Tag Archives: Katherine Gordy Levine


The more we know about what drives us,  the stronger our #emotionalintelligence. Uncertainty drives much behavior.

Uncertainty rules

Emotional Fitness Thoughts and Tips

Guru and retired Harvard Researcher Jerome Kagan centered much of his research on how uncertainty twists our thinking, lets emotions rule, and is a major source of anger, fear, depression or despair.

He points out that much of an ‘infant’s time is spent taking in information from the surrounding environment. This leads to beliefs that “What is ought to be.”  Once such a belief forms it is held to with great subborness.

Understanding this idea about how our brains get programmed, makes it much easier to understand why abused children seem to invite abuse by being  or in time more easily become victims of domestic abuse as adults. How ?  One of my many foster children, explained it to my husband and I when we first struggled with learning to care for previously abused children.

Here is what he said, “You treat us better than our parents, that hurts, be more like them, smack us around once in a while.”

His hurt was the uncertainty created about whether his and the other foster children were loved by their parents.  Of course, most were. However, because that love came with abuse, the children believed “Abuse was part of love.”

Our refusal to smack our foster children around challenged those this idea about the meaning of love creating doubt and uncertainty  about whether their parents loved them.  Much of our foster children’s behavior was their efforts to  get us to behave more like their parents. The more we could be made punishing and seen as mean, the less our foster children were forced to doubt their parents love.

Kagan makes the point such uncertainty leads to what he calls “The Need to Resolve” uncertainty.  He believes that after survival needs this need is as strong and sometimes stronger than sexual desire.

Kagan also points out that there are four ways humans tend to resolve uncertainty. They are:

  1. Ignoring any source creating doubt.  Think of people not watching news or not learning the ins and outs of the internet.
  2.  Angry blaming of anyone or anything creating doubt.  Think of throwing a smart phone across the room because it makes you feel dumb. Think of prejudices particularly against religions do not believe as you do.
  3. Blaming yourself and thinking you are incompetent or stupid.  Think of the throwing the Smart phone across the room and then getting depressed for being so dumb.  Then think of feeling dumb because a seven year old can operate your new Smart phone and you cannot. Religions foster uncertainty by the belief bad things happen as punishments of individual or group sins.
  4. Despair and giving up on large and small tasks.  Think of going back to a land line because you don’t think you can learn to use a Smart Phone.  Think of deciding peace on earth is not possible.

What to do? The first step in not letting doubt and uncertainty rule your behavior is to accept that it does.  So the next time you feel angry, stupid, incompetent, or like giving up, ask how the feeling relates to uncertainty.  That’s the beginning. More next post.


Nothing makes us doubt all we know ,more than pain. The more intense the pain, the greater the uncertainty. Don’t agree?

Think of  the almost constant cry from those suffering,  “What did I do to deserve this?”

If we can figure out something we did, we feel more in control of our lives and are less plagued by doubt. Reality Check: Bad things happen sometimes because you did the wrong thing, but much of the time because you are not the controller of all that happens.

Think for a few minutes about the downside of controlling everything? Not good, better to stay closely focuses on what is actually yours to control. Much less than you think.

Thank you for all you do, enjoy and be grateful for all you have been given, practice kindness, like, share or comment.



This post relates to this DAILY PROMPT : When was the last time you watched something so scary, cringe-worthy, or unbelievably tacky — in a movie, on TV, or in real life — you had to cover your eyes?

My reply: Real life is very scary these days. Turn on the news or surf the social media and you will find yourself turning away.  I do. Three things bother me the most:

  1. The pictures of the innocents dying as war makes it way across our world.
  2. The pictures of abused animals.
  3. The one sided thinking and blaming rants of all fanatics.

I don’t look at the pictures, but I do try to persuade those who see only one side of any dispute to spend a moment or two pondering “What if” the other side has more truth than you side.


 IMAGE BY mchumor.com




Sexy daydreams (fictional encounters)

Even while  pushing 80, I fantasize encounters out side of the bonds of marriage; in those encounters no need to worry about safe sex rules which are:

ready for sex postser.Actually I made the above poster for parents of teens. But the rules apply to everyone, so I am posting it here and on my Parents Are People Too Blog.

Thank you WordPress Daily Prompt for making today’s post so easy.  That prompt: Go down the rabbit hole with Alice; play quidditch with Harry Potter; float down the river with Huck Finn… If you could choose three fictional events or adventures to experience yourself, what would they be?

The sex scene in Juliet in Zefereli’s Romeo and Juliet sex scene, Scarlett O’Hara being swept off her feet by Rhett Butler in Gone With the Wind; Replacing any of Johnny Depp’s lovers but he will be Don Juan DeMarco not a pirate. Need I say more.


One of the way priests and other control seekers gain power is by declaring thoughts the same as deeds.  Caused former President James Carter to confess to sinning.  His sin: He lusted after other women in his heart.   No sin in my book.

Then there were any number of presidents who did more than lust in their hearts. As I don’t know the exact nature of their sexual contracts with their partners and sexual contacts, I withhold judgement.

Tip one: If not lusting in your heart keeps you from acting badly, lust away.

Tip two: If you do more than lust in your heart at least follow my safe sex rules.

Tip three: If a parent, teach your version of the safe sex rules, but be alert to the power of desire.  Do so with a matter-of-fact attitude, rather than hell and damnation threats.


