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The “I have ‘Two’ Brains?” Theory

I had a conversation with a fellow blogger the other day and we discussed the intricate workings of the human brain. Yes, I said brains because anatomically we have a single medulla oblongata (brain for those layman types) yet metaphorically we have a second brain that tends to create conflicting situations and bad choices. Ponder that thought for a moment and see if you can figure out what I am talking about. Still have no clue? This brain is strategically located somewhere between your head and your feet and when neglected tends to lead to poor decision making, well for some. Yes, I am referring to that organ that has the ability to create both pleasure and pain.

You are probably asking yourself why would you not just call it what it is? It has so many names and slang words that our younger generation may not understand what I am referring to since it doesn’t have its own app and they are less likely to read something unless it shows up on a YouTube video. I can’t forget hashtags either because how would anyone expect to find something if it doesn’t have a hashtag associated with it (#readabook)? For those who do understand what I am talking about let’s move onward.

Since the dawn of Adam and Eve procreation is more than just two people engaging in coitus (yes I went there). It has turned into a world that tests and challenges the boundaries of a person’s sexual orientation, preference, and sense of adventure. Sex is not just about procreation anymore and has turned into an industry for some, hobby for others and a coping mechanism for the weak. This is the reason why our own sexual organ has become classified as having its own brain.

How many times have you told yourself that you will not have sex with someone yet that second brain volunteers its own opinion and overwrites the mental thought process that goes into making choices? I have fallen victim to this conundrum and I can say with confidence that 99% of all human beings, minus the human-like aliens with their probes, have also fallen victim. This second brain has the competency and effectiveness to overwrite the frontal lobe despite having not one single anatomical characteristic that resembles a human brain. Why is that? It’s because sex has turned into a drug, one that creates addictive like symptoms, that when neglected creates the want and need for attention.

Throughout the years I have seen this second brain create a world of problems for most but in some instances it has created positive outcomes. A man and a woman break up due to personality indifferences or as a result of promiscuous behavior. Yet this does not stop them from engaging in sexual acts for the purpose of gratification. Why would you allow yourself, emotionally and physically, to engage in sexual acts with a person who you cannot see a future with? The simplest explanation is because the second brain has overridden the ethical thought process of the real brain thereby creating the sense that using a person for sexual gratification is acceptable, at least for that moment. It is amazing how powerful this second brain has become yet the one word you could associate with this type of behavior is regret because you do it for the wrong reasons.

Some may agree with my interpretation and I am sure many will disagree but the fact remains that we use that second brain all to often and for the wrong reasons. People break up for a number of reasons and if you are working to rekindle that love than go for it. If you choose to engage sexually with someone you are not in a relationship with, knowingly, than you must live with the emotions that come with that choice. Remember that your choices can effect others but it can also effect you indirectly in a way that you may not see as you use certain mechanisms to block those emotions out. As an adult you have choices and you alone have the responsibility to evaluate those choices before taking any type of action. Just ask yourself which brain is making the choice for me before you act.

To Fear or not to Fear Theory

The reason I began Craigisms was because I had created quotes that people remembered because it opened their minds or it was catchy. One quote that has stuck in my mind throughout the years was Franklin D Roosevelt’s inaugural speech in 1933 where he said “So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.” I remember it like I was there when it occurred. Unfortunately, in today’s world we found ourselves fearing more than just fear and senseless acts of terror make it that much more difficult not to fear our own lives day after day.

Most of you know, by the non-stop news coverage, about the senseless attack that occurred at a night club in Orland, FL. Many will speculate, conspiracy theorist will add their opinions and numerous investigations by law enforcement agencies will uncover information that will create sensory overload. Domestic terrorism is just as real as terrorism that occurs overseas. We may be a country internationally recognized as having the strongest military power but we do not have unlimited resources to cover every inch of the world or the United States. This doesn’t stop people from voicing their concerns that America needs to change, or the purchase of firearms by citizens needs to be more restrictive, or foreign citizens should be more closely monitored.

It’s the people who keep to themselves that all of a sudden have a solution to solving these types of problems. Better yet we all have some solution in mind but our voice is only heard through social media and rarely through the elected officials we vote into public office. Our voice is translated into a digital footprint that is spread amongst a series of friends and in some cases amongst the many with the use of hashtags. Here is the true question, “Are our words on social media actually heard by those who have the power to create or initiate change?” I certainly don’t have time to read every single post from my Facebook newsfeed so how can I expect my elected officials to do the same?

Regardless if our concerns or resolutions make it to the right people it doesn’t eliminate the fear that we all have about becoming the next victim of a terror attack or from someone who has a total disregard for human life. The one mistake we make though is identifying an attack on the masses as being a terror attack. We used to identify terrorist attacks as ones that are planned out and carefully calculated by a known terrorist organization such as the attacks that occurred on 9/11 by Al Qaeda.

Today any incident involving multiple casualties where the perpetrator is identified as having some ideological fixation or affiliation with a known terrorist group is labeled as a terrorist. To me this is different as this person did not come to the United States with the only intention of carrying some sort of attack. This is a person who has been influenced through an ideological set of principles. Granted it’s terrorists groups who encourage this type of behavior but this person was influenced over time whether through social media or even the news.

