Life Without Judgment

The underside of the iceberg

I don’t know if my blog would be characterized as “oversharing.” Maybe and maybe not, although I share a lot of stuff. However, there is so much more that I don’t say. Frankly, what I do talk about feels like the tip of the iceberg, and if you have ever seen a visual representation of a full iceberg showing what rises above the water and what lies below, you will know that the rest of the iceberg is many, many times the size of what you see above water. When people are in crisis, they often conceal much more than they reveal. Sometimes it’s out of embarrassment, as when the side effects of chemo are really, and I mean really, unmentionable. Sometimes it’s out of shame, as when a marriage i

Focusing on the positive: Does it help?

A bitter drink: Introduce sugar, and the whole drink becomes sweet. A cold bath: Introduce hot water, and the whole bath becomes warm. A sad person: Introduce things to be happy about, and…the whole person becomes…what? I have been puzzling over how to describe what effect happiness might have on a person grappling with intensely negative emotions in connection with grief, illness, or any heavy-duty crisis. Humans often think that emotions behave in the way that a drink or a bath does – in other words, if a big dose of happiness comes in, that will dilute the sadness and improve the person’s mood overall. It seems rational. It leads, often, to people emphasizing the positive. It leads to c

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