Can The Death of a Celebrity Cause Sincere Mourning?

Can The Death of a Celebrity Cause Sincere Mourning?

Short answer: Yes! A death of a celebrity can really cause a sincere mourning process!

This blog post was promoted from this post by Huffington Post.  Give it a read; it has a few tips for grieving the loss of a celebrity.

We’ve lost a ton of celebrities this year and it’s only April!  Most of these celebrities I didn’t know their work.  I have a friend whose young daughter was very infatuated with David Bowie.   My friend could attest, I’m sure, that her daughter has mourned his loss!  All of the mother’s friends knew of her daughter’s dream to one day marry Bowie.   There was a serious outpouring of condolences for this child when we heard that Mr. Bowie had passed away.   I was sad for Bowie’s loss but his music was not as much a part of my childhood and teen years as was Prince’s music.

So for the first time in my life I’m sincerely grieving the death of a celebrity and I know many of my friends are.   I’m not racked with grief as though I’ve lost a close friend but I do feel the loss.   Several times in my life I longed to attend one of his concerts but due to time or limiting resources it never happens for me and this is a loss for me.  I will never have that experience I had planned to one day have.

Music has always been very important to me throughout my life.   I spent my first two years of college as a music major on a full-ride scholarship for my vocal talents.   I only have a few artists that I love enough to grieve their death probably because I attempt to keep a close grip on idol worship in my life.

I realize a large part of my grieving process is because Prince’s music provided a sound track to my younger years and his death brings home the realization that I’m not a teenager anymore.  Yes I’m over 40 and although I know I’m a full-fledged adult feeling it is a different matter all together.   I know I’m not alone in this feeling of not realizing I’m an adult some days.   When we have enjoyed the talents of celebrities for decades of our lives it drives home the realization of our own impending death, especially when didn’t expect the death.   Robin William’s death was upsetting to me as well since I know I will no longer enjoy his acting talents in a new movie.  I think since Prince was a musician his passing hits me a bit harder because music can touch the soul.

Grieving the death of a celebrity you never met is not silly or a waste of time, it’s part of the process of realizing that nothing lasts forever and  everyone’s time here on earth is short.  So be sure to not waste a day of this life!

“Dearly beloved
We are gathered here today
To get through this thing called LIFE
Electric word, life.”

Influence of the Father

Influence of the Father

I had the privilege of attending a seminar about the influence of the Father.  The speaker was talking about the influence of our Earthly and Heavenly Father.  The speaker encouraged the attendees to write a list describing our earthly father (i.e. dad); then the speaker asked us to write another list describing our relationship with our heavenly father (i.e. God).  He encouraged us to really take time to think about each and resist the temptation to write what we know others expect to hear from us.

I was amazed at the similarities in my list.  I certainly used different words to describe the relationships of each; however there was a common theme among these lists.  It made me begin to think about how much influence does our relationship with our fathers and men on earth influence our perception of God.

If our earthly father tended to be gentle, caring and loving, are we more readily able to accept and believe in God’s gift of love, forgiveness, mercy, and grace?

If our earthly father tended to be critical, harsh, and strict, do we see God as our accuser ready to send us to Hell?

If our earthly father is absent, do we readily believe God loves us and will never leave us?

Much of the literature will say that our relationships and attachment with our parental figures does impact our sense of self and relationships with others so it doesn’t seem like a large leap that it would also influence our relationship with The Father, Our God.

My hope and belief is that if we have a negative perception of God and can change our perception of God, this would significantly impact all our other relationships, including our relationship with our self.  I would encourage you to create the same list as I created at the seminar; notice if there are any themes. Then search the Bible to find evidence of how God truly is.  Write those verses down and use them as a daily reminder.

Should Our Daughters Have A Best Friend?

Think Twice Before Encouraging BFFs

When I was a child I had a BF (best friend). In grade school this term of Best Friend went one step further and BFF (Best Friend Forever) was thrown around a lot. Talk about a lot of pressure! As adults, most people have a hard time staying married to one person for the rest of their life, but in GRADE school somehow girls think it’s reasonable to stay close to one person FOREVER!

