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THE PLACE FOR REALIZING DREAMS

855-SET-FREE

OUR BLOG

An ongoing series of informational entries

THE BRAIN DISEASE

SUSAN AMATO

June 30, 2019

Addiction is a very complicated brain disease. Many of us are naturally prone to look at an addict and say, “Wow, he doesn’t care about his family,” and “What a loser,” or “She’s so irresponsible”. These words are hurtful and show that most people do not understand what happens in the brain with addiction.

We are eager to help those with addiction issues because addiction robs so many including young people of their destiny. Alcoholics Anonymous considers addiction an allergy of the body and an obsession of the mind. Addiction means a person cannot say no and most of us will never understand what that’s like. Imagine if you were acting like a robot. Imagine if someone was in the driver’s seat of your life telling you what to do. This is what addiction does; it treats the person as if they are a robot versus a person of free will. Some twelve-year-olds take a drink and want more immediately. These people are missing a gene that protects them. Some twelve-year-olds take a drink and think, "this is poison" or "I have had enough." These people have a built-in gene that protects them. 

Our brain is made up of sections that we can call colonies. An example of a colony is the colony of mobility. This section moves your limbs automatically, without you specifically thinking about it. If you’re able to walk and move easily, your mobility colony is in sync. Another example is the reasoning colony. This section helps us make good, rational decisions. Whenever a colony is being used, it lights up and can be observed on an MRI.

Recent studies from the National Institute of Health show when a person starts consuming alcohol or drugs a new colony is created. The colony was non-existent before the consumption of the substance. The colony grows over time and the more the substance is used, the more powerful the colony becomes. When the colony lights up the individual experiences craving. When this colony activates and can no longer be told ‘no’ it is called addiction.

This is how people with addiction become living robots. The addiction colony and the reasoning colony are at war. This is why addiction issues must be taken very seriously. Getting clean is not a 30-day war in rehab but a 2-year war to get the addiction colony calmed down and into a non-powerful, non-dominate state.

The 2-year war of addiction consists of both dealing with symptom management, which means to get the physical brain and the obsession of thought to calm down as well as dealing with the root cause. This can be done by creating a strong support system. Going to Alcoholics Anonymous, having a sponsor, attending addiction groups, and having the support of family and friends can help with symptom management. Eating foods that create dopamine, going to the gym, and serving in leadership positions can help the brain create dopamine where it is lacking. Lastly, dealing with the root issues is crucial to helping the addict truly recover. The way to help with this is to receive individual counseling. Here at Dream Believe Institute, we offer extensive outpatient packages with daily counseling and meetings for addicts, as well as, individual counseling sessions.  If you or someone you know needs help today call 1-855-SET-FREE.


NOT HELPING IS HELPING!

SUSAN AMATO

July 8, 2019

 Codependency is an addiction, more hidden to the common man which can be equally as challenging as addiction. Many of us have this helping disease and do not know it. One of the largest challenges is that most spouses and families of addicts do not understand the addict is suffering, with a brain disease. The person in a close relationship trying to help the addict is codependent.

Imagine a codependent wife who is dealing with a drug-addicted husband. She is unaware they are similar. While the addict is chasing the substance, the co-addict, the person who is codependent, is chasing the addict. The codependent needs the addict to need them. Being needed becomes her drug. The codependent spends copious hours, months, and even years enabling the addict by helping him, rescuing him and depending on her effectiveness at rescuing the addict for her self-worth.

In the end, the codependent is left chasing someone that can never fulfill her. She is left waiting for the addict to change, sometimes for a lifetime. She thinks the addict changing will make her happy. This never happens. She is typically left feeling resentful, mistreated, and angry. Many codependents wake up years later to see they have wasted a lifetime taking care of an addict, to be left empty with nothing and feeling all alone. Just like the addict, the codependent feels that she is unable to break free from chasing her drug without help. Being aware of the drug-the need to be needed is the first step in getting help.

The codependent has a huge benefit or reward, helping an addict. She does not have to look at herself. This person would rather be distracted than to feel the pain inside. This is why she is addicted to helping the addict. While having the pain of low self-esteem, she believes she is only worthy because she is a “doing” person instead of a “being” person. In other words, a codependent person only feels she has worth because of what she can do for others. Helping an addict gives her a false sense of self-worth. Eventually, this person will exhaust herself and feel hopeless.

