Family support can beat the blues


THERE is much truth in the words from the Bob Merrill song Love Makes the World Go 'Round.

Family life is full of ups and downs. It only takes one member of the family to feel down for this mood to rapidly grow tentacles, enveloping the entire group.

Before we know it, a poisonous argument has erupted and unkind words are uttered, leaving the foundations of the family buckling.

Inevitably, the nasty taste left in the mouth is one of regret and/or guilt.

Solid family foundations are built on love – nothing more, nothing less.

Love epitomises values such as respect, trust, loyalty, compassion, empathy, integrity, forgiveness – and many more.

Remember back to when, as a couple, you were “going out”.

All the promises you made to each other were based on an unconditional kind of love.

At the time, you may have thought that your relationship and future together would be so easy because you loved each other.

After all, fairytales tell us that love conquers all.

Is this a myth then?

Well, not really. When love, in the form of the above values, is held above all else, then there is truth in the fairytale.

The solution to the “down” mood is two-fold. Either the bearer of the mood chooses to replace the bad feelings with loving feelings or the family chooses to ignore the bad mood and be more loving to the bearer. Either way wins.

We are not perfect angels and life can get us down but what we choose to do with the bad mood is up to us. This applies to the perpetrator and the recipient/s.

This theory works well if trust is an established feature in the family unit because we know instinctively that the bad mood really has nothing to do with us so it is not a long-term threat to the unit. The mood eventually passes quickly if the above solution is practised.

Shirley Cornish is a relationship and grief specialist. Phone Shirley Cornish Counselling on 0488 437 626 and 5443 7626 or visit

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