Don’t Junk the Family Jewels!
In my last blog, I wrote about dealing with the past .. and creating a better future. One of the tenets there was to not give RFA (Rent Free Accommodation) in our minds, to people who have hurt us. I ended the blog, by suggesting that we do not trash close family members, as they are more valuable to us than friends and colleagues who can be replaced.
Now, this blog gives more inputs about the HOW of living well with people we cannot afford to junk…. our family members, who should be dear to us. I call these family members the FAMILY JEWELS. They are part of our Lifelong Treasure Chest, and they are invaluable.
A friend of mine lost his father recently, and I was trying to console him. I explained that his dad had lived a reasonably long life and that each one of us too will one day have to go. So we should celebrate the life that they lived, rather than grieve that they will no longer be with us.
Though I did my best to help him feel a little better, he was still visibly upset. On probing… I found out that he was suffering from guilt. Apparently, he had not had the best of relationships with his dad…. and they had not been on talking terms for over a year. His regret was that he would now not be able to make his peace with his dad… and this guilt was weighing heavily on him. I rationalized to him… that his dad must have forgiven him in his own mind, even though they may not have talked about it. I asked him.. why it had taken him so long to forgive his dad?
He answered… Actually there was nothing to forgive… it all started from a silly incident… and I forgot about the incident the day that it happened… but somehow… neither of us really did anything to talk to each other. I guess both of us was waiting for the other to make the first step. I should have dropped my ego… and just apologized for speaking rudely. Now it is too late.
I shared a powerful quote from Mahatma Gandhi, that I love to use in my transformational training programmes:
Live as if you will die tomorrow.
Learn as if you will live forever.
If we wish to be happy, it is necessary to close our emotional accounts with ourselves, on a day to day basis. A simple tenet for married couples is to NOT go to sleep till both partners have cleared any differences or problems that has occurred between them. This is a simple, practical guideline that will enable a long and loving relationship. The same can be applied to any relationship that is important. Clear the air on a day to day basis.
Lets look at this from a practical point of view. The most important responsibility for each of us, is to handle the mind well. This awesome wonder machine that we refer to as the BRAIN, is what gives life its meaning. It has to be kept in great shape, because this is our control centre, and it HAS TO function at its peak. Any negative force entering it… whether it originates for anger… or fear… or pain.. or disappointment… can ruin its equilibrium and have a cascading negative effect on us. Each negative thought that we have immediately tries to network with other similar thoughts, and before we know it.. we have a strong web of negative thoughts…. holding us down… keeping us pinned to the ground. This makes us weak and powerless.Helplessness sets in quickly and over a period of time, it can destroy us.
Positive thoughts on the other hand also look for associations. But, they look for POSITIVE ASSOCIATIONS. These positive thoughts are like wings that lift our spirits … and enable us to soar to great heights. Positive thoughts are liberating…. empowering… uplifting. They make us feel worthy and honourable.
The more positive thoughts we have about the people who are close to us … specially family members who we meet so often… the more they activate positive thoughts and feelings in us. When the family is positive… it becomes strong.. and invincible. The home is where we recharge not only our mobile phones and our laptops… but this is where we also recharge ourselves. The dinner table… or the family room… can be great places to recharge our spirits in a mutually uplifting way.
The Family Jewels need to shine. Appreciation, understanding and forgiveness is a polish that enables each gem to shine before each retires to the Family Treasure Chest at night. Each positive day adds sparkle… and zing to our lives, and it enhances our value.
I wish each of you more happiness… and a much more satisfying life… because that is the way it was meant to be.