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Back to Center: What's a formerly proud American to do these days?

I worry that having a wholesome family life is becoming impossible in America

Sarah Perron, Certified Coach

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Sarah Perron, Certified Coach

Sarah Perron, Certified Coach

Sarah Perron, Certified Coach

Life Coach and Writer

Offering perspectives for personal realignment and empowerment.

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November 18, 2022

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01:52 AM

Back to Center: What's a formerly proud American to do these days?

The purpose of the “Back to Center” advice column is to provide perspectives for personal realignment and empowered living in these tyrannical times. Sarah encourages you to reach out to her with requests for advice about self-development and emotional and mental well-being. Please send your questions to sperron@aflds.org. Anonymous and secure. Looking forward to hearing from you!

For all other inquiries, please direct your questions to info@aflds.org.


What I want most in life is for my family to be free, safe, able to practice our religion openly and live according to our values. My wife and I are becoming increasingly worried and convinced that those desires for a wholesome family life are on the fast track to becoming impossible here in America. 

We are shocked and overwhelmed by the ongoing attacks on traditional marriage, parental rights, and free speech, and the rapid increase in exposure of young children to highly sexualized material and encouragement toward the world of gender dysphoria…just to name a few things. I hate to say it, but sometimes I feel like the only way to make it out “alive” is to leave, to go make a home in some other part of the world where this stuff isn't so prevalent…but where to go? And is that really the solution? Would it be running away in a cowardly sense? 

I don't know…I'm so sad for the loss of the country that used to feel like home to me. Should I stay and fight for it? What's a formerly proud American to do these days?

Thanks so much for sharing your concerns - I really hear you. The ugly transformation (or revelation of things that have long been brewing under the surface) that America is going through is scary, disheartening, and just sad. It's not the country we grew up in, and while this can be hard for us personally, it's even more difficult when we think about our children, our families. How can we give them the home and life we so badly want for them with all these harmful forces and ideas at play?

I think the place to start with regard to your thoughts and questions is to take a step back from the big picture of the country you feel is falling apart, and focus in on yourself and your family. Make time and space for a check-in with yourself around the following questions:

  • How much pressure from these issues in American society am I able to healthily cope with? How about my wife and children?
  • Where is my line in the sand? What would need to happen in order for me to be sure about a decision to relocate or make another significant life change?
  • What other changes or decisions could we potentially make to help us feel stronger, safer, and more in control of our own lives?
  • What would it be like to stay where we are - in our community, schools, relationships, and so on - and stand our ground? What would we gain? What would we risk losing?
  • What would it be like to begin life over in a different place? What would we gain? What would we risk losing?

Choose any of these questions that resonate with you, and feel free to add more to consider if they come up. Hopefully they will help bring more clarity to what you're feeling and what you might want to do in response.   

Remember that you and your wife know your family best. You have beautiful desires for the kind of life you want to create for your family. If you listen in to your own intuition, I think you'll find that the answers you need are already inside you. And since you asked, I think any decision you make with your family's well-being at the center of your focus is about as far from cowardly as you could get. 

I also want to encourage you with this thought: This may be where America is now, but that doesn't necessarily mean it will be this way forever. We're going through a dark period, and it's hard to imagine things going anywhere but further down, but life in this world is ever-changing. Don't give up hoping for better times! All the best to you and your family!

****

My beloved aunt recently passed away quite unexpectedly in her sleep. The whole family is in deep pain and shock, not able to believe she's really gone. We're still waiting for the coroner's report to find out what the cause of death was. 

I'm actually dreading finding out, because I'm so afraid it might be related to the COVID shot, which I believe my aunt got (although I'm sure the report wouldn't say that directly). If it seems that's what happened, I don't know how I'm going to handle it; that would mean her death was totally preventable, if she had only made a different decision. The pain of that thought feels like too much to bear. How do I get through this time?

I am so sorry to hear about your tragic loss. So, so painful. Please know that first and foremost, I am here holding space for your grief, feeling it with you. I hope you will read everything I'm going to share with you with a tone of the utmost gentleness and sensitivity - that's how I mean it to come across. 

I hear how much you are being affected by your fears about your aunt's cause of death - this looming sense that it very well might be from the COVID vaccine. I can understand how tragic that possibility seems, knowing that it's a “treatment” built on lies. Let's go into that fear. 

If you are ready to go here, imagine for a few moments that your worst fear is confirmed in some way - that your aunt's passing is traced to the vaccine. What would you feel? What would the worst part of that news be for you? The thought that her death would have been preventable, as you said? Feelings of anger toward her for making that decision, or toward the people who pushed the vaccine? Perhaps feelings of guilt within yourself that maybe you could have done something to change your aunt's mind? Or something else?

