul than the natural world. The wilder the setting is, the better it serves to reflect, reveal, and teach. By stripping away all the distractions of our modern, electronics age and “plugged in” lifestyles, we can start to hear the still small voice that’s been trying so hard to get through. Spending time with nature and with the spirits in, we can return to our secular lives with a better understanding of our gifts and an appreciation of how important it is for us to use those gifts wisely.

It is good to recognize when we need to simply step away from our life so we can find our purpose, and refocus once again.  Our Spirit needs to experience the freedom of a day with no plans. Our soul needs to experience the solid ground under our feet, rich mud between our toes, and the sun on our face

Our soul is a hard thing to build around. It doesn’t lend itself well to a mobile app. It’s hard to have a conversation about Soul in a 120 character tweet, or in just a Facebook post, we must go beyond, by going back, and be renewed through nature. Our soul just won’t fit into the kind of boxes we love to worship in our culture and it doesn’t have a press agent to use the media and means to bring it to our fast paced lives.

If we, the future leaders of our culture, are to lead our people to seek out the basic unit of social change we have no hope creating a better society until more of us begin to understand how much of our behavior is influenced by the unseen. Behind everything we do, every decision we make, a deeper current is running. And for a society like ours we have what it takes to help others find their way back to what we know is within us, just misplaced.  Finding your purpose and using your fullest potential will be the change you seek.

©Copyright protected 2013: JD, NWU Local 1981

©United Press International,   ©International Association of Press Photographers and Journalists   Press ID # 1007490467

Abuse that bruises the Identity- How to Identify Controlling and Emotional Abusers

You think you’ve found the perfect guy to be in a relationship with and marry them. Everything he does is so touching, especially in the initial stages of the marriage. He seems so thoughtful, and goes out of the way to ensure that all of your needs are met. You enjoy your moments together and finally feel loved.  You do everything together as newlyweds, and ignoring the little red flags that pop up, because you do not want to see the hidden signs and want only to believe that this is true love.

There are red flags, tiny ones… but you choose to ignore them, thinking that these are merely your imagination.  They are the little things that eventually escalate to become the French inquisition down the road.  They can be simple things like the glare you receive when you smile at a waiter that smiles at you, a friend you see in public, that may be a male, and you speak cordially and then later your questioned with sarcasm, “so is that one of your boyfriends”.  Then there are the spouses of your girlfriends; that if they even smile and look at you, you must be sleeping with them or they “want” you.  These are the “first” of many signs to come that there is trouble ahead, be aware and take note, YOU ARE IN A CONTROLLING AND EMOTIONALLY ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIP.

The scary thing about a controlling marriage is that a lot of the time, we don’t even realize we’re in one. When you’re in love with someone, it’s sort of like putting on a pair of rose-colored glasses – you see the happy things, the things you want to see. It’s easy to ignore the ugly things – for example, that your spouse might be a little too controlling.  You don’t realize the full impact on how it degrades you and devalues your identity, until it has destroyed you enough to where you feel you cannot survive without the abuser.

Research has shown that the majority of emotionally controlling individuals have also battled addictions currently or in their past.  That is consistent with the cycle of controlling nature.  They cannot control their situations and be abusive so they turn to addictions to numb the need for control.  The controller feels they can control their addictions too.

As the relationship progresses, you find yourself altering your behavior to accommodate him, or to please him. Then, as it moves forward, more warning signs start to appear.  Emotional abuse can take on many faces. It can begin with your partner becoming irritable at the smallest of action, and turning it into your fault. The key word here is “fault”—as in it is always YOU that makes HIM direct the anger to you. When you try to understand this behavior and talk it out, he wants nothing to do with accepting any responsibility for the debate that ensues.   The usual “lines” will be somewhat like this; “You’re not happy with me are you, what is it I am doing to make you unhappy, why do you not like to be around me…”; just to list a few.  Do not answer these questions, walk away.  They are usually questions asked to trigger you to respond by saying, “I am happy dear…” that feed his controlling ego.

Gradually, your communication will deteriorate because anything that you say will force an adult conversation to erupt into him losing his cool and unleashing a tirade of subtle accusations, and blame anything but the true source, himself.

Sometimes we aren’t able to realize the impact of this emotional abuse until we get an outside perspective, that is, when someone recognizes it, or when we leave it and look back. Dealing with a controlling spouse isn’t easy and, unfortunately, it can turn into a mentally and physically abusive relationship way too easily.  It may take a decade or two before physical abuse happens, but eventually if you try to stand up for yourself it will and always does lead to that.  When a controlling individual feels they are about to lose what they abuse, they retaliate with anger and vengeful accusations in an attempt to make you feel that you are the problem. It is their only means of coping because they cannot truly accept responsibility for their behaviors.

There are several signs listed below that indicate your husband is emotionally and mentally abusive and too controlling – and if he is, get yourself out of there before it’s too late. If you can recognize most of them, and are experiencing at least three, you have a serious problem that requires professional help from a psychologist.  However getting a controlling spouse to seek therapy and be able to accept he is the problem, then your best option is to leave the relationship, because if he cannot accept he is the problem, therapy will do no good.

