Maintaining your sanity in difficult family relationships

Maintaining your sanity in difficult family relationships

...It is difficult to modify relationships with the people we have known since we existed. Due to the closeness of these bonds, family can at times feel entitled to knowing things about your life or to having a role in it. When we try to change these dynamics it throws a monkey wrench into the relationship and it feels extremely uncomfortable, like a loose tooth. First: do not make the mistake of interpreting that feeling as an indicator that you are doing something wrong! It’s uncomfortable because you are trying out a new way of being with your family, and you’re not quite sure how to do that yet. Second: you are not destroying your relationships; you’re just making them something that you can actually live with without storing up resentment like barnacles on a boat. If things unravel for a time because you are asserting your right to live healthily, even if it is a life separate from family, their feelings are not your responsibility. They need to deal with their emotions! 

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The next two of seven choices you can make to reduce the feeling of anxiety.

The next two of seven choices you can make to reduce the feeling of anxiety.

...On the occasion that I have reached out to a friend or family member, even if just over the phone, I find myself having a much better attitude and perspective on life. The perspective beyond my own narrow little world is really important to put my stress in its proper place. It doesn’t take much effort either. Like I said, it can just be a phone call, or having that ice cream out with a friend...

Fast Food: My Two Cents

Fast Food: My Two Cents

...One of the reasons that therapy has an open-ended timeline is because it is specifically tailored to each individual. There are many approaches and techniques used by therapists that apply broadly to certain conditions, such as anxiety or marital problems.  However, the application of those approaches and techniques will vary from person to person or couple to couple. Research has shown that no matter what theory or technique a therapist uses, the primary mechanism of healing is the relationship between a therapist and client.  Developing a relationship takes time.  And that means that therapy takes time.    

5 Things to Know About Grief

5 Things to Know About Grief
  1. There is no right or wrong way to grieve—A lot of people have heard of Elisabeth Kubler-Ross’ book “On Death and Dying” and her five stages of grief. They are very common to experience, hence Kubler-Ross categorizing them. However, sometimes people fall prey to believing they are grieving wrongly if they do not experience all forms, or in the “right” order. This is impossible to predict, and no one should feel they are grieving “wrongly”. A great example is crying: one lady criticizes herself for constantly crying, while the person next to her criticizes herself for never shedding a tear, while a third feels terrible for making those around her uncomfortable when she cries. I informed them that crying is not necessary during the grieving process, while also being perfectly normal and nothing to be ashamed about. Crying or not crying are perfectly good, and are what you may need at a particular time...

What We can Learn from Jesus and Therapists

What We can Learn from Jesus and Therapists

...The revelation of Jesus comes to us in a powerful way through the Gospels which describe his interaction with different people.  In these encounters, Jesus relates to people in a way that seems to always produces some type of spiritual and psychological growth.   There are few people whom Jesus encountered who grew and changed as much and as quickly as a tax collector named Zacchaeus (Lk 19: 1-10).  This story is of a man who climbs a tree to escape the crowds and make great effort to see Jesus for himself.  To Zacchaeus’ surprise, Jesus not only sees him but says to him...

Mamas Of Lent, Despair Not! (Because We Have A Lot To Offer)

Mamas Of Lent, Despair Not! (Because We Have A Lot To Offer)

...So what am I saying? Well first, I”ll clarify what I’m not saying: I’m not saying be complacent, lazy, ignorant of the season or disregard it or to give up on things you feel in your heart you should—do what God says for goodness’ sakes. I’m imploring you though, Mamas and Ladies Of The Land: expand your hearts, deepen your senses of hearing, seeing, and helping God in others and in all situations this Lent and it will carry into the rest of your life. We’ll slip and struggle but that’s another reminder of what we always are, not just during Lent: imperfect without Him, but working on getting there, and loved as all get-out. I’m going to challenge us, not because I have any more of a right than any other woman of God, but because if we want to grow, we often need each other to do so...