Tag Archives: acceptance

The Power of Parental Acceptance

Posted by: Anna Coutts on March 18, 2015 12:00 pm

I recently re-read the award-winning book The Help. While the book carries many important messages, there is one message in particular that really stood out for me. It was the message about the importance of acceptance. I was struck by just how determined the main character Aibileen is to make sure the child she nannies grows up feeling good about herself. In order to make sure this happened, she tells the child daily she is kind, smart and important. Aibileen reflects on how she’s learned over the years the value of giving children messages of love and acceptance, as she has seen how too many pushes for change can devastate a child’s sense of self. It made me realize how powerful feeling accepted by a parent can be for a child.dualism-597093_640

Every parent wants the best for their child. They want them to be happy, healthy and successful. Most parents will bend over backwards trying to give a good life to their child. Unfortunately, sometimes in an effort to make things better, we inadvertently make things more difficult. I see it all the time – parents pushing their kids to excel at school or sports, convinced that pushing them will give them a prosperous life. They will fight tooth and nail with teachers to get their kids out of difficult situations and to protect their kids from perceived harm. They fear the emotional devastation that will be caused if their child doesn’t go to the best school or have the best friends or make the best team. They push for change because they believe it is what will give their child everything they want.

No one can fault them for their good intentions. They are trying to do something wonderful for someone they love. The problem is this constant push for the best often causes us to forget the power of accepting someone as they are now. Unintentionally, the message that is often sent along with the strive for change is that who you are at the moment isn’t good enough. This is of course not at all what parents intend. But unfortunately, it is often the impact.

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*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA

New Year’s Resolutions

Posted by: Asa Don Brown on January 16, 2015 8:00 am

“Faith is not the clinging to a shrine but an endless pilgrimage of the heart.”  ~ Abraham Heschel

At this time of the year, we are encouraged to develop our New Year’s Resolutions. The resolutions may play upon our heartstrings, moral compasses, religious ideological viewpoints, or the need for physical and mental improvement. Resolutions are not only geared towards improvement of the individual, but as well as the improvement of societies’ moral and ethical compasses. While many may disagree, I unequivocally believe that the key to moving forward, as well as, establishing new pathways in this life, must begin by forgiving ourselves and forgiving others.

FORGIVENESS IS THE KEY TO MOVING FORWARD

“Forgiveness is not an occasional act; it is a permanent attitude.”  ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

A key to moving forward, is forgiving others, as well as your own person. Forgiveness is not only a state of mind, but it is a state of being. It is woven through the very essence of our being. Forgiveness is a constant attitude occurring through a purposeful action. As humans, we are instinctively designed to forgive. It is only when we choose not to forgive that our minds, bodies, and spirits begin to experience disrepair. Those who choose not to forgive; choose to harbor the wrongs of others and of their own person. Thus, frequently developing physiological and psychological signs and symptoms associated with stress, anxiety, and depression. Forgiveness cleanses the body, ridding it of the decay of negativity, disappointment, and heartache. It is through the act of forgiveness, that we can live a balanced and well-adjusted life. Forgiveness is the key to living life productively. Being productive enables us to be effective in this life, by producing the desires and intended results with which we may choose to acquire. Forgiveness is a purposeful action filtered through a permanent attitude.

WHAT IS A RESOLUTION?

“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language And next year’s words await another voice.” ~ T. S. Eliot

The basic principle of a resolution is to be firm with one’s decisions, opinions, intentions, and expressions. It is through a resolution that we clarify our stance, becoming a decisive person. Being decisive is intent on settling an issue or a set of issues, by producing a definite result.

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*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA

A Life Lived Without Forgiveness

Posted by: Asa Don Brown on October 28, 2014 1:52 pm

“A life lived without forgiveness is a prison.” ~ William Arthur Ward

forgiveA life lived without forgiveness is a life lived in the past. Living in the past is a conscious or an unconscious choice made through a connection to the past. In simple, the past is a time gone by and no longer exists in the present moment, but we choose to allow this past to occupy our minds, our bodies and our very existence. Living in the past is like choosing to cling to a chronic illness. Would you choose to be plagued with a chronic illness? Would you allow yourself to be
injected with a disease that could take your life? Why then, are you allowing yourself to be injected daily with the memories associated with the past? Why have you chosen to cling to the negative memories associated with your life? Have you found comfort with the negative memories, or do you feel incapable of letting go of the past?
Letting go of the past is through purposeful action. The action is the process with which we choose to rid the very essence of our person of the past. The past may be comprised of tragic events, thoughts, or circumstances. Whatever the case, the past is haunting you and it is denying you the freedom of moving forward in this life.
As a clinician and a person, I have been witness to countless individuals who have chosen to cling to the past. Clinging to the past is a purposeful action of recalling, remembering and harboring negative thoughts, deeds or actions. When we harbor the memories associated with the past, we are protecting the negative memories, rather than allowing them to exist no more. Moving beyond the past requires a combination of actions: letting go, forgiveness, and moving forward.

