§ We came to this world to LIVE OUT LOUD!
I Healed My Family Relationships (and How You Can Too)
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 for the holidays this month.
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.
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).
And now I’m just plain excited to see my parents and to have all three generations celebrating the holidays together.
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.
As unbelievable as it seems to me, it is not family any longer that triggers that inner child but a neighbor who has adopted us. Remembering that I have a kind voice is helpful as I found myself so triggered over the Thanksgiving holiday that I actually told him to “shut-up”! I probably have not used that word in 60 years and don’t want to ever again. I can express my boundaries kindly by sharing with him the behaviors of his that I find not only out of bounds but rude, annoying and old. He has announced he will be joining us for Christmas, again.
Your approach, so healthy.
Hi Elise, thanks for sharing! How did Christmas go? It’s amazing how we attract people into our lives so we can heal whatever we need to heal, even if it’s just to learn how to set boundaries in a loving manner. This often is very difficult work. Good for you for doing it! xoxo
Dear Natalie, your post comes just at the right time for me as I’m struggling with many emotions regarding the unsatisfying and painful relationship I have had with my father for many years. I took some distance from him after spending a very disappointing New Year holiday with him. To protect myself, I haven’t been in touch with him until a couple of weeks ago. And once again, it was very disappointing and I felt very hurt. For years I have been trying to accept that he’s just the way he is, trying to understand the reasons he’s that way and that we’re not going to be close but this last visit shows that I’m not doing very well. I’m really surprised to read that you’ve had family issues, I imagined you came from a very supportive and loving family. I admire how you’re honest and open about it. Makes me feel a little less lonely and gives me hope that even without a strong supportive family you can succeed and be happy. I shall read your post regularly in the coming days. Thank you for writing it.
Hi Sylvie, thanks for sharing so openly and from the heart! These patterns with our parents are so difficult to heal. What helped me is to really get clear what my inner little girl needed during every interaction with difficult family members and start to give it to her. I spoke up for her. I kept her away from difficult circumstances at times and most of all, I worked on helping her feel loved and lovable. I realized at some point that only I can give her what she needs. I can’t wait for my parents to do it, And as I stopped looking to them for the love that I needed, ironically they became more loving. I knew I had a serious breakthrough when I found myself joyful and in gratitude while I was meditating over EVERYTHING that has transpired in my life because it made me who I am today. And I endured physical, emotional and sexual abuse as a girl so it’s not a small thing to say. It doesn’t mean that I would choose all those circumstances if I was given a choice. It just means that I started to like the person I had become and I recognized that my empathy and compassion towards others and most of my wisdom came from the healing journey. To have you write that I seem like I had a supportive family makes me happy because it means that my inner child had a loving and supportive mama (me!) and we healed together. You can too! You can absolutely succeed in every area of your life! One step at a time… and with a lot of love and compassion for yourself. xoxo