Deeper Family Connections

by Rod Smith

The Mercury / Wednesday

You’d have noticed a theme or three if you have read my work for any portion of the 17 years I’ve been in your morning paper. I often strongly suggest people connect as regularly, authentically, and as deeply as possible with their “family of origin.” This means parents (if possible), brothers, sisters, then uncles and aunts and cousins and others who are not necessarily “blood family” but people who were, or still are, “part of the family.”

Intentionally relating, doing what we can to draw closer, establishing good, healthy boundaries, sharing our lives as adults with the people* who know us best, who’ve known us the longest, and who know our history and shared our space during formative years, provide for us a unique gravitational force (crucible, anvil….. use whatever metaphor is helpful) as do we also for them.

This force, this environmental field can, if we will allow, stimulate greater emotional health and growth for those who engage in these relationships and are willing to embrace what the gravitational force has to offer.

If you can hold your own, maintain your voice, agree, disagree, enjoy, love, fight clean, laugh and cry, work things out, with your family of origin and with those who were or are “as family” you probably won’t need too much in the way of formal therapy.

* There are extremes and circumstances where this is unadvisable and even dangerous.

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