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Moncton Reality Therapy Consultants

Creating a world where people experience "Happy Relationships"

I love my life! This week I had a conversation about guilt on more than one occasion. It has been a long time since I have had this conversation.  I can remember many times in my past that I had been guilt ridden. In fact, there was so much guilt it was like I was caught in a trap! How about you? Do you find yourself in the “ guilt trap” ?

So what is guilt?

“Guilt is a cognitive or an emotional experience that occurs when a person realizes or believes—accurately or not—that he or she has compromised his or her own standards of conduct or has violated a moral standard, and bears significant responsibility for that violation.[1] It is closely related to the concept of remorse.” ( Wickipedia)

Note guilt is a cognitive or emotional experience.  That means that thinking is a big part of it and where do we have more control in our total behavior? Our control is in our thinking and acting.  You see, in my past, I had a ton of limiting beliefs that I inherited from adults in my life and imposing guilt was a behavior used in an attempt to control me.

Guilt is one of those emotions that we can easily use to express that we are feeling sorry for a behavior we chose without having to say I’m sorry.

“Very simply, guilt can be defined as the feeling of self-condemnation that we experience after we do something we think is wrong.”

                                                                              Jerry Jampolsky MD

For what purpose does it serve us to self-condemn? Does this derail our self-esteem, self-worth and confidence?

There are a couple of areas I think about here. If you have done something that goes against what you value, you have violated one of your own quality world pictures and you are responsible for that. But what if you have done something that violates another’s value or belief. There are some things to think about. Do you agree with that belief? Is it you belief or does it belong to someone else.

None of this matters really. If you are choosing guilt, it may be that you are trying to force yourself to do something you don’t want to do and you are doing it mainly to please someone else. This is external control again.

Think about it. If you feel remorse for a behavior you have chosen why not admit you were in the wrong. Give yourself the gift of forgiveness and move on. It sounds simple but remember the alternative is to remain stuck.

Guilt is a wasted emotion designed to keep us stuck!

We have a choice!

Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen is a love song. "Love is not a victory march," he says, "It's a cold and it's a broken Hallelujah."

Life's like that too. Our successes are public, but behind closed doors everybody has their cold and broken moments.

The happiest couples you know have faced real private struggles. The business people you think of as being a total success regularly face failure and moments of intense fear and vulnerability.

Love at its fullest means surrendering yourself completely to another person. It means shedding your armor and letting yourself be seen. No more hiding behind the clothes or psychological misdirection that conceal your insecurities. It's terrifying and vulnerable and glorious all at the same time.

These are the words in a newsletter that I received some time ago. Love is not a victory march reminded me of Dr. Glasser and Carleen in their book Getting Together and Staying Together, where Dr. Glasser says not too long after you are married someone invariably says is the honeymoon over yet? What they are really saying is has the power struggle begun?

I believe the other statements are true as well. I do think, though, that Love is a Behavior we Choose. Through all our private struggles, failures, etc. we can still choose loving behaviors towards one another.  But we need to be consciously aware that it is a choice.

Many of us grew up in external control environments so we accept that someone else made us angry or I hit her or him because they made me do it. Nobody makes you do anything. It is always you who chooses your behavior. Tough words I know but if we simply practice the caring habits regardless of what the other person does, life will be easier. You can get your own copy of the caring habits by signing up here: www.maureencraigmcintosh.com  You will also receive Musing by Mo daily.

Warmly

Maureen

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The other day I read an article about unpacking relationship baggage.  As I read the article I could not help but notice how draining, carrying old baggage can be. You see when one carries relationship baggage, they are carrying unhappy memories about past relationships. If one is not aware of these, they carry those memories into new relationships and are never quite fully present.

As I pondered that, I wondered, would it not be more worthwhile if one could be empowered to dump the baggage before the next relationship. Could it be worthwhile  to have a clear picture of what a great relationship could look like?

Then my quirky mind took me to actually unpacking my physical baggage from my suitcase and the behaviors I choose when unpacking. If I have clean clothes in my bags, I hang on to them and put them away to use at a later time. So, when it comes to the relationship one could hang on to what is good and save the good items for their tool-box and add them to their pictures of good relationships.

