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Caring For Your Inner Child…

Caring for your inner child has a powerful and surprisingly quick result: Do it and the child heals. Martha Beck

Meditation: When we start listening to our anxious and distraught feelings as feelings of our inner child, we can get in touch with those younger parts of ourselves that have often experienced neglect and a lack of love. As we discover those hurting and anxious younger parts of us, we develop compassion for ourselves. We grieve for our inner child  that yearned for love but instead experienced abuse and abandonment. Often those memories of our childhood injuries not only show up in our particular ways of coping in life, but they are also stored in our bodies. Sometimes our body shows us where our past injuries still pain us. When we seek healing for those childhood injuries, we begin caring for our inner child. The first step is to distinguish between the adult voice and the child voice inside of us. After we learn to distinguish who it is that is feeling and talking (our inner child or our adult) we become intentional about having our adult self learn to care for our distraught inner child. This care can be physical in nature by us providing extra safety and nurture to ourselves in a loving and caring way. And it is often also an exercise of compassion. We learn to have our caring adult parts talk gently to those younger parts of us that easily get anxious when triggered. We in some ways “re-parent” ourselves. While we want to learn to care for our inner child, we at the same time refuse to let our inner child be the dominating and leading force in our life. We put our adult in charge. That caring adult part of us will want to listen to our inner child’s emotions and voice, however, we will not abdicate our adult role and responsibility. As we take responsibility to care for our inner child, we begin to heal. And as we put our caring adult in charge, the inner child will begin to calm down and feel less afraid. We stop over-functioning out of fear. We stop neglecting ourselves. We stop following our negative predictions. Caring for our inner child is the door to freedom and the door to healing.

Prayer: God, for all of us who still need healing for our inner child, be our guide, be our role model of how to love ourselves unconditionally. Restore our inner child’s trust. Strengthen our caring adult parts so we learn patiently and abundantly how to care for our younger wounded self. With Your grace reaching out to us, we will heal our inner suffering child. Amen

And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. 1. Peter 5:10

Our Children’s Mental (M-eart) Health…

A child’s mental health is just as important as their physical health and deserves the same quality of support. Kate Middleton

Meditation: This month of May is mental health month. It has been filled for families and children with homecoming events and graduations. Exciting and very stressful. My teenage girls have felt overwhelmed and exhausted, even confused. Last night, after I let them first share their feelings of imbalance and stress, I wondered how to support their “mental health” in these days. (I suggest to playfully rename mental health as “M-EART health” = “mind and heart health” as the term “mental” is usually used equivalent with “illness” or even worse with “insanity”.) The heart on the other hand symbolizes our emotions. Heart and mind are normal parts of all of us. And our hearts and minds can become stressed. Stress will take a toll on our hearts and minds and eventually make us sick, if we don’t provide preventative care. I have learned that one of the best mental health support for myself and for my teenagers is to talk with somebody about what is going on in our hearts and in our minds. The second most important response to stress is getting enough sleep. And because teenagers usually go to bed later than they should, they do not get enough sleep for sure. Recently, after I let my girls process their feelings, I assessed my girls’ “m-eart health”. I then decided to let them sleep in, two hours longer than usual. As mother I have never done this before. But as counselor I knew for my teenagers to cope with all the stressors coming their way, sleep – besides expressing their emotions- will be the best foundation no matter what will be thrown at them. Letting their brain rest, while having an available adult for concrete support will give our teenagers the strength to make it through the challenges of this stressful month. On the letter of excuse for school I listed “health related reasons”. I did not want to say “mental health related reasons”, as that would raise red flags… It is sad that our society has not accepted our mental health, our children’s “m-eart health”, to deserve just the same care as our bodies do.

Prayer: God, you deeply care about our body, mind and emotions. You want our hearts and minds to be at peace. Our society focuses on caring for our bodies. However, it is often ignoring and dismissing the health of our mind and of our emotions. Help us teach the next generation that the health of our emotions and our minds are just as important as our bodies. You want our whole personhood to receive daily care. You want us to receive abundant support and peace that surpasses what the world gives us. And we are grateful. Amen

Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful. John 14:27

We Will Be Judged By History…

I know that we will be judged in history by not only how we disrupt terrorism but how we protect the civil liberties and constitutional rights of all Americans, even Americans who don’t wish us well. We must do all these things exceptionally well. Robert Mueller

Meditation: I find myself these days pausing several times during the day saying a prayer for Robert Mueller and his team. In these days as we witness independent legal agencies under attack by this current president and as we observe important legal procedures and practices undermined, we need to do what is in our power to strengthen the spirit of those who seek the truth, who defend our liberties and who protect our constitutional rights. We watch speechlessly how the president abuses the power of his office to create false stories and to interfere with an investigation that reaches too close to home for him. We witness unprecedented dynamics here in the US. And the congress remains silent. As Germans we are highly sensitive and attentive as we have witnessed the tragic overthrowing of democracy before. We have seen the bending of the law and the loss of boundaries between the legislative and executive powers. We witnessed before the demonic manipulation of the masses through nationalistic extremism and fear. We are keenly and painfully aware of how our current president and certain nationalistic forces are trying to undermine the principles of our American democracy.

