Tag Archive | Health

Choose Chastity Because You Have Self-Respect

The idea of remaining a virgin has always had religious connotations with it because this is where the concept has the strongest need. In our modern society many people are ashamed to associate with a faith, which is very sad because it is important to value spirituality as well as mind and body. Parents are refusing to provide religious instruction through some avenue of persuasion, opting to “let them choose,” which is about as ignorant as allowing a child to vote. So by writing about chastity here, I want to put it in the context of self-respect.  For some reason modern women writers tend to focus on making sex acceptable and I think it is more important to make self-respect acceptable and a priority. This is not a conversation about religion but it is about being a feminist and it is not about hating men.

Not having sex before you are married is a very beautiful step toward choosing the right partner. It takes a certain amount of maturity, wisdom and focus to make this decision. I am always so proud of my female clients when they tell me they have opted to go in this direction. Some make the decision because of religion and some because they are smart enough to know they are not ready. When my female clients have chosen to embark on the path of sex before marriage, I am proud of them for choosing birth control and safe sex (a majority of young women refuse to use birth control). I know these women are not getting any support from their girlfriends because the “in” crowd is focused on their sexual appetites and what brand of sex they choose. The latter is ridiculous because you cannot be sure of your identity until you are an adult and even then, it takes time to adjust to being in the real world. Many people, I believe, are going to rue the day they made drastic changes to their sex and persona as a young person – wait and see. We have already gone through the plastic surgery guilt and the sudden surge in sex changes and sexual confusion is next. We, as psychology professionals cannot even give certain diagnoses to minors and this is because they are going through identity confusion.  So this is my main argument for chastity. Teenagers are going through an identity crisis and it is best to wait until they are an adult to make any sexual decisions. Regret is a painful feeling to deal with throughout your life.

With chastity before marriage so many benefits come with this decision. You are free to focus on your future without any inhibitions or “responsibilities,” [to someone]. In the meantime, it is important to date and befriend lots of people but be very open about your boundary of not having sex. By doing so, you will get rid of the bad people immediately who are only about pulling down your drawers. You don’t have to worry about disease or babies that “accidentally” occur because you have chosen not to use birth control. You can think about college or career aspirations. You can focus on building a financial portfolio so that you can buy a house and a nice car. You can enjoy having fun with friends and dates because you are not tied down to anyone. When you are dating, you are taking the time to get to know one another and finding out what it is you want in a relationship. When you finally do choose to marry, you are wearing a white wedding dress with pride and because you respect the meaning of the color. The long term benefits are that you will have a lot more happiness by choosing to respect yourself and you will be more successful in life.

The cons that come with sex before marriage are that once you have gone down this road, it is hard to turn back. You can with perseverance and strength and a willingness to start over though. Sex at a young age often becomes a place to perform. Young people get caught up in size, quantity, positions, acting, what they are able to do, and how great they are. This is a very shallow path toward a future because you become focused on your statistics and performance rather than your life. Many people, I have spoken with, who start out at a young age get so lost that they forget who they are. I spend time in sessions coaching them on how to find the human being that rests within. Of course because our society has decided it is not politically correct to discipline a young woman or the young man, for not using birth control, so many women have determined they can take the chances. They see these hideous reality shows where women have multiple partners, have babies before marriage and men see that it is practically acceptable to abandon a woman once she is pregnant. Our society is more focused on feeling sorry for than teaching values. Celebrities have no sense of their role in society and how they are ruining our young people by setting poor examples. It is great for a wealthy person to have a baby at 16 because they have nannies to take care of the unwanted child. The average person has nothing financially to contribute and this can end up leading to social services intervention and/or the public welfare system.

Sex is not a bad thing; it is a very wonderful way to be with a person that you love. It is icing on the cake but much more worthwhile when you have taken the time to get to know someone. Building a friendship and having trust and respect with your partner is foreplay. Foreplay is not a conversation on a first or second or so on date that you end with sex. It takes time to build this emotional connection and once you have a commitment, don’t end this by having sex. Wait to get married to do this, you’ve gone this far so why not? Young people are not able to make a decision that they are in love with someone when their friendship is about sex.

