In Your Language

Saturday, September 14, 2013

ADHD in a time we're driven to distraction...

Is it really fair to say to someone that they have a weak level of attraction? How do you expect someone to act when we tell them they can't concentrate? Have you ever been able to do something you've told yourself you can't do; if someone else told you you can't do it?

I think it's wise for us to examine our environments, heck our culture, before we start labeling people with inadequacies. Can we think of a person in the frontier days that would have ADHD being surrounded by nature and pertinent work (clear the rocks from the wagon path, watch out for the snakes, find water so you don't dehydrate)? Whereas today, the world of products and things we digitally consume are DESIGNED to distract us. How could they sell without grabbing our attention?

How can we admonish our kids for being distracted when we saturate their environment with so many sensory and attention grabbing things? Adults have the same distractions and a tad more self control. But if we were honest we could own up to our own weakness in concentration. How many times have you checked on your cell phone in the last hour; how many times have you checked on your child in that same time period? Do you see what I'm getting at?

Don't bring your kid into the grocery store and not expect them to grab at everything. That's what the product designers were employed to do; and they do it well because they want their paycheck! Expect people to do exactly what the environment was designed for. If we bring home lots of bad food and some good food that is less attention grabbing, should we really be surprised that only the bad food will be sought out?

Why do we comment on our kid's extra weight but serve them too much food? They can't concentrate with an open room that connects to the trendy food screaming for their attention and also connected to the room they are used to spending playing video games. Why not change the environment we expect them to do anything productive?

I don't think our kids ask for so much to be expected of them. They expect us to know what they can handle because, by the nature of being kids, they aren't wired like us that they function better when they clear off the homework station. I think we should try taking away things in their environment and see how much better they function. If they are more calm with monochrome surroundings, change it. If they need regular lighting instead of over stimulating fluorescent (energy saving) lights; do it. If we give them a sugary snack and expect them to work on a project, perhaps we could give them a more protein snack and try the same request.

Some people need smaller areas to feel secure and protected, some are more claustrophobic and need wide open less cluttered spaces. We need to take back the control of our environments. We need to be aware of what we are consuming (media and food wise). We need to start doing this more intentionally rather than on auto pilot. Do we want to be the rat going through the maze or the scientist that engineers the environment to help the rat solve the maze?

Don't mistake being ineffective for being defective. There is a way... find it! =)

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Will a robot be our future best friend?

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I started to think about why people choose games over people. I'll abstain from beating up on the gaming industry that is only doing what any successful industry should do- sell sell sell. The sad fact is that what sells these things is pointing out the failures we have been too each other. Hey, this game will help you feel successful; it will be fun; it will help you get your anger out; it will interact with you the way your family can't or won't; it will evolve WITH you. I WON'T (can't) leave you. Don't worry- there's a patch for that... and upgrade for that. We want to meet your expectations.

I think the thing that unifies everyone is that we've been disappointed by people... some close, some not. But that gives those games, computers, gaming consoles the "in." Without words, those things say "Hey Meredith, you KNOW that X is not going to try to meet your needs, here I'll do it for you." It satiates our instinct to avoid pain... but especially social pain.

It's gotten so bad that when games let us down- we cry! We have no reason to hope anymore because the one thing that promised to meet the needs (our last hope of it being met) has let us down. It seems like a logical reaction; but at the same time it seems ridiculous too. Crying over a computer chip. Will the game cry over you?

We've stopped asking more of others, but firstly, of ourselves. When the going gets socially rough, go to your cellphone or your computer... right? Who's doing the dirty work of upgrading their relationships? There is NO DOWNLOAD for that. When we actually get to that point with a PERSON- it is ecstatic and feels miraculous. I imagine it would give ME the biggest dopamine rush to challenge ANY game out there. That's the REAL stuff; the high that we're programmed to get from doing right by each other... the way our maker designed us.

The folly of divorce is that it goes off the premise of "S/he wasn't good enough for me. S/he was the problem. I'm sure I could find someone better for ME." And when divorces lead to marriage and more divorce we still skip over the ludicrous idea that maybe the common denominator is ME. Change Me. Upgrade ME. I need to take an inventory of MYSELF and my social repertoire.

Divorce isn't just for marriages anymore. It's for our families, or friends, our workplaces. We're so ready to give up these days. Where are the people who are gearing to DIG IN? Now if we're realistic, this is partly an age and maturity thing that sets the stage. But in reality, how many people COULD dig in that don't?

We need to see each other cry. We need to see each other angry. We need to see each other happy. We need to know what it looks like and why those feelings manifested. It's what it takes to be human. We don't get to tell the other person "I only want to see the perfect side of you." That's just ridiculous and unrealistic and UNACCEPTING.  We are all imperfect and we deserve people around us who will accept us where we are in this moment before they are DESERVING of seeing us perfect. We need people around us who see us for who we are destined to be or made to be before we actually achieve it. We need people around us that love us despite our need for patches and upgrades and support us toward those ends.

What is impossible with love and grace? The moment we give up, a whole set of possibilities become IMPOSSIBLE. When I watch wretched people, I've started to see how wretched I am. And thank heavens because now I have the wits to change myself for the people I love. True love is being WILLING to change; having the FAITH that those people will help us.

I defy you to find a game or silicon instrument that will have faith in you, that will love you, that will help you become the best you you are meant to be. So- I really really hope that we don't opt for robot best friend. How unfathomable is it that the crown of creation (humans) are learning to be LESS human and would create something that is SUB-human as in a robot or games...

I love people. I pray that the Lord gives me the strength and the perseverance to PURSUE people. First, I have to stop being a homebody... But that's why I'm working on ME so I can bust out of this joint. =)

Love and blessings to all my readers!

[Originally Posted: 9/12/13  Edited: 4/8/14]

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Love walks away from the situation, not the person...

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Sometimes we need healing space. I'm not talking about abandoning people in their time of need or storming away in anger. There is love in walking away from a situation if it is not productive. "I love you enough that I want to walk away before I hurt or distress you anymore." "I love you enough that I will walk away before you hurt me; I won't let you damage our relationship- it's too important to me." Walk away when you feel the itch to project your feelings on the wrong target.

When you know that the conversation is going in a bad direction. affirm the other person's stance and let it be. Nip those relational free radicals in the bud. Infuse the antioxidants of affirmation, acceptance and love to neutralize and overtake any more damage.

Sometimes the fight is over one side wanting to help and the other side not wanting the help. Sometimes the other person triggers our anger and fears from our history. We then are driven to project those disturbed feelings onto the wrong person (not the perpetrator), onto our loved ones. What a huge casualty to bring the past into our present.

Do yourself a favor: don't overextend yourself and create a toxic expectation out of a close friend or relative. Do the loving thing by not enabling others to do toxic things to themselves or to you.  All it takes is one time for that ugly head of  expectation or entitlement to rear in your relationships. Don't apologize for someone who won't do it for themselves. If you're not a part of their character development, then you are a partner in their demise.

My name is Meredith and I used to overextend myself because I didn't value myself for the person I was designed to be. I always felt like the second choice. I always felt like I had to be better than a biological child, than a biological mother, that I had to prove myself more than another person: all because I didn't see worth in the pure fabric of who God made me. I short changed myself and didn't require enough from those around me to actually cultivate self worth and see value in myself. Shame on me.  But no more! Who's with me? Anyone else want to confess in the comments?

Here I am Again

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