Families can be confusing networks…..

by Rod Smith

The Mercury / Monday

Families can be confusing networks, routinely placing its members into double binds.

If your family says:

1. They want you to discover and use your talents but when these gifts lead you into uncharted territory you are met with raised eyebrows and unexpected resistance.

2. You can think for yourself and express your uniqueness but when you do you are met with powerful, often unspoken, pressures to conform.

3. You are free to be friends with whomever you choose and you can fall in love with whomever you choose but when you bring significant friends home they seem subject to close examination.

4. They want you to be free and to explore the world, but when you start planning and you book your tickets things seem to change.

Celebrate if any of this is true for you. Yes, rejoice. You belong. You are loved.

The challenge is to listen and to hear (there’s a difference). The challenge is to respect the cautions and the raised eyebrows received from those who have loved you the longest. The challenge is to be your own person in the midst of these binds without splitting the family AND without giving up on your uniqueness and your callings.

These double binds, and others like them (some even more ominous), come with the territory of being family.


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