FORGIVENESS IS A STATE OF BEING

Forgiveness is not only a state of mind, but it is a state of being. It is woven through the very essence of our being. Forgiveness is a constant attitude occurring through a purposeful action. As humans, we are instinctively designed to forgive. It is only when we choose not to forgive that our minds, bodies, and spirits begin to experience disrepair. Those who choose not to forgive; choose to harbor the wrongs of others and of their own person, frequently have physical and psychological signs. Forgiveness cleanses the body, ridding it of the decay of negativity, disappointment, and heartache. It is through the act of forgiveness, that we can live a balanced and well-adjusted life. Forgiveness is the key to living life productively. Being productive enables us to be effective in this life, by producing the desires and intended results with which we may choose to acquire.

FORGIVENESS OF OTHERS

Forgiving others, especially our enemies, is a challenge indeed. What if, you had committed a wrong against another? Would you not have a deep desire to be forgiven? Have you ever experienced the denial of your repentance? What sort of effect did this have on your person? Were you shattered by the unwavering and unyielding of the person or persons you had wronged?
As a clinician, I have met a variety of patients / clients who’s hearts ache to be forgiven. As an individual, I too have had the experience of others denying the acceptance of my repentance. The denial of our repentance can have a penetrating effect, plunging like a dagger deep into the very core of our being. For so many, forgiveness and the lack of forgiveness, can prove a major stumbling block.
If we deny accepting the repentance of another, then we are intentionally and purposefully hanging on to the wrongs of the past. The wrongs of the past serve as a coat-of-arms. We identify our coat-of-arms as a shield of honor, but the reality is, our coat-of-arms is shielding the very nature of our person from allowing others to enter. It is serving as a warning sign, informing others to tread lightly because I will remove them from my life, if they wrong me.
For people who long for the acceptance of their repentance, they will continue to be haunted by their past wrongs as long as they choose to hang onto them.

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*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA

Making Peace With Your Past: Choosing Health and Happiness

Posted by: Asa Don Brown on February 27, 2014 12:00 pm

“A life lived without forgiveness is a prison.”
~ William Arthur Ward

Forgiveness is not only a state of mind, but it is a state of being.  It is woven through the very essence of our being.  Forgiveness is a constant attitude occurring through a purposeful action.  As humans, we are instinctively designed to forgive. It is only when we choose not to forgive that our minds, bodies, and spirits begin to experience disrepair.  Those who choose not to forgive, choose to harbor the wrongs of others and of their own person, frequently have physical and psychological signs.  Forgiveness cleanses the body, ridding it of the decay of negativity, disappointment, and heartache.  It is through the act of forgiveness, that we can live a balanced and well-adjusted life.  Forgiveness is the key to live life productively.

FORGIVENESS OF OTHERS

Forgiving others, especially our enemies is a challenge indeed.  What if, you had committed a wrong against another?  Would you not have deep desire to be forgiven?  Have you ever experienced the denial of your repentance?  What sort of effect did this have on your person?  Were you shattered by the unwavering and unyielding of the person or persons you had wronged?

As a clinician, I have met a variety of patients / clients who’s hearts ache to be forgiven.  As an individual, I too have had the experience of others denying the acceptance of my repentance.  The denial of our repentance can have a penetrating effect, plunging like a dagger deep into the very core of our being.  For so many, forgiveness and the lack of forgiveness can prove a major stumbling block.

If we deny accepting the repentance of another, then we are intentionally and purposefully hanging on to the wrongs of the past.  The wrongs of the past serve as a coat-of-arms.  We identify our coat-of-arms as a shield of honor, but the reality is, our coat-of-arms is shielding the very nature of our person from allowing others to enter.  It is serving as a warning sign, informing others to tread lightly, because I will remove them from my life, if they wrong me.

For people who long for the acceptance of their repentance, they will continue to be haunted  by their past wrongs as long as they choose to hang onto them.

