Healing Family Dynamics
By Laura Castanza and Julia George ©2009
Every year, Mothers and Fathers are celebrated on two separate, designated days in springtime where we honor two primary familial relationships; the relationship with our parents. It is at this particular time that we have the opportunity to reflect and observe exactly how far we have progressed in our own healing. By joining together “The Family” and “The Dynamics” that go along with us, as human beings, it can be an amazing arena of awareness whether we are spending time with our family members, or alone with the thoughts that arise from this annual reminder of the two main players that influenced the beginning of our lives.
Joy, sorrow, anxiety, judgment, and anger, are just a few of the many emotions traveling within our psyche when we think about reuniting with our family. Often times there are hidden memories concerning our history that haunt us, even when we’ve experienced the joy of reunion. When all of these emotions are attached to thoughts of the past, they can interrupt our peace of mind, even when we have consciously worked to resolve our emotional issues for many years.
The best part surrounding these times, is that we can take this opportunity to reach new levels of understanding when we look at the patterns that create family dynamics and work to change our reaction. It is the ticket to freedom.
Idealism is one of the “mind tricks” that interferes with our healing. Since many of us grew up in highly dysfunctional families, we may be inclined to create opposite scenarios in our current lives by attracting relationships that countered our upbringing. If we grew up in a household of substance/work addiction, neglect, and/or disorder, may now have the illusion of physically living in a pristine white-picket fence house with a sober and affectionate mate. This image can appear to be a beautiful thing; but until the core issues from our upbringing have been acknowledged and worked with, the illusion eventually unravels as negative feelings and shadow characters emerge like a tsunami when we come in contact with our family or when our “ideal” mate and closest friends exhibit any familial traits. From our idealism, we are prone to play out a variety of roles and titles. These are the name tags, labels, and the many hats we wear within our social circles, including our family.
“Father”, “Husband”, “Mother”, “Sister”, “Peacemaker”, “Jokester”, and “Fixer”, are just a few of the many identities we create. With that, comes an enormous responsibility as we painstakingly try to maintain our ideal as well as control the perceptions of others. All the acting and staging, therefore masking our true self, creates a false foundation that will crumble as our unresolved issues are destined to be revealed through our family interactions.
Projection is the final spin of this cycle. What is born from our idealism [roles and titles], now is projected back onto us. Through our own creation, we engage in a reactionary process of what others believe us to be, keeping us in a perpetual state of discord. The “You Should” and the “I am” become verbal volleys that lead to a cycle of disappointment and frustration time and time again. Most often we become overtaken by the sea of emotions and flail about like a drowning victim. We cannot possibly live up to the expectations of our self and what others believe us to be because we have yet to stop the madness and look within our self to experience who we really are. Having a well developed sense of humor can be a saving grace at times like these by detaching ourselves from our emotions and seeing the “players in the story”; the “script” can be rewritten and patterns broken.
As the Universe is benevolent and graces us with endless opportunities to heal, and our family is foundational in our being, it is important that we reach a loving place within our self in regards to them. We may not be able to reunite physically with our family, but we can forgive and cultivate healthier relationships with others around us who represent them.
The first step is to take total responsibility for our part. We can acknowledge our family of origin as part of who we are and the story of our life. With the abominable, there is also the admirable, and we have the ability to live virtuously or wickedly. It is our choice. This recognition will unchain and release our soul, giving us our deserved freedom to heal. Otherwise, we remain stuck in resentments that will keep us chained to a carousel of chaos.
When we wake up to awareness and take responsibility for our self, we open up to a vast array of choices. We can now embrace our story and move forward with a broader perspective. We will intuitively know we are not bound any further by our birth family, and it will take time to feel differently about it. All the issues we face concerning our families do not disappear, they transform.
Sometimes we must physically remove our self from people and any associated dysfunction to prompt the change. Transforming our perspective and feeling differently is a continuous process and we require solid support systems to aid in our healing. This can be found through one-on-one counseling, support groups, and within healthy relationships. Recognizing we need help is our soul’s cardinal quest and the correct venues will arise to support our spiritual path.
In pursuing this path, we may choose to include our family through the participation of family functions or graciously bow out in order to take care of our self. The only obligation we have is to our soul and its healing. We can be perceived as selfish, but in reality we are practicing self love; the only love that accepts and loves others for who they are.
Creating harmonious familial relationships begin with the delicate and dedicated care of our self. Our dedication to do so is imperative within every aspect of our life or we will continuously and subconsciously create scenarios for the exact purpose of healing these root issues.
When we decide to realize and accept that our world is made up of people who were raised by the perceptions of people who were raised by the perceptions of the people before them, and so on…, we begin to see the cycle that creates the pain, confusion and ultimately the healing of ourselves, our children and our planet. By becoming our own new and improved version of what a mother and father truly represents, we are equipped to put to rest any dysfunction and replace it with Love, Compassion, and Forgiveness. And “that” is something to celebrate!
For more information or to discuss this article one-on-one, contact Julia George/Aquarian Age @ 561.750.9292eness.com