Thursday, August 22, 2013

The Gift of Family

I just returned from a trip to Dallas for my granddaughter's wedding and to see my other granddaughter's baby for the first time. One just married and off in a new life, and another just beginning. Spending time with the whole family was a special experience. Times like this remind me how important families are. Sometimes we tend to take the people in our lives for granted, and rarely think about how important they are. But they're vital to our well-being.

This trip also reminded me of what family really means. It's our biological relationships, but it also goes beyond what we're born into. Some people come into our life temporarily, while others stay as family. That feeling of closeness is inside, and it tells us they mean something special to us.

I'm close to my church family where I get hugs, exchange ideas, and express love. And I have several friends who feel like sisters and brothers to me. Some live in other states, and I don't see them often, but they're always with me as family. I have one friend I've seen only four times in twenty-eight years, but we communicate often. All of these people give my life meaning and purpose.

But family in any capacity isn't always easy. Some rub us the wrong way, and we find them hard to get along with. We all have them, but they're also important in our life. The easy ones bring joy, but the difficult ones provide situations we need to deal with that push us forward in our personal growth. I call these opportunities, well worth our time and attention to find common ground.

No two people are alike, so we can't relate to everyone in the same way. Each of us has a gift, something in our personality we do well. There are fixers, care-givers, listeners, nurturers, vessels of information, mediators, humorous ones, and the list goes on. It's wise and helpful to learn each person's gift, and relate appropriately. This kind of exchange can be more harmonious than butting heads when you go to a fixer for emotional support and feel disappointed when you don't get it. And you don't have to agree on everything to be close to someone. I avoid certain subjects when I know my views are very different from someone else's. Debating is fine, but arguments can create walls between people.

We need to share our life with others, and our relationships, family, can be a most precious gift. Approach them with love and understanding, and you'll find more meaning in your own life. That's just the way it works.

I wish you family love in your life.


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