When times are tough, as hard as it may be, try to do the counter-intuitive thing. Open your hand; don’t close it. If you hold onto what you already have, clutching your resources, as if your very life depended upon them, it will. Your life will be dependent on what you are preserving – your […]
Without exception every one of you is gifted, talented, uniquely curious. You are to be treasured. Believe your parents or care-givers or teachers when they express something similar. It’s not just “adult talk.” It is not said just to get you motivated. Talent, power, and bravery are divinely endowed. They are yours. They are in […]
“Iron sharpens iron,” says the Proverb. Or, real friends help make us into better people than we are. They challenge us. They are unafraid to engage in necessary conflict with us because they know it is born in the desire of finding deeper connection, greater love. They are unimpressed with our pretensions. They see beyond […]
Eight ways to make your wonderful job even more wonderful: 1. Never let an opportunity pass to compliment a parent about his or her child. 2. Speak highly of your students, even the child whose performance may leave much to be desired. 3. Find the gold, the raw talent, the innate potential, in every student, […]
An offering of loving truth… Relationships are sweetened an enhanced when there is a mutual commitment to love and truth. They (love and truth) are foundational to trust, a cornerstone of family and community. Love and truth are pivotal to building meaningful history. They (love and truth) are both stepping stones and the pillars for […]
Your parents are the most important people you will ever know. Get things right with them, and you’ll be poised for success. By “right” I mean embark on the ongoing journey to develop your skills by loving, honoring, enjoying, and negotiating with them. If you don’t, if you settle for on-going conflict, you will probably […]
Counsel with your priest, rabbi, pastor, counselor….. Will almost always leave you feeling freer, more empowered, and with a greater appreciation for your skills and vast possibilities. I say “almost” because there will be times when, in response counsel, you will see the need for helpful introspection or the need for some radical personal changes. […]
A few ways to “grow” your sons and daughters – crucial conversations Talk about everything under the sun. Nothing about sex, money, death, grief, joy, pain, and fulfillment ought to take your children by surprise. Rid yourself of the oft-touted notion that men should talk to sons and mothers to daughters about sexual and intimate […]
“My husband tells me he does not love me anymore. At age 42 he started distancing himself. He had a bad childhood and cannot handle conflict. He has become obsessed with women on adult web sites. We have a 10-year-old whom we both love dearly. He told our counselor his motivation is a 2 out of 10. He refuses to move out because of the finances. I am sentenced to a dry loveless relationship. I screamed at him last night after the counseling session. He has no empathy maybe because he is ADHD. I am spent. What can I do?” The only way forward is for you to get your focus off your husband, his childhood, and what may or may not be besetting him. Shift your focus onto who you are, the strengths you have, and what you will decide to do with your “dry loveless relationship.” While you behave as a victim you will be treated as one. I know you can’t drag him into a healthy relationship but you can refuse to wallow in his misery. You are separate people even though you are married to each other. Until you learn to think without him (think your own thoughts) his debilitations will cripple both of you.
I’ve seen “broken wing” children in almost every youth gathering in every country I have ever visited. These are very needy young people who attempt to derail the focus of the group in order to get the attention they think they need. They look for sympathy and attention, and interpret both as the only expressions of love. They are very easily offended. They personalize the slightest, most unintentional oversight. Benign oversights are interpreted as rejection. New friendships become bindingly exclusive and anything short of exclusivity is considered rejection or even hate. When they don’t get what they want in the way they think it is to be delivered, they sabotage activities through moodiness, withdrawal, and threats. They often leave the larger group and expect to be rescued. They are often masters of passive/aggressive behavior and can flip from being upbeat to going “offline” in a blink of an eye. As teenagers they have an uncanny ability to divide communities. The wise adult leader pays this child careful, mindful, helpful attention. The wise leader does not permit him or her to derail the community. The wise leader does not allow the group to rescue their moody peer – but alerts the child’s parents so the child can get the help he or she really needs.
“It’s been six months since I lost the love of my life. The eight months was my happiest time ever. She ended it stating her oldest son did not like me! It changed when her oldest son starting drinking with his dad. My ex was married to a man for 25 years he drank and he smoked verbally abused her. He even attacked his own daughter. This has broken my heart. She says she’ll always remember me she was so sorry for the pain and upset and she never wanted to end. Her parents are also controlling and my ex feels guilty for staying so long in her marriage. I believe one day we will be together I am not giving up! Valentines day is approaching who knows what the future holds it’s all very sad! I know they are a troubled family!” I’d strongly suggest you make the break permanent and move on. The patterns and conflicts you describe run deep and your attraction to them is as dangerous as the patterns in her family. Attraction is very complex – and we are as healthy and unhealthy as they are. What’s pulling you to her is requires understanding. Unlocking these keys will free you to have a meaningful, freeing, and healthy love in the future.
I am daunted knowing the following becomes increasingly possible for my children the more I am willing to embrace these myself: To know and love the world, to be as comfortable and free abroad as they are in their home and neighborhood. To know and to love a small group of peers to discover the power friendship has to shape and inspire. To live in respectful, equal, and mutual intimate relationships where they are challenged to speak their minds, share dreams, and understand the qualities of mercy, freedom, reciprocity, and creativity. To understand the power of generosity, forgiveness, and hospitality to heal the scars of meanness and cruelty. To understand their boundaries – and have growing knowledge of who they are and who they are not, what they can and cannot shape. To have a growing, vibrant faith that includes, loves, accepts, and learns from those who mainstream faiths have traditionally rejected or marginalized. To have “unconquerable soul(s)” – heads that are “unbowed” and to become people who are “unafraid” as they learn to be “master(s) of their fate” and “captain(s) of their soul(s)” (INVICTUS). My sons and I have an unexpected visit to KwaZulu-Natal in the first week of April. Please contact Shirley@swcommunications.co.za for speaking appointments.
Do you think everything through? Do you follow your feelings? Do you go with your “gut”? It’s all about intuition isn’t it? Some decisions, surely, are beyond reason? Yes. Yes, to all of the above. People searching for answers to tough dilemmas ask these kinds of questions, as if the head and heart are separate entities, like a board of inner-authorities, waiting to debate. The questions are asked as if it’s one or the other, and, as if it is necessary and possible to distinguish among driving inner forces. I like to think things through. I also like to “feel” my way ahead, whatever that means. I trust my intuition. Occasionally it’s accurate. Sometimes I “follow my gut” and, while it has sometimes served me well, it has also has led me into torrential waters. I’d suggest there are few “right” or “wrong” decisions once a decision has passed through the “do no harm” filter. It’s the manner in which we live in response to the decisions we do make that “prove” decisions wise or unwise. Robert Frost said it best in The Road Not Taken: “....way leads on to way” hides in the third stanza and is I believe the poem’s most powerful sentiment, even more powerful than the oft-quoted closing lines.