The handicap of the codependent is severe and creates a delusion. A parallel thought would be, if I help a person with the disease of cancer get better, he will then see me as worthy of being loved when, in fact, no one can cure the disease. No one can save an addict; he must save himself. Only having the gift of desperation and admitting defeat can save him. The codependent must admit defeat also; she cannot save the addict. Once a codependent realizes her life is unmanageable, she can give up and make a change.

In other circumstances, many people work tirelessly to save a loved one who is an addict. While you can tell your loved one you are there for them, they must decide to get help for themselves. Al-Anon (which is a group for those who have an addict they love), codependency groups, and licensed professional counseling are great ways to help a codependent get the help they need.

The cycle of addiction and codependency is much like the cycle of a dog chasing its tail. It is imperative that the addict, the co-addict, and the family of the addict all get the help that they need from the brain disease of addiction and the helping disease of codependency. It is essential each one learn to sit in their own skin, to realize they are an individual person, with a specific design, for a greater purpose. If you are an addict, take responsibility and do what you need to do and get help for yourself. If you are a codependent stop taking care of the responsibility of others and take care of yourself. Tell your addict loved one that you cannot help him. Tell the addict to go get help. Stop helping and pray to the only one who can save him for only God can save an addict. If you need help with addiction or codependency call 1-855- SET-FREE!


SETTING YOURSELF FREE!

RICK AMATO

July  18, 2019

The deadliest emotion to anyone suffering from addiction is resentment. To say that since my daughter’s tragic death I have struggled with it just doesn’t quite capture the intensity of my own personal battle. The trouble is that while resentment, revenge, and recompense are perfectly normal and natural instincts, holding all of them in your soul is like taking poison and hoping the offending party dies!

In the prayer Jesus taught us to pray we say, “Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.” In reality, this simple teaching is the resolution of this human conundrum and the key to spiritual evolution and growth.

When we forgive those who have harmed us or those we love, we are in essence setting ourselves free. It takes at least two people to have a prison. The secret I have found is letting go of the age-old lie “just forgive and forget.” That is impossible. Everything in this dimension from the single celled flat worm to the legendary working of Albert Einstein’s brain to the most powerful computer on earth- works by memory. The grace and power, the key to successful forgiveness, is simple: attach new meaning to the trauma that happened to you.

Simple does NOT mean easy ! Every day my wife Susan and I provide mental health therapy and clinical clergy counseling to people with horrific trauma. To watch them find the new meaning in their trauma and rise above it to help others with the same trauma is priceless. She and I are here to provide counseling for you and your loved ones struggling with addiction often rooted in trauma and resentment. For help

 call 1-855-SET- FREE.


BEAUTIFUL BUTTERFLY

SUSAN AMATO

August 12, 2019

Just like the caterpillar changed form when he stopped eating, hung upside down, spun in a cocoon, and waited until he emerged as a butterfly, we must stop and undergo the process of becoming our new self. What happens during the waiting time in a cocoon is fascinating. The old body is broken down and then it turns into something new. The process a caterpillar must undertake, to appear as a beautiful butterfly, is the same one we need to take. We must get rid of the way we were conditioned and become a new person-a genuine person.

If a butterfly comes out of the cocoon too early, it is able to pollinate the flowers one time, and then it loses strength and dies. It does not live as the beautiful butterfly was meant to live. It must come to complete transformation to have the strength to stay alive and fulfill its purpose.

To create a perfect insect, a moth has to force its way through the neck of a cocoon with hours and hours of intense struggle. The pressure is what gives life to his wings. If he does not undergo the pressure and comes out too early, his wings will not be developed, and he will die.

Just like these insects, we must go through the transformation process to see our dreams come true. We must undergo pressure as well. It is okay to have gratitude for your hardships. If we don’t undergo pressure, we will not be strong enough for what is to come.

Having your dreams come true does not come from a rainbow with a leprechaun at the end of it waiting to hand you a pot of gold, just as much as babies do not come hand delivered by storks. Having your dreams come true requires a lot of work. The transformation process can be very stressful.

Sometimes we try to lessen that pressure for others or ourselves. The times when we attempt to lessen the pressure for others, we enable them to be weak. When we enable people, it is like cutting the moth out of the cocoon too early and setting him up to die as he will have no strength of his own to fly. This is why it is important for us to allow others to go through their transformation process, as it is equally as important, we go through ours. 

Every individual person must go through their own transformation process. Transformation will not come by another person changing; transformation comes when you change. Your inventor made a showpiece when he made you, certainly a piece worth revealing. If you are in need of transformation to reveal your true self, get help by calling 1-855-SET-FREE!