Now that I have gone on about my opinion on how this works, in so few words, lets return back to the fear aspects of these attacks. Every time an attack like this occurs on American soil it spreads fear amongst the impacted community but quickly spreads worldwide once it reaches social media and new outlets. Theories begin to discuss how this attack could lead to more attacks whether it be at a well-known amusement park, sporting event, convention center or any place that would house thousands of people at any given time. Should I not go to these places for fear of falling victim to the next attack? Absolutely not. I don’t want to stop living my life because I fear the next terror attack. For all I know I could lose my life to a car accident or natural causes. The best advice I can give to people who live in fear because of terrorists is live your life the way you want because you never know when or how it will end.

FDR talks about fearing fear itself. This is very true because we allow ourselves to fear many things. Those fears translate into actions or reactions that alter everyday living. It changes the way we think about things and what in our life needs to change as a result of that fear. Because of this our life is filled with a constant need to change to adapt to the new mindset. We allow these fears to negatively affect us or in some cases create a more positive approach to life. Events like the one in Orlando, FL remind us that we should never take life for granted and that we need to ensure our loved ones know how much we care and love them. Is the last argument with someone worth dwelling over not knowing what will happen in the new few minutes, hours or days? Should I stop going to clubs because one was attacked by a selfless human being or should I not go because I am getting too old? I prefer to not go because I think I am getting too old for it.

We must remember that life is all about making choices and fearing something or someone is included in that. To fear someone only creates the sense of superiority for that person. The people who died in Flight 93 certainly did not die from fear because some of the passengers chose to fight back. They overcame their fears and did what was necessary to save the thousands that would have died if the aircraft hit its intended target. That is how we should live our life, free of or by minimizing the fear so we can be in control of our own lives. You will find yourself opening up and doing things you never thought you would ever do because you overcame the fear. If you got to this point in my blog you may have overcome that fear of boredom because I was able to keep you engaged. Life to the fullest and just remember those words from FDR, “…the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

The Reprogramming Your Brain Theory

Conspiracy theorists have long predicted the future of mankind would be taken over by the “Machine”. Some would argue the machine will come in the form of robots or artificial intelligence just to name a few. Those who believe our world will be taken over by an apocalyptic phenomenon of man versus machine may end up one step ahead of the rest of those who see it as a farce. Maybe those who believe in it are reliving scenes from the Terminator or have they programmed their own minds to believe in this?

The human brain has many similarities to a modern day computer. It stores information that can be recalled rather quickly for some but as it ages it takes a bit longer. It has the ability to be programmed with information that tells you how to do something. For example, a person who speaks Spanish can do so because they have programmed (trained) their brain to understand it. How we walk, talk, interact and respond to something is all based on how your brain was programmed. Have you ever screamed at the top of your lungs when you see a spider? Your brain was programmed to fear spiders at some point in your life. As a result you have reprogrammed responses to that fear which in this case was both a physical and verbal reaction.

Can you see how similar you are to a computer now? Computers are made of many components that all have a specific job in how it works. Without one or more of these components the computer is not able to function efficiently and in some cases at all. Our body contains numerous organs that if any fail it effects our ability to function and in some cases result in death. The body knows how to function because it’s programmed to. How can we apply that same concept to our brains?

We have the ability to program ourselves to react to any situation we face or how we accomplish something. If you can program yourself to think one way it’s quite possible you can reprogram yourself to think another way. How does a person who has eaten meat most of their life one day become a vegetarian? It’s a life style change precipitated by your attempt to reprogram your brain and body to make the necessary adjustments to the new lifestyle. We are all built differently at both a cellular and genetic level therefore some people require more time for the reprogramming to take full effect. This same concept applies to fear, negativity, smoking, driving, speech and an infinite number of things.

Since my focus, in writing, is on my Craigism philosophy let’s discuss how we can apply this reprogramming theory to our own lives when it comes to negativity. From the moment we are born we are programmed to a life style determined by our parents and our environment. We learn the difference between right and wrong. We learn what the difference is between left and right. We also learn how to interpret life from a positive and negative perspective. Marriage is thought to be a positive moment in a person’s life, but I am sure there is a small percentage who would challenge me on that. On the other hand divorce is looked at negatively for a number of reasons all of which vary depending on the couple and the situation. I personally put divorce in the positive category for a few reasons:

  1. One or both individuals determine it’s in their best interest to part ways to better themselves or their lives. We can’t fault someone for wanting a change that betters themselves or the other person. When two people can make that decision together it creates a less traumatic experience and places focus on each other’s happiness rather than their own. Not all relationships end in this manner but rather than point the finger we can create a sense of separation that doesn’t ruin what did work out great during the tenure of the relationship
  2. For some it’s a sense of moving forward or closure from a relationship that was damaging on many levels. This could be a man or woman who was in a mentally or physically abusive relationship. Some people become so damaged by the abuse that their brain reprograms itself to be accepting of the behavior because their mental approach changes as a result of the abuse. Moving forward and getting out of the relationship, under your own choice, is the first step in reprogramming yourself to realizing life doesn’t have to be that way and that moving forward is the positive direction to head in.

