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Solo Parent Society
Solo Parent Society

Solo Parent Society

The Solo Parent Society podcast is hosted by author and founder Robert Beeson to help single parents raise healthy kids, and grow themselves through conversations with other parents who have walked, or are still walking the 'Solo Parent' path. Plus experts on the things that Solo Parents face the most. The mission of Solo Parent Society is to provide the resources, community, and support that enables a single-parent to discover whole-heart wellness so that their family can thrive.

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Forgiveness is freedom and we want our kids to understand that too. So many times as single parents we can be so overwhelmed processing our own stuff that we can, understandably, overlook teaching and guiding our kids through important life lessons that we are learning ourselves. This is a perfect time to be passing down wisdom, but it's hard to do that when talking about forgiveness, because in doing that we have to address the offending issue - and sometimes that is our ex. So how do we teach our kids the value and the steps of forgiveness without creating more division and opening up wounds Today we are going to focus on a few principles to effectively teach our kids the value and how to forgive. 1. Create a safe environment 2. Highlight the benefit 3. Teach the method 4. Model what it looks like For the complete show notes and links click here https://soloparentsociety.com/2020/09/22/1963/

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How do we get past the things we've done or left undone, the weaknesses we have and the shame that we carry around? The concept of forgiving ourselves is difficult but important. Chip Dodd, author, speaker, counselor and resident expert for Solo Parent Society, talks about shame and forgiveness. Chip shares there is a big difference between guilt and shame. Chip says, "We are all made to belong and matter. That is essential."  Healthy shame is when we recognize our need for connection, love and care. Admitting these innate needs is the experience of healthy shame. This is the common human experience. Chip says, "We are all made to need, to feel, to desire, to long and to hope. The gift of healthy shame is humility. We are all made out of dirt. I need you. You need me. I make mistakes and so do you." Healthy shame also says, "I'm not God and neither are you." This recognition of being human allows us to feel empathy for ourselves and for others and leads us to compassion. Guilt is whenever we do something that goes against a healthy value system. Guilt occurs when we do something that harms someone. Guilt occurs when we cause something, whereas shame is an awareness and understanding of our shared humanity. Healthy shame leads to good guilt. Good guilt is guilt that leads us to seek forgiveness for something we've done. Good guilt enables us to pursue relationship with someone we've hurt. Good guilt is restorative. Toxic shame on the other hand is not innate. It is something we take on when we are rejected often enough to internalize it into negative feelings or perceptions of ourselves. Toxic shame is not a healthy awareness of our humanity. "Toxic shame is contempt toward myself for being human", according to Chip. This rejection of our normal humanity and needs is what typifies toxic shame. Toxic shame doesn't come from God. It comes from those around us who have rejected and hurt us. "We begin to identify ourselves according to the relationships we experience", says Chip, and this is where toxic shame comes from.  With toxic shame, to be in need is humiliating. With healthy shame, to be in need is humility. Toxic shame leads to seeking relief often in the form of addiction or unhealthy performance. In his book, Hope in the Age of Addiction, Chip shares that addiction is a reaction to toxic shame. We overcome toxic shame by embracing healthy shame. Healthy shame is the portal toward overall health.  For the complete show notes and links click here - https://soloparentsociety.com/2020/09/15/shame-forgiving-ourselves/


To move forward after we've experienced hurt in our lives, we need to forgive and let go. But letting go is far from easy.  Letting go and having a painful emotional state lifted is a process and one that is relevant and necessary for everyone, not just single parents. We've all been hurt, and a natural reaction is to want to protect ourselves from future pain. We do this by holding on to the pain of the past to remind us not to risk going through that again. But this control is just an illusion. Even with our best efforts, we can't avoid the possibility of future hurt yet we hang on tight to our hurts hoping that the memory will keep us from being vulnerable again. If we forget, we might get hurt again. Protecting ourselves feels like our number one priority. But relationships require risk so we must let go if we want to live into our future and open opportunities to connect in meaningful ways again. Accepting that hurts are a normal part of life is necessary, and that acceptance opens the door to being able to let go.  Letting go is difficult when you are still in contact with a person who has hurt you or someone you love. It can be triggering to engage with that person especially if their behavior continues. Even if hurts aren't happening anymore, we can still hang on. And sometimes, we have a hard time letting go of mistakes we've made or shame we are carrying but letting go is important if we are to move on with freedom and health.  Letting go is a process and a necessary one as we are healing. To let go and move into freedom and health, there are three things we can do to help with this process, and these are things we can do daily:  Confession Surrender Patience To read the full show notes click here - https://soloparentsociety.com/2020/09/09/3-steps-to-letting-go/


