It’s a common scenario, when the structure of a family is altered by separation or divorce, issues come up which can benefit from open discussion in order to better understand the new family dynamic. Without attention, such issues can escalate and further strain family connections. But talking about those issues is difficult. How do you even begin? What happens if conversations spin out of control?
Text messaging, instant messaging, and posts to social media sites – these are now common forms of quick, easy communication. But as it turns out, these simple forms of communication also cause a great deal of controversy because, by their very design – easy, fast, simply stated, they are often not well considered by the author before hitting the ‘send’ button. Think about it, how likely is it that I am going to get a full message across to someone in just a few abbreviated words followed by an emoji?
This is the time of year many of us look forward to the holidays and make plans to reunite with loved ones. For many, our long-established rituals are characterized by a sense of love, happiness, and compassion. They are a strong source of warmth and security we yearn for within our daily lives. Ceremonial observances include activities, such as reviewing the past year and making plans for the future, engaging in nostalgic conversation over a home-cooked meal, decorating a shrine or ornamental object in the spirit of the holiday, or rejoicing in song and dance. Times like this are bonding opportunities with those we relate with and care dearly for. Our shared beliefs rejoin us at these special times of the year, however, as many have experienced, sometimes this familial togetherness harkins old tensions …
Let’s begin by pondering a few questions. First, if you had a choice, would you always want to be happy? Second, if you had a choice, would you live a life absent of conflict? I bet you’re thinking, “What’s the catch? If I had a choice, of course I’d rather be happy all the time AND have a life without conflict.” What would that look like? We all have times in our lives when we wish everything would slow down, straighten out, or be less complicated. Sometimes, life just keeps throwing us curveballs and it can be extremely frustrating, but does that mean we never want to be challenged? Never moved to tears? Never have to rethink a well-worn position? If life was always smooth sailing, would that result in happiness?
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