You don’t get to choose your relatives. For some folks, you would UN-choose them if you could. Not possible.
Blood ties can be confusing as you witness loved ones as very loving people. You have great memories with them from your childhood. You see them do the kindest things for one another. Their image is on favorite family photographs. Other family members have stories shared with you.
And you also hear and see the shame and judgment passed onto others.
Here are a few shiny gems for dealing with the vibranium levels of negativity from family.
- Admit it. You’ve been conditioned and shamed into not talking about Aunt Linda or Grandma. Good respectful relatives remain quiet about family secrets. Even when it hurts the family. You know full well how devious they can be with their tongues, but you recall their hugs and secret candies slipped into your hand as a child. You don’t have to talk about it with anyone else, particularly another family member, but be honest and crystal clear with YOU about what you see. Denial ain’t good for nobody!
- Set boundaries. You want to go to your niece’s graduation, family cook out or Thanksgiving dinner without the negativity, but it ain’t likely. Your fam has been a classic display of “Unforgiving Fam:The Series” for years. Not attending ain’t an option because you become the Bugga-Boo of the Family Bloodline at that point! Decide to keep your visit to a limit. Bring your potluck dish. Give your niece a congratulatory hug, gift card, smile at everyone and BE OUT! Give the gift of your presence and enjoy theirs. Even if for a New York Minute! Everyone won’t appreciate your light. Stop offering it up only to be put on dim. Be present and retain the lit parts of yourself for other areas and people in your life.
- Put a long-term pause on defending your right to be a person with your own mind and opinions. The judgement and shame from fam can be more taxing than the IRS. When you haven’t met their pre-set notions of success, spiritual growth, relationship know-how, perfect parenting and “what-chu-doing-with-yourself-now” status, you get differing opinions for who you shoulda been, when and how much longer you ain’t got to get it rights. This can be debilitating in life. Need help? We got chu!
When you hear the commentary, naturally you go into defensive mode. Put the brakes on it! Don’t get lured into the deadly endless dialogue of seeking to justify your choices.
If that person can’t appreciate your choices for you, then…oh well. Nah…if you keep asking them for money to finance your choices…this ain’t fuh you. We expect you gon’ hear the noise. For those using their own coins for their own choices, this is for you!
Now go and love you and those related to you as best you can. You won’t get another family!