It's interesting to me that one of my favorite authors on the issue of trauma is also my favorite author on the concept of "play" (Dan Allender). Isn't that ironic? Don't those two issues seem to be completely paradoxical?
But they are intimately connected.
To play well is to HEAL well.
To play well is to BE WELL.
To play well is to PARENT well.
What we know about recovery work is that restoration of our whole selves requires the ability to think rightly, feel deeply, but also PLAY FREELY. Our healing is accomplished when we can engage our heart, soul, mind and strength into joyfully recovering who we were made to be.
And for many parents who have been wounded in their childhood, they have a difficult time tapping into the world of play with their own kids. Pain can lead us to be feel damaged, drained, and disconnected. But Dan Allender calls us out of our pain and into playing with our kids. For them and for us! He names it as one of the "highest callings" of parenthood. He wisely states:
“Playing with our children gives them the skills, character, and context for living out their God-given calling. This is by far their most important inheritance, which means that it is callous to deprive a child of a parental playmate. A worldview based on a belief in the Resurrection demands a vision of life that begins and ends with a celebration, a feast of pleasure and delight. This is a party, not some somber affair! Play is not an escape from the heartache of reality. Instead it involves embracing the outcome of all reality. If we come to a richer and deeper understanding of play, it can change how we go about a day, how we go about living in the decades that we have left on this earth. So I consider this not to be a frivolous topic, but one that is so very central to the gospel.” -Dan Allender, How Children Raise Parents
How about you? How well are you taking time to truly be present and PLAY with those you love? Be a part of healing your story while you help your children write a brave new one. They need you. Take some time to play well and BE WELL.
Let me know if I there is any way I can help.