How we hold our family is one of the most basic and powerful stories that define a person’s life. Strangely, much of how a person holds their household is determined by cultural stories and the habits we inherit from our parents. An important step in life is taking to time to consider and then reinforce your stances for a healthy home life.
Be aware that the stories about how to hold our kin together are powerful enough to override and go against personal needs in life. Add in the fact that many people burn out trying to force what they think their family story should be rather than letting it evolve to a balanced set of relationships. This means quite a few homes are out of balance despite a person’s best efforts to hold their home together.
Don’t Hold Picture Perfect Ideals
Let’s face it; we all know the picture-perfect family. Then we try so hard to make our own family to be as perfect. Well, that isn’t going to happen. No family is perfect; every group we forge together will have problems to overcome. The more a person tries to force their family to be picture perfect, the faster it will fall apart into disharmony.
Let your clan be unique.
Understand your family will have its own dynamics. Yes, to even include some fighting. Ironically a dash of interpersonal family challenges will serve a purpose in teaching each other how to handle problems in the real world outside of the family.
Don’t Confuse Love for Harmony
Love and harmony are two very different things. To like someone is to be harmony with that person. Harmony means you respect and work with a person in a manner to reinforce each other. To love someone is to want them to be more. In this, you can see that love and like (harmony) are two very different processes that compliment each other.
You might love familial members, but often times they will irritate you or piss you off. You may find you never have the patience for a sibling or find yourself unable to talk to your parents. This is because chemistry varies from person to person. The basis for all relationships initially comes down to chemistry. Much of chemistry cannot be forced nor faked in life.
Often times, disharmony in familial relationships forces people to go into an endless circle of arguments. Familial members will fight over and over again to fix problems that never seem to resolve. Sometimes the problems are rooted in bad chemistry which don’t ever resolve out. Other times it’s because we are pushing actions which are being interpreted wrongly by other family members.
One clue to look for is when you try hard yet all you get is more drama. When this happens, don’t waste energy trying to fix things, rather give some space for new options to arise.
We often think that solid family values require us to fight for family harmony. Understand that pushing for harmony ironically can be a trap pushing everyone into more disharmony. Sometimes we need to take a break in actions to allow people to catch up to each other.
Family isn’t Only About Blood
All too often we think because we are related to a person we have to like them. People are people. Just because a person is related to you doesn’t mean you must like them.
Recognize that it is acceptable to not like everyone in your life. Don’t let familial pressure force you into bad relationships for the sake of the family.
Look at how many royal siblings have offed each other in history, and you will realize blood is not stronger than greed nor power. Strangely, many people will do things for blood relatives they wouldn’t do for others.
So does blood make a difference? From an emotional sense, yes but from a practical sense the answer at times is no. This is why one of the first pieces of business advice you will get is not to do business with other family members: emotional attachments often lead to bad decisions. The emotional bonds of family are strong and can help resolve some differences. So blood can help create shared stories to help moderate social interactions within family. But those emotional bonds are not always enough to create harmony or smooth relationships. Emotional bonds can often cause us to do actions which are worse for us.
In truth: family should go beyond blood. We typically only hold as a family those we have deep emotional bonds to and we should extend that definition. Kin should be those who you are willing to grow with in life. You will find many people in life outside your bloodline that you have deep chemistry with and can be part of your extended clan.
The definition of family should be:
Those fellow beings we grow with.
Don’t let emotional entanglements limit your family.
It’s important to discover other relationships if your own blood family isn’t kind to you or doesn’t accept you!
Examine the chemistry in your relationships. Just because a person is related to you doesn’t ensure chemistry. Be strong with those familial members you have chemistry with and give lots of space to those you don’t like.
Never over push ANY relationship that lacks chemistry.
Space and distance are, at times, the best way to maintain a relationship and keep love strong.
Never Accept Abuse
Know the difference between fighting and abuse. While fighting can be acceptable, never confuse abuse to be the same thing as squabbling. Abuse is never acceptable. Abuse is the active process of taking away power from a person. Abuse destroys a person. If you are experiencing abuse in your family, then get help and release that abuse. Abuse is a deep problem; it’s often multi-generational in scope and is very hard to escape.
But let me be clear if someone in your life is abusing you, THEN THEY ARE NOT PART OF YOUR FAMILY. Family is about growth and improvement in life. Sometimes the first step in releasing abuse is to come to terms that a person abusing you isn’t family!
Once someone begins to take away your power, then that person is actively undercutting you as a person. A true familial member helps you grow; no abuser ever qualifies to be a household member of your life. You will find people wrestling with this for decades before finally releasing the abuser from their family circles so they can live in freedom again.