Saskatoon author calling for dysfunctional family stories
Allan Kehler's project sets out to establish peace through strong boundaries
If your family's holiday dinners come with a side of sibling rivalry or a main course of emotional abuse, then Saskatoon's Allan Kehler would like to hear from you.
If you have to create space with a family member, love is there...it's not forever.- Allan Kehler
Kehler is a motivational speaker and author with an idea for a book.
He said the working title, Get the F out of Family, is generating some strong reactions, and from people that he respects.
Including, he said, comments like, "You are an asshole! You know, family is something that you need to respect!"
Kehler countered that allegation in an interview with CBC Radio's Saskatoon Morning. He argued that indeed, he has respect for family, but doesn't consider it to be sacrosanct.
"Why do we do this to ourselves if this journey is about peace and enjoying the journey that we have, why do we tolerate certain behaviours just because they are family?"
"I thought; why not bring it to light?"
That's what Kehler is trying to do through his book. He's asking people to submit their stories of having to deal with the stress of family drama. He's not giving much away, but suggested the book might encourage people to set strong boundaries.
"It's not something that's permanent when you set up a boundary," he said. "It's just trying to step back and think about what do I need in this moment to perhaps have a little bit of peace.
"Love is a constant. It's not that it just goes away. If you have to create space with a family member, love is there, and I don't think anything has to be rigid, it's not forever."
Kehler is accepting people's stories through his website until August, although that's not a firm deadline. And yes, he will protect your identity. After all, it's family.
with files from Saskatoon Morning