When we spend time with our loved ones and friends sharing stories and old times—both good and bad—as well as our future plans, we enjoy closer rapport and more trust. We also affirm with each other who we are, from what we’ve done.
There are some things from bygone eras we can sorely lament as we’re made aware of them. And still, goodness is a thing, in that, which is rich with meaning. What we’ve ‘been through,’ having endured it, has been part of the making of us, as well as our fellow family members.
Through these we share a common bond.
The truth is there’s nothing to deny and everything to acknowledge in casting our collective minds back. A trouble with our current era, however, is we’re so often cast forward—often to the detriment or reticence of looking back into the past.
Getting Together Once in a While
This generation has lost something. It’s the desire to routinely get together as a family—which means weekly or even daily—just to chew the fat and reinforce family identity, and therefore also individual identity.
Sure, we all ‘lead busy lives’ and the truth is we do; we get so caught up in our essential worlds.
And, of course, there’s also the tyranny of distance to consider. We live in a big world.
Another truth is life as we know it can change quickly and drastically so. Many times family members are taken for granted. We get glimpses of this, personally, when at funerals.
Who Are We But Who We’ve Been and Who We’ve Become?
Our identities are never better reinforced than through family, assuming we value the identity family has helped birth within us. Most of us do. Some don’t, however. For some, family has been a caustic experience.
Our pasts, together with the people who’ve helped shape us, magnify our identities and these can be changed—usually ever so slowly—and so we see that any change is based first from this footprint we already identify with.
Intimacy within family is the thing that broaches many typically unsafe things, for they may be said there. Family is the seedbed for growth and time-out from the world. If parents and grandparents can provide this sort of ‘home’ environment, their families can only flourish. It’s only via intimacy that this can be achieved, for intimacy is trust. Family’s now seen as that essential sanctuary for identity, stability and growth.
We must learn to value the familial intimacy that’s borne in giving our identities weight. If our identities are not so founded in such a trust, they’re flimsy and so are we.
© 2010 S. J. Wickham.