• Erin E. McEndree

Peace, Hope & Healing for Woman in the Adoption Arena

Chapter One Summary: Goodness vs. Comparison Title: Hear Different Perspectives

It is important to hear different perspectives. Different perspectives are not wrong. They are just different. Showing grace towards other view points is a way to show goodness without comparing to show you have the best worst situation. Hearing someone else' perspective does not mean you also must agree with it. It does not mean you must incorporate their beliefs into your thoughts or actions. You don’t have to yield to their perspective to show decency towards them. Some perspectives may make your blood boil, but it is still 100% valid for the owner. Have you ever thought that your negative reaction to different perspectives is caused because you are subconsciously comparing their story to your own? Being able to show goodness to other perspectives without judgment and without trying to debate or change their perspective is a great sign of emotional maturity. Respecting without agreeing or comparing is possible. Being decent involves empathy and compassion in disagreement. Practicing empathy and compassion has to be intentional. Are you ready, to open up, to new perspectives about adoption issues without comparing or debating? Are you ready to learn to hear with no agenda for changing their perspective by comparing it to yours? Are you ready to try to hear from your heart and not from a place that compares?


If I asked 100 people to described adoption, I would get 100 different perspectives. There would be different details distinctly focused on a single theme. none are wrong. Each is explaining the same word from their vantage point. Because of past experiences, personalities and upbringing, all will focus on different aspects and how it shaped them.

That which ties us together is only a blip at the beginning, after that, so many factors mold us, change our trajectory and make us pivot to all have different stories and feelings about the same topic. There is not one aspect, emotion or characteristic of adoption that 100% of those dealing with adoption issues have in common, except for the word ADOPTION.


Being able to hear other perspectives, views and feelings about their story and at the same time not inserting yourself into their story, is the best thing people with a adoption stories can do for one another. Being able to say, “I hear you,”, “I empathize with you,” is hard for many.

The tendency is to compare by telling how your story is worse. This chapter focuses on responding with goodness and decency while discouraging comparison.


Comparison is detrimental to being good and decent. When you are able to hear another perspective about Adoption, even if you don’t agree, both can be important, valid and useful.

How can your story be useful? Being able to use your story to make you stronger is a mature emotional quality that many struggle with simply because they don’t try.

Having a comeback story where you have overcome many obstacles and help others do the same, is more useful than sitting in doubt, uselessness and undeveloped wisdom from your trials.

How can you use your story as a guide to show what is possible?

  • Erin E. McEndree

Do you have fears in your life? We all do. Some are of no consequence like fear of public speaking. You could go your whole life without conquering that fear. But what about problems that are more weighty like anxiety or depression? Those affect your life! They wreak havoc on relationships, physically, mentally and emotionally. You can train yourself to lessen fears and emotions. These will not make you feel like you never had fear or problems. They are strategies to help you lessen the affects.

Grounding is a technique used by people who are experiencing panic attacks as anxiety attacks. It is a way to redirect the explosion of feelings to a more calm state. Grounding focuses on tangible, material and present sensations. Training yourself to use these techniques automatically is attainable, but only when you put intentional work and intentional plan when you feel lousy, anxious or depressed.


I believe training yourself to redirect your brain is helpful when the emotions are running away with themselves. Training does not happen once. If you think of an athlete, it is a lifestyle. It is daily. It is something they plan their routines, meals and schedule around.


I have compiled a list of Spiritual grounding techniques that are based on Supernatural elements. Combining these with earthy, temporal methods can help because they address not only the present, worldly reality, but they tap into the Spiritual, eternal part of our psyche that is the hardest to repair once damaged by trauma or loss a pain. I would love to know which methods work best for you in the comments below.

“Trauma creates change you do not choose. Healing is change you do choose and work towards.”


COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS

Intentionally focusing on what is going right in your life instead of what is going wrong or what may have triggered your anxiety. It helps your mind calm with pleasant thoughts of family, friends, vacations, salvation, good food, forgiveness and grace. These thoughts can help you feel loved, secure and satisfied. Gratitude is the healthiest human emotion. I realize this may be very hard for some. Family is toxic, you may not feel forgiveness and you have no friends. Think on what you ARE grateful for.

MEMORIZE A SCRIPTURE

Memorizing scripture when you are NOT ramped up is important to recall later when you need to redirect your mind from helpless and abandoned to loved and important. Reassuring yourself you have someone fighting for you who gives you comfort can be so helpful in times of stress.

Here are some of my favorites: Exodus 14:14 “The Lord will fight for you, you need only be still.”

Psalm 34:7, “The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear [respect] him, and he delivers them.”


THINK OF JESUS' QUALITIES

There is no one more on your side and fighting in your corner than Jesus. So whether you are recalling these for the 100th time or trying to believe them for the first time, these are characteristics of Jesus that bring peace and comfort.

· 1. Jesus is gentle dealing with the broken and lost.

· 2. Jesus pursues you.

· 3. Jesus gives many chances.

· 4. Jesus would rather die than live without you.

· 5. Jesus shows up in your life over and over. Are you aware of Him?

· 6. Picture Jesus carrying you through the tough times.

LIST CHARACTERS IN THE BIBLE

I bet you can list all the characters on your favorite t.v. series. You can probably list their flaws and strengths. Now, make a list of Biblical, characters.


SPELL BIBLE BACKWARDS

Say the alphabet backwards. Say each letter in your name backwards. This gets your mind focused on a task that takes a lot of mental effort.


