It took many years for me to understand the root of my feelings and what was really going on with me. I realized that I didn’t need to change my family’s thoughts and behaviors. I just needed to accept my family members for who they are. I needed to see them as real people who were struggling with their own feelings and emotions. When I began to see them as human beings, just like myself, I could relate to them in a much more profound way. For example, I used to blame my parents for certain aspects of my own life, not taking responsibility for my part in certain situations. I couldn’t let go of the past, and my pain.
With guidance from my guru, I went through an exercise of writing in a separate journal everyone and everything that hurt me since childhood. I wrote down the hurtful event, who was involved and how I felt in each situation. It was a painful process and I cried so hard through this exercise. It’s weird because I knew all these things had happened to me but I had never seen them in sequential order on paper. Upon reflection, however, I resolved these childhood pains that I had been holding onto for years. I am not my past, nor the stories I believed to be true. I am not my old wounds and scars, nor my feelings.
I felt more free, like a physical weight had been lifted off my shoulders, and I felt much more compassionate toward my family members. I saw them in a whole new light. I saw them as real people dealing with their own struggles in their own way. They are not immune to pain. They are living, breathing people, living their own lives to the best of their abilities.
My family is very traditional Italian, Roman Catholic family, living in the ways they were taught by their parents. As I began to see them without judgement, I see they are living life in an old belief system that that had be passed to them from thier parents.
Being conscious, is living life fully awake. To be aware of oneself is a discipline, a practice. Introspection is oftentimes, difficult and unpleasant. We all want to live a comfortable life. But is it better to live a life in a pleasant farce or the truth?
How are we to evolve as humans if we only live within the confines of our comfort zone? It is when we are knocked on our knees, that we turn to a spiritual life for answers and sanctuary. We find ourselves in prayer when we are feeling most desperate. We pray for change, for peace and for happiness. As humans we all have the desire for comfort, love and happiness. We all desire to be at peace with ourselves.
When we come into the full realization of this fact, it is then we can heal past wounds and look to those we have blamed for our scars with love and understanding. We are all of the same essence. Really understanding this fact creates a sense of union among all people. Differences begin to fade away. We can learn to let people play out their own drama without judging them, with compassion.
The holidays bring up so many facets of peoples personalities and their individual expectations. When we become the witness to life’s drama and not get involved in an emotional way, we can begin to watch the drama of life unfold with grace. We become examples to our parents and teach them a more peaceful way of communicating with each other by becoming living examples of the teachings of awakening that we ourselves have been studying. When we walk our talk, and become peaceful within ourselves, people will notice. They will become peaceful within themselves as a result of the peace we exude.
Now the holidays for me, have become more sacred and special. I have learned to let go of my past and the story I associated myself with and learned to enjoy my family for the individuals they all are. As I let go of any expectations of how I had wished them to be or act, I see them for who they are, and that is divinely beautiful beings of radiant light. They are all aspects of God. Some are more refined than others but they are all grace! I love them and am so grateful to have them as teachers in my life!
Treasure family! They are our best gurus!