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Embrace Family Connections

What has happened to our family core and connections? Are we so consumed by busyness and activities that we place a lower value on our relationships? Certainly the fact that families are often scattered in different parts of the country contributes to our disconnect, but what else gets in the way? Placing greater importance on other activities or objectives devalues our relationships. For some, achieving status and accomplishing tasks take precedent over connections with people. Or it could be that unresolved conflicts and issues keep families distant. Sometimes we rely on limited and superficial connections like instagram, snapchat, or Facebook to connect, but rarely make a phone call or have a video conversation. Our society has become more disconnected and fragmented in spite of advances in technology. We've become lazy and often choose the path of least resistance to make connections.

Sometimes members of our family are toxic and staying connected with those individuals is unhealthy and dysfunctional. So we have to decide who and how much to stay connected with our family. We may have family members who only call when they need something or consistently focus on themselves and rarely ask about our lives. Maybe they are constantly competing with us or have a difficult time celebrating our successes. Many of us tend to compare ourselves with others and measure our success against others based on material possessions or wealth. Sometimes we are envious of others and focus on their lives instead of our own. We value their accomplishments and neglect our own success and achievements. Many of us get caught up in the mindset that "more is better" and have difficulties being content with what we have. Or maybe we are threatened by those who have more than us and appear to be more happy. Of course, our assumptions about how good others have it based on what we see on the outside may be completely wrong! So how can we reignite or strengthen healthy family connections?

Often it starts with addressing unresolved conflicts, accepting ownership for your own mistakes, and being able to forgive each other. We can be intentional about connecting with our loved ones and make an effort to be a part of their lives. It could be as simple as asking them how they are doing or what is going on in their world. Most of us have a desire to share our experiences with our family and appreciate their love and support. Of course communicating directly and openly with each other is a crucial component of any relationship even if it requires talking about conflict. Understanding each other's needs and making an effort to meet those needs helps bring us closer together. Good relationships require vulnerability which can be difficult for some. And when an inevitably rejection occurs, we have a choice to confront and resolve the issue or disconnect from the relationship. Whether the people you consider part of your family include relatives, friends, a church group, or colleagues, recognize the importance of staying connected and decide to make the effort. It is well worth it!

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