Is Cannibalism in Our DNA? Part 3 of 3

Whether Christian or not, almost everyone knows that in eating the wafer and drinking the wine during Holy Communion communicants are presumably eating the flesh and blood of Jesus Christ. . . .

Is Cannibalism in Our DNA? Part 2 of 3

The literature on cannibalism includes over 50 books and about 1000 websites rife with examples of its practice. Anthropologists and archeologists have actually been able to scientifically trace its existence back as far as the Neanderthals. . . .

Is Cannibalism in Our DNA? Part 1 of 3

Can it be mere coincidence that our lexicon is teeming with cannibalistic metaphors? Whether it's in the diction of anger or aggression, sex or love, it's almost impossible not to figuratively employ such flesh-rending or flesh-consuming terminology. . . .

The Pursuit of Happiness--Or the Quest for Wealth

If in fact happiness is conceived in monetary terms, then the more money gained, the more material objects acquired, the closer you are to reaching this most enviable of goals. Right? Hardly! As ironic as it may seem, pursuing happiness materialistically is a goal that's not reachable--ever. . . .

Child Self? Adult Self?--Who's Running the Show?

 When the adult part of you is in charge, your thinking is governed not by emotion but reason. Your behaviors are prudent: assertive yet restrained. But when your child self is running the show, the daily drama of your life plays out in markedly different fashion. . . . 

Love Quotes: The Wisest, Wittiest . . . and Most Cynical

 Having reviewed 100s of quotations on the wonders--and woes--of romantic love, here are some that I think are the very best. At the same time that they celebrate the many joys of romantic--almost fairy-tale--love, they also demonstrate great awareness of its transience, its maddening let-downs and instability. . . .

4 Essential Rules for Approaching Couples Conflict

1. Talk about yourself, not your partner--and focus less on your "position" than on your feelings, wants, and needs. Since no one likes to be negatively judged, analyzed, or "dissected," in addressing your mate . . .

Self-Sabotage as Passive Aggression Toward the Self (Pt 5/5)

 In self-sabotage you "act out" internal conflicts by first moving toward a goal--then retreating from it. "I can do it" is offset by "I can't do it." "I want it" is overridden by "No, I don't want it." "I deserve it" countermanded by "I don't deserve it."

Self-Sabotage and Your "Outer Child" (Pt 4 of 5)

Your inner child, or child within, is a popular term in the so-called "recovery field" (recovery, that is, from having grown up in a dysfunctional family). But how about what, unconventionally, might be referred to as your outer child, or child without?. . .

The "Programming" of Self-Sabotage (Pt 3 of 5)

Most everything that's psychologically dysfunctional has its origins in outdated childhood programs. These programs of adaptation, more or less useful as a child, typically become ever less so as you age.

The Paradoxical Rationale for Self-Sabotage (Pt 2 of 5)

 Do you seem to struggle in life much more than others? If you're disciplined enough to work hard at accomplishing a goal, yet routinely do something rash or imprudent to undermine it, your behavior may actually be more motivated than you imagine. . . .

Bristol Palin's Dancing--A Triumph of Profit, Popularity, or Politics?

When ABC invited Sarah Palin's daughter to be a contestant on "Dancing with the Stars," their motive appears unrelated to Bristol's star status. After all, she's hardly a celebrity in her own right. . . .

The "Logical Illogic" of the Psycho-Logical (Pt 1): Dreams

Part 1: The Psycho-Logic of Dreams Here's a dream that vividly reveals the exquisitely logical connections between our waking concerns and nocturnal "hallucinations." In the dream, my client, Kevin, is flagged down by a policeman for speeding. . . .

The Arbitrariness of Blame (Part 3 of 3)

Can You Break Your Habit of Blaming?--and If So, How?If you understand, and you show that you understand . . . the situation will change.  (Thich Nhat Hanh)If virtually all human behavior can be seen as ultimately compelled, what does this suggest about how, ideally, you should treat others (not to mention yourself)?

The Arbitrariness of Blame (Part 2 of 3)

 Is Blaming Warranted--Ever?"To understand everything is to forgive everything."  (French expression)Going beyond pragmatic objections to blaming (i.e., it really isn't very effective), I'd argue that the entire concept of blame and blaming is suspect. . . .

The Arbitrariness of Blame (Part 1 of 3)

Does Blaming Work?        To err is human, to blame the next guy even more so. (Unknown)Blaming others. It can be terribly tempting. And convenient, too. . . .   

Can You and Your Partner Agree to Disagree?

Certainly, you've heard the phrase before. Perhaps so many times that it's ceased to have much meaning to you. But the fact is that in a long-term, committed relationship, when circumstances oblige you to confront significant differences with your partner, nothing could be more crucial than agreeing to disagree.

