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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

You Can't Make Your Family Be Something They Are Not

You want dad to be more loving, grandma to be sweet, and your brothers and sisters to care more about you and your family on your terms.  Good luck--not happening. 

The problem is "your terms."  One event or many events, a little money or much, isn't going to recreate someone into what you hope they would be especially for as long as you live.  People change, but not that much.  Money changes people, but not that much.  Events put smiles on people's faces, but not for long.  Get it?

Now for some controlling types for a season you just might get some family members to play along with your attempt at bridging the gap between relatives.  "Sister I think it would be nice if you...Mother could you be more...Auntie please could you not..."  thoughts like these go through our minds because we saw somewhere or heard someone talking about this issue and that one.  So now we will try to persuade a relative to do some things differently.

It takes years for family programming (brainwashing to make one do what others want) to die.  It takes even longer to cultivate an atmosphere between many adults in a family to "simply get along for God sake!"  Most likely, the Good Samaritan type will tire of trying to get the family together.  He or she will stop being so encouraging, nice, and the like.  Good for this person, because he or she will most likely not suffer long from headaches, ulcers, and more as a result of family issues.  But some won't give up the fight--they will die fighting. 

There comes a point in our quest to do what's right and promote change, that we have to stop and consider the other side.  Besides, for some, their marriages are headed for ruin as a result of continuously getting involve in far too many family affairs.  As much as we want people to forgive, forget, apologize, and play together, it's not going to happen for all.  We can pray and pray some more, but until a man, woman or child sees a sincere benefit to communicating with members of their bloodline, they just aren't going to do it. 

I have personally witnessed my share of family arguments, physical fights, and just cold-hearted behaviors that would make outsiders fearful.  What causes men and women to act so evilly only God knows?  We can blame the devil all we want, but people have choices.  You can either make up in your mind to call off the war or keep it going with your tongue or something else.  Some just don't know how to talk peacefully, behave respectfully, or do anything else that promotes positivity.

The best solution to the family mayhem that keeps dividing the family up is to start focusing on your own family.  I have found that when the Good Samaritan stops trying to get family together, teach family, do for family, hand hold with family and more, people will no longer bring their drama to you especially when you have been forward about what you will no longer put up with. 

When the Do-Good matriarch puts an end to reaching out, sending gifts, encouraging phone calls and other similar things, that's when people tend to come together naturally.  However, the jealous type, who unsuccessfully brings a peaceful union together, can end up turning from friend to foe while causing disagreements among a select few.  Watch out for those type!

Remember, as much as you love your family, whatever picture you have in your head of what family looks like, it's time to throw it away and look at reality.  Take what is given to you and make the most of it! 

For some readers of this blog, stop reading, watching, or listening to shows that make you covet a family outside of your own.  You only make yourself miserable doing those things.  Fill your mind with other activities that are non-related to family.  Start by making a list of things you like and begin to tackle it.  This way your life isn't passing away so quickly while exhausting yourself of your family's worries.

Nicholl McGuire is the author of Know Your Enemy: The Christian's Critic.

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