Does your family make you want to pull your hair out?
Well, you’re in good company. I have rarely talked to anyone who hasn’t, at one time or another, been frustrated with their family members.
Wayne Dyer says this about family:
How many of us have spent a lifetime trying to understand, get along with, make peace with, be understood by or simply communicate with our families to no avail? How many us have been disappointed, hurt, frustrated, or completely exasperated with one family member or another?
Take it from me – I do understand. I am the youngest of seven siblings – and almost ten years younger than the ones next to me in age. Essentially, I had the experience of growing up in a large family; and also as an only child. With numerous personalities within one family, there will always be issues, disputes, and fights; sometimes knock-down, drag-out fights!
However, we need to look at our families differently; this has helped me a great deal. It wasn’t until I realized that my family was less about people with whom I had to get along, have understand me or be extremely close to and much more about the spiritual and emotional work I have to do on this earth – in this physical journey.
In essence, we need to stop looking at our family members as people who should (there’s that word again – see my post on “Forget your Shoulds!”) be a certain way or understand us or be there for us. Our family members are this: Spiritual Bumper Cars.
Essentially, we are stuck in a perpetual game with them for this lifetime.
Have you ever noticed the big poles to which bumper cars are attached? There is a steering wheel within these small, colourful cars, but who are we kidding – we aren’t in control of those damn cars – not even our own! We go along steering, trying in vain to either hit into the others or avoid them, and all the while, we really have no control at all – nor can we remove our car from the game.
Hence, this is how we need to think of our family members – especially if there is dissonance between us and them. When we arrive on this earth, we have no control in which family we are born or what personalities the rest of them will have. We spend almost our entire lives in this Bumper Car game with them – sometimes managing to move around them; sometimes bumping into them and having a good laugh and sometimes, we get hurt when we bump into them too hard or vice versa.
What’s the good news about looking at our family members this way?
It takes the pressure off of us to have some deep, meaningful relationship (if you do, that’s wonderful – but many do not) and we can see them more objectively as the people with whom we are meant to do our spiritual and emotional work during our journey here on earth.
In fact, I believe that we are meant to bump up, crash into and even get hurt by these people we call parents, aunts, uncles, sisters, brothers and yes, even our own children. They are our reflections and our work. So, now you have permission to stop longing for them to change or understand them at every moment or even having a relationship with them at all. Of course, it is never good to hold on to grudges or resentment – this poison only hurts us – not them. If we need to forgive them, then we must do this for us – not them.
However, the next time you visit or spend time with your family members and you can view them as if in a game with a bunch of bumper cars around you, it may take a little pressure off and even be a little more fun during the experience.
If only when they bump into us and shake us to our core, could we laugh like we do in a game of good old bumpers cars!
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