Like most kids, I had a best friend in childhood. When I was in first grade I moved from one state to another and she was the first friend I made in my new school. I was the awkward new girl with a strong southern accent moving to a mid-west town full of kids with absolutely no southern accent. I’m sure I was desperate for a friend and since we were the same age, had many of the same interest, and she responded, we instantly became good friends. Our close friendship continued until high school when we began to grow apart. At the time I didn’t understand why this occurred, there was no argument or fight, we just slowly stopped calling and hanging out with each other. Near the end of high school, like most kids, I had a lot of things going on, most of which felt very emotionally overwhelming. When I lost that friendship I asked myself what I did wrong. It wasn’t until years past and I looked back on that friendship that I realized it wasn’t anything I did, she simply outgrew the need for a BFF and moved on, but unfortunately I wasn’t ready to.

Losing my BFF during my formative years, when I was trying to figure out who I was, had a very deep impact on me. I questioned my actions, motives and even my self-worth. Losing my BFF probably played a small part in me having an emotional break down and attempting suicide. I didn’t have anyone to talk to when I felt hopeless and worthless because I put all my deep friendship eggs in one basket, and when it came to an end it left me feeling very alone and vulnerable. Please don’t get me wrong, I’m not blaming her in the very least for my emotional break down and resulting suicide attempt, that was my fault! I bought into the myth of having a single “BEST FRIEND FOREVER.” I realize now it would have been healthier for me to have 3 or 4 solid, reliable friends that way we could help each other navigate the emotional horror that was high school.

I have not thought about the impact of that friendship for many years until I read a post entitled “Do Our Daughters Really Need A Best Friend?” by Emily Gaines Buchler.

The blog cites a new PBS show called “A Girl’s Life.” It vividly shows how best friends both empower and undermine a girl’s development.

BFF: a modern myth
In a number of ways, BFF-ism is a full-on myth, right up there with Prince Charming and life in the castle. And just as our girls are inundated with Disney princesses from toddlerhood on, they’re surrounded by messages that subtly (and not so subtly) tell them they need a best friend.
“When it comes to the BFF, girls are sold a bill of goods about friendship that looks a lot like the rubbish we’re told about romance,” writes Rachel Simmons, author of The Curse of the Good Girl: Raising Authentic Girls with Courage and Confidence, in an article for PBS. “There’s one person out there who is our match, and we’ll live happily ever after. The relationship with The One is supposed to be blissful, conflict-free, and permanent.”
But what really happens, Simmons explains, is that “girls wind up with wildly unrealistic expectations about themselves and their relationships, [and ultimately] blame themselves when reality bites, and the relationships shift or end.”

What if you grow up having to move from town to town every few years like many military kids? The girls that buy into the BFF myth often end up feeling that something is wrong with them because they can’t maintain that friendship over many years. Even if girls don’t move and this best friendship thing is possible, is it really healthy?

“Psychologists across the board agree that relying on one person to fulfill all of your emotional needs is unhealthy,” writes journalist Alice Robb in an article for New Republic. “Because these relationships are very intense, they are also very fragile,” says Robin Dunbar, an experimental psychologist at Oxford University, as quoted in that same article. “When they bust, they bust forever and acrimoniously.”
I fully believe God had a strong hand in me writing this blog post today. I was in the middle of writing and my girls were in the next room listening to songs they found via their tablet and I heard one, the lyrics went;
“You are my best friend, forever, and we won’t ever let that end, no never!”

I instantly stopped writing and went to my girls. I asked what they were listening to, listened to it again with them and then read them some of what I wrote here. I challenged the myth of having a single BFF and explained the importance of having a group of close friends to lean on. Talk about timing!
I get it, most of us have that “one special friend,” I know I do. However, when it gets to the point that they are the only support you have and your world would crumble if something were to happen to that friendship, that is when it crosses into the unhealthy. I don’t believe God intended for us to do that. Instead, I believe He intended for us, and even our children, to surround ourselves with like-minded Christians in order to support each other during this journey called life.