Emotional instability is often the very reason that women end up being unfaithful to their partners because we have “emotional infidelity” (before the act is performed of having sex) whereas men have physical infidelity upfront. When women don’t have a strong emotional connection to their partner, they seek someone else to fulfill this wish. You can’t love someone just because you have had sex together. That is infatuation. You can’t expect to build a relationship on a one night stand or a fling. Most women try to do this and they fall short or end up pregnant hoping to force the issue. Obviously none of this works. To quick to jump in bed is behind so many failed marriages.

The degradation of our current society is at an all-time low that I often wonder if it will ever be possible to repair it. So many inappropriate messages are being thrown out into our culture which unfortunately is witnessed by everyone, including the very young. When I grew up these topics needed to wait until after the nine o’clock hour which was reserved for adults. Even then, the topics were hardly an issue of concern to young people, not when you compare this with our world today. The focus on death by suicide and suicidal ideation is really missing the point. It is not about encouraging people to be sexually open; it is about encouraging self-esteem and abstinence as a way toward a happier and more successful life. I wonder if the rate would be so high if minors were not so focused on coming out or having sex in general? If we made the priority in schools about academia and goal planning for the future rather than passing a test and getting out of school. The idea of focusing on bathrooms rather than education when a person should not be choosing their sexuality as a minor (especially changing the gender) is so harmful to the young psyche whose brain doesn’t even stop developing until they are an adult. Young people won’t need to worry about bathrooms and sexuality if they are focused on their academic future. When they are out in the real world and beginning to see what life is all about, than they can make choices with a clear mind that is not intimidated by peer pressure, family, or religion.

Young people, often, do know what their sexuality is at a very young age but it is more important that they behave like a child and have fun. It is more important that they are groomed for adulthood and are taught principles to grow on. This means learning about religion – with their parents there to instruct as well as the religious sector. It means getting a good education – with their parents taking this seriously and being involved with the school. It means the parents need to teach values, i.e., work ethics and family beliefs. The only thing a young person should be choosing is which sport or type of dance to be in or which school club to join or which elective they want to take. Even then, this should be a decision agreed upon with the parents based on finances of course.

By not focusing on sex a child will have a much stronger and healthier sense of self. Being chaste will more than likely cause a child to be better educated in the long run and this will help them to make better choices in life. It is time for us to take a step back and reflect on the values we, as older adults, were taught growing up and realize how great we had it. Then we need to re-think the messages we are sending out on the Internet and how it is affecting the young minds. A young woman is more of a feminist by respecting her mind, body and spirit and a young man respecting feminist ideals when it is not about getting her in bed. Wait to have sex or to determine your sex and focus on your future. You will thank me one day.

Advertisements

How Do I Know When Therapy Is Done?

I want to say here “What is the meaning of life?” though that question doesn’t completely relate to my topic above. On some measures it does though. Therapy is different for every single person. On a spiritual level, I know that you will know when it is “done” when you feel ready to leave. This does not mean that therapy is “done” as in forever if you are someone who really appreciates self-awareness and continuing to do in-depth work on yourself. If you are only there for a minor concern, such as an EAP (Employee Assistance Program, aka short term therapy) type matter, often times people get to a place where I know and they know, that there is really nothing more to say.  When I work with couples, I either know that I can’t really do much more for them or things are going really well and they are feeling great about themselves or a change is made and then the choice to continue becomes individual.

When it comes to a traumatic injury whether it be current or long-term (childhood), it is much more intense. Sometimes therapy is for the first time and then I am working with the client to help them to have a voice. It feels good for people to be able to finally say “This is what that son of a bitch did to me…” and for them to hear “That was terrible, OMG, I can’t believe someone would do that…” It is the first time they are getting validation. The wounded child is being soothed and nurtured. I watch them begin to stand up for themselves over time, in their personal lives, as they continue to be heard and acknowledged and respected in a safe environment. This is extremely rewarding for me as a therapist and obviously a huge break through for them. Then the client will at some point walk away from therapy for a bit – to take a break. Sometimes I know that the process is on hold for a short time until they are ready to return to me, or to someone else.