A WORD TO SINGLE MOTHERS

SUSAN AMATO

November 23, 2019

THE FAITHFUL PROVIDER

One of the scariest seasons of my life was when I was a single mother of three small children for seven years, however, the profound experiences have truly renewed and restored me.  One month, I realized I was one thousand dollars short of my bills that were due in seven days. We had no cash and the credit cards were maxed due to the hefty costs of being sent to court over and over again. I prayed and said, “God you are my Husband and you are our Father. You can afford us. I have calculated all the money coming from Maryland phone sessions and the Michigan counseling center and we will be one thousand dollars short in seven days. Please provide us with one thousand dollars in the next seven days.” This is an unbelievably true story. Within the next 24 hours, WITHOUT me telling anyone, three people called me asking if I needed money. I humbly said yes, and they sent checks in the mail that totaled nine hundred and seventy-five dollars which I received in the mail within seven days!

At first, I felt humiliated and embarrassed to receive money from others, until I saw the children cheering when they opened the mail at the mailbox. We stood amazed as we knew God truly cared for us and provided for us. He was the best Husband any woman could ever ask for and He was indeed the best Father. In a prayer of gratitude, with tears in my eyes, I said, “Thank you. I can’t believe you provided for us like that.” Then I proceeded to say, “I just opened the last bill of twenty-five dollars due to a hospital; it’s okay we are only twenty-five dollars short of the one thousand. I’ll pay them back next week. It’s ok God. Thank you so much! You gave us nine hundred and seventy-five of the one thousand dollars I asked for!” And what happened next, I will never forget.

I opened the last piece of mail, which I knew was a check for sixty dollars from a lady I did work within Maryland. This money was already calculated as money coming for bills. I stood in astonishment as I opened up the card to see it was a check for eighty-five dollars. She wrote a check for twenty-five dollars more than she owed! The card said, “Thank you for all your help, Susan. I am sending you an extra $25. God told me to give it to you.”

While my uncontrollable tears were flowing, my children were praising God. We received exactly one thousand dollars in seven days and every single bill we had got paid. I knew my children and I had the greatest love of all-The Love of One who just wants someone to love, God! We knew we had the Love of a Husband and the Love of a Father. There are countless stories like this that I now have proof and know-God truly loves us! The lack of money could never replace the priceless lessons we learned of faith. And there were so many. God always did and still does for me, what I could have never done myself. If you are a single mother, I understand as I have been there. If you need help, it will be my honor to help you. Don't hesitate to call 1-855-SET-FREE. I have a heart for Single Mothers.


THE PRICE OF BEING KIND

SUSAN AMATO

JANUARY 9, 2020


Many people mistake codependency for being kind. I heard my whole life from my father, “Always be kind.” The problem with this statement was that I believed it to be something it wasn’t. Unfortunately, at times in my life, I considered myself the queen of codependency. My life was spent being nice to people, not kind. I’m sure you have met the people who give everyone the benefit of the doubt, consider everyone’s feelings more important than their own, and rarely argue because they crave peace. Half of my life was spent like this. This type of thinking left me compromised in my relationships, resentful, angry, burned out, with many regrets. I realized everyone’s feelings and needs had mattered except mine. Plagued by codependency, I had to learn the hard way. While my dad was right, “Always be kind," kind did not mean what I thought it did.

According to Merriam Webster, the word kind is a group united by common traits. This would be like a group of individuals or instances sharing common traits. Kindness reflects a trait which reflects truth. When we decide to people please, it is not love, if it is not the truth. The most loving and kind thing we can do for another person is to be real by reflecting the truth. That is kind. Telling people what they want to hear and doing things for others, that we don’t really want to do, is living a lie and is not kind.

Think about it like this, being nice is for those who are scared of conflict. It has nothing to do with spirituality. REAL KINDNESS is about being honest with ourselves and others. If we want to be authentic, we must live truth. Truth will lead us down the road of setting safe boundaries for ourselves in our relationships with others. This will lead us to an everlasting freedom that being nice can’t give. When I think of my dad’s saying, “Always be kind," I think do yourself and others a favor by speaking the truth with love. This is the ultimate kindness that can save us from living years of unfulfilled dreams. And this is how we can truly love ourselves. 


COVID 19- I NEARLY DIED.  

