Page 13 - Peace-Centered Family

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For most of us our challenge growing up was to play a part that fit com-
fortably into the systems our
parents
created. In our new families we
have to learn how to get along with our partner without losing ourselves.
These are not necessarily compatible positions and the switch is usually
far from automatic. This is why the first thing we must do is to define
our space and be clear about who’s in it. Each partner has to learn to find
his or her voice; act like an empowered, functional adult; and be able to
give the other partner the space and the respect to do the same. The roles
each learned as children may in fact reveal themselves to be obstacles in
this new relationship, ultimately preventing the new couple from being
happy together. That’s why it’s so important for couples to find a struc-
ture, a framework, through which their love for each other, and eventu-
ally their children, if they have any, can flow freely.
Looking at a family as a collection of individuals precludes focusing
on the common good. Looking for individual pathology will not help a
family thrive either individually or collectively. Instead we have to look
at families as organizations and build and design their structure to func-
tion well, with quality of life as the bottom line.
If quality of life in a family is their bottom line, then everyone must
have an equal share in the activities and the tasks that make family life
run smoothly. To accomplish this, relationships require structure, which is
an inside job, built from the ground up, and the common goal of a peace-
centered relationship. This is what I mean by organic change.
Early in my practice as a therapist I made a discovery that not only
finally satisfied my curiosity about why my own family was unhappy but
also resolved the mystery of how all families can be happy. Yes, all fami-
lies. Inadvertently I learned how to map the human relationship and cre-
ated a template that illustrates what a happy family looks like. It happened
in a most unexpected way.
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