Our family shapes who we are and who we become. Whether positive or negative, close or torn apart: we are a base of our childhood.
A former friend used to say that he was who he was because of his father. His father was an alcoholic, a liar and a non-existent parent while he was a child. He used his teenage and adult life to strive to be better than his dad. He swore he would never become the person his dad was, and did an amazing job at doing so.
I swore I never wanted to become my mother. But to a degree, I did. I am like her in many ways. I believe in being fair, hard work, love, loyalty and being surrounded by family. I believe in curfews, rules, breaking rules and having fun. I always include my family. I tell the truth. I have become a version of my mother.
Different friends of mine love their families, hate their families, they live close or far away from them. But whatever the situation is – they are a part of their family. Always.
Although our family is our base, I am also a believer in change. In an interview I watched this morning with Kris Carr and Marie Forleo, they mentioned finding your voice. Kris said “it’s not a matter of finding your voice, but rather giving yourself permission to use it.” It’s so true. We grow up in our families – as the child – and when we are grown adults with families of our own, we are still “the child” when we visit our homes. She meant this in the blogosphere, or in our “brand” but I mean it in both our work AND our family. Sometimes, even when we find our voice, we are not able to fully express it due to family constraints.
Like it or not – they are where you come from. It doesn’t mean that you will become your mother, or fall into the same patterns as your family. But by being with them, you have a base from your childhood. If you break the pattern of your family’s life, you learned the pattern from them and then willed yourself to create a new life. If you created positive from the negative, you were affected by the negative and changed for the better. They shape you.
For some of us, we are very lucky and blessed. My entire life has revolved around my family. I am equally as blessed because my husband grew up in the same way – family bonds and ties mean everything. Together, we are creating the best family for ourselves possible. We believe in doing things as a unit and a team. We believe that by working together, and using love as our base, we can achieve anything!
I know many people who live the opposite. Their lives are full of “mandatory” family get-togethers, fake smiles and long drives. There are days when I have to fake a smile or two, but my family always knows when I am not being genuine. They can read my bad moods, make me laugh and make me smile. We operate as a unit and a team. We love one another deeply. We make each other laugh, have inside jokes, tons of memories and the best grandmother anyone could ever ask for. At 81 years old, she doesn’t look or act a day over 63!
Be grateful for your family. Whether you had a bad childhood or past, or an amazing and loving one, be grateful. Give gratitude straight from your heart and be thankful for all of the lessons. They truly shaped you to become who you are in this moment. You are a product of your own strength, challenges, changes and experiences, but your base is made up largely of your past and what you took from it.
If you’re close to your mom, call her today.
If your grandmother is your best friend, let her know.
If your uncle ran away from your family and broke your hearts, forgive him.
If your papa was an alcoholic, let it be. Let it go.
Unleash your throat chakra. Our throat chakra controls our communications. The things we say and the things we wish we could say. Write a letter, burn it or throw it in the ocean. Allow those words to be heard and then let it go. Move on. Use it as a lesson. Allow those lessons to be just that: an experience. Then let it be and move on to something more positive and productive.
Live the best life you can. Don’t look back with regret. Write those letters, get it all all! Scream into the woods, scream in shower. LET IT ALL OUT AND THEN LET IT ALL GO!
Surround yourself instead with love.
Be thankful and grateful for your family. No matter who they are.
Get out there – do yoga & make life sparkle!