SUSAN AMATO

April 8, 2020


In January 2020 I believe I almost died. It was a four to six-week battle. I woke up one day in the morning from my sleep and the entire left side of my body was numb. I panicked to my husband who began rubbing my back (oxygen) and I got temporary feeling back. I figured maybe I slept on my side wrong so the next day we proceeded to go on a scheduled trip we had to Lynchburg, VA. While in Lynchburg my left side went numb a second time and once again massaging it brought me temporary feeling (oxygen) back in my body. The third time my body went numb was way worse, and massaging it wasn’t helping to restore feeling this time. I thought I would have to go to the hospital, but we were leaving Lynchburg the next day and I didn’t want to. I took an aspirin (which is an anti-inflammatory and can prevent blood clotting) and then I took Tulsi Holy Basil- an organic herb I got from amazon where the bottle said would help with stress. (I had some in my purse) I told my husband I don’t know how, but I believe holy basil saved my life. A few months later I would learn how. Within 5 minutes of taking Tulsi holy basil I came out of the TIA- Transient Ischemic Attack (when a whole side of your body goes numb) however I was shaking all night and very very weak. Later I found out Holy Basil is good for carrying oxygen through the body. In months to come, I would find out more.

Along with numbness and tingling, I had back spasms. My neck felt tight. My hip kept going numb. Then I noticed my right arm would go numb, my right leg would tingle. My symptoms were all over the place. All I knew is my body was tingling, going numb and I felt like I could pass out or have seizures. I said something is not right with my brain (felt like an inflamed brain & fog, along with confusion). I knew what the brain felt like before having a seizure because years before I had a seizure in the delivery of my first child.  The day after we got home from Lynchburg, I had a fourth TIA where my left side went numb again. Once again massaging it (oxygen) helped but I felt extremely weak. The day after that which was day 7 since the first TIA, I told my husband I am afraid I could die I better go to the hospital.

When we got to the hospital my blood pressure was 181/117 and they said I had stroke symptoms. They gave me a strong blood pressure pill which brought my blood pressure to normal and likely reduced inflammation yet the next day there ended up being no evidence on MRI, MRE or anything proving stroke.  The blood test in the hospital that was abnormal was low red hemoglobin. (which means low iron) Iron is responsible for carrying oxygen to all of your organs. The other blood test that was low was the lymph auto blood test. This test being low can indicate a virus or infection. The hospital gave me a blood pressure medicine prescription and sent me home. After my hospital stay, I went to many specialists. My brain and heart were checked, nothing. Many specialized blood tests for things like cancer, nothing.  My mom said,  "Honey maybe you have some type of fluke virus." And I agreed, maybe! We had not heard about the coronavirus yet. In addition, I kept googling how to lower homocysteine levels. It's like I intuitively knew I had inflammation. I began eating things like ginger, cinnamon, and things that may lower homocysteine levels. Later I would find out the coronavirus seems to create a cytokine storm. This is an inflammatory response that can get out of control creating bloodclots,  which can have an adverse effect on iron. 

Well, I continued to have numbness all over my body and kept feeling like I needed oxygen. My husband got his old cpap machine out where I just put it on my face many times a day because it made me feel better and frankly made the numbness better. Several times in the night I woke up gasping for air so I would hold the cpap mask to my mouth and breathe in oxygen during the night. I was desperate and it was truly awful and extremely scary. All the while I remember when I got home from the hospital taking holy basil again daily because I felt it was the only thing that had made me feel better. By now I had suffered severe vertigo for 10 days where I literally had to hold walls to walk to the bathroom and was getting weaker by the day. All of a sudden, around the fourth day of taking holy basil and after paying for a full body massage (oxygen) I began to feel 50 % better as if a miracle had taken place. Then I thought if I can get to 50% better could I get to 100%? 

From that day I googled, “what would help make my red blood cells get higher?” since it was the only thing that was proven low on my blood tests from the hospital beside the test proving virus or infection. It said deficiencies in iron, B12, and Folic acid could cause hemoglobin to score low. These vitamins are responsible for carrying oxygen through our bodies to our organs. After I took holy basil 3-4 days along with now taking Iron, B-12 and Folic acid supplements for ONLY 1 day I felt a drastic change. I felt 75% better! The left side of my body never went numb again and most of the vertigo was gone. I was still weak but nothing like before, so I continued faithfully taking my vitamins. Once they got in my system which google said would take 2-3 weeks, I have felt like I returned to 95% well. I still had some back pressure and pain for another month which was probably due to an injury because of the lack of oxygen my body had suffered for so long. Each day it is getting better and now most of my back pain is gone. 

