Dear Feelings Doctor: I have trouble stating my feelings to my kids. I have no trouble speaking with my spouse, but to let out my innermost fears and feelings to my children leaves me sitting stone-faced and frozen.
Obviously, this has led to problems in my parental relationships, which I ascribe to my upbringing. Can you suggest any exercises that may assist me to unwind and let loose in front of my adult kids? Thank you.
— Frigid Parent in Grosse Pointe, Mich.
Dear Frigid Parent: You risk everything when you risk nothing!
This is a chance for you to step out of that “frigid parent suit” you have been wearing and “jump in” to life with your children. There will never be anything more important for you to do than this right now.
Show your kids that it’s not only OK to take chances, it is vital! No one goes through life without some bumps and bruises.
You say that it probably has something to do with your upbringing. Well, guess what? Now is the time for you to change the entire course of your family dynamic — what a gift! Your parents did the best they could with the resources they had; now it’s your turn. Will the real you please stand up?
Begin by taking that oh-so-important baby step with whatever issue is on your plate right now. If you feel like you need hands-on help, ask your children for advice (don’t be afraid to learn from them) or find a counselor in your town and have them guide you through the beginning.
I congratulate and celebrate you on your grand opening! The world needs everything you have to give, and so do your children. Blessings and peace.
Dear Feelings Doctor: My girlfriend and I broke up two weeks ago, and it feels awful. We had been dating for almost eight years, and now I can’t seem to find anything that makes sense without her.
We had an argument over one of my female co-workers who calls me all the time. My girlfriend doesn’t understand that it’s just business. What do I do now?
— Busted in SB
Dear Busted: I’m wondering why you would sign your name “Busted in SB” if there was nothing to get in trouble over. Are you sure you just didn’t get plain old busted? I’m not psychic, but when we use certain words to describe what’s happening, they usually help tell the real story. Just sayin’.
So if you have anything to share with your beloved partner of eight years, you better put it all out on the table, because not only does she deserve the truth, so do you — whatever that is. Then move on together — really together — or gracefully go your separate ways. If the two of you truly have that special love, it won’t be denied by an innocent outsider, so hang on tight if it’s the real thing.
Happy Valentine’s Day to love and lovers everywhere.
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Imagine This …
Great spiritual traditions are used as means to ripen us, to bring us face to face with our life, and to help us to see in a new way by developing a stillness of mind and a strength of heart.
Share the beauty of your heart with the world this Valentine’s Day.
— Psychotherapist Randi Rabin, M.A., MFTI, answers reader questions in her weekly Noozhawk column, The Feelings Doctor, and can be contacted at email@example.com. She received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Antioch University Santa Barbara and completed her master’s degree in psychology at Pacifica Graduate Institute under the guidance of renowned psychologist Stephen Aizenstat, Pacifica’s chancellor and founding president. She has worked as a counselor with a number of local nonprofit organizations and schools. Click here for previous columns. The opinions expressed are her own.