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Have you ever been cruzing through life when you your child tells you they’re leaving the Church?  Or maybe they came out to you that they’re gay and getting married to their partner next week?  Or maybe you find out your child has been taking drugs for several years and is now an addict?

I call it “having the rug pulled out from under you”.  So many thoughts racing through your mind that cause you to feel so many terrible feelings…..heartbroken, disappointed, confused, angry, scared, sad, despair.

In the moment, how do we get control of ourselves so that we can find enough peace to face the world, be the parent we want to be, and be supportive and loving to our child through these challenging times.

What I share with you is from my perspective not only as a life coach but also as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

We are emotionally in a state of feeling terrible.  You can choose whatever feeling to want to name the emotion.  We know for sure that we are hurting.  Our thoughts are consumed with the problem and we give little attention to what is also going right in our lives at that given time.

Here are 5 specific suggestions of how to move out of despair and into a place that offers a little peace; a place where despair can be nurtured to peace and love.

  1.  FIRST, and I mean first, don’t resist feeling what you are feeling.  Name it.  Get inside your body and feel it for as long as necessary.  It usually takes just a short while.  If you don’t do this, you are resisting the feeling.  When you resist a feeling, you make it feel stronger and it hangs around longer.

Sometimes we want to go for a run or some other form of exercise to distract us from feeling the negative emotion.  While doing this might help you feel better momentarily, you are still resisting feeling the negative feeling, so it returns, but it returns intensified.

  • Next action to getting to feeling better, is to get to a place of acceptance and understanding about your child’s choice.

After processing your feeling and when you’re feeling a little less emotional, talk to your child, not with the intent of advising them but with the purpose of listening to them and understanding them.

          “What are you feeling?”

          “How long have you been feeling this way?”

          “Why did you choose to make this choice?”

          “Tell me more.

The more you understand and are willing to listen, the easier it becomes to accept they are merely using their agency.  When you get to the place that you accept what is happening (you don’t have to like it), the closer you get to feeling peace.

  • Focus on what’s still going right in your life and your child’s life.  This is only a small part of your child’s life.  He/she is still the same child as the day before you found out about what was happening in their lives.  He/she still has all the great qualities as before when they laid the “ZINGER” on you that was completely unexpected.  It doesn’t mean that it wasn’t meant to happen.  You just didn’t think it would happen to any of your children.
  • Practice being short-sighted.  Avoid thinking “terminally”. Try to to think about all the negative outcomes to your child’s future life, as well as to yours.  There are always at least 2 perspectives to every situation. When one of our unmarried daughter’s told us she was pregnant, we were sad and scared. She thought the young man would marry her; he did not.  Three months later as events played out, I saw that it was a good thing they didn’t married, and this is what it took for that to happen.  A huge blessing in a strange disguise.  Just take it one day at a time.  Focus on daily tasks to do, even as simple as what you are having for dinner.
  • Foremost, come up with as many reasons why you love your child.

        *You are his/her mother.

          *They are a child of Heavenly Parents.  They were born with as much value as you.

          *They are yours.

          *They give you opportunities to grow.

          *You have the choice to love them.

*Love feels best, but choosing to love family even when it’s difficult, feels the best of the best.

When we love our children, we show we want to be there for them, no matter if we agree or not with their behavior.  We can love them no matter what because love just loves.  

It isn’t earned.

It doesn’t judge.

It never dies.

Love just loves.

When life gets painful, my friend, remember there are tools available to ease the pain.

I would love to teach them to you.  Just click the tab below and let’s talk.

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