So how can we reprogram our brains? First you you retrieve the jumper cables from your vehicle and connect them to your car battery. For those who actually did that before reading on should slowly step away from their vehicle and consider professional help. On a more serious note, brain reprogramming is not something that occurs over night. It’s a process of steps that take time and requires changes that you are not use to. To get over fear you might have to face that fear numerous times till you become more comfortable with it. I am by no means a Neurologist so I honestly can’t say how to scientifically reprogram your brain but using baby steps you can begin the initial phase of identifying what it is you are trying to change. In some scenarios you already know what needs to happen you just have to develop the courage and determination to do it. Talk to friends and family as they may be able to help you through this.

Everyone will interpret what I discussed above differently and that is ok. I am by no means telling people how they should think or interpret situations. I am expressing my opinions in the hopes that it creates dialogue or helps you think outside the box so your focus is not limited to a specific interpretation.  If my philosophy was proven to be globally beneficial I would be writing in a book rather than a blog but we all cannot appeal to the masses in ways we hope.

Take the next couple of minutes to think about changes you believe are necessary in your life and how you would go about accomplishing them. Don’t try to reach for the stars immediately but allow yourself to become a little bit vulnerable otherwise you don’t open yourself up to change. Take each step one at a time and in due time you might find the change occurring. Those who were addicted to drugs once had to reprogram themselves to resist temptation. If they can do it so can you.

The Turning a Blind Eye Theory

It has been brought to my attention on many occasions that I care too much about people that I end up pushing them away because that person feels its not necessary or they believe things will never happen to them. Reality check people we can all become victims to many things including: terrorism, murder, burglary, identify theft, scams, bullying and the list will go on and on. Just because we are not celebrities or a public figure doesn’t mean we are the ones people will never find or consider when contemplating their plot. We are all potential victims, BUT we can prevent ourselves from becoming a victim by practicing simple countermeasures.

How often do you find yourself “Liking”, then “Sharing”, that Walt Disney World free trip contest on Facebook because it tells you to and because it says Walt Disney World in the title it must be true. WRONG! The last one I saw was obviously a fake because how many Walt Disney World Facebook pages do you know have less than 10,000 likes, only posts a few photos and was recently created this week? These are obvious signs that a Facebook page is fake. Wait a minute, are you saying that there are people out there who create fake pages and would try to scam me out of my information? I am not sure how to tell you this without being straight forward with you but YES!

First thing first, most social media sights have implemented a “Verified” measure that identifies highly visible businesses and public figures with a Check mark on their page that identifies them as being legit. These big time business have to supply certain information in order to verify who they say they are. These businesses and public figures also have to abide by strict rules when it comes to posting contests because certain verbiage is required from a legal standpoint for it to be in compliance with FB standards. If you see a Facebook page that doesn’t have the “Blue Check mark” next to their name, and they are known world-wide, they are more than likely fake especially if they are offering you money, prizes or some monetary objects for engaging on their page.

Have we become that blind to spam and scams that we are willing to share these pages with our friends possibly placing them in jeopardy of falling victim to these scam artists? We have no problem sharing a video, quotes from websites, funny pictures,  and many other useless stuff that does nothing more than entertain us, but do we take even 2 seconds to determine whether or not sharing it could cause harm to those you share it with?

Being in the military has its advantages because we train continuously on Cyber-terrorism and we see first hand sometimes, from the experts, some of the various things that happen that result in people’s identities being stolen or even bank accounts drained. This is not a joke people but I would venture to say that 80% of people don’t care because they feel they are invincible to cyber threats.  Those who think that are either belittling themselves thinking they are not worth going after or are just blind to the true understanding to the effects of cyber threats. Either way if you feel you are this type of person you are more likely to fall victim to a cyber attack than a celebrity.

My Commanding Officer just came back from a Cyber-terrorism conference and was educated on a recent incident that occurred at, of all places, an airport. How can someone steal data at any airport? You are probably thinking because they used the Wi-Fi or maybe a credit card at a suspect kiosk. Well you would be wrong. They walked up to one of those “Charging Stations” to charge their phone because their battery was running low. Some people plug directly into the walls using their own chargers but this person decided to use the supplied charging station for its convenience. Well little did they know that Malware was installed on a device within the charging station that when a person plugged their phone in the malware was uploaded to their phones without them knowing. How is this possible? I am glad you asked. Cables that transfer data and charge phones have 4 lines. Two for charging and two for data. Once he plugged into the charging station those data lines were used to upload the software. For someone reason when this person returned to work they plugged their phone into their workstation (This is a no-no at any military facility) and the second he did that the Malware was then uploaded into the military network mainframe. Needless to say the Cyber teams went right to work when all those alarms started going off.

So you see we all must educate ourselves in the numerous practices in countering against cyber-terrorism. There are many websites, from legitimate companies, as well as training seminars at most businesses where we can learn that numerous techniques used to scam us. Take the time to learn about these methods so you do not become a victim. Sign up for credit monitoring so if someone gets a hold of your information they can’t open accounts in your name. It may seem like a lot of money to buy into these services but how much will it costs you to recover money from your bank accounts, credit cards and identify theft when someone becomes you and you now have to prove that you are who you say you are. Don’t wait for something to happen because EVERYONE is vulnerable if you allow yourself to be.

