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Nurturing Family Emotional Wellness: From Love to Self-Reflection, Let's Rewrite the Script

Updated: Mar 4

What does family emotional wellness mean? What words come to mind when you think about family wellness? Maybe:

  • Communication

  • Reserving space

  • Listening

  • Feelings

  • More feelings

  • Connection

  • Intimacy

So, it’s a LOT of feelings. And yeah, sometimes it’s hard. Well, often it’s hard! Just because we’re in a family doesn’t mean we get along every day, especially when we’re all at different stages in our emotional development. But there’s always the love, the reliability, the shared history, and common values. To me, that’s what emotional wellness is, is to come from that love deep down. Love is such fine energy that we can’t keep running our motor all day, every day. It’s not sustainable.

So how do we remember the love as we cope with being in a family? And yes, it does often require coping. For that part, a different set of terms comes to into play:

  • Self-love

  • Intentionality

  • Breathing

  • Empathy

  • Curiosity

  • Tolerance

  • Knowledge

That list revolves around us as individuals. We need to be OK in order to be a loving part of a family, which is why it starts with self-love. And ends with knowledge. We need collaborative ideas, new strategies, a community to help us grow and create a special relationship with our family.

Sometimes you get caught in the same communication trap: emotional blackmail, passive/aggressive behavior, and intergenerational trauma. Sometimes those tactics can quickly address the needs of a family member. But it’s important to undo those unhealthy cycles by bringing new mindsets and new behavior. And if you’re growing a new family, you don’t want to repeat some of those responses that often come to us way too naturally.

Do you ever find yourself saying something, behaving in a way that you hated your parents to do when you were young? Sometimes, we can’t help it. You only have one childhood to base your decisions on, so sometimes you default to that same ol’, same ol behavior. But you want to change all that. You want to grow your own family, not a continuation or a repetition of the one you had when you were younger. At least not the painful parts.

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