Articles by Alicia Assad
I made a more gentle resolution for 2016, because I am a parent in a world where “mom guilt” is the trend. I want to do the best I can for the kids I love, but sometimes more is unproductive and better is unrealistic. By pairing my natural urges to be perfect with the remorse I carried following my son’s burn injury, I was on a one-way trip to martyrdom. For this reason, 2016 was the year of self-compassion. My year-end reflection reveals a happier, more resilient version of myself so I think this resolution is one I will keep.
Yes there are crowds, more on the to-do list, and the flu season is upon us. But there are also more connections, sparkle, and cheer. Since I am (somewhat gracefully) surviving this holiday season with the support of the concepts I understand from positive psychology, I am compelled to spread my cheer by sharing my holiday survival list.
My rainbow baby writer’s block serves as a reminder that sometimes we need to sit back and let life unfold while maintaining self-compassion in our passive state.
In an earlier article, I wrote about 7 positive psychology behaviors that helped me survive some very traumatic experiences. As I approach the end of another pregnancy, I find myself feeling anxious and over-protective. Looking for ways to stay calm, I’ve found an 8th important behavior: experiencing and acting on compassion for the sufferings of others.
Two years ago, my two-year-old son suffered a severe scald burn covering 16 percent of his body. My unborn baby had a birth defect needing attention. In the year-and-a-half that followed, I saw my boys through four surgeries. I went through two surgeries myself after a complicated second trimester pregnancy loss. Seven particular tools from positive psychology helped me come through some very difficullt times. I believe I have experienced posttraumatic growth following these adversities, and Roepke and Seligman’s recent article helps me see why.