This series of posts has turned out to be an eye opener. Today we will review the last week of posts about choosing our family. As I have said – I originally thought this would be one post. Then I realized all the background that would be necessary. Today will be more or less the original post that I had planned last week. But first…
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We started this series of posts over a week ago when we started to look at the idea of simplifying our life by choosing the people we want in our life. This idea quickly became a week long series in which we heard about functional and nonfunctional families, how to examine our family, strategies for dealing with non-supportive members of our blood family, and finally why it is important to choose our family.
Today we will step through those ideas in one continuous flow.
The steps – Functional families
Our first step in simplifying our lives through our family is to understand functional and nonfunctional families. We recognize a functional family because the members are mutually supportive. They are truly interested in the learning and growth of each member.
Although there is a leader in the functional family, that leader is supportive rather than authoritative. The hallmark of a functional family is that it breaks up and reassembles easily when one member decides to leave. The functional family knows that each individual must pursue their own path of learning and growth. Any member returning to the family is welcomed with open arms and with no strings attached.
The nonfunctional family usually has one or two authoritative members that dominate the family. The other members adjust their behaviors to compensate for the authoritative individuals. These interlocking false self behaviors allow the family to achieve a delicate stasis that falls apart when one member leaves the family. The house of cards that is the interlocking behaviors falls apart and the members of the family blame the one who has chosen to leave for causing all the pain. The members of the family frequently do not allow this individual to return to the family without a lot of blame and/or many strings attached.
The next step is to examine your family. Most families are not totally functional. Nor are there that many families that are completely dysfunctional. Most families have characteristics of each.
Examine your family and attempt to understand where it is functional and where it is nonfunctional. This will help you in understanding how to choose which members of the family, if any, from whom you need to separate.
After you have examined your family you will most likely have found a few members with whom you have a very painful relationship. These relationships are painful because you cannot find a way to be mutually supportive of each other. Many times this is because the other family member will not accept you for who and what you are.
When the pain becomes too great we realize we must separate from the relationship. Remember that they will most likely blame you for hurting them when you make the separation. You must remember that you cannot hurt their true self. Only their false self can be hurt. When they blame you for the hurt it is their false self placing the blame. You are only separating from their false self. You can never separate from their true self.
There will be other relationships with members of our family that we want to maintain. However, these relationships will also have pain in them. In these relationships we are choosing the pain because the relationship is valuable enough to us that we can accept the pain.
The important point here is to understand our reason(s) for maintaining the relationship. Eventually the pain of the relationship will become so great that we will ask ourself “Why am I doing this?” Your answer must be immediate. You must know why you are choosing the pain. Otherwise, you will begin a downward spiral of blaming the family member for your pain. That will not be good for you or the relationship.
Since we are making the choice about which of our blood family members we want in our life, why don’t we just create a new family? Once we have learned some of the techniques to deal with our blood family relationships we can apply them to a new family.
By choosing who we want in our new “chosen” family we are simplifying our life. We no longer have to deal with people that are not supportive of us. We choose to cultivate only those close relationships that are mutually beneficial. We create a small circle of people with whom we can relax, relate, and truly enjoy.
We choose for our true happiness when we choose only those relationships that help us learn and grow. These are two way relationships and those in our new “chosen” family are learning and growing because we are helping them on their paths.
You may say that I am a dreamer but I know I am not the only one. I hope some day you will join us and the world will be as one.
That’s all for this week. We are expecting a wet, windy, and cold coastal storm in the northeast US this weekend. It looks to be a weekend of watching movies and maybe some cooking projects. Have a great weekend!
Until Monday –
Es kava turen hai
We work towards an identical goal.
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