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Posts Tagged ‘struggles’

       Have you ever talked with someone, in person or on the phone, and FELT the pain that they were going through?  Staying connected to those around us demands an attitude of awareness and compassion.  Having a relationship with others, that goes beyond the surface, requires time, attention, and sensitivity.  Are you able to feel someone else’s pain?

        Communicating comfort, love and caring towards others is easy.  All you have to do is reach out to them, for them to feel that love and caring.  Will they talk about their pain; it depends on whether they are ready or not.  Some people internalize what they are going through…they can’t share it until they have processed what they are struggling with.  Others unload their challenges at the drop of a hat. 

       The key to staying connected and being helpful to another person; is knowing that person well enough to know how they handle painful situations.  If they need someone to talk to when dealing with difficulties, try to be there for them.  If they need time to process what they are going through…make sure they know they can call on you when they are ready to talk it out. 

       Lately, it seems like there are too many news reports of people who have broken under stress or pain and have become desperate…hurting themselves or someone else that they professed to love.  It doesn’t have to be that way.  If everyone tried to be more aware of those around them…this world would be a better place.  Do you know someone who is hurting; or, is it you who is going through a hard time?

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      When someone struggles with guilt in a needless way…it can be devastating.  I had a brief conversation with someone who was struggling with it…as she said, her guilt, other people’s guilt; and, she said she needed to let it go; because she worried too much about what other people thought.

      You see, guilt is simply a tool.  One that our subconscious mind uses to help us make good choices in our lives; it is like an early warning detection system.   Guilt tells us we are making a wrong choice.   But like anything, guilt can be misplaced.  Instead of building us up and helping us to build a strong positive character; sometimes guilt runs amok, and instead creates self-doubt, tearing down our self-esteem and helps to destroy the foundation , of who we are as a person. 

        This must be dealt with or a person who struggles with needless guilt, or a disporportionate amount of guilt to any given situation, begins to devalue their own opinions and strengths and begins to give more weight and credibility to those around them.

       I told her she needed to value herself as much as she valued the opinions of others.  It was a simple statement.  She simply needed to worry as much about what she thought of herself as she did about what others thought of her.  You see, when you look in the mirror (or examine your own heart and mind) you have to like who you see; you have to respect yourself.    Later, she said she was better.  I was glad…because she is a person who comes across as a very caring person…a person who does alot for others…and who reaches out.

      Why is it that we are so quick to judge ourselves harshly and so quick to give the benefit of doubt to others?  Each of us does this to some degree.  We have negative thought patterns that we fall victim to…that little negative voice inside our heads; our own personal form of self-doubt.    We must learn to appreciate ourselves in ways that matter.  After all, if we dont value ourselves enough…no one else will either!

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     Ok, I am going to rant a bit for a minute.  Twice this week the news has hit us with two terrible stories about families that self-destructed through murder-suicide.  Two families that were destroyed.  One family in particular left a suicide note allegedly saying that the reason they were dead was because both the husband and the wife lost their jobs…were in debt…and were rejected by their employers.  The other family’s reasons have not yet been announced.  The family members allegedly say that there was no clues to this tragedy.  What i want to know is…can we stop families from hurting the ones that they love?  Yes we can, encourage them to seek help:  http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/  Each time something like this happens…those who were lost leave behind friends, family members, neighbors, acquaintances and community members who are hurt, confused and saddened.   We have to take care of each other and learn to be more in tune with those around us.  (more…)

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       Actor Willie Ames is famous for his roles on Eight Is Enough (1970’s) and in the show Charles in Charge (1980’s), he has had a large fan following over the years.   Willie also starred  in video’s from 1995-2004 as a superhero named Bibleman; winning a whole new generation of young fans.  He became a Christian and an ordained minister after struggling for years with drug/alcohol addictions.  He appeared to have things together in his life.

