My friend Carolynn sent me this link about family relationships. I don’t want to talk about my family on here any more as they are no longer a part of my life and I choose to now only focus on healthy relationships going forward. Yet, I just wanted to note a few interesting pieces from the post that I believe are applicable to all relationships.
For example, consider a problematic relationship between yourself and another family member. Suppose you hold the belief that you must be close to every family member simply because they’re related to you. Perhaps you’d never tolerate this person’s behavior if it came from a stranger, but if the person is a relative, then you tolerate it out of a sense of duty, obligation, or your personal concept of family. To push a family member out of your life might cause you to feel guilty, or it could lead to a backlash from other family members. But genuinely ask yourself, “Would I tolerate this behavior from a total stranger? Why do I tolerate it from a family member then?” Exactly why have you chosen to continue the relationship instead of simply kicking the person out of your life? What are the beliefs that perpetuate the problematic relationship? And are those beliefs really true for you?
I couldn’t agree with this more! If someone is unable to control his/her emotions and words, I do not have to continue to allow him/her in my life, even if we are related. This is my life… and I live for happiness and honesty.
On the other hand, if you find yourself with family relationships that are incompatible with your becoming your highest and best self, then excessive loyalty to your family is likely to be extremely disempowering. You’ll only be holding yourself back from growing, from achieving your own happiness and fulfillment, and from potentially doing a lot of good for others. If I retained a very close relationship with my birth family, it would be like putting a lampshade over my spirit. I wouldn’t be the person I am today.
It seems so easy to find people who discourage and try to disempower. Yet I agree that we can completely choose with whom we surround ourselves.
You see… when you say goodbye to a problematic relationship issue, you’re really saying goodbye to an old part of yourself that you’ve outgrown. As I became less compatible with my birth family, I also gradually dropped parts of myself that no longer served me. I drifted away from rigid religious dogma, from fear of risk-taking, from eating animals, from negativity, and from being unable to say, “I love you.” As I let all of those things pass from my consciousness, my external-world relationships changed to reflect my new internal relationships.
Excellent nuggets of wisdom. Carolynn, thank you for sharing.