A man I know occasionally sounds off at his partner. She too with him. And the kids don’t get off scot-free. Sometimes their home resembles World War III. We should recognise them. It’s us. All of us. Perhaps it’s not so visible in some families, but the undercurrent of conflict is alive and well everywhere—the point is we’re all prone to conflict with others. This is probably because we’re basely at conflict with ourselves.
Awareness: the flicker of that exigent light bulb within.
We’re reminded in life as soon as we forget. Life is about reconciling moments: out-of-balance moments; relationship moments; moments of annoyance; inexplicable moments of shrieking madness—moments of unexplained anxiousness. Or even times when there is an allotted set of tasks to do. Things that must be done, and ‘now done,’ I mean.
But, do we pick up all the reminders? Light bulb moment? Awareness? I frequently don’t, until I have one of those Homer Simpson revelations… DOH!
No matter, we’re in good company. Everyone seems to be in the same boat, more or less.
What drives these inner conflicts that spill over into our familial relationships? For me it seems that in my drivenness I tend to fall for the two-card trick of diluting my focus so very far at times, though I’ll still expect great results every time. Something’s got to give. The scatter-gun method approaching the autistic is my personal ruination—repetitively, it seems. I asked my wife what this problem was about, in her opinion. She felt I was often ‘too focused.’ But, as I reflected later, ‘too focused’ is simply not-focused. I thought some more and deduced that simplicity is focus—and courage to say “no!” takes us to the discipline of simplicity.
I need to be more focused, and simplicity, via courage to leave well enough alone, is the way to get there.
The point is made though that there are reminders all the time, if we’ll listen, that suggest we must reconcile our moments, and encapsulated within them, the need to reconcile our relationships.
And before any real reconciliation is made we must reconcile the personal matters for ourselves, resisting the shallow propensity to blame others—which we all tend to do.
So, first, we reconcile the awry moment—the exigent ‘light bulb’ reminder.
Then we reconcile ourselves—at the personal level i.e. ‘What’s going on for me in this?’
Thirdly, once we’re ‘right’ we are then able to reconcile the relationship exposed.
Reminders are designed to get us back on track, whether it’s an alarm clock, an Outlook meeting reminder, triggered tasks and so forth. They’re healthy things making us cognisant of that which threatens our balance.
The process of reconciling the issues we’re reminded of is like the homeostatic process in biology. It’s a daily task of re-routing our journey—the journey we take in complicity with others, including most fundamentally, our families.
The whole point of life is others. If we can’t give them the best good bits of us everyone loses.
Take heed of the reminders. Reconcile them.
© 2010 S. J. Wickham.