        Just this past November Willie, and his second wife Maylo McCaslin Ames, wrote a book together called Grace is Enough.  Shortly after this book was published, on Thanksgiving 2008, Willie Ames allgedly tried to take his own life.  This is why God tells us to keep our eyes on him and not on man ( or woman).  We are vulnerable to attacks by the enemy (Satan) and we can fail one another as role models from time to time.  It is unfair to put someone on a pedestal as an example to follow because they are; for all intents and purposes, human just like us.  Only Jesus is the perfect example to follow.

         It seems that Willie found himself in the position of having to declare bankruptsy, having his vehicle repossesed and having his wife of 22 years ask him for a divorce.  I am sure the fear of failure, rejection, the possibility of an upcoming divorce, slipping back to the pull of his addictions, and the financial difficulties all contributed to his suicide attempt.  When people are overloaded with difficulties that come all at once…that is when escape starts to sound good…it is an illusion that a Christian is tempted with by his spiritual adversary, Satan.  Suicide is not a solution…it is an really just another way to self-destruct; it an attack on that person’s physical and spiritual being.  http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/  It is important to seek help when depression and despair overwhelms a person. 

        Willie is a Christian yes, but he is a human being also.  One who has struggled with these issues of addiction and self-destruction.  He has tried to live in a place of leadership; which is admirable.  From reading excerpts of their book….it sounds as though both Willie and Maylo have allegedly come from previous places of dysfunction.  No one lives a perfect life…Christians are a work in progress; and, some of the same negative circumstances and forces that affect non-Christians, affect Christians as well. 

         I hope that through this time of difficulty, that Willie and his family can receive proper spiritual counseling and emotional counseling to help them sort things out.  Certainly, we wish him well in his healing path.  As anyone who had had to struggle with these kinds of issues…it is important to know that support is very important from family, friends and, health care professionals; when it is needed.

          For those who would condemn or look askance at Willie’s actions and ask incrediously, how a Christian could do such a thing; I would counter that by asking that person to think compassionately.  When people are in despair and going through some of the worst situations that life has to offer …faith is a lifeline… but, faith is a fragile thing sometimes.  We are to encourage one another and lift each other up.  While Willie played a superhero….he is not superhuman…he is a man who has to find his way back to a place of prominence, by putting faith into action once again,. 

          Do you think Christians are immune from depression and confusion; or should they be?  Do you know any other Christian who has struggled with addictions and depression and then been able to build their life back up from that desperate place?  Have you yourself been there?  National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

National suicide prevention lifeline: Suicide hotline, 24/7 free and confidential, 132 crisis centers nationwide               1-800-273-TALK       .
http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/
Update:  you may also want to read:  http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20268391,00.html

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      If you are the parent of a special needs child then you know that growing up special in today’s world is not easy.  Finding ways to help your child be successful and to be as independent as they can be is often a challenge.  Too often those children, or young adults, are shuffled off to a seperate area or to a “special” program.  Acceptance is sometimes hard to come by.

        Therefore, it is vitally important to create an environment where your special person is accepted, loved, encouraged and challenged to spread their wings.  Finding appropriate venues to integrate them with “normal” or “average” peers is difficult. 

        When you are able to find a good fit…often you must force yourself to stand back and let them do and be.  That is easier said than done.  As a parent you are always in a protective mode…and you should be…but…you must also let them be as independent as they can be without interference.  🙂 

          Do you have some great experience that you could share with other parents of special needs children or children who have been adopted who struggle with issues?  If so, others could benefit from your successes and possibly even your struggles.  Check out this blog:  http://www.growingupspecial.com/  Introduce yourself and leave a comment.  You never know…you just might find others to share with. 

          

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         Do you remember going to vacation bible school during the summer when you were a kid?  I remember stories, music, games, puppets; and, one memory in particular of a lady that made music by rubbing the tops of glasses that were filled with different levels of water…she was a talented lady!  She could make those glasses sing so beautifully. (more…)

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      Do you have enough money?  How much is enough?  If you are like most Americans then you; are in debt, struggling to pay for your child’s college education, rotating your bills, borrowing against your retirement benefits when in a bind,  and you have little or no savings for an emergency; and, maybe you wrestle with providing care for your aging parents as well.  Times are tough for alot of people…there are very few jobs that have real security for the employees these days.  Employers are picking up and moving out of local areas and many are even setting up shop, out of the country. 

