The family dynamic is one of the most complicated areas in life.
As much as they can drive us up the wall, these are the same people who celebrate most of our milestones in life. We love them, we hate them, we kick them aside and we long for them when they are not around.
Yes, this is as complicated as things get.
We have all heard it before – you can choose your friends, but you cannot choose your family. What you get is what you get.
Friends are easy to get along with as you tend to have similar interests and goals and if you do not get along any longer, you both simply head your separate ways.
How many wish it were this easy with family. Most who have unsuccessfully tried would tell you (even if only at the end) that it felt like they had lost a piece of themselves in the process of doing so.
Losing family is one of the things that produce deep roots of pain that remain in your life.
Your family is a part of your life, a part of who you are and if so desired, who will shape who you will become one day. You might not like this fact, but no amount of wishing, praying, or ignoring this will change it.
There is always hidden backstory
As children we often have extraordinarily little regard for the actions and decisions made by our parents. So much so that we challenge them on many of their ways, wanting to know why they think and do what they do.
Somehow, as children we forget the fact that our parents are simply grown up children themselves. We feel that they are not allowed to have hang ups and should have life all figured out.
By no means am I making excuses for those parents who continuously hurt and disappoint their children.
But how many times don’t we forget to realise that as much as they should have it all worked out, they themselves are prone to hurts from the past and prone to mistakes; people who are simply trying to make the best of any given situation.
Instead of seeing them in this light, we choose to write them off; incorrectly thinking that this will remove the problems we seem to have with them from our lives. We do this all too well as teenagers.
However, if we would take the time to understand their backstory, it might just shed some light on some unanswered questions that have led us wanting to have nothing to do with them.
Perspective, I believe can and should change our understanding and reasoning about our family, without us trying to force them to change. It helps us to accept what can be changed and help them remain a part of our lives (even if only a small part).
The point I’m trying to make is that while we like to point fingers and blame them for many of the difficulties they have caused in our lives, we forget that they themselves only have a certain frame of reference that they are able to draw from.
That reference, if unchanged, will become our reference in life and in the lives of our children.
A foundation has been set for you to either break or build upon
Remember, each parent can only try and improve on what their parents were able to do for them.
A foundation has been laid, and it is either worth building on or in need of a fresh start. This it self is not easy when your reference of how to do so does not exist.
Looking back you might find that your grandparents may not have understood the power of a hug, a kiss or a simple word of affirmation; which in turn may have spilt over into your family life, leaving you to wonder if you were ever truly loved.
Keep the various generations in mind when looking at all of this.
One would find that the older generation grew up in a more militant era, while our parents in a more ‘rebellious’ era. The two different spectrums already clash all on their own. Throw your generation into the mix and you find three different generations trying to make a family dynamic work.
Some would call this a recipe for disaster.
We don’t like to think about all these things when dealing with family, but the fact is that whatever the situation is, there is always a backstory and whatever the backstory is, there is a foundation that has been set.
You have a choice to either repeat them or improve on them.
Be sure to pass on something better for your kids.