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"Dear Sherry" Opinion and Advice Column

If there is something you are struggling with and you would like to hear my thoughts, I would love to hear from you! 

I will respond in written format to you personally within one week. Using a tag name for anonymity, your question and my response will also be posted on my social media platforms and on this website to assist others who may be looking for the same information.   

You can describe a problem you have, ask a question, or both! I look forward to helping you.

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How Can I Have a Positive Mindset About Money?

DEAR SHERRY: Both of my parents have a poverty mindset. Their parents went through the Great Depression and this impacted their beliefs and my parents' outlook. My parents are much older now and doing very well financially, especially my father (they divorced and remarried others) but their views remain the same. They do not trust wealthy people and are verbally disparaging towards them. How can I change the impact of my parents' ideas about money, on myself, so that I can embrace it in my life? I find I am very self-conscious around wealthy people. - POVERTY MINDSET

DEAR POVERTY MINDSET:  No matter how old we are, there is nothing more important than being loved by our parents.  If your parents don’t trust and judge wealthy people, whether it is conscious, subconscious, or unconscious, if you embrace money in your life, in your mind you will risk losing their love and acceptance. You may have a hard time being yourself around wealthy people because it triggers a lot of emotion in you regarding this. I recommend working through these fears within yourself or having a conversation with your parents so that they can help to alleviate your fears about losing their love. You will then be able to live your life in abundance!

With Love and Light,

SHERRY

How Can I Handle My Fears About My Daughter?

DEAR SHERRY,

I have a teenage daughter whom I love very much and am very close to. The issue that I am having is that I see myself in her so much that it is really hard to separate and not project my fears consciously or unconsciously onto her especially when I see her struggling. When I see her struggle it really brings up all of my childhood pain and rather than go into a positive mindset I go into fear that she won’t be ok. This has heightened during covid time as I see so many teens struggling. I get afraid for her. She doesn’t want my fear and quite understandably will repel from it because I am sure that makes her scared. How do I manage my emotions and fears and work on being the nurturing trusting loving parent that she needs? My mom was a very fearful and aloof mother who was unable to nurture so it’s difficult for me. I find myself getting frustrated with myself.

Sincerely,

FRUSTRATED

DEAR FRUSTRATED: 

Being a mom is the hardest job in the world, so first and foremost, it is important to be gentle with yourself. Beating yourself up won’t help you or your daughter.

It is amazing that you already recognize that seeing her struggle brings up pain from your own childhood. Our children are our greatest gifts; they truly teach us more than we teach them. Their struggles and our struggles with them provide us an opportunity to look within ourselves and to heal from our own childhood wounds.

The suggestions I have are endless, so I won’t write them all. Two books immediately come to mind: The Conscious Parent by Shefali Tsabary and You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay. These books are excellent guides to help you on your journey within.

Again, be compassionate with yourself and trust the healing process. Accept your feelings that come up; they provide you an opportunity to heal. Journal to help process your emotions, allow your tears to flow. It can also be beneficial to have a therapist support you on your journey.

Practice self-care, whatever that might mean for you. It might be meditation, a bubble bath, walking in nature, etc. The more you love and nurture yourself, the more secure and peaceful you become. You can then navigate any storm in life and be the calming presence your daughter needs.  

With Love and Light,

SHERRY

How Can I Stay Motivated in School?

DEAR SHERRY,

Recently I have found it really hard to stay focused and motivated with my school work. As Covid hit and school became online, I figured it would be easier and more laid back. Throughout each day I have noticed that every day feels the same and I am losing the passion for handing in my school work and wanting to achieve with my classes. I have also noticed with myself that if I am not told to go to class I will simply not go which will hurt me in the long run, but I have been feeling so mentally drained that it doesn’t affect me as much anymore.

With that being said, are there any tips that can help me and other students my age that feel the same way in order to get motivated? Or even methods that can help myself and other students to cope with all the negative thoughts that come along with struggling to maintain a healthy mental state.

Sincerely,

UNMOTIVATED

DEAR UNMOTIVATED: 

I am sorry that you are struggling.

It sounds like you might want to ask yourself what do you want out of life? When we are doing what makes us happy, we are naturally motivated. If our behavior is externally motivated, for example perhaps to please our parents, our teachers, our friends, or by the number of likes we get on social media, it is hard to be motivated if there aren’t a lot of expectations.

Covid has been very difficult, there has been a lot of loss. At the same time, the world is in a major stage of transformation for the better. All the pressures, prior to covid, were creating a lot of anxiety, depression, and substance abuse in teens and society as a whole.

Other teens have shared with me that less is expected of them during the pandemic, which can be positive because it is a time for not only teens, but everyone to reevaluate what they want their life to look like.

So, it is important to engage in two vital activities. Firstly, maintain a healthy state of mind. To maintain a healthy mental state it is important to develop a routine and practice daily physical and mental hygiene. Physically, you might want to ensure you are getting proper rest, eating healthy foods, exercising and showering, and getting dressed, even if you have nowhere to go.

Mental hygiene might include journaling about your thoughts and feelings, talking to a trusted adult, writing a list of 5 things you are grateful for every day, listening to uplifting music, or guided meditations. Start slow and build on a routine as you go.

Engaging with friends as much as possible in person, safely, is also highly recommended. We are meant to connect with each other, meaningful connections lift our spirits.

Secondly, focus on your aspirations. I suggest writing a list of all the things that you truly desire in life. Double-check that they are for you, and not for someone else, and then ask yourself what you need to do to get what you want. What you want may be the same as what the adults in your life want for you, but if you have never asked yourself that question, it might be hard to access your internal motivation.

Remember, we all have a guiding light within, and there are better days ahead.

With love and light,

SHERRY