Dreams Left Behind

Forgive Yourself

Part 3 in the series on understanding procrastination.  Part of the process of ending procrastination is gaining understanding in the reasons why we put things off.  Fear of failure and fear of rejection (closed doors) can be powerful players in the realm of putting things off.  Knowing and accepting that failure and imperfection is part of life and part of the process of reaching our goals is key to persevering.

R is for Romance

R is for Romance

Pastor Jimmy Evans says on his website that romance is about focus. He goes further to explain that the reason you were naturally romantic when you were dating is that you were focusing so intently on the object of your affection and trying to gain his or her love and loyalty. According to this everyone is romantic while dating. That makes sense since we really study each other in those early dating weeks or months. Jimmy Evans says that focusing on one another means, “you are on my heart and I am not distracted by other things.”

No romance or a lack of romance suggests an issue and it is your warning sign. Romance should not be saved just for the special day we call Valentine’s Day, but instead it should be everyday of your relationship. When there is no more romance in your relationship you have lost the focus off of each other and onto something else.  This can be a dangerous stage in your marriage. Bring romance back into your marriage by meeting your spouse’s love language. I strongly encourage making a commitment this Valentines Day to each other to have a date night every week. It is so important to carve out time for just the two of you. We are also here to help. Give us a call!

5 Stages of Grief

5 stages of griefWhen we experience a loss in our life (family member, friend, pet, career, etc.), we feel a lot of emotions.  In my last blog, I wrote about how I lost my past boyfriend due to suicide.  Through talking with loved ones and friends, I was able to reach the last stage of grief within a few weeks.  However, I am not Superwoman and there is a great possibility of going through the cycle of grief upon anniversary dates, pictures of him and/or even among chat from mutual friends.  It is okay to repeat the cycle of grief… after all, we are only human!  It is natural to experience these feelings.  As Psychcentral.com’s web article on the 5 stages of grief states “Remember, grieving is a personal process that has no time limit, nor one ‘right’ way to do it.”

1. Denial and Isolation: Denial of the loss is a way to rationalize our overwhelming emotions.  This defense mechanism buffers the shock of the news.  We may have disbelief of what we have seen or heard.  Some examples of thoughts may be “This has to be someone else…” or “Yeah right, I just spoke/seen this person yesterday.” This stage is temporary and assists us through the pain of the first wave of loss.

2. Anger: Anger is a secondary emotion.  Underlying the emotion of anger lies hurt/pain and fear.  With a loss, we are more feeling the hurt/pain.  Anger appears when reality sets in and the emotion is either directed at the loss or towards others (strangers, friends, family).  We may feel resentment and/or guilt along with anger.  Rationally, we know that we’re not angry at the person that we’ve lost; however, it assists with our emotional side.

3. Bargaining: Have you ever found yourself asking God why not you or someone else instead of him/her?  If so, you have reached the bargaining stage.  In this stage, the emotions of helplessness and vulnerability appear.  My example of bargaining from my last blog post was “Why did a so-called Christian man have to leave?”  Maybe it would have been easier for me to overcome a loss if that someone was not a Christian.

4. Depression: There are two types when mourning – 1) reaction to practical implications of the loss and 2) private, quiet separation towards loss.  In the first one, we may worry about the costs and burial for loss.  Maybe we didn’t spend enough time with those that are still on this earth during our mourning period?  To ease this type of depression, a few kinds words and cooperation from loved ones can help.  With the second type, we may be saying our “good-byes” to the loss.  Hugs may be the best action during this process.

5. Acceptance: Not everyone may reach this stage of grief.  During this stage, one reaches calmness (NOT happiness).  Acceptance of the life cycle – birth and death – exists and you may return to some “normalcy”.  Nobody can technically help you through the grief process to reach this stage, but yourself.  Having others around is comforting, but you are the only one that can personally overcome the emotions of grief.  The best advice in reaching acceptance stage is to allow yourself to feel the grief.  Counselors at Family First Counseling (FFC) are able to assist you with this process.  Contact FFC today if you are finding difficulties in overcoming a loss that you have experienced!


Dating after Divorce


Dating after Divorce

Dating after Divorce

Divorce can be a scary and complicated process to go through. Once your divorce is final, when is it the right time to begin dating? I am a divorce mother of a special needs child and here are three things I did after my divorce to help me to begin dating.

1. Seek Counseling.

Going through a divorce can be an emotional roller coaster. It is important for you to talk with someone to help you with deal with your feelings|. You want to be able to deal with any anger or hostility toward your ex-spouse before you will be able to move on with your life. The last thing you want to do is to bring old baggage to a new relationship. Counseling gave me insight on how I wanted to move forward with my life as a single parent.

2. Get to know myself again.

Being a wife and mother for so many years, I forgot the person I was. I forgot the little things I like to do and all the things I liked about myself, so I begin to take myself out on dates. I went out to the movies and dinner. I had to learn how to be happy by myself. I also kept a daily journal. Although I do not write in it everyday, it helps me with writing down my thoughts and feeling on what is going on in my life. I love looking back on it to see how far I have come.

3. Begin to date again.

Scary!! Dating has change since I was single. Most of my friends are married so I had to find ways to meet new people. It was important for me to get myself back out into he world, so I could begin to find that special person. Singles group at church or online dating is a great way to get your feet wet.

Have fun dating. You should take the first few dates getting to know the person. Don’t go into it trying to make a love connection, just relax and enjoy yourself.

Keeping Your New Year’s Fitness Resolutions

Fitness Resoultion

It’s 2015 and we have so many goals and dreams we want to fulfill. One thing people want to change in their lives is their health. It is important to stay healthy, but it is hard to maintain health. Here are three key points that will help you in becoming and staying healthy.

1. Eating habits.

How many of us have said “At the beginning of the year, I am going on a diet”, but fall off within the first month? Being healthy is more important than dieting, it’s a life style change. We can go overboard with the term “diet”. There are so many different diet craves that may help you lose weight, but isn’t something that is meant to do long-term. If you try to change your eating habits, it can help you lose and maintain your weight. By cutting down on your portion size, eating more small meals throughout the day, not starving yourself, adding a salad to your meal or snacking on fruits and not junk food will help you become a more healthier eater which can lead to you in loosing and keeping the weight off.

2. Exercising.

Exercising is important to becoming and staying healthy. If you have not worked out before, please don’t start working out several days a week. By doing this, you will burn yourself out and exercising will become a chore and not something you look forward to. You should begin with exercising for a few minutes a couple of times a week. Every week you should increase your exercising time by at least 5 minutes.  If you are able to join a gym, use the free training session as a way to understand the equipment that is there. It is important to understand how to workout so you don’t injured yourself. Also, exercising should be fun and there are different exercise classes you can attend such as Zumba, Hip Hop, Kickboxing etc. You can work out as a group with your friends are co-workers.

3. Conditioning your mind.

I believe the most important way to loosing and maintain your weight so you can become healthy is your determination. If you put in your mind that you will make a conscious choice to become healthy, it will help you in maintaining your eating and exercising. It is easy to talk yourself out of eating right and working out, but understand that being healthy is not a sprint, it’s a marathon. It may have taken you years to become unhealthy so it will take years to become and stay healthy.

Healthy does not mean being a size 6 and unhealthy does not mean being a size 12. Healthy is what you and your doctor sees fit, so please consult your doctor to help you with becoming and staying healthy in 2015.