“In houses where, in place of that sacred, inmost flame of love, there is discord at the centre, the whole household becomes hypocritical.” WILLIAM MAKEPEACE THACKERAY, Esmond
The greatest desire of many parents is simply to maintain a safe, loving home – full of love and focused on nurturing healthy happy children. How ironic is it that this idyllic state that we strive hardest for is at the same time the most elusive? How often do we feel that the conflict within the family is stretching it to its limits, threatening to have it burst at the seams from the internal pressure? Families are all different. Families are all precious. Though each has its own blend of unique individuals and dynamics, there are system similarities across them all. The most basic commonality is that of being made of individuals who feel a sense of belonging, as stated in Words of Wisdom #1. The second is the presence of individual differences – a constant source of potential conflict. One extremely important and very basic step to reduce conflict is to acknowledge its existence. It is often the most difficult step. Family is supposed to private is it not? Our dirty laundry is supposed to kept behind closed doors after all, right? Hiding our internal family conflicts is not only destructive and hypocritical, it is just plain silly. Everyone…EVERYONE knows that all families have struggles. It seems that there is a grain of truth in the common saying that ALL families are dysfunctional. I do not agree, but I do believe that all families have internal struggles in some form or another and acknowledging this is important. If these struggles continue and fester unattended, they can leave long term scars upon the individuals and create deep cracks between the family members.
The first step to substantial healing is to acknowledge the problem. The second step is to acknowledge that outside help is needed. This, of course means others will know that all is not bliss in your home. Be assured, no one believes that it is anyway. A perfect family is just as fictional as a flawless fully human being. No one, especially a professional, is going to be aghast at your family’s problems. A seasoned professional has seen it all and nothing is a surprise. Start by talking. Start by being honest and transparent.
To get caring professional assistance in bringing healing to your family, go to www.sarpycenter.org