Stop It You Two!

Stop it you two! Stop it, now! Brenda was screaming at her two oldest children; her lovely blond eighteen-year-old daughter Susan, and her twenty-nine-year-old son John. They were at it again.

“You never listen to me.” Susan yelled. “

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“And you’re a loser. Why should I listen to you,” John, red-faced, but still handsome hollered back. The brother and sister were toe-to-toe, eyeball-to-eyeball shouting and throwing memories of old hurts at one another. As they blamed, criticized, and judged one another, never once did John or Susan look at themselves and question what they might be doing wrong.

Brenda felt as is she were suffocating. Without realizing it, she had covered her ears with her hands and was slowly shaking her head feeling helpless and hopeless. “I give up.” she whispered to herself. As Brenda left the room breathing a sad little sigh, the two children were still arguing at the top of their voices. This familiar screaming match had been going on for years and Brenda felt helpless to change the situation or help her kids.  Forty minutes later, and it wasn’t over.

At that moment, the only thing Brenda knew to do was pray. Slowly, she made her way to her bedroom and fell to her knees. “Father God,” she pleaded, “Please help John and Susan find a way out of this mess. It breaks my heart and dishonors you. Please show me what to do.”

Brenda wasn’t crying. She had been through this too many times before. She was cried out. She just waited there, kneeling beside her bed, how long she wasn’t sure. Maybe she had even dozed off. But suddenly, she wide awake and it all seemed simple.

Brenda was a committed Christian and so were her three grown children. Here’s the answer she heard herself say, “We simply have to do what God says. He says. ‘If you love me you will keep my commandments.’ Well, here they are and with his help, we can keep them.

James 1:22-23 - Be a doer of the Word, not a hearer only, deceiving yourself. 

Matthew: 23:25 - You hypocrite! First clean the inside of your cup and dish that the outside of them may be clean also.

Ephesians 4:25-27 - Take the log out of your eye before you try to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.

Ephesians: 4:26-28 - Be angry but do not sin: do not let the sun set on your wrath, nor give place to the devil.

If you have tried and failed to keep these commandments, you may be hurting pretty bad, too. But getting stuck in anger or guilt doesn’t fix the problem. Why not try something different? I suggest that you stand back as an objective observer of your feelings, label them, and use the Choice-Cube tools to let go of them safely and appropriately (without hurting yourself or others).

You see, your negative emotions, and related stress, lock in distortions and limitations in your thinking, hiding the whole truth from you. They separate you from God. (He never leaves you, but you can’t really hear him.) Getting rid of those emotions (letting go of them, not denying or stuffing them) liberates your mind to see all sides of reality—the big picture--and choose which side you want to focus on.

NOTE: Whatever you focus on will get you more of it!

If you want more information about how to do this, check out my book, Become the Person You Were Meant to Be – The Choice-Cube® Method. It’s on Amazon and at Barnes & Noble.

2 Hidden Fears and Losing Our Balance

FEAR IN THE MIX       When life seems unbalanced, look for fear somewhere in the mix.  “Fear?  Anxiety? What kinds of fear are you talking about?” you might ask.

THREE COMMON FEARS    Let’s start with three of the most obvious fears we face every day: fear of confronting someone, fear of making the wrong choice, and fear making a big change in our life. We do not want the pain and trouble that might come from taking these actions. But is that all there is to it?

HIDDEN FEARS       No indeed. Underneath these fears lie deeper, often hidden fears. First we fear being rejected, or abandoned by people that matter to us, or people in general. It does not matter how old or experienced we are, we all have this fear and we need to deal with it. By the way, being rejected includes having people make fun of us.

Second, it’s true that sometimes others reject and abandon us. But sometimes we reject and abandon ourselves! Then we end up feeling inadequate and worthless.

HIDDEN FEARS CAN HURT US     Whether we realize it or not, we all live with these two fears: the fear that others will abandon or reject us and the fear of feeling inadequate or worthless because we reject ourselves. These fears can get us in trouble and keep us from becoming who were meant to be.

On the one hand for example, to avoid feeling these fears, some of us drink too much, are TV addicts, are workaholics, or have dangerous sex. On the other hand, some of us want to control these feelings so we try harder and  harder to fix things, but nothing changes. Perhaps we use anger to control others or a situation. Or we try to figure things out and get stuck on a mental merry-go-round. We do not find the right answer but we can’t stop thinking about the problem.

GOOD NEWS!     The good news is that we can expose and overcome these fears and the harmful behaviors they cause. There  is a way to do it and it is always the same!

THE FOUR STEPS       First, we need to recognize we are off balance and expose the fear that is making us lopsided. Then we can interrupt and let go of that fear and other emotions that lock in the distorted and painful thinking driving it

Once we do this it’s easier, and feels safer, to face our wrong thinking. We can also risk opening our minds to other ways of thinking and feeling that were not on our radar before. So we begin to see possible solutions and choices that we did not see before. This gives us choice. And when we have choice—when we see the big picture--we can choose where we prefer to focus (refocus). This is important because whatever we focus on will get us more of the same! Now, do we continue to focus on the problem or can we focus on the solution to the problem?

Freedom to focus on the solution liberates us to take action. We can do something to replace the problem and bring about the solution (replace/act).

THE FOUR KEY STEPS AND OUR BRAIN    Here is more good news. If we  take the four key steps mentioned above, we do something different.

   1. Recognize

    2. Interrupt/Let go

    3. Refocus

    4. Replace/act

We stop struggling to avoid or control problems inappropriately. We become problem-solvers instead of anxious or angry defensive self-protectors. Even better, we rewire our brains ! Now, the next time we are off balance, we are more likely to take the four steps and problem-solve when faced with difficulties.      

If you  feel confused or not ready to make these four steps part of your life, here's a resource for you. In her book, Become the Person You Were Meant to Be - The Choice-Cube Method, available on, Dr. Beth Cujé, therapist gives you more information about the four steps and equips you with  tools to take the steps anytime, anywhere.

Also, here’s a chance to download the book’s first chapter for FREE. Just click here to learn more and find out what the Choice-Cube Method can do for you.