Update and Upcoming Event!

Hi Family,
Thanks for your love support and prayers for our family. Brayden’s surgery 3/3/14 was successful. The fibrous / fatty mass was removed and the spinal cord released. On Wednesday 3/5/14 he was released from the hospital and Kelly, Blake and Brayden came to our house for the recovery phase. Brayden is healthy, smiling and his 5 inch incision is healing well. Our house is a mess and if our washing machine could talk it would say… “Really??? I thought we were through this phase!”
While some kids have urological /bladder problems that can develop sooner or later in development, it appears by the power of his little fire hose that at least for now his bladder and urination is of gold medal caliber. Who would have thought “I’m happy to have a baby pee all over me.”

They will probably be with us for another week and then head back to their apartment where they will get back to life as usual. I invite you to into their journey and continue to covet your prayers. Follow along at http://braydenisbrave.wordpress.com. Kelly’s journey will warm your heart and strengthen your faith.

Thank you to all of you HWL’rs! Your personal support, love, encouragement, stories and prayers from all over the world have lifted Kelly and Blake to another level of encouragement. Recent comments from Kelly:
• “Dad! I can’t believe it! We had a thousand people look at our blog on the first day! How many people read your blog?” (Answer: “I don’t know… I never check… ask your Mom or Mary.)
• “Daddy! The encouragement and personal stories people are sending are amazing.”
• “Dad, did you know that some of the people reading the blog call themselves HWL’rs? (Answer: “No I didn’t. Cool!”)
• “Dad, did you know how many countries get the blog? It’s amazing! (Answer: “No I didn’t. Cool!) ( Are you beginning to see a pattern here?)

Kay and I will be speaking at Christ The King Church in Bellingham, WA this Friday night March 14th from 6:00 -8:30 PM and Saturday morning March 15th from 9:00 AM to 12:30 PM. We will be teaching our How We Love our Kids workshop. You are welcome to join us and walk ins are welcome!!! The address is 4173 Meridian Street, Bellingham, WA 98226.
Thanks for your support and love,
Milan

A Very Special Blog!

A very special blog!!!!

Our youngest daughter Kelly and her husband Blake Lund gave birth to the most adorable baby boy on December 1, 2013… Brayden Edward Lund. When it comes to smiles and cuteness he got an extra dose of both as God formed him. Of course his mom and dad are both cute and they had something to do with it too! He was also born with a tethered spinal cord. Simply stated, he has a fatty mass which lies just below the skin in his lower back which is attached to the spinal cord. It is a rare occurrence and has the technical name of lipomyelomeningocele. It must be surgically removed in order for the spinal cord to develop normally. This Monday morning March 3rd, Brayden is having surgery at Children’s Hospital of Orange County. Please keep our family in prayer as pediatric neurosurgeon Dr. Michael Muhonen performs this delicate surgery. I am attaching the link to Kelly and Blake’s prayer blog so you can follow the thoughts, feelings and progress of Brayden’s recovery. Our daughter is an award winning writer and she and her husband have faith to move mountains.
I invite you to into their journey and covet your prayers. http://braydenisbrave.wordpress.com

Love you,
Milan

Send Milan and Kay an Answer…

We have been asking this question to lots of people and we want to hear from you. So PLEASE respond…it will only take a few minutes.

First jot down your age, love style, sex (M/F) and number of years you have been a believer. Then answer the following question:

When have you felt the most loved by God? Not when have YOU felt love for Him but rather when and how have you felt HIs love for you? Don’t write more than a paragraph.  Please  don’t forget to start with your age,  Love style, sex, and number of years you have been a Christian.  THANK YOU!

 

 

“It’s OK to not be OK.” – #2

“It’s OK to not be OK.”

Learning to be OK when others are not OK is something that does not come to us naturally. It is something we must gradually grow into. In order to do that we need to understand the various components from last week’s story about Bill and Sandy (please go back and refresh your memory). This week we shall look at the power of silence and inactivity.

