STRUGGLES are the definition of this life, especially in the context of family. Wherever there is dysfunction struggles may be exacerbated. We have these dysfunctions in us, not to mention the more complex dynamics present in interpersonal relationships. Add to this the complexities of loving those we are bonded by blood to – many familial clashes occur in many families.
Struggles are obvious. Complexities in relationships, too, are obvious.
But God has destined that we use these two things together – family support to help in our struggles. And where there is no family, the presence of others who love and care as family might. If we extrapolate the idea of family we may all find the presence of caring, somehow, within our communities.
Here is a process for realising help in our lives:
1. Communicate – it’s no good bottling up the emotions that come from conflict, whether the conflict is from an interpersonal relationship or a frustration from within us alone. Engaging in conversation with loved ones is a way we can get things off our chests. When we talk we give voice to our emotions, we hear ourselves speak, and hopefully we get caring feedback from the other person.
2. Anticipate – we need to anticipate problems that may come, by regularly considering them mindfully and discussing them. This is about being mindful of our expectations as much as anything, and being prepared for what might come. When we are prepared we may adequately respond.
3. Reassure – how wonderful is it that we may provide someone assurance, or be on the receiving end of authentic comfort. Family members should be positioned and be able to give and receive support, as reassurance, from each other. We need to be careful, however, that the reassurance is not flippantly delivered, but from a heart of genuine care.
4. Explore – when we have problems, and after we have been heard, we have the opportunity of exploring our options. We are not hemmed in as much as we often think we are. Options provide choice and choice is empowering. Feeling empowered when embattled is the gift of the grace of God.
Family members can support each other when they encourage communication, anticipate struggles before they come, reassure each other, and explore options for empowerment.
Families are best placed to C.A.R.E. – Communicate, Anticipate, Reassure, Explore.
Reassure each other.
© 2014 S. J. Wickham.