Pack Your Bags

Doctors often use the word trauma to describe the effects of serious injury to the physical body, and the bruising  that is left behind from the sudden impact. We can also experience emotional trauma in the same way, and the bruising can be just as severe as with a physical wound. Just like a wound to our physical bodies, emotional trauma requires care and attention so that it may heal.

 If the trauma is left unresolved, it may affect our sense of self and wholeness as a person. This in turn affects our relationships, by bringing a piece of “baggage” into our present.  Emotional trauma can result from any experience in which a person feels that their life or well being is endangered. These experiences can be a divorce, and affair, or other life changing events. Our natural instinct is to protect ourselves, and may manifest as avoidance, denial or repression of the event. Symptoms of unresolved trauma may include addictive behaviors, anxiety and depression.   

 The impact on relationships is severe- wounds that continue to fester, low self esteem, and a complete unawareness of the intensity of negative emotions that are present. Triggers are common, and may unintentionally reopen the wound.

 When trying to heal a trauma from your past, what can you do to resolve the unresolvable?

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If you have had a traumatic event that is affecting your relationship, here are some ways to begin the healing process.  

 1. Understand trauma and its affects- read books, talk with a therapist, and get some outside help. Trauma is very difficult to deal with alone.

2. Develop emotional resilience- as hard as it is, you need  to experience your feelings, not push them away. This can also be accomplished through the help of a therapist.

3. Learn new ways of self soothing- develop self caring behaviors that give you positive feelings. These positive feelings will also spill over into your other relationships.

4. Make sure that you give yourself time- and lots of it. Healing does not take place overnight, and everyone heals at their own pace.

 Healing of trauma is like the healing of any other broken body part, and essential to a whole, healthy life. Making efforts to heal brings us more into the present, making room for connection and intimacy with our loved ones. If you have suffered a trauma, don’t wait any longer to begin the healing process. You’ll be glad that you did. 

How To Have The Best Holidays Ever! 

Top 10 Ways To Have The Best Holidays Ever! 

The Christmas holiday season will soon be upon us. And with it will come the hope that this one will be truly magical. However, many of us quickly get bogged down in busyness, stress and old patterns. Here are 10 ways to turn that dynamic around and get that holiday magic back again.

  1. Give yourself a break. Perfection-even perfect happiness-just isn't possible. Let your best be good enough. Make a budget for both your time and your money-andstick to it. It really is the thought that counts.
  1. Make conscious decisions. Get clear about what you really want to do over the holidays before compromising with others. If you don't have a clear plan and clear intentions, it's easy to get swept along by others' desires. Even if you do compromise later, get yourself clear first.
  1. Shorten your to-do list. What do the holidays really mean to you? For many, it's about family and friends and spirituality. If an action or to-do item doesn't add to your holiday spirit, scratch it off.
  1. Say no when you want to. It's very liberating- I promise! Try it and see- it sounds simple, but too often obligation trumps desire. When faced with options, choose the one that would make you happier.
  1. Limit obligatory activities. If you can't avoid certain events, limit the time you're there.
  1. Take good care of yourself. The old standards help keep stress at bay: eat healthfully, exercise, drink lots of water, and breathe deeply. Schedule time for relaxation and fun.
  1. Start early. To avoid a last-minute frenzy that can bust your budget, start shopping or making presents now.
  1. Ask for help. Reject any notion of martyrdom. The burden of preparations should not fall upon one person. The more specific you are in your request, the more successful you'll be.
  1. Establish new traditions. If you have experienced a major life-changing event, such as a death or divorce, consider doing something you've never done before over the holidays, such as travel to another country or take a cruise.
  1. Get support. If a glorious holiday season feels completely out of reach, you may experience the holiday blues. Many people do.Don't beat yourself up for feeling that way.

Reach out for the support you need.

 

Tips for Blended Families Celebrating Thanksgiving

By Sylvia Cochran Are you combining your spouse’s children with yours this Thanksgiving? His/Her, mine and ours is not always a recipe for blissful success.

Instead, there is a good chance that underlying emotional currents will make this Thanksgiving meal memorable for all the wrong reasons. Celebrating a grace-filled Thanksgiving takes a lot of effort on your part — but it is well worth it.

Recognize That You Are the Norm - The University of Houston reveals sobering and enlightening step-parenting statistics. Figures show that 50 percent of youngsters are currently raised in blended families. This dynamic is quickly eclipsing all other types of family setups. A somewhat surprising statistic points out that over 50% of second/third marriages that end in divorce are caused by the children. It is clear that children have a lot of influence on family dynamics. Holidays — including Thanksgiving — are prime time for stress and strife.

Recognize Why Kids Can’t “Just” Fit In - There are feelings of betrayed loyalty and the fear of betraying a biological parent’s allegiance. There are new family members to get to know and adapt to. Competition between half siblings is common. Thanksgiving traditions vary. Holiday customs are different and beloved tasks may go by the wayside in a new family.

Recognize That Taking Vows United You and Your Spouse, Not You and the Children - You new wife may have promised to love, honor and obey; your new husband may have sworn to cleave unto you until death do us part, but your step children have taken no such vows. They are simply along for the ride. Do not expect them to live up to your vows — after all, they were left holding the bag the first time around. If your spouse is a serial-marriage partner, there is even less of a chance that the children might willingly give their hearts.

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