The aftermath of a national tragic event like the devastation at Sandy Hook Elementary brings to life a world of painful wounds. Based on previous experiences and knowledge people react in three ways. They either get pissed enough to take action toward change using the event to move them toward more life and love, avoid pain becoming indifferent and apathetic, or stay stuck in pain and frustration captive in their own thoughts and behaviors.
It's unthinkable that when you send your child off to school you would ever receieve a call such as those parents in Newtown, CT did on December 14th. It's a parents worst nighmare. My heart aches for those families, as I know everyone's does. As a parent or one who works with children, you may face difficult questions. It is important that you address the topic with your child even if they don't bring it up - they most definitely have heard about it.
Breaking up, separating or divorcing is devastating at any time of the year but can feels especially horrible when it happens during the holiday season. This time of year is filled with images of happy families and joyful, loving couples exchanging meaningful gifts and sharing loving moments. The juxtaposition of these images and your reality is jarring. There is also the expectation for you to attend all the holiday events and join in the celebrations. All of this can leave you feeling overwhelmed and exhausted.
My maternal grandmother was a sweet woman. Everyone says that about their old grannies, I know, but I mean mine was after every sort of sweet candy, cake, cookie and pie (especially pie!) she could get her hands on. She was a sweet soul, too, don't get me wrong, but I loved the way she would allow us to have dessert first, and how when she went to Vegas with Grandpa she would head straight to the dessert buffets.
We’ve all been there. You just broke up with a boyfriend, husband, or long-term partner. Whether you thought he was The One, or the one for the year or month, it never feels good. Breakups are hard because they represent the loss of a shared commitment. Even breakups that make logical sense are still emotionally painful. Moving on can be hard, but there are essential steps to getting past your breakup that can ensure it takes less time to get from breakdown to breakthrough!
Recently, I wrote here about making the most of time. This month, I have been asked a lot about how people can overcome paralysis and self-sabotage, so I thought I’d pass on my ideas on the subject. Getting in your own way is all about how you relate your yourself. In addition to not managing your time effectively, there are many ways you can stop yourself from getting the most out of life—not enjoying what you have or have accomplished; not being able to get motivated, or finish what you begin; and having a negative focus, which leads to discouragement, anxiety, despair and
The grieving process can be a powerful catalyst for our spiritual awakening. When we experience loss, such as the death of a loved one, we long for the connection we once had. We long for what was that isn’t anymore. In our longing, we are invited to surrender and let go of control of how we think life should have turned out. We are invited into a deeper relationship with the Divine as we let go and trust the great mystery of life.
Recently, I received news that my 97-year-old Grammie was on hospice and dying after a fall from her wheelchair. Even though she was old and I knew her time on earth was coming to an end, I was still heart broken. I wanted one last chance to see her. While driving to her assisted living home, I went over and over in my mind the things I wanted to express to her…how her life had made a huge impact on so many, what an amazing person she was, how much I loved her. I felt sick to my stomach and had a lump in my throat as I didn’t know what to expect.
My husband John woke me up this morning on his way out the door to work and said, "I'm sorry to start your day like this, but you know that movie theater we used to go to in Aurora, Colorado? Well, I think it is the same theater where twelve people died in a gun shooting last night."
Anger is such a difficult emotion for so many of us to express. Women, especially, are taught that anger is ugly and we are bitchy if we complain or vent about feeling upset. Afraid of our anger and what it might appear like, we tend to hold it in and repress it. Simmering inside of us, it either turns into depression and we take it out on ourselves through addiction or eating poorly, etc, or it erupts like a volcano and comes out sideways and squirrely, not how we intended.
Out of respect to the families who were affected by the Aurora, Colorado shooting, I challenge each of us to dig deep into our souls and share our compassion with these families. Across the globe, we are all deeply affected by this senseless loss of life and its tragic aftermath. How can we make sense of something that doesn't make sense? How can we move forward knowing even a movie theater is not a safe place? The Dark Knight Rises is a great example of the mythic hero's journey. The hero's journey is one way to develop your inner strength. You can't attain inner strength by depending on others; you can see others as mentors, but the task or call is yours to figure out. "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink" is the motto for good mentors.
I’m in session with a client who is telling me about a very emotional event in her life. She begins to tear up, but she fights it and keeps the tears back. We continue to talk and she continues to fight. She isn’t fooling anyone. I can see the tears there, wanting to come out. Then there is a moment when one of us says something that makes it so she can’t hold them back any more and the tears begin to flow.
Going through a divorce can be similar to experiencing the death of a loved one. Sometimes it is quick and sudden or slow and gradual. In any case, the person you dreamed about growing old with is no longer a part of your everyday life. This is a huge loss no matter how dysfunctional the relationship was. Not only have you lost your life companion, but your sense of security, financial stability, parenting partner, and much more.
What does your heart do to heal when the friend you lost was packaged in fur and sported a tail? If you are a pet owner, you know in your head that your pet's life will probably be shorter than yours, yet the magnitude of their loss can be overwhelming. If your heart is filled with sadness from such a loss, here are five ways to find comfort and give you back some peace of mind.
You just found out your partner has a secret life, and has been sex chatting with men and women on several web "personals" sites. You trusted your partner and now, you can't comprehend a betrayal of this magnitude. You are in shock.
Grief Ominous and powerful, grief comes to us unplanned and often unwelcomed. Not only is it sadness, but it is mixed with disbelief, anger, and ambivalence. And it was no different for me recently. A friend of mine had been sick for many years, hiding his illness (until recently) to leave him and his wife to cope alone. This guy was a great man. A psychologist, a caring husband, and a leader in his faith community. A gentle giant with nothing but kindness in his heart. Shock