Weeks went by and I asked the good Lord what had been wrong with me? I wasn’t satisfied with the idea of vitamin deficiency. What did I have in Jan? One night I had a dream and authority people came to me and told me in my dream, “When you went to the Trump rally in January of this year, you contracted the coronavirus.” I argued with them and didn’t believe them. I said but I had none of the symptoms. They proceeded to say, “Remember after you got out of the hospital your husband got pneumonia.” I said yes, I do! When I woke up, I thought I have been watching too much of the news yet sure enough when I looked at my pictures, I had been at the Trump rally in Jan. I told my daughter the dream and she said and remember Andrew the youngest at the same time you were sick mom, he had a cold for a month? I said oh yeah, he did. Well, I forgot about it, until a couple of days later. I decided to google coronavirus and stroke symptoms. There were articles from 5 countries including two from ours that said patients were coming in with neurological issues like stroke symptoms with numbness, tingling, and seizures. There was no fever, no evidence on scans but they all tested positive for the coronavirus. These patients also complained of back issues and they didn’t understand why. Then it was a week later that I read an article which I have enclosed below that to me explained everything I went through.

The article is saying that hospitals have been putting people on ventilators because they can’t breathe which is treating the symptom, not the cause. Most people’s lungs were actually working at normal capacity. Now they have been studying what the virus is doing. The virus is attacking a person’s iron, so the iron is unable to transport oxygen to the organs. This is why people’s bodies are shutting down even when they are on a ventilator. The virus is eating up or depleting the person's iron. It is as if they die of carbon monoxide poisoning. When I put two and two together of my situation that is exactly what happened to me. My body was not getting oxygen. So, each time my body was massaged it was literally putting oxygen in my bloodstream.

To be very clear I am not advocating anyone take iron unless directed by a doctor. Iron is a mineral that should only be taken if directed by a doctor if needed. Iron is stored in our bodies and if we take iron supplements and do not need it could cause toxins in the body.

Later I finally found out how Tulsi holy basil could have saved my life. After studying more about this Indian plant, I found out that the Tulsi plant (holy basil) is an anti-inflammatory that may thin the blood that kills both viruses and bacteria and stops the replication of viruses. That’s why it saved my life. After I took 3-4 days of it, I no longer had full body attacks and after 24 hours of beginning iron, b12 and folic acid supplements which is responsible for carrying oxygen through my body, my body could now breath and I never had vertigo again. Unbeknownst to me, I ended up taking exactly what I needed to fight off the coronavirus and replenish my iron (oxygen levels).

I share this with you in hopes that it will save lives. If the coronavirus is destroying red hemoglobin, ventilators are just treating the symptom, not the cause. If my experience helps just one person, it was worth the time it took to write this.

In addition, you may have heard if you contract the coronavirus not to take Advil or Ibuprofen? Guess what Advil and Ibuprofen can deplete iron. That could be why Tylenol works better. Also, you may have heard vitamin C is good to take if you have the coronavirus. Guess what? Vitamin C helps us absorb iron. 

I have not taken a test to prove that I had the coronavirus in January. All I know is what happened to me is like the experience of so many who have suffered or died from this virus. CNN announced today that COVID was sweeping our land already in January. 

** I am not a medical doctor and I am not advocating to take certain pills or vitamins. This is for information purposes only. I am only sharing my experience. Ask a medical doctor before taking anything. 


YOU CANT JAIL ADDICTION OUT OF PEOPLE

DR. RICK AMATO

November 19, 2020


A while back when I was watching the presidential debates, I heard one of the candidates promising to change the laws that jail Americans for having problems with substance abuse. That’s one of the wisest remarks any politician has made in ages regarding the criminal justice system. It’s just a fact that serving time in jail is never going to solve someone’s addiction problem.

There’s been an abundance of research on crime in America and the recidivism rate to show that the primary reason people go to prison in America is for non-violent crimes related to alcoholism/addiction. What would the result be if we took 10% of the taxpayer money spent on our federal prison system and spent it on addiction treatment camps instead. People would still be confined, while being supervised as they completed their treatment, including a 12-step program. This way they could overcome their drug and/or alcohol abuse problems while learning to serve others.

If I had the funds and personnel to undertake such a mission, this is where I would focus my time and attention. Since I don’t have the resources, I’ll be the man that counsels people going down that path, encouraging them not to go that way, but to choose this way instead. When experts around the world look at our prison system, packed to overflowing with more coming in every day, they can see the utter futility. We have a huge recidivism rate in America, with people continually returning to prison. It has become clear to many that mass incarceration for non-violent addiction-related crimes does not work.

