Have you ever stayed awake at night thinking what you should have said during that conversation with so-and-so?
Do you ever think it’s time you stopped caring so much about what other people think?
I recently had a challenging interaction with a family member and I thought perhaps you’d be able to relate. I love my mom and am blessed to have her in my life, yet we are very different, and she can be overbearing at times. We have been on good terms for the past several years; however, she still operates from her old programs, while I have successfully changed mine. It took me the greater part of my life to find my own voice. And now, I have no reservations about speaking my truth even if it isn’t always well-received.
When I asserted my boundaries with my mom, her reaction was indignant and dismissive, much like when I was a child. I stood my ground and accepted the fact that she may not ever truly understand me or my perspective, and THAT IS OKAY! Even though I’ve been able to stand my ground with her over the past several years, it doesn’t make these interactions comfortable. And yet, I AM OKAY with that!
Years ago, I would’ve gone on a downward spiral of anger, guilt, people-pleasing, and self-loathing after buying into my mom’s passive aggressive behaviors. Thinking ridiculous thoughts, feeling victimized, and wasting time asking Why?
I used to feel like the black sheep of the family. Today, I think of myself as the magical unicorn. It may sound a little ‘out there’, yet I share this because there is a lot of stretching that goes on when you start shedding outdated labels and patterns. These processes do take some imagination and a little magic, too! Today I am blessed to have my own family, with my husband and two children, who love me unconditionally.
What’s so interesting about family relationships is that they give us tremendous opportunities for growth. I’m not talking about the lovely growth of a flower blooming. I’m referring to the unseen, gnarled roots of a tree pushing down through the earth. The kind of growth that is unsightly, that hurts, and reminds us we are human and here to experience the full spectrum of emotions. Many of these roots begin in childhood and continue throughout our lives, which gives a new perspective of the phrase ‘Family Tree.’ Ultimately, this deeper growth can help us to stand tall and develop into who we are truly meant to be.
One misconception about healers is that they are somehow above feeling pain or disappointment or that they don’t experience conflict in their lives. While healers do vibrate at an exceptionally high level, it doesn’t mean they are immune to feeling pain and disappointment. In fact, many healers are sensitives and feel emotions very acutely. What it usually means is that they are able to see these experiences through the eyes of LOVE… love for themselves (first and foremost), then love for their family members no matter what baggage they carry or how they act.
Our greatest teachers are often the ones who have caused us the most pain. It doesn’t mean we have to agree with them. It doesn’t even mean we have to nurture relationships with them. It simply means it’s in our highest good to see the value in the lessons.
I’ll teach you a little secret… When I am dealing with a “difficult” person of any kind, or a difficult moment with someone I love, I picture this person as a little baby… pure, innocent, unaware, and yes, lovable. It helps me return to a place of compassion and detach from any unnecessary emotional entanglement. Above all, it helps me lead with LOVE.
I love my mom. At the same time, I can stand strong in the boundaries that I set and no longer fall for residual negativity of any kind whether it’s conscious or not. I no longer lie awake ruminating over what I should have said or done.
I am FREE to be ME and can trust in what I feel and how I express it.
As the holiday season approaches, many of us are expected to spend more time with family. It’s important to stay mindful of your own sensitivities and lead with LOVE — first toward yourself and then extend it out to others.
P.S If this message would inspire someone you know, please pass it on!