Archive for April 8th, 2011

April 8, 2011

The power of friendship

by Rod Smith

Friendship is the ultimate compliment.

Friendship IS the most powerful and important gift one person can offer another.

You can be someone’s child, parent, grandparent, doctor, lawyer, counselor, spouse, or benefactor – and not be his or her friend.

I see it frequently: men and women who are better friends to “outsiders” than they are to “insiders.”

But when you are someone’s friend, all other roles become secondary – even that of parent or spouse.

I am not suggesting parents and children ought to be pals or best friends in some odd arrangement of twisted roles. I have no desire to be my child’s best friend and nor does either one of my sons have a need for more friends. My sons need me to be their dad. But when being my sons’ dad is accomplished on my behalf, I trust we will continue as friends.

Yes. There is an end to our role as parents. When the time comes (around your son or daughter’s mid-twenties) I hope you and I will find the transition into that of a friend, easy.

When you are friends with anyone (family or not) – freedom, grace, openness, forgiveness, necessary confrontations, generosity, and the sharing of life’s delights and life’s pain become the currency in which you operate.

April 8, 2011

Do you need therapy? Here’s a quick list to guide you……

by Rod Smith

Family meetings!

The following are pointers (two are enough) to suggest you could use therapeutic help with your family, relationships, and your faith:

1. Being part of your family feels mechanical, rigid. You feel locked in – you are an actor in someone’s play and you don’t particularly like your assigned role.
2. No matter how hard you try, things (tensions, roles, anxieties, problems) stay the same. Faces and circumstances modify over the years but the stresses and the issues remain constant.
3. At family holidays (Christmas and Thanksgiving most intensely) you feel pressure about where to be. You are the rope in a tug-of-war.
4. You feel intimidated when speaking with your parents about anything meaningful even though you are an adult. You knees get weak at the thought of engaging your parents about substantial matters.
5. Old arguments often resurface; minor disagreements seem monumental – there’s little sense of proportion and little things are blown up into huge issues.
6. You find it easy to talk about your parents but find it difficult to talk to them. You’re loaded with material about them but feel silenced when it comes to taking with them.
7. Feelings of loyalty and disloyalty can rage within and you feel pressure to compromise your integrity with your family of origin (parents, siblings, grandparents).
8. Your career and family life interfere with each other. It seems as if you can’t have both with any degree of success.
9. New relationships get intense very quickly (becoming sexual, manipulative, or controlling) despite genuine attempts to make things different “this time.”
10. You enthrone (make saints) and dethrone (make sinners) people rather rapidly. Your heroes quickly prove fallible and you are disappointed once again.

Call me / Skype me (RodESmithMSMFT) / Email me – I can probably help you or steer you to someone who can.