Remember that you sharing something could be hurting your friends more than you are helping them. Think before you click!

Abuse & The Split Personality Theory

This theory has become part of a series of theories that get into the various aspects of a relationship and the obstacles that some face when it comes to abuse both emotionally and physically. In my “When Enough is Enough Theory” I discussed how difficult it is for people to make a decision as to when the time is right to get out of a relationship that they feel is abusive or going nowhere. In my “I am not Good Enough Theory” I talk about the fall outs from mental and physical abusive relationships and how it effects a person’s self confidence and esteem. This theory will place a greater emphasis on the abuser where the past two have focused on the victims.

At someone point in every one’s lives they have experienced some form of abuse whether physically or emotionally. Abuse comes in many forms and does not necessarily have to be obvious to the regular person because those who have experienced abuse, in some manner, for a good part of their lives are unable to distinguish between abuse and the norm. When a person has gotten so used to the abuse it seems as if they have fallen into a psychological phenomenon called Stockholm Syndrome. Stockholm Syndrome is where hostages express empathy and sympathy and have positive feelings towards their captors, sometimes to the point of defending and identifying with their captors (Webster’s Dictionary).  You may be asking yourself how would this phenomenon apply to me when I am not a hostage? The first thing I would say is don’t take the definition at face value and look into the effects psychologically and how you can compare those symptoms to abusive relationships.

Many men and women who live within an abusive relationship endure significant psychological effects that most people would say they understand, but do they? When a person’s self confidence has reached an all-time low because of emotional abuse they begin to feel that no one would ever want someone who is broken, therefore they are less likely to leave that relationship. They have this gleaming hope that there is still love from their abuser. By no means are you a hostage in a relationship but fear creates that “hostage like feeling” because choosing to move on could result in increased abuse. For whatever reason though a person who chooses to stay in an abusive relationship is doing so at their own risk and for whatever reasons. They ultimately has to live with those decisions.

One of the biggest challenges with being in an abusive relationship is for others to see what you are going through. Abusers typically put on a good show in front of others which portrays them as your typical good citizen but behind closed doors their psychological mindset is that of an abuser. How often do you find yourself being emotionally abused but yet those closest to you don’t see that side of the abuser? It happens more than you think and it makes it difficult for others to see and understand what you are going through. When you lack the emotional support from those you love it creates that “Boy who cried wolf” mentality where convincing them that you are a victim becomes harder over time. Unfortunately some people need to witness the abuse before they believe others rather than take a person’s word for it. This creates a see-saw effect where you want to believe someone but you also know that person well enough and their judgement is brought into question.

The abuser throughout all this puts on that smile and is friendly with everyone outside the relationship. They create this persona to hide the fact they are inherently abusive in nature. This could stem from being abused themselves but their ability to maintain this “split personality” is borderline sociopath as their empathy towards those they abuse is nonexistent. Those that have mastered both persona’s are difficult to expose because they understand their victims psychological mindset and use that to their advantage. Those individuals who experience this type of abuser should get out immediately, no matter what that circumstances are, otherwise you are making the choice to stay and unfortunately going to suffer further abuse at this person’s hand.

That last statement might seem cold and many would argue that there are circumstances that I would not understand that prevent them from moving on but I would continue to say that leaving or staying is a choice. The only person who can make that choice is you. To say that you have no say in the matter is completely false, unless you find yourself in some legal battle where your right to make a choice, in some matter, is removed or revoked. When a person stays with another, even after hearing they cheated on them, that is their choice. When a person is physically abused and they bail that person out so they don’t have to be alone, that is their choice. I understand that there are other challenges or obstacles that influence a person’s decision and I will touch on that next.

As you can see I believe that every person has the ability to choose their path, but what about a path that involves children. Most people would say that any situation involving a child is difficult and you just can’t walk away or can you? There is obviously incredible challenges that come with an abusive relationship especially when children are involved. I don’t mean children are being abused but their perception of both parents is that of a loving and nurturing one where they may not understand what goes on behind closed doors. Separating that child from either parent is likely to have a significant emotional effect on that child. The level of emotion though is dependent on their age and their understanding of the situation. Teenagers are more likely to understand what abuse is where a 4 year old looks up to both parents and doesn’t have the mindset to understand it. This makes any victim second guess their decisions knowing that removing the child from this situation will have some emotional effect on the child when they are used to having two parents in their lives.

If this were the latter part of the 20th century I would agree that taking a child and walking away from your abuser would be the right decision but this is the 21st century and we have learned many things over the years. Your child no longer can be used as an excuse to stay in a relationship because doing so plays to your character as a parent, especially in the eyes of the State. That statement may seem harsh but it’s reality and if a person is likely to abuse you they are likely to move on to child abuse at some point. Most abusers escalate over time especially when you allow them to. You can’t use the excuse “They would never hurt their child”, because they already abuse a person they claim to love so why would a child be any different in their mind psychologically? Then comes the question, “What about the father’s right to see the child?” and to that I say let the courts decide that and focus on protecting your child and yourself from further abuse.

