Use Your Power in 2019

Don’t underestimate your power. Hate is potent, but so is kindness. And goodness, and grace. Use yours generously. Oprah

2018 has been a tumultuous year in the United States and elsewhere in the world. Mass shootings, political unrest, war, lies, hatred, climatic disasters, children separated from parents, discrimination, sexual abuse and assault. It’s easy to feel powerless in the wake of psychological and physical chaos.

But, as Oprah says, “what I know for sure,” is how you treat every person in your sphere can and will make a difference. Don’t underestimate the power of goodness, kindness, and empathy. Don’t underestimate the power of your modeling—to children and others. Do what you can to make 2019 a gentler, kinder year. 

Affirmation: I have power.

Coaching question: What one behavior will you change in 2019 to make a difference in our troubled world? 

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Survivor’s Pride

In the final stage of successful mourning, children come to see loss and their ability to survive as part of the same tapestry. Rather than feeling overwhelmed by grief and despair, they are aware of their own strength to manage adversity. Maxine Harris, Ph.D. author of The Loss That Is Forever 

Whether we have profound loss as a child or as an adult, we look forward to the day when we can reorganize ourselves and begin to get on with life. Sometimes we say,  “The worst possible thing that could happen did happen and I survived it. Now I’m going to get back to living a joy-filled life.” 

Sometimes this attitude, Survivor’s Pride, can fortify and strengthen those who are fortunate to have it throughout their lives. People who have had bad things happen to them often come out with deeper compassion and a greater capacity to empathize with the pain of others. 

Affirmation: I am a survivor.

Coaching questions: What has helped or would help you to “reorganize” yourself to the point that you have Survivor’s Pride? What have you gained by having something “bad” happen to you?

Lost But Not Gone

The struggle of my life created empathy – I could relate to pain, being abandoned, having people not love me. Oprah Winfrey

As difficult as it is to lose a mother to death or Alzheimer’s, I have found, in talking with motherless daughters, that being abandoned by a mother is the most difficult loss of all. Abandonment means there are unresolved issues and questions like, “Was I not good enough?” “Was I not lovable enough?” For those of us who are mothers, we find it difficult to understand how a mother can abandon her children….just think how the child, now an adult, feels!

One abandoned daughter said to me, “It would have been easier if she would have died. Her leaving us broke us.” Another abandoned daughter, Carol, offered this advice, “You are not alone. Trust in God to fill the empty place in your heart. No person can fill this hole…not stuff, not your husband, not your children. Everything has a purpose and we are made to glorify our Creator. We can find joy…even in unfavorable circumstances.”

Carol sums up, “We have free will to choose anger and resentment, loneliness and low self esteem or, faith, strength, joy and purpose in our lives.” 

Affirmation: I am not alone.

Coaching questions: How have your life experiences made you more empathetic? Think of a specific example.