Family Reunions: Acknowledgment and Forgiveness
The story looks at several key points in having the reunion be a success in terms of how to relate to family members. The first is to give up the concern for impressing others with one’s accomplishments. Instead, he says, focus on acknowledgment.
“What’s important is to not try to impress [family members] with what we’ve done,” says Cunningham, “but to let them know we really acknowledge, celebrate and think highly of what they’ve accomplished.”
He emphasizes that acknowledgment is simple and easy – it doesn’t take a lot of time, and it instantly creates closeness between you and the other family member.
“It takes about one minute of thanking somebody or some acknowledgment to have love be present, to have an extraordinary relatedness be present,” he notes.
A second key thing to do, according to Cunningham, is to distinguish your story about a person or events from what actually happened. It’s easy to come to a family reunion with stories and opinions about different people, but if you can separate the events of the past from your interpretation of them, you can steer clear of potential upsets.
Forgiveness can play a big part in having a great family reunion. Cunningham emphasizes that forgiveness isn’t just about not blaming people for past events – it’s truly having love be expressed.
“To forgive, you give your love back like you did before anything happened,” says Cunningham.
Read the entire article at the home of Kalamazoo Living.