      It is hard to find stability in the job market. The economy is rocky and that filters down to everyday people, like you and I; many of whom are facing foreclosure on their homes because of their financial situations.  

          Do you have enough money to provide yourself with all that you need to survive?  Do you have enough money to live comfortably now; AND, in the future?  If not, you are not alone in your struggles.  There is a system that can help you to place yourself in a better position, so that your future doesn’t depend on some corporate administrator’s latest, cost cutting measure.  http://www.layoffyourboss2.com/ (more…)

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       Here is a story i could sink my teeth into since i am the parent of several special needs children.  A young boy, by the name of Adam Race, has been banned from the church that he has attended since 1996.  He has been banned because he is autistic, and is very large.   He has several behavioral challenges that the church is suggesting endangers other attendees.

        Adam’s priest by the name of Daniel Walz has filed a restraining order against the 13 year old’s parents; which the mother has violated.  Understand that Adam is only 13; however, he is six feet tall and weighs somewhere around 225 pounds.  The sheer size of the young man is definately something to consider. 

       The priest alledges that Adam has struck another child during services and that in his zeal to leave the building, has at times almost knocked over elderly parishioners.  Adam has also run out of the building and, started a couple of vehicles to hear the “calming roar of the engines”.  This is another danger concern.   Adam sometimes has a problem holding his urine; and, if he needs to be restrained during difficult behaviors, he fights it.  The mother and father, do at times, have to restrain him.  This can all be quite disruptive; and that, plus the concerns for safety, has led the priest to file the restraining order.  The priest felt they had no other choice.

        It seems that before that filing, the priest and a church trustee attempted to discuss their concerns with Adam’s parents.  They offered the family other options and accomodations to deal with the behavioral issues.  The family refused.  It hasn’t been revealed what those other accomodations were.  The family has defied the restraining order and continued to attend church with their son.  By the way, this is a family of seven.

       I have special needs children as i said before.  I have also been a foster parent to many special needs children who were behaviorally challenged.  I know the stress of that.  I know the need of sitting in church to receive peace and a strengthening of my faith.  I also, am well aware that most of the time…it is much more stressful trying to achieve that goal of peace and strength in a very public setting with others who have no idea of the daily struggles living and providing for special needs young people requires.

        You see, you need special training to deal with some of the behaviors and special requirements.  So you can’t just happily send a special needs child off to a sunday school classroom with people who are unprepared or untrained in those skills. 

        My husband and I have been teachers in several church settings.  We know what it is like to be the teachers or instructors in charge .  We have had to teach and sometimes handle special needs children or teens in that environment as well. 

          One time, we did have a young man who was also very large for his age and autistic.  It was a child that did not attend regularily, this program was a vaction bible school event.  The platform was a raised one.  All of the children were encouraged to stand in front of the platform during praise and worship.  Then, when that was done, they were encouraged to sit down in the rows of pews.  The young man in question, at one point, ran to the front while the puppets were performing.  My brother- in- law, who was a weight lifter, was operating a large puppet that included having his arm encased in a fur lined sleeve.

       The young man ran up on stage and grabbed my brother-in-laws arm and pulled it down over the front of the puppet stage and almost broke my brother-in-laws arm.  It took several people to disengage him.  It was something we were un-prepared for.  The parents had dropped him off during the services and left.  This was unusual…because the other days of that week, they had stayed with him and helped to keep him under control when he would get overly excited.  Communication is key in these situations.  Educate the workers or volunteers to the special skill sets that they will need to work with special needs youths successfully!

        Most of the time, having special needs children in church is workable.  You discuss with the family members or care givers what works for each child as an individual.   Maybe you can even get the parents to help volunteer in the children’s program to help out. You do your best so that the caregiver can get a couple of hours of peace and “down time” from the strains of 24/7 caregiving, if possible.   Raising awareness about those who live with special needs children and providing support is the goal of this website:  http://www.growingupspecial.com/  (more…)

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