Family is everything to me.
If we all had selfless, supportive, and loving families, there would be no doubt that we would have a strong family bond. However, the truth is that no matter how our family members behave, we can still love them no matter what. I don’t mean just loving them at their best; I mean loving them at their worst.
Love is what helps me keep a strong bond with my family. Love is why I feel a responsibility to do everything I can to be a peacemaker when things get tough—to forgive and forget. I know that my heart is bigger than any problem.
So how do we release ourselves from the stress and tension that comes from conflict with family?
There are many ideas about this, but there are four things that I have found work best.
1. Say a special prayer, wish, or kind thought for someone.
Our religion doesn’t matter. It only matters if we care. Prayers teach us humility and kindness. Whatever we practice, remember to practice love. Let go of holding grudges against someone, or else our prayers won’t work.
When families pray together, they come together. They can feel each other’s love for one another, even if words aren’t said or done to each other. Sometimes, a prayer is the biggest sign that shows how much we care about someone.
You might ask how, but there are no perfect words when we say a prayer for someone we love. Just say whatever comes across your mind. You have to mean it. Both the soul and heart have to work together.
I believe in the power of a prayer, and I know that God helps everyone. Every hardship is a blessing in disguise. We can find happiness in each other, and to us that’s all that we need to get through.
When my grandmother was in the hospital, my whole family prayed for her. She had a miraculous recovery. Seeing her get better was a blessing.
2. Have tough conversations when everyone is in a good mood.
The best time to talk things out with someone is when they are calm and relaxed.
We all have our own opinions and beliefs that can make things complicated. Take the time to apologize, forgive yourself, and forgive each other for transgressions—whether real or perceived. There is nothing that is unforgivable.
Love will always prevail. A home is not a home without our loved ones in it. To have a happy home, we have to have a strong bond with each other, especially our families. If we all do this, the world will be a better place.
After talking things out, laugh together. Say a joke, and talk about whatever you did during the day. Laughter is the best medicine and brings us closer. If discussing the issue is not making it any better, then just distract and divert the conversation. Focus on positive things and positive feelings that will strengthen the relationship.
3. Do something fun together.
What brings you and your family together? Is it having a movie night? How about a game night? There’s nothing better than having a blast with our loved ones.
For example, my mother and I painted a birdhouse together, and we will be going to a Zumba class this week. My family also went to Alaska together, and the natural beauty made us cry with happiness. It drew us even closer. It reminded us that we are a part of this beauty.
Do amazing things with the amazing people in your life. You’ll make memories and cherish them in the end.
Some people like doing certain things at home, and some like going out. I suggest both; having a balance is important.
4. Do things for each other.
What’s something special you have done for your loved ones lately? Even small things like hugs, smiles, laughter, and even chores can make a difference. It’s good to start small.
I like writing poems and reading them aloud to my loved ones. I also love to help my mother with cooking (her recipes are something I don’t ever want to forget). I also love to take my mother clothes shopping like she is my best friend. Helping my mom garden and get the weeds out or water the plants is calming and peaceful. When I see the plants growing, I feel complete. Just like nourishing the plants with love is important, so is nourishing each other.
Just spending time with someone can make a difference. Sit down with them. Listen to them. Never stop getting to know them.
Some final thoughts
Making the world a better place starts with family. Sometimes people struggle to get along with their family members, but it is possible to get closer. If you love your family, nothing can separate you. Don’t beat yourself—or anyone else for that matter—up for something that happened in the past. Know that you are loved.
In the end, family is and will be all you need to get through life. Take care of yourself and your family.