Traveling for Wisdom: On Judith Fein's Life is a Trip

I'd wager that few books in the travel field manage to approach their subject from such an intriguing vantage point as does Judith Fein in her Life is a Trip: The Transformative Magic of Travel. It's a fresh perspective that, by turns, is psychological, anthropological, philosophical, and spiritual.

Nostalgia: On the Wistful Presence of Absence

However accidentally, nostalgia reminds us of our mortality. Happy times gone. Youth vanished. Purity tarnished. Beliefs lost. Or relationships that went sour, lost their luster, eroded through routine--or, simply, "died". . . .

Teen Sex: The Holy vs.Humanistic Approach

With all the harsh rhetoric of the culture wars, it's easy to forget that secular humanists and conservative Christians share much common ground--even in the sensitive realm of parenting and education. After all, in one way or another, who doesn't want their kids to be well-adjusted, honest, and hard-working? . . .

LeBron James: The Making of a Narcissist (Part 2 of 2)

Part 2: Gaining Fame and Fortune . . . and Devolving into Self-Obsessive NarcissismWhereas in part 1 I focused on the outside forces contributing to LeBron James' narcissism, here I'd like to illustrate just how his "entitled" self-absorption has been manifested. . . .

LeBron James: The Making of a Narcissist (Part 1 of 2)

When we consecrate someone as "King"--even if just metaphorically--he's likely to begin acting like royalty. Similarly, if we put him on a pedestal, we're actually inviting him to look down on us, and to see our needs and preferences as mattering far less than his own. . . .

Mastering Failure and Rejection (Part 3 of 3)

 Ageless Wisdom on Failure and RejectionBy way of "consummating" this three-part post, this final segment will present a series of famous--and frequently eloquent--quotations on how best to understand, and respond to, failure and rejection. Call this, if you will, a kind of appendix for (or even SparkNotes review of) the first two parts. . . .

Mastering Failure and Rejection (Part 2 of 3)

So what's the upside of failure and rejection? In Part 1 I discussed the various consequences of letting your fears of failure and rejection control you. This second part will suggest how such disappointments can teach you how to control--or better, master--the emotions typically associated with these two negative outcomes. . . .

Mastering Failure and Rejection (Part 1 of 3)

The Problem DefinedNo question but that failure and rejection sting. And this sting can be--at least in the moment--excruciatingly painful. Yet it's really not possible to go through life without such adverse experiences, so strenuously attempting to avoid them is ultimately as foolish and self-defeating as it is futile. . . .

Anxiety and Depression--First Cousins, At Least (Part 5 of 5)

 Treatment Considerations for Patients with both Anxiety and DepressionAlthough cognitive-behavioral therapy has proven effective for both anxiety and depression, when individuals present with particularly high levels of both disorders, treating them with psychiatric medication as well as therapy frequently leads to the most favorable result. . . .

Anxiety and Depression--First Cousins, At Least (Part 4 of 5)

Current Research Findings and Theoretical SpeculationsThe consensus of those writing on the subject is that though anxiety and depression are intimately related, the deepest causal understanding of this linkage is still being investigated. Certainly, statistics calculating the co-occurrence (or "co-morbidity") of these two disorders abound. For instance . . .

Anxiety and Depression--First Cousins, At Least (Part 3 of 5)

The Negative Beliefs That Fuel Anxiety and DepressionIt's possible that certain chemical imbalances can trigger anxiety and depression regardless of your thoughts about yourself. But more than anything else, I'd argue that what gives rise to these two mental/emotional disorders are deficits in your self-image and sense of personal resources. And I'd add that your thinking--day-to-day, and even moment-to-moment--can itself have a major impact on your brain chemistry.

Anxiety and Depression--First Cousins, At Least (Part 2 of 5)

 Two Sides of the Same Coin?--The Profound Connections Between Anxiety and DepressionThe most common type of depressed person therapists encounter suffer from what's frequently called "agitated depression." Such a distraught state is made up of roughly equal amounts of helplessness (anxiety) and hopelessness (depression). And just as you can think yourself into anxiety by assessing your situation as precariously out of control, so can you ponder your way into the depths of depression by telling yourself that your situation leaves no room for hope.

Anxiety and Depression--First Cousins, At Least (Part 1 of 5)

The On-the-Surface Distinctions Between Anxiety and DepressionSuperficially, anxiety and depression would seem to represent discrete psychiatric categories. That is, contrary to depression, if you're besieged by an anxiety attack, it feels as though your life is in peril--you're in a state of extreme agitation, your palms are sweating, your heart is pounding, and your breathing is labored. On the other hand, when you recall the worst depression you've ever suffered, what probably comes to mind is the terrible sadness, the sense of hopelessness. . . .

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