I feel like I’ve know my wife and children for centuries. Not necessarily in other lifetimes, maybe just as souls or particles of light that finally got a chance to become human. And even if our becoming a family was the most random of occurrences, the value we place on it and the intention with which we hold each other have elevated our relationship to another level.

We have been given this one lifetime to be with each other, and each moment should be cherished. Out of eons, we get to share this one lifetime in each other’s arms. It is a gift beyond all others.

At times I realize how quickly it could be gone, and in fact is going by, and I want to make sure to treasure each moment.

Each one of these people – my children and my wife – I would have walked to the ends of the earth to find. I would have gone on miraculous quests, slain dragons to locate them – and yet here we are as a family, and we get to be with each other. It seems so simple and so spectacular at the same time.

Sometimes I sit here and say, “I get to live with these people,” and am stunned. What did I do to deserve this? What contest in heaven did I win that these souls chose me to incarnate with? And then at other times it is obvious and organic. We belong together.

We are each other’s connections into something much more profound and greater than our individual lives. Each of us holds a piece to this mystery, and we get to see it unveiled together.

It’s not a question of keeping this perspective at every moment but rather a choice of using this perspective to come back to center. There are days when my wife is on me about not helping to get the house cleaned for our dinner guests, which I really don’t have time to do because I’ve been trying all day to get a piece of work done, or I’ve found out my teenager is getting a lower grade on his progress report because of homework that wasn’t done after I let him go out both nights on the weekend with the understanding that his homework was done, or just that the house is a mess and nobody seems to be helping clean it up, that I forget what a privilege it is to go through life with these four people. Some days the chaos feels more like the Simpsons than like creative disarray. These are the people I love the most, and they’re the ones who can also drive me the most crazy. They push all my toughest buttons, and I can easily be my worst as well as my best self with them.

At times like these, remembering the privilege of loving them and feeling our connection, is a choice I make. It’s what can open my heart and bring me back to all that I hold dear. Even on days like these – and sometimes especially on days like these – there is a reason we’re together. We get to go through the good times and the tough times together. I choose to hold their care as a sacred trust that has been given to me. It’s not always easy but it’s always worth it and it always helps this life make sense.

How we choose to be in this world with our family members will affect their lives every single day. Why are we doing this? It’s because it connects us to something far greater than ourselves and in the simplest and most profound way is our single strongest act to make this world a better place. It’s a gift both to ourselves and to the future.

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Howard Schiffer DrGreene.com contributor

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