WHAT REALLY IS FORGIVENESS?

“Forgiveness is not an occasional act; it is a permanent attitude.”
~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

Forgiveness is the intentional act or process of pardoning or offering absolution unto another.

Furthermore, it is the intentional act or process of accepting my own personal responsibility in an act or an event.  True repentance is expressed through sincere regret and remorse of our wrongs.  Therefore, I must forgive my own person, if I truly desire to heal from wrongful acts.  Forgiveness is a three way street.  It is the act of contrition, which is a state of feeling remorseful, sorrowful, regretful and penitent for the wrongs the we have committed.  It is also the responsibility of the person accepting our humbled and broken heart, that engages the act of forgiveness.  Most importantly, whether or not those we have wronged will accept our repentance, we must be willing to forgive ourselves.  For forgiving our own person allows the individual to move forward in life.  Unfortunately, not everyone will pardon or offer absolution of the wrongs we have committed.  Therefore, it is absolutely necessary that we forgive our own person simultaneously, when we request others to forgive the deeds or acts that we have committed.  Always remember, forgiveness is a continuous act not a momentary embrace.

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*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA

Fatherhood – Being the Best Father You Can Be

Posted by: Asa Don Brown on February 7, 2014 4:13 pm

“Fatherhood is a very natural thing; it’s not something that shakes up my life but rather enriches it.”
~ Andrea Bocelli

Today’s culture is making it easier and easier to be a “father.”  While children continue to be neglected, research is showing that there is an incline in the number of fathers who are actively participating in the lives of children. Moreover, there has been a significant “…increase in programs designed to promote involved and responsible fatherhood.” (Perry, 2012,  Online)

As a father, I have discovered my lifelong calling is, “fatherhood.”  Fatherhood is essentially the willingness to treat with protective care and in a nurturing manner.  It is fatherhood that allows the male in the relationship to join together with his partner and become “the father”.  A father is more than having the ability to impregnate a women, rather a father is the person who provides support, care, and an unconditional environment.

As men, we are not equipped to bear children, yet we are naturally designed to be fathers.  It is recognizing and accepting the role of fatherhood, that enables a man to begin becoming a father.  Our limitations, reservations, and fears of fatherhood, are frequently the uncertainties and insecurities associated with failure . What if I fail as a father?  So what, pull yourself up by your bootstraps and move forward.  Do not hesitate or fear asking for advice.   Asking for advice is not an indication that you are weak, rather that you are strong in your willingness to ask for help.

After all, fatherhood is the greatest education a man can ever receive.  As a father, you not only have an opportunity to learn more about yourself, but about the world around you.  A child’s constant questioning and inquiry of life, offers a father an unique opportunity and the privilege for growth.

ACTIVE LISTENING

“It is a wise father that knows his own child.”
~ William Shakespeare

As a father, we need to actively listen.  Active listening is the ability, the skill, technique, or an inherent trait whereby, a person is purposefully and intentionally focusing on the communications being sent by another person or persons.  An active listener not only listens and receives an intended message, but is capable of paraphrasing what messages he or she has received back to the communicator.  An active listener recognizes that not all communication is verbally spoken, but is often communicated through verbal and nonverbal transmissions.  It entails good physical posture, gestures, and purposeful eye contact.

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*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA

Effective Parenting

Posted by: Asa Don Brown on November 6, 2013 9:42 am

“No matter how calmly you try to referee, parenting will eventually produce bizarre behavior, and I’m not talking about the kids. Their behavior is always normal.”
                                                                                     ~ Bill Cosby

Entering parenthood is liken an Indiana Jones Movie.  You have many uncertainties, insecurities, angst and a general uneasiness about the whole adventure.   Not unlike an Indiana Jones movie, you are always inadequately prepared for the 2 a.m. squelch that ignites into a thundering roar of screaming.  Whether you are speaking of a newborn baby or a teenager, each stage of childhood is a personal learning curve for each parent.  

Moreover, no two children are identically alike, thus being educated by one child is only the beginning of your parental pursuit.  From the moment that the child is comfortably placed into your arms, you are operating without a how-to manual.  While many experts can spew their literary, philosophical, academic, and ideological perspectives; children have very few absolutes.   You may be asking yourself, so what are these absolutes?  It is absolutely essential that all children are placed into a loving, compassionate, empathetic, nurturing, caring, and forgiving environment.  Children should never be intentionally exposed to harm of any sort; whether it is forcible or not, the home must be a place of safety and care.   It is absolutely essential that all parents recognize that they are not alone in their parental training.

