Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Family and Discord

Family's purpose is to nurture each member and to provide support during times of change.

The best thing that families can do is cultivate laughter.

We look to family to hold us and give us a feeling of safety so we can get our breath before going back out into the world.

So if family does not cheer for us - if our family does not keep a vision of success for us - who will?

Likewise, if we will withhold love from a family member who is not pleasing us, we are wasting the lives God gave us.

All of us are participating in an experiment called life.

No one gets out without making mistakes, sometimes serious ones.

It is the job of family to praise each one of its members for the bravery it takes to pick ourselves up after we fall.

We each have a plan for our lives given to us by God. Call it a genetic imprint, call it fate, call it destiny, call it a map.

Whatever the name, it is a mission - a calling - to live the best life possible, to use our gifts to greatest advantage and to give the greatest service of which we are capable.

Family helps us become the person we want to be - or blocks us through criticism.

Family can make the difference as to whether we lead successful lives on our own terms or become miserable failures.

When family can accept who we are and help us give birth to the best within us, then we are truly blessed. But if our families desire that we fulfill their dreams instead of our own, we are caught between a rock and a hard place. We need the love of our families, but more than that, we need to be authentically who God made us.

This conflict, if it remains unresolved, will go one of two ways. We will stifle ourselves - who we are and our dreams - in exchange for love. Or we will cut ourselves off from our families so we are not continually dragged down.

If either happens, it is tragic. For the support of family makes the difference not only in how we see ourselves and how far we can go, but in how much happiness we experience during the journey of life.

Let us pray to God and give joyous thanks if we have families that nurture us, that laugh with us and pray with us.

Never take your family for granted but let each person know how important he or she is to you.

And for you who lack family or if your family punishes you for being different in your views or lifestyle, please bless your family anyway.

People often fear what they do not understand. Some people cannot stand the slightest disagreement with their opinions. Just bless them. If they try to fight with you, refuse. Know this: the argument you want to have with them is not with them, it is with God.

If you have any doubt about the correctness of your path, people - and especially family - will get in your face and offer you opinions that your path is incorrect.

Therefore, go to God and sincerely ask Him to either correct your path if it is in error or, if it is not, to cleanse you of all self-doubt and self-hate for not being able to be like others.

One or the other must be done for you to experience true joy in being you.

Now, Beloved, let us pray for our relationship with family.

Dear God,

I open my heart to family.
You send me the love I need through family.
Our hearts bring us to each other
In the deep peace of belonging.

Thank You, God, that I have family.

If I lack family, then I affirm
You bring my true family home to me,
The family who loves me beyond words.

Thank You, God, for my family.
I love and understand my family
And, by Your Grace,
You help my family understand and love me.

And so it is.


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