WROTE this few years ago to a friend in Southern California, as
response to her email that delved with family issues. Part of her
email: “I was trying to help my sister in law figure out how to
mend relationships with family members that have been bullying each
other for years with drama... If you have any writings on forgetting
the negative past and looking towards a positive future... So
Pasckie, any words of encouragement you could pass my way would
thank you for thinking that my ramblings may offer some help, that is
very sweet of you. I know I've written a number of prose and short
posts about forgiveness, acceptance, surrender and redemption. But
let me try again...
is always hard to move on or carry on with life if we can't or
couldn't/wouldn't face up with the past. It's like a huge roadblock
on our way to some peace and quiet... It's not just about closure,
it's actually about “opening” our hearts up. Let it bleed, let it
get squeezed out, and then heal. The best way to cure a wound is to
open it up and see where it's coming. We can't heal piecemeal basis,
or piece by piece—we heal with open-wide arms that are ushered by a
forgiving heart. Since, I don't know details of your family “drama,”
I am responding in general, composite-issue angle. First, if there
are intermittent issues that keep on poking people up that slide to
childish, repetitive arguments—all they gotta do is talk, face to
face. My suggestion is, don't make it kinda uptight. Organize a
family picnic, basketball or football game for the guys and group
texting for the women (just kidding), or initiate collective cooking,
activities that loosen up tight fibers and unleash knotted veins.
Sweat it out. Let the kids devise some shows, like scrabbles or
erecting sculptures out of their junked iPhones maybe—but something
that is group work.
idea is to create an air of fun and frolic to declog the mind of
nagging clouds... At the end of the day, build a bonfire—I mean,
some place out because a closed room can add pressure and when it
gets intense, he/she can just cry and scream. Let the energy out.
Talk, listen... But don't make it like a weekend seminar kind of
roundtable chat like, “Okay, Mary Grumpy your turn, you got 2 mins
and 17.4 seconds to share us why the hell you are so grumpy!” Don't
do that. Let it flow, no time limits—although don't persuade the
person to talk for damn 7 hours straight and knock all the others to
slumber. Now, how do we maintain/sustain this peace truce?
of common activities on regular basis—backyard barbecue, mahjong
sessions, or some artistic/creative project like family heritage
scrapbooking. The idea is sustained, continuous interaction but very
loose and easy. Problem with most people these days is, we are not
hanging out anymore, not really talking—instead, we are sending out
cryptic messages in text forms that don't really elaborate anything.
These don't solve shit, you know... When people and family
communicate and interact, face to face and heart to heart, and
laughing together—only good things emerge out of it. Okay. You get
the drift, right? I hope this helps, my friend...