The church often teaches us how we should behave, what our opinion should be in regards to moral ethics, etc. For example it is wrong to get a divorce. It is wrong to have conflict within your family. Granted I am turning these issues into absolutes which isn't really what we are taught.
But for my story it shapes what I think about Christian values. I feel like we should all be able to get along but reality is we don't. I feel like people get divorced way too easy and shouldn't always take that easy way out but reality is different. I don't believe abortion is ok but reality is I can understand why it is legal even though I personally think that should not be a form of birth control.
I can apply each of these values to my own family. If I did there wouldn't be people I don't really speak to, there would only be happy marriages, and I would have a few more nieces or nephews. But the reality is I don't speak to a couple members of my family and can't really see that changing anytime soon. I would love for a member of my family to get a divorce even though it will be the hardest thing for her to go through. But her current situation is not good for anyone especially her and her kids.
I am the type of person who likes to fix things or help others and most of these situations are out of my control. Sometimes I feel like I am a bad Catholic since I can not seem to let go of what has hurt me. I think I have forgiven but it is more I refuse to put myself back in that same situation again. Nothing has changed with the people I don't speak to and I can't go back to being a part of lives that have a negative effect on me.
I don't tell "people" about all of this. Not even my husband too much since he doesn't really like to talk about it. Or acts like he doesn't. He knows enough about it but not how my heart feels about it all. I feel guilty at times but my head sets my heart straight.
My grandfather knew the reasons why I don't speak to my mother or youngest sister and he understood and stood by me. He never judged me poorly and loved me unconditionally. He even agreed with me but he still felt bad since this was his daughter we were talking about after all. He passed away in Feb and I miss him terribly. This month he would have been 97.
This month has been difficult for me with a family reunion where my grandfathers presence was incredibly missed and then what would have been his birthday. Add my mothers poor timing to phone harass me and I haven't had it easy. I would be fine all day but then it would hit me after everyone went to sleep and I was the only one still up and alone. I was feeling better this past week but I have made slip ups and shared some of my problems with Fr. (no real details, just generalizations) and another woman during a conversation that ended up hitting too close to home. He spoke a bit about reconciliation in this weeks homily and requested all of us to see the positive in life and not just the negative. I have since apologized to him for letting my problems slip out which he of course graciously said was not necessary. But then offered to talk about it all if I ever want to. I may take him up on that someday. I don't know if I can right now.
I know in my head and my heart that I am a pretty happy person. I have so many blessings. Life could be sooooo much worse. For that I am thankful. I count the blessings of having our parish and priest as some of the best coping mechanisms a person can find.