Monday, November 30, 2015

“I feel overwhelmed thinking of my Family’s Visit” by Guest Author Alison Poulsen PhD

When facing a family visit, people often have ambivalent feelings, wanting to make everyone happy, yet dreading the work and potential personal conflicts that loom ahead.

You may feel obligated to put everyone up at your house and prepare all the meals because you think that’s what is expected of you. While giving to others can be deeply fulfilling, it’s best to give at a level where you can do so wholeheartedly and lovingly rather than resentfully. You don’t want to slip into martyrdom.
Instead of succumbing to what you think is expected, decide what you are willing to do and state so up front.
If, for example, you are happy to prepare one meal, graciously invite everyone for that meal. “I invite you all for dinner on Friday night. On Saturday, we can go out,” or “You’re on your own.” “You can pick up your favorite breakfast groceries at the store down the street.”
People like to know what is expected in the way of itinerary, sleeping arrangements, kids’ rules, differing holiday traditions, and dogs. If you clarify expectations and don’t promise too much, you can be giving without becoming exasperated and resentful. When you communicate clearly ahead of time, people are less likely to be disappointed because they understand the game plan and your expectations.

Saying “No.”
If your relatives or friends tend to ignore your requests, hints, and desires, or are generally unpleasant, then there’s no need to accommodate them with meals or housing, unless you are willing and able to live up to Mother Theresa’s philosophy: “People are generally irrational, unreasonable and selfish. Love them anyway.”
You can say “no” while still communicating warm-heartedly. For example, “That’s not a good weekend for us to have visitors. We would love to see you though if you come into town. Call us and we’ll meet for coffee/a drink/lunch.”
by Guest Author Alison Poulsen PhD

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Paris — War & Peace

There was a time when a country had clear-cut allies and enemies. Today the enemy may be walking down our street and no one would know.

There was a time when we feared the atomic bomb and total destruction, and we carefully monitored countries with nuclear capabilities.  Today nuclear power has moved to the backseat, because anything can happen anywhere, anytime, simply with a gun you buy around the corner.

There was a time when we could savor the brief periods of a country’s peace. Today peace has become an illusion that can change in an instant.

Today hundreds of thousands of Syrians are inundating the Western World, 800,000 Syrians in Germany alone. Meanwhile ISIS, which Wikipedia defines as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, is spreading and increasing its terror.

“Allah Akbar,” meaning “God is great,” yesterday’s killers shouted in Paris. After all, the Quran commands, “When you meet the unbelievers, smite their necks.” Verse 47:4.

Would a God put us on Earth just to kill each other?  I doubt it. Yet all religions, Christianity included, have fought endless wars in the name of their God.

The old Bard was so wise when he uttered four hundred years ago: “What fools these mortals be!”

Until next time,