I am happy for a client to choose someone else, if they want to, once they have gone through a breakthrough with me. It is good for a client to get a different voice, a new method and from the place they are at now. Even if they haven’t had a breakthrough but still choose to go to another, it is okay too because this is what they need to do. It is the soul searching process that brings us to enlightenment on some level. The answers are there for you, as you continue to search and when you are ready, it will come.

When I get a client who has been with another therapist, I try to check in with them first, to see what worked and what didn’t work. This is important for me and for them. One, it helps them to have some closure if there was a negative experience and two, it helps them to celebrate the work they have already accomplished. This also builds trust as I am again giving them a voice right up front about being in the psychotherapeutic process.

When I work with someone who have been working on “this issue for years,” I acknowledge that now we are going to work from a different place than where they started. I listen to what they have already learned and accomplished but at the same time I am finding out where it all began (so that I am clear). Sometimes, I hear things or “see” things that maybe someone hadn’t put together before. This is because, when a client tells their story more than once, it changes (with their new voice, new insights they have had since then) so it makes sense that I will or might see things that another therapist did not see (and the same goes for one of my clients seeing a new therapist).

This is why it is important to not be frustrated with yourself when you find yourself needing therapy “once again.” Life impacts us hard and over the years, more things happen to us, we begin to see patterns of our own self-destruction, our mistakes, things we didn’t see at 20, become much more realized at 30, 40, 50, 60, and so on. I could not have told you any of this at 20, nor could I have been the therapist I am now at that age. When I become 70, I will be a much different therapist than I am now. Thank goodness! I hope I will learn something in the next 20 years. The same will happen with the client. We grow and we evolve. What we could expect in 1980, we most certainly cannot expect in 2015. That is sad on so many levels. Yet, this is something that people from the 1890’s would have said in the 1920’s as we see with Violette (Maggie Smith’s character) on Downton Abbey. So this creates depression, frustration, realization, awareness, many mixed emotions that at first can be quite daunting.

Therapy will end when you feel it is time to end. You are in control of your life and making this decision is one that should be made clearly and consciously and of sound mind. It should be made because you are satisfied with the results, though if you are not and find you need a different therapist this of course makes sense too. My only caveat is not to leave because you are confused or frustrated about what your therapist has said. Tell them and if the answer you get doesn’t agree with you intuitively, than you should move on. This has come up for me in the room on a few occasions and I try to deal with it head on. It is important for the therapeutic process, for trust and for the client to determine whether they are going forward with me or someone else. I have so far, only had positive results in these circumstances, except on a very rare occasion. Even then, I knew that it was not meant to be as I was not the right person for the job. I don’t believe in accidents in life. Things happen for a reason.

Finally, it is never wrong to be in therapy. If you are curious, questioning, concerned, unsure, frustrated, grieving, upset, unhappy and what to make a difference in your life…than therapy is a great place to be.

Running from Crazy – For Families with Mental Illness

This is a trailer for the film “Running from Crazy.” A documentary about Mental Illness as told by Mariel Hemingway. After watching the trailer, you can download it from Netflix. It is worth watching if you have someone or several someones in your family who are mentally ill or an addict. If someone in your family is an addict, they are merely covering up what lurks deep beneath in the cesspools of their mind. Mental Illness, whether it is wrapped up in street pharmaceuticals, alcohol or prescriptions, is still mental illness.

Don’t be afraid to discuss your families problems. Out loud. Take the shame out of these words, stop the denial and help turn the family legacy around to a positive. With treatment, love, support and communication, this goes from being a stigma to a managed solution.

**Muriel will be here in Ohio with this movie shown at the McCoy Center on October 8th (2015) at 7pm for free. She will also be speaking that coming Tuesday, October 13th (2015) but you have to buy tickets on the website or through Capa Tickets.

Jon Kabat Zinn Guided Meditation

Before you begin your journey, this Thanksgiving, take 20 minutes to listen to a guided mediation. Note: There is some moments of silence, just be patient and continue your meditation. It is not completed until you hear the final three bells.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Saying Goodbye to a Child

FTVThe most significant event in my life and that of my immediate family, was May 24, 1987. This was the day that our beloved baby brother, Ferenc Tibor Végh, who was only 16 years old, was taken from us in a car accident. It shocked all of us and took each of us in varied turns. None of us have ever quite gotten over it and I doubt anyone else, who faces such an ordeal has been able to either. You do move on because you have to but the way you carry the memory depends on your ability to persevere through the obstacles life places on you. None of us are meant to live in Shangri-la. We all have tests of “faith,” or will. Our level of emotional intelligence will have us either survive or give up.

