You, Family, and Friends6 May 2021
by Brian Clement, PhD, LN
When a mother speaks about her children and a father spills over with pride for his offspring, it is the natural state of human biology. Although we believe we are here for numerous purposes, our true calling is quite simple: procreation. Our minds, emotions and internal drive are all fueled by the desire to perpetuate our species. From the time of birth until the day we die, hormones govern the core of our thoughts and emotions. Layers of deception confuse the purpose of our actions, yet, the foundation is most often the drive to create. During the last two centuries, technology, beginning with light and then media, radio and television threw the natural balance of family, community and humanity into a tailspin. Furthering our estrangement from our natural state are computers, cellphones and the related cyber information age. Walking down any street in the world today, there is no doubt that most people spend most of their time looking at a miniature screen that they hold in their hand. This, of course, robs our precious time to interact with those we love. Youth entering college today have so little experience in communication, some of the better schools literally have freshman training to teach students how to relate to something other than a machine.
Our modern lifestyle has driven a giant wedge between our biological purpose and our daily existence. It is not hard to understand why 40% of married couples in the developed world struggle to have babies. How far this may go is actually up to us to determine. There is nothing more powerful than personal relationships with those you love. The nuclear family is the basis for civilization, and without its strong presence, we are eroding the potential for a civil, compassionate and prosperous humanity.
When evaluating sociological and psychological data, it always presents a clear picture that what we all aspire for is love and the support and caring that it offers. When the significant majority, expressed this very fact (when questioned) but somehow do not prioritize it, it creates an emotional schism in their reality. “Find oneself” seems to be a universal quest in the minds of people. Yet, is it not oneself that is derived from the guidance, strength and authenticity of a supportive family. Whenever superstars are interviewed, the story of their success has one consistent thread that is always there. The mother, the father, the teacher, the coach, the friend who relentlessly pushed, supported and insisted on furthering the passion of the star. We are not solo acts, and we are wired to be interdependent, not without need of touch and caring.
How then do we get back to the basics without dropping out and becoming an island unto ourselves? Values are the answer. Are your values only to make money and acquire material rewards or are they to share life with those you care for? As simple as this question is, it definitively describes the profound query that needs to be immediately answered.
We all seem to be able to schedule the busyness of our work life, but somehow neglect to schedule time with our partners, children, family and friends. Remedying this distortion is the first step in supporting your own happiness and that of those you love. Excuses reign; yet family cries out for attention. Some of you may be suffering from a truly dysfunctional experience you had starting with your parents and siblings which most often is carried into your married life. What we learn is what we attract. So you may be asking if my memory of family is skewed, how then I can embrace something that I have no attraction to. In fact, you do have a deep emotional and biological desire to acquire the security and strength from the family, you just are frightened to take the necessary steps in doing it right this time. Years ago, a friend who taught psychology at an Ivy League school told me to guide people in the process of accepting themselves and resolving their family history by realizing that it was all that their parents and others were capable of. As he stated, “if they didn’t know how to love you, you have to learn how to love yourself.” Once you are brave enough to break the bonds of self-imposed sabotage by raising your value with self-respect, you will inherently attract likeminded people into your life. As you know, happy people attract happy; sad attracts sad.
Loving oneself provides the possibility of emotionally stable choices. This naturally guides us into picking our partners based upon compatibility, not just sexuality. Although intimacy is powerfully important in partnerships, it cannot be the forceful factor that many of us make it in our youth. True friendships are sexier than good sex, and by the way, they can last forever. Loving partners spawn secure balanced and loving children. Here in the United States, the latest statistics are grim. We are at the highest level ever of single people in our adult population. Ironically, when you really get down to it, every one of these people would love to have a happy, enriching and rewarding relationship.
Erickson so wisely spoke of the phases of life; pictorially it is almost like watching a flower open. As time passes and experience mounts, your needs, desires, and fulfillment evolve. Choosing the right mate will expansively support a much larger and productive life for both. Nature did not create single parent homes or lonely people; it is our lost and valueless culture that manifests this mess. Once again, we must establish what is truly important to us. Of course, we all aspire to have economic security, a clean, safe and comfortable place to reside and adequate food, etc. This cannot be our only quest, and in fact, when you look at this closely, these are only practical requirements so we can now begin to have a life. If and when your life is all about survival, you will never have enough money or size of residence or clothes or cars, etc. Without fail, you will learn that creature comforts are only a façade and not our essential desire. When having a choice between being loved and being rich, 88% of the people correctly chose love. Now there is nothing wrong with being loved and rich, yet that should come without effort not as your core value.
When Anna Maria and I speak on our early morning walks, we often comment how fortunate we are to have parents that truly love us. Were either of our lives Cinderella like, flawless adventures with perfect parents and siblings? No. Yet, the overriding sense of how we received our strength and faculty to persevere came from the loving guidance from our family. We in fact learned to be the parents of four, and now grandparents of four, from our nuclear family. How often it is that we meet in our work on the front lines of disease and disorder, broken and ill people who have not resolved their dysfunctional childhood resulting from a disenfranchised family structure. Are the experiences from our youth creating our health today? With a resounding YES, we are unwavering in our understanding of this fact.
Become the person you wish you had been when nurtured as a child. Work hard with advancement and psychotherapy and be candid and transparent with close friends and family members so they can help piece together what you currently perceive as a fragile life. Once you have established the mantle for the future, deeply enlist yourself via visualization and commitment to creating a pure and desirable future. There is never a too late and always an opportunity for change and joy.
On a lecture tour to Western Canada, I met an alumnus who had reversed cardiovascular disease, diabetes and high blood pressure. She had been single her whole life and had just met the man of her dreams at 83. When standing next to them and observing their unadulterated love, it was reminiscent of Romeo and Juliet. For the first time, I saw her eyes sparkle, her lips pucker and her appearance and dress to be impeccable. Nearly 81 ⁄2 decades after she was born, she made her dream come true. When will you make your dream come true? Is it not time that you find a way to elevate your psychological, emotional and spiritual status to a place whereas you magnetize a like-minded friend. When this holy relationship begins in your youth, you have the ability to produce sound and contributory human beings. As we age, we can feel the solace of having a collaborator, a caretaker and a colleague at our side until the candle goes out. We must never forget that the level of happiness that we acquire is quietly and visibly expressed into the universe which enhances the lives of others and all of nature that we share this beautiful planet with.