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Month: September 2016

How children see their family

How children see their family

Reticulated Giraffe Family

“Once you bring kids into this world, its not about you anymore.” ~Tony Gaskins

One of the harshest outcomes of separation of a married couple is its inevitable impact on their children. As adults, most of us have already faced disappointments and changes, losses and challenges, at different stages in life. We have been in stressful situations in one-way or another, and we have developed our own coping mechanisms to deal with them and learn from them. But for small children, their parents’ separation and the disintegration of the family unit would perhaps be their first apparent life crisis! When as adults the situation can be excruciatingly painful, it is unimaginable to fathom the agony children can go through.

The way small children see it – family means the entire world to them. In the eyes of toddlers, their parents are truly their universe and there isn’t anything else, literally. Even older children, however detached and rebellious they can be, continue to define themselves in terms of their family. Their family is an intrinsic part of who they are. Their parents are the two most important people who mean everything to them. They perceive both mom and dad as a single entity, rather than seeing them differently as a mom and a dad. It is from this single unit that their family was created. No wonder then that children view their parents’ breakup as the end of something fundamentally significant.

When children see and absorb that their family is not what it used to be, that alone can shake them. It can evoke emotions of being unsure, anxious and insecure. Separation can seem like a catastrophe and be a devastating feeling!

We all feel a need to belong and there is no better sense of belonging than that which comes from being a part of a loving family. It becomes extremely crucial for a parent or both the parents, given different circumstances of separation, to help these children navigate through the painful process in a reassuring and healthy way.

Morning Dose of Inspiration

Morning Dose of Inspiration

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“Each morning we are born again. What we do today is what matters most.” ~Buddha

In life’s most painful moments, the nights seem darker than ever before. Anxieties and fear grip you so hard that uninterrupted sleep becomes a rarity. And you dread waking up to the mornings that seem to have nothing to offer.

I had spent several sleepless nights turning and tossing with worries. And rose to the mornings, clouded with a sense of hopelessness.

Then one fine day, I happened to visit our family friend and philosopher guide, as well as an acclaimed author, Mr. Russi Lala. During our profound conversation, he gifted a magical book to me – ‘Opening Doors Within’ by Eileen Caddy. He asked me in his hoarse and subtly compelling voice to read it every morning, unfailingly, along with my practice of Quiet Time that he sincerely advocated. Read here: Quiet Time

Since that day, my mornings did not change. But the way I looked at my mornings had started to change.

img_2152‘Opening Doors Within’ is a divine journal that offers an inspirational message for every day of the year. The author Eileen Caddy received personal guidance from a still voice within her, a source she calls the God within. These celestial messages are like your meditations for each day – simple and practical teachings that bring hope, faith and inner peace.

It is amazing how every time when I read the message for the day, every word is just so relevant to my state of mind. As if God is reading my mind and churning out just the words needed to lift my spirits. It feels as though my own inner voice is talking to me, prompting me with some action steps in a particular direction. Guiding me, filling me with optimism and subtly nudging me to make the right choices. Thanks to this book, I now believe in small miracles.

img_2132Just while I was enjoying these daily teachings, comes along another similar gift, this time from my Dad – ‘Each Day a New Beginning’ by Karen Casey, Hazelden Meditations. It consisted of daily meditations especially meant for women. This book too had a message offered for every day, along with a quote from well-known women.

I begin my day reading the messages from these books. They are my morning dose of inspiration filling my day with renewed motivation. They serve as a daily reminder that yesterday is gone, and with each sunrise comes new hopes, new aspirations and new actions.

The way we start our mornings surely sets the tone for the entire day. So do whatever it takes for you to get inspired. So that you rise beautifully, ready to shine anew every single day!

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“You alone cannot save your marriage!”

“You alone cannot save your marriage!”

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“Marriage is not a noun, it’s a verb; it isn’t something you get, its something you do; its the way you love your partner everyday.” ~Barbara De Angelis

Our well-meaning elders teach us Indian girls that marriage is sacred. We are taught right from the time we enter teens that no matter what you study and whether you pursue your career or not, it is important to marry a ‘right’ man at the ‘right’ age. The seeds of conditioning are planted early on that women have to adjust in a marriage in their new home with the husband, in-laws, extended family, friends, servants, all their whims and fancies. We grow up perceiving marriage as a be-all institution that is meant to be kept standing tall on our little shoulders. Its sanctity has to be preserved and the onus mainly lies on the female spouse. Thus becomes our mission to hold upright the nuptial vows in all sacrosanct.

But what happens when the fairy tale beginning meets a grim ending, and down comes the holy marital establishment?

The woman takes it upon herself to swim against the tide and bring along the family safely to the shore. She gives it all that she has in making the marriage work, even if it means bending backwards. Even if it means for her to lose certain amount of self-respect and face the brunt. Even though she is not at fault, she drowns in a pool of guilt and self-doubt. Surely there must be something wrong with her to land up in the dismal situation. She holds on to hope akin to holding on to a rock in the floods. After all, the years she has spent on building this edifice of love with her dedication and enthusiasm, she will not let it fall. Surely not when there are children born out of the wedlock. So she keeps giving and giving until she loses herself in the process and has nothing more left to give.

On recognising that my marriage was crumbling, I opted to seek professional help and started seeing a marriage counsellor – albeit, alone. After several hours of conversations and my relentless efforts of saving a dying marriage, it finally took the counsellor’s advice to bring things into perspective. Amidst one emotional session of sharing and pouring my heart out, she told me blatantly, “You alone cannot save your marriage!” That did it. The fog was lifted. The truth was out there in the open. Plain and as a matter-of-fact for me to see and absorb. I was the only one interested in making it work. My ex was not up for any form of communication to resolve our issues. There seemed no hope for reconciliation. He had drifted…that was the last straw…yes, it seemed to be over….

It takes two people to get married, but does it take one or both to get divorced…….?

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