I have beaten this topic to death but I want to make the point that I myself have never experienced abuse in the manner that most have. I am not a parent, well I was one for a short period until paternity results came back, but I have seen and heard enough stories to make myself feel like I been in their shoes psychologically (not physically). We can use every excuse in the book as to why a relationship should never be broken, especially when it involves children, but are you willing to accept all consequences for making the wrong choice, even though you feel its right but everyone tells you otherwise? If you feel endangered around your abuser wouldn’t you feel the same for the child? The fact remains you, the victim, have a choice and you have to live with that choice. As long as you allow a person to be abusive they will always be one. Do something now and help yourself, your loved ones and potential future victims otherwise you’re giving them a slap on the wrist for their actions.

**Disclaimer**
People are most certainly going to criticize me for talking about something I have never experience myself. This may be true but that doesn’t change the fact you have a voice and a choice. Many people have walked away and taken their children with them because it was what was best. Let the legal system take over at that point but you took the first step in removing yourself and your child from the situation which if you think about it is a Choice you have.

The Want vs The Desire Theory

Some days I am thankful for the amount of drama and comments that are made on Facebook because it gives me topics like this one to discuss. On the other hand someone who is sensitive to comments people make may see increased anxiety. At this point you would think reducing their Facebook activity would help calm that anxiety but we all know the phone will never be put down for more than two minutes. I was one of those people who couldn’t put my phone down one day and thankfully I didn’t because a Facebook friend asked a great question that I felt deserved to be turned into a Craigism Theory. I will copy and paste the exact quote from her Facebook page below but hide her name only to reveal that this question resulted in the creation of the Want vs Desire Theory.

“Women become more desirable when they’re taken apparently. I had more men trying to pull me away from my marriage than anyone asking for a date being single..isn’t that sick? Don’t get all crazy when you see a woman with someone else if you’re too chicken to be a man and speak up, Every opportunity has a shelf life. All these boys need to be more REALISTIC! The perfect woman is perhaps right in front of you! Stop chasing someone else’s dream..or woman hahaha cause the single one will be with the man who already knew “

Want and desire have to different meanings and I will start this one out with my interpretation of want. As human beings, well at least most of us are, we always have the need for something whether it’s on an emotional level, a physical level or inanimate objects that make our lives easier or more convenient. We say we need these type of things but in reality we want them. We want them because they are realistically attainable. As I sit here and type this blog post I wantsomething to drink. That is certainly attainable because I have a variety of drinks in the fridge, it just requires me to get up, pour it then enjoy the consumption of it. If I want something that is not in the fridge it turns into a desire because extra effort would be necessary to acquire it and it might just be a one time thing.

Now lets touch on desire for a moment and then I will discuss a few scenarios to help others understand my theory on the whole concept. Desire sounds like a seductive attempt at making something feel important or sexy but it really isn’t. In my mind, desire is something that we want in the moment, for one time or just to say that we have done it. It typically is not readily available and requires extra effort to fulfill that desire. Desire also has no boundaries so some are willing to go outside of their comfort zone in order to achieve that moment of fulfillment, but at what costs is someone willing to do this?

In the case above, this young lady (over 18, but not going to reveal her true age) is being approached and solicited by men who are aware that she is happily married. Granted some men are oblivious to the diamond ring and/or wedding ring that exists on her left ring finger but to continue the pursuit knowing she is married is crossing a boundary that some don’t return from after crossing. Men with no boundaries only desiremarried women because after they get what they want they are more likely to walk away than to return for more. They may attempt to claim they have what she wants, but if that was the case she wouldn’t have married the man she did. I completely agree with her and am disgusted at the men who try to ruin marriages to get themselves off or to prove a point that women desire them. One day they are going to learn the hard way that you don’t mess with a man’s woman.

I have only touched on men who desire woman but trust me this goes both ways. One has to ask themselves, “What is truly going through the mind of a person who feels that attempting to pull someone away from their marriage is beneficial in any way?” The only one defense to that question is when you do it for their protection because their relationship is abusive. Any other excuse is poor and reprehensible. So why do women go after men who they know are happily married? Is it a game? Is it to see if men still find them desirable? Only the woman attempting to pull a man away from his marriage knows the true intentions.

I could honestly go back and forth and talk about why men and women are willing to cross that boundary line to fulfill a desire because it certainly is not a “I want” situation. Going after a happily married man or woman is not something that can be easily attained. It will require much effort and in some cases you won’t possess the level of effort required to get what you so-call wanted. The proverbial “You know you wantthis!” has maybe succeeded 1% of the time and that’s because that person was more than likely inebriated. Stop wasting your time fishing in a pond that has already been claimed. Go find your own pond up the street, you know the one where you can find the rest of the thrown back fish that are likely to lower their standards to meet your expectations. Lastly, if you are the person who has no boundaries and feels they are impervious to rejection, then you need to learn the definition of the word RESPECT because it doesn’t seem your momma taught you it.

The Cell Phone Conundrum Theory

As a person who grew up in the 80’s, I have seen the transition from writing letters with a pen to sending text messages and emails from our phones. We place our phones in standby only to conserve the battery so when that next text message or notification pops up we have enough power to view and respond. Since the invention of smart phones, those uneducated in how these electronic devices retain information, people have developed an infatuation with what is being said on other people’s phones especially those who we are in a relationship with. This craze has gotten so bad over the years some find themselves waking up at 2am in the morning only to look through their partner’s phone to see if that trust boundary has been crossed. I like to call this the Cell Phone Conundrum.

