Jan 18, 2009


by Shawnette Nielson

I must apologize for getting this entry out so late. I am actually typing this in the car coming home from a short weekend trip. Family is an interesting phenomenon. Without going into specifics, this weekend was spend with a group of people who are related one way or the other … let me first preface this blog by acknowledging the absolute importance of family. They are all important, especially in the grand scheme of life. They offer support, guidance, love, and a sense of security that is indispensable. They are there often when no one else is, and there is a certain amount of inconvenience that can be expected, both to be felt, and dealt during certain times in our lives. In a way, they have to be there, and you have to be there for them. All this is true. My question to the big world is, when do you draw the line. When do you say, “Okay, I’ve been hurt enough, and I am not going to put myself in a position to be hurt more.” I don’t know the answer and I am not saying my opinion is the best solution, but I will share what conclusion, in a nutshell, I have come to.

Can you truly love someone if you are always worried about getting hurt by them? I don’t think so. If someone, family or no, has a real tendency to hurt you, and it continues to happen, then I do believe that, family or no, it is your responsibility to step back and protect yourself. What do I mean by that? I mean that you don’t make yourself vulnerable to that person anymore. You can still love them, in fact, I believe that by protecting yourself from them, you are able to love them more. I’m sure that you can think of examples for yourself, but here are a few to whet your mind with: a relative that leaves whenever things get tough; one who takes from you (money, time, love, etc.), but never gives back; or one who ultimately will choose self over anything or anyone else, no matter what. It is true that none of us is perfect, but I am convinced that if we acknowledge the hurt that someone tends to give us, and protect ourselves from it, then we will be able to eventually love them more because we won’t always be hurt by them. If it means stepping away from a close relative, then I believe that you should. So ladies, what are your thoughts???


  1. Shawnette these are questions faced by everyone with a family. The bigger the more the possibility exists. I can only give you my perspective. HF and our Savior stand at the door and knock, they don't force their way in...we shouldn't either. Follow their example, wait outside the door until this person or people are ready to come through the door and be reconciled to you. Hope that helps. It has certainly worked for me.

  2. I think Terry said it well, Shawnette. Dalin Oaks had a very good article in the Ensign a long time ago about the difference between judging someone and making judgments about them. It's wrong to say "he/she is going to go to the Terrestial/Telestial/Celestial Kingdom." However, we must make judgments about the way our life may or may not be affected by someone else's actions. We teach our children to choose their friends carefully. We can't choose our relatives, but we can protect ourselves without unduly judging. did that make sense?

  3. Yes. I agree and appreciate your opinions and feedback. I think it is important to protect ourselves from...whatever there might be.


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