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Syndicated Columns

Be sure roiled emotions don't sway perceptions

Posted February 25 2006

Q. I have just ended an unhealthy relationship, but I am concerned about the kids who were my stepchildren. I feel they are being abused. There is no more contact, so what can I do? -- H. A. N., Boca Raton

A. This must be a very difficult time for you. Not only have you ended your relationship with your spouse, but you've lost contact with your stepchildren. It's a double whammy.

In the past few weeks, I've had a number of conversations with partners who were grieving the end of a relationship. Like you, they lost their role as step-parent, too. The emotional ties that extend to the children when the cord is severed can leave us emotionally bereft. Stay connected to your own feelings.

If you suspect there is true abuse, you may want to contact the appropriate authorities. Children must be protected from perpetrators.

Yet I caution you to gain clarity about what is influencing your perceptions. Lao Tsu , the Chinese philosopher, said, "Do you have patience to wait until your mind settles and the water is clear? Can you remain unmoving until the right action arises by itself?"

Our minds get muddled when relationships end; certainly our wisdom can be equally challenged. As emotions run high, our anger and discontent bubble over. Be sure that you are seeing the larger picture and holding everyone's best interest at hand.

My highest recommendation is to focus on your own healing, send loving thoughts to the children and invite your higher wisdom to make itself known. "Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord" (Psalm 27:14).

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