You have to survive though, you have to realize this because there are others who will come into your family over the years. We have added 5 nieces and nephews and now have four grandchildren and two more on the way. It is important that your descendants know about the person who has passed. That you keep this loved one’s memory alive by teaching them who he was and what he meant to your family. If you don’t, than their life meant nothing. If you don’t grow as a person than you have lost everything and your family has lost more than a child.

No child hopes that their family will fall apart and never find an ability to repair itself. That is not the values you raised your children on and they would hope you would continue instilling these principles. A positive and healthy family legacy must continue, even in the face of your darkest moments. And if your family has not been healthy and has been negative, it is times like these where you can become better people, to honor the memory of your loved one. Remembering in a happy way, is the best way to go forward.

It has been 27 years since the passing of my brother. I have kept his photo in my front room this entire time. Anytime someone sees it, they ask who he was and then I am able to tell a story about his life. At first it brought many tears and many questions when I saw it there in front of me on a daily basis. Now it brings a smile to my face as I think about what a good child he was. It reminds me to be a good person for him. It also reminds me that life is not one to take for granted. Any day your life could change for the good or the bad.

Suggestions for family and friends, when it has just happened:

1. If you know someone who has just lost a child, surround them with support. Make sure they have food, transportation, offer to help make the arrangements.

2. Keep in touch with them as much as possible throughout the days and weeks ahead. Watch out for signs of not getting better emotionally. Do they talk about death or joining their loved on? Make sure to give them suicide hotline numbers, call their spiritual leader and ask for help or to share with them your concerns. Create a family/friend check-in schedule so that they are never alone. If no spiritual leader is involved, talk to the head of the family and let them know your concerns. You can contact a hotline as well and ask for help. In a worse case scenario, you can always call the police and ask that they check up on the family. (not 911 unless it is an emergency)

3. Stop by unannounced with food or a favorite dessert or something to drink. During the mourning process people can easily dehydrate from their emotions. If they are on medication to sleep, this can also make them lose track of time or needs. Check the medicine bottle to make sure they are using the required dosage. It will have the date it was purchased and the quantity in it. People will say they want to be left alone but they shouldn’t be. Even if you just stay long enough to see how things are. If the kitchen has not been cleaned, start washing the dishes. You can mow the grass, bring in the mail, take out the trash. Tell them you will give them their space but you are just going to help out with some odds and ends, so they don’t need to worry about it. (Leave the child’s room alone though).

4. Stop by for things you normally did together – hobbies, watching sports, taking other kids to school/activities, work-out routines. It is important that people get out of their house when they are ready. Nature is the best healing method, next to animals. Go for a walk with a family member. Ask them if they’d like to go somewhere. Maybe there is a horse ranch nearby that would allow the public to visit.

5. As time passes, don’t tell them they should get over it or to “move on.” Everyone grieves in their own timeline. Sometimes people are getting stronger but they still talk about it and they need to. Tears are healthy as it lets the emotions loose and eases somatic distress in the long run.

6. As the months progress, continue to keep in touch for at least a year. Back off as you see that things seem to be returning to a daily routine but still keep in communication as much as you can. A house can seem normal but it isn’t. Over time, people will clean their houses to cope or do outside chores but their minds are not necessarily strong yet.

7. Don’t give advice unless it is to say, do the best you can or some other positive message.

8. Don’t push religion on the family!!!! They are going through enough as it is. If they ask because they have been brought to question life, answer but don’t offer.

9. If a person speaks of seeing their loved one, even when they are very religious, don’t see this as a bad thing. This can be the most comforting to families – having dreams of the loved one or seeing them and talking to them. I have spoken to people who still get visited (on occasion) by the loved one 30 years later. If they don’t get a visit or a dream, don’t be discouraged by this either. Even Harry Houdini never came back to visit his wife and they made a pact that they would.

Friendship and family, when you love and support them unconditionally, help get people through these times and will make your relationship with them even stronger.