Many of us now come from families of step siblings and step parents, and/or we have to navigate relationships with in-laws and other relatives gained by marriage. Sometimes, even relationships with our blood relatives require delicate navigating. Family relationships can be very complicated!
One of the cards presenting fifty-nine powerful Buddhist maxims in Pema Chodronís Compassion Box, offers rare insight for how to keep such relationships in harmonious balance. The maxim is an inspiration, as is Pema Chodronís commentary on the thought. Read them both here:
Donít bring things to a painful point.
Donít humiliate people.
If you think about it, most family hurt finds their origin in some sort of humiliation. Making a family pact that says that anything can be discussed, but nobody can be humiliated, sets a standard for communicating with respect no matter what the circumstances. By using this maxim, nothing comes to a painful point for anybody.