I know one family of 3 children and their parents. Two of the children were born sick, they were unable to form the enzymes needed for digestion. Therefore, their parents had to buy special milk, which cost them three fold of normal baby milk. It was a struggle for them, but their parents never asked why.
When these two children grew up, they became very active. They fight in school, their academic achievement was always at the border of failed and they got into the wrong crowd. As teenagers, they got into more serious fights – and they ended up at police station a few times. They went home in a very bad shape, after being hit by some gang members. They involved in accident when driving a friend’s car and their parents had to pay for the service and fixing fee.
Now they are adults. They gambled now and then. They lost and repent – only to fall into the same pattern again. They borrow money from whoever want to give them the money – because they tend to forget how to count the interest. Some debt collectors come for them, and they hide behind their parents. They lost billion of their family savings and still, no regret, no repentance. Nothing.
The eldest of the children then think to himself. Why is it so different between me and my brothers? He asked his father since he was young, but he never got the answer. One day, when he was a teenager, his father admitted that he did that out of guilty feeling – that he wasn’t a good father and therefore those two boys were born in a bad shape. Unconsciously, his father pay his regret by covering and protecting his younger brothers.
When this eldest son became an adult, he asked his father if he could change his treatment toward his brothers – because he could see that the two won’t go anywhere if they don’t change their behaviors. His father replied, give me time to fix this and after a while, if your brothers still do the same, you can call me a failure.
The story above represents our families, somehow. There’s no such thing as perfect parents, perfect children, nor perfect family. But we can always strive to be one. The end of the journey is the last day before we close our eyes for good. What have I done for my partner? What have I done for my parents? My children? My siblings? If I ever made mistakes, did I admit it and apologize for it? If I ever wreck their dreams, have I apologize and rebuild the dreams together with them?
Ability to accept and forgive others are necessity in this life. We can’t go on with anger and hatred in our heart. The same philosophy goes with ourselves as well. Have you forgive yourself? Have you accept your flaws and limitation? Because if you haven’t, you are hurting yourself. And those who close around you will get hurt as well.
Family life is very complicated. I heard a lot of people think and say that it is easier to live away from their families. Because at least, they don’t have to deal with such family issues. I come from a very complex family – both in size and dynamic. It shapes me to be a strong person. It shapes me to prevent a lot of things in the future. I have to admit at last, that those fights and arguments, those irrational actions and belief, those high-pitch voices – are the color of my life. I can become who I am today – because all of them.
What about you?