Is your family holding you back?

Our surroundings shape us, no doubt about it.

As little ones, we learn from our care givers how to see, taste, and interpret the world. We automatically look through their lens. We see the world the way they see the world.

As we get older, we develop our own point of view; we change habits and swap the lens – or so we believe. It happens slowly and unconsciously, and we often we aren’t aware of which attitudes and lenses we let go, and which ones we hold onto.

Let me tell you a story: One of my patients (let’s call her Martha) showed up at my door suffering burn-out and chronic bladder infections. After we had taken care of the worst of her symptoms, she found the strength to look deeper. What she discovered was she had spent her whole life living for her family. It wasn’t obvious – she was successful and had the certificates to prove it. But she really had no idea who she was or what she wanted.

The more we unearthed, the better she felt physically and emotionally.

One day she remembered something her friends had told her: “Something is strange with your family. It almost seems like you are the parent of your parents.” Since more than one of her closest friends had mentioned it, she thought there must be something to it.

We explored more through rituals, writing and homeopathy. With lots of support, she was able to see that her own parents had never been allowed to be themselves either. This probably went back generations.

How do you learn to live authentically when you have no role model?

In order to grow, we need to separate from our family. This doesn’t mean turning your back on your loved ones. It’s about calling back your energy. Your energy belongs to you and only to you. Yes, you can help others – but you risk extinguishing your own light if you feel drained all the time. Some simple questions to ask are: Where does my energy go? How do I protect it, and recharge?

Back to Martha. Her strong will and big heart helped her weather the storms raging inside of her. She was afraid, she was angry, she was sad. But in the end she made peace with all of it. She realized she wouldn’t be here, and wouldn’t be who she was without her parents. They were the ones who gave her a feeling heart, endurance, stubbornness and the will to stand up for herself. It just took a bit of time for her to realize it, and own it.

Think about Martha the next time you feel like your family is to blame for your circumstances. And remember – you have the free will to change this. With the right support, you can get past it, and rise above it. You are able to do this.

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