Dear Feelings Doctor: I have a wonderful family! Sisters, brothers — there are 11 of us. We try to get together for holidays as much as possible — or at least we used to.
Here is the big problem: Two of my siblings haven't spoken in a long time to each other, and it is beginning to affect our entire family. How can I get these grownups to forgive and forget?
— Stubborn Family in San Diego
Dear Stubborn Family: Without knowing what happened between your siblings, and it may not matter as much about what happened as why it happened; often times people stay mad and angry for so long, if you asked them why, they may not even remember. Here’s the deal: Do you want to be right, or do you want to have a relationship?
"Family is a nonrenewable resource." It sounds like it is time to figure this out. The holidays are soon approaching.
Perhaps try inviting the "two who need to talk things out" over to your house and have a gentle, safe, opening of the heart of the matter. Whatever it was or is, things can always be discussed and a peaceful conclusion may be just around the corner. Saying I’m sorry can heal so many things, and once a rupture in any relationship has occurred, that is the place for an opening of light to come through.
See what’s going on now, in the present. Hopefully it will be a wonderful, reflective experience for all involved. Every human being wants to feel loved, be truly seen and feel they have been heard.
Dear Feelings Doctor: I’m writing about my family — me, my husband and our two sons, who are 11 and 6 years old. My growing concern is that my boys play too rough. We have been to the emergency room more times than I really care to count.
My husband says it's a normal thing for boys to be rough, that boys will be boys! I need some advice for my family. Thank you.
— Exhausted Mom in Santa Barbara
Dear Exhausted Mom: I agree with your concern regarding the safety of your two sons. There will always be an element of aggression when it comes to boys roughhousing, but this is something else all together. Your 11-year-old is in no position to be abusing the 6-year-old in any way.
It is normal for kids to play, and sometimes the play ends in tears because someone got their feelings hurt, but having the severity of the hospital visits is unacceptable. When children are around the same age, it is called a mutual affray. This does not sound like what is happening here.
Put an end to the violent play now. Have a discussion with your husband and the boys and find safe, family games to play so your sons get the exercise and physical outlet they need. This does not include trips to the E.R.
Got a question for The Feelings Doctor? Click here to submit a question anonymously.
• • •
Imagine This ...
Love heals renews inspires and empowers us
to do great things. Makes us feel safe and brings
us closer to God
All love is based on the search for spirit
Falling in love is undeniably an act of the soul
Being desirable means being comfortable
with your own ambiguity.
The most ambiguous reality is
that we are flesh and spirit at the same time.
Within everyone there is light and shadow.
good and evil, love and hate.
In order to be truthful,
you must embrace your total being.
A person who exhibits both positive and
negative qualities, strengths and weaknesses
is not flawed, but complete.