One of the many scapegoats that can be utilized by someone who has tried to get control over what is controlling them. Our culture, and every culture for that matter, is full of ideas. Since humans generate these ideas there are really good ideas all the way to really bad ideas.
Let's take the idea of marriage. There is the idea that marriage is between a man and a woman for life exclusive of all others. Then there is the idea that cheating on your spouse is acceptable. Both ideas float around in a culture.
Let's talk about parenting ideas. There is an idea that the biological parents should raise their own children. There is also an idea that the government should raise our children. The world is full of great ideas and not-so-great ideas.
There is an idea that we should exploit others, and there is the idea we should serve others. There is the idea we should judge others, and the idea we should love others.
Ideas are made everywhere around us. Some ideas are really good and healthy for us. These ideas are like our vegetables; if we eat them, they are good for us and give us a healthier life. Other ideas are just really bad ideas. These ideas are the junk foods. They look like food, but a regular diet of them can damage us and those around us terribly.
Ideas are important because our ideas shape our behaviors. My wife Lisa has the idea that she only needs to eat what she will actually utilize that day. This is a good idea that produces behaviors like eating meat selectively, not eating late at night (hot tea only) and minimal desserts. This idea and behavior have caused Lisa to stay in the same size clothing and not gain any weight in the more than 30 years I have known her.
I have had the idea of eating almost anything and celebrating with food. This causes behaviors of eating unnecessary desserts, not regulating my intake on any regular basis, and if I want a snack at night, I almost feel entitled to eat one. My bad ideas have caused me, shall we say, not to weigh the same as when we met.
Ideas are insightful as we get control over what is controlling us. Like God, the devil, the flesh ideas are at our disposal. We choose an idea of entitlement for our out of control behavior or other ideas that can help us.
Let's suggest the idea of entitlement to be angry toward people. We have pain, so we are entitled to give pain away at our whim. The person who chooses this really bad idea will be explosive, easily frustrated and will demand that others serve them or pay with some chiding outburst. This person will damage their spouse, their children, coworkers and neighbors and will usually end up alone at the end of their life.
The other idea is that I have been given pain so I am 100% responsible to heal from this pain and not give pain to others as much as possible. The person who chooses this really good idea won't be prone to outbursts or controlling others but will be more patient with other flawed people. This person will have a better marriage, be kinder to their children, co-workers and neighbors. This person, at the end of their life, is more likely to have friends and actually be loved by those significant to them.
We can blame or scapegoat ideas as to why we have our out-of-control behavior, or we can allow our ideas to be our servants. We can accept that we are the masters of our ideas, which produce behaviors that produce a lifestyle, which produces our relational destiny.
Doug Weiss, Ph.D., is a nationally known author, speaker and licensed psychologist. He is the executive director of Heart to Heart Counseling Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and the author of several books, including Get A Grip. You may contact Dr. Weiss via his website, drdougweiss.com or on his Facebook, by phone at 719-278-3708 or through email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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