Living the Protective Factors: Way 3


What if building the Protective Factor of resilience is less about discipline and skill building and more about radical self-empathy? Being your own best friend. Suspending self-doubt. Making brave choices to validate your own feelings, forgive your mistakes, and trust your soul’s guidance. If you are not a toxic narcissist, if you spend a lot of your time and energy caring for and about other people’s needs, then it’s very possible that your resilience will be enhanced by giving yourself permission to focus on your peace. 

Breaking it down, here’s Way 3 from Be Strong Families’ book, Living the Protective Factors: How We Keep Our Children Safe and Families Strong: 

Take a Break for Self-Love
Whenever we feel stressed or overwhelmed in a situation, we can give ourselves permission to gracefully and temporarily leave. We can almost always tell the people we’re with that we need a minute. When we feel cornered or trapped, we are likely to react negatively and regret what we do or say, so it’s important to separate ourselves from whatever’s going on and find a safe place to regroup and be alone. Sometimes this might mean going for a short walk. Other times, this could be just sitting down, closing our eyes and going inward. Doing this, we can connect with our source, with our heart. We understand temporarily breaking the action as taking a moment to give ourselves a kind of an emotional hug. If we need love, we are always there to give it to ourselves.

Questions for Reflection and Conversation

  • How can you remind yourself to stop when you are feeling stressed?

  • What is your self-talk like when you are alone? How can you make it more positive?

  • What does it mean to love your neighbor as yourself if you aren’t good at loving yourself?


Make a list of how you feel when you feel loved. Then make a list of things that, if someone else did them, would make you feel loved. Finally, see which of those things you can do for yourself— and commit.

Check out 50+ other ways to keep your children safe and family strong in the Living the Protective Factors book and set of affirmation cards.

Katthe WolfComment