Saturday, June 27, 2015

Family Drama and Stuff

I 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 help.”
       First, 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...

       It 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.
       The 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?
       Think 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...
       GRACIAS, BUENAS DIAS, un dulce jueves para usted.

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