Awhile back, I was being interviewed, about how people who are estranged from their families… feel. I found the question curious – as though it was possible to say that all estranged people feel this feeling or that feeling. As though there was a very limited and specialized set of estranged feelings. Of course there are emotional themes, common across estrangement. We know estrangement often mirrors or follows a grieving process like the one posed by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross. We know we often recycle that process indefinitely as estrangement is rarely a finite process.
Part of the struggle we have with ourselves, our relationships, our lives, our healing and with figuring out how much is enough of virtually anything – is we don’t actually pay attention to our full range of feelings. Feelings are our ultimate feedback, our highly personalized, super sonic, GPS system. If we don’t tune in, we miss essential information and the feedback we need to ask ourselves the next meaningful question, to get to the next meaningful answer, to allow us to take the next meaningful steps. This process of responding
do –> feel —> stop to evaluate –> think --> feel –> think --> choose the next step --> feelRead More
“It’s just a playing field crammed full of cause and effect, billions of dominoes, each knocking over billions more, setting off trillions of actions every second.”
Loyalty conflicts in families seldom stay between two people. When we believe we are right and another person is wrong, we also tend to believe everyone with sound vision should be able to see what we see. We continue on to believe that if they do see what we see, of course they would have to support us; our cause is righteous, right?Read More
“Laughter is the language of the soul.”
— Pablo Neruda
Sometimes we take ourselves and our lives entirely too seriously. Being serious about things doesn’t have any particular value. It doesn’t guarantee a problem will be resolved or a hurt undone. Being serious won’t fix a broken relationship or solve a crisis.
Laughter on the other hand, has some seriously (see what I did there) well researched benefits.
Good Reasons to Giggle:Read More
“We are never so defenseless against suffering as when we love.”
Considering betrayal is a big ticket theme in stories and movies, I've often found it interesting how little information has been written about it. Our real life experiences with betrayal seems to escape more pragmatic discussion, yet most of us can identify a time and relationship where we have experienced betrayal. For many of us who are managing family estrangement issues, betrayal has been an intimate and impactful experience.