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5 Things I Learned from “The King’s Speech” | [List]


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IMAGE SOURCE:  http://www.imdb.com/media/rm2947187712/tt1504320?ref_=tt_ov_i

Several years ago, my pastor showed a segment of this powerful movie for one of his sermons on Relationship. I finally was able to sit down with my 10-year old daughter and watch it.

Here are my five takeaways and how they apply to my life.

  1. Affliction is above no one. It can touch anyone at any time in their lives. We are not subhuman because we are afflicted with mental illness, or physical manifestations. We are survivors. We fight a struggle others can only read about or imagine. You may be a poor farmer, a blue-collar factory worker, a white-collar executive, or a member of royalty. Affliction does not discriminate against wealth, skin color, or socioeconomic status. It may not be a result of their choices. And if we don’t suffer from Affliction, this should teach the rest of us empathy.
  2. Your affliction may not control you. You may be the one controlling it. It may be the manifestation of a deeper struggle. You may actually be giving it control because it puts comfort to something that is so discomforting to acknowledge, live with, or speak about.
  3. Family may not be your support network. Your family may in fact, be the source of your affliction. I have friends where family happens to be their harshest judge or most vehement opposition – largely the cause of their trauma and particular circumstance. We would hope that family would be our staunchest champions, but sadly in some cases, they are the source of our trauma, often caused at a younger age or a recent schism.
  4. A father’s relationship is pivotal. Single dad to an innocent, beautiful girl. My actions are pivotal to her development. This is a bearing built into my moral compass. Do I fall short so often? I sure do. I am perfectly imperfect. Remembering how much I affect her development is always the bell in the fog that ropes me back to the harbor. Hopefully before I exact anything that damages her sails, free will, self-esteem, and mental health.
  5. Your strongest champion may not have letters after their name. Their door may not have Ph.D inscribed on it. They may not be published. Or knighted. Or of the same social class. They may not be anyone noteworthy in your life. But they took their time to help you, or to understand you. We call them friends.

What are your thoughts? Have you seen the movie? Is there anything you would like to add on this topic? I’d love to dialogue about it with you in the Comments section.

 

 

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Five Life Principles I’ve Revisited, Thanks To Rockband


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Hi folks. I’m Chris.

And for about 12 years, playing drums has been a significant part of my life.

I played throughout middle and high school and went on to play drums in the Marine Band for several years. My parents paid so that I could attend private lessons (thank you momma and dad) while in high school.

In lieu of living in apartment, I’ve had to come to settle with playing drums in a video game to whet my percussive appetite.

When I sat down to play “Critical Acclaim” by Avenged Sevenfold the other day, I just sucked. Trying to look for a teachable moment, I came up with these five things that I can relate to my life on a daily basis.

1.   Recalibrate

Sometimes my drums are “off” when I play.

Really. They are.

They don’t play when I hit them, or more accurately, they have a lag.

Sometimes my SMART TV or some quirky electronic bug seems to decide on an incorrect default for my drums. This can result in a delay between when I hit the pad and when the sound is heard.

This results in “missed” notes.

This results in my score going down.

Which results in me failing out of a song.

Through a process of troubleshooting, I usually find that I need to recalibrate my drums to my TV. This little factor has a HUGE impact on how well I perform for the stadium of overzealous fans crammed into my beach bungalow’s living room.

In life, I sometimes get off track. My actions don’t align with my beliefs. Sometimes my words can come out all jacked up, potentially ruining someone’s day. My temper flares. My mood swings. My irritability soars. I get overstimulated and need to take a step back.

It’s at times like this that I need to take time to get my recalibration on, baby.

I need to realign my thoughts, actions, and words with my core beliefs.

I need to reorient my moral compass and get my rudder straight.

Sometimes we all get off track.

Better get yo’self back on track.

Better get yo’self some recalibration.

2.   Practice

I wish I could play all the songs on Expert and get five stars. The fans deserve it.

Unfortunately, I have a long ways to go.

Fortunately, Rockband has a practice mode.

After I humbled myself the other day to Critical Acclaim, I switched over to Practice Mode and played the song a few times at different speeds. I had to break sections down that were killing me. I had to divide and conquer.

Now I can play the song on Expert.

After playing it about 20 times in the past two days, I finally achieved five stars on “Hard”.

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Just to be sure it wasn’t a fluke, I played it again to be positive I could get five stars on the same difficulty level.

Practice paid off.

When I took private lessons, I didn’t like to practice. In fact, a lot of the time I would practice the 30 minutes prior to my lesson, or even in the car on the way to my lesson!

Outside of Rockband, I can at times, suck at communicating with my girlfriend. – I fail “our song”. If you ask her, she knows the hours where I have a metabolic dip that happens to be exacerbated by my sleep apea – times where I’m about as worthless at communicating as a hibernating grizzly.