Next, while unpacking my bag, I take the dirty clothes and put them in the hamper to be washed and cleaned. Think about the relationship baggage. In this case some things were bad but a lot has been learned from this. It is possible to have a thorough look at the situations and determine what part one had in that and wash themselves clean of negative behaviors and create a new behavior to use in a new relationship. For instance, getting defensive in a discussion, when one could just listen and respond in a careful way without losing it.

Then there are the toiletries that one uses over and over again. There are the  favorite toothpaste, combs, make-up, underarm deodorant, etc. These things are the habits that occur daily that an individual feels pretty good about. So how does one use the positives in one’s lives?  These are things that are important to us. Here is an opportunity to think about what one truly likes and what is non-negotiable and what one would be willing to compromise on in a new relationship. It comes down to knowing what someone values and believes. I think this can be linked to compatibility.

In poor relationships sometimes people give up things they really enjoy doing because their partner may not like doing it. But if they do too much of that, eventually when the infatuation wears off, resentment will set in and unhappiness comes along because one is no longer enjoying the things they like to do.

Sometimes in our suitcase we have souvenirs or memories of our trip that remind us of the good times. There will always be behaviors or other things that remind us of past experiences but when I unpack my suitcase if there is something that no longer serves me, I throw it away. We need to maintain our awareness of this

Keep the good and discard the bad and be pro-relationship. 

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Sometimes it seems there is nothing to say but if you just sit quietly it will come to you. You see, we all have all we need inside of us.  Many times the reason we cannot accomplish something like writing is because of the stories we tell ourselves.

We say things like “ I would love to write a book some day but I am not a writer.” Or “I love how you write everyday but I could not do that because I do not know what to say” “ I am just not  a writer” . We say these things but we write every day. We write grocery lists, we write school lists for our kids. We make a note of somewhere we need to be.

Some of us even write speeches for a talk we have to give in our workplace but we tell ourselves we cannot write. I am suggesting that you just sit quietly for at least 15 minutes a day and just write. It does not matter if it makes sense just let it flow from you.

A few years ago, I decided I wanted to write a book for parents, counselors, and teachers, anyone working with youth who were thinking about becoming involved sexually.  I had no idea where to begin but I did know that I needed to just start. I sat at my computer every single day for a year.

I had a lot of beliefs floating around in my head about what I could and could not do but I decided I really wanted to do it. It took a while but eventually it all came together.  Last year I decided to update that book: “ Choosing a Quality Loving Sexual Relationship” and soon I am hoping to offer it as an e-book.

I have to tell you that first thing this morning, I thought what am I going to write today? I don’t have anything to say but allowing myself to be quiet, brought what I was saying to myself into my conscious awareness. You are receiving the results of this morning’s quiet time. What have you been thinking about doing but telling yourself you can’t do it? Is it time to be still and think into it and come up with a solution.

In today’s world we are so easily distracted with all the bells and whistles around us. Take some time this week for you and think into what you really want.

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Subcategories

Heath J.

In my mid-30s, I made a life-changing decision to return to university. I sold my house and my car and moved to another country with my partner. It was all in pursuit of a dream career as a university professor. The problem? It made me miserable. Back in Canada for a few months, I sought out Maureen’s counsel. The decision was difficult for me: spend another two years studying something I disliked in a foreign country, but get closer to my dream job, or stop studying and pursue an alternate career path. Maureen never pressured, never judged. She taught me about choice theory, and helped me to identify and manage my insecurities. I found her to be a trustworthy, friendly voice of reason in a difficult, trying time.

I stopped my university studies, and a month later accepted an extremely fulfilling job as a college instructor and department head. I have the job I would have wanted, even if I had finished my degree. I feel happy, challenged and fulfilled. My personal relationships have also benefited from my certainty of choice and confidence. Maureen helped me find my way, and I am grateful for her wise counsel.

Heath J., Moncton

Barb

I thank you for all the opportunities and support you have given me over the many years of our friendship.

