§ We came to this world to LIVE OUT LOUD!

How I Healed My Family Relationships (and You Can Too!)

Dec 19, 2023

Relationships can be hard.

We are often reminded of this more than ever as the holidays approach.

No matter which holidays you celebrate, you most likely get together with family and friends. You so badly want it to be whatever idyllic version of the holidays you have in your head but chances are there’s tension, old simmering resentments, difficult emotions.

I have had a difficult and traumatic childhood, followed by many years of painful family visits and reunions.

So I get it.

That’s why I was excited to realize that not only was my last visit with my parents in October wonderful but I’m really excited to see them again soon.

I have come a long way.

We have come a long way as a family.

When I reflect on how we turned all that pain into love, compassion and fun, I think it comes down to the fact that I took responsibility for my pain and healed it.

Sure, I could have stayed in victim mode and blamed my parents for all that went wrong in my childhood. And truth to tell, I did for many years. I spent years in therapy to understand and heal. I still have to work at it sometimes.

Yet, at some point I realized a few really important things and this changed everything:

1. I believe that my soul came to this world to learn the lessons it needed to learn so as to learn unconditional love towards myself, and eventually, others.

I believe that my soul chose my parents as the people who would help me learn those lessons. So it’s up to me. I can heal and transform the pain of my childhood, learn these lessons, and be free or I could stay stuck.

I chose freedom. I chose to transform the pain into compassion, for myself and others. I chose to help others heal through my hard-won wisdom. I freed myself.

2. My parents were doing the best they could with the knowledge and resources they had.

They too were highly traumatized. They too never learned the skills needed for a loving and healthy family dynamic. Yet, they loved me and they tried in their own way to be the best parents they could be.
I started to feel compassion.

3. Compassion doesn’t mean codependence or lack of boundaries.

I can love them and I can understand where their pain comes from but I need to do what I need to protect myself and my girls emotionally.

Sometimes that meant not spending time together as a family (when I didn’t feel I was strong enough to handle it and not throw my inner child under the bus).

Sometimes that meant limiting the time we spent together. Sometimes, it meant having my therapist or other healers on stand-by to support me as I spent time with my family. Sometimes, it meant telling my family what behaviors I would or wouldn’t tolerate and being willing to leave a family gathering if behaviors unacceptable to me happened.
It wasn’t easy but we all learned over the years and began respecting each-others boundaries and needs. Family visits became easier and less painful. It has been years since I stressed over an upcoming family gathering.

And now I’m just plain excited to see my parents and to have all three generations celebrating the holidays together.

It was a painful journey but it was also a journey in healing, self-discovery, courage and strength.And it was totally worth it! Because I wouldn’t be the woman, mom, wife, friend and leadership coach that I am today had I not had the family that I had and lived the circumstances that I lived.

My heart is full of gratitude for all of it.

What about you? Which relationship can these holidays help you heal??

As always, you know I love to hear from you so feel free to leave a comment below or get in touch.

Happy Tuesday!




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