This afternoon I had an interesting conversation with my father-in-law about how families come together when struggling in discord. Usually it takes a birth, a wedding or a family tragedy to get people out of a funk and realize how precious life can be. It’s a shame that jealousy, envy, or childhood memories can freeze relationships cold, taking months or years to repair.
We all experience loss at some point in our lives. Whether it’s our first love who breaks up with us and we never think we will recover or the loss of a favorite pet or family member, it causes us to reflect back on our own lives and realize that above anything else, one thing you can’t ever get back is time. We all have a finite amount of time on this earth. Wouldn’t you rather spend it around your friends and family with joyful memories rather than all of the fights and disagreements?
Imagine all of the health problems that come up due to the negative emotions of fear, insecurity, jealousy, anger, sadness, and shame. What if you just decided in the snap of your fingers that you’ve forgiven the person who you believe did wrong, forgive yourself of holding on to the pain and then just went on with life as if there was a blank slate? Wouldn’t your life immediately take a turn towards the good?
How would you feel if a loved one passed away in a sudden accident and the last memory you have of spending time together was a negative one? Wouldn’t you feel an enormous amount of guilt for not resolving matters sooner?
Yesterday I was very angry at my youngest daughter for not expressing her true feelings and punishing me with her pain. I needed time alone to think and realize that she’s still fearful that her basic needs will not be met. I need to work at making her comfortable every day, and through the consistency and trust we will build the bonds of attachment and healing. I don’t want a night to go by where she doesn’t realize that I can be unimpressed with her attitude but I still love her, no matter what.
So I urge you to look within your own life and see if there is a relationship or two that you can repair. Build a bridge and get over whatever petty issue you are holding on to. Live life fully and engage in helpful, positive behaviors. Your children will mirror how you interact with your family and pass those skills down in their child rearing. You can seek out help with therapy or counseling if you feel you have difficulties in communicating your hopes and fears appropriately.
Most importantly, never ever give up on the bonds of your family. I think in today’s society we need to draw closer to people rather than distance ourselves. Humans are meant to be social, to spend time around interacting with each other. You carry memories forever- so make your time with each family member special.