Cell phones have consumed countless lives to the point where putting it down results in withdrawal symptoms. For some of us, our entire lives are in a single device that stores our pictures, phone numbers, grocery lists, social media apps, and data that if lost would crush our digital existence. Those who have dropped their cell phones in the toilet are quick to jump on a computer to let their friends know that their phone is dead and that they have already filed an insurance claim to get a new phone in the next couple of days. God forbid you miss your hourly Facebook post or status update.
When curiosity killed the cat it created this domino effect that consumes the lives of individuals who have trust issues. Back in the 1980’s there was no way to recall a letter once it was sent in the mail. You couldn’t take back what you said unless you committed a few felonies by intercepting the letter from that person’s mailbox and then shredding the evidence.
Today once you hit that enter button it travels through a series of computers till it arrives in the inbox of someone else’s computer or phone. Who knows how many times that single message is duplicated and stored before your friend or lover receives it. The one thing we do know is there are ways to retrieve that information on someone’s device which is why those with trust issues find themselves snooping through their partner’s phone.
Why do we find ourselves looking through other people’s phones? Are we looking for dirty pictures that they may have taken? Are we curious as to who they have been talking to lately? Who is that girl/guy sending random pictures of herself to your Snapchat? Why are you Facebook friends with your ex-girlfriend/boyfriend? These are only a small percentage of the questions that come up when you decided to snoop through someone’s phone.
Obviously trust is a huge factor when it comes to making life long decisions but is it really worth going through someone else’s phone just to satisfy the curiosity or that need to know? We all know that even if one little thing is found that it will only cause an argument, a breakup, or in some cases death. If you spend enough time snooping through someone’s phone you are going to find something incriminating but is all that effort worth it? Is creating a sense of paranoia worth that time and effort?
It’s really sad to see that this world has come to a point where the word “Trust” has multiple meanings rather than a single meaning? Those of us from the older generation always talk about how trust is earned but does that actually happen or is trust constantly challenged every day of our lives? When we say we trust someone do we actually mean it or do we say that because we do in the moment? If you can’t go more than 24 hours without questioning your partner’s trust than you have bigger issues than trust itself. At that point you are looking for a reason to get into an argument or to call someone out and prove they are wrong.
For some reason this topic really gets me worked up because I honestly don’t understand why people put themselves through all this stress. If you dig deep enough you are going to find something and are you willing to give up the trust, that person has with you, just to call them out on something you dug up? I guarantee that 85% of those who find something on their partner’s phones are just going to argue about it over and over and stay in that relationship. If you are going through all the trouble of finding dirt then why don’t you walk away and call it quits with that person?  It’s because you have a disease called “Control Freak”. You need to know everything about that person including: what they are doing, who they are talking to, who is calling them, how many email accounts they have, who they are hanging out with and the list goes on. You have a problem and it’s not a trust issue it’s a control issue.
Next time you decide to pickup someone’s phone and snoop through it, think about how you would feel if they did it to you. If you are doing it because you have a suspicion, based on actual evidence that something may be going on, then you might have a small chance of justifying your actions. Otherwise you have a control problem that needs to be addressed otherwise you are creating undo stress on yourself only to do nothing about it in the end. Most of us have enough stress in our lives that we don’t need to add to it. If you have a trust issue you might need to rethink whether that relationship is healthy enough to continue or it’s time to move on. If you choose to continue the relationship, even after knowing the dirt you dug up, then have chosen to move on and have accepted the dirt you found as not being a deal breaker.

The View from Above Theory

It was not long ago I spent the better part of a trip flying across the United States. The flights from the East coast to the West coast were smooth but the trip back wasn’t so much. Delays, missed flights, extensive layovers took an estimated 12 hour trip and turned it into nearly 36 hours. Despite the frustrations and my vocalized concerns to the airline customer service desk, I stayed positive and made the best of it while helping others in the same situation cope and take our minds off the negative aspects. It was the final flight of the day though that got me thinking as I stared down onto the lit up city of Long Island, NY.

It was a short flight from Philadelphia to Providence, approximately 45 minutes, but what I saw during that flight made me think long and hard about the positive aspects of life and how I can translate what I see into positive thoughts that others may be able to relate to. As my airplane leveled out at its cruising altitude I looked out my window and saw something amazing. I saw individual dots of light that represented the streets, homes and vehicles. This might not seem like much to some but let me translate the thoughts that went through my mind as I gazed upon them.

As I continued to gaze out the window I see several clusters of light but also darkness that separates them. The darkness represents negative people and thoughts. If we sit back and think about our lives we can relate events and situations to those two types of clusters. When we were negative we surrounded ourselves with negative people so we did not feel alone. When we wanted a more positive outlook we would surround ourselves with people who also thought the same way. By nature, we as humans, are attracted to groups by the majority. What I mean by this is when the majority of men or women think of something as bad we are likely to develop the same opinion. This is not always the case because some of us choose to establish our own opinion based on our beliefs rather than allow outside influences to sway us one way or another.

