The One On: The Surprising Best Gift We Can Give Our Children

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My Kalli.

I would of chosen a long white dress.  A crown of flowers with her hair down curled.  Cute ballet looking flats.  Kalli didn’t want any of these things.  She wanted the biggest, puffiest dress she could find, her hair up in a bun, and shoes that she thought were so cute and didn’t matter if they matched.

My Kalli was baptized this last weekend.  I hope to always have the image in my head of when she first looked in the mirror at herself in her new white puffy dress with khaki wedges.  I knew in her smile that she saw what she had imagined herself to look like in her head.  Isn’t that the best when that happens?

I could of stole that moment from her and forced her to wear what I thought looked the best.  What I wanted others to see on her.  How many moments have I stolen from my children because I had forced my own ideas on them?  Afraid others would judge them, which meant they were judging me… or afraid to watch them fail, mess up, get hurt, or feel disappointed.

I always try to remind myself: My child was God’s child first.

He is actually the parent who knows what is best for each of my children.  I want them to do His will, not mine.

Do not get in your child’s way.  Do not rescue, fix, manipulate, or try to control their path from any obstacles.  These were set up from their Father who understands that all experiences will be for their good.  He knows exactly what they need to learn from to be their best selves, don’t steal those from them.

Trust.  Trust that our Heavenly Father has them and understands what they are battling.  Trust that it will be okay.

It doesn’t mean we just allow our children to do whatever they want.  As their earthly parent, we set up guidelines and consequences, but they choose to follow them.  Our role is to lead them with our example (which means we are always working on improving ourselves), guide them to their Father, and walk beside them when they ask for our help.  We don’t carry them, but let them know we are here.

Of all the things we spend our money on for our children, the best gift we can give them is the space to really be themselves… even when it doesn’t look like what we imagined in our heads.

This is not easy work.  Trust me.  As a recovering control freak, this has been something I have constantly worked on with my children.  Would love to help teach you the things that have worked for me.  Sign-up for a complimentary session to learn how.

https://CoachingwithKendraHuffman.as.me/ComplimentarySession

The One On How To Forgive Your Spouse For Leaving The LDS Church.

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…forgiveness is another word for self love, and perhaps the greatest form of self love.  And I forgive my captors because I love myself enough to want happiness, joy, and freedom..  Elizabeth Smart

People change opinions and beliefs.  Forgive them.

People decide they will no longer be a part of something.  Forgive them.

People break promises.  Forgive them.

People stop doing things that will help them.  Forgive them.

People who feel hurt, hurt others.  Forgive them.

People don’t want to disappoint you.  Forgive them.

People will go at a different pace than you.  Forgive them.

People are human and make mistakes that affect others.  Forgive them.

People will not live up to your expectations.  Forgive them.

The truth is, we are these people.  It may not be about leaving the church, but it will be in some other area of our lives.

When we love ourselves enough to forgive others of these things, then we can start to forgive ourselves as well.  We can release the pain and start to feel peace in our lives.

Love yourself enough to move forward.

I don’t recommend you do it alone.  You may not have the capacity.  Let the Lord help you.  He understands mercy.

Mercy is what you give to people who don’t deserve it.

Set yourself free.  Forgive.

 

The One On How I Dealt With Overwhelm.

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Many of us don’t know how to feel our feelings anymore.  We live in a world with so many instant pleasures that it is has become easier and easier to escape our feelings.  Why would I want to feel sad or lonely, when I can escape onto social media or Netflix.  Why would I want to feel stressed and anxious, when I can eat or drink to take the edge off.

Yet, we keep hearing about the astounding rates of depression, anxiety, and suicide.  Are we really escaping or are those feelings still buried within us after the pleasure wears off?

Satan is darkness.  He likes everything to be hidden, buried, kept in the dark to fester and gnaw at us.  Shame is one of his most effective tools.  It makes us believe that something is wrong with us so we hide ourselves in the shadows.  The problem is, shame grows in the shadows.

The Savior is light.  He is authentic, open, and transparent.  And feelings is His way of communicating with us.  The Spirit is a feeling.  He speaks to our hearts.  If we are numbing and escaping all the time, we aren’t able to feel Him.

Allowing our feelings is the light that can break through any dark cloud.

Here are three ways to start feeling the emotions that we were designed to feel while here on Earth.  The good ones and the bad ones.  All emotions are a part of our human experience- once we know how to manage them, then we won’t be afraid or avoid things in our lives.

