I think that lecturing is what is really destroying the Country.
I am told that blog posts that use lists are really popular, like “Three ways to get abs,” “17 Things you can do to fight Global Warming,” and “9 Ways to love your pet.” We seem to love information in small, bite sized pieces. Numbers catch our tiny attention spans. We can’t wait to find out the next item on the list. I feel this way when I am grocery shopping.
Did you realize than when you search Google for a list, you are wrecking your mind? The Internet is one giant lecture machine, telling you and I how to think and how we should live our lives.
A Google search shows that the word “Lists” yields 25,000,000 hits. Then I searched for “Husband Lists” and there are 28,000,000 hits! Apparently, we men need a lot of help with lists. We like being lectured about what we need to do. And to keep it equal between the genders, “Wife Lists” yielded only 19,000,000!! Really guys, are we that dense? Then I got creative and looked up “How to get your husband to listen to you + list” That brought 69,000,000 hits. This is right up there with “How to get your teenager to listen to you + list” which edged out the husbands at 71,000,000.
Apparently, everyone needs a good lecture now and then. You and I have a ready source for lectures: The Internet. Today we have learned that there are millions of inventive ways to lecture the people you love.
I find it interesting that when Jesus walked on the earth, he didn’t give us a bunch of lectures or lists. I don’t know about you, but I am kind of disappointed with this. I expect that God would have a lot of things to say to us. The Internet certainly wants to get in on the lecturing business. I imagine that God, the Interstellar Parent should probably step up and give us some lectures. “Take out the garbage and don’t dump it in the ocean, eat your vegetables, get along with Egypt, pay more attention, floss, invest in Apple.” He should have said those things, but he didn’t. When Jesus walked on the earth, he told stories instead.
When I am mad at people or at my circumstances, I tell myself stories. And they are not kind stories. I have three go to stories that I love to tell myself (CAPITALS USED BECAUSE I SPEAK TO MYSELF IN CAPITAL LETTERS. DON’T YOU DO THAT TOO?):
- Stories about how circumstances, the other person, God, or the Internet are TRYING TO CONTROL MY LIFE.
- Stories about how I CANNOT TRUST ANYONE.
- Stories about how NOTHING I DO MATTERS ANYWAY.
There, that is my list for the post. Go ahead, be lectured.
You may have different stories. If you prefer any of my stories to your own, go ahead and take them, I will give them to you for free.
Have you ever listened to yourself?
Last month I listened to myself. I was surprised at what I heard. That is rather funny… listening in on the conversation you are having with yourself. I wonder if the US Government, Google and Wikileaks are getting in on this one?
You should try listening to yourself sometime; see how fun the experience is.
What listening to myself taught me is that I was ranting stories about how another person was trying to control my life and that nothing I do matters. I repeated the story over and over in my head. Then it hit me that the story I was telling myself wasn’t helping the situation at all. If this resonates with you, you may want to read previous posts about my story, see Lessons from a Saskatchewan Boy, Mental Health and my WMD: The Weapons of My Depression and Mental Health stigma is really just undiagnosed verbal illness.
I decided that day that I am going on a lecture diet. So I did a lecture journal and wrote down the ways that I lecture myself. Then I wrote down stories about my better self. And now I am on a diet, a lecture diet. Like any diet, I slip up now and then. Some days, I find it really hard not to lecture my kids. I am working on that. I am really good at avoiding Internet lists. When I am ranting, I am getting better at reminding myself of my better-self stories.
Ask yourself how far your stories have gotten you. Do they help you to take action to make your life better or do you end up avoiding doing what you know you need to do?
Once upon a time, the Internet did not exist. Yes children, there really was a time before the Internet. What did we do to entertain ourselves? We watched TV. And before that, we told stories. The Story Teller is still inside you, just waiting for a good story.
“We think in story. It’s hardwired in our brain.”
Lisa Cron (See Reference section)
Keep it real
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