If you are a single parent, there is no way you haven't been hurt by someone or something. Whether it be betrayal, abandonment, maybe even God allowing a spouse to die, we have all been wounded in some way. We have good reason to be angry for what we have been through. Often, the idea of forgiveness isn't something we even want to do. We know God tells us we should. We have heard it is the right thing to do. But no one can just flip a switch and act like nothing bad ever happened or was done. If you have struggled with forgiveness, we have found six steps to be helpful in working toward forgiving those who have hurt you.   Ephesians 3:17-20 says, "And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord's holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God."  First, let's define forgiveness. Psychologists generally define forgiveness as a conscious, deliberate decision to release feelings of resentment or vengeance toward a person or group who has harmed you, regardless of whether they deserve your forgiveness. Equally important is what forgiveness is not. Forgiveness is NOT saying: -You were not hurt by what the other person did. -Your pain is gone. -Life can now pick up where you left off or feel the way you did before, as if what happened never happened. -You no longer believe the other person was responsible for causing harm. -You excuse the other person's behavior. -You no longer view what happened as important. -You share the blame for what happened. -You can ever forget what happened. Entering into forgiveness does not mean any of those things. Forgiveness does not deny hurt or pain. It does not excuse what happened or make you forget. It also doesn't mean you are responsible in any way, nor does it mean you need to reconnect or stay connected to someone you need to forgive. Rather, forgiveness is a step that brings you greater freedom as you discover the grace to let go of the need to exact justice or vengeance, or to carry the weight of anger and pain any longer. Forgiveness allows us to take back our freedom and ability to move forward, lighter and with less pain.  Our Benefit There are many benefits to forgiveness. A John Hopkins study concluded the act of forgiveness can reap huge rewards for your health, lowering the risk of heart attack; improving cholesterol levels and sleep; and reducing pain, blood pressure, and levels of anxiety, depression and stress.  Forgiveness also benefits our kids.  They are watching - every action, every word you speak, every facial expression, every action is being seen by your children, who will eventually emulate millions of things you and your ex do. For their sake, we need to intentionally move toward healing. We need to take steps toward forgiveness. We need to be free of our anger and bitterness so we can leave a legacy of grace for them.  God's Command  A significant reason for moving toward forgiveness is because God commands us to do it for our good. Ephesians 4:32 says, "Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you." Whenever God commands us to do something, it is always with our best interests at heart. His perfect sovereignty and knowledge of what we need to thrive as humans is rooted in His deep love for each one of us. If He calls us to do something, we can be confident He wants what is best for us and knows better than we do why it is important. And He doesn't leave us alone to walk it out. It is His Spirit that empowers us to take each necessary step toward forgiving those who have hurt us. It won't be by "might or power" that we are able to forgive but "by His spirit", a foundational truth to stand on as we consider the steps we need to take to forgive. So, how do we forgive? In talking this through with our solo parent team, and in researching the act of forgiveness, we identified six key steps. For the complete show notes and links click here - https://soloparentsociety.com/2020/09/14/forgiveness-six-steps-toward-greater-healing/


Unexpected circumstances can shake anyone's confidence. If you've lost a sense of strength and identity, you are not alone. You can overcome what you've lost and find your confidence again. When others attack us verbally or with their actions, we can internalize it and feel like a failure. When we are a single parent, we sometimes lack confidence in being enough for our kids because we are not both mom and dad. We may feel like we don't measure up because we are parenting alone. Often, as humans, our confidence is misplaced anyway. We look to outside parameters to define how we feel about ourselves. We give other people the power to shift our self-esteem because we look to them to know who we are and to define if we are valued or not. Being divorced just highlights these insecurities and can increase our tendency to seek approval from others. But this is not where confidence is found. We need to know who we are and find our true identity but often the roots of insecurity go deep into our past and become echoed by our current circumstances. There are two important things to keep in mind when seeking to find confidence again: You are not enough You have to change what you measure Get the complete show notes and links here - https://soloparentsociety.com/2020/08/25/how-to-find-confidence/