Monday, September 30, 2013

Good Morning!

On this Monday morning, I would like to bring up the topic of shame. Although it's not  a happy topic, it is something that needs to be discussed. Shame is an emotion that everyone feels at one point or another. It can cause people to act out in harmful ways towards themselves or others. Shame can contribute to bullying or irrational thinking. We can only see the outward actions of others and don't know the inner feelings or guilt causing the behaviors.

In this article, 'Bullying, Mobbing and the Role of Shame,' written by Janice Harper, Ph.D., it talks about how "for the target, being shamed is a humiliating experience as they are systematically told and reminded that their worth as a human is not valued. As the target is shamed, they withdraw into themselves, begin to feel inherently flawed and worthless, and in an ironic twist of the knife, metaphorically join the aggressors through self-loathing. Just as the aggressors make it clear they are unwanted and not valued, the target of bullying or mobbing feels, on some level, that they must be what they are viewed as."

To read more about this difficult, yet common topic, check out the full article here:

And remember, if you need help or would like someone to talk to about your own shame and/or guilt, please contact me at:

Monday, September 23, 2013

Through a Glass, Darkly, An Article by Dianne Eppler Adams...Good Read!

Good Morning!

Today, I am sharing an article that came to me in a newsletter. This article is a good read about how we look at our lives and see ourselves, so if you have time, check it out!!

Spirit in Matters
By Dianne Eppler Adams, C.A.P.
Pisces Full Moon Issue
September 19, 2013
Dianne Eppler Adams
As the sunny, active days of summer end and chilly mornings begin welcoming fall colors, I am reminded that life is always moving through cycles - some inspiring and uplifting and others perplexing and difficult - that introduce opportunities for growth and change. 

Thanks always for your readership! 
Dianne Eppler Adams
Through a Glass, Darkly 

Are we seeing clearly when we look out at our life? How easy it is to criticize other's actions or to jump to conclusions about the reason why they behave the way they do.

Yet, am I really aware of the truth behind people's actions when I arrive at my criticism? If I see someone speed past me, I might think they are being aggressive, but what if the women passenger is in labor ready to deliver? I would think differently if I knew the whole situation.

Although we depend on our perceptions as we go through our day, we are rarely seeing the whole truth. Our perceptions are colored by our past experiences, our biases, and our likes and dislikes.

I was well into my adulthood before I realized that what I see is not exactly what others see. It was shocking to realize that we could be looking at the same scene and see quite different things.

Let me share a well-known story to illustrate my point.

Once upon a time (don't you love the fairy tale beginning?), there were three monks who had never seen an elephant. They were blindfolded and placed around an elephant. Each monk was told that he was to touch the elephant and describe to the others what an elephant was like.

The monk at the head of the elephant felt the big ears and exclaimed that an elephant is flat, smooth, thin and always moving. The monk at the side of the elephant disagreed: he knew that an elephant was big, rough, and roundish and had a heartbeat. Finally, the monk at the tail told them they were both wrong - he was sure than the elephant was cylindrical, hard, tough, and hairy, and yes, always moving.

So, who was right? Well, we know that all of them were correct, and all of them were incorrect. Each was describing correctly, but none of them was able to describe the entirety of the elephant correctly.

What a great metaphor for improving human relations!

We might think we understand some aspect of life, but we may be only seeing the ear or the tail. We each have our own individual filters, which is why conflicts occur and misunderstandings happen.

Next time you run into a conflict or incongruity, stop and consider this. Rather than one right answer (yours), several right answers could be possible.

Try broadening your perspective to include other points of view. Can you "walk a mile in another's shoes?" Can you open to the validity of their position - without making yourself wrong, of course?

Life on earth could be much more harmonious if we all recognized the validity of other viewpoints. If you could catch yourself before making judgments based solely on your individual perception, you would be doing your part to hasten world peace. Now that's a perception we'll all like to share!

Your comments are always welcome at

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

TWO Great Workshops coming up!!

Hi everyone!