Prayer: God, we pray that the constitutional law and the division of the government branches will be upheld at all cost. We pray that Robert Mueller has the time and the means to complete his investigation. We pray for the congress to wake up from its perverted self-preserving silence and instead uphold the basic principles of our law and defend the division of our governmental branches. God hear our prayers and have mercy on this country. Amen

Pray for us. We are sure that we have a clear conscience and desire to live honorably in every way. Hebrews 13:18

With Fame Comes Responsibility…

With fame comes opportunity, but in my opinion, it also includes responsibility – to advocate and share, to focus less on glass slippers and more on pushing through glass ceilings and, if I’m lucky enough, then to inspire. Meghan Markle

Meditation: It is fascinating to think that Meghan is 36 years old today, while Princess Diana was 36 years old when she died. Diana met Prince Charles when she was only 16 years old. She stayed in a marriage for the sake of her two sons, although she did not feel loved by her husband. At the young age of 36, she was killed in a tragic car accident after having left the royal family shortly before her death by divorcing her husband after many years of enduring a painful “threesome” experience in her marriage. Meghan is also a divorced woman. She is an accomplished actress. She is entering the royal family at age 36. Her quote indicates her maturity and her mission. As Diana had found meaning and personal healing and fulfillment in serving and loving the poor, the sick and the forgotten, Meghan seems to want to pick up this calling. It is fascinating how Prince Harry waited for a mature wife to join him in continuing the legacy of his mother. Life is coming full circle!

Prayer: God we pray today for Princess Meghan as she prepares for her new life. Thank you for her life experiences and for her maturity. We pray that she and her husband will break many glass ceilings, and that they will uphold their responsibility and care for others by sharing their fame, wealth and spirit with those who need it most. We pray for protection for both of them from Paparazzi and other forces that could negatively impact their love and relationship. Send Your Healing Spirit so that they (and all of us) will help create a “New World” as Bishop Curry urged them during their wedding ceremony. Amen

But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells. 2. Peter 3:13

Being Biracial…

My dad is Caucasian, and my mom is African American. I’m half black and half white. Being biracial paints a blurred line that is equal parts staggering and illuminating. Meghan Markle

Meditation: When my biracial daughters were four years old they witnesses how a biracial man was sworn in as the US President. For eight years they watched with pride how this man and family were role models with high integrity. They felt represented and validated. Today they witnessed a young feminist biracial American woman become part of the royal family in the UK. She and her husband will make a difference within this institution and family. They will use their position to reach out together to make a difference in the world’s great areas of needs. I am grateful that in the midst of the current American backlash against women and against minorities plus the reemergence of open racism and the oppression of free speech, my daughters have seen and still see examples of what is possible. There is no way back! There is no stopping! The future of our world will depend on the reconciliation of the races and the inclusion of minorities as equals and every person as an important member of society.

Prayer: God, we pray for Harry and Meghan today on their wedding day. May their marriage find the freedom and support it needs to thrive. May our children who represent the next generation be inspired by this young couple’s courage, integrity and their positive use of power and influence. Thank You that the current hate filled “Zeitgeist” will in the end not be able to overcome the larger worldwide movement of inclusion, acceptance and reconciliation of different races and classes. Amen

Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism, but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right.” Acts 10:34-35

Preserving Democracy As We Know It…

If you want to preserve – I’m very serious now – if you want to preserve democracy as we know it, you have to have a free and many times adversarial press. And without it, I am afraid that we would lose so much of our individual liberties over time. That’s how dictators get started. John McCain

Meditation: The fact that the White House and the president are not apologizing for an internal remark that leaked: “McCain’s political opinion no longer matters, because he is dying anyway” is deeply troubling. However, if we consider McCain to be a prophet who dares to speak out when most others in his party remain silent, it is understandable that the White House rejoices about him becoming silenced. In history those in power whose actions were questioned by prophets always tried and often succeeded in silencing or getting rid of them. What we see today is a movement towards silencing the independent press. It is a movement of silencing any critics. It is a movement of oppressing and removing anybody who represents a different or opposing view. What we see in the US today is a deliberate movement toward dictatorship. There is nothing sacred, and nobody is safe. Sarcasm, bullying and mockery are every day occurrences. And even God’s people turn and are carried away and find no fault in them.

Prayer: God, we are deeply troubled. We lament that nothing is sacred anymore. Cruelty is being worshipped and human dignity denied. Prophetic speech is silenced and people who think differently are being attacked and their name and public image “is being killed”. Instead of democracy, we experience an oppressive regime. We are deeply troubled. We are mostly troubled with those who think they proclaim and speak in Your name, and who watch and listen, but who find no fault with the oppression that is happening. God, hear our lament. Amen

There is nothing sacred, and no one is safe. Vicious sarcasm drips from their lips; they bully and threaten to crush their enemies. They even mock God as if He were not above; their arrogant tongues boast throughout the earth; they feel invincible. Even God’s people turn and are carried away by them; they watch and listen, yet find no fault in them. Psalm 73:8-10 (VOICE)

 

The Absence Of Someone Dear To Us…

If the people we love are stolen from us, the way to have them live on is to never stop loving them. James O’Barr

Meditation: “There is nothing that can replace the absence of someone dear to us, and one should not even attempt to do so.  One must simply hold out and endure it.  At first that sounds very hard, but at the same time it is also a great comfort. For to the extent the emptiness truly remains unfilled, one remains connected to the other person through it. It is wrong to say that God fills the emptiness. God in no way fills it but much more leaves it precisely unfilled and thus helps us preserve – even in pain – the authentic relationship. Furthermore, the more beautiful and full the remembrances, the more difficult the separation. But gratitude transforms the torment of memory into silent joy. One bears what was lovely in the past not as a thorn but as a precious gift deep within, a hidden treasure of which one can always be certain.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Prayer: Gracious God, as some of us walk in grief and have to adjust to a world without the beloved person physically present, we pray for them as they remember their life before the painful loss. Be present in those feelings of emptiness. Be present in the pain of missing. Be the one who transforms our torment of memory into silent joy. Amen

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. Psalm 23:4