Tuesday, April 15, 2008
The Ideal Set Up
After getting divorced I have wondered if there is life after the "ideal set up". You know the two parents, 2.5 kids- all biologically related to the said parents. The American family, neatly arranged and worked out as planned.
I have come to realize that in reality there may not be an ideal set up and most things don't go as planned. No set up is guaranteed. Even when you have that set up, something can come in and take it away, like with my sister and cancer. Many circumstances may effect a family's set up including: loss of a loved one, adoption, mixed race adoption, blended families, or an addition of a aging parent. These are just a few that come to mind.
So, how do we rise above changes, mishaps, and contortions in the family structure?
Even families that have all the "right factors" may struggle more than a family that has chosen to blend/morph and work through things. Now I am not trying to kid myself or others here. I know that families experiencing major changes can bring about special challenges. Any special circumstance will. I guess the question is: what you do with the challenge?
I believe that when people are intentional- loving and patient, thoughtful and purposeful, things usually work out. Communication seems to be key- being clear about needs, wants, feelings, concerns and keeping an open dialog to address them along the way. And, most of all, I believe that where there is love, the sense of family will prevail. Celebrating what is going right seems to be on the list too.
I don't know all the answers when it comes to how to deal with mishaps, changes or unexpected opportunities, but I do know that these circumstances are more the norm than the oddity. I think that acknowledgement of the challenge, trying to learn coping and growing strategies and a whole lot of prayer is in order. With intention, I can honestly say, that "we shall overcome" trials and tribulations. The main goal is to experience the rich sweetness of love and grace that comes by putting your heart out there and working for the ideal you want- the shared ideal you create.