I wanted to let you know about two wonderful workshops coming up in the near future that I am helping facilitate. The first one is an Emotional Healing Workshop and it will be held October 4-6th. The second one, Passage to Intimacy Weekend Workshop, will be held November 15-17th.  To find out more and register for either, or both, click HERE.  You can also email me any questions, or setup a pre-session

A little on the Emotional Healing Workshop:

'Many of us as adults carry unresolved feelings and negative relating skills that we developed in childhood. Often we recognize ways in which our pain from childhood is repeated in present day relationships and activities. Sometimes we are unaware of how we repeat with others what was learned long ago. Some people shut down emotions altogether, while others act out their emotions in destructive ways. Usually we blame the other people in our lives for the repetitive pain.'

A little intro on the Passage to Intimacy Workshop:

'Rome wasn't built in a day and neither is a good relationship. Falling in love is the easy part. Staying married or in a committed relationship requires healthy relationship skills and practice.

While the original PAIRS Relationship Mastery course is taught over six months, several seminars have been developed to teach relationship skills in shorter segments. In the Passage to Intimacy weekend, couples and singles learn basic skills in communication and conflict resolution. This weekend workshop is excellent for couples and singles, in any stage of a relationship.'

Sound like something you are interested in? Sign up today!!! 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Check it out,!!

Often I post articles on here that I think have significance, or can help a person in some way. Today, I want to share with you a website that I find very valuable! It's called Sounds True (  Sound True's mission is 'to inspire and support personal transformation and spiritual awakening.' This website offers many pieces that can inspire and help someone along their journey, whatever it may be. I especially like the Sounds True radio feature where you simply click and can tune-in whenever you'd like!

From the Sound True website:
"Sounds True is an independent multimedia publishing company that embraces the world's major spiritual traditions, as well as the arts and humanities, embodied by the leading authors, teachers, and visionary artists of our time. Our approach to publishing is not dependent on a single format or technology—rather, we strive with every title to preserve the essential "living wisdom" of the author, artist, or spiritual teacher. It is our goal to create products that not only provide information to a reader or listener, but that also embody the essential quality of a wisdom transmission between a teacher and a student.

Throughout the years, Sounds True has developed a guiding philosophy that we call "multiple bottom lines." Our dedication to this principle is embodied in our Mission Statement:
The mission of Sounds True is to find teachers and artists who serve as a gateway to spiritual awakening and to produce, publish, and distribute their work with beauty, intelligence, and integrity. We treat our authors, vendors, and partners in the same way we would want to be treated. We work flexibly and efficiently together to create a cooperative, loving environment that honors respectful authenticity and individual growth. We maintain a healthy level of profitability so that we are an independent and sustainable employee-owned organization."

So, if you have a minute, check it out! You may find something relevant to what's going on in your life... enjoy!

Monday, September 9, 2013

14 Things Your Daughter-in-Law Wants to Tell You

Monday is here again...and today I want to bring up the top of in-laws. Do you have a good relationship with your in-laws? Are there things that you wish you could tell them, but know if you did it would traumatize the relationship?

I'd like to share this article, from   titled, '14 Things Your Daughter-in-Law Wants to Tell You,' written by by Mary May Larmoyeux. This article brings up a few good points, that can be applied for daughter-in-laws or son-in-laws as the concepts and principles are the same. If you are struggling with a daughter or son-in-law, check out this article and take a minute to evaluate what you do, or don't do for the relationship:

14 Things Your Daughter-in-Law Wants to Tell You

“Good mamas want their kids to have good marriages.”
by Mary May Larmoyeux

Something happens the moment a bride says, “I do.” Not only does she get a husband, but in most cases, a mother-in-law as well.

Bonds between some daughters- and mothers-in-law are sometimes compared to the close friendship that Ruth and Naomi enjoyed (Ruth 1:16). But far too many women describe this relationship as fragile, tense, and even competitive.

Recently I asked some friends a few simple questions about in-laws. I was amazed by the number of replies I received about mothers-in-law. I also was surprised by the depth of their emotion.

One woman told me about her in-laws’ first visit, more than two decades ago. Her memories are still painful. As a new bride, she served a festive Thanksgiving meal of turkey, chestnut stuffing, canned cranberry sauce ... “the whole nine yards.” When the family sat down for dinner, the new bride was quite pleased about how everything had turned out. Until … the topic turned to how many turkey dinners the in-laws had eaten in the last two months and how much better homemade cranberry sauce is than the canned version. Then the mother-in-law asked, “What are these lumpy bits in the stuffing?”

