Sounds like Mom wrote a posting late the night before, but I can't find one!
Yes, it does feel like I was just composing a note for my merry little band.
I had a rough night last night - lots of nightmares - and there are things I want to say before the day goes much farther.
A young relative of mine said two things over the past six months that stopped me in my tracks. The one I need to share today was a comment about family relationships - according to this bright, promising and talent young person, it is standard practice to work through family issues with friends so that we can present a civil and pleasant face within our family.
This is a step up from what I always thought - that working out family relationships was between myself and God alone, no friends, no ministers, no counselors, just a one-on-one between God and myself. It is not a surprise that nothing changed for the better.
In all the books and audiotapes I have read or listened to over the past two years, the need to lovingly identify and at least try to resolve family issues in an open, loving, win-win way is what I remember. Not once do I remember any of them advising readers/listeners to let things ride for the sake of peace in the family.
Over the past few years, three of my favorite authors - Mary Pipher, Stephen Covey and John Bradshaw – have made it clear to this Ancient One that we are supposed to at least do our best to address active family issues and that we should always keep the door open.
Our earliest family influence with working within family dynamics was my older daughter, Mim, who is very experienced working with children and is skilled within her profession (she works with autistic children) at opening up/dealing with issues. She had a lot to say about the need for tough love, with ourselves and others, and she was the first to say that it was better to remove yourself (hopefully temporarily) from an unhealthy relationship than it was to close your eyes to what was happening and help perpetuate it.
That did not make any sense to me until recently. I did not understand the concept of accountability - mine and others. I did not understand that we cannot change others, no matter how much we care about them, we can only change ourselves. Even if we create what we consider a loving and compassionate and safe place for change to happen, other people might feel that it is unloving, hurtful and unsafe.
I read that all families are dysfunctional (I dislike like that word, it is so clinical and so overused), but that healthier families are able to identify and self-correct faster than others.
I disagree with my young relative - it seems to me that working through family issues with friends or other people might make the immediate situation easier to deal with, but it does nothing to resolve real problems.
It does take a lot of courage. Human nature dislikes change, even change for the better. That does not make it reasonable to stop trying.
It might sound preachy, but all any of us can do is the best we can do at the moment knowing what we know, which may or may not be enough in our eyes.
Thanks for letting me spout off. I feel better and the memory of my nightmares do not bother me as much as they were. Thank you for being there.
Love to you all - Grammie Kay