We all know that the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree. And yes, in this scenario, you are the apple and your family is the tree. In order for you to design a beautiful relationship with yourself in all areas of your life, you have to deal with the tree.
Not what you wanted to hear? I get it. It’s a lot easier to pretend that your family “stuff” has been dealt with or packed away and in the past (even when it’s a mess). But what if this statement were true: “Who you are in your relationship with your family is who you are (and how you show up) with everything in your life.”
That would mean everything is connected and that addressing your past is critical to your overall health and happiness.
It’s like when you go to the doctor for the first time and they ask you about your medical history. They want to know your DNA history with cancer, diabetes, heart disease, etc. so they can be aware of it and prevent it from happening to you. Of course, you will agree this is important. Having that knowledge, will affect the choices you make and the way you take care of yourself.
What about your emotional DNA: the repeating patterns that have plagued your family for generations? For example, issues like money, cheating, divorce, infertility, feuding siblings, addictions, etc.? Do you think emotional DNA is passed on like physical DNA? Well, in the Handel Method we teach you how it IS passed on. Your lineage and family dynamics are impacting who you are in your life and the choices you make.
The fact is, we inherit our behaviors from a set of principles that we learn from our family, but it’s our job to evolve what’s not working. Why? Well, if you don’t stop your family’s patterns then they will repeat with your children and their children and their children. For example, if you hate your sister, what makes you think that your little girls are going to get along? You don’t know.
Now who’s going to break those patterns? Someone has to. How about YOU? By doing this, you will not only evolve your lineage, you’ll make a great life for yourself on the way.
So where do you start?
1) Go through your family tree (mom, dad, sisters, brother, cousins, grandparents) and rate your relationship with each person on a scale from 1-10. How much are you loving them? Respecting them? Admiring them? Do you trust them? Have you discussed things you wished were different from the past? How generous are you being with them? What do they think of you? All of that goes into the rating.
Start with one family member. For example, let’s start with that sister who averages a “6” on your scale. What are the dynamics that are at play in your relationship with her? Write this down.
2) See your own arrogance in the relationship. Where are you justifying not liking your sister? Where are you judging her? Write it down.
3) Write out how you believe you’ve ‘tried’ in the relationship. In what way? How do you defend your belief that you’ve done everything possible to make this relationship great? For example, “I’m the one who always calls” or “I’m a giver and she is a taker.”
4) “What have you not forgiven?” Maybe you snuck out one night when you were in high school and your sister told your parents. Is that moment stuck in your mind? It’s probably time to confess that to her and figure out what happened. You both need to tell the same story or at least know each other’s versions.
5) How do you think you’re better? Chances are there is a lot of judging going on. It’s important to recognize this. Do you think that you’re smarter, more successful, more cultured? Make a note of the ways you are comparing and coming out better (or worse) in your opinion.
6) Scan all of your other relationships in your life: friends, significant other, children, etc. and make notes on how any dynamics in those relationships remind you of the one you’re analyzing here. Is there a character trait that keeps coming up? Is this a pattern that keeps repeating in your life?
I know these are tough, vulnerable questions but they’re worth it.
So, why do many of us avoid working on our family?
Because it isn’t easy work. Working on your family is about knowing yourself and forgiveness. We humans tend to run from the truth and don’t comfortably forgive. Most of us would rather be self-righteous, hold onto our stories, be fake about it and say we’re just too different than deal with fixing the relationships deeply. But why this work is so important is because this is where you’ll start to change the relationship with the person in the mirror: you.
The same girl that can’t seem to hold onto a friendship or who married the wrong man is the same kid who fought with her sister or rejected her crazy mother. In order to heal that little girl and help her grow up, you need to deal with your family. Through coaching and family work, you will start to see how everything’s connected and that life is about learning lessons and evolving yourself.
It is up to us to author who we are and who we will be in our lives.
Be the one to step up and start evolving your family relationships. Register for my FREE teleseminar, Family Matters on May 6th at 12pm ET. If you can’t attend live, a recording will be available to listen for free until midnight ET on May 7th.