I received a three-page response from another daughter-in-law about an overnight visit from her mother- and sister-in-law. At one point, the mother-in-law was lying on the couch with a migraine as she directed her own daughter to clean the house. The young girl complained that everything was already clean. “I felt like the worst wife and housekeeper in the world,” my friend wrote.

Another woman poured her heart out to me. Although she and her husband have been married for more than three decades, she still feels that, no matter what she does, she will never measure up to the standards of her mother-in-law. “I simply wish that she would accept me for who I am.”

And then I finally read an encouraging response: “My mother-in-law is a gem! She loves Jesus with her whole heart and that is what makes her so valuable. ... She is thoughtful and generous.”

From these and other stories, I realized that daughters-in-laws want to say a lot! Here’s a selection from their answers to my question, “What do you wish you could tell your mother-in-law?”

1. Cut the apron strings to your son.

“Know that your input is no longer the primary influence in your son’s life.”

“Understand the leaving and cleaving part of Scripture (Genesis 2:24). Love unconditionally but also understand your correct place in the relationship with your child.”

“Don’t expect your son to do what you want him to do anymore. Expect and encourage him to consult with his wife.”

“Encourage your son to build, develop, and define his marriage role. Don’t fight for position by grasping and grabbing for your son’s time and emotions.  Good mamas want their kids to have good marriages.”

2. Pray for your daughter-in-law.

“Hope and pray that the marriage of your son will be successful. Don’t sit in the background and hope for your daughter-in-law to fail.”

“Rather than question or criticize your daughter-in-law, bring issues to God and pray.”

“Ask God to show you how to love your daughter-in-law as your own daughter.”

3. Talk with your daughter-in-law about hard things.

“If you are a family, act like one. Families fight, they discuss their issues and that’s how they get resolved. This can be done lovingly and constructively. It doesn’t have to be a he said/she said/you said situation. Tiptoeing around the problems and acting like they don’t exist doesn’t help anyone, it only hurts everyone in the long run.”

“Ask your daughter-in-law to let you know if/when you offend her. Remember that Satan wants to destroy your relationship.”

4. Compliment your daughter-in-law; never criticize.

“Honor your daughter-in-law in the presence of your son. Compliment your daughter-in-law; never criticize.”

“Make an effort to applaud, praise, and thank your daughter-in-law. Tell her how much you appreciate her positive influence on your son and why you think she’s a good mother.”

5. Only give advice when asked.

“Do not volunteer information unless asked.”

“Be quick to encourage; don’t question, criticize, or give unsolicited advice.”

“Be aware that sometimes a mother-in-law’s desire to be helpful can be heard by the daughter-in-law as a threat or criticism.”

6. Your daughter-in-law may be different from you. Accept her for who she is.

“Realize that your daughter-in-law wasn’t raised the same way you raised your son and maybe doesn’t have the same standards you have. … Try to understand her mindset and the way her family operated.”

“Do not try to change her into who you would like her to be.”

“A good mother-in-law doesn’t make the wife feel like she doesn’t measure up, or give the impression that she wishes her son would have made a ‘better’ choice.  A good mother-in-law encourages, accepts, and loves unconditionally.”

7. Do not put expectations on your daughter-in-law.

“Do not say things like, ‘You’ll be here for Christmas, won’t you?’ “

“Do not have expectations for visits, phone calls, etc.”

8. Remember that your son has always had faults.

“Your child was not perfect before she married him.”

“You love your son, so does your daughter-in-law. Every change that you see in your son is not her doing.”

9. Accept the goals your son and daughter-in-law have for their lives.

“Be interested in the things your daughter-in-law and her family are doing even though you don’t agree with them (i.e., homeschooling, international travel, etc.).  Show some interest in the things that are most important to them … even if you think they are making wacky decisions.”

“If we don’t do or say things the way you would, just love us anyway.”

