FAMILY AS EXPERIENCE…BEYOND “HAPPY” FAMILY

Many people want to have better relationships with their parents, children, partner and siblings, dreaming of their ideal “happy” family figures.  So they view their current situation as “problematic” and they want to improve it, because they believe that those relationships are not ideal.

What expectations do you have about your family members?

Expectations such as a sweet and kind mum, strong and protective dad, obedient children, helpful brother or sister and caring, loving spouse and… also expectations about yourself.

If they could only be like “this”, if I could only be like “that” then we could make our family “happy”, right?

You are constantly comparing your real family with your idealised “happy” family and while working hard to make your family “happy”, you are focused on what you do not have. The question is, does that really help?

Have you ever thought that you may be imposing your idea of what you want them to be and do, in order to fit into your own version of a “happy” family? Or have you ever thought that you might be trying to make your family members “happy” at your own expense? Or maybe you are all acting according to expectations to maintain your family culture which is supposed to feel “happy” even though each individual may not be content?

When you judge the interactions between yourself and others as either good or bad, you do not have room to choose another way of viewing the relationships.  Instead you react every moment of your life.  In reaction we are limited to only two choices: either align with or resist the interactions even though you actually have more choices to create something different between you and them.

Our own judgement of ourselves and others can be what we perceive to be good, right or valuable. It is, however, still judgment.  It creates a way of thinking that things are supposed to be a certain way.  We judge automatically without thinking about the source of the judgment such as our cultures, roles, identities and labels such as child, sibling, wife, husband or parent.

When you make the judgement of parents, children and spouse so real and become the only way to view yourself and the others, you are actually buying into that judgement and creating a judgement of yourself based on their judgement.  It becomes a cycle of someone else’s judgment becoming yours. The question is “Whose judgement was that in the first place?”

The key is  to be aware of what is going on and what they truly are right now, and that if you do not judge them, then you retain the ability to make a choice.  An automatic reaction will never get you out of the loop.

You bravely thought you could change them, if you love them enough, based on your judgement that they need to change. When others do not change according to your wishes, you may feel guilt, despair and disappointment.  However that was not your job in the first place.  You cannot change people if they do not want to change, even though sometimes they may know that they need to do something.

When you try to change them, they will resist you like an immoveable rock.

Due to your judgement, how much pain are you unnecessarily carrying around in your life?

What if life is not about what you experience, it is about the experience itself?  The less judgements you make about yourself, others and your interactions, the more you can appreciate your family members for the experience you have both with and through them.  Don’t forget they are also experiencing you too.

What if you do not need to keep telling yourself the story imposed  by your judgement? What if you no longer need to work hard towards your “happy” family,  imagining that what you have now is not what you think it should be?

A lot of times, being with your family members, you might be experiencing unknown worlds.  The world of sensitivity, world of need to “succeed”, world of helplessness, world of perfection, world of stubbornness, world of openness, world of ambition, world of boredom, world of sadness, world of need to “fix problems” and so on.

If you do not judge their worlds, you can experience all those with ease.  This can only happen when you don’t judge the worlds of your own and then you can experience your and their worlds with ease.  You actually have the same worlds in you.  You are just not aware of them or you judge them so harshly, so you do not want to look at them.  After all, there is no separation between them and you.

Without judgment…..you can be just who you are and they can be just who they are.  Family is experience of everything about them and YOU at the same time.

This could be much more expansive and colourful than striving for your ideal “happy” family where everything is determined by your judgement.

This could be the greatest gift to you…

Contact me for any questions about my blog or Intergenerational parenting.

Please visit my website to know more about True Colours Parenting.

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