The Hearth from Which We Leave

How different it is to be in a nurturing family! Immediately, I can sense the aliveness, the genuineness, honesty, and love. I feel the heart and soul present as well as the head. People demonstrate their loving, their intellect, and their respect for life.I feel that if I lived in such a family, I would be listened to and would be interested in listening to others; I would be considered and I also would wish to consider others. I could openly show my affection as well as my pain and disapproval. I wouldn’t be afraid to take risks because everyone in my family would realize that some mistakes are bound to come with my risk-taking—that my mistakes are a sign that I am growing. I would feel like a person in my own right—noticed, valued, loved, and clearly asked to notice, value, and love others. I would feel free to respond with humor and laughter when it fits.

One can actually see and hear the vitality in such a family. The bodies are graceful, the facial expressions relaxed. People look at one another, not through one another or at the floor; and they speak in rich, clear voices. A flow and harmony permeate their relations with one another. The children, even as infants, seem open and friendly, and the rest of the family treats them very much as persons.

The houses in which these people live tend to have a lot of light and color. Clearly a place where people live, these homes are planned for their comfort and enjoyment, not as showplaces for the neighbors. (Virginia Satir, The New Peoplemaking).

Doesn’t this open your eyes and your heart? Can’t you just see truth when you read Satir’s description of the nurturing family?

Doesn’t it make you look at your environment with new eyes, and ask what you’re communicating through your own behavior, and even through your home?

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