Wednesday, February 2, 2011

gleanings from "healing from family rifts"

I read a book called Healing From Family Rifts and liked these bits from it, I thought I'd put them here for posterity.

"You're talking about an idea, Mark, that members of the gay community have instinctively known for generations. So many gay people have been shunned by their families that it's always been natural to bond with our close friends in the community in a way that resembles family; for many of us, this is the only family we've ever known. So I guess you could say 'second-chance families' isn't news to us."

Second-chance families:
-Offer each other companionship, support, care and understanding because they want to
-Give generously, willingly and spontaneously, not out of a sense of obligation or with the expectation of a payback
-Value trust and intimacy and strive to understand, not judge
-Never resort to Atilla the Hun method of attack or the ostrich method of fleeing; they talk through it and work it out
-Don't dwell on what other family members could be doing to be "better;" they focus on what they could be doing to be better
-Attempt to infuse each other with joy, enthusiasm, and optimism, not gloom, anger or depression
-Give you a second chance if you ask for one
-Replace vengance with empathy
-Don't dramatize misdemeanors into felonies
-Embrace difference
-Respect choice

Ten Rules for Cultivating and Maintaining Family Connection
1. Assume responsibility
2. Never tear a family member down
3. Accentuate the positive
4. Be patient when you communicate
5. Don't turn a breach of trust into a resentment
6. Engage with family members creatively
7. Don't employ avoidance as a tactic
8. Build on your family members' strengths
9. When a conflict is minor, keep it to yourself
10. Rely on the healing aspects of time

The power of gratitude
Remember that gratitude is
-Free
-Unlimited in supply
-Without harmful side effects
-Totally free of additives
-A plentiful natural resource that is always available when we seek it out

Qualities I Appreciate About My Family Member
Loyalty
Friendliness
Generosity
Appreciation of others
Appreciation of nature
Competence
Resourcefulness
Artistry
Thoughtfulness
Perseverance
Strength
Experience
Determination
Good taste
Expressiveness
Warmth
Kindliness
Discretion
Empathy
Sensitivity
Gentleness
Compassion
Intelligence
Intuitiveness
Humor
Creativity
Integrity
Ambition
Talent
Flexibility
Softness
Curiosity

"Both my boys won a pool game, and I reveled in that. My dad would never have let me win. He's never been happy when I won. The fact that I could be so happy about my boys winning cast away any doubt I ever had about this entire struggle being worth it."

1 comment:

Still Breathing said...

Thank you for posting this. I am a long way from the bottom 3 lists at the moment so I need to stop and think about them a bit more.