I want you to think about what I’ve said and if you have an opportunity to voice your opinion on the topic, whether it be on social media or in a public forum, please express the need for a real solution. If our system incarcerates people for nothing more than their alcohol and/or drug abuse problems, we owe them more than “three squares a day and a bed” don’t you think? We should implement evidence-based programs that treat far more than just their addiction. They work to transform them as humans. These programs have shown that with certain steps and a little support people can totally refrain from ever going back to relying on alcohol and/or drugs again.

The governments of most countries around the world, including the United States, now recognize that you cannot cure an addict by jailing them. Unfortunately, the people running our criminal justice system have a hard time admitting defeat. They cannot admit the fact that proven solutions actually exist that would solve the problem of addiction once and for all and that those should be implemented.

Hopefully, those who read these words will understand the meaning of Jesus Christ’s words when he said, “Whenever you visit someone in prison, you are visiting me.” Prison doesn’t have to be a negative place where those leaving are bitter, hostile, and angry, and more equipped than ever to commit crimes. Instead, it could be a place where they could experience a spiritual awakening that would be strong enough to motivate them from ever abusing alcohol or drugs again. It could be a place that motivates them to work toward becoming contributing members of society who will not do anything that would cause a return to prison. Federal addiction treatment camps are what’s needed. 

WHEN SOMEONE IS REACTING

SUSAN AMATO

MARCH 20, 2021



Reaction means “from” not “to.” When someone is reacting, it’s about the person reacting. Reactions look like they are towards other people but, in fact, a person reacts because the person is defending a feeling about himself due to a belief he cannot handle. 

STORY 1

A teenager with a serious drug problem felt that her mother hated her. The therapist asked why, and she said her mom would scream often and say, “You’re nothing but a drug addict, You’re a loser," and would call her other names. Her mother always told her she loved her, but she never believed her, instead she felt unloved.

The girl became sober and made a full recovery. After she got clean and was involved in a recovery program, she was left with unresolved feelings of the names her mom would call her when she was enraged. The therapist encouraged her to talk to her mom about it because she knew her mother’s reactions were about her mother.

When a parent reacts to any child, they are believing something negative about their own self that they cannot handle. The girl confronted her mother, and her mother confessed that her rage was due to feeling like she was a bad mother. When the daughter understood what her mother’s reaction meant, she was able to forgive her mother and dispute the negative messages she had received from the experience of her mother’s rage.

STORY 2

There was a young man plagued by anxiety. His father was a perfectionist, who wanted him to wear his hair a certain way, dress a certain way, believe a certain way and act a certain way. The young man explained that he never felt he could be his own person. Interacting with his father and trying to please him became impossible. The handicap of trying to be perfect only brought him shame. 

A script like this from childhood can cause a person to be an extension of that parent and later attract and be an extension of a future spouse. This man was living as an extension of his father instead of being himself. This young man had a severe inadequate theme that was driving his anxiety. He ended up going to therapy and worked on his anxiety. The counselor encouraged him to find out from his father why he wanted him to be perfect.

One day, the young man got the courage to ask him. “Dad, why did you try to make me look and act so perfect my whole life?” The young man was astonished to hear his dad’s answer. His dad was one of many children whose parents were religious addicts who lived in town. He said, “Son, if my children are not perfect, I will receive criticism from your grandparents that will be more than I can bear, so, I try to make you or anyone else I’m involved with presentable.” The man could not believe his answer.

The man could not believe his whole life he felt inadequate thinking something was wrong with him. Even this one surprised me. When someone is reacting, it is about him or her. The anxiety and negative messages this young man had, dissipated even more quickly, when he realized the truth about his father.

STORY3

There was a depressed woman who came in to see another therapist. Her husband was very concerned about her and brought her to therapy. The therapist asked her how long she had been depressed. She said she had been depressed as long as she could remember, since she was a little girl.

The therapist asked what the husband did when his wife was depressed. He said, “I take her to the ocean to see the boats, take her to nice dinners, buy her jewelry, buy her flowers, and try to do anything and everything to make her happy.”

The therapist asked, “What happens when you do these nice things for her?” The husband told of how she would get out of her depression temporarily, but then the next day she would be depressed again. The husband noticed when she got out of her depression, he felt important, but it was getting tiring as he had to constantly do something for her, and she was never happy for very long. The husband wished his wife would wonder how he felt sometimes and pay him attention.

The therapist encouraged the husband to pay his wife no attention when she got depressed and when she acted happy to do those nice things for her. In this case, the husband constantly rewarded his wife for her depression and subconsciously, that is why she was depressed. Neither one of them were aware of this.

