Sometimes a little interference goes a long way

My family are not the interfering sort. They mind their own business and expect you to mind yours. It is considered the height of rudeness to talk about somebody else while they are not there, without their permission.

I don’t really have permission to write this 🙂

This policy of non-interference has its upsides of course. My mother has told me that she  had her turn of raising children the way she thought best,  and I should have that opportunity as well. Nobody likes unsolicited advice. My parenting skills and decisions are not criticised, and opinions are never given unless asked for. Good manners are always adhered to in regards to personal boundaries, not asking too much and minding your own business. My family are very generous with their help, whenever asked, no strings attached. If they don’t have anything nice to say, they don’t say anything.

My friends sigh in envy when I tell them this. Their mothers show up whenever they please, give unsolicited advice and make unkind comments on the quality of their housekeeping, choice of partner, work/life balance or discipline methods. I am quick to agree that this sounds painful.

Still. Sometimes offering before being asked can be seen as thoughtfulness, and a little interference as caring. Sometimes you need to pass information on about somebody else as an act of love for that person, as well as for the other people that care. Asking questions and following the story of someone’s life attentively can be a life-saving act of love. Not taking things at face value, reading between the lines and sticking your nose in can be a wonderful way to show that you care. With good manners and intentions of course!

A family isn’t just an isolated group of individuals, couples and parent-children units rotating together in neat circuits. It’s a messy conglomeration of people who have the same blood running through their veins and shared experiences circulating in their psyches. A functional family helps us to bear our burdens and guide us through life’s maelstroms. No, we/they are not perfect. Yes, we all despair sometimes and wonder why we chose the family we did. Still, we won’t get a better family than the one we have, because all the best lessons come from our families. Why? Because we can’t get rid of them; we are a captive audience to each other. Our families teach us the lessons we came here to learn.

Of course, I am a product of my upbringing. I wait to be asked, I’m careful not to intrude, not to overstay my welcome and not to give advice where it hasn’t been asked for. What have I missed out on I wonder? What relationships would have been better nurtured by butting in, asking questions, following up, interfering, not waiting to be asked? Probably all of them.

Under the light of this Aquarian full moon, I ask myself how can I connect and communicate better with my loved ones:

  • Listen. Really listen with all of your senses. I have an Aquarian friend who can tell if I am ok or not by if my nose sounds like its blocked when I am speaking.
  • Follow up. If you know someone is going through a hard time, let them know you are thinking of them. Ask them about their problem.
  • If you can see someone needs something and you can supply it – do it! I have a Libran friend who pays such close attention to our lives he notices if I look tired and irritable, and if I do, he takes my daughter away for a day on the farm.
  • Don’t be shy to ask questions. Interfere, butt in, show that you care! In a loving, intuitive way of course 🙂
  • Don’t just think about your loved one. Communicate to them that you are thinking of them! I have a Capricorn friend who leaves little love letters on my facebook wall and sends me thoughtful little gift packages to show me that she loves me.
  • Share yourself with your loved ones. Tell them your worries, your inspirations, the details of what is going on in your life. I have a Leo friend who writes me long, poetic emails from far away, and makes me compilation cds of all her favourite music so that I can think of her whenever I play her songs. She doesn’t let me forget her, and I love that.
  • Don’t wait to be asked. Sometimes a person’s pain sucks away their ability to put it into words, or pride gets in the way. Push through.

What do you do to connect with your loved ones and show that you care?

4 comments

  1. Sara, you are such an astute writer. Your prose is always so lovely and lyrical. I love this about family and know exactly what you mean. I’ve always been the peace maker and listener in my family (middle-child) and I think we all have “roles” within our family. I feel at times, I give advice and listen way more than I receive, but then I think I never ask for it. So perhaps my siblings feel as if I just have it together and don’t need advice — ?? Anyway, thank you — this was wonderful.

    I’m a Taurus so my stubbornness may have a lot to do with this as well. :).

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  2. Hello Taurus sister! It’s definitely interesting to consider the roles we play within our family. I am a product of my father’s family as well, and I tend to be the arguer, the questioner, the one who has to know why. I guess I can be pushy! Thank you for your praise, it makes it all worthwhile 🙂

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  3. Aptly put! Though I like the non-interference policy most times, I have begun to lean towards the ‘sometimes-butting-in’ approach these days as I find myself at a loss for words or too busy to share my feelings. At those times, a subtle question or two couldn’t hurt!

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