With the children gone and the tyranny of the urgent at bay, Bill’s world suddenly became quiet. With the absence of distractions Bill’s emotions and thoughts had room to emerge into his consciousness where they suddenly took center stage in Bill’s mind. Faced with potential health and career losses, he was cast into a worried, depressed, and preoccupied mood. We need quiet times to allow our minds and bodies to catch up with one another. For it is then that we can process the decisions that need to be made as well as the corresponding emotions for which we need to seek comfort and support.

Many of us however are terrified of our own emotions so we keep ourselves busy and distracted to prevent ourselves from feeling. The result? Suppressed feelings leak out in our bodies in the form of illnesses, conditions or syndromes. Stuffed emotions can also be responsible for anxiety, depression, phobias, obsessions, compulsions and the world’s most favorite stress reliever… addictions. By letting himself go into a dark and pensive mood, Bill was facing what was in his mind and emotions. Instead of avoiding, he allowed himself to sit in his pain. Processing and sorting out all of the issues takes a good deal of time is physically tiring, hence the need for a mid-day nap.

The one thing Bill could have done to improve the relational outcomes between he and Sandy would have been to give her a context for his quietness. Simple statements like “I’m worried and preoccupied about my job and my health. I need some time to process my thoughts and feelings and I will talk with you later when I feel ready to engage.” With that, Sandy would have had a context for Bill’s not being OK and though disappointed that their fun day was gone, she could relax and not panic realizing Bill’s withdrawal was not personal.

More next week!
Thanks for listening,
Milan & Kay

“It’s OK to not be OK.”

“It’s OK to not be OK.”

Bill and Sandy had a quiet weekend for a change and instead of the usual hectic racing and chasing around, the kids were gone and they were alone. Without distractions, Bill’s mood took on a quiet and pensive tone. He didn’t say much to Sandy throughout the day and he really didn’t get much done either. Feeling melancholy, he just putzed around his home office, took a nap and did a couple of simple chores.

Observing this, Sandy’s agitation increased throughout the day. Her expectation of a kid free fun filled day with Bill was slowly slipping away. Her mind was trying to figure out why he was withdrawing from her. She took it personally and with each passing hour, the agitation turned into fear and eventually anger. When she could take it no longer, she picked a fight with Bill and accused him of purposely trying to hurt her by his behavior. “Are you having an affair?” “What are you hiding?” “When I walked around in a towel all morning you didn’t even look at me! Are you gay?”

In lifeguard terminology what just happened was a double drowning. Why? Because to Sandy, it wasn’t OK for Bill to not be OK. His emotional moodiness caused her to become emotionally dysregulated. Not only was she unable to keep her own head above the water, she had no capacity to reach out her hand and inquire about Bill’s quiet mood.

Had she been able to stay emotionally regulated as Bill’s demeanor grew darker, she might have been able to ask “I’ve noticed you are very quiet today and your energy seems low. Would you be willing to share with me what you are feeling?” Had she done that, the back story to Bill’s behavior might have emerged. On Friday, the company had announced there would be layoffs within the first quarter of the year. He was also waiting for some test results from the cardiologist. His father had died young from coronary disease and his own fifty eighth birthday was looming on the horizon. He’d been with the company for twenty five years… his reoccurring thought … “Who’s going to hire an old guy?”

How about you? Is it OK to not be OK? Or are there frequent double drownings at your house?

More next week and thanks for listening.

Happy New Year!
We hope that 2014 is off to a great start for all of you!

Milan and Kay will be presenting a How We Love Our Kids workshop at Grace Fellowship Church in Santa Ana on January 25-26th. We would love to have you join us. For more information or to register please go to: relationship180.com

Now Available! Please check out our new book mark that is available on the website. It has the basics of the Comfort Circle on the front and the Soul Word List on the back. We have had great feedback on it! It is a great tool to help facilitate going around the Comfort Circle. Also, great for small groups!

Holiday Tips

Here is a great reminder from a blog Kay wrote last year on how to handle the Holidays!

