Wednesday, April 20, 2011

pagan art journaling {week 12}

this week’s prompt: best lesson(s) from family and how it affects your path

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Before I go on, I would like to make the following disclaimer: families aren’t easy. Mine isn’t, yours probably isn’t, but inevitably they influence who we become.

Recent conversations with friends who have family situations that are “easier” than mine (wee bit of context: 1 divorce, 1 remarriage, 1 adoption, foster kids= 4 siblings with 2 mothers and 4 different fathers)… anyways, friends who have had relatively “normal” family environments have revealed that they have few if any positive memories of family.

IMG_4714I personally have a hard time with this. I’ve watched kids come through my home who have gone through the worst of the worst in terms of abuse and neglect, I’ve spent countless hours slamming doors and arguing with my parents, and we don’t keep in touch very well, but I have always cherished the good memories that I have from my family. Maybe this is because I grew up aware of what others didn’t have, or because it’s a defense mechanism to block out the bad memories I have, but I think that the average individual who grows up in an “average, moderately fucked up, but normal” family, should be able to celebrate the things that family has given them.

Hence this week’s prompt. I’ve already talked about the greatest gift my mom gave me in terms of spiritual freedom, so I tried to take it a step further and think about how I apply the morality that I was raised with into my current practices. My parents taught us to be independent and to follow our own paths, they allowed us to grow and be who we are without being overly attached to their visions of what they needed us to be (sometimes they were better than others at this, sometimes not…) But for me, as I work on my meditation practice as a tool to distinguish between what is a reaction and illusion based on the reaction, and what is really happening around me, this lesson of letting others be who they are without imposing my will on them, has been invaluable.

I’m explaining this as well as I’d like, but hopefully you’ll catch my meaning as it is.

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I know that life isn’t all about light and happiness, so maybe there are lessons you’ve learned from your family that stem from the darkness. I know I have. Hell, just above I was mentioning that I saw kids from really messed up situations walk through our doors on a regular basis, and honestly, I learned a lot about gratitude from the experience.

But I’ve also learned a lot from other familial challenges, like doing the work even when others give up, like respecting boundaries and need for privacy, like being open to others even when they seem standoffish and need time, all of which effects my path and my choices on it.

3 comments:

  1. This is another one of those thought provoking prompts for me, very much like the Letter to Yourself Prompt. I've learned so much from my moderately fucked up family and wouldn't be the person I am today if I were in any other circumstances I'm sure. Just need to ponder how it relates to my path.

    Prompt aside, this was a truly beautiful post.

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  2. We all come from crazy family's! That it defined who we are! I think I'm an artist so i could Chanel all those things. And you hand art is beautiful , so channeling is a great tool !! Viva el arte! Keep going !Is all good!.

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  3. thanks. Sometimes I'm not sure where to draw the line between oversharing and honesty to show what I mean... it's fine line between sharing so not to sound preachy, and using personal anecdotes to show what I mean, so I'm glad to know that it went over ok.

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