Q: Why do you think people are born into families that they are never
meant to be a part of?
A: Wait – that’s a leading question! You’re telling me that you think people can be born into families by mistake? If so, I know what you mean! I’ve heard countless people swear that they’re adopted – they have nothing in common with their families – what was God thinking? Was this some kind of dumb joke? I used to kind of agree with the thinking that it was just a crapshoot which family we were born into – we didn’t have a choice. But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to see things differently. I love my family. A LOT. But at various times I’ve felt like I don’t belong, like I’m an oddball (now be nice!).
My world perspective seemed different, my views and opinions and even language didn’t quite fit the norm. When my mom was alive, I would do readings for her, healings for her, and send her my messages. We’d talk about my work, and what I was seeing, my current understandings. She was fabulous – supportive and loving. Once she told me that when people asked her what she thought about my work, she told them she respects it, even if she doesn’t quite understand everything I say. That’s an example of unconditional love, found in a family of origin situation. And unfortunately that may be rare.
Here’s what I think: I think we most definitely PICK the family we’re born into. I think it’s much like the same actors being in different productions – same people (souls), different plays (lives). We switch out parts; one life I’m the mom and you’re my child. The next life you’re the father and I’m your child. I think we have a great affinity for those closest to us – we are connected in love and are drawn to be with them, over and over again. Haven’t you ever met someone, and you’re like, “Wow, I really like you and I don’t even know you!”? I felt that way when I met my best friend Melissa. It was like we were picking up a conversation mid-sentence – pure comfort, love and unconditional support and acceptance. How is that possible if we haven’t ever had other adventures together?
So I think that first we pick our family members because we love them, and second we pick them because we choose to keep working things out with them. We come into this life wanting to work on and learn specific things, and our families are a fabulous means of accomplishing that, don’t you think? They drive you crazy – you keep doing the same things over and over again – nothing changes – they don’t EVER go away (even if you want them to), so you keep getting chances to change things, rewrite the script, so to speak. If these people were just casual friends, you could just walk away. But it’s harder to walk away from family. In a way, we’re stuck with them – that’s the blessing AND the curse.
If you’re having trouble with your family, I’d ask you to write a list of their names, then list all the things about each of them that drive you crazy. Be as specific as possible. Start with the person who drives you craziest. Think of times and situations that were especially bad. What did they say and do? What did you say and do? What was the result? Can you think of any times that your encounter with this person had a pleasant outcome? What was different? What would it mean in your life if you were to have a loving relationship with this person? Think closely about this one – sometimes we even LIKE the feeling of uproar – we get to bitch about them to everyone – SEE how horrible they are? They did this and this and this… if suddenly your relationship was healed, you wouldn’t have any of those juicy stories to pass on and complain about. You may miss it, even if you say you want things to be different.
If someone is especially hurtful to you, do you know of any current or past hurts that may have caused them to be unhappy? I always tell my nine-year-old, “Happy people aren’t mean.” Is it possible for you to show compassion toward them, be gentle with them, kind to them, regardless of how they treat you? Now, NOT if they are physically, emotionally, or verbally abusive – then you need to protect yourself and walk away. An interesting thing happened to me this past summer. My son was having trouble with a classmate. I told him first to ignore the boy if he was being mean. If that didn’t work, smile and just walk away. If that didn’t work, tell the boy firmly that when he’s nice you’ll talk to him. The next day the boy’s mother was waiting for me and started screaming at me at the top of her lungs. I ignored her. That didn’t work. I smiled at her and walked away. That didn’t work. She just kept screaming. I admit that kind of caustic energy shook me up for a minute, then I stepped back and thought about her. What an unhappy life she must have that makes her so angry, and to be angry at me, an almost stranger! I was filled with understanding and compassion. It wasn’t about me at all – her anger was about herself, and the choices she’d made.
If that sounds like your relationship with some (hopefully not ALL) of your family, realize that much of their anger is really a reflection of their own unhappiness and has little to do with you. The best thing you can do is keep your higher perspective and not stoop to their levels. On some level I believe angry people like that are actually screaming for our help and understanding. “Gentle words turn away wrath,” the Bible says, and I wholeheartedly agree. Love is the only thing that can heal hatred, hurt and anger. If you believe that you’re in your family for a reason, then use your intuitive skills to figure out what blessings and gifts you’ve gotten over the years. Think of how you can help others raise their love awareness. Be gentle with them and love them the best you can. They’re doing the best THEY can. I just know it. And you’re doing just beautifully too.
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