Here is a good rule when you are going to be around difficult relatives. Predict what will happen. You know them well. Talk with your spouse or kids (if they are old enough) about what you predict. Then have a sense of humor when it happens. Give someone in your family a thumbs up….”see, there it was…my prediction just came true. The goal? You know you are an adult around your family and relatives if when you leave you are not disappointed, angry, or hurt. After all what did you expect?

Avoider: Learn to feel…black and white to color. Jesus came to earth because he feels love and desire. Ask Him to wake you up this holiday season to the importance of relationships. That’s what the coming of our savior was all about; winning our hearts and meeting our deepest need. It wasn’t about tasks as much as expressing love. Frozen, tundra heart of the avoider waits to be unthawed. It stings to unthaw a frost bit hand. Ask Jesus to melts the ice until you are free to live in the color of emotion and accept your needs as important and worth meeting.

Pleaser: Pleaser season giving giving, giving. Stop. Quiet. Look .listen. What can you receive? Ask for help. Sit with people and talk instead of cleaning or doing dishes. The holidays mean we are around relatives who might hurt us with insensitive words. Maybe someone in our own family won’t appreciate all the work and effort you have made. Jesus proved hurt and rejection aren’t deadly. Glorious birth, then rejection. Death before resurrection. No fear. Rejection can be transformed into resurrection.

Vacillator: No idyllic Christmas. Just real. Jesus birth was messy not ideal. Let the season be good and bad. It won’t be as good as you hope and something will go wrong. So when it does, don’t over react , go all bad and suffer. Let it roll off. Let good and bad live close together in the days ahead. Jesus came into our world a broken place and still He accepts us as broken. Learn to let yourself and those around you be imperfect and messy. It’s a part of life.

Controller: Holidays can be reminders of painful childhood times. Think about your feelings about Christmas. Are they overly idealized to make up for all you suffered as a child? Or do you just barely tolerate the holidays because of how miserable they were growing up? It’s time of a reality based redo. Try to make this Christmas something “little you” can enjoy. Remember your anger is a cover for tender feelings. Something will probably upset you so when it does, look for the vulnerable feeling when you feel angry.

Victim: Jesus tolerated the intolerable on the cross. He understands your pain. Find solace in His love. Find Jesus in the days ahead in His gift of creation. Look, see, hear, touch the wonder. You are His wonder too. He came to this earth for you because you are loveable, worthy and He rejoices when you become His child. He is a good parent and he desires you. Dwell on Romans 8.

Milan and Kay have welcomed two new grandchildren into the family in the past couple of weeks. Busy times full of love and gratitude!

We would love to have you join us in January for a local How We Love our Kids event at Grace Fellowship church. Please click on the events tab to find the event and see all of the details.

We have just introduced a new Secure Connector CD and audio download. Last year, Milan and Kay wrote a whole blog series on all of the traits of the Secure Connector and we received great feedback. They have recorded many of the thoughts and tips from that series on this new CD. All of the Love Style Lectures are on sale this month! This includes all of the individual Love Style CDs and downloads! Great stocking stuffers!!

We wish you all a very Merry Christmas and look forward to growing more with you in the New Year!

Pleaser-Pleaser Core Pattern

We are thrilled to announce that all of the new Attachment Core Pattern Therapy packages are now available. Recently we trademarked “Attachment Core Pattern Therapy” ™ and have written new material which greatly expands the “Duets” section from the book. Milan and Kay have produced sixty minute CDs explaining each of the Core Patterns and interventions for how to get out of them. Additionally, each CD includes an extensive PDF file with a diagram of the Core Pattern as well as a written description and interventions for change.
The new series includes:
• Attachment Core Pattern Therapy ™ Overview
• The Vacillator-Avoider Core Pattern
• The Avoider-Pleaser Core Pattern
• The Vacillator-Pleaser Core Pattern
• The Controller-Vacillator Core Pattern
• The Controller-Victim Core Pattern
• The Vacillator-Vacillator Core Pattern
• Less Common Patterns: Avoider-Avoider and Pleaser-Pleaser

