They say that pain travels through families until someone is ready to feel it. At times, we may not think we are ready, but the undeniable truth is that we feel it!
Today we live in a world where many of us are quick to solve problems as they arise yet, we often fail to reflect on them once they have been dealt with.
This tendency can lead us to a cycle of repeating struggles and finding ourselves back at the same “good enough” point time and time again.
In my own journey, I have come to understand that facing the uncomfortable truths and delving into my own mess is crucial for paving the way towards a brighter and more fulfilling future.
Lately, I've been looking back over the combined pain my family has endured over our lifetime so far, and it becomes clear as to why I am feeling its impact so strongly.
Each item on that list (see below) represents a struggle that has shaped us into the individuals we are today.
It's undeniable that the weight of those experiences has affected us all in our own way.
I choose not to be held back by the limitations of un-resourceful thinking and behaviour. I recognise that such limitations not only harm me but also those around me.
So ... instead of settling for good enough and replaying the cycle of suffering, I choose to do the necessary work towards breaking free.
Part of this work involves stepping into the world of those who have carried these burdens for so long. I think it is essential for me to develop the deepest level of compassion for them for, I cannot fathom the weight they have carried, the sacrifices made, or the challenges they have faced.
To all who have endured the following hardships (and more), know that I see you!
- Leave their country or the place they call home (either by choice or not)
- Learn a foreign language in order to communicate or, be told not to speak your native language.
- Change your name or let go of cultural practices to fit in, adapt or belong.
- Have your parents separate
- Separate from your own partner
- Been cheated on, or been the unfaithful one
- Care for a sick parent, nurse them and bury them
- Care for a sick sibling, nurse them and bury them
- Support someone with a mental illness, medical illness, drug addiction or incarceration
- Be the one living with a mental illness, medical illness, drug addiction or incarceration
- Been bullied at work/school
- Been taken advantage of or, violated
- Been lied to
- Been restrained or silenced
- Felt unloved, abandoned, ridiculed, or rejected
- Felt different and didn’t belong
- Unable to feel safe, heard or supported
- Felt threatened, or abused in any way
- Felt misunderstood or judged
- Watched your children/grandchildren separate, fall out or move away
- Have conflict with or falling out with loved ones or friends
- Struggled to make ends meet
- Grew up without your parents or raised children on your own
- Carry one or more (or worse) of these trauma’s into your adult life
The resilience it must take to face each day, doing the best with the resources at hand, is truly remarkable.
However ... as a bystander, I also understand the discomfort that arises when someone’s suffering manifests in ways that make us feel uncomfortable.
You may find yourself casting judgement or feeling disappointment, fear or even anger. You may even act out or withdraw and in turn, unintentionally abandon them.
I want you to know that I genuinely understand where these emotions come from because I have been there myself.
I have felt the burden of their struggles including my own, and the triggers they bring.
I have carried my own stories, my own blame and at times have felt utterly helpless.
But in my situation, when confronted with their hardships, I now choose to look at them through the lens of love.
Because I acknowledge the incredible strength it takes to preserver and do their best even if I think I know what’s best.
(because I can't make them hear a message, they are not yet ready to receive)
One way in which I do this is asking myself a simple yet powerful question:
“What would love do?”
By contemplating this question, love becomes the guiding force and instead, we can automatically shift our perspective and stop unwittingly surrendering to animosity.
This does not mean that you must agree with, accept or allow ongoing behaviour that causes you harm.
Because you can still love someone through disappointment, have healthy boundaries and be there for them in ways that feel right for you.
If this has resonated with you in any way, I encourage you to ask yourself .. what would love do?
Disclaimer - I am not a specifically trained trauma informed Coach or Healer.
I am a Personal Growth Coach with lived experience who uses a holistic blend of Neuro-linguistic Programming, Meta dynamics, Positive Psychology and Life Coaching.
I help people who have a hunger for improvement, find clarity in the direction of their lives by learning how to think and behave in ways that drive them forward rather than, being held back by their personal limitations or blocks so that they can, confidently embrace the future and thrive.
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