Be In Your Own Life

Sometimes, I think that I’m masochistic to write articles about good communication in the wee hours of the morning. In fact, the other night when the moon was full, after my three daughters went to bed howling like women who run with wolves, the plug was pulled on my desire to be in my own life. Anyone else had to be better than me! My battery was drained, and my physical energy was definitely in need of re-charging. So I slept soundly, and dreamed of warmer and brighter days of a better mood.


Do you talk to yourself in caring and compassionate ways when you fall down or are drained energetically? You do talk to yourself, you know, for better and worse. Eight-three percent (83%) of the communication you engage in on a daily basis is with YOU. I assertively speak about the energy-boosting vs. the energy-busting importance of “talking openly and positively” to yourself in my third book, “Talk to Me.” Now, I write for pleasure. I also write for interaction with readers, which means, I love to hear your words of wisdom. Why talk out loud to myself in the middle of a dark night of the soul? Of course, I am not ashamed to admit I also write in order to sell books to support a family of five and this creative Web page.


So you’re not perfect; whatever. So your mood is blue when the skies are gray, whatever. So you shoot yourself in the foot now and then; whatever. Now this is the self-captivating and energy-catapulting choice you make every day in your inner skull talk:

  • You can be in your own life.
  • Your life can be owned by someone else who has taken over your inner life.
  • You can be in someone else’s life–telling them what to do and be and say and feel and what to like and dislike and who to vote for and against.
  • You can approve of or disapprove of your emotional experience, and worry yourself to death when you don’t feel centered-in-self (vs. self-centered) and confident (vs. insecure).
  • You can be a control freak, because your emotions are running out of your control, and you’re not having much (if any) fun.
  • You can strive to be liked for all the wrong reasons, and be a cardboard cutout of your true self and cutoff your true self and put your soul in a box.
  • You can fear healthy disagreement, and hide under your bed covers.


What does “be in your own life” mean? It means you aren’t running ahead of yourself, or stuck in an emotional swamp behind yourself, or driving in a thick emotional fog with your headlamps turned off. You face your emotions with dignity…and permit your emotions to communicate with you.


When you use my new communication approach, you will experience yourself going from the horse and buggy era to the automotive world and beyond. What have you got to say about that? Sadly, like every sage or sadsack, I fall off my horse and go “splat!” some fogged-in-wintry-days due to a lack of being on friendly terms with myself. And honestly, I sort of long to hear cheery and accurate words of compassionate caring, even though as a relationship psychologist, I’m running from pillar to post carrying a rucksack of fear that sprouts doom-and-gloom thinking everywhere I turn.


Do your words matter to anyone? When you speak, does anyone really hear you? Should you even bother sending a nice note to someone you don’t know very well? Here’s what a reader of recently wrote to me when my mood was as depressed as a flat tire with a screw sticking out of it:

What an honest, open and loving look into many, many people’s lives. I feel blessed that my sister loved me so much, she turned me on to this site. Thank you C., and thank you Dr. Dennis, for taking the time and the love to do this….for ALL of US. Muchas Gracias!

Well, needless to say my energy was boosted and my morale lifted to hear the cheer from afar. Mother Theresa was fond of saying your drop of water is what makes the ocean an ocean. The drop of water above whetted my soul and gave me hope that my words sent to Internet Heaven were being heard. Thank you, dear Reader with Radar!


Fear of feelings causes many communication shut-downs. We are not such good friends with our emotional selves, sometimes. I’ve practiced for years…and I still am not on such good terms with my feelings. I feel EVERYTHING…so do you. I want to connect and lean into relationships, not fall out of an effective communication loop. Somehow, the Reader helped answer these negative musings:

1. Are people going to get the message, Dennis? YES.

2. Do people want to learn how to drive on the two-way communicator highway, Dennis? YES!

3. Do you want to speak up with the truth when the screeching sounds of poor communication accidents is defeaning, Dennis? YES!

4. Would you like to get your way every day in every way, Dennis? YES! (ouch!)

5. Are you IN your own life? Being caring and kind to yourself first? YES! (still a work in progress)

6. Are you thinking as positively as possible, Dennis? YES!

7. Are you fear-full or love-full, Dennis? YES! (ouch, twice!)

Well, I guess we emotional human beings need to learn how to let go of being in conflict with our inner emotional selves. The conflict you and I engage in outside of ourselves reflects the conflict you and I are having with our emotional “inner selves.”


So, I beg you to send an “easy” positive e-mail today that recognizes how something someone said or did gave you hope when you were feeling completely hopeless. It worked for me, and I’m a clinical psychologist.


Dr. Dennis O’Grady is the author of “Talk to Me: Communication Moves To Get Along With Anyone.” O’Grady is a professional keynote speaker, seminar communications skills teacher, professional psychologist from Dayton, Ohio, and executive coach.

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