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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

In a family, love doesn't always mean agreeing or understanding

Being part of a family is unlike any other relationship experienced in life. A person can choose their friends, job, clubs and organizations, hobbies, and even a spouse. But, you can’t choose the people who are often closest to you- your relatives. This can be one of the best, and the worst, aspects of family.

Attempting to get along with siblings is one of the first lessons most people learn growing up. In childhood, squabbles and fights are common, accepted, and to be expected. As a person gets older, the terrain can get rockier and more perilous. Trying to understand and get along can be one of life’s most trying and frustrating lessons. It can be very challenging to get along with people you have nothing in common with or try your last nerve.

It is one of life’s greatest mysteries and challenges attempting to understand those closest to us. How is it that people who grew up in the same household, or were raised by, or have the same DNA, can be so different? Family relationships can be exhausting and discouraging, but well worth the effort.
It isn’t essential for parents to completely understand, or accept, all the choices their children make, in order to love them. The same is true for siblings.

Most important is to keep in mind that all individuals in a family have a right to their own lifestyle and pursuit of happiness. It isn’t for any family member to tell another how to live their life, barring any obvious dangerous or destructive choices.

Focusing on the love and the importance of the family connection is vital. How often is there a heart-wrenching tale of a divided family which fought and fussed for years over differences of opinion, only to have a loved one die and never to have been able to make amends? It is usually in hindsight that people understand that life is too short to seek arguments over situations which are not in agreement. Not being able to understand another person’s choices does not preclude love and respect. Giving an open and loving heart, without judgment or conditions, can be challenging, but well worth the effort.There are very few instances in life when you can happily surrender the small picture for the greater good.

You don’t have to agree with, or like a person, to feel great love for them as a member of a family. Familial love is one of the greatest and strongest bonds a person can experience. It defies logic and reason. It stands up to great adversity and shows amazing resilience. It can be one of the most selfless and inspiring examples of love and kindness. Familial love is not something easily explained. It is better to be experienced.

Nurturing and caring for familial relationships is something everyone can always seek to improve. Family is the greatest and most powerful concept human beings from every corner of the planet, can understand and experience. It endures when temporary things, like wealth, health, glory, and youth, fade. Feeling frustrated, or annoyed, is a small price to pay for the enduring blessing of a relationship with a beloved family member.

Loving Siblings
Originally written for


  1. Good looking kids

  2. Thank you. I am very blessed to have them.

  3. Great read mom!!!!! Keep up the good work!!!!

  4. PERFECT. I think accepting our family members are different people from us - even if and when we aren't afforded the same courtesy in return -is one of the most important things we can do in terms of improving our relationships (to say nothing of preserving our sanity!).

    Well done, Diana!