Pleaser-Pleaser Core Pattern

This pair takes the risk free route as much as possible and has difficulty making decisions. They may be overcommitted to activities as both have difficulty saying “No,” or including self-care as a part of their routine. Since both spouses lack boundaries, minimize problems and avoid conflict, things seem to go along quite smoothly until a crisis hits that forces the acknowledgment of painful realities. Neither is skilled at dealing with difficult emotions, or comforting, rather than reassuring. A strong, feisty child can throw this duo into a tailspin, as neither would be good at holding boundaries, and each has an aversion to dealing with strong emotions or protests from a spirited child. Teen years can be difficult on parents who are both Pleasers for the same reasons.
When there is finally a situation or event that forces difficult feelings to surface, often one spouse is ready to face reality, while the other wants to stay in the Pleaser mode. At this point, resentment can build as one person deals with more than their share of the family’s problems.

Next week will be the last week that all of the Attachment Core Pattern Therapy Packages will be on sale. Beginning in December, they will return to regular price.

Blessings!

Avoider – Avoider Core Pattern

We are thrilled to announce that all of the new Attachment Core Pattern Therapy packages are now available. Recently we trademarked “Attachment Core Pattern Therapy” ™ and have written new material which greatly expands the “Duets” section from the book. Milan and Kay have produced sixty minute CDs explaining each of the Core Patterns and interventions for how to get out of them. Additionally, each CD includes an extensive PDF file with a diagram of the Core Pattern as well as a written description and interventions for change.
The new series includes:
• Attachment Core Pattern Therapy ™ Overview
• The Vacillator-Avoider Core Pattern
• The Avoider-Pleaser Core Pattern
• The Vacillator-Pleaser Core Pattern
• The Controller-Vacillator Core Pattern
• The Controller-Victim Core Pattern
• The Vacillator-Vacillator Core Pattern
• Less Common Patterns: Avoider-Avoider and Pleaser-Pleaser

Next week we will highlight the last Core Pattern: Pleaser-Pleaser. All of the Attachment Core Pattern Therapy packages will continue to be on sale through the end of November. Beginning in December, they will go to regular price and we will have another special for December. For more information please go to: www.howwelove.com

Avoider – Avoider Core Pattern

Nothing seems to ruffle this couple. Conflict will be avoided unless it can be rationally discussed. Affection will be minimal and often a family pet gets more touch than the couple give to one another. Of all the combinations, this one is most likely to not want children. If children do enter the family, the system will be stressed as babies and toddlers are a bundle of feelings and needs. Arguments may ensue over division of labor.
This couple seems to sail along with few problems and no prominent Core Pattern until a crisis hits that breaks the lid off of shut down feelings. At this point, one person will start to feel and need support on some level, and their spouse will struggle and feel inadequate to make this shift. This couple rarely comes to therapy unless a crisis has forced tension into the relationship and the pair begins to struggle. A Core Pattern may emerge after a crisis where the spouse in pain feels unsupported and let down by their mate’s lack of empathy.

Blessings!

Vacillator-Pleaser Core Pattern

We are thrilled to announce that all of the new Attachment Core Pattern Therapy packages are now available. Recently we trademarked “Attachment Core Pattern Therapy” ™ and have written new material which greatly expands the “Duets” section from the book. Milan and Kay have produced sixty minute CDs explaining each of the Core Patterns and interventions for how to get out of them. Additionally, each CD includes an extensive PDF file with a diagram of the Core Pattern as well as a written description and interventions for change.
The new series includes:
• Attachment Core Pattern Therapy ™ Overview
• The Vacillator-Avoider Core Pattern
• The Avoider-Pleaser Core Pattern
• The Vacillator-Pleaser Core Pattern
• The Controller-Vacillator Core Pattern
• The Controller-Victim Core Pattern
• The Vacillator-Vacillator Core Pattern
• Less Common Patterns: Avoider-Avoider and Pleaser-Pleaser
For the next few weeks, we will be giving you a brief description and overview of each of these Core Patterns. – See more at: www.howwelove.com

