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Newsletter Dated: 4/3/2005 3:49:28 PM
Subject: Happiness Tips from Tina - Winning the War Within
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Happiness Tip: Winning the War Within
Do you sometimes feel locked in a struggle with yourself? I know I do. Why is it that we know what we want to do, but itís such a struggle to actually get it done? Even Saint Paul writes, in a letter to the Romans, ďI do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do.Ē Even the most successful people wind up struggling with procrastination, overeating, overspending, drinking too much, saying things you donít mean, or getting involved with the wrong people. As I work with my clients, the issue of internal struggle comes up over and over again. Whatís going on? Itís inner warfare Ė a fight with yourself.
Inner warfare produces a constant noise in one's mind, as the voices of opposing thoughts become locked in never-ending argument, which makes clear thinking almost impossible. Whenever the inner war rages, you will use poor judgment in the important decisions of your life, because a substantial part of your thinking ability is hampered. Just imagine trying to think in a room where two people are arguing about everything, most of the time! When you canít think clearly, you are not able to understand the intuitive information you are receiving that could tell you who is trustworthy and who is unreliable; you are not able to evaluate all the options available to you and make clear decisions; and you cannot sort out the difference between realistic options and options that are too pessimistic or too optimistic to serve as the basis of a good decision. In addition, the exhaustion resulting from constant turmoil causes you to "forget" or feel unable to think clearly about your circumstances and your actions, which leads you to be dependent on others to do your thinking for you.
As long as it goes on this way, the inner war is unwinnable, since all sides feel equally right, and equally powerful. Even if one side could win, you'd be operating at half power, unable to think clearly, or unable to feel feelings -- which is what happens to many people. Just as in wars in the external world, both sides inevitably pay a heavy price.
When you learn how to manage your thinking until you can get all sides to negotiate and work together, you create a problem-solving team that is both intuitive and rational, creative and practical. Only when your internal war is settled, and the sides form a working partnership, can you use the full power of your thinking ability.
To achieve this inner teamwork, take small steps in the beginning. When feelings of embarrassment, unworthiness, shame, or fear arise, just slow down and give yourself a chance to relax. Don't push yourself, or criticize yourself, but reassure and encourage yourself past the problem.
Discussing issues with yourself, asking yourself questions, and comforting yourself are hard concepts to understand, because part of you is focused on others, not on yourself. Even once you understand how to confront your inner feelings, you may resist at first, because you feel confused, ashamed or embarrassed. Old, ingrained subconscious beliefs that your feelings are frightening, and that you're unworthy of attention are fighting with your new, rational adult knowledge that you are important to you.
Once you negotiate an internal truce, you can become a new kind of person, within whom both the intuitive, feeling part and the rational, acting part work together for the common good, without a "good guy" or "bad guy", or winner and loser, but seeking to solve problems so that both sides are satisfied. Negotiation, communication. and partnership become an integral part of your relationship with yourself, producing a sense of wholeness and power that give you the confidence to take risks and the motivation to get things done. It truly takes the self-image of a warrior, at times, to continue the hero's journey toward fully living life.
I wish you peace: within yourself, within your family, within the world.
(Adapted from It Ends with You) © 2005 Tina B. Tessina
Look for my "Psychology Smarts" column in First for Women magazine beginning with the May issue #21, on sale mid-April.
On the Internet, Iím the "Dating Doctor" on www.couplescompany.com, "Dr. Romance" on Yahoo!Personals at http://personals.yahoo.com/us/static/content_date, a designated Marriage Expert for Redbook Institute and I'll also answer your questions at www.tinatessina.com.
Catch my radio show on the web: "The Psyche Deli: delectable tidbits for the subconscious" every Sunday 6-7:00 PM PT on www.wpmd.org and on the Leisure Talk Radio Network at www.leisuretalk.net every 12, 4, and 8 a.m. & p.m. EDT. Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. For more information: www.tinatessina.com
Through my website, you can get CE credits online based on my books: It Ends With You; How to Be a Couple and Still Be Free and The Real 13th Step To sign up for classes or browse my books, visit www.tinatessina.com.
I welcome your feedback and support, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wishing you joy,
Tina B. Tessina, PhD
I enjoy getting your newsletters
itís my pleasure, Greg
All the best to you, and keep up the lusciously great work!
thanks, Ed, with that encouragement, I will.
Nice article, Tina. You've covered some interesting points.
Thanks, Gwen, glad you enjoyed it.
enjoyed the read
That makes me happy, mj.
Very good article, but I especially liked the closing poem.
Thanks, Rosemarie, itís one of my favorites.
Thank you, Tina, for this very informative article. I especially like the Ask Your Own Opinion section. It seems too often people are willing to take the word of others without question, and then pass it along to the next generation. Great advice, all of this.
And thank you, Sandy. Iím so glad you found it helpful.
Thank you for the wonderful and timely reminders in your "Getting out of your way" Happiness tips.
You are most welcome, Parisa.
Your "Getting Out of Your Way" message was great and very timely. Thanks. I understand even more why Trevor loved and respected you so much. How can I get "It Ends with You"? Sounds fabulous.
Sending love and hugs,
Thanks, Ramona. Trevor was a dear friend, and I miss him, too. Iím glad you found the newsletter helpful, and you can get my books on my website.