So many of us mothers have one common concern: Are we doing enough to set our children up for success and keep them from having the same struggles we had?
Not that we believe our children shouldn’t have struggles, but I speak to so many women, and men too for that matter, who want to be sure their children don’t have the same struggles they had.
Do you ever notice thoughts, beliefs, or words coming out of your mouth that make you think, “Oh my gosh! I sound just like my mother (or father)?”
And then you cringe at the idea of passing those thoughts, moods or attitudes on to your children because you remember how they used to drive you crazy when you were young?
We all love our parents, and in reality, we wouldn’t be who we are without them. Some even believe we chose our parents on some level for the lessons, experience and/or karma we needed to have in this life.
Still, nearly every one of us notices things that simply don’t fit. We hear words spoken in stories, ideas or beliefs, or see behaviors exhibited, and we feel deep inside that something isn’t right. And the truth is, so did our parents when they were young. I believe it’s human nature to question things, and that we need to question things in order to grow and move forward in life.
The real question though is, will you actually explore the questions, behavior, stories and experiences more deeply, and challenge them with your own ideas?
Growing up, one of the things that drove me nuts was when someone would say things like “that’s just the way it’s done,” or “that’s just how it works” or “that’s just the way things are.” Hearing these words really disturbed me in that on the inside I didn’t buy it. How could anything be “just the way…” when life itself is constantly changing and evolving? Just because somethings been done a certain way, why does that dictate how it should be done in the future?
However, when I was young, I didn’t know what to do about it, not to mention the fact that I often felt like it wasn’t ok to challenge the ideas, so I often took in the words and sometimes even the limiting belief or idea, and went on my merry way. Eventually, my ignoring, and especially my acceptance of those words or ideas became a form of soul sickness. My soul knew things didn’t have to be the way I was living, seeing or being, and it began to rebel.
A sense of inner rebellion is often the first sign of awakening.
We know there’s something more, or different, or better, or more freeing than what we’ve experienced, and we start to challenge the status quo. We look more deeply at our lives and wonder, is this it? We start asking questions to explore what’s missing. We start to notice even more strongly the kinds of limiting beliefs and attitudes that we felt so misaligned with when we were young, whether noticing them in ourselves or in those we interact with, and begin to question how they’ve lived in us over the years.
Here’s where it gets really interesting. This point of inner rebellion is critical for healing, not only ourselves, but our children and our parents.
I know that sounds odd, but I’ve seen it happen in my family, and I’ve seen it happen in the families of friends and coachees. There is something magical connected through our ancestral line that allows for healing in both directions.
As an example, I have noticed that if I take these questions I’m wrestling with and actually explore them, looking to see the beliefs and history behind the behaviors or words, learning how they live in me, and considering other perspectives or ideas such that the patterns are broken in me, it’s as if I wake something up within the patterns, and then the patterns as they are imprinted in my parents and my children can be adjusted. In other words, as I heal, they heal.
Most of us can see this more directly when we think of our children. We have a pretty clear sense of how our awakening and healing affects their well-being. Yet perhaps we don’t put enough weight in this knowing. How often, when your child is struggling in some way, or challenging you, do you think to yourself, “I wonder what is in me that is bringing this out in my child?”
There is no greater reflection of our state of being than that of the behavior expressed by our children.
While I don’t know the details of the science behind this, I do know that every day, science is uncovering more and more that validates what many of us have known intuitively for a long time. We know that we’re connected, and nothing we do happens in a vacuum.
So, if we’re connected, and can see that our child’s behavior reflects our state of being, wouldn’t it make sense that our own behavior and patterns in some way reflect those of our parents? Thus, it makes sense that as we change our patterns, we not only break the patterns for our children, but something shifts for our parents and ancestors too.
But how does this show up in both directions? How can we know this?
Well, we might not always see it. We’re getting into realms of the unseen and the unknown. Certainly we would have a tough time proving it in a scientific way. Yet, if we pay attention to the subtleties, we begin to notice an impact. We might see it more readily in the impact on our children, but often, if we look closely enough, we can see it in our parents too.
These changes in patterns or beliefs can be anything from changing the way we think about food and nutrition, to changing a pattern of fear or unworthiness. I remember when I started thinking about food very differently. I’ve been eating “clean and organic” for over 16 years, but at the time I started, my family members didn’t believe it was necessary. They would say things like, “That’s just a waste of money. There’s no difference between that food and regular food.” Yet, over the years, I began to notice my parents buying more organic foods and paying more attention to the quality of foods they were consuming. I’m not saying they did this all because of my choice. Society on the whole has also shifted awareness toward the benefits of organic and whole foods. There’s no question as to whether raising my children on these foods will have them paying more attention to what they eat in the future and for their children, but …
Could it be that my breaking a pattern in my own family contributed to allowing for my parents to break a pattern of behavior too?
I’ve also seen this happen around deeper patterns that challenge how we see the world. I witnessed a friend’s experience with her daughter around confidence. My friend was having breakthroughs around her capacity to feel joy and have confidence in herself and her life path. She and I had been talking about this growth pattern for months. Then one day she shared with me how her daughter was having insights about her own confidence strengthening, and I pointed out to my friend that her healing was in turn helping her daughter to heal. Later, I was at a dinner party in which the daughter was speaking about how she’d done so much to heal her relationship with money, only to realize that my friend, her mother, was also beginning to look at her relationship with money. I don’t believe it’s any coincidence that my friend’s healing her confidence levels allowed for the same in her daughter, and that her daughter’s healing her relationship to money allowed for healing to begin in the mother.
I invite you to consider, in this present moment, the patterns in your life, and to pay attention to the cry of your soul to break them.
Many of us won’t take those patterns on for ourselves, but will you take them on for the sake of your children and their children? Will you take them on for the sake of healing the past and your ancestral line, and truly breaking the patterns that no longer serve you, your children, or the future?
I’d love your thoughts, and to hear of experiences you’ve had in healing patterns that affected the past or the future generations. Please share your story by contacting me!