Given that our culture is not a culture of grieving it seems only natural that we would learn to stuff our feelings only to reach a point where our hearts shut down because of unresolved issues with our parents, others or things outside our control which lead to the amount of pain we carry inside.
Pat was the one to first introduce me to the thought that stuffing traumatic or painful events in our lives is not healthy. She helped me see that losing my Dad, my company and a youth organization my wife and I started deeply wounded me. Those around me had not allowed me to grieve. She believed that we must begin to grieve painful events in a healthy way within three weeks of the event. Otherwise we will stuff the pain deep within our hearts to resolve it and it will become toxic for the rest of our lives. It will seep into how we view ourselves and negatively affects us and those around us. Read More →
While looking within is often the hardest phase of healing, it is crucial. I am not talking about a cursory review of oneself at the mind level, but rather a process of opening the hatch to our hearts and becoming emotionally transparent with ourselves. We must allow ourselves to feel and find the root causes of the hurt and negative beliefs we have so carefully sealed from our consciousness. As I help parents and kids reach this place, it is amazing to see how unaware they often are regarding the pools of pain they are carrying within as well as the negative beliefs they have adopted.
When I ask them on the surface if they are okay with themselves, the answer is normally yes, but as we dig through a long list of questions about their lives, unresolved hurts and deeply held negative beliefs begin to surface. Identifying the sealed off hurts within our hearts and the negative beliefs is essential to healing that brings with it internal contentment, peace and joy. Read More →
Healing the heart is not a science or a linear process but an inward journey of discovery, reflection, and emotional consciousness that leads to deep healing. It does, however, require a significant mental decision and commitment. Why? It takes time, personal transparency, and a willingness to discover the suppressed reality that lies within.
This discovery process is not easy and often uncovers pain that we inherently like to avoid which is likely why we stuffed it originally. When pain accumulates, it causes us to deep six our hearts and shut them down, in effect sealing the hatch to the submarine to avoid the storm within. Read More →
Healing within has made a huge difference in the relationships in our family. So many of the sensitive spots that caused me to fear, react or get angry are gone. When those things trigger within us, we often assess the full weight of the uncomfortable or angry feelings to the one thing our kid or spouse said. If we had healed the sensitive spots or pools of pain in our hearts, the impact of what they said or did would not have kicked off such strong feelings of pain, anger or hurt. This is just one of the reasons healing within is so important. Removing the pool of pain and triggers makes it far easier to be the type of loving, listening and strategic parent we desire to be. Read More →
Trust is a tricky topic when it comes to families and especially the parent-child relationship. We have been programmed since childhood to believe trust is earned. The challenge with this view is that this means we basically need to be perfect in our relationships. Under this view when things go wrong in a relationship, we lose trust. When trust exits a relationship, communication becomes more difficult, suspicion increases and emotional distance grows. This is one of the reasons that friendships, marriage and business relationships often die when trust is lost.
I believe trust is the foundation of love. In the absence of trust it is virtually impossible for emotional connection and love to form. Apart from trust we will not take the risk of being open, transparent and of being hurt by someone we allow to get close to us. Read More →
This is a topic many parents and kids struggle with…how do we get our kids to help clean up around the house. Over the years of parenting four kids, here is what we found is better to make “clean up” fun and a team sport.
We found that chore charts and expectations supported by lectures or consequences lead to tension between the kids as some things were easier than others, as well as motivation issues with getting the tasks done. Read More →
One of the keys for family connection that builds a sense of togetherness is TALK, simple on its face, but complex in its execution. Our challenge as parents and grand parents is establishing a culture of communication that builds and encourages open communication and togetherness. We desire to be together but pools of pain within, unsolved issues, and poor communication habits can rob us of what we truly desire.
The kids that helped coin the five “Ts” at our family camp wanted to talk deeply, transparently and on an emotional level with their parents which was something their parents neither believed nor understood coming into the week. Many adults did not have open and emotional conversation with their parents, which was the case with this family setting them up to miss having a deeper connection with their own kids. Read More →
Time is a tricky topic today especially for parents of older kids. It’s tricky for a number of reasons:
- Our busy lives and schedules
- The financial pressures many families face today
- The sense that our kids want to spend little to no time with us as they get older
Recently a family that came to the pilot of Revive’s family camp was surprised by the desire their kids ages 17 to 22 had to spend time with them. Even their college graduate expressed a sadness that now that the family was working on the family dynamics she regretted she was heading off to a full time job in another city because she desired time with the entire family.
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The Vital Nature of Transparency
The family that came for Revive’s family camp could not have anticipated the change that would begin with just one week of time, fun and transparency. The importance of transparency cannot be overstated when it comes to family connection and togetherness.
Transparency is a delicate topic and can strike fear into the hearts of adults. Yet it is vital and must be encouraged, guarded and protected within our homes. For me becoming transparent required pursuing healing in my own heart because prior to this to there were just too many sensitive spots that led to pain that people could trigger in me without meaning anything. I had a strong sense that I needed to protect myself, which of course meant I could share little or nothing about my real life, thoughts or feelings. Unfortunately this is the position I find far too many kids in today with their parents and siblings.
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At times it is hard for parents to believe that their kids desire to be close to them and each other given the behaviors and attitudes they observe in their homes.
Recently I had the pleasure of having a family come for Revive Family’s, Family Camp. During a week filled with fun, tears and laughter, the three kids shared like never before with their parents each echoing the desires for their families so many kids have shared with me. These desires were music to their parents’ ears once they came to understand and believe their kids’ perspectives.
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