Families come in all shapes and sizes. Our definition of family may even go beyond being blood related. However, it is my intention to not define what family is, but rather to highlight the importance of it and together look at the four pillars that are important for building strong and healthy relationships.
If we were to understand the function, nature and health of families within a system, perhaps it would change how we engage within our families. The idea is while we are unique individuals, we are also interconnected and act in relation to one another. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts; in other words, there is strength in numbers. Looking at the family system through this lens it can help us appreciate the family structure as it has been said to be the most powerful system to which a person ever belongs to except in rare circumstances such as toxic or abusive relationships.
Would it be fair to say that most people have a deep desire for connection and a need to feel valued and supported? We long to share our lives with others, having a sense of belonging. According to Psychology Today, studies have found that a sense of belonging is associated with numerous beneficial outcomes, whereas a broken sense of belonging increases the risk for psychological and physical dysfunction. From an evolutionary perspective, there are clear advantages to connecting with others. Tribal bonding increased the probability of finding food, provided protection from predators, and enabled reproduction. Human connections are essential across our lifespan, starting from the womb into older age. The motivation for connection is deeply embedded in our biological makeup.
To read more or to listen via the podcast click here https://carmendebono.com.au/family/
Written by Carmen Debono