From “The Healing Show” Series #02: Healing Emotional Childhood Memories
EPISODE #: Family Appearances – Honestly peaceful or quietly festering?
This message is about being honest with yourself and others regarding how close your family is not. This message falls into the category of Inner Child Healing, because the dynamics of family members getting along or not, go back to childhood.
Those people who have a close family or think they have a close family, can sometimes wear it like a badge and show off about it: “we get together every week (or however often); we always buy each other presents for special occasions; we always stay in touch and contact other family members who are going through a hard time”. They can make those people who don’t have a close family, feel like they’re inadequate or under pressure to act like their family is close as well, just to feel ‘normal’.
What is probably more ‘normal’ is that most families are dysfunctional and therefore most families are not close. It’s healthy for us to come back to our heart and mind about the truth we know about how our family really functions and LET THAT BE WHAT IT IS.
Maybe there are some people in the family who are talking to each other and other family members who aren’t talking to each other. Maybe those family members who aren’t talking to each other, do not for excellent reasons. This fact about how families might not get along, is especially important for days like Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, birthdays, anniversaries, Easter and Christmas (or similar celebrations for non-Australian readers and listeners).
There can be a lot of pretending on those days and many family members who are present at such events don’t actually want to be there. Families who aren’t close might have these big family gatherings because they’re expected not to talk about any of the problems anybody has. They’re expected to pretend that everything is ok just for one day.
Individual family members who don’t get along with others, particularly with the parents, are better off having it out than in, rather than pretending they’re happy for that one day for the sake of others. Better to be honestly peaceful in a gathering rather than quietly festering. Most people quietly fester, then have to deal with their inner conflict for days or weeks leading up to or after the event.
If an individual doesn’t want to be in touch or catch up with their family for one or any special event, they should feel allowed to do so. They need to give themselves permission not to be in touch or not to go and feel good about it. There is too much pleasing others and not enough pleasing oneself.
Pleasing oneself can be viewed as selfish and unkind, instead of being viewed as the person looking after their own heart, because nobody else is. The emotional and mental suffering that can come with big family events is not worth it and should not have to be tolerated.
The individual who does not want to be in contact with other family members due to very real problems, are seen as the bad one, the uncaring child or sibling, they are judged. It seems more correct and more acceptable in many societies, to pretend. Pretending is good and honesty is bad. It really needs to be the other way around at all times but it takes much courage to do this.
If the courage can be worked toward and summoned at the right moment; if the individual can stand up for what they feel is right for them, they would be more at peace and feel stronger in themselves and the world would be a better place.