We live in a world responding to laws and devices and yet they do not possess nor extend grace which comes from the heart. Grace is what makes it possible for us to learn how to love and be loved; to nurture the soul. This kind of communication is sacred and cannot be faked. And yet, in the network culture, there is a great confusion on the authority inherent in roles such as parent, coach, and educator. Parents seeking to become friends and coaches are at risk of abandoning their role in the home, which is to prepare and encourage their children to engage authority figures in the world with clarity and confidence of purpose, respect and compassion for one another. It is the power to forgive the control issues of the world that disturb our peace, amplified by cyber connectivity (think cyberbullying and sexting).
In this regard, a recent post on Maroon and White, features Mississippi State Bulldogs coach Lucas pouring his heart out to parents about their attempts to coach their children during games, and the chaos it creates because he observes that parents are not raising kids, but seeking to get performances from them by coaching them. He implores parents to let kids figure tings out for themselves. “Teach your kids compassion and how to love and love abundantly,” he said. “You want to solve all the issues in this world and particularly around this country? A facebook post won’t do it and a mean spirited tweet won’t either.”
Profound words for a parenting culture that has to a large extent surrendered the authority to govern the home as the primary teacher for life. Many parents cannot get past their own inequities to hold up the bar, the “rod”, the standard for abundant life to their children. In order to focus on the things that are important and engage with people and activities in purpose-driven ways and not allow the hyper-connectivity of fear-based thoughts to distract us, we need to learn how to give ourselves a break; to hold ourselves and one another accountable with a heart full of mercy and hope.
Licensed marriage and family therapist Kim Fredrickson practicing in Roseville knows all about the ways we hang on to shame and guilt which reinforce vicious cycles of disturbing the peace in our inner world and then expressed in the outer world as broken relationships and health issues. She advises readers to stop beating themselves up and to give themselves a break. She encourages us to offer compassion to ourselves. “Self-compassion is not self-pity,” explains Fredrickson. “It is tough enough to go through a difficult situation, especially when we think we had a part in creating it. It is another kind of torture to never be able to let go of self-criticism and blame.” Basing her advice in the Bible, she offers practical steps, specific exercises, and compassionate words to say in order to build a loving relationship with ourselves – so we can do better and pursue the good in all circumstances.
Many people are used to showing compassion to others. What many of us have trouble with is showing that same compassion to ourselves. Too often we say things to ourselves that we would never say to a friend. All this negative self-talk can have a devastating effect on our lives.
Through inspiring stories of transformation, she helps us learn to show ourselves the kind of grace and understanding we offer to others—and to change our relationships, our outlook on life, and our view of ourselves in the process.
Offering encouragement and hope, Fredrickson explains: “Being able to forgive ourselves for our weaknesses, mistakes and sins is part of having a compassionate relationship with ourselves.”
About Kim Fredrickson
A licensed marriage and family therapist and certified Christian life coach for more than twenty-five years, Fredrickson has served as an adjunct professor, speaker, and author, she loves helping people become equipped spiritually, emotionally, and intellectually with practical skills to live more effective and fulfilling lives. Her website offers visitors helpful articles, encouraging recordings, and additional resources. She has been married to her husband, Dave, for thirty-seven years and they have two grown children. Fredrickson lives in Northern California. Learn more and read her blog at: Kim Fredrickson.
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To learn more about creating a home environment characterized by open communication and individual resilience, go to: Fresh Start.
*** NEXT EVENT***
Symposium on Meeting the Spiritual and Mental Health Needs of Modern Youth and Families – June 13, 2015, in Citrus Heights, California
Joanna Jullien is an author, educator and speaker on strengthening the parent-child relationship in a cyber powered world. She is a mother of two grown sons, the author of The Authority In Me: The Power of Family Life in the Network Culture, produces The Sacramento Cyber Safety Examiner column on Examiner.com, and is the CyberParenting advisor on The Fish 103.9FM. Her new book, A Google World in the Garden of Eden: Five Family-Safe Strategies for Texting and Social Media is now available for PC and all eReader formats including Kindle, Nook, iPad.