Yesterday I gathered with many family members to share, celebrate, and uphold tradition that has been a part of our family for many generations.
Everyone’s got traditions like that. We get together (or we don’t) and it happens like this.
One thing I love about my amazing and very big family is how much they’ve changed since I began to question my thinking.
I used to think they were critical, competitive and harsh. I knew they loved me, and cared about me deeply.
But I’d get sort of “prepared” when on the way to family events.
You know, kind of bolster up for probing questions, uncomfortable exchanges, annoying mannerisms.
People get hurt at those big family dinners, have you noticed?
The thing is….now, when I observe my family both in the present and in the past….they come out looking pretty freakin’ incredible.
They are generous, caring, creative, fascinating, supportive, curious, kind, direct and hilarious….just about everything I ever wanted a family to be.
And these are the SAME PEOPLE I used to feel a little frightened of, as a “group”.
Gosh. What changed?
Uh, yah. That would be me.
Family is one of the most intriguing places for inquiry ever.
People come to work with me all the time on family, and specific members of the family. These people drive them bonkers.
Here is a very common thought about family, that I used to believe, whole-heartedly 100%!
“My family judges me”…..and they shouldn’t.
“Honey, this is insanity. People should stop judging people? What planet do you think you’re on? Make yourself at home here, it’s the opposite. You come to planet earth, you judge. It’s a nice place to visit once you get the ground rules down…..who would you be without the thought that you want your parents (family) to stop judging? Playing with a full deck.” ~ Byron Katie
Who would you be without that thought?
Stunned, it’s so different.
Not opposing what is.
There they are, being that way, being who they are and saying what they say, asking those questions, making those statements, sounding judgmental, worried, skeptical, doubtful, critical….
….without the ability to think they shouldn’t be?
Oh how exciting!
My family is so incredible, they have prepared me for the most perfect journey through this lifetime.
“When you find yourself being challenged, you will find yourself becoming more alert – like the light is being turned up. That’s wonderful, because then it means that whatever the challenge may be, its function is to push you into intensified Presence.” ~ Eckhart Tolle
Even my ancestor’s history, generations back, without the belief that they should be any different than they have been?
Relaxed, unencumbered, unburdened.
“Finally, you realize that you really don’t want to change anybody, not because you shouldn’t want to change them, because you just don’t. You might not want to be around everyone, but still you don’t want to change them.” ~ Adyashanti
Right now, in this moment, I turn the thoughts around: I judge my family, I judge myself….okay.
That’s the way of it. Judging happens. Opinions happen.
Love happens….unconditionally. Once I dropped my expectations, things became better than I ever imagined possible.
And hanging out with family became a highlight of my life. They rock.