One of the most profound effects of doing the work to become the best person you can be, is that you could end up being the person that breaks disempowering patterns that have survived for generations in your family. And what that means is everyone who comes after you can get to be part of a new and empowering narrative. Like Neo said in The Matrix – “Whoa!”
This is a blessed time to be alive. These days we can openly talk about tools like coaching, counselling (to some degree), and the various awakenings we experience. Some of our parents and certainly their parents didn’t have this privilege. I grew up watching the Oprah Winfrey show – day in and day out there was a woman on TV reminding me to love myself, be good to myself, honour myself, to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes instead of judging them.
I walk into stores and find books like “Dear Lover” by David Deida, hop online and get helpful advice from websites like Brain Pickings or TED that give me an education, I can get free coaching from Hay House radio as I’m driving in my car. We’ve run out of excuses now. There are so many people out there doing work to help you get to where you want to be – and this is indeed a blessing.
Now things are not off course all rosy. I certainly have a number of internal demons I’ve had to slay. The other day I realised that my competitive nature is probably holding me back more than it is helping me. There’s enough to go around you see, and no one has to lose for me to win (and vice versa). As mothers day approaches I’m also pondering the profound act of a woman offering her body so that another soul can have this experience called “life on planet earth” (thanks mum!).
Much of our baggage we picked up when we were quite young. I heard the other day that tests have shown that a foetus in its mum’s womb from a very very early stage of development can feel and reacts to the tension around the mum (like if the dad raises his voice in anger). Wow. Later on as kids, we observed certain things, noticed certain behaviours that made us go “hmmmmm, I didn’t like that”. We then subconsciously made certain decisions such as: no one is ever going to do that to me again, or I see that only the strong survive therefore I must never show vulnerability or I notice I get love when I get good grades therefore I must achieve to be loved, or women are manipulative I better watch out or men are such $%#* [complete the sentence].
The list is endless. Some of these decisions are defence mechanisms born from hurt. It’s worthwhile doing the work to become aware of them and purge ourselves of them. It’s worthwhile creating new stories and roles for ourselves (e.g “being vulnerable does not equal being weak. Always being the strong one is exhausting. Allowing others to take care of me is a blessing”).
And guess what? Your parents experienced the same thing with their own parents. So you see, it’s also important to cut our parents some slack. Again, they may not have grown up in a time where you could find a book by Carolyn Myss at a library. They were raised by parents who had their own patterns and behaviours. I’ve met people whose parents were raised by mums and dads who went to war, whose parents were raised by mums and dads that lived through the Third Reich. Are you surprised then that your dad isn’t warm and fuzzy? Compassion is key. Instead of judging them, how about you do what it takes to break the family pattern. How about you do what you can to become a warm and fuzzy mum or dad.
Breaking the pattern means your children and their children get to experience something radically different to what you did. If you don’t have children you can teach your nieces and nephews, or the children of your friends. Just 1 person (you) can have a widespread impact just by shedding your own baggage. What a gift – to yourself and to the world.
So whatever it is – coaching, counselling, sharing in a circle with friends – go on, heed the call. Hop on the decks and remix the family tape.
I’d love to hear your comments.