“Allow your daughter-in-law to disagree and know that it isn’t something personal.  Don’t be offended if a daughter-in-law does not share your tastes, dreams, and values.”

10. Try to understand.

“Remember that all good relationships take work and a willingness to seek understanding.”

“Do not assume that you know why ‘she said that’ or ‘she did that.’ Particularly if your assumptions tend to assign negative or mean motivations.”

“Ask questions to understand. Don’t tell your daughter-in-law how things should be.”

11. Allow your son and daughter-in-law to make mistakes.

“Respect the decisions of your son and daughter-in-law, even if you don’t agree with them. Know that if their decision is a mistake, it will be a learning opportunity for them.”

“We all mess up sometimes, but your daughter-in-law really does want to get along with you.”

“Look for positives to applaud even though you see room for improvement.”

12. Cultivate a relationship with your daughter-in-law.

“Let her know the qualities you see in her as a person apart from being a wife and mom. … Realize that it takes time for your daughter-in-law to feel like you are a mom to her. Start out as a friend and let the mom role take place over time.”

“Tell your daughter-in-law about decisions you faced as a mother of infants, toddlers, teenagers, young adults, etc.  Talk about more than superficial things.”

“When you call your son, and your daughter-in-law answers the phone, visit with her before asking for your son.”

“Spend time alone with your daughter-in-law doing things you both enjoy. It encourages her when you ask her to go shopping and then ask her opinion about a purchase. Show your daughter-in-law that you truly appreciate her input and enjoy being with her.”

“Develop a true friendship with your daughter-in-law.”

“Get to know your daughter-in-law for the person God created her to be.  Then, come alongside her to mentor, encourage, and build a relationship so that if/when you need to give loving input or direction, it is not taken as meddling.”

13. Think the best of your daughter-in-law.

“I wish I could tell my mother-in-law that I know that I’m not perfect; I don’t expect her to be perfect; but let’s both try to assume that the other is doing the best she can.  The comment that she may hear that sounds rude to her, or the action that may come across as hurtful (like a missed birthday card) is usually the dumb stumble of an imperfect person (me).  I often feel that every action is interpreted in the worst light as a personal affront against her.”

“If your son and daughter-in-law can’t do something you want them to do, realize that it’s not because they are angry with you or don’t love you ... it has nothing to do with you at all.  Do not analyze and try to figure out what you did wrong.”

“Know that your son is in good hands and that your daughter-in-law is grateful for all that you taught him in the earlier years.”

14. Take the initiative to connect with your son and daughter-in-law.

“I wish I could tell my mother-in-law to come visit us more often rather than expecting us to travel during this busy time in our lives.  She and my father-in-law are retired and have nothing else to do. As long as they are healthy and can travel, wouldn’t it make more sense for them to come to us rather than us loading up four busy people who have jobs, school, extracurricular activities, etc.? Come be a part of our lives.”

“Offer to take care of the grandkids so your daughter-in-law can have a day to herself.”

“I wish my mother-in-law would spend more time with the grandkids. I don't want to always be the one asking. I would love it if she'd call and say, ‘Can I keep the kids on Saturday?’ … I personally want the kids to know their grandparents well.”

Okay, mothers-in-law, there’s the list. What are we going to do about it?

Copyright © 2011 by FamilyLife. All rights reserved.

To see the original article, click here:

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Healing the Cycles that Tear Couples Apart

Happy Tuesday!

As couples therapy hasn't always part of my resume, I have felt the need for it more over the past few years. I have helped many different types of couples at all stages in life, and have found it to be quite rewarding. Today I am sharing an article with you on some of the negative behavior patterns that couples experience. If a couple is serious about staying together, they need to first identify all the negative behaviors they find themselves partaking in, then formulate a plan to overcome them if possible.

This article, written by Melanie A. Greenberg, Ph.D., was featured on The article talks about healing the negative cycles that break couples apart and how respect and intimacy are the foundation on which loving relationships are built. When people have the courage to look at these patterns, admit their own contribution, and are willing to change and put their relationships first, even the most difficult relationship problems can be healed.

Check it out HERE.

Talk Soon,

Inner Passages Therapy
Gaithersburg, Maryland