You must look into other people as well as at them.
– Lord Chesterfield
I know that during and after Super Storm Sandy we were all getting cabin fever here on the East Coast. Tensions were high, especially for those out of power for two weeks or those whose homes were washed away and ended up packing whole families into relative’s living rooms. Needless to say, nerves can fray and tensions can rise so high they remain palpable at the neck line.
So now that the power is back on, now that hopefully the temporary housing has opened up now that the workmen have gone back to their homes? How do you repair your family if you’ve lost your tempter or have just not been the best parent, spouse, aunt, uncle, son or daughter… you could be?
First. Let it go. Try letting it go in their court though. That is, apologize if it’s applicable to what you’re holding on to. Maybe not because you were to blame, it’s not about blame. It’s about responsibility, love, and respect. If you played a part, apologize for your part, and do NOT mention theirs. They will come to that on their own, in their own time. Or maybe, they were more hurt than you realized and hurt and resentment locks them up from admitting their part. This too is probable. So what do you do? Let it go. You’ve only got one consciousness, one mouth, one body that’s under your control so don’t try and manipulate theirs (even if you think you have the best intentions on repairing something; one person cannot fix it for the other).
The key to Letting Go is to respect yourself and say, I don’t want all that negative stuff brewing inside me anymore, I’m going to let it go. For others, it’s about looking at them and seeing their vulnerabilities, their pains, their mistakes, and their beauty. We are imperfect and that’s what makes us human, so don’t set the bar at perfection or else they and you will always be found lacking.
You’ve probably been reading this by now and thinking that this has 10% to do with Sandy and 90% to do with ourselves, our families, and how to healthily resolve problems. Well, you’re right. So if you’re a west-coast family unperturbed by Sandy, God Bless you too. You too can benefit from considering problem resolving and the key to family happiness (for me) of Letting Go of control, resentment, jealousy, blame, …… the problem list goes on and on; isn’t it nice to know this one solution fits all?