Few things require more thinking about than our sexual desires.  Some say men in particular tend to think with two heads and the one between their legs often rules.  As sexual tensions build, that head takes over more and more. Which is why I personally believe enjoying sexual fantasies and even indulging in the too often forbidden pleasures of masturbation might do more to bring peace on earth than trying to repress such  thoughts or deeds.

If this offends you, apologies. However, do think a bit about why and then about how helping all find safe release from the build up of sexual tensions might  help create peace on earth.

I hope you find my posts of value.  If you do,  practice internet kindness by liking, rating, commenting, or sharing.  Even if you dont’ agree, comments are welcome.

Thank you for all you do and as always work to stay strong, which while is not  easy, more possible than you might think.

Love all,



 IMAGE from: The EFTIStore Website


 Shame on me for letting shame hurt so much. Started with being math and writing blind. Conquered a bit, but now revisiting as aging addles my brain.


Shame seeks to isolate.  When you find out what people do not share, you find out what shames them.  Shame isolates and leaves you on your own. I have battled most of my life because of dysgraphia, and dyscalculia.  Both can meant hours of shame because I can’t easily spellcorrectly, punctuate, remember grammar rules or do simple sums.  

Even into day’s world of greater understanding of such things, the shame of my hours at the black board trying to so what I could not do has left its fire banked but always ready to reignite and turn my cheeks read.    

How did I become a published author, paticularly given my dysgraphia: Love of reading which lead to wanting to be a writer, the blessing of good people including parents who encouraged learning and teachers who looked past the errors to the content;  an inborn stubbornness; and the  advent of word processing and the computer with it’s little red lines helping someone like me spot the majority of my errors

Emotional fitness tips for defeating shame

If shame makes you want to sink through the floor or otherwise run and hide, only two things will defeat its fire.

Tip one: Make sure you are not doing something unforgivable. Molesting children, raping someone, murdering or torturing another are the ones to worry about.

Shame is designed by nature to prevent such unacceptable behavior, what I have come to think mostly of the Cain and Abel sins. No matter what the therapists say, parents are far less guilty of creating shame.

The big shame creator? Most religions and particularly those that evolved when women were considered property and temptresses. This has created much shame about normal sexual behaviors. Two examples:

  1. Think of the big M and I do not mean menopause.
  2. Think of the women covering their bodies from head to toe so men will have less trouble controlling their sexual desires.

Tip two: Once you know you are not committing the unthinkable do the opposite of what shame suggests. I write on and I also  post about my weakness and what shame wants me to keep hidden. Doing so loosens its hold on me.  I call doing so Practicing Imperfection.  None of us is perfect, it is not the human path; moreover, when you think about what matters, good enough and almost good that strives to be kind to self and others matters more than any thing the media suggests being.

I can hear the more grammatically correct among you saying don’t publish anything until someone else has edited. True, true, true, and my error cost me readers.  But my writing will never be completely error free. My eBooks are edited. My blogs and poster coaches are mine alone and although the mistakes are few they crop up and each one shames me, but does not defeat me.


Remember shame is only useful in keeping you from harming others. Otherwise, smile as often as you can, be grateful, practice kindness, and continue doing what shames says you should not do. Shame is powerful, but can be kept from keeping you from doing all you should be doing for a happier life.

I hope if you find my posts of value, you will  practice internet kindness liking, rating, commenting, or sharing. If you have downloaded a poster coach or an eBook  with an error, let me know and I will correct it and send you a new copy.

Thank you for all you do and as always work to stay strong, not always easy, but worth while.


This post was inspired by this Word Press Daily Prompt      Unsafe Containers: Which emotion(s) — joy, envy, rage, pity, or something else — do you find to be the hardest to contain?

Links and articles of interest



I advocate playing as a way to improve your emotional intelligence.  Read this: play means fun for all and not  one upmanship ploys.

Double binds, a power game

Eric Bernes’s popular book Games People Play, made game playing the stuff of popular psychology.  However, long before Berne’s book, my brothers did the “Heads I win, tails you lose ” bit with me.

The psychologists call this a double bind and for a while blamed parents for creating  mental illness by playing double bind games.  And yes, being trapped all the time in what my mother called “A damned if you do and damned if you don’t” situation can make you feel a bit crazed.  However, double binds alone do not create mental illness; and in fact those living with a person with mental illness can be  trapped in double binds created  by the person with mental illness.

All people like to win; winning feels good at least for the winner. Can you win and still be among the emotionally intelligent? Yes, just keep kindness working a bit harder than the need to win.


All relationships are built on balancing acts.  Who is going to control what?  Who needs who more? Who loves who more?  Who does more?  The best advice for a healthy balance in a marriage comes from John Gottmans’ Five to One Rule. For every minute spent in a negative interaction five minutes of positive interactions kept the marriage stable.  Works well for every relationship.

Conflict,  power gaming,  and will struggles are not problematic in any relationship as long as   more times of peace, fun gaming, and caring compromises exist.

This post was inspired by a Daily Word Prompt Trick Question  A Pulitzer-winning reporter is writing an in-depth piece – about you. What are the three questions you really hope she doesn’t ask you? “I don’t want any trick questions, thats all I have to say about this prompt.”

Thank you for all you do and if you find this post worthy send it on to someone else.



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