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You can do this, he told her encouragingly. I've been trying for years, and it's not working. I've gone beyond the point where I can return. The disease, the parasites, the entire two-year ordeal had stolen everything from her--her energy, outlook, health, identity, and now her life. As she lay in bed, her thoughts spun to the future. This is what he faces when he leaves your protection and has to cope on his own. Show him what happens in the real world when he disturbs the peace of those around him. Don't bring your anger to the discussion; Tell him that you would expect him to feel the same way if your behavior turned abusive. Teach him as soon as possible what it means to be in charge of his life. This lesson is taught by letting him live the results of his decisions. Although one night out in the cold may seem like a harsh ultimatum, it doesn't compare to a lifetime out in the cold. More than likely, it won't come to that. He'll know that he isn't ready for the consequences and act accordingly. By the time he is ready for the consequences, he will have become accountable and be dealing with different issues. To capture their smell, he instructed male students to wear the same cotton T-shirt for two nights and to avoid smell-producing activities like sex. Then he asked female students to smell six T-shirts--three from genetically similar men and three from genetically dissimilar ones--and rate each one based on intensity, pleasantness, and sexiness. He found women preferred the smell of the men whose genes were more dissimilar from theirs. Things can get awkward when a couple marries, the woman goes off birth control, and suddenly, she's attracted to different people. Once, when I was on a road trip with an old friend, we started talking about how she and her husband love tennis.

That conversation carried us all the way to the gas station. She got out of the car and browsed her phone while filling up the tank. When she climbed back in, she thrust her phone in my face and said, Look. Aren't my in-laws cute? Her screen showed a blurry, poorly executed selfie of a couple in their sixties. Am I going to be bedridden for the rest of my life? Will I ever be able to play with my children or meet a friend for a walk again? She couldn't live the day-to-day life she had loved. She wasn't sure if getting it back was even possible, and if it wasn't, then what was in store for her future? Have you ever wondered, What's wrong with me? Why am I not over my trauma by now? Do you feel frustrated and confused, angry and disappointed, because you can't stick with a self-nurturing practice? Are the therapies you're using not working or not working fast enough? Are you constantly giving more of yourself--your time, energy, mind, body, heart, soul--than everyone else in your life? Do you ever ask, When does this pain and torment end? However, you cannot teach him accountability unless you are accountable. Make sure he understands that you intend to follow through. Tell him the rules were made to insure the health of all concerned. Then he sees you as a person whose first priority is the well-being of the family unit. What else do you have to give your children?

They come here with the personality they need, the look they want, the intelligence they believe in, and the love of God in their hearts. For them to understand their journey, they must understand the creator within, and how powerfully that creator creates. This decade has its own challenges. Ten year from now, more will come, and in twenty years, even more. But your children have chosen this generation for the challenges they believe are needed. As she started the car, she said, Honestly, it's surprising my husband's parents have been married for so long. They have nothing in common. People often think shared hobbies matter more than they do, I responded. It's possible you're underestimating all the things they do share. By then she had already heard me talk about the Gottmans. John Gottman, whom I mentioned earlier, is married to Julie Gottman, a noted clinical psychologist. John chose to spend many years of his life in a lab, coding the micro-expressions of couples. Unsurprisingly, he considers himself an avid indoorsman. He jokes that he's the kind of person who can think of a thousand ways to die at a picnic. Julie shares his passion for helping couples. On this trauma journey, our final stop is the answer to all of these questions that haunt everyone. Trauma has a way of cutting us off from self-love and causing us to feel the opposite, self-hate. We may believe that we're dirty, wrong, bad, shameful, guilty, ugly, unworthy, less than, or unlovable--all the same scripts we've talked about that hold us back from embracing self-nurturing practices. Most of us have hugely critical voices in our heads, judging ourselves constantly. These insidious voices whisper that we're not getting over our traumas fast enough, that we're not being disciplined enough to exercise or meditate, that we'll never change or get better, and that we're so weak-willed it's pathetic.

For all of this harsh self-talk, nothing is further from the truth. From the moment trauma first struck your life, you have done everything you possibly could to keep yourself alive. You are good and right, worthy and deserving. Self-love means feeling appreciation, gratitude, and awe for you--for every traumatic experience that you've endured, for who you've become, and for the life that you're now consciously creating. You can't force yourself to feel this, but you can help it along. Share your wisdom in whatever dosages they welcome, but don't judge their choices. They have their own priorities; Other issues under your teenager's scrutiny are fads: the right hairdo, the right clothes, the right music, and the right friends. Let go of your rigidity when it comes to superficial values. If you nag a child about issues that are clearly his own business, he won't be open to your advice when the issues are vital. When you think about it, why would your teenager want to conform to your tastes instead of his? Why would his preferences be wrong and yours be right? If you argue about his clothing or the length of his hair, you put yourself in a position of weakness, making transitory fashion the focus of your authority. This just causes him to question your authority in every other area. Your child sees his life as spread out before him with millions of options to choose from. But Julie's idea of fun is spending time in the wilderness. She was a competitive skier in college. For her fiftieth birthday, she dreamed of hiking to Everest Base Camp. Imagine John, the guy afraid of picnics, ice-picking his way up Mount Everest with Julie. Of course, John and Julie knew about these differences before they got married.

Yet, because of their work, they also understood that couples do not need to share hobbies to create a successful long-term relationship. And they've been happily married for more than thirty years. Here's the key: It's fine to have different interests, so long as the time you spend pursuing your favorite activities doesn't preclude you from investing in the relationship. If you love wine and your partner couldn't care less about it, that's okay; What matters is that when you drink wine, or go on a trip to Napa to try a new prized cabernet sauvignon, your partner doesn't try to make you feel guilty or say something like Why do you always have to drink? Every therapy, therapist, ancient wisdom, natural remedy, and self-nurturing practice that you embrace is actually an act of self-love. Now, in this article, we're covering the final two essential ingredients: setting healthy boundaries and finding forgiveness. We're not taught how to do either, but both are powerful practices that help us unwind our traumas, create more resiliency for the future, and ultimately arrive at self-love. In this article, we're getting clear on what setting healthy boundaries and finding forgiveness means, why they're so important, and how you can support them in your life. We're sharing some exercises that the trauma experts we spoke to use with their patients, so you get a sense for how therapists and healers can support you in this work. If you want to try these practices on your own, go for it. If it's too much or too intense as solo excursions, then please reach out to a professional. We know that we keep hammering in that point, but it's so important. So many of us live life believing we have to do this on our own, when that's not the case. There are incredible allies who want to help you, and they can if we let them. Next week, a new direction may appeal to him more. He wants the freedom to switch without harassment. How would you feel if your child nagged you about every preference you had: ridiculing your clothes, making fun of your haircut, criticizing your music, challenging your extra-curricular activities, and demeaning your performance? How long would you put up with this kind of harassment? Doesn't he deserve the same respect from you that you expect from him?