Once you know what's really at the heart of your fear, I encourage you to do some writing about it. Do your best to fully express the fear and all the feelings and thoughts around it. And then, see if you can set it aside for now, until you really know what the situation is. See if you can make a gentle shift away from focusing on your fears about how it happened to taking time to simply process that it happened. That's enough to deal with in and of itself. 

I encourage you to let yourself grieve, to let yourself miss her, to let yourself feel it all. In the end, that's how the deep hurting will begin to heal. And when you have more clarity around the “how” of it, you'll be able to add that into your healing work too. One thing at a time. 

Again, I am truly sorry for your loss, and wish you and your family deep comfort during this painful time. My heart is with you.

****

I am completely overwhelmed these days. I am a mother of four young children and also work part-time. My parents, who live nearby, used to help me out quite a lot with them, but have now basically disowned me due to our differences of opinion about the COVID vaccine and worldview in general, which was heartbreaking for me. 

My husband does as much as he can to help out, but he works full-time and is often away from home for long hours. So, on top of caring for my kids and working, I'm trying to keep the house relatively clean, manage the finances (not a strength of mine!), handle school business and medical appointments, and a million other things that are always coming up. And forget it if one of my kids gets sick - then I have to rearrange everything to take care of him or her. 

I feel like I'm on this hamster wheel that's never going to stop, that I'll never get a break. I feel alone, exhausted, and desperate…please help!

Thank you so much for reaching out. My heart really goes out to you as I read your words. The load you are carrying every day is so big. Without having much support or a way to refuel yourself, trying to carry that much day in and day out can be completely draining.

I'm also so sorry to hear about your severed relationship with your parents. Unfortunately, division between family members and friends over the events of the past few years has been an all too common experience for many. On top of missing your parents' support with the kids, it sounds like you miss them, too. That's a lot of pain to be carrying around on top of everything else.

Let's take a step back and look at the situation. There are a couple of ideas I want to offer you…

Sometimes in life, we go through stages where we really do have to carry a lot. We personally are the only ones who can do the work - there isn't so much we can hand off to others - and there isn't much choice or wiggle room in the matter. In those cases, we have to organize ourselves as much as possible, and find out what we need to do to support ourselves in order to do the best job we can with what's on our plate. 

But more often than not, we simply think we have to be the ones doing it all. We might think or feel this for a variety of reasons, such as…

  • We're uncomfortable asking others for help. We might feel embarrassed, like we're going to appear needy or incapable, or believe that no one will have the time to help us. 
  • We believe we're the only ones who can do things “right.” Perfectionism, desire for control, and a lack of willingness to trust others with our tasks get in the way of reaching out for help.
  • We might - either consciously or subconsciously - be clinging to a victim mentality. We might express that we want to escape our overwhelming workload, but staying in that place where we're the ones doing everything gives us a kind of negative power to hold over others: “Look how much I'm doing for you, and I never get any thanks or help in return.” We might be looking for praise or pity for all we that we're doing.
  • Specifically related to your situation, it could be possible that what happened with your parents was so painful that the idea of reaching out for anyone else's help is colored by that experience. “What if I'm disowned and rejected again?”

Do any of these reasons resonate with you? 

It really seems like you need help of some kind. To go on and on trying to do as much as you're doing by yourself will only lead to burnout, and it already sounds like you're on your way there. What is holding you back from seeking some help?

It doesn't even have to be that much help in order for it to be, well, helpful. It could be finding someone who can watch your kids for an hour or two a week so you can have a break and do something that rejuvenates you…or getting cleaning help every other week or even once a month…or ordering take-out once in a while so you don't have to cook. It doesn't have to be complicated.

If you feel money is an issue, sometimes there are ways around that too. Maybe there would be an opportunity for you and a neighbor to take turns watching each other's kids…or to ask a friend who's good with money to help you better organize your finances in exchange for something you can help her with…There are probably more options than you think if you're willing to get a little creative. 

The amazing thing about making time and space for ourselves to rest and recharge - as hard as it feels to do sometimes - is that it makes everything better. It's not a luxury - it's an absolute priority and necessity if we want to be effective and energized in all other areas of our lives. I really encourage you to figure out what's keeping you from looking for help, and do whatever you can to get some support, even just a little. You will feel the difference! All the best!

****

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Sarah encourages you to reach out to her with requests for advice! Please send your questions to advice@aflds.org.  Anonymous and secure.

 

Sarah Perron is a Certified Transformational Life Coach. Her passion is to help people create a powerful vision for their lives, identify and eliminate anything that holds them back, and step into their own unique greatness and mission in the world. She believes deeply in the power of coaching to bring fresh perspectives, ideas, and motivation to anyone who wants to thrive in life. Sarah works with clients one-on-one and in group coaching programs and presents exciting workshops on self-development topics. You can follow her on her YouTube channel Find Your Fire.

You are invited to book a complimentary coaching call with Sarah! Please visit https://calendly.com/sarahperroncoaching/45min to choose a time that's convenient for you. She looks forward to meeting you!

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