“Family” is a multifaceted kaleidescope of images and experiences. Ever changing yet holding firmly to the essence of family comes from within. A tapestry of belonging woven from heritage, social changes, and core values. The external forces stitched by being “present” and enjoying life.

There is no secret formula but some families seem to interact seamlessly. The appearance of such is a combination of respect, laughter and cooperation. There is a calm in knowing how to perceive situations. The ability to weigh thoughts producing appropriate reactions also creates peace. It is choosing which battles to pick and when to momentarily walk. It is a deep and resounding faith, and acknowledging gratitude. The core component is believing struggles strengthen not destroy.

Life is a succession of joyful firsts, tearful lasts, and everything in the middle,. A partnership of trust between all members. It is not an infallible knowledge centered on being right. There us a cooperative effort in making things work. Sometimes pressing a point. Sometimes simply giving in. Always learning to accept. There is strength in silence and honor in a quiet smile.

Balance and acceptance are cornerstones plus a philosophy that problems are challenges. Problems carry a heavy burden whereas challenges pave the way for growth. It is a mindset that the glass is always full! There is a positive plan in dealing with difficulties and complex struggles. The more complicated take a realization and understanding. Everyone has their point of view that stems from prior experiences. This understanding and compromise are key to working together. It should not be viewed as selling out or giving in. Rather it is forging a newer, deeper relationship. A family holds a grounded creed:

“We are all important members, who can do anything together.”

From the youngest to the oldest, everyone has their place. There is an undeniable role and parts of the total unit called family.

Sometimes the simplest of pleasures has the most endearing effect. These pleasures becomes a family tradition. Traditions can seem difficult to establish but imperative in this “hurry up technology” world. “Deal with it” becomes a common retort conveying impatience. A softer response nullifies impatience and encourages openness. I think about my childhood bedtime tradition with the fondest of memories – sharing our day’s adventures, saying prayers for our blessings and feeling the cocoon of love. Our lives are busy; chaotic in a “deal with it”way. We make the time to create that peaceful bedtime ritual. This time is for an affirmation and a prayer. It most importantly is an unconditional message of support. Hopefully “dealing with it all”, in a balanced manner, preparing to handle whatever comes our way with acceptance while fostering the growth.

This article was featured in Lake Norman Woman Magazine

By: Katie Stankiwicz, Owner of Willow Equine