You know how sometimes you hear just the right thing, at right the right time and it blows your mind. Knocks you back, steals the ground benefit your feet and air within your lungs. Yeah, well that happened it me. Let's just say it connected some dots.
Ohhhh… I get it!
Here is what I heard:
"We are a continuation of our parents unfinished business.”
Take a moment and breath that in.
In other words, we are an evolution of our families. We are an extension of them. Growing. Changing. Expanding.
Our parents are an evolved aspect of their parents, and our grandparents are an expansion of our great grandparents.
In other words, when a lineage of our family doesn't step up to the place to evolve (personally and worldly) then that assignment is placed upon the next generation.
So what are some examples of how life is asking us to evolve?
For some it might be to embrace their emotions. This mean ALL emotions. Not just the accepted emotions (Anger in my family, perhaps happiness in another’s). Allowing each emotion to be, and flow in and out of their lives, rather than suppress them. Sadness and disappointment. Frustration and fear. Disgust and trust. Embracing a moment for a good cry session or allowing laughter to seize the moment. Besides, let’s face it, we are emotional beings, there is no denying it. So, in short, humans are being asked to up the ante when it comes to emotional intelligence.
Vulnerability. Yeah, this is a big one. Owning who you are and what you desire. Showing the world your imperfections and giving permission to others to do the same. Using your voice to speak your truth. Being willing to share your truth even even if it may not be what someone else wants to hear. Which may be your dreams, or may be complicated emotions. For generations we have been taught (either explicitly or implicitly) that we shouldn’t speak up. It might make someone else feel uncomfortable. It's a selfish act to put your needs first. It is becoming clear, this idea of keeping our mouth shut is for everyone's benefit just isn’t accurate. The truth usually finds it’s way out into the open anyway, and often with more pain and disappointment due to holding back.
The truth never lies, so let it be, free.
Letting go of being a victim. Yeah, gulp, this is a really powerful way to evolve. It's easy to get caught in a myopic world where all we can see is ugly, difficult, messy bits of life. Feeling betrayed, or let down. Things breaking, and falling to bits while slipping through our fingertips. Never happy, never satisfied. Never able to see the part we play in life. Typically when we feel that we are always being wronged we tend to blame everyone or everything else as the problem. As victims we generally can’t see that we have some ownership and responsibility in our lives. To evolve is to be able to see that we are accountable for what happens in our life. Even if we can’t control the traffic, or the spilt milk, we can control how we react in any situation. By taking ownership of our lives, we step out of victimhood and into empowerment.
Those were just a few examples. Other ways we can do some evolutionary cleanup might include: Learning to trust, learning to forgive, healing sexuality, embracing spirituality, healing religious wounds, slowing down, learning how to be embodied, and healing racist wounds. (Yeah, not as simple as getting a college degree. I think these things are actually more difficult, and dare I say, more powerful).
Here is a powerful story of how we are an extension of our parents unfinished business. Hold on and enjoy the ride. This story unfolds thrillingly (and lovingly). (This is a true story with names and some details changed for privacy).
Brian, a man in his 20’s was at the bed side of his father. His father was near death, as cancer had nearly claimed his life. He and his father had a loving relationship, but Brian always yearned for more, so he finally asked, “Dad, you were such a wonderful father to me. Thank you for all that you have done. I must ask you tho, why is it that you never hugged me?” His father then explained, “To answer that question, there is are a lot of things I need to tell you.”
The father started with his own grandfather (so Brian’s great grandfather). The great grandfather immigrated from Europe. He had no family, no friends, but the clothes on his back and the desire to find a good life in America. He didn’t speak the language and was just a young man of 13. He lived on the street, homeless for many years until he was finally able to find a job and create a life with a wife and a son. Living on the streets in his youth had been difficult and he developed an alcohol dependency. Along with that, he would often beat his son (just the way his own father had done).
That son (Brian’s grandfather) ran away from home at a young age (much like his own father). Protecting himself and promising himself that he would never touch a drop of alcohol. He created a good life with a career and family (including a son). Then the Great Depression came and took everything he had build except his wife and son. During this time of despair Brain’s father became the physical target for his rage.
Brian’s father made a commitment to himself that he would never lay a hand on his son. As a result, Brian’s father never hugged him… he was true to his word.
As Brian sat back and took the weight of the story in he made a commitment to himself. If I ever have a son, I will make sure and hug him. I will provide to my son that which my father was unable to provide me.
A few years later, Brian had a son, and true to his word he hugs his son every chance he gets.
See! That is how, consciously, we can evolve our family tree. We can become better versions of who we are meant to be as human beings. It can be quite powerful to see that we have a choice to live our lives differently.
I am currently reading the book “Brainstorm: The Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain” by Daniel Siegel. According to Dr. Siegel it is built into our adolescent brain development to push boundaries, question belief systems, and move away from home. In other words, we are hardwired to challenge what we are taught, and evolve as a human collective.
I love this! This gives us permission to do things differently. To embrace our innate desire to do what our heart yearns for rather than follow in our parents footsteps. To do what actually feels right, rather than what we are told is right.
One of the most common issues that prevents us from evolving is that we (hypothetically) still live under our parents roof. We still abide by their outdated belief systems. We follow their implicit and explicit rules.
The good news is, it’s your life. You get to make up the rules now. You have the freedom to create your own belief systems. You get to create the life that YOU want to live. It is actually your dharma. It is your destiny in life.
For me this idea, that we are a continuation of our parents unfinished business actually puts me at peace, rather than tipped me into a stress frenzy. It helps clarify a lot of things for me. I mean, it pretty much put my whole life into perspective. Not only that, it was a spark of inspiration. It was fuel to show up, and embrace the challenge life is offering me. All of a sudden my life mission is exposed. I know how I need to evolve, how I can show up differently. How I can be a better me. For my family, for myself, for the world.
We aren’t meant to be the same. We aren’t meant to be like our parents. Okay, yes. We are like our parents, not just in our physical traits, but deep in our DNA as well. That’s a beautiful thing. It gives your life depth, history, and a meaningful story. It also gives you clarity to who you are, where you come from and why you are here.
If you are a mother, take a moment right now and acknowledge the power you have. Do you want your daughters to share the same struggles you do? Obsessing about weight, and how your butt looks? Do you want to keep sabotaging yourself, letting your inner critic steal your happiness? Do you want your daughter to speak to herself the way you speak to yourself? Or do you want to learn to love yourself? Do you want your daughter to love herself the way that you love her?
This is a gift. For you and your daughter.
Step up. Shed your skin. Hold the love. Spread the love.
Daughters, if you are reading this, let this be a blast of air to that fire in your belly. You are powerful. You have so much potential. You have something the world needs. The world can only benefit from your presence, but predominately only when you are willing to let go. Let go of the idea of pleasing others at your expense. See the importance in how you show up in this world, not just how your body looks. Embrace your dreams. They are yours for a reason.
It is your purpose, your journey on this earth, at this time, in this body, in this life to be YOU. Not someone you think you are suppose to be, but the woman you can feel, that you KNOW you are meant to be.
Step out of the comfort of your parents walls.
Take a deep breath.
Ignite that fire.
Spread your wings.
Life is waiting for you.
So what are ways that you are inspired to evolve your heritage? What briefs are you willing to shift? How are you willing to open and expand your world and how you live? Can't you hear life calling you forward?