4-1-18 Joining the Family

Joining the Family

“Family is what you make it.” Whether made of blood relatives, friends, work-mates, or pets, or a combination of these, your family can offer you the support you need to thrive, as long as you also offer support.

Family – Those with whom we feel a bond. How large or small our family is, is up  to us.

The Human family, all of us, and all of them, all!!!

To love and to be loved are necessary. Committed relationships take effort to maintain.

R-E-S-P-E-C-T Respect is the Holy Grail of functional families. Being considerate of each other is the tie that binds. Just about all the things come out of respect first.

It’s sad when people hold out for an apology on a point of pride, never acknowledging their part in a dispute. How many times have you heard of rifts in families that last for years because someone feels they are ‘owed an apology’?

A functional family lets people define themselves. Individual differences are appreciated even celebrated. Follow The Golden Rule. It’s golden for a reason. “Treat each other as we wish to be treated in turn.” It was true way back when and it’s still true now. Elvira G. Aletta, Ph.D

Every human being has a fundamental nature of basic goodness. This nature can be developed in daily life so that it radiates out to family, friends, community and society.

We are living through an age of greed and aggression. We harm ourselves, each other and our planet. We can experience a natural source of radiance and brilliance in the world, which is the innate wakefulness of human beings.

From this deep, profoundly human foundation, it is possible to extend that out and create what the Shambhala tradition calls “enlightened society.” Not a utopia, but a culture in which life’s challenges are met with kindness, generosity and courage.” Sakyong Mipham.

“Human dignity is the same for all human beings: when I trample on the dignity of another, I am trampling on my own.” – Pope Francis

Family – We argue, we fall out, we make up, we love, we don’t speak, we chat for hours, we are family. We may not have it all together, but together we have it all.

Love and respect for ourselves is essential. Without loving ourselves we have no love and respect to extend to others. Through the process of introspection, meditation and prayer, contemplation, and putting our principals into action with ourselves and with others, not being perfect, but respecting ourselves anyway, and continuing to work with our possibilities coming into fruition, we slowly are able to grow and begin to find a sense of peace and connection. 

My bad days are a wonderful teacher for my own path, and to recognize the same happens to others and to extend compassion. To not take a perceived slight from another personally and get a resentment, but to recognize their struggle and to be OK with that.

I learn to be with that uncomfortable place of acceptance, and to stay there. As I soften my hard heart, there is more room, I expand, I am more inclusive and feel more peaceful. 

“As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexatious to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.” Desiderata

No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main; 

John Dunne

There will always be conflict, within ourselves, and with others. Conflict is not the problem, what we do when conflict arises is the important point. If fear, resentment or attack is our response, there may be war. Even if initially resentment and attack are our responses, we can modify that with a peaceful offering and compassion.

 As my addiction kept me isolated, separate. I can still today keep myself isolated, or choose one or two that are “worthy” that I let in. As I step into and through my fears and graspings I find an innate, available openness, that accommodates all possibilities and connections.When I am feeling resentful, fearful or the pain of being separate, I ask myself, “How BIG can I be?” I always find I can expand at least a little, which increases my sense of family, and peace. 

Am I engaging in seperating from others, or am I dropping my judgemental attitude and opening up to the struggling spiritual person that we all are. Am I helping or blaming. We all have a natural tendency to help, we learn to be selfish and separate. We can un-learn selfishness and  feeling separate, and open our hearts. First to ourselves and then to others. 

Our natural, inclusive openness may seem scary at first, it does not contain all the little judgmental toys that are so dear to us, but as we continue touching into that soft openness, we begin to feel the rightness and warmth of  the family we are creating and joining.

When I am feeling sorry for myself, distanced from others, overwhelmed with life, pointing a finger and assigning blame, the actions that helps are; one, breathe deeply, relax the shoulders, and smile a bit. I know I am just wallowing in pity and it is a little bit funny. And two, find how I might help  someone else. Make an effort to be present, to be kind to another. In a meeting, for a friend in need, for someone I don’t really like. I can grow and regain some balance, as soon as I am tired of feeling sorry for myself, and extend myself to others. I then regain a sense of being a worthy and useful person. I rejoin my family, and I help others to find a family.

How do you fill your bucket? One drop at a time.

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.

“The great arises out of small things that are honored and cared for.”                                  

Heart Of Recovery web site    fcheartofrecovery.com