Notice in the picture how there appears to be a trail of lights that go from total darkness, at the bottom of the picture, and it leads to the large cluster of lights at the top. I see this as the path we all search for to take us out of the darkness and lead us to the light. We must always be willing to allow others to join us in positive thoughts and the best way to do that is to light a path for them to find their way. We can learn from each other at the same time as share with each other the positive things that make us who we are.

A cluster of lights make up a neighborhood but each light had its own distinct glow. Now think of each light as a person with a positive thought. From the air most lights appear in clusters rather than on their own because the more lights you put together the brighter it tends to look from a distance. Positive thoughts can work the same way where you want to surround yourself with other people who create positivity in their own lives as well.

If we take this concept and apply it to a spider web, where the web represents positive thoughts and the empty space all the negative. You will notice how every positive thought is connected to another in some way. These positive thoughts surround the negative space in the hopes that something will cause them to blend together creating a bigger cluster. In the case of a spider, its prey despite being a negative thing, causes all the positive thoughts to come together and surround the negative eventually outnumbering it. The spider becomes happy as it has caught food but its web is no longer the same. That space where they prey landed now becomes a single entity rather than a web with empty space. Our lives work the same way, so don’t consume your life with negativity and focus on spreading the positivity so we all can enjoy it together.

The “I am not Good Enough” Theory

One of the saddest things to hear when talking with someone is the fact they lack such self confidence that they think of themselves as worthless or not good enough for someone. The emotional trauma or years of negative comments that bring a person to thinking of themselves in that manner is unacceptable in my book. No person should ever have to feel or think of themselves in any negative way, EVER!
If you are reading this and you are one of those people who feel superior because you make someone cry or feel empowered by the control you have over another person you may not want to read any further because you are about to find out that you reign on the throne will soon be short lived.
First and foremost you should be ashamed of yourself for having the audacity to think that you are better than someone and that you can use a person’s emotions against them knowing just how they will react to your barrage of negativity towards them. You are a bully and a person who doesn’t deserve a single ounce of love from any human being for how you act. Do you think it would be fun for someone to break you down emotionally and then laugh at you when you confidence is so low that you can’t even look at yourself in the mirror? Oh, that’s right that would never happen to you because you are the dominant one and your egotistical and arrogant mind has you convinced that superiority is earned when it fact it’s more a complex than anything.
What is that you say? You blame your parents for your upbringing and feel that their behavior and lifestyle influenced your superiority complex? Well it’s time for a reality check because I am willing to wager, everything I own, that you are over 18 which means you are an adult, someone who has the ability to make decisions on your own. Just because your parents set a bad example doesn’t mean you need to follow in their foot steps. You learned the difference between right and wrong but from what I can see you might be mixing those up, better yet I know you are mixing them up. If you know anything about sailing or boating, I suggest you standby and prepare for heavy rolls.
Sorry for the small rant but people who treat people in such a negative way really tick me off. This happens to both men and women. You are probably thinking to yourself that it happens to more women than men and you are probably right but to segregate a single sex in this type of theory would be sexist and I tend to speak in general terms because it can apply to anyone.
If you should find yourself a victim to a man or woman who constantly tells you how ugly you are, how they can’t stand to look at you, or put you in situations that most would consider uncalled for or unnecessary than it’s time to take action and show this person that you have a voice and their actions need to stop now. Is this ability to put your foot down easier said than done? Absolutely, but all it takes is one moment of courage to begin this process.
Never and I will say again, NEVER should you have to put up with any type of emotional abuse. In most cases physical abuse occurs with this sort of behavior but I am only going to touch on the emotional aspect. This style of bullying has gone on way too long and too many people have lost some or total self confidence in themselves as a result. We are all human and unfortunately habits and repetitive instances reprogram our brains into thinking what people say is right. If we hear it enough than it must be true right? Wrong, it’s only true if what they are saying is actually true.
Some men and women have control issues. They feel that in order to prevent you from leaving them they must take drastic measure in order to ensure they remain the superior one and you their puppet. It’s a harsh metaphor to use but when you allow someone to control every aspect of your life you might as well hang some strings from each limb and let them be the puppet master. Why would someone do such a thing? That is the one million dollar question, but I can surmise that if they can make you feel worthless than you would never have the confidence or the courage to leave them, hence why I call it the superiority complex. Many people experience this but are too stubborn to realize it or to naive to think it’s happening to them.
If you made it this far into the theory you must be able to relate in some way or know someone who may be going through this right now. Today we will put a stop to this. Every county throughout the United States has resources available for people who are physically and emotionally abused. These types of resources come in the form of shelters, hot lines, Pro Bono lawyers, support groups, and church gatherings. I am sure there are more but those seem to be the go-to ones from what I have gathered through my research.
The first hurdle you must overcome is accepting the fact you are a victim here. Once you recognize that then the next step is confiding in a friend who is willing to be there for you throughout this process. To do this alone is terrifying and having that one person you can trust will help make the journey easier. Don’t be scared to reach out to a hot line or a support group because you are going to meet people who are going through the same thing you are and they can point you in the right direction. When I say direction I am referring to the options you have for getting out of a situation where emotional abuse is dominating your life. You should be able to look into a mirror and smile at yourself rather than not have the courage to even look at yourself in that mirror.
If you are a friend of one of these victims and you are doing nothing then shame on you. Sometimes these friends just need a nudge to move in the right direction. It is time we take back what is rightfully ours, OUR LIFE. The only person who should ever control our own lives is ourselves. The second we allow someone to control our lives we are taking a step off a cliff that we may not be able to stop ourselves from falling off of, but if we survive that fall the only direction we can move is up. We must start the healing process so we can climb back up the mountain one step at a time. You know you have reached the top of the mountain when your bully is looking up at you wondering how they ended up on the bottom.
The entire process of taking back your life is going to take time. This is not something that can happen overnight and some wounds will take longer to heal, but when you are standing at the top of that mountain looking down on the bully, who once abused you, you can finally look into that mirror and say “I am setting the example rather than being the example.”

