Caring for the Soul of the Family…

By Thomas Moore, Soul Mates: Honoring the Mysteries of Love and Relationships

A major part of caring for the soul of the family involves doing whatever is necessary to honor its sacredness, but there are other ways, too. A family is a form of community and so we could discover ways to honor both self and other in it. Gatherings of a family help nurture the group aspect, and it is equally important to respect and promote the individuality of the members. It often happens in families that one member lives a life quite different from the rest, or sometimes one member will be visited by extraordinary difficulty that may seem unusual to everyone else. These occasions are fertile opportunities to care for the family soul by responding to the individual, knowing that the soul manifests itself more in unique expressions than in what is normal and expected.

We care for the soul of the family by allowing it to reveal itself gradually over many years, in the individuals who make up the family and in the family as a whole. Soul is not a static object, but an endless source of changing life. One reason it is difficult to live a soulful life is that it isn’t always assuring to be confronted with change. Because soul is usually in movement, forward or backward, it’s necessary to observe it carefully. We might watch with interest as our parents or grandparents go through life changes, deal with illness and crisis, and find some of the goals they are seeking. We might notice the flowering of our brothers, sisters, and cousins as they ride the bumpy road of soul-making. We might be fully present to our children and grandchildren, nieces and nephews, and our godchildren, not interfering as they find their way, but always offering involvement: our care, our attention, and our stories of experience.

We might see the family spirit and myth alive within ourselves, being fulfilled once again in a unique way, and, loyal to that spirit, we might be proud of it and weave it consciously and artfully further into our lives.

Let soul emerge on its own, tend it in times of blockage and wounding, and to honor and celebrate its slightest manifestations and modest initiations. This ordinary entity, the family, may show itself to be one of the most powerful creative forces in our lives.


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