And so my challenge is this, not only for you but myself as well, to break the BFF myth and encourage our daughters (and sons too) to instead seek strong, meaningful relationships with a group of close friends.

Attachment Style and How it Effects Marital Sex

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Many couples come to marriage counseling for a primary issue but sexual issues are usually in the background. Adult attachment styles play a big part in those sexual issues.  Below I will give are the 3 most common attachment styles along with a 4th one learned from Jeff Hickey, LCSW.  This is some of what I learned in this awesome training:

Adult Attachment Styles

Secure: Self confident, socially skilled, comfortable with closeness, more able to stable and satisfying long-term relationships.

Anxious: Preoccupied with rejection and abandonment, seek romantic relationships, but see partners as untrustworthy, pursue to get a reaction or attention.

Avoidant: Uncomfortable with true closeness, self disclosure and dependence on others, utilize distance and numbing to veegulate affect. (Mikulincer & Shaver, 2007)

What This Means to You and How it Can Effect Sex in Your Marriage:

Secure: You have a positive view of self, no need to attack mate or use negative coping skills, comfort with closeness and give and take in bed, be in tune with spouse’s sexual needs (non pornified needs), sex deepens your love and increases secure attachment, sex doesn’t define sex.

Anxious: You are often over vigilant, sex is priming way to be close but lacks intimacy and closeness, preoccupied with spouse’s approval, preoccupied with performance not intimacy, difficulty asserting sexual needs, tend to have less satisfaction, lack of orgasm.

Avoidant: You are most likely uncomfortable with closeness and true intimate transparency, not comfortable with self disclosure, using distance And numbing to control feeling and closeness, stonewalling, looks independent on the outside but fearful of showing true self.

Disorganized: You use a mixture of anxious and avoidant attachment styles, neither of which works to make you feel good About yourself or be open and intimate with your spouse.

If you see yourself or your spouse in the negative styles don’t lose hope, they aren’t set in stone you can learn a healthier style. A small change can transform your marriage in a good way.  We would love to help.

 

 

Why Does Love Die?

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Susan Johnson, psychologist and researcher on love relationships and the author of “Hold Me Tight” and “Love Sense”, has the answers to why love dies.

1. Deprivation: Partners stop responding and attending to one another’s needs. Fighting increases and expressions of love decrease. Over time, partners feel totally isolated from one another.

2. Criticism: There is no such thing as constructive criticism, especially from your spouse, who should be your greatest support. When you hear criticism from your attachment figure (spouse or mother), your brain panics. It’s not the same as hearing criticism from your boss or a stranger. You need your partner to have your back.

3. Stonewalling: When one partner blocks out the other one and becomes emotionally inaccessible, the rejected partner panics. Even a threat, a criticism, or an insult feels better than to be completely shut out. That is why the person who is shut out will say or do ANYTHING just to get some kind of response.

4. Escalating Negative Appraisal, or “I interpret everything you do as bad”: Johnson says, “as the cycle of hostile criticism and stonewalling occurs more frequently, it becomes ingrained and defines the relationship….as a couple’s behavior narrows, so do the partners’ views of each other….she’s a carping bitch, he’s a withholding boor….every response is seen in the worst possible light.”

5. The Sudden Snap: Whereas the items listed above happen over time, in The Sudden Snap there is one cataclysmic event that kills the safety of the relationship. It may be an affair, or it may be another betrayal of trust.

Gottman’s Sound Relationship House Part 2

gottman 2This is the second part in a series on John Gottman’s famous Sound Relationship House. You can find the first installment Gottman’s Sound Relationship House Part 1.

The second level of the Sound Relationship House is called Share Fondness and Admiration. Gottman says it is the antidote to contempt, which is the most damaging emotion that can be shared in a relationship. Expressing fondness and admiration builds a foundation of caring and respect and puts “money in the love bank.”

Show fondness and admiration by:
*Saying I love you.
*Giving compliments.
*Bragging about your partner to others.
*Making him/her a priority in your life.
*Verbally expressing appreciation.

Read more in John Gottman’s books which can be found in our Pre-Marital/Marital Couples section here.