Peace in the family is an ongoing renegotiated dynamic. Peace with one’s family (aka acceptance, unconditional love) is similarly constantly changing.
Our family is getting physically closer. My sister & her family are living in town for a month or two and hope to relocate to a nearby town. My youngest brother is moving back in with my parents when he starts school in the fall, to join my older brother who’s already there. And with my mom starting to look after baby a few days a week we will both be at their house a lot more. Proximity provides opportunity but doesn’t guarantee anything. As our rough edges to rub on each other they can spark and ignite, and they can also wear off and fit together. What makes the difference between simple coexistence and building stronger, more honest, closer, more loving and more peaceful relationships?
Probably good communication. Probably learning to listen to and respect the point of view of the other. Probably getting beyond selfish uses of time to really make an effort to be with each other and do meaningful things together. Probably choosing loving and sacrificial gestures towards the others on a constant basis.
From a different angle, I wonder what it will take to achieve a dynamic of inner peace regarding my return to work. I already miss my daughter and I’ve barely worked 1.5 days. I can see what a big girl she is becoming and I want to be around her all the time, still. Work will be rewarding because of the nature of what I do (human rights promotion & support) and also because I will be completing projects and moving initiatives forward, yet I can already feel the question of purpose popping up. At some point I am a cog in a very, very large institution. My work moves forward positive actions, but it is still just work in a big institution. More than I imagined, the preciousness of my daughter and of being with my family are highlighted. I suppose that is a gift in itself, but it is one I hope I could maintain even if I wasn’t working. Frankly, I don’t know how I will come to terms with leaving my daughter 4 days out of every week, even though she will be in the best, most loving care. What will it mean for her? More to the point, what will it mean for me? And if I were home with her, would I give her the degree of loving attention and interaction that still, in spite of my best efforts, I fall short of?
No real answers tonight. She’s sleeping soundly after some playing, some nursing, some bottle, some tossing, back stroking and patting, shushing, cuddling and loving, and that will have to be the moment I treasure for today.