Choose the perspective that supports you
Family is an interesting concept. For some, our childhood experience of family is remembered in large part with fondness and love. For others, many of the memories are traumatic.
Then there are the cultural expectations that you love and honor your parents/caretakers along with other family members regardless. This is what makes you a good person.
Add to this the expectation that, as an adult, you build a family of your own. With all that going on, seems to me the notion of family is loaded with the potential for one’s life and self-image to grow well or go horribly sideways.
It took me years of struggling with my own experience of family, followed by decades of studying the nature of family as a counselor, to come to the realization that how you choose to interpret your personal experience of ‘family’ either supports or undermines your journey.
Ultimately, you’re born into the family or childhood circumstances intended to be the catalyst for manifesting your authentic self, unique gifts and divine purpose.
Whether or not you view your familial circumstances as beneficial or detrimental depends entirely upon your perspective.
From a cosmic or higher purpose perspective, circumstances are neither good nor bad, neither positive nor negative.
They’re simply a classroom for learning, the catalyst for the emergence of your soul, the gift of your unique YOU. How you re-experience them (during or thereafter) depends upon how you choose to make use of them.
For example, the emotional upheaval in my own childhood created within me a fierce determination to find self-value and purpose in my life.
As a teen, I struggled a great deal in the wake of this family turbulence.
As a young adult, I became angry and resentful which resulted in my sabotaging my own relationships, personal and professional.
As I grew older, those memories provided me with the platform to persevere in the face of struggle and focus on what I love about people, things, and circumstances and mostly myself. I made the choice to embrace my experiences and choices around family as opportunities for learning and growth.
As an adult, I empowered myself to define and create ‘family’ in ways that suited me, even though they were not necessarily pathways that matched society’s expectations.
Now, I’m able to look back at my turbulent childhood and choices in adulthood with acceptance and appreciation for their influence on who I am today.
The circumstances of your childhood are the very platform from which your unique and special gifts spring forth, the place where the development of ‘you’ is incubated.
Accepting those early life circumstances as important lessons for your personal evolution and using them as the platform for your soul’s manifestation is beneficial.
This includes honoring the initial core beliefs you created as a child to survive, emotionally and physically. Though it’s likely those initial beliefs are now outdated and in need of transformation, at the time they were crucial.
Your experiences can be viewed as either the luxury vehicle for the ride to the top of the mountain or the junk heap in which you repeatedly break down.
You choose the perspective that supports you.
The choice is always yours.
Here are some ways you can embrace the notion of family:
- Beneficial family connections are heart centered – decide who feels safe and supportive in your life and designate them your ‘family’.
- Define family on your terms – how to act and interact in ways that nurture your spirit.
- When it comes to other people’s expectations regarding family – it’s time to make your own rules!