Janet Pearlman

Living in the Stream of Yes

Supporting Strengths 



When you are dealing with a family member who has some challenges, do you feel an impulse to worry about their dilemma? It’s easy to feel that way. Read on to learn about alternatives you might find satisfying.

Silvia’s Problem

Sitting at a party, Silvia chatted with Adelaide, person next to her. S’s daughter was soon to graduate from college as an art history major,

Sweet Marsh, 8 x 10, SOLD

Sweet Marsh, 8 x 10, SOLD

and S worried that this dear offspring would not easily find employment. “And the job market for that kind of background is so tight,” Silvia shared unhappily.

“I have some thoughts that are a bit unconventional about this circumstance. Want to hear them?” Adelaide began. “I think you can provide some much-needed support for her.”

“Yes,” cried S. “Please tell me.”

Adelaide Responds

“First in your own mind, start to picture some of your daughter’s strengths. Is she talented? Persistent? Adaptable? Friendly? You know the list.. you have admired her for many years. 😊. What if you start envisioning those things about your beloved?

And then when you have occasion to speak with her, come from feeling the presence of all this strength and abilities. You can remind her of those qualities you admire.

Won’t it be great if you know she will be fine as she explores and experiences a variety of paths and pursuits, adventures and circumstances?”

Silvia broke into a smile.

“I love the idea of listing her strengths. She has so many!”

Adelaide beamed back. “I bet she does!”

Silvia sat quietly a minute. Then she offered, “This was really helpful. I do want to have some way to help her. I see your point, worrying about her is not assisting her. Thank you!”

“Totally my pleasure. Aren’t you something that you are ready to take that bit of suggestion? You are open-minded and you love your daughter. Good for you.”

Does this advice sound useful to you? Do you have some stories of times you have listed strengths for someone facing a challenge? Can you feel how receiving such a roster would be helpful? Please share your comments and questions.

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