Energy of Love and Compassion
Re-framing problems as opportunities, being diligent about determining who owns the problem, and allowing for flexibility in solving problems are important in any relationship if our hope is to know each other more deeply. And these skills are absolutely essential for adult children who face the possibility of caring for their aging parents. A great example of this aired in a special about caring for aging parents on ABC in 2011. http://abcnews.go.com/Health/ElderCare/sibling-situation-caring-elderly-ailing-parents/story?id=11592489
This story demonstrates that by being attentive to unique strengths and limitations among the siblings, they allowed for flexibility in solving the problem, which led to an overall better solution if for no other reason than the siblings were growing closer to each other rather than letting their anger and frustration win the day. Sometime our conflicts really do provide the opportunity for us to grow in intimacy with God and to grow in deep, loving relationships with our family regardless of how that family is structured or what crisis that family might be facing.
So what if the emotion with which you do things in a family actually matters? What if anger produces one kind of outcome and love produces a different kind of outcome? That would be a torah of family to ponder by day and by night. If the energy we bring to our problems is anger, lust, or fear, it won’t work; but if the energy is loving, then it will work. The energy in families needs to be genuinely warm, kind, gentle, joyful, playful, and easygoing. And those things can be the hardest to do inside the family.
Consider that the next time a problem comes up in your family, you might think of it as an opportunity, figure out who owns the problem, consider that person’s developmental readiness for solving the problem, and if they’re ready – let them solve it. Your job will be to enjoy watching someone you love learn and grow and change and become all that God has created them to be. That sounds like a pretty fun job!