Vacillator-Pleaser Core Pattern

As the imprints collide, the Pleaser cannot keep up with the idealized expectation of the Vacillator. As they make mistakes, and feel irritability from the Vacillator, their anxiety returns and they become concerned with avoiding conflict. Initially, they try harder to make it work, wanting to again feel the Vacillator’s pleasure and praise. Vacillators confront and Pleasers attempt to avoid confrontation which sets up a chase scene.

The Vacillator becomes disillusioned when the initial passion begins to wane. They want their spouse to understand and want them, not just please them. The Pleaser’s anxious scurrying around makes them feel placated, rather than known and valued. This isn’t what they expected and over time the Pleaser’s efforts become annoying. The Vacillator becomes more agitated and upset, and they don’t realize Pleasers don’t know how to connect in a reciprocal way because they don’t know how to receive. Since Pleasers did not learn to have soul words growing up, and no one was asking about their heart, they cannot relate on this level.

The Pleaser tries to fix any negative emotions by doing nice things, so their spouse is happy. Moving towards the difficult feelings of others (or their own), makes them anxious because they don’t know what to do. Since the Vacillator doesn’t understand these deeper dynamics, they feel more and more unloved, and more and more disillusioned and angry.

The Pleaser keeps trying. After all, they have been pleasing for their whole life. Over time, resentment begins to build but Pleasers rarely express anger openly so it may be expressed in passive ways. They feel they are walking on eggshells and while their efforts may make the Vacillator happy for a while, it won’t be peaceful for long. If the pattern continues long enough, the Pleaser’s resentment may build to the point that they give up trying or leave their spouse. If the couple remains in this pattern for years, their marriage is often filled with bitterness and resentment.

Blessings!

Vacillator-Controller Core Pattern

We are thrilled to announce that all of the new Attachment Core Pattern Therapy packages are now available. Recently we trademarked “Attachment Core Pattern Therapy” ™ and have written new material which greatly expands the “Duets” section from the book. Milan and Kay have produced sixty minute CDs explaining each of the Core Patterns and interventions for how to get out of them. Additionally, each CD includes an extensive PDF file with a diagram of the Core Pattern as well as a written description and interventions for change.

The new series includes:
• Attachment Core Pattern Therapy ™ Overview
• The Vacillator-Avoider Core Pattern
• The Avoider-Pleaser Core Pattern
• The Vacillator-Pleaser Core Pattern
• The Controller-Vacillator Core Pattern
• The Controller-Victim Core Pattern
• The Vacillator-Vacillator Core Pattern
• Less Common Patterns: Avoider-Avoider and Pleaser-Pleaser

For the next few weeks, we will be giving you a brief description and overview of each of these Core Patterns.
– See more at: www.howwelove.com

Vacillator-Controller Core Pattern

Both the Vacillator and the Controller mistake intensity for intimacy. Often, that was their experience growing up. Fighting or intense arguing is a connection of sorts, in that two people are engaged, but what is lacking is the ability to regulate emotions and reach a resolution where both people feel heard, understood and valued. In many homes there is intense fighting without resolution. Everyone just moves on even though no one was truly heard nor was the problem resolved.

It may appear these two like to fight when in fact it’s just the only way they have experienced connection. Both like to be right, both move quickly to anger and both are stubborn and determined. The making up after a fight may be just as intense and sexual encounters are often used to “make peace”. Both spouses likely have come from homes where arguing and fighting were a part of normal everyday life, so neither sees the destructiveness of the Core Pattern, especially for the kids. This is one of the most volatile combinations and the kids suffer as a result.

The Vacillators’ tension builds up when they feel hurt, abandoned or misunderstood. The Controllers’ tension builds up whenever their control is threatened. It’s easy to see how a spark can quickly start a fire.

Blessings!