When we find ourselves in the position of being a parent to a child experiencing severe emotional and behavioral problems (e.g., ODD, Conduct Disorder, ADHD, Bipolar), we will either seek strength and guidance from a Higher Power – or we will burnout, get sick and give up. To parent a strong-willed, out-of-control child without assistance from a Power ‘greater than ourselves’ is analogous to rowing up the river without any paddles.
Thus, in an effort to garner as much support as possible, we need a guiding ideology to bring us through the storm. Here are the spiritual principles that offer strength, perseverance and patience as we undertake the process of mentoring our “off-the-track” children:
PARENTS' SPIRITUAL PRINCIPLES:
· BREATHE / RELAX / SLOW DOWN / BE EXPRESSIVE / LAUGH
· WHO CAN I BUILD UP TODAY?
· DEMAND NOTHING OF ANYONE TODAY -- REDUCE EXPECTATIONS OF OTHERS
· RELINQUISH THE NEED TO BE RIGHT
· FIRST THINGS FIRST
· KEEP IT SIMPLE & BE HERE NOW
· BREATHE MORE, THINK LESS
· AVOID ANGER-FANTASIES & ANGER-REPLAYS
· THEY’RE NOT THE ENEMY …YOU’RE SAFE
· ARE YOU BREATHING & THINKING OF NEUTRAL &/or POSITIVE THINGS?
· ARE YOU JUDGING OTHERS, CYNICIZING, WORRYING? …THEN NEVER MIND
· VISUALIZE WHATEVER IT IS THAT YOU DESIRE AS ALREADY EXISTING THE WAY YOU WANT IT TO BE IN YOUR LIFE, AND DO NOT DEMAND AN OUTCOME
· INSTEAD OF REFLECTING ON WHAT YOU DON’T LIKE, VISUALIZE WHAT YOU WANT
· ASK FOR GUIDANCE >>> TRUST >>> DETACH FROM OUTCOME >>> DON’T TAKE ANYTHING PERSONALLY >>> NEVER GIVE UP
· I MAY NOT UNDERSTAND IT …I MAY NOT AGREE WITH IT …AND I MAY NOT LIKE IT, BUT I DON’T HAVE TO TORTURE MYSELF WITH THOUGHTS ABOUT IT
· DO YOU HAVE A DIFFICULT SITUATION? …WHAT’S THE LESSON?
· BE THE TASK RATHER THAN A PERSON PERFORMING A TASK …THIS IS FLOW
· IT’S A NEW DAY – YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE HELD HOSTAGE BY YOUR PAST
· GIVE AWAY LOVE EACH DAY -- ALL DAY
· DON’T TAKE THIS (goal, task, etc.) SO SERIOUSLY …DON’T WANT IT SO MUCH …DETACH …HAVE FUN …AND EVERYTHING WILL WORK OUT EXACTLY AS IT SHOULD
· WHEN YOU HAVE A NEGATIVE, SELF-DEFEATING THOUGHT, THE BRAIN NEURONS ACCEPT SUCH PROGRAMMING AS INSTRUCTION – AN ORDER TO BE OBEYED. THUS, SUCH A MESSAGE BECOMES A SELF-FULFILLING PROPHECY. WORRY, TOO, IS PROGRAMMING …RE-PROGRAMMING IS NEEDED!
· DESIRE, BELIEF, AND EXPECTATION ARE THE COMPONENTS OF FAITH – THE LINK BETWEEN MIND AND BRAIN THAT ENABLES PROGRAMS TO BE REALIZED
· ALL HEALTH PROBLEMS ARE TRIGGERED TO A LARGE DEGREE BY STRESS – AND ALMOST ALL STRESS IS RELATED TO THE QUALITY (OR LACK THEREOF) OF ONE’S HUMAN RELATIONSHIPS …THUS, FORGIVENESS IS KEY
· PAIN, CHRONIC OR ACUTE, IS NOT MY HERITAGE, NOR IS DISEASE OF ANY KIND. PERFECT HEALTH IS MY HERITAGE …I CLAIM IT!
