A Light here required a Shadow there. ~Virginia Woolf
Do you know who you are?
A family is like a puzzle, where each member is a unique shape and together must finds ways to fit and form the whole complete picture. You can think of your shape as your Role in the family, which reflects a specific collection of behaviors, attitudes and responsibilities. These characteristics are shaped by expectations and circumstances.
From early on, social forces prescribe a way of being. As children we adopt our role from how we experience safety and belonging, respect and worthiness, and having and using power. This early programming becomes our identity and the attractor patterns in our life. This is good news for some. For others, not so much.
While we are all ultimately responsible for ourselves and what will we make of our lives, our childhood mattered. We are each born with a blueprint for joy, to experience through relationships of giving and receiving. Those who arrive into adulthood with their blueprint intact, for the most part, enjoy a life aligned with purpose, happiness and prosperity.
Others have to find their way through a fractured system called "Not Enough". In this family system, roles and rules are confusing, important needs go unmet and innocence is risky. There is a deficiency from the top down that compromises its most vulnerable members. Intentional abuse and neglect are sometimes the cause - but more often harm and omission are the result of unfavorable events, lack of awareness and transgenerational inheritance. Most people would do better if they knew better.
While some family members seem to fare better than others, all members in this system derive their Beingness through exploitive patterns of feeling and behaving. There is deep Grief here, that seeks busy distraction and comfort in all the wrong people, places and things.
Understanding the role that circumstances have played in your sense of self and well-being is a game changer. Not so you can avoid responsibility, quite the contrary. With awareness you can begin to deconstruct the self-sabotaging programming that impedes real movement forward. You are allowed to externalize the shame and guilt, that you have taken in and worn as inferiority and inadequacy. You are allowed to let go of fear and feel compassion for YOURSELF and the losses that you have endured. You are allowed to love yourself with fierce loyalty, regardless of conditions or approval from others.
Life does not stand still. If you are authentically reaching and risking and loving and adventuring... you will encounter mistakes, loss, disappointment, failure, difference, rejection, confusion. But when you meet challenge from the view of Self Love, you grab life affirming tools such as clarity and deliberate choice, and shout from the roof top... self abandonment doesn't live here any more!
As you heal, your shape changes. Sometimes you don't fit quite so well in the family puzzle or with old friends and lovers. Sometimes your growth inspires others to make changes -and there is nothing more beautiful than a family or relationship that can grow together through the fire. But this work requires INSIGHT- the ability for each person to see and own their part in things. Denial makes Insight impossible - and therefore some people will be incapable of change. But regardless of what others will do, you must be willing to stand in your awakening and truth. Alone if that's what it is - because there is no other way. You know- you've tried them all.
This Spiritual Awakening has been called many things such as the Road Less Traveled, the Heroes Journey, and the Coming Home, just to name a few. But I understand it to be Grief's promise.
The only journey worth walking is the one home to wholeness, and the liberation of your True Self Nature.
If not now, then when?