Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Pink Elephant

a wise person once said:

"The stupid neither forgive nor forget; the naive forgive and forget; the wise forgive but do not forget. Forgiveness does not always lead to a healed relationship. Some people are not capable of love, and it might be wise to let them go along with your anger. Wish them well, and let them go their way."

In a perfect family, what you see on the surface rarely reflects what lurks underneath. There is usually a pink elephant sitting in the living room everyone sees but steps around as if oblivious to it’s presence. Skeletons are hidden in closets never to be revealed, the theory being if I can’t see it or I don’t acknowledge it existed it won’t hurt me.

But we have to have feelings. We have to acknowledging or deal with emotions within the family.

No one ever aspired to break the family chain. Because as we can now see the links were not as strong as we thought.

We have to be able to ask for help. We can't live with never revealing any weakness . No one wants to place themselves in a position of vulnerability. But if you can't turn to your family, isn't that a problem?

I think it takes courage to step out of the illusion and give the pink elephant a poke.

Yes, it's far easier to walk in the shadows of deception.

But sometimes, it feels so much better to shake the skeletons in the closet and run the risk of being tossed from the family circle.

It is not an easy choice. But when you step around the pink elephant, ........................
As the song goes ‘I was blind but now I see."

The old, keeping up appearances, seemed less important than stopping the rot before it spread any further down the family tree. And this is the thing to remember, it isn’t only about us it is about the next generation and the next generation. If you think the family rules don’t get passed down think again. You can look back and see the patterns, the wrapping may change but the messages never do.

So here is the dilemma do you rock the boat and risk getting tossed overboard? Do you stay in your designated role to keep the peace? And why do we give families so much power over our own happiness?

You can love your family but you don’t have to like them, don’t have to accept inappropriate behavior, don’t have to give up your values to accomodate theirs. Being family doesn’t excuse you from being a compassionate human being; doesn’t make you right; doesn’t give you a lifetime pass to treat people disrespectfully.

Take the family part out of it and ask yourself “Would I accept this behavior from a stranger?”

The thing you find with dysfunctional family units is the don’t speak, don’t feel, don’t listen rule...........bit like those three monkeys, speak no evil, hear no evil, see not evil. We don’t talk about things because if we do, I might have to look at myself and it is easier for me to believe it’s all about you. We don’t deal with our emotions because we don’t want the outside world to see inside us. We don’t acknowledge realities because then we would have to shatter illusions and lose the imaginary self we have created over the years.

People will pull out the forgiveness card: the let sleeping dogs lie card, the family is all you have card, the blood is thicker than water card.

Well here are some things to consider:

1.Sometimes family comes in the form of an outstretched hand and a welcoming smile from a friend.

2.The baggage you do not unpack from your family of origin is the same baggage your children will carry around with them for the rest of their lives.

3.You only get one shot at this. God doesn’t give a next breathe guarantee think carefully about what you want to fill this moment with.

4.You can love your family but ultimately the greatest love has to be of self. If you love yourself you will ask to be treated with respect and dignity.

I don’t have the answers but I pray to God I did. I did it would make my life easier. At least now I am not afraid to ask for more, not afraid to expect more, or to believe I deserve more.

I know what losing the love of people close to you feels like. It hurts but I also know it hurts less than living a lie.

Words are so powerful yet when you can not find them they leave you powerless.

Words so descriptive, yet when you can not find them they leave nothing but assumptions.

Words the cornerstone of communication, the foundation of interaction, the building blocks of relationships, the cement that holds everything together.

2 comments:

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Anonymous said...

You have a choice in how you react. My mom always told me to turn my tongue over in my mouth 10 times before I reacted- sounds silly but if you try it- you usually get cuaght up in turning the tongue and counting- forgetting what got you so upset..
Be strong and remember-they are family.
Love ya!
Deb