· PAINFUL THOUGHTS, EMOTIONS, OR BODY PARTS ARE SIGNALS THAT IT’S TIME TO PAUSE, CHECK POSTURE, APPLY PRESSURE POINTS, BREATHE, STRETCH, RELAX & MEDITATE
· I CAN FIGHT DISEASE BY CONTROLLING MY MOODS …AS I THINK CREATIVELY RATHER THAN DESTRUCTIVELY, POSITIVELY RATHER THAN NEGATIVELY, I AM THE FIRST TO BENEFIT BY LIVING HEALTHIER AND LONGER. ON THE OTHER HAND, IF I THINK DESTRUCTIVELY / NEGATIVELY, I AM THE FIRST TO SUFFER -- I DESTROY MYSELF. THE “PUNISHMENT” (ILLNESS) WILL ALWAYS FIT THE “CRIME” (NEGATIVE THOUGHTS).
· LET NO ONE OR NO THING STEAL YOUR JOY
· LIFE HAS GENERALLY BEEN GOOD IN SPITE OF MY OPINION ABOUT IT
· I AM A WORK IN PROGRESS
· MY PEACE, JOY, RELAXED ATTITUDE & LOVE FOLLOW ME REGARDLESS OF MY EXTERNAL CIRCUMSTANCES
· THE MORE I RELAX, VISUALIZE AND IMAGINE, THE MORE I HEAL
· ENJOY EVERY MOMENT OF EVERY DAY
· THANKFUL HEART + SENSE OF HUMOR + RELAXED/JOYFUL ATTITUDE = HEALTH, HAPPINESS, PROSPERITY & PEACE
· PATH TO WELLNESS: --- HARMONIOUS MUSIC --- HUMOR & LAUGHTER --- FUN --- MEDITATION --- ART --- IMAGINATION --- LOVE --- VISUALIZATION
· EVERY MOMENT IS AN OPPORTUNITY TO PRACTICE: --- DEEP, SLOW, RELAXED BREATHING --- STRENGTHENING MY WEAK AREAS --- A “BE-HERE-NOW” & MEDITATIVE STATE-OF-MIND
· WHEN STRESSING OUT: --- MONITOR POSTURE --- BREATH --- RELAX --- STRETCH --- BE-HERE-NOW --- DRINK WATER
· METHOD FOR HEALING PAINFUL JOINTS 0R MUSCLES: --- LIGHT EXERCISES --- STRETCHES --- HEAL THE PROBLEM AREA DURING MEDITATIONS --- MONITOR TENSION IN THE PROBLEM AREA THROUGHOUT THE DAY --- MAINTAIN A RELAXED & JOYFUL ATTITUDE
· MY MAIN STRESS-RELIEVERS: BE HERE NOW & KEEP IT SIMPLE
· I HAVE AN OVERLY DEVELOPED GUILT MUSCLE (guilt is a form of worry, and worry = taking too much responsibility for things)
· BODY BUILDING IS A FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH – AND IT HELPS YOU TO BE HIGHLY PROGRESSIVE IN OTHER AREAS OF YOUR LIFE
· DO I ENJOY WHAT I’M DOING – DO I HAVE PASSION ABOUT IT? IF NOT, I NEED A NEW PLAN
· SERVING OTHERS = YOUR SPIRITUAL PATH
· THE OPPOSITE OF ‘ANGER’ IS ‘PATIENCE’
· PART OF GETTING WHAT YOU WANT IS KNOWING WHAT YOU HAVE TO GIVE UP TO GET IT
· FORGETTING YOURSELF (i.e., not monitoring self) = JOY
· INTROSPECTION & SELF-CENTEREDNESS = DEPRESSION
==> Resist your impulse to strive and struggle for what you want …don’t strain to achieve. Instead, enjoy the process of the work you are doing. The results will come independent of your striving for them. Prosperity is about process, not outcome …process is about purpose …and purpose is about loving and giving.
