Families can be a strange bunch. You don’t get to pick them, and they are usually there for life. But if you’ve been fortunate like me, you have had more connection than absence, more harmony than conflict, and more good memories than bad ones.
I know that isn’t the case for many.
I’ve heard stories of sisters who haven’t spoken in years or of words spoken in the heat of the moment that have resulted in a life-long estrangement between a father and son. And only when the last breath was taken was there forgiveness and peace between the two.
So often the silent cries of a sibling, parent, or teen go unnoticed because of the need to be right instead of kind. Or the drift of time separates conversations and the needs of the other go unnoticed.
But it’s at those very times that we need to put aside petty squabbles and extend the hand of helpfulness. For as this post’s opening quote reminds us, when you help another, you help yourself. I call it healing through helping.
Last week, I wrote about helpfulness as being an important ingredient for a joyful life. And like with anything that holds meaning it has to start with helping yourself first.
I know to some that may seem selfish, but in reality it is the most selfless thing you can do. For what you give, so shall you reap. It just works that way.
Now that you’ve started to become more mindful about ways to bring more peace, balance, and joy into your own life by being willing to ask for help, you’re in a better place to reach out to a family member who could use a helping hand.
So, here’s my challenge for you this week.
Identify one family member that you feel needs help but do it without judgment or conditions. True helpfulness has no strings attached.
Then think about the action you could take that would make a difference. Reach out and offer or depending on the circumstances, extend help without them knowing it was you. Whether it is accepted with gratitude or not is not the point. The objective is to extend genuine help from a place of care and compassion anyway.
If the person you want to help is a family member who you are currently estranged from, and the thought of extending help in the physical sense is something you’re not comfortable with, then perhaps try this approach that I learned from a passage written by Wayne Dyer, one of my favourite teachers.
He said: “Picture the people in your family with whom you’re not at peace and feel the peace you crave for them. Your inner dialogue will change, and you’ll begin to experience the relationships you desire.” You see, by envisioning the peace in your heart, you help them by changing within yourself.
Yes, family dynamics can be emotionally demanding. But I’ve found that the most rewarding things in life are the challenges we’ve overcome. Especially when confronting difficult family members and then owning up to your own responsibility in the relationship.
So, stretch yourself this week; open your heart and extend your hand. For as Robert Ingersoll put it, “We rise by lifting others.” And that my friend is joyful living for all.
Love from your Joy Mama,
P.S. Why not be helpful to a family member by gifting them a copy of my book Being Joy™. This 40-day practice of replacing old self-defeating beliefs with new empowering joy habits will help to shift their energy to a place of peace and harmony so that they can remember their own joy. You can order a copy here!
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Image courtesy of Pixabay.