How my sister changed our family in three words

christmasholly9Can you smell the turkey baking?  Or are you driving to friends and relatives for your feast?  Perhaps you are escaping to a movie?  This is the time that you come together with the special people in your life.  Spending time with friends and family is an opportunity to appreciate your roots and to expand the possibilities.

What could make your family experience more fulfilling?  My own family was lively.  I am the eldest of 6 children.  And we have always cared about each other, but we didn’t always express it in words.  I never remember hearing the words “I love you” when I was growing up.

My youngest sister changed all of that about 14 years ago.  She began to end her phone calls to our parents and siblings with the words, “I love you”.  The first time she said this, I was speechless.  I put down the phone and tears came to my eyes.  I realized how much I had longed to hear those words from my family.   The next time we spoke, I ended the call with “I love you.”

Soon it was a family practice.  I am grateful to Cynthia for opening our hearts.  My father passed in 2001 and my mother this year.  We all told our parents that we loved them on a regular basis.  And in the midst of dealing with the family trust, my siblings and I often say “I love you.”  We don’t always agree on how to do everything.  Yet we know that we have each other’s backs.  We are family.

What can you do to impact your family?  What traditions and habits support good relationships?  Are there ways in which you are stuck in old patterns which feel uncomfortable?  Each family is different, so you are the best judge of what will make a positive shift.

Choose one action that can bring more love to your family.  You might give hugs instead of handshakes.  Or special compliments which acknowledge each person.  You might listen more carefully.  You might bring a song or music.  Or simply say “I love you”, especially if you aren’t in the habit.

Making changes, even for the better, isn’t always easy.  Did you have the courage to take action?  Did you prepare the way for action in the future?  Or was it too daunting to risk disapproval?  Can you approve of yourself regardless of the outcome?

Imagine festive gatherings with your family and friends that fill you with inspiration and a feeling of deep connection.  Take that vision and ask your higher self for one simple thing that you can do to bring it to fruition.  Then DO IT.  Just one simple thing.  Isn’t that easy?