Love is a universal feeling. Many people hide behind the word love to use it as manipulation and as a result it has lost meaning and value. What merits unconditional love? By definition unconditional means. We often hear people state that they want a love that is unconditional…a love that knows no boundaries, but what does that look like. Should I turn the other cheek when you are doing wrong? Do I sit back and allow you to become an addict? Maybe I should allow you to harm or disrespect me because that is what is unconditional. Also by definition unconditional love means caring about the happiness of another person without any thought for what we might get for ourselves In essence unconditional love can be very unhealthy for both parties. I am a firm believer that love should have conditions. I should love myself enough to show another person how to love me. Maybe we should ask for an judgement free love. This would be a love that has boundaries but not judgment. In essence, I will love you through whatever situation but I will also be your accountability partner. True love will not be blind. I cannot say that I love you and allow you to self-destruct. The bible talks about love in depth and I believe that this is the true definition of love without judgement. It reads:
Love suffereth long, and is kind; love envieth not; charity is not vain of itself, it is not puffed up,
Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
KJV 1 Corinthians 13:4-13
In other words love can heal all as long as it is concrete kind of love; truthful, an honest. So the next times someone talks to you about unconditional love, just suggest a love that is free from judgement but wrapped in truth and see how it work out.
A small boy was on a bus on his way home from Sunday school. The day was warm. The windows were open. The boy had received a motto on a card, “Have Faith in God.” As the wind swept through the bus, his card went flying out the window. He shouted, “Stop the Bus! My faith in God just went out the window.” — Faith That Works by Morris L. Venden
When the winds blow and knocks over your life, and the rain comes pouring down in your marriage, and the lightning strikes with a coworker, does your faith in God blow out the window? Someone once told me that crises and difficulties in life means you are in character college, earning your degree in Faith. Crises in life can be challenging and discouraging, a time when our faith can be shaken. Don’t let your faith go out the window. Talk to God about your despair and surround yourself with people who will encourage you in your faith walk.
The sun is out, and the weather is screaming summer time! Sun exposure is said to positively influence mental health. Sunlight is a natural remedy that increases the production of serotonin (the anti-depressant hormone). Sunlight, in moderation of course, is known to soothe and improve mood and decrease stress. Put on your sunscreen and take advantage of this natural remedy with adventures for a fun-filled summer!!
- Host a pool party (or luau party, BBQ party, etc).
- Pack your bags and take a last minute, weekend road trip.
- Watch the sunset or sunrise.
- Check out the local Farmer’s Market.
- Have a water balloon fight and run through the sprinklers.
- Visit the zoo.
- Make a summer playlist of all your favorites.
- Read a book on the library’s summer reading list.
- Check out the flea markets.
- Paint your toenails a sparkly, fun color.
- Go to the park and have a picnic.
- Check out a fireworks show.
- Try a new hiking or bike trail.
- Head to the water/amusement park.
- Pick fruits at a farm.
- Visit the botanical gardens.
- Purchase tickets to a live concert.
I recently attended a depression seminar. One of the ladies in the audience posed the question,:”how do you know if it is just stress or if it is really depression?” I was sitting there thinking how insightful. Why, because stress and depression have very similar symptoms. Both can cause changes in eating and sleeping habits at both ends of the spectrum……eating to little/eating to much…..sleeping a few hours/sleeping all day. They both can cause trouble with memory and concentration. They can both cause anger and irritability. The main difference between stress and depression is isolation and despair. Normally, stress drives us to be more ambitious but we tend to share these feelings with others. Whereas depression you tend to isolate yourself and have a sense that things will never get better. I found the panel very insightful. I do have a question? Because of the similarities, do you think stress can lead to depression?
We live in a society that places an emphasis on diagnosing and prescribing medications for what is considered “not normal”. The real question we should be asking is: what is normal? How does one define normalcy? Is anyone considered “normal”? If so, I would love to meet them one day.
The ones that hurt the most from this labeling is our children. Often children are diagnosed attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) for mistaken regular child-like behaviors. So, how do you know if your child is behaving like a “normal” child and when are they truly diagnosed ADHD? Well, here are the signs and symptoms for those that would be considered appropriate for the diagnosis ADHD (according to National Institute of Mental Health’s website: http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder-adhd/index.shtml#part_145444):
Children who have symptoms of inattention may:
- Be easily distracted, miss details, forget things, and frequently switch from one activity to another
- Have difficulty focusing on one thing
- Become bored with a task after only a few minutes, unless they are doing something enjoyable
- Have difficulty focusing attention on organizing and completing a task or learning something new
- Have trouble completing or turning in homework assignments, often losing things (e.g., pencils, toys, assignments) needed to complete tasks or activities
- Not seem to listen when spoken to
- Daydream, become easily confused, and move slowly
- Have difficulty processing information as quickly and accurately as others
- Struggle to follow instructions.
Children who have symptoms of hyperactivity may:
- Fidget and squirm in their seats
- Talk nonstop
- Dash around, touching or playing with anything and everything in sight
- Have trouble sitting still during dinner, school, and story time
- Be constantly in motion
- Have difficulty doing quiet tasks or activities.
Children who have symptoms of impulsivity may:
- Be very impatient
- Blurt out inappropriate comments, show their emotions without restraint, and act without regard for consequences
- Have difficulty waiting for things they want or waiting their turns in games
- Often interrupt conversations or others’ activities.
If you observe any of these signs or symptoms from your child(ren), make sure that you have them assessed appropriately by a psychiatrist or psychologist. Some of the symptoms listed can in fact be a result from other factors: environment, brain injury, or personality. Family First Counseling has counselors that can assist in helping your child reduce some of these symptoms through play therapy, without prescribing medications. Give us a call to schedule an appointment today!
Parents are in a hurry! Children are not! Parents are tired of changing and buying diapers and asking themselves, “When can I start potty-training?” Toileting can be frustrating! Frustration can lead to wanting to pull your hair out, bribe your child, and even spank your child into submission. Toileting is the last thing your child actually has control over in their life. You tell them when they can eat, play, and bath, but they tell you when it’s time to go to the bathroom. Gear up and put on your armor of patience because the key to learning this skill quickly is….(drum roll)… your child actually has to be ready!!
Anticipate when your child has to use the bathroom and take them to the bathroom during those times , (i.e. when they wake up, before/after snack, lunch, dinner, before/after nap, etc.). Read books about toileting to arouse curiosity and interest about the bathroom/toilet. Expect accidents! Never spank. You want the toileting experience to be pleasant – So praise and encourage any efforts for trying.