When looking at her background, the woman’s mom was always depressed when she was little, and her dad would rescue the mom and try to pull her out of it. Her parents modeled this cycle long before she had recollection that she learned it. This was a cycle just like Pavlov ringing a bell and feeding dogs and then noticing they would salivate. This woman would get depressed like her mom, and watch her mom get love from her dad, through her depression. This depression cycle was certainly a handicap and limited them from progress. Once she realized the cycle she was stuck in, she was able to get out of it and feel happy.

STORY 4

Our final example is when a little boy came in with his parents to see his male therapist. This little boy every hour, every day, no matter where he was, would crow like a rooster. It seemed as though he couldn’t stop. He would stare into space and was very distant. The parents had taken this little boy to see his primary care physician, psychiatrist, and different doctors until the last resort was to see a counselor.

It was only but a couple sessions until the therapist sent the child out and kept the parents in counseling. The therapist wanted to know what was happening in the home right before the child began crowing like a rooster. The parents confessed there had been a lot of arguing between them and they were talking a lot about divorce. The therapist then realized that this eight-year-old little boy was brilliant. Ever since he started crowing like a rooster, the parents stopped talking about divorce and started concentrating on him and trying to figure out what was wrong with him.

Then the therapist bribed the little kid and said if he didn’t crow like a rooster for one week, he would give him one hundred dollars. The little boy proved the therapist’s theory; he went one week without crowing like a rooster and was given a hundred dollars. The therapist spent time with the couple and helped them get out of their negative cycle and their marriage was saved. As soon as they found out what the real problem was and dealt with it, all three of them changed. They continued on to have a very nice family.

We need to think before we react to others reacting.

REACTION HANDICAPS

1. Parent reaction: When reflecting upon our childhoods, we can remember many reactions of our parents that looked like they were towards us. Some of us have even been severely abused. The reactions of your parents at all times were a reflection of how they felt about themselves. 

2. Child reaction: Our children will react towards us. Even if we are trying to be the best parent we can be, when our child reacts it is a direct reflection of how the child is feeling about himself. 

3. Spouse reaction: When our spouse reacts, whether it be in a passive or aggressive way, it is a direct reflection of how our spouse is feeling about him or herself. 

4. Coworker/other reaction: It doesn’t matter who we are dealing with- a boss, a coworker, employees, neighbors, relatives, friends. If they are reacting even speaking abusively towards us, it is a direct parallel of how they are feeling about themselves. Don't take responsibility for other's reactions. 

5. God reaction: When bad things happen, and we think God took something or even took someone we loved from us, we may think it is because we are bad, and we deserved it. Perhaps we may think God hates us. When we believe God has reacted, it is a direct reflection of Himself. He may do things we don’t understand for a Higher purpose we may never know the reason for.

6. I with myself reaction: We get in our own way when we react. Whether we are abusive towards others or silent and hold things in, we all react. Blaming others for our reactions, instead of taking responsibility, will keep us stuck and rob us of our dreams coming true.

What makes the biggest idiot with the greatest handicap is when another person is reacting, and we think it is about ourselves. When another person reacts, he or she is defending a negative feeling about him or herself.  When you react to any person or even God, remind yourself, “This is about me”.


INTERPOLATION- HOW WE "GUESS" WHAT OTHERS ARE THINKING IN RELATIONSHIPS

SUSAN AMATO

.APRIL 30, 2021

Don't let this big word scare you! Interpolation  is when we take data from our past experience and project it onto our present experience to make a guess about what we think is happening. The handicap of interpolation is astronomically paralyzing because most of the time, we guess wrong. We must take another step and remove the cycle of interpolation from the way we live to get closer to realizing our dreams.

INTERPOLATION AND METEOROLOGY

Have you ever wondered why your local meteorologist says on TV that it is going to snow ten inches, yet it doesn’t snow at all? When we interpolate, we make an educated guess where we have no facts from a place where we have facts. Let’s imagine we are looking for the temperature for three cities. We have a thermometer (fact) in West Palm Beach, Florida and it says it is 70 degrees. In Boynton Beach, Florida we have a thermometer (fact) and it says that it is 80 degrees. In Wellington, Florida, a city in between, we have no thermometer (no fact) so we interpolate. We make an educated guess for that city with no thermometer (no facts) from the cities we have thermometers (facts) and make a guess that it is 75 degrees. Now when we guess, we may be right, or we may be wrong. Meteorologists do this every day. If they say it is going to snow and it does not, it is because they interpolated wrong. They constantly have to guess on situations where they have no facts from the other places where they received facts. Where we live in Florida, we get hurricanes. The meteorologists are constantly interpolating regarding the storms. For those on the ocean, if the meteorologist interpolates (guesses) there will be a hurricane, a person prepares with lots of food and water. They may board their windows or even evacuate. If the meteorologist was wrong and the hurricane never came, they were prepared, and nothing was lost. If the meteorologist guessed a hurricane was not coming their way and it did come, interpolating wrong could cost a person his life. Most people prepare either way and take the road of caution.

