Suzanne Says

Questions & Answers

December 2004

Send your questions to Suzanne@InnerworksPublishing.com

Continuation from last newsletter question:
Later Question: We haven't had much success getting a counselor who my daughter feels understands her. She says I am the one who listens to her best, but I feel so inadequate. I think the problem is that she finds herself in a very hard situation (financially, job wise and new location) and can't see any options to get herself out of the "hole." She admits she has a problem with procrastination, so I presume making a decision is desperately scary for her under the circumstances. How can I encourage her?

Answer: For the short run it is acceptable that you help your daughter, as you are the only one she will respond to and whom she trusts. You can help through the initial crisis. In the long run, however, she needs professional help and a support system. Even, if she does not like the counselor(s) available in her small town, it is imperative to encourage her in that direction. Eventually, being in a group, even if she refuses to participate, will be helpful, as she will learn from others in a group.

During this early process, it is critical that you be doubly certain to nurture yourself and take care of your own emotional needs: being in nature, meditating, journal writing, going to counseling, talking to a trusted friend, getting exercise, and eating healthy. If you are her only anchor at this time, remember to meditate before and after you talk to her each day. You will have to notice when you are triggered and then process it.

You are being asked to put into practice everything you know at this time. At the very core is to simply love your daughter unconditionally as she talks about her pain, losses, disappointments, etc. to find the courage to move forward. Timely input from you can help her. You will have to feel your way.

In no uncertain terms, you must address the fact that you are not trained to help her deal with her problems, so she must find a therapist, psychiatrist, pastoral counselor, etc. When a person is depressed they cannot make decisions or act, so you can volunteer to help her find this support person; maybe do some of the work by making phone calls. When she complains about the style of counseling or the personality of the counselor, it is important to reinforce the idea that at this time she must choose one for her survival and your peace of mind. Explain that it is better to be with someone who is not perfect, than no one at all and that later when she is further along in her healing process, she can find a new therapist. Further explain that talking about her conflicts, issues, and problems and expressing to an objective third person can be done even with what she judges as an "inadequate" therapist.

Later Question: In my fear that I may "lose" my daughter, I have overstepped the marka couple of times with her boyfriend. How do I hold back when I want to step in and fix things? How do I support her in letting her find her own way, as I feel so helpless and my weaknesses are triggered easily? I also am embarrassed and find it so difficult to live with the stigma and misunderstanding that mental illness carries. It even holds me back in helping to get help for my daughter and myself.

Answer: You are doing well by observing this about yourself. A couple of things come to my mind for you to consider. One, it may be the next step for you to meditate and connect more to your oneness and knowingness as you practice right action with the boyfriend and wanting to fix things. Two, it may be time to monitor yourself as you help your daughter. For example, observe your day, then each evening jot down points you want to remember, places where you could have kept your mouth shut or did not follow you inner guidance. Consider starting each day with a Spiritual Mind Treatment to stay on track. Here is one until you write your own:

Life is all there is and I am a part of Life. Divine Love enfolds me as I go forward today in nurturing myself. I take the time needed for my own inner work so I am a clear channel of Love for my daughter. I spend quiet time each morning to center myself - to pray, meditate, and contemplation my role in my daughter's healing, and the next step for my own. I allow guidance to pour into my consciousness to prepare me for my role today. I have the strength to do my part. I see my daughter's spiritual wholeness. I visualize Divine Light in its full spectrum of colors surrounding the Earth and pouring forth into myself and my family. I detach from the drama and see opportunity here, disguised as fear and pain in myself and my daughter. I stand tall as the God within spends time with my daughter today. Thank you Universe for this or something better for myself and my daughter. I let go and let Life unfold.

(This story has a happy ending. It is now two years later and the daughter is alive and well. Her depression and despair was the beginning of her spiritual awakening. She has made many changes and open to viewing her life in new ways.)

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