We want to see the people of our past—at least the people we love—as most of us see a rose. Perfect. Flawless. Thorn-less.
Let’s take the dozen roses that we so often have delivered. Colors may vary, but they are always presented in bud form. Is that so we can watch them come into full bloom? Or do we prefer to see something frozen at its apex? Something in a constant state of youthfulness, full of potential?
Looking for perfection blinds us to beauty
We often think back to our ancestors to the times when they were like the proverbial buds found in the florist’s shop.
Though they don’t necessarily think of ancestors are as young, many people choose to tell only the best stories. The great stories. The warm fuzzy stories.
Obviously, those make great narratives. But, there’s a danger there. If we pick and choose too much, we can miss the true beauty of the lives that went before us.
We might end up with a facsimile of our loved ones and ancestors that belies their natural beauty.
Roses don’t have to be perfect to be beautiful. And neither do our family stories. In fact, the “flaws” are sometimes the most riveting things about them.
Without the imperfections, we’d miss the nuances.
We’d miss the wonders of the everyday.
The raucous gatherings where everyone lets their hair down.
The maturity that breeds wisdom.
The hardships faced and endured.
If we stuck to the perfect and the impressive, we’d miss all sorts of stories about what made our loved ones a family. The family dynamics, quick tempers, failed crops, hopes not achieved, and the hard work it took to merely survive are all important to your family story.
What types of average, everyday, beautiful stories do you have to tell about your family? Start writing!