INTERPOLATION AND MATHEMATICS

When working with the intelligence community, while counseling in the state of Maryland, the engineers who worked at NASA would reference interpolation. I would hear things like “if we interpolate right, the spaceship will make it to the moon and if we interpolate wrong it will explode in the air.”

Therefore, to simplify this, those from NASA sending spaceships to the moon will take places where there are facts and then make an educated guess where there are no facts. If they guess correctly, the spaceship will make it to the moon, and if they guess incorrectly, it will explode in the air. What do our engineers and meteorologists do to improve the way they interpolate? Over the years they have changed and perfected ways to assimilate data. This is exactly what we need to do. We need to change the ways we assimilate data into our everyday lives, considering relationships can be the same way.

INTERPOLATION AND RELATIONSHIPS

Interpolation can be the silent killer in relationships. Our experience and the messages from our parents feel like fact. If a little boy is beaten by his father, he assumes he is worthless. When he grows older, he will take those messages that felt like facts and he will make a guess by thinking others think he is worthless as well. We take our parents’ opinion, experiences and negative messages from childhood and we carry them into today. We spend most of our adult life believing the negative messages that people told us about ourselves when we were little. We do this our whole entire lives and those around us are doing it. We have been conditioned with messages, just like dogs salivate when they hear a bell ring when they are expecting food. We received a negative message as a child, so we perceive that message. Just like meteorologists and engineers who guess based on their facts, we can be wrong, also.

We interpolate before we can even remember. Let us look at a systematic process of how interpolation takes place. A five-year-old little girl was attending Kindergarten. Halfway through the school year, when her teacher asked her to read, she was able to stumble through to the end of a paragraph. When the little girl finished reading, before the teacher was able to say anything, the little girl thought to herself, “I don’t think I read very well.” She thought this because she was raised by a mom who corrected and criticized her all the time. This made her feel inadequate. Her mom’s opinion of her felt like fact, therefore, when she read, she figured her teacher would think she didn’t read well. Did the teacher think she did a bad job? Was the little girl’s guess right or wrong? All of a sudden, the teacher spoke up and said, “You did a fantastic job reading!” The little girl was very surprised. The teacher was so proud because six months prior to this she didn’t know how to read at all. The little girl was wrong about her interpolation based on her past experience and often, we are too. When we guess wrong, we put ourselves through an unnecessary, emotional rollercoaster. Instead of making a guess, check it out and ask. Don't assume you know what others are thinking.


NEVER GIVE UP!

SUSAN AMATO

 OCTOBER 8, 2021

     Thomas Edison invented a light bulb. He may have failed more than one thousand times before he got the light bulb to work but eventually his invention contributed light to all of our lives. Thomas Edison never gave up. Walt Disney may have gone bankrupt several times but eventually he created Disney Land. Walt Disney never gave up. Ben Carson may have had a rough start when he was born to a young mother. He may have had a rough start because of bad grades and a bad temper. Perhaps because of his mom’s tough love and discipline, his grades began to rise. Eventually, one step at a time, he became a world-renowned pediatric surgeon. He never gave up.

When my niece was ten years old, Ben Carson, who depends greatly on God, saved her life by removing a tumor from her brain. My brother John, Emily’s father, would tell you he could not have made it through that situa-tion without the strength of his God. My entire family is glad Ben Carson never gave up! Penny Amato Richardson always says, “Do all you possibly can, the best you possibly can, as long as you possibly can. Do your best, and with God leave the rest.”

James Cash Penney was a poor minister’s son from Missouri. He wanted to be a lawyer but found himself in sales. Because of failed health, he went to a dryer climate in Missouri and found employment. His employment al-lowed him to make money and open a business. He had a few businesses fail and he also had two wives die. While he was known as a man of integrity, he suffered many hardships. He always wanted to open up a successful business. He did and then landed his biggest business of all called JCPenney. James Penney never gave up! Dreaming requires indefatigable determination! You must be re-lentless in the pursuit of your dreams. Even Oprah Winfrey says, “The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams.”  


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