The Social Media Conundrum Theory

It’s no mystery that social media consumes our lives in some fashion or manner. Some of us may not use it as often as others but we can’t help but download that app so we don’t miss a poke, a new blog, a trending tweet or friend updating their status. Technology has come a long way since the birth of the Internet and dial up modems. Today we can take our lives with us no matter where we go and we can’t stop ourselves from checking our Facebook wall or the most recent tweet from those we follow. Whether it’s the need to pass time or the curiosity what the most recent gossip is, very few people can go hours if not minutes without bringing their cell phone out of its standby mode and browse your most recent notifications to see who posted something. This constant need for information is what I like to call the Social Media Conundrum.

Some of you may remember the mid 80’s movie Short Circuit, where a prototype robot built for the military suffers a malfunction after being struck by lightning giving him feelings, a conscious and the constant need for input (information). That same storyline has now become our reality. Social media has cornered the technological market at the same time as creating that paradigm where information can be shared with hundreds or even thousands of people with the single click of that return button.  Before Myspace, Facebook and Twitter were unveiled people were obsessed with the need to instant message (IM) through platforms such as AOL, ICQ, Yahoo Instant Messenger and several others.

So what creates this need for information? Why do we care what our friends are doing or where they are going or what new pictures have they uploaded? I am no psychologist, so I can’t give you an expert opinion, but I can tell you that I too have fallen into this conundrum like most of you who are reading this. To put it simply we are nosey.

We, for some reason, allow curiosity to get the best of us and that leads to the need for information. We like drama because it is entertaining, but what is drama without throwing our own two cents in?

Wait, Holly just posted a new picture wearing her newest bikini. Stop the presses, we must now like that picture, tag ourselves in it, comment on it and tell all our friends about it. Wait a minute, who is Holly and why is she one of my friends? I am sure most of you can relate or know someone who does exactly what I just talked about. These are called “followers” people who have no idea who you are but enjoy it when you post a picture of yourself or ones with you and your friends in it. Some people call these folks creepy others just ignore them because it makes it look like they have more friends.

You are probably asking yourself, so where is the conundrum in all this, and don’t you worry that is coming up but I feel prefacing with some history and known facts will help make the meaning of this that much easier.

Recently I updated my status on Facebook to say that I was “In a Relationship”. Within two hours I received 22 Likes, one congratulatory comment and four private congratulatory messages. While I am thankful for the friends I have, not one of them questioned with whom or even the validity of the update. I love my friends but they did exactly what I expected, hence the creation of the conundrum.

Those of us who have too many friends don’t have time to question a person’s status so we react with the more logical response rather than the practical. Some people did tell me that they don’t publicize everything, and normally I would agree, but a person is more likely to post a status that makes them feel happy and loved as much as one that goes off on a rant.

We have overcome bad relationships and more than likely at some point publicized how bad it was or even what caused it to be bad. Those of us who are well versed in Facebook jargon have seen the status “It’s Complicated” under someone’s relationship status. We all know this means the relationship has failed but that person for some reason just can’t let go or walk away. It’s only natural that we don’t want our friends to think of us as always getting with the bad ones, so when a new one comes along that is good for us we absolutely want to make it known.

Ok back to the conundrum part. Most people become overwhelmed with the number of statuses that have filled their news feed since they last looked at it. To expedite the process we browse for pictures or words that capture our attention. Once this happens we hit that little “like” button and add a comment or move onto the next. What we don’t realize though is we become complacent when we think we know what to expect from that person. We look at their status and say to ourselves “nothing new” or “nothing I didn’t already know”. This creates a zombie effect where our reaction doesn’t change no matter what their status says, hence the reason why you would never question a status’ validity.

This social media conundrum emphasizes the fact that our response to most updates is pre-planned, or ones where our brains are programmed to respond with a standard answer. This is why people reacted the way they did to my status because our mind said congratulate them, because are happy for them, and move on to the next status. Not much thought went into their response otherwise at least one person would have asked who the lucky lady was or how I met her. True friends always want those answers because they care.

I realize this is long, but it’s a blog and those who have written blogs before know there is always some type of short story within it. The Social Media Conundrum is real and our complacency prevents us from seeing what we are actually doing. We no longer question anything. We are using pre-programmed responses because it shows we care but in fact it just shows how social media has consumed our lives that we must react quickly to keep up with our friend’s statuses. A like or comment shows we care but we are doing so without knowing if the status is true or fabricated.