  1. When you start to see yourself reacting to something (yell, snap, control, shutdown, retreat, avoid, etc)- then name how you are feeling.  Emotions are one word.  Tell yourself the honest truth on how you feel:  I feel disappointed.  I feel so angry.  I feel sad.  I feel overwhelmed.  Just naming the emotion will already take some of the power out of it.
  2. Describe to yourself where you feel it in your body.  This bring more awareness around the emotion and lets you know that your body is physically trying to tell you that something is off.  I feel it in my chest, it is tight and my heart is racing.  I feel heavy in my head and energy.  My stomach is in knots and my chest is pounding.
  3. Once you have named the emotion and described it in your body- just open up to the emotion.  It will be uncomfortable and doesn’t feel good, but once you just allow yourself to feel it- then you will have power over it and it will be set free.  Now you can decide if you want to feel something different about your situation, by choosing to think about it differently.

Here is an example of something I just went through last week.  I had a thousand thoughts swimming in my head of all the things I wanted to get done.  It was my kids last week of school, things needed for my calling at church, my business etc.  I could feel my head was starting to get heavy as I attempted to push through my many tasks.  I was feeling exhausted by the evening and started getting short with my kids.  I finally stopped and told myself the truth:  I am feeling so overwhelmed.  I hate admitting that to myself because I make it mean I can’t handle my responsibilities.  But I have to be honest with how I am feeling otherwise I can’t understand what is really happening.  I didn’t try to talk myself out of it or explain it to myself or even play it down.  I just told myself that I feel completely overwhelmed and stressed.  Then I started telling myself where I felt it in my body: my head literally hurt, my shoulders were tense, my whole head felt heavy.  Once I did these two things, I could breathe a little better.  I just allowed the feeling of overwhelm to wash over me.  It wasn’t comfortable and I kept wanting to resist that I actually felt that way, but there is a certain calm when you just allow it.  Then I got to a place where I was curious about it and wanted to understand it.  I wrote out all the things I was feeling overwhelmed about and tried to get some clarity.  I decided that I was going to make another list of all the things I was doing right.  This helped change some of my thoughts to help me feel better about my situation.

As the week passed, I talked to my husband and best friend about how I was feeling, prayed a lot, and just kept working through the overwhelm.  It didn’t happen in one day, but I was aware of it and wasn’t trying to escape it.  Now it is set free.  None of my responsibilities changed or went away, but I felt better because I first just accepted that I felt overwhelmed.  Then I was able to work through my thoughts around it.

There is nothing more life changing than learning how to allow your feelings.  Our feelings drive our actions.  They are the key to everything that we make or don’t make happen in our lives.  Start learning this skill today by scheduling a complimentary session.

https://CoachingwithKendraHuffman.as.me/ComplimentarySession

The One On: Is It Time For A New Plan In Your Marriage?

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I like having a plan.  I love living on a schedule.  I like to be in control.  But other people’s behavior, natural disasters, and my children all remind me that I am only in control of myself.

I use to hate when my plans got changed.  I immediately blamed the person or the circumstance that ruined it.  But then I realized something really important:

My ability to change and grow was often blocked by holding onto my plan.

Many of you are holding onto the plan that your spouse should still be going to church.  If only he read his scriptures more, actually went to the temple, and kept praying- then he wouldn’t be in this situation.  That may or may not be true, but sometimes it isn’t always that simple.  Many people are silently suffering at church because they cannot feel what others are talking about.  They have tried.  Regardless of why they left, here is what I know to be true:

When you open yourself up to the idea of a new plan, then you will slowly start to release some of the pain.  You and your husband are both looking at your marriage, but could be seeing it completely different.

It’s not what you look at, it’s what you see.  

“God’s plans aren’t ruined just because our plans need to change.  What if we found out God’s big plan for our lives is that we wouldn’t spend so much of our time trying to figure out a big plan for our lives?  Perhaps He just wants us to love Him and love each other.”  -Bob Goff

As members of the LDS faith, we know why we are here and where we are going.  The Big Plan is to return to our Heavenly Father, but getting there may not look like we thought.  And I believe Heavenly Father is going to care about how we loved through all the changes of plans throughout our time here on Earth.  He cares how we love.

Whatever we are looking for, we will find.  If we are looking for love, it will be there.

Here are some questions to ask yourself in beginning a new plan:

  • How can I love my husband as he is and stay true to what I believe?
  • What do I already know to be true and good about my husband that I can build upon?
  • What are strengths we both have that add to our marriage?
  • What is one thing that I need to let go of?  What is blocking my love?

The Lord is on your side, always.  When you feel frustrated, scared, alone, or need help remembering why you have a new plan- go to Him.  The Atonement of Jesus Christ was done to bring about change.  Change our state, change our hearts, change us, which makes our plans into His plan for us.

You only have control over your plan, make the foundation love and let the Savior help you.

I am also here to help you as you begin to create a new plan for your marriage.  Even just one complimentary call can help you get started.  

https://CoachingwithKendraHuffman.as.me/ComplimentarySession