The One Place…
I spend a lot of time thinking about families – husbands, wives, children, parents, siblings, aunts, uncles… the whole shebang. That’s why I made “Building Happier Families” the focus of Self Help Daily for 2015.
My family is my treasure on earth. I’d rather have this colorful cast of characters and nothing else in the world than to have everything but one less of them.
They’re crazy, but by gosh, they’re my crazies!
A family should be a safe haven, shouldn’t it? A happy band of people connected by blood as well as love. People who have one another’s backs and would go to battle for any member of the tribe.
Problem is some families spend so much time battling one another that their home and family seems like anything but a safe haven.
When I hear about broken relationships within families, my heart breaks because I know somewhere, in the middle of it all, there’s someone who cherishes their family the way I do mine – and I know that what they want more than anything else is peace and happiness.
Doesn’t seem like that much to ask for, does it?
Fortunately strained and even broken relationships can be mended. Love is a powerful force and if it’s a factor in the equation, few things are impossible.
However, the best way to REPAIR broken relationships is to PREVENT them from ever happening in the first place. Within every shattered family is at least one person who wishes with all their might that they could go back and UNdo or UNsay something.
If you’ve ever been in that agonizing position, you know that it’s very much like hell on earth.
Once you’ve wronged someone – either through action, neglect, or harmful words – you simply can’t undo it. You can’t erase your wrong and (even worse) you can’t erase their pain. All you can hope for is forgiveness and that, in time, the pain you see in their eyes will fade and happiness will take its place.
If we could all learn to control our tongues and actions, we could avoid seeing this pain in our loved ones eyes in the first place. The problem is, the “average” person is completely and utterly ME-oriented. They live under the firm belief that the world revolves around them.
- I want our Christmas meal at 4:00 and WILL NOT budge for anyone else.
- I hate my daughter’s music choices, so I will berate her every chance I get.
- My mother in law gets on my nerves and I intend to let everyone in the family know about it.
- My son needs a haircut and I will humiliate him in front of the entire family to make my point known.
- My wife spent too much at the store and I’m going to yell until my face turns red.
- My husband watches too much sports on tv, but if I continually nag him, he’ll eventually watch what I want to watch.
Too many people with too many thoughts revolving around their favorite person in the world… them. You know what these people remind me of? Pre-Schoolers.
- I don’t want to take a nap, so I’m going to scream and cry.
- I want to stay at the park, so I’m going to throw myself on the ground and scream my favorite word – NOOOO!
- That’s MY toy and she can’t have it.
- I do not want to be in this store anymore, so I’m going to cry my eyes out.
- I don’t want this green food! I’m going to throw it on the floor!
Like children, adults make everyone around them miserable for selfish reasons.
I saw a mother in Kroger recently with an adorable but obviously irritable little boy (probably around 2 years old). The woman looked like she was walking on eggshells as she tried to hurry through the process before the little guy blew his stack.
She didn’t make it. Right as she wheeled into the checkout lane, the complete and utter mini-meltdown began. It was something to behold, too.
While he was, in spite of himself, downright cute with his red face and clinched little fists, the same CANNOT be said for adults who cause others to walk on eggshells as they hope to avoid one of their fits.
Nothing cute or adorable about them.
If you’re one of those people who, God love you, tends to think of self THEN others, I’m not asking you to change your focus. In fact, if you’re past the age of 45, it wouldn’t do any good anyway. After all, you’ve been in the center stage of your own thoughts for a long time, I won’t try to budge you.
As they say, you do you!
What I am saying is this… Within each family there are people who are, basically, the HEART of the family. They’re the moms, dads, grandmothers, grandfathers, daughters, sons, brothers and/or sisters who just want everyone to get along, be kind, and fill the house with laughter.
These are the people who not only “don’t rock the boat,” they spend 90 percent of their time keeping things afloat.
I want you to think about them for a minute. Think of people in your family who you love completely – the ones who you would be utterly lost without.
How do you make them feel when you behave like a 2 year old in a grocery store? What happens to the smile on their faces or the joy in their eyes when you cause them to walk on eggshells?
Do you really want that? Shouldn’t we all want to see those we love so happy that they burst out in laughter?!
I hope that if you ARE someone who tends to gravitate toward this kind of behavior you’ll recognize yourself. I hope that next time you’ll see yourself as a little red-faced toddler and that you’ll completely change your thoughts and actions.
It’d be highly unlikely that a little child would look at his mom and think, “I love that mommy person. She is having fun in this boring, bright store. I’m tired and I miss my toys but my mommy person is happy. I can make her even more happy if I smile at her…”
Nope. That’s not going to happen. But it can.. and it should… happen with adults. The next time you want to nag, yell, pick, complain, “make your point,” or anything else that takes place in the center stage, please take time to think about the people you love.
Make no mistake about it, there IS someone in your life who wants one thing more than anything else in the world – peace and happiness. Do your part and give it to them.
Imagine the look on their face when, as they’re waiting for you to justify the eggshells on the floor, you simply brush them away.
That is when magic happens.