This is a story of two little birds, both cockatiels.
It’s about a kind of love that is destructive. It’s about when love hurts.
It’s also about healing, growing, and changing.
Once there were two cockatiels who came to a rescue from a hoarding situation. One was named Mama Bird, and one was named Pretty Boy. They were mother and son.
Pretty Boy was quite pretty. He was gorgeous gray, full feathered, and looked like a healthy cockatiel should.
Mama Bird was not pretty. She looked like a turkey vulture with a pink, bald head and long bald neck. She had one lone feather sticking out of her head and a bulging eye. The feathers on her face were plucked out, so her ear holes lay open and exposed.
Mama Bird was plucked bare, and it was Pretty Boy who had harmed her.
On occasion, birds that are in stressful situations will pluck themselves or their cage mates. Although Mama Bird was strongly attached to Pretty Boy, the relationship caused permanent damage.
I was looking for a companion bird for my cockatiel, Sunshine. And so I was introduced to Mama Bird and Pretty Boy.
Although Mama was not pretty, when I held her and touched her bare wrinkly head, her eyes closed and she immediately calmed down.
When I said that she was sweet and ugly, my eight-year-old daughter chastised me. “She’s beautiful, mommy,” she lectured. “I love her.”
Mama Bird has now been renamed Stormy, which fits her looks and her history, but not her personality. She is gentle and sweet.
Sometimes love hurts. Sometimes love is damaging and obsessive and destructive.
Sometimes, those we love and are loved by wound us.
When I work with clients who are in abusive or destructive relationships, they will often tell me how their spouse or partner, parent or sibling, was a good person, that they didn’t mean to cause the harm they did.
I believe them.
You can be a good parent and inadvertently hurt your child. You can be a caring spouse but say things that are damaging.
It is okay to distance yourself from someone who is …
My mother says that my first word was no.
I’m not surprised that this was the first true word that came out of my mouth.
Many children sing out the joys of no regularly and with enthusiasm. “Would you like more potatoes?” “NO!” “Put on your shoes please.” “NO!” “Time for a nap.” “NO!”
And why not? Children learn very early on that when they say no, something big and important happens. It could be that the food they dislike is taken away, or that they are given a different book. A tantrum of no’s extends the time before they go down for a nap.
If the no turns into a string of screaming no’s, mom or dad reacts strongly, usually with anger or frustration.
No is powerful, strong, and assertive.
It doesn’t require niceties, delicacies, or qualifiers.
What is it about the word no that makes it so hard to say? The answer could lie within yourself.
If you’re like many people, saying no is something you’re not particularly good at.
It could be that you can say no, but with qualifiers: “no, not right now, maybe another day,” when you really meant to simply say no. You do not have a desire to do it another day, but wish to make your no softer or nicer.
It might have been as you grew up, you were not taught empowerment. Maybe you were told that good girls or good children don’t say the word no.
Some kids are brought up with ideas of what no is and isn’t. And if you were a child whose mother or father taught that the word no was not to be said to adults, or whose parents required blind obedience, no isn’t a word that you uttered much. Maybe you were even afraid to say it.
There is a long list of things no isn’t:
It isn’t impolite
It isn’t rude
It isn’t mean
It isn’t bad.
No is simply one word that is a negative response. Its power lies in both its simplicity and its one meaning.
Some people feel the need to add niceties to no: “I’m so sorry, this week has been busy and my mother is coming over …
There are lots of blogs that talk about what not to say to someone who is depressed.
Here are 10 positive things to say to help.
The teen years are a developmental time when children begin to distance themselves from their parents and families.
This is necessary and healthy.
But sometimes the emotional distance can become too extreme and you will feel the need to reconnect.
Your job as a parent parent is not an easy one: to allow your child to grow an independent sense of self, yet remain close enough to provide support and guidance when needed.
As your teen grows in maturity and independence, keep 8 these ideas in mind to help you reconnect when the distance grows too great.
There are apps for everything these days.
There is an app that makes fake working noises so you can secretly nap.
There’s an app to translate your baby’s cries.
One app wants you to pay $.99 to have a staring contest with a poorly drawn cartoon monkey.
But can an app help or even save your marriage?
The story goes that if you want to catch a monkey, you put a hole in a coconut, and inside the hole you put some nuts or fruit. You tie the coconut to a tree and wait.
A hungry monkey will put his hand down the hole and grab the fruit or nuts in his fist. When he attempts to take his fist out of the hole, he finds that his fist is too big.
The legend states that the monkey becomes trapped, not because of the coconut, but because of his unwillingness to let go.
The metaphorical coconut trap is something that everyone deals with.
Do you hold on to times people have hurt you in the past? Are your feelings still hurt from painful words that were said to you? Or do you continue to agonize over times when you have messed up? Is letting go of your own mistakes difficult?
There are two people in a row boat, each one with an oar. One person feels hurt or angry, and they stop a rowing, while their partner keeps at it.
The boat moves in a circle, going nowhere.
The anger, frustration, and pain people experience keeps them from working together to move forward.
These tightly kept feelings don’t do any good. They don’t change the past, and when acted upon they do not change anyone else.
They merely keep you stuck.
Another trap that keeps people from feeling free is regret over what they did or didn’t do in life.
It’s like a cage, where they feel like they’re interacting with the world, but they’re being held back. It may feel safe to hide under anger or resentment. But the reality is that this cage keeps a person from participating in and enjoying life.
Most people don’t even realize what it is that’s keeping them from moving forward.
They may blame their unhappiness on their bad luck or how other people treated them. Or perhaps they may understand their own role in the situation. They understand by holding on to their anger and hurt is like poison. …
Teens are bullied over the same thing generation after generation: physical differences such as weight, acne and facial features, speech differences, mental abilities/disabilities.
Teens get bullied verbally, physically (tripping down the hall, book bumping), and through writing.
One significant difference that teens face now is the vast amount of technology available, which has changed the dynamic of bullying behavior.
Teens are attacked through social media such as Facebook, text messages are sent, photos are sent and become viral in seconds. Sexting is not uncommon.
When you were a teenager, pictures were physical. Notes were on paper. And while rumors could get around quickly, they were not recorded forever on the world wide web.
As a parent of a teen, you can make a difference when your child is being bullied.
Here are 5 things that all parents of teens need to know.
For some people, it’s because of a crisis, such as infidelity, job loss, illness or accidents.
Others come in because they feel distant and want to grow closer, or they seek counseling before they marry to sort out any difficulties and ensure that they’re ready for life together.
Some couples simply know that something feels wrong but they don’t know what, and they want to fix it.
But once you and your partner have decided to seek counseling, how do you make the most of it? Here are six things to consider.
Humans are all about community. By connecting with others, we find support, meaning, reassurance, and joy. Even the healthiest among us feels lonely and isolated at times. For those who struggle with physical or mental disabilities, the isolation can feel even greater.
How to people do it?
When I first became a bird owner, I noticed that my cockatiel Sunshine would only eat when someone was near her.
Most birds are flock animals; they rely on the members of their community for companionship, safety, and parenting.
In the wild, Sunshine would only eat with her flock members there to watch out for her.
Like many other animals, humans have an inborn need for community that is crucial to not only our survival but also to our mental health and happiness.
Not everyone needs 40 friends, but everyone needs someone they can rely on to help them through the harshness of life.
WHAT KEEPS US FROM BEING CONNECTED TO OTHERS?