Of all the subjects that seem to cause pain for us, family relationships are right at the top. So many of us have been raised with the notion that our support, love and encouragement will (and must) come from this group of humans (all too human humans!) and if it doesn’t, which by my experience, and that of most of the people that I talk with, is much more common, there is something wrong with us….or them.
I know this in my head, but am always surprised when I feel the little sting from lack of support or interest from them. This blog has been a teacher … no one in my family (siblings or parents) reads it…in one way it is a great freedom (I can share this with you!), in another, it is a definite hit to the ego. One of my sibs said, when I told her I was writing this,”Oh, that’s nice. I hate the word blog. Where did that come from?” I didn’t know where the word came from…didn’t care…that wasn’t the point! At that moment, I felt like I was about 10 years old saying to her, “Don’t you like my new dress?” and her saying “It’s ok…makes you look sort of fat.”
I used to lament that I wanted to live in a Norman Rockwell family (in simpler times with happier families)…until someone said that his family was also “messed up”. Jack Canfield was talking about families, and letting go of the belief that we cannot fully move into our lives until we get their approval, and he said, “Researchers say that 85% of families are dysfunctional so this becomes ‘so what’.”
It shouldn’t, but it does, come as a surprise that family members can be the last ones that want to see us change, move, grow….and maybe we don’t want to see them change either…one thing I do know is that I cannot hold onto to petty hurt feelings or resentments and expect my life to expand. I have lived long enough to realize that I cannot change anyone else so this is a lesson for me. I am committed to loving my family and to letting them go with as much support as I can muster, and when I cannot feel that support for them, I hope that they will go (grow, change, move) anyway and not hold it against me…after all, I too am one of those “all too human humans” at times.