==> When you feel you have not done enough, or that you have done the wrong thing, or that you have not tried hard enough, you feel guilty. If you continue to feel this way, you can be causing damage to your immune system. In the long or short run, that damage will do you in. But positive feelings about yourself and the work you are doing, leading you to be optimistic rather than pessimistic, contribute to health.
==> Chronic emotional pain is a habit. Why suffer? Get rid of the expectation and belief that you must have it. Break the habit!
==> Negative thinking (which weakens the immune system, thus creating health problems) is: guilt --- worry --- anxiety --- secret-frustrations --- insecurity --- fear --- jealousy --- suspicion --- hatred --- antagonism --- anger --- despair --- mourning --- self-doubt --- being out of step with people and things around you
==> Positive thinking (which contributes to health) is: love --- faith --- fun --- appreciation --- optimism --- security --- courage --- cooperation --- compassion --- joy --- generosity --- friendliness --- patience --- helpfulness --- ambition --- being in harmony with people and things around you
· WHAT GOES AROUND COMES AROUND
· THE MORE YOU GIVE, THE MORE YOU RECEIVE
· EVERYTHING HAPPENS FOR A GOOD REASON
· WHAT YOU ARE FOR STRENGTHENS YOU, WHAT YOU ARE AGAINST WEAKENS YOU
· WHAT YOU CONTINUALLY THINK ABOUT GROWS (i.e., expands to feelings, behaviors, outcomes, etc.) For example: If you continually focus on how people can’t be trusted, you will find more dishonest people showing up in your life; if you continually focus on your strengths rather than weaknesses, you will find more achievements showing up in your life.
· YOUR MOST DIFFICULT PEOPLE ARE YOUR GREATEST TEACHERS
· YOUR MOST DIFFICULT SITUATIONS STRENGTHEN YOU
· YOU NEVER GET ENOUGH OF WHAT YOU DON’T WANT
· WHATEVER YOU THINK YOU CAN OR CAN’T DO -- YOUR RIGHT
· PAIN IS WEAKNESS LEAVING THE BODY
· EVERY STATE OF MIND PRODUCES A GREATER OR LESSER STATE OF IMMUNITY
· A PEACEFUL, RELAXED STATE OF MIND IS A PREREQUISITE TO LONGEVITY
· WHEN YOU TURN AGAINST OTHERS, YOUR BODY TURNS AGAINST ITSELF
· THE LESS YOU TRY TO CONTROL OTHERS, THE MORE CONTROL YOU GET
· THE MORE THANKFUL YOU ARE FOR WHAT YOU HAVE, THE MORE YOU GET
· EVERYTHING THAT HAPPENS IS POSITIVE
I’m not saying such events won’t be painful. But I know that they can teach us lessons and give us gifts that we would never have found at more comfortable times.
· I can’t be about hate …anymore!
· When my heart is pounding ...pounding ...pounding …I have to breathe, focus on the here & now, pray and put the problem in God’s hands, and repeat the affirmation that “I have a loving/caring heart & I behave in loving caring ways.”
· In my activities: diversify and prioritize
· RATHER THAN FOCUSING ON WHAT I DON’T WANT AND WHAT IS GOING WRONG, I’LL FOCUS ON WHAT I DO WANT AND WHAT IS GOING RIGHT
· RATHER THAN FOCUSING ON HOW I AM BEING MISTREATED, I’LL FOCUS ON HOW I CAN BE A SERVANT
· I tend to take life too seriously …I tend to take things too personally …I’m taking on too much responsibility …I need to SLOW DOWN and RELAX
· Rather than feeling sorry for myself …I choose to serve people
==> Traits of mine that are diminishing—
==> Traits of mine that are increasing—
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can -- and the wisdom to know the difference as I guide my children toward stability and health.