Understanding and Misunderstanding Go Hand in Hand


Into the Tangled Garden - Family RelationshipsI recently celebrated the passing of a friend’s mother at a beautiful ceremony honoring her life journey and contributions to this world. My friend’s family was at the service – each member in a different phase of their life, all having gone through their personal dramas and feuds with one another. Despite the conflict and tension, however, they gathered to pay tribute.

Fate so often hands us more than we can make sense of. We often stumble through life, trying to adapt and react the best we can without fully understanding a situation’s significance until after the fact. We discover ourselves through our relationships and stumbles with others. Relationships with family can serve as our biggest teachers. Sometimes these relationships are fun. At other times they are messy and complex.

The members of a family unit all grow beside one another, though not at the same pace or through the same experiences. It doesn’t take a parent long to see how different their children are from each other. Our individual set of archetypal energies are visible at a very young age. Sometimes our archetypes play well with a family members’ set of archetypes. At other times, they clash.

Because we are so intimately connected with family, it’s difficult to stand back, observe, and give others the space they need for exploration – to embark on their own stumbles. We sometimes ask ourselves, “Why is my loved one doing this? Why must they hurt themselves in this way? Why must they hold onto pain and misunderstandings from the past?”

It takes time for us to find the meaning in our actions, experiences, trials, and tests. If we can make room for gratitude and acceptance in our hearts for all that was and is, if we can forgive all that didn’t go the way we planned, our family life can become the gift it was meant to be, as it currently stands. Let’s pray for all the members of our family to discover their true, loving nature. Let’s pray for our family to find harmony, to respect the differences of its members, and come together in times of joy and sorrow with love, just like my friend’s family did.