Part of our ‘Parallel Process’ as a caregiver is to accept some really harsh realities. When a child or other family member has a life threatening illness such as an eating disorder, there are unfortunately so many really unexpected and brutal realities we must accept. (Well, life in general gives us more opportunities for this than we’d like.) And often, we must do it quickly, which makes it even harder because most of us need TIME to process harsh, unhoped for situations.

So, how do we quickly make the shift? You know I’m all about ‘shift happening’ and choosing how we react. Do I do that all the time? Heck no! Do I try? Yes, most of the time. 😉 


What has worked for me:

  • Time
  • Understanding from someone who has been there
  • Physical activity
  • Nature
  • Music 
  • Feeling and acknowledging the emotions
  • Research to learn more information to help make decisions
  • Reminding myself that I have done very hard things and I am STRONG
  • Asking myself, “How would Kitty Westin handle this?” 🙂 (A very wise, strong friend (and eating disorder parent pioneer by the way) who has been through the unimaginable pain of having a child die)

    Kitty Westin & Becky Henry

What a few  experts recommend:

  1. Psychologist, Amy Morin has 7 steps for accepting tough situations in life that she shared in this article
  2. Lori Deschene, founder of ‘tiny buddah’ tells us in “7 Ways to Get Past Tough Situations Quickly” to remember how strong we are and to ask ourselves how someone we respect would handle the situation. This one always has me reminding myself to be more mature about whatever it is. 
  3. Rick Hanson, a neuropsychologist goes into more detail on the common theme of “Acceptance” in this piece

It’s interesting to see the cross over of concepts from these different perspectives. I noticed,

  1. Acceptance
  2. Acknowledging that life isn’t fair 

What will you choose? 

We can remind ourselves that “This too shall pass” even when we cannot fathom how that might happen. And we can try to remember that we can eventually choose how we react. Therein lies the shift that leads to less pain and suffering. Not easy, and…possible if we choose it. 

Still don’t believe this? I get it. Sometimes I look to the greats like Nelson Mandela and Elie Weisel for inspiration on what I call, ‘HOW to shift outta the sh*t.’ They were masters at it.