The Journey From Being Squeezed to Thriving

The Journey From Being Squeezed to Thriving

We don’t like being squeezed! Just the thought of it is uncomfortable. And yet it’s the only way we know what’s truly inside of us. (For the “Squeezed” story, see “What Changes You?”)

What happens when we get squeezed? Our first reaction is usually to cry something like, “That’s not fair!” “Why me?”

When some people get squeezed they become bitter, angry, and isolated. And other people take those times of being squeezed and leverage them into an opportunity for growth. What makes the difference? What is it that determines whether one’s heart becomes softened and matured, or hardened and brittle? (Yes, I do believe you can choose which outcome happens to you.)

A few of you shared bits of your own stories of being squeezed that I’ve included here.

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Pain at Christmas, Part 2

Pain at Christmas, Part 2

The topic of painful holidays, with Pain at Christmas, really touched a nerve with our readers/listeners! Therefore, here comes Part 2.

I wish you could see some of our reader’s responses. A number of them did not want to comment publicly, and I can understand. Some of their personal messages express such heartache!

Here are some of the situations mentioned:

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Pain at Christmas

Pain at Christmas

Christmas is a time for joy. It’s the wonder in a child’s eyes, the family you don’t get to see any other time of year, and the celebration of the best Birthday of all!

But for some, Christmas is anything but joyful. A friend of mine lost his mother this past February, and he’s dreading this first Christmas without her. Add to that the fact that his father is very ill and may not be alive when Christmas does come this year. Christmas just won’t be the same for him.

Another friend of mine was looking forward to spending Christmas with her first grandchild for the first time. Sadly her grandson was stillborn, so instead of joy at baby’s first Christmas there are empty hearts and an empty crib.

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When You Feel Anything but Grateful

When You Feel Anything but Grateful

Our world is messed up! And for that I’m feeling anything but grateful.

And you shouldn’t be either.

This week we will all see and hear everyone talking about what they are grateful for. Many will gather with family and friends for food and more. For some, as in our household, that “more” will include football. (Oh well: perhaps football does have some redeeming qualities. Feel free to enlighten me!)

For some, the holiday season is only painful. Once in a while it helps to put our gratitude against the backdrop of what is truly dark in our world.

Here’s a short list of a few things I’m NOT grateful for:

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Doctor, Doctor: Your Family of Origin

Doctor, Doctor: Your Family of Origin

You can’t choose your parents. Or your brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, and cousins. If your family of origin was reasonably healthy you probably don’t think much about how you choose to relate to them. You look forward to family gatherings, and keep in touch between times together.

There is always some tension as young people grow up and leave home, but healthy families celebrate such transitions. While still connected, junior develops a life of his or her own. And you’re at least somewhat proud of your parents and the legacy they left you.

But not all families are so healthy. It seems some significant measure of dysfunction is the norm in most families. Volumes have been written on the topic, and the mental health field has provided numerous careers devoted to helping those from unhealthy families learn to function better now.

Growing up in a home with alcohol, drug use, rage, criminal behavior, or violence leaves permanent marks on your soul.

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