My relationship with you and Choice Choice theory has constantly guided and directed my life in a positive direction. The ability to change my thinking enriches my life each day. It helped me survive during the days of my deepest grief. You love your life and all those you have helped love you!

Barbara Rombough

Liette M. Collier

Choice Theory is a powerful life-changing tool. Its language has become a part of me and brings shared-awareness to my family and friends, clients, group participants, and work peers alike. Once we acknowledge the power of choice, that we own it, and that the impact of benefits and consequences alike are ours, we become not only empowered but also released from limiting beliefs and false boundaries.

Liette M. Collier

Robin Sauve

Maureen is a true expert in Choice Theory. She finds a way to apply relevant, practical applications of the theory into real life. Through coaching, Maureen invests a lot of time with her clients, making sure we consider all options. She is an excellent compassionate guide in this journey called life.

Robin Sauve, Marketing Manager

Wholesale & Specialty Products at Irving Oil

Carleen Glasser

Maureen is an outstanding faculty member of the William Glasser Institute! She has expertise in so many areas of the helping professions her contributions to the well-being and happiness of countless people of all ages is truly commendable. If only they could clone Maureen the world would be such a better place!

Carleen Glasser, CEO William Glasser, Inc.

Senior Faculty, Glasser Institute

Laura Prisc

I have been blessed to work with Maureen for several months, as my personal coach. She has skillfully facilitated my personal growth by asking the kinds of questions that require me to dig deep and get to the root of my beliefs, which sometimes hold me back! She provides very perceptive insights, and leads me through a process that drives me to more clearly define my wants, needs, and desires, along with actions I am committed to taking to move myself closer to the vision I hold for my future. I look forward to continuing this journey with Maureen, and highly recommend her as a teacher and coach. If you have the opportunity to work with her, do not hesitate for a second -- just say YES!less

Laura Prisc

Founder at Leadership & Life Potential, LLC

Owner, La Teraz

I have known Maureen as a counsellor, always really coaching for almost 20 years. I know very few people with the integrety and consistency that I have seen in the last two decades. Maureen has been teaching and guiding people in making choices for as long as I can remember with a professionalism and knowledge that is admired by other counselors in the city, including myself. When we host our own team building programs at La Teraz, even though I have training in the field and followed her courses in Choice Theory, I call her and her partner to facilitate the group's segment on Choice Theory. When I need to get honnest and reliable feedback, she is one of the primary people I consult in my own business to get the right questions asked to help me make my own choices to reach my ideal world in business. I not only accept to offer a recommendation I am honoured to refer her as one of the best in her field.less

Owner, La Teraz

Business Development Consultant

Rachelle Daigle

Met Maureen many years ago during a difficult life transition. She was recommended to me and I have been grateful for the connection. Through her teaching of Choice Theory she provides clarity, direction and empowerment to act. I have since been recommending her to anyone I know who is in need of her type of services. You can go see other couselors for months and start to feel better or you can go see Maureen and get direction within a few visits. the results last a life time. 
Love what you do Maureen!less

Rachelle Daigle

Business Development Consultant

Richard Chartrand CFP, CHS, CLU

Maureen is a warm person who is passionate about making a difference in the lives of the people she works with. She is very knowledgeable in her field and much can be learned from her! Maureen thank you so much for a great and "ah ha" filled training, you are a great instructor and such an inspiration. The reason I took this course is because of someone who you taught in the past, which i think says a lot. I felt so comfortable, and your enthusiasm and passion made me want to pay attention to every word. I so look forward to continuing on this journey! Jill Wakelin

Richard Chartrand CFP, CHS, CLU

Helping Financial Advisors (Heroes) Change Lives Forever!

LA Teraz

I very much agree that this training is of utmost benefit to anyone in counselling and in business and sales, I will decline, as i believe it so beneficial that I went for the full certification last year. Maureen is an excellent trainer and I benefited so much with her support, not only in certification, but in all the previous years of knowing this amazing coach. Wishing everyone the best experience in choosing to open this new door to understanding human behavior and choices

LA Teraz