Happiness is beneficial for the body, but it is grief that develops the powers of the mind.

~ Marcel Proust ~

Family Practice

September 11th, 2013 ~ Est. reading time: 2 mins, 8 secs

Family doesn't have to be great to be good.

Family doesn’t have to be great to be good.

If there is a training ground for relationships it would have to be family. Unlike the formal environments of school, church, and work, families are able to make up the rules as they go.

So much that’s wonderful about life is discovered through growing up and those families who offer love to their children are right there in the thick of it. With all sorts of variations on family life a few aspects have lasting value, like:

  • Acceptance
  • Showing affection
  • Spending time together
  • Respect
  • Being consistent, and
  • Loyalty.

Qualities like these are timeless and as such, amply prepare growing folk for their future relationships.

While, aspects like how much money parents make, how prestigious or humble the address, and how indulged kids are have nowhere near as much impact on the ultimate maturing of children. Provided there is food on the table and wise love in practical action, kids have the base they need to build a good life.

My teacher side makes me want to say that a good education helps. But for all its worth it takes second place to the value of a healthy family life. As a fundamental measure of becoming, our experience of family is pivotal.

Sure, some sainted souls manage to overcome the most horrific upbringing and make their life a triumph. But, usually, the way life plays out at a family level shapes the future. Like a time machine, young impressionable spirits are shaped and molded by family life (both in the big events and a myriad of telltale moments).

Many parents are more aware than ever of the responsibility involved in raising children and it definitely can be a daunting. Yet, kids are resilient, intrepid, and wonderfully accepting. So, when stuff happens in your family, take heart. Children tend to roll with it.

Naturally, sensitive young souls will grapple with the stresses and strains of family life. But overall, a lot of unpleasantness can happen and it really doesn’t matter.

Inevitably, many of us will go through stages of blaming during our growing up. Yet, in the end, we eventually grasp that our parents have done some good. Their parenting might not have been ideal and certainly far from ideal. But if we can reflect on the situation, they must have been good enough to get us this far. And, from here, we as adults need to take care of the rest.

When my father died, my mother’s response to her grief was inherently self-centered. She ignored our grief and become so ugly in her demands that I felt angry. If fact, I allowed myself to be mad at her for an entire year (not hard as we  lived in separate states and she never knew). Finally, I ran out of resentment and, instead,  saw my mother otherwise and embraced her.

Such a complex mix of relationships is guaranteed to trigger everything from stellar highs to unspeakable lows. Yet, family has kept humanity alive through the Ages, and as difficult as it is, nothing else comes close.

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