How easy it is to take our nearest and dearest for granted.
They are there for us day in, day out. Almost like a piece of the furniture that we dump our belongings on as we walk through the door.
On one hand we expect them to be there for us unquestioningly through thick and thin and on the other hand we are so easily disappointed when they don’t fulfill our expectations of how we believe they should be.
In contrast, we can be overtly kind and polite to strangers, so concerned that we should make a good impression.
The irony is we might never see that stranger again and yet our family is with us for a lifetime.
People often talk about unconditional love, in particular among parents and children, but unconditional means without strings and conditions.
We are taught to expect that if we behave a certain way, others should respond in a certain way back.
In fact, we are making everything conditional.
Far better to be kind because that is our nature and that is how we chose to live our life, rather than because we hope to get something in return.
A real game-changer for me was when I started to alter my thinking to ‘my family owes me nothing’.
Rather than expecting a lot and feeling entitled (and quite often disappointed) I became so appreciative of every gesture, every kind word or thought.
Every call from my parents, every cup of tea from my husband, every time the boys take their plates through to the kitchen after dinner, I am as grateful as if it were a stranger showing this kindness.
When you realise they owe you nothing, you never take anything for granted again.
And life is full of appreciation and gratitude.