That Thing

What’s “That Thing” that gets in the way. “That Thing” in which your pride exudes with luster. “That thing” that you just don’t want to re-experience. Most likely it has to do with people. What I have observed most often it is that in them which reflects back as insecurity or judgement.

I was speaking to a individual , let’s call him Edwardo, who at least in his eyes is  accomplished. I certainly would not challenge Edwardo on that subjective aspect.  Edwardo feels a sense of pride that he has become all this and more on his own merit. Possibly. His family is distant both geographically and emotionally. The distance I understood as mutual.

Edwardo speaks of his family as dysfunctional and with disdain. My question is who would Edwardo be without his family? Having a family without our consent creates emotional ties and patterns that influences one another’s behavior. Family systems pioneers such as Dr. Murray Bowen, Salvador Minuchin, Jay Haley, Milton Erickson and or Cloe Madanes,  would have their perspectives on the dysfunctional family interlocking dynamics.  I sum them up humbly in saying, our family influences our character.

We don’t want to give family members that credit, I understand. I have a few cutoffs in my family with triangles being form to create a bands of unity. I have read quotes that families are blessings, how important they are, how family is a unique gift. Let me tell you, not all family are blessings or gifts. Some are cruel and heartless. In that hardness one finds tenacity and creates resiliency.  Would we go up to those in our family that have hurt us and say; “Thanks your lack of love or the pain you caused in my life made me this person I am today.”

Who would Edwardo be without his family roots. Edwardo could not be who is is if not for his family with the good, the bad, and the ugly. I appreciate the quote by Steve Southerland that reads: I believe in process. I believe in four seasons. I believe that winter’s tough, but spring’s coming. I believe that there’s a growing season. And I think that you realize that in life, you grow. You get better.

Edwardo grew. I too have grown. I have grown in the way that although my childhood was filled with dysfunctional inclusive of  alcoholism,  sexually abused, emotional cutoffs, parentification and other not so great happenings I have chosen to grow and hold grudges. My parents were good enough parents despite the mayhem. My siblings, well let’s say we each had to protect ourselves – and that we did.

I do believe if forgiveness. If  possible forgive. Forgive not the actions; more so, forgive the person, they were trying to survive (however dysfunctional). That forgiveness does not have to mean placing yourself back in situations that were harmful before and have capacity to be harmful today. We are adults today with the capacity to choose to live beyond the memories of yesterday that we had stored behind the wall for protection.

What’s that thing that gets in the way? Oh, it’s me! It’s how I think that influencing how I feel that is impacting  my behavior and many times my health. I invite you to explore “that thing” and be free to live you best life yet.

Carpe Diem.