Nearing the corner is the season of Spring, a time of resurrection, new life, and new beginnings. It’s also a time for moving ahead (well, one hour at the very least) and for clearing out clutter from your life (spring cleaning anyone?). You could look at this time of year as a chance to celebrate new possibilities,
Renew yourself. Maybe you’ve been dealing with guilt from the past. Let it go. You are a worthy parent. If you have not spoken to your child in years, months, or days, NOW is a perfect time to reach out to them. Take a chance. Do it in love, and respond in love no matter the response you get. Recently, I had the pleasure of a having lengthy conference call with Dr. Anita Vestal, who received her Ph.D. in Conflict Resolution. I contacted her because I came across a research article she wrote entitled, “Mediation and Parental Alienation Syndrome: Considerations for an Intervention Model, which was published in the Family and Conciliation Courts Review, Vol, 37, No. 4, October 1999, p487-503. The conversation was focused mostly around Peace, Love, and Grieving through Parental Alienation. She applauded my self-help PAS support group as essential to helping others and receiving help from each other by lifting each other up, leaning on each other, and encouraging each other. We are in a time that our suffering is ignored by the court system, by many professionals, and by much of society. Heck, most people who are suffering the effects of Parental Alienation are probably ignoring themselves, as a) they either don’t know what it is that is happening to them, b) they don’t know what it is called and don’t know where to turn, or c) they are ashamed or embarrassed to admit that this could be happening to them. Some of the greatest pieces of advice Dr. Vestal gave to me, is 1) never cease contact with the child, no matter how difficult it may be on you. 2) Always, Always, Always respond in love, despite how you may be treated. 3) Learn the stages of the grieving process and work with them, as this will most likely be one of the hardest times in your life, ever.
My husband has recently had a new beginning to his relationship with his daughter. Slowly, but surely they are reunifying, reconnecting, and learning about each other again. Here, we jump for joy as our prayers have been answered, however there still is a long way to go. This process began just two months ago, after three years of a severed relationship due to Parental Alienation Syndrome. The very fact that she wants to be a part of my husband’s life is miraculous to us; something he nearly completely wrote off as impossible. However, over the past few months he was very persistent in sending her loving e-mails, despite never receiving a response (a move that I will gladly accept the credit for, after much pleading with him to not give up the fight, as my own dad had done decades earlier.) Yes, new life has come to our family, with a renewed sense of hope for the future.
Have you been stuck in the past? Holding on to bitter feelings about your ex-spouse? How the court system may have wronged you? How your child or children may have cut you off from their lives? Take this chance and move ahead. Heal yourself from the inside. Release any anger you may have, and here’s the big one….Forgive. Forgiveness will free yourself from bondage. Forgiveness will not mean you give in and accept how one has treated you, but it will allow you to move on. That person, whether it may be your ex-spouse, your former in-laws, or your own child will not have you in their reigns once your forgiveness releases the grip. When you have freedom from your own fears, worries, pain, or whatever feelings that connect you to an unhealthy relationship, you will be released from that overwhelming feeling of _______________ (fill in the blank).
Clear the Clutter from your Life
Take a long, hard look at yourself. How can you improve? Have you been guilty of contributing to the Parental Alienation? If so, there is no need to be ashamed. Recognize it and change it. What good will it be to dwell on what you could have done better.? Just do better. Have you been allowing negativity to stay in your life? Tell that negativity it is not welcome anymore. It could be your own feelings of negativity, bitterness, anger, or jealousy. Maybe it is a lawyer who is representing you in a way that you don’t feel comfortable being represented. Maybe it is a friend, or a family member who is giving you bad advice, constantly bringing up the past, or encouraging you to be angry. Listen to your heart and Respond in Love. Agree to allow a new beginning in your life. Move on to a better you. You deserve it.
Hey, I’ll make the first move. I’m taking my own advice. Now it’s your move.