Being an introvert also puts me at a level where I feel socially inept when it comes to talking to others.

I’m also a “stonewaller” – I reach a point in our arguments where I just withdraw and don’t respond or even talk at all. My exasperation and patience has jumped out the window.

I’ve been holding myself accountable to make these practice areas in our relationship. Meaning, when I’m in a good mood, I’ll try to initiate conversations more. Or when I’m irritable, trying to push myself to say, “listen babe, I want to talk about this, but am just too tired. Can we hit this again in a couple hours or at another time?”

A lot of the time I’m not able to do it and so I have to start all over from the beginning of our song.

We all have things in our life that we have to practice at whether we are already good at what we do, or pushing to be better at something.

There’s things at which we all fail.

Better get yo’self better atcho song.

Better get yo’self some practice time.

3.   Overdoing It

When you’re playing Rockband, you have to play what is on screen, NOT what you think the song sounds like.

You need to play what you see, not what you think.

You may have the drum chart to Your Betrayal, or Diary of Jane memorized, but that ain’t what’s on screen if you’re playing on Easy.

A lot of times I’ll throw in a bass drum kick with a cymbal smash because that’s how I learned to play drums and that’s the way the song sounds. But that’s not was the screen is showing.

Sometimes in my relationships, I assume things. I think about something too hard. I incorrectly interpret the tone of a text or read into something that was never intended to mean how I took it.

I need to step back and take things slower. I need to relax a little and take things a little more lightly. I need to be slower in my responses and give them time to cook so I don’t hasten out a response of anger and resentment.

We all have an area in which we overdo it.

 Better get yo’self to chill out.

Better get yo’self to slow down and simplify.

4.   Baby Steps

Compared to a teenager, it took me an insane amount of time to get to the level in that song that I did. I had to start on Medium then work myself up to Hard. Then I had to work myself up from three starts to five stars.

I didn’t just sit down and play and BAM! I’m at my goal. I had to take things level by level. I had to use baby steps.

We all want things too quickly don’t we?

We all have a sense of video game satisfaction and entitlement where we may want to get to the end sooner rather than later. Where we try to find an easy way around. Where we want to punch in a cheat code instead of unlocking the puzzles in the game.

We all want to skip the trials and journeys.

 Better give yo’self some time to git to that goal.

Better get yo’self to take it one step at a time.

5.   Time Signature

Probably THE MOST challenging thing for me when playing Rockband is that there is no time signature.

Time signatures to the musician are what signs and lines on the road are for the driver. They tell you how much each thing is worth on the sheet of music. Without it, it’s…well, it’s Rockband.

Rockband has a minimal amount of guidance and sometimes I have to guess at where the notes are to be played. I understand why this is, it just makes things harder for the musician in me.

My life is like that. I have several guides that I need in my life to keep me between the lines on the road of life –

♦  The Bible – this is kind of my oil in the engine and user guide. When I do devotions in the morning and take time to read my Bible, Jesus Calling, and In Touch, I’m filled with peace and hope for the day. Life still happens, but when I have a driver cut in front of me, or given a situation in which I have the opportunity to exercise patience and kindness rather than the opposite, I’m able to come back to what I’ve read earlier that day at my kitchen table. The Bible is my anchor point, magnetic north, and grounding point. It’s also the lines, the speed limit and other signs that keep me grounded and directed in life, helping me stay on the road while I travel.

♦  My friends and family – These are my sounding boards as well as how I receive feedback to my “performance”. If I have ideas that aren’t so great or am about to make a bad decision, these people help me see that. They may give me alternatives or sound advice. They may advise against what I am about to do or support me with reasons why they think I should make a certain decision. They let me know if I’ve earned a 1-star performance or a 5-star performance and what I need to do to move up to the top 5% on the leaderboard.

♦  My conscience/the Holy Spirit – Sometimes I want to respond to my ex-wife’s email and texts with anger and vengeance. Sometimes I get irritable with my girlfriend. I always have a choice on how I respond. When I respond negatively, I get a little pinging in my brain telling me that’s not how I should be doing things – that’s the Holy Spirit. You may call it your conscience but whatever it is, we each get that little morale alarm advising against what we’re about to do, or a little victory bell of confirmation letting us know that we did the right thing.

I screw it up a lot, but I can’t blame it on not having a “time signature”.

We all have a time signature that gives us structure to our lives.

 Better find out what drives yo’ life.

Better get yo’self familiar with yo’ time signature.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post, friend. What are your thoughts? I’d love to talk with you in the Comments section.  

 

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Three Things I’ve Learned from My Trials [LIST]


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1.   To discover the lesson. There is always “the lesson”. Sometimes it will hit us on the back of the head like a slap from our mammy when she heard us cussin’. Other times, not so much. Other times it will take time. Lately I’ve tried to have patience to look for the ultimate lesson through my suffereing. In my eyes, the Lord is either trying to perfect me, or correct me in some way. It’s my job to figure out which.

2.   To learn to empathize. Suffering has taught me empathy. It has taught me to think of others once I have come through my own valley. Maybe that is the lesson I have been taught to learn? Either way, my suffering has made me aware of being more understanding and empathetic towards the people around me, and what they may be dealing with at that time.

3.   To learn to be humble. My trials have taught me humility.

  • The openness to accepting help from others – we can always give it, but it’s so, so much harder to accept it, isn’t it?
  • The humbleness to realize it isn’t all about me and that even in my suffering, I can extend love to someone else. I’m still working on this part.
  • The grace to accept my imperfection. “I am perfectly imperfect, and that’s perfectly okay.”

This is certainly not an exhaustive list but they did flash through my mind today. What things have you learned through your trials and suffering? I’d love for you to share them with us.

Thank you for taking your time to read, comment, reblog where you feel moved.

 

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Four Lessons I Learned from, “Remember Me”. [List]



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1.   Accomplishment – “Whatever you do in life will be insignificant, but it’s very important that you do it. Because if you don’t, no one else will.”

2.   Kindness – “Our finger prints don’t fade from the lives we’ve touched.”

3.   Humility – Don’t judge. You are never able to tell what someone else has been through.

4.   Urgency – Don’t wait. You may not get another chance.


 

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Ten Positive Thoughts About What You’re Feeling [List]


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  1. You are a normal human who experiences emotions like others. They may be a little bit more extreme. So what.
  2. Don’t let someone downplay what you are feeling. Ever.
  3. What you are going through is VERY, VERY real. You must tend to it and monitor it.
  4. You can break the chain…of depression. Of suicide. Of cutting. Of drinking. It may be a very real fight. I know my friend, I live with it every day. But you are capable of ending it in your generation.
  5. You can feel better with counseling and medicine.
  6. And exercise.
  7. And the Lord.
  8. Journaling or blogging will also help you in your coping and recovery.
  9. You are a brave and courageous person for living through your Specter. How many people begin and continue their day when they find it as hard as you do? You’re a survivor. Yes, indeed, a hero you beautiful soul.
  10. Surround yourself with those who care for your well being. Cultivate positive relationships. Make necessary endings with toxic relationships. Start pruning today!

May you find peace in the valley which you are currently traveling.

-Chris

 

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Ten Things I’ve Learned from My Depression – Guest Post by Surviving The Specter


Kevin, thank you for accepting my guest post for the Mental Health Writers Guild. I encourage my readers to get involved with this blessed site and touch base with Kevin about submitting a guest post.

-Chris

Mental Health Writers' Guild

tw-sign6The following is a guest post submitted by Chris over at Surviving the Specter and is published with his permission.

At the head of his post Chris places the following note: “Note to Reader: This post mentions my suicide attempt. If this is a trigger, please do not read it at this time. May peace find you in your valley, my friend.

So in compliance with my standard policy I am displaying the Trigger Warning sign in order to emphasise the need for caution.

Ten Things I’ve Learned from My Depression.

Survivingspecter1Hi there! My name is Chris and I’ve lived with clinical depression since middle school. On 9/14/14 attempted to take my life. I was saved by my friends who arrived after I had blacked out. In hindsight, these are the ten lessons my depression has taught me. Thank you for taking the time to read this post.

  1. My Faith. 

View original post 1,070 more words

 

What We Can Do about Depression [NAMI Reblog]


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Check out the bulleted list in this reblog from the NAMI blog.

What can we do about this public health crisis that takes so many from us?

  • Advocate. Fight for better treatments and for research into the underlying causes of psychiatric illnesses.
  • Be proactive. Work to be sure that people get screened for this depression and that help happens earlier. National Depression Screening Day is October 9.
  • Get medical. Get checked for medical causes of depression like thyroid disease.
  • Take the long view. We can encourage people to stay with treatments as some do work even after others have failed. That is well established from the STAR*D study by NIMH.
  • Integrate. Co-occurring disorders (like depression and substance use) often are poorly integrated into a persons care plan. This needs to change as substance use can be a failed self medication strategy to treat depression.
  • Change the field. We can demand more cognitive behavioral therapy, which clearly helps with depression, but many mental health professionals aren’t trained to provide it.
  • Open up. We can change the dialogue about depression—it is a condition that needs to be talked about. Isolation and silence are the dangerous traveling partners of depression.
  • Come together. Our voice is more powerful together than alone.
  • Love. Like Robin’s character in Good Will Hunting we can reach out and love those we know who are struggling and let them know we are here for them.

SOURCE: http://blog.nami.org/2014/08/what-we-can-do-about-depression.html

 
 

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