TAKE THOUGHTS CAPTIVE

Picture yourself doing exactly what this verse says in 2 Corinthians 10: 5, "We demolish every argument and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." You will not be able to cease every thoughts that triggers anxiety, but you can use this method to place them in a 'box' in your mind until you want to deal with them. Visualize putting your thoughts, feelings and even people in a box and putting them in a compartment that you control. Then, you decide when to open the box and plan an action or boundary that helps you deal with it and make it less intense. And, maybe, the lid needs to be nailed shut because it is out of your control. The only thing you can do is respond by not allowing it I affect you. Out of sight, out of mind can be a useful Spiritual grounding technique. Some people say to feel the feels, but that is exactly contrary to what will make you feel better. Taking thoughts captive at the onset is the key to stopping them from overtaking you.


LISTEN TO CHRISTIAN MUSIC

For this technique, I turned on my Christian radio and heard: Jesus always loves me, my world can change, light from darkness, treasure, can't measure His love, wash my mind clean, new, found, redeemed, no guilt. Do this until you believe! Whether you believe or not, it is Spiritual reality to hope and strive for.


RECALL NUMBERS FROM THE BIBLE

· 40 years in the dessert

· 12 tribes; 12 Apostles; 12 precious stones

· 4 major prophets; 4 Gospels; 4 horsemen; 4 angels

· 3 denials by Peter, Jesus raised 3 people from the dead, He rose on the 3rd day.

· 7 is perfection you can continue the list.


READ SCRIPTURE OUT LOUD

Read it slow. Read it fast. Read it backwards. Find your favorite Psalm and read it over and over and pray Scripture back to God.


WATCH A CHRISTIAN PODCAST or MOVIE

Listen to something inspirational, upbeat and encouraging. Find one you like and save it to listen to over and over.

PRAY WITH YOUR BODY

Bring your request to God with your hands lifted up. Stand out in nature alone and pray out loud. Bow on your knees by your bed or outside under a tree. Even laying flat on the ground is mentioned in the Bible. Be very specific. One lady I know prayed to meet a nice man in a purple shirt and guess what, it happened! Be humble. Confess. Anticipate. And be content when the answer is NO.

Lord, I take a deep breath in my lungs until there is no room left. I inhale your spirit and breath in life you gave. I exhale all the anxiety, thoughts, circumstances and lay them at your feet.

Lord, take my anxious thoughts captive because it is so hard for me to do that right now.

Make the synapses stop firing so I can rest. Help me ease the What Ifs and refocus to the present knowing You are by my side, in my corner, fighting for me and directing your angels to encamp around me.


MAKE A LIST OF HOW YOU WANT TO FEEL

Don't live in the feels. That is what got you to this anxious state in the first place. Write how

you want to feel. If you only write how you feel, there is no goal there. There is no hope there of every feeling different. If you begin writing how you want to feel, there is something to strive for in hope and anticipation. There is something to strive for.


HOLD A CROSS

Having something tangible to hold or rub your hands on or event tap on your leg or chest can refocus your thoughts. I have this really cool cross that fits perfectly in my hand. It was molded to fit a palm with fingers wrapped around it. I think about Jesus dying for me because I am worth dying for.

EXERCISE

Do something physical. Get outside and walk, run or stretch. Accompany moving your body with moving your brain and thank God for his creation. Maybe you need a punching bag for the really anxious times.



TAKE A SHOWER

Envision being washed clean of anxiety and depression. Smell the soap. Make the water cold. The shock will help you reset your thoughts to what you choose.


WRITE CARDS

Refocus by writing cards to people who are sick or in college or just any person who comes to your mind that you can encourage. It is hard to stay in an anxious state when you are writing a card FOR someone else and encouraging them and telling them what they mean to you.

WRITE STICKY NOTES

Write positive notes and Scriptures to yourself and stick them where you can see them first thing when you wake up and when you go to bed. Put them on the mirror. Put them on your closet door.



These techniques involve moving and writing and singing and hoping and planning and memorizing and taking your brain down a different path than it is currently going. Making your brain jump the track from a full blown episode is the key. It is a lifestyle, not a one week or one month fix.

I would love to know some of your techniques and how these can be incorporated into your everyday life.






  • Erin E. McEndree

Purpose for this book is for 3-fold: understand all perspectives with compassion; accept without personal compromise; educate with boldness.


Adoptive Parents:

Adoption Reimagined offers hope to adoptive parents by encouraging them to instill their traditions and heritage in their child as they build a foundation on love, acceptance, honesty and trust. These ideals can help their child navigate feelings of abandonment, rejection and uncertainty as they learn about their beginning. It is important that parents realize all their child’s feelings are valid and can co-exist together. Parents can redirect children to learn to ‘camp out’ with the beneficial emotions that give hope and future while getting strength from the negative feelings to advance ahead.


Adoptees:

Adoption Reimagined offers healing to adoptees by inspiring them to adopt healthy strategies that reroute pain caused by adoption. While revisiting these painful areas is inevitable, strategies can help adoptees take back stolen power and control in their life as they decide to not ‘camping out’ in the past. One powerful tool is to boldly and kindly educate others about adoption issues.

"Use your past experiences to educate so someone else's future will be better." Erin E. McEndree

Birth Mothers:

Adoption Reimagined cultivates peace in birth mothers by helping them discern personal growth from the hard lessons in life. Lessons like grace and forgiveness can alleviate the pain of loss, guilt and shame.


Those Who Love Us:

Adoption Reimagined is also for those spectators who love someone in the adoption arena. Awareness and knowledge is the key to being able to have helpful dialog with someone you care about.