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Emotional Health and Well-Being

Adult Freeloaders Mailbag

This past summer, in sharing some thoughts on how to deal with adults who regularly take advantage of others, I received a number of thoughtful replies, two of which I share here with for added perspective for those who may benefit. Please note that these messages are being shared with permission.

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Dr. Kim, Read more

 

What To Do When A Loved One Is Chronically Negative

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Dear Dr. Ben,

This was such a wonderful, delicate yet at the same time powerful read.

Among many insights in your post, the biggest gift for me this time was being able to connect the dots in my own life, as you shared that you don't talk with your parents about your hopes and dreams or any important decisions. I finally realized why the dynamic with my mom has been so complicated, especially since I began living more consciously. I always had such a deep desire to connect with my mom and share my life with her, but after sharing I usually have to spend so much time coping with her energy of fear and doubt. It feels so discouraging... I have realized that because she is not working on her own wounds, she will not be able to understand my increasing inner freedom and desire to act in accordance to my heart voice.  Read more

 

The Nuances of Saying Sorry

Hey Dr. Ben,

Your vlog made me wonder if you've covered the importance of apologizing when you've done something wrong and how to apologize?  If not, I'd love to know your thoughts on this topic.  My fiance and I don't argue very often but when we do, the issue of who owes who an apology is usually a point we have tension over. Read more

 

Sometimes You Just Have To Say Good-Bye

When I was in graduate school, I was lucky to be grouped with a fellow intern who I'll call Jason. Not lucky as in blessed to have a friend who I enjoyed spending time with; lucky as in fortunate to learn what I should stay away from.

I'm not going to attempt to be generous in my recollection of Jason. He was a prototypical user, someone whose idea of being a good friend was gracing you with his good looks over lunch in exchange for you picking up the tab. Read more

 

Appearances Matter

Originally posted in July of 2014 after the passing of my friend, Dr. John. Updated on August 28, 2018.

When I moved to the suburbs of Chicago shortly after my 20th birthday to begin graduate school, as much as I needed to learn about human physiology and clinical sciences, I was in even greater need of general life guidance. Having been raised by ultra conservative immigrant parents, I had more than a few things to learn about how to understand and interact with people.

I had the great fortune of having as a classmate a fellow named John who was 47 years old and excited to begin a second career. He had done well as a real estate appraiser and property flipper on the east coast, and though he never boasted of his wealth, I knew that John had earned enough to be retired, and was pursuing a career as a health care provider because he had restored his own health with alternative therapies and wanted to share his passion for natural healing with others. Read more

 

Powerful Things to Say to Your Kids

Originally posted in November of 2012

I've long believed that the words we choose in everyday conversation and correspondence play a significant role in shaping our relationships.

For example, from the time that our boys began asking questions to which some parents might answer "because I said so," Margaret and I have tried to preface our answers with "because from my experience, that would lead to..." Read more

 

The Pursuit of Wealth and Prestige

Today, it's become somewhat normal to continually pursue things that we think will help us feel better.

More money, splashy vacations, a trophy spouse, trophy kids - you name it, the vast majority of us humans chase after these things that the monkey brain tells us will bring security, recognition, and happiness that supposedly comes with.

Ironically, the more we chase after things that we feel will make us happier, if we truthfully look deep within, we know that we aren't any happier or fulfilled. Read more

 

When Our Loved Ones Suffer

When a loved one experiences something hurtful and is suffering, I think the instinct for most of us is to identify silver linings and do what we can to fix things.

As a parent to 13 and 11-year old boys, I've come to feel that while there is value in trying to be helpful when they are feeling down, what I'd most like to do beyond offering empathy and a comforting presence is to have them feel the belief that I have in them to eventually find a way to a better place, to transcend their suffering through their own thoughts and efforts. Read more

 

That Magic Finger

Originally posted in May of 2015

From the time our older son was a toddler, he has shown a disposition for sport. Though quite shy by nature, when it comes time to run and hit fuzzy balls, his eyes sparkle and he exudes the kind of joy that I imagine all parents wish upon their children.

As he has grown to love competing on the tennis court, as a family, we have struggled to figure out how to deal with those who blatantly cheat. It's the dirty little secret of the junior tennis world, only it isn't a secret at all. In this gladiatorial sport that often involves the one-on-one intensity of boxing, there are some families who simply don't mind their children cheating others for a win. Our son is now 9 years old and we have been witness to ruthless repeated cheating by kids who clearly know better, all while their parents stand by with their steely gazes, clearly not bothered that their children are robbing others of their hard work. Read more

 

Times of Conflict Make or Break Relationships

It’s how we behave during times of conflict that ultimately determines the quality of our relationships.

To like, love, and even to adore are effortless when all is good.

But how well do we listen with deep intent to understand when there is disagreement?

How capable are we of considering our shortcomings and how we might have contributed to any conflict at hand?

If we can’t offer heartfelt empathy, and we refuse to take responsibility for our contributions to hurt feelings, the fracture only grows wider. Read more

 

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