Linda Price, Ph.D., LMFT View Entire Blog

It's Easter Weekend. . . .

It's Easter Sunday this weekend, and as a Christian, I will be celebrating. It is a time of rebirth and reflection for me. As Jesus died to save me and remove my sins, I pause to think how remarkable a gift given to me. My sins are plenty in my life. They're not pretty and many events, I can honestly say I can't believe I really did them, but I did. I think my Mother was right -- "You need to learn the hard way, don't you Linda?" Yes, I guess I did. I must have caused her many sleepless nights.

I don't dwell on what I did wrong, but rather I make a mental list of what I learned from my mistakes. I believe when life's setbacks come our way, the moments of suffering remain just that "suffering" -- unless we are ready to gather information and learn from those moments. If left unchallenged with consequences and accepting responsibility, we run the risk of becoming highly self-centered, callous, and feeling entitled. We may spend our lives only seeking pleasure, approval, acceptance and rewards, and denying anything unpleasant or unkind that we may have done. What an injustice to the development of a fully-functioning individual.

It is easy for me to accept what I've done wrong, and it is easy for me to give forgiveness. I had the benefit of kind, loving parents. I grew up in Virginia and my parents were "Southern Baptist" strict, but there was always plenty of love dished out as well. I could express my feelings, my disappointments and my anger at my parents. They did not always agree with my delivery and time outs were part of my life, but they were not cruel. That is not true of many of my clients whose parents ruled through intimidation and punishment. They had to accept consequences and responsibility for events that were actually caused by the behaviors of their parents. How can someone show empathy and understanding for others, when it was never modeled to them as a child? How can someone be joyful in life, when joy is not what was encouraged? They had to endure so much as a child, that as an adult, any type of criticism is just to much for them to handle. They are seen and labeled as "cold", "angry" and "mean". Yet, behind all of the "meanness" there lies the heart of a child that needs nurturing and kindness. When the walls of injustice are gently removed, and they learn how to stop seeking the approval of disapproving parents and completely love themselves just the way they are, a transformation takes place -- their eyes softened, their hearts are no longer broken and their whole body learns how to relax. Their "fear" guard no longer has to work overtime, and they can breathe!

It is Easter, and with it emerges a season of new beginnings filled with hope and love. At least that is my belief. I think everyday about the wonderful gift God gave us with this huge playground called the "world". He would like you to enjoy it. He would like you to know you are truly loved and cherished by Him. If you suffered by the injustices of very damaged parents, I hope this weekend you reach out to find a place where you can feel "at peace" with your life. The first step is right there for you to take, and I just know you can do it.

Take Care and May God Bless You All
Linda M. Price, Ph.D., LMFT