“No one comes into this world knowing how to be a good parent. The challenges and experiences of our lives directly affect the environment we create for our own children. We know now that crime, divorce, scores of diseases, obesity and poor academic performance are directly linked to adverse childhood experiences, such as child abuse and neglect.” (Learntoparent.org,2013, Online) 

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*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA

The Psychology of Perfectionism

Posted by: Asa Don Brown on October 11, 2013 3:14 pm

“I’m a perfectionist, so I can drive myself mad – and other people, too.  At the same time, I think that’s one of the reasons I’m successful.  Because I really care about what I do.”       ~ Michelle Pfeiffer

Why is it that perfectionism is considered a negative?  Are there not benefits from having a perfectionistic attitude?  According to New Oxford American Dictionary, perfectionism is “the refusal to accept any standard short of perfection.”  In reality, there a variety of influences that create perfectionism.  Perfectionism may be influenced or imposed by another.  Many times we adopt these habits, traits, characteristics, features, customs, standards, and ideological viewpoints during our youth.  In some cases, the perfectionistic way is unbeknownst to us. 

There are many different types of perfectionism:  A person may desire to prove perfectionistic if he/she has an aspiration to prove flawless in one’s pursuits, endeavors, and through his/her life ambitions.  In some cases, perfectionistic individuals have a strong urge to have even the  appearance of control.  The control maybe over one’s own personal emotional, psychological, or physical being; or it may be over another, an event, a place or an object.  The control may stem from a life that feels out of control, vulnerable, or susceptible to others.  It may have been inspired by physical, emotional, psychological or sexual abuse.  Unfortunately, negative perfectionism commonly stems from our childhood.  

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*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA

Staying True Unto Oneself

Posted by: Asa Don Brown on August 14, 2013 3:10 pm

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”
~ Steve Jobs

What does it mean to “stay true unto oneself?”  Shakespeare spoke of this immortal question, others have reformatted and repackaged the idea, but still many remain uncertain of the essential meaning of being true unto oneself. 

What is the importance of staying true unto oneself? However you want to package the basic premise is:  be authentic in all that you do.  Do not waver from the nature of your true person.  Whoever you are, allow that person to shine through. 

AUTHENTICITY

Authentic people are undisputedly genuine.  Genuine people do not rely on the approval or acceptance of others, rather they diligently seek to be themselves.  They deny the ownership of critical words or deeds that others lay at their feet.  Genuine people are not perfect, but strive for improvement on a daily and frequent basis.  They are also capable of accepting positively constructive criticism, while denying the negative intentions, deeds, actions, or criticisms that others may choose to offer.   An authentic person is a sincere person relying upon their inner being for acceptance and approval.

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*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA

What is Your Source of Inspiration?

Posted by: Asa Don Brown on June 11, 2013 4:42 pm

“The whole history of science has been the gradual realization that events do not happen in an arbitrary manner, but that they reflect a certain underlying order, which may or may not be divinely inspired.”
 ~ Stephen Hawking

What is your source inspiration? What or who inspires you to live and prove productive?  Is your source of inspiration a person, a place or thing?  If so, what is that source of inspiration?  Are you inspired by a spiritual being or religious ideological viewpoint?  Is your inspiration your soulmate or an important friend?

Why is it important to be inspired? Whether you are inspired by another individual or something within your own person; inspiration is the motivator within life. Inspiration is the catalyst for prodding you forward.  What is the importance of inspiration?  If we are inspired, we will inspire those around us.  Inspiration beseeches inspiration.

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*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA

Personal Responsibility

Posted by: Asa Don Brown on May 23, 2013 4:28 pm

“Personal responsibility is the willingness to completely accept choices that we have made throughout our lives.”
                                                                                    ~ Asa Don Brown, Waiting to Live

Personal responsibility is the ability and willingness to accept our past, whether good or bad as a marker within our history.  It is also recognizing that our history does not have to define us or be the determining factor of our lives.

PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY IS NOT

Responsibility is not identifying with our past failures or successes.  Nor is it allowing others to place the past upon our person.  Responsibility cannot be the acceptance of other’s failures or successes.  We may have all had a moment in time, whereby we slough off personal responsibility, transfer personal responsibility or blame others for our failures or the successes in our lives.   Personal responsibility is not the denial of our successes or of our failures, rather it is the willingness to take ownership of our personal history.  

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*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA