By Chitra Jha
Walking on the path inevitably changes family dynamics, and highlights the importance of healing discordant energies, says Chitra Jha
After I became sincere about my “personal growth”, I had no choice but to get out of my comfort zone, remove my social masks, and get ready to face my fears. But while I was patting myself on the back for being courageous enough to walk the path, and happily connected with people on a similar path, I was also resisting and facing resistance from the most important people in my life – my family. It left me wondering why the people I love the most wanted me to change the least. While I thought I was changing for the better, my loved ones didn’t always agree with me. They couldn’t connect with the person that I was becoming. In fact, they feared that they were losing the real me to some mumbo-jumbo addicted junkie!
I have heard similar stories from others walking the path. And I understand that the ‘unexpressed’ resistance of our family members can be hard to deal with, unless we know why they behave the way they do. Some of these reasons could be a) they feel threatened by the changes they see in us and in order to defend their own insecurity blame us for it; b) their reaction is not against us but against something that they dislike in themselves which gets magnified because of our work; c) they are too lazy to spend extra time and energy getting to know the new us, and would rather treat us like they always have; d) they help us by triggering those areas that we need to work upon; e) their karmic agreement with us is to help us become our own best friend.
For me an ideal family is one where each individual (whether adult or child) is made to feel special; where each individual is encouraged and supported in manifesting his/her dreams; where no one gets left behind and no one is forgotten; and where each member loves and trusts one another equally.
Being an idealist, my endeavour has always been to create and maintain such a family. However, in most families (including mine), differences in outlook, temperament, communication patterns, behavioral styles, and beliefs end up creating an interesting dynamic. So, while there are special alliances between some family members, there are rifts between some others. I have seen up close, how these ever-changing alliances and rifts disrupt the ideal family dynamic – which needs honesty, integrity, love and respect as its foundation.
A family is where the heart is. It is the most important unit, both at the macro and at the micro level. Many people feel that a family is simply an accident of birth or marriage, but nothing could be farther from the truth, for each family is a complex group of karmic partners, who choose to come together in order to balance their karma and assimilate their stuck/blocked energy.
When one person in the family decides to break the karmic patterns and get out of the karmic cycle, this affects the dynamics of the entire family – for this dynamic system is influenced by what each member believes, expects and desires from the family, and from each other.
One individual member’s life-choices cannot help but affect the entire family, for as families grow, each member creates a place for him/herself and forms opinions about the others. (A child as young as three years, already has an opinion about his/her parents, siblings and other relatives.) These opinions make a person decide who they love, who they can trust, and how they must behave – all this further gets influenced by each person’s perceived ‘place’ in the family.
To complicate it further, my experience with past lives has shown that our opinions and beliefs are also moulded by the family members’ cumulative experiences with one another in our past life-expressions. So, the problems within a family arise when the unfolding present-day stories of its members begin creating patterns that are similar to those from their past lives.
The repetition of past patterns challenges each family member to look within and break that pattern by bringing more love into that particular situation, for unless each member is committed to breaking the karmic patterns, the present continues to replay the past – and history continues to repeat itself.
In the absence of this understanding, and the corresponding willingness to take appropriate action in a conscious, loving and positive manner, the family dynamics worsen over time – resulting in estrangement, and worse still, another future lifetime with similar energies and drama (future bad karma).
Negative emotions driven by unloving thoughts and disempowering actions create many illnesses in family members. As an aside, the prognosis of an illness can be predicted by becoming aware of the emotions one experiences post illness. If the emotions keep flowing in a similar manner, as before, it is almost certain that the illness will return. Viewing things differently or doing different things break illness patterns and bring about all-round change.
All strong emotions affect family dynamics as much as they affect health or illness, which further complicates family issues. Let us examine a few strong emotions here:
When a family member puts too much attention upon the animal desires that come along with human flesh (from past animal life expressions) by over-indulgence in sex, food, alcohol, tobacco, drugs, money and power, the physical body sends out signals in the form of ‘lust’, so that s/he can correct the anomaly within.
When a family member feels that an important personal boundary has been violated, s/he responds in ‘anger’, which is a signal from the emotional body that the person needs to become more appropriately assertive.
When a family member carries unhealed survival trauma from one or more past lives, s/he becomes afraid to share anything, and becomes miserly, greedy, afraid and insecure. These traits are a signal from the karmic body to use our resources in a more loving and productive manner. Fear of survival makes us feel helpless and powerless.
When a family member becomes vain, and begins to consider him/herself as a gift from God (narcissistic tendency) or a mistake by God (masochistic tendency), it is a signal from the mental body that s/he is not confident of his/her proper place in the family. Such a person needs to strive for balanced humility.
When a family member becomes attached or possessive about people or things, it is a signal from the intuition body that s/he carries unfulfilled desires from many past lives, which need to be healed.
In order to heal family dynamics (and physical illness) all emotions must be understood and expressed; and if this expression can find a safe, and non-judgmental family environment, the healing is much faster.
The irony is that our ‘normal’ way of functioning, relating, eating, working, thinking, emoting and behaving as a family is what causes families to break up. If the family members can take stock and alter their lifestyles gradually, the family will recover; but all that requires honesty, integrity and discretion.
Honesty is the bedrock of a healthy and happy family, while deceit is its quicksand. Integrity creates ease and flow in a family, while duplicity creates difficulty and disorder. (It helps to remember that all lies are eventually uncovered and truth always comes out, and when a family is grounded in truth, the bad karma gets transmuted into dharma.)
Along with honesty and integrity, every family also requires love and kindness. It means that each member must be allowed to express him/herself and put his/her point across, without inhibition. If their words and actions are devoid of love, the other members must show them how to speak or act in loving and kind ways by personal example, and through tolerance, compassion and forgiveness. This also means that each member must be allowed to make mistakes without criticism and condemnation. If someone has made mistakes, others must help him/her make amends while learning important lessons from those mistakes.
But this honesty, integrity, love, kindness and respect cannot be fully accessed until and unless all family members erase their past discordant history – until they make peace within themselves and until they learn the morals/lessons that their stories carry. The good news is that when one person wakes up, the household can no longer remain in slumber.
About the author :
Chitra Jha is a healer, writer and trainer. Her first book, Achieve your highest potential has been published by Penguin India.
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