Total Behavior

Posted by jael on Mar 7, 2012 in Blogging, Spiritual Journey |

William Glasser, M.D. challenges my beliefs with a yesterday, today, tomorrow reality that cousins Scripture. As adverse to idols as ever, I do not assert him a deity, rather I acknowledge that his psychology of personal freedom well partners my Christian faith. We all have vinyl in our heads, a combination of feel-good songs and rank rants. Within my mind, my shiny Jesus and Glasser are happy artists that both sing from the hopeful label of Joy.

Joy pours from the fountain of the stream of life as certainly as my deep cries out to Deep, “Come Lord Jesus come.”

How does Glasser factor into my prayers this morning?

Glasser’s concept of Total Behavior helps me consider why I choose to do (and choose not to do) the things I do.

Total Behavior refers to four components in Reality Therapy: Doing, Thinking, Feeling and Physiology.

Glasser challenges us to consider two, total behavior loops and their outcomes. One path examines total behavior that leads us away from our Quality World, what we value and desire. The other looks at total behavior that drives us toward our Quality World.

Glasser created a chart to visualize these choice loop complete with color symbology. Scarlet represents the total behavior loop that leads us away from our Quality World. Yellow symbolizes total behavior in accord with our Quality World outcomes.

I tell you all this to to confess that like Dorothy in her Ruby slippers I have wandered away from the yellow brick road of home, my Quality World, especially in regard to my writing.

Instead of writing, I’ve been depressed.

Glasser would confront this sentence with the friendly assertion that I have been choosing to depress or depressing. He would remind me that people choose to depress for many reasons that include the following: to keep anger under control, to get others to help them, to excuse unwillingness to choose something more effective and to gain power or control over others.

Glasser would encourage me to make choices that focus based on what I am doing (or could choose to do instead), instead of what I am feeling.

This is the direct opposite of what I have been doing of late. My focus has leaned too heavily on feeling instead of the cornerstone of my precious Faith and doing (putting my feet to it!).

All this emphasis on feeling kept my choices in the scarlet total behavior loop of withdrawal.

Wanting to feel less or feel differently, I’ve instead chosen to withdraw.
Like the impotent scrivener, Bartleby,
“I would prefer not to.”
So I’ve stopped talking,
and communicating-
especially to the people I most miss from There, our former home.

These choices haven’t made me feel better, in fact, this total behavior has deepened my choice to depress.

This post is a battle is my battle cry!

He makes everything glorius.
I prefer to!

I know my Redeemer lives.
I know my pen sings Him praise.
I know that I miss you because I love you so.
I know I should write.

I choose to post that my Redeemer lives!
I choose to write that my pen sings Him praise!
I choose to record here that I miss you because I love you so!
I choose to write!

“To be happy, I believe we need to be close to other happy people.” -William Glasser

To be happy, I believe I need to stay close to my dearest There-dwellers. Your portraits hang in my Quality World gallery under lights.

You say I took the name in vain
I don’t even know the name
But if I did, well, really, what’s it to you?
There’s a blaze of light in every word
It doesn’t matter which you heard
The holy or the broken Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah!








Mar 7, 2012 at 9:24 pm

So glad was I to see a broken hallelujah pop up in my inbox that I drank your post down in two big gulps like you do on a hot day when you’re parched. I hope it won’t give me stomach cramps. 😉 Silly me to think perhaps you had merely been busy, distracted, immersed in some grand project (or many grand projects) down there–all of which may be the case–but I didn’t factor in that you may be withdrawing and huddling into sadness. I’m glad you’re choosing to pen your praise, your thoughts, your love. I choose to gobble them all up like the tasty morsels they are, and to burp my love and appreciation, Asian compliment-style. xoxo

Mar 9, 2012 at 4:27 pm

I’m glad to read your post. I thought perhaps you were going to begin another blog and I was going to be sad I didn’t get the invite. I want to say that feelings are a gift. To walk with no reminder of being alive to our transitions and experiences, to be numb, now that is scary, except it wouldn’t feel scary cause you wouldn’t feel so it would be more like a distant intellectual observation of the void where healing ought to be taking place. I think your feelings are important, sad or joyful. I pray for a lifting of your depression and honor your choice to Rise Up. It always helps me to remember to do the same. “I will wade out till my thighs are steeped in burning flowers”

Love you always


Mar 11, 2012 at 4:05 am

“the very same god that spins things in orbit runs to the weary, the worn and the weak, and the same gentle hands that hold me when i’m broken, they conquer death and bring me victory…now i know my redeemer lives.”

let all creation testify. 🙂

Mar 23, 2012 at 12:08 pm

My Sweet Friend,

“Life intends Life. There is no death that is not another life beginning. There is no end that does not start anew. In every loss, in every grief, the hand of comfort,the hand of faith, waiting to move forward into new ways.” Julia Cameron

In times of adversity, there is help; one need just ask for it!

I know the distance from There. I identify with your struggle to connect to Here…

What I know is that the circle I had there will no longer look the same Here, but a new configuration is emerging. It has been almost 4 years…

We have to move again(local)and I do not have a friend, who in the early morning will show up at my house to paint my stairs or fold my laundry.

It was the JOY and SPIRIT of YOU!! One in
5 billion!! What a gift you are.

The challenge is to find the unexpected blessings in times of adversity.

always in your corner!! xoxo



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