  •  Are you frequently misunderstood, and your intentions looked on as if they were considered dishonorable or manipulative? Do you end up feeling perplexed and frustrated?
  • Do you feel as if there is something wrong with you, you feel bad and can’t figure out why?
  • Does your husband almost always disagree with you, and the smallest of discussions evolve into a heated debate and you just give up in frustration?
  •  Do you feel obligated to “give in” just to keep the peace in the relationship? Are you continually finding yourself fighting back what you’d like to say, being afraid to have an opinion of your own?  This will over time begin to cause you to lose your identity, your personal feeling of self-ownership.
  • Does he seem bothered when you do things without you and subtly show his discontent by repeatedly questioning what you did to try and trip you up to the point even you become confused with what you did, and get frustrated?  (This might be the biggest sign of a controlling husband – that he doesn’t want you to do anything when he’s not involved. Just because you’re married doesn’t mean you guys can’t do stuff on your own sometimes. Your husband shouldn’t be getting suspicious of you for hanging with friends without him, going to party if he’s not around or innocently talking to guys without him there.  That is abusively controlling!  If he can’t let you have any time to yourself, that’s a sign that he wants to be in control of what you’re doing all the time. It’s not fair, and is most likely because he has no true friends he can hang out with and do his own thing, because if he did, he would not be around to control you.
  • Does he show signs of always needing to see your stuff and dig through things to get a sense of what you might be doing that he doesn’t know about?  Does he try to see your text messages?  Does he try to look at your Facebook and see what male friends might like your comments or postings?  It’s a sign that he doesn’t trust you and it’s also a way for him to check up on you – basically to make sure you’re not doing anything he doesn’t approve of.  Your personal stuff is private and not for your husband’s right to go through. Don’t ever feel like you have to share every part of your life with him. That is control.  It has nothing to do with trust, it has to do with his insecurities, and lack of trust in himself based on his past and actions that are questionable.
  • Does he seem to dislike all of your friends and the people they are in relationships with?  A controlling guy will usually hate on everyone else in your life because he wants to be your number one, all the time.  He will make comments about your girlfriends spouses looking at you the wrong way, or start accusing you of being with them, because of the way you “look” at one another.  He will become jealous of your friends and manipulate you to the point you either lose your friends or quit associating with them just to keep the peace.  They will get to the point they become so controlling and hate all of your friends so much that he slowly convinces you to stop talking to every single one of them. That’s not okay. In a relationship, you should both be able to have your own friends.  Most likely he has no true friends himself, because he has no  sense of handling anything he cannot be the controlling person in.
  • Do you often give into sex and your partner’s sexual demands just to keep peace—even if you don’t want to? Most women do.  That is because it is easier to give in to the demand than deal later with the questions and accusations of seeing or being with someone else.  It is a manipulative tool used by controlling and abusive spouses.  Although sometimes you may want intimacy, but a controlling person can only be intimate enough and please you enough to meet their need.  That is why you find yourself left behind in the enjoyment process of intimacy, because it is all about when they will get their jollies, even when they make false attempts to please you on occasion.
  • Does he always want to be with your 24/7? Aw, isn’t it so sweet when your husband wants to hang out every day and text every minute when you’re not together? Um, sort of, I guess? There’s a fine line between this being cute and this being controlling. In the beginning of the marriage, it’s cute. When things get more serious, it’s not always as cute. If a guy insists on being with you or talking to you 24/7, being able to talk to you when apart and repeatedly calling until you answer, and stating it is because they were concerned for your well being, it is bullshit. it means he wants to always know what you’re doing, and in several states is considered stalking. At that point, you need to be like, chill or I am out of this marriage… everyone needs a little space once in a while.

  • Can your partner laugh at his own mistakes, or even admit his own weaknesses and shortcomings…or is he too busy focused on why you make his life miserable?  Most controlling and abusive husbands cannot acknowledge their weaknesses because that requires they recognize they are the root of the marital problem.
  • Does he make comments and basically tell you what you can wear or do?  Your husband should never tell you what you can and cannot do.  A marriage license is not a license of ownership.  He shouldn’t be saying, “you can’t wear that” or “you can’t go there.”   You are an individual, you are not property to be owned or bossed around.

If you can answer yes to at least four of the above, you’re in a controlling, unhealthy abusive relationship.  Sometimes it takes decades to comprehend, but you need to have them get help, or get out, before it destroys your identity and who you are.  It will become like Stockholm syndrome, you will begin to think this is the norm, and lose any sense of individuality.

Continually having someone pointing out your faults, the faults of your family members or others and accusing  you of things that are false about you, and you are jumping through hoop after hoop trying to “fix” yourself to accommodate the relationship is a futile  and wasted effort.  They are never going to change.

You will never be what he wants you to be, even if you do manage to “make things right”—down the road there will be contradictions—and all the things you’ve “made right” will be wrong.

There are serious emotional issues with your partner that stem so far back into his life, and the only way that he is able to validate his life is through the total control and belittling of you through emotional games.    You ask yourself, “Is this love”?  No. But it certainly presents itself as love initially… until the internal monster emerges.

As tough as it may be, if you value you and your own sanity, stop. The only person you can ‘fix” in this relationship is you.

Here are a few good resources in recognizing abusive relationships that explain abuse does not necessarily involve physical abuse, and how widespread this type of abuse is in America, and how rampant it is among spouses of military members as well.

“Not all emotional abuse involves shouting or criticism. More common forms are “disengaging” – the distracted or preoccupied spouse – or “stonewalling” – the spouse who refuses to accept anyone else’s perspective”.

- See more at: http://compassionpower.com/emotional%20abuse%20verbal%20abuse.php#sthash.x2RIGvUs.dpuf

Other Resources:

http://www.loveisrespect.org/is-this-abuse/is-this-abuse?gclid=CL_nhZHWkrsCFWRk7AodyEsAUw

http://www.army.mil/article/13317/Domestic_abuse_includes_emotional__financial_control/

http://compassionpower.com/emotional%20abuse%20verbal%20abuse.php

©Copyright protected 2013: JD NWU Local 1981   

©United Press International,   ©International Association of Press Photographers and Journalists   Press ID # 1007490467