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The Language of Letting Go, Day 4: Separating from Family Issues

The meditation for this day is all in the title. As individuals, we are separate from our family members’ personal issues. Like us, they are also individuals who have their own “stuff” to work on. It’s our job to separate ourselves from their stuff so that we can stay true to ourselves and keep to our own path.

In my early-20s, this issue was my biggest struggle. It was unnerving to feel so different from my family, and I became frustrated by the fact that I felt they kept pulling me back into everything that they knew, which I felt kept me from being me. I eventually realized that this is just the way they love me and, of course, they meant no harm by it. I grew to appreciate it. I grew to love their ways and loved them more than ever before. I also realized that my frustration was just part of growing up and was something that most of us experience on our journey toward self-awareness; I didn’t dislike my family, I was just trying to become myself and didn’t exactly know how to yet.

Around this time, I went to a life-changing, consciousness-shifting meditation retreat, where I felt myself blossom into the individual that was hiding inside me for so long, and shed much of what was “not me.” For the first time, I saw my parents as the individuals that they are, and myself as the individual that I am. I also learned how to deal with this separation by appreciating everything I had learned from them, and gently letting go of (and with gratitude – key point) their stuff that did not positively serve me.

I also learned at this retreat that we choose our parents. I didn’t fully understand this until a bit later when I started my Yoga teacher training and delved into studying different spiritual wisdoms on deep levels. I learned that we each have our own stuff to work on in our lifetime – our own corrections, our own karma, our own tikkun - in order to help us realize our destiny. We (our soul) choose parents who (and who’s “stuff”) will best help us work on ourselves toward becoming our highest selves. We need to learn to accept their stuff (their issues, trials and tribulations, and blessings) and use it to transform ourselves.

Though we might not initially (or ever) see it this way, their stuff is ALWAYS a blessing and never a curse. For example, if they were mean, overbearing or had problems with alcohol, etc. (I’m not speaking from experience, I’m just using examples), we can use this to teach ourselves a lesson. Maybe the lesson is as simple as we need to learn to not be mean or overbearing, or drink; or perhaps the lesson is much deeper (it usually is). And we can remind ourselves during this process that, yes, we did CHOOSE our parents and we chose them for a reason. Reminding ourselves of this will help us use their stuff – good or bad – to transform whatever it is within ourselves that we are to change in order to grow.

I’m happy and proud to say today that I love and accept my family in every way possible; they are perfect to me and I couldn’t imagine my life without a single one of them. I love every part of who they are and am more grateful for each of them than words can express. I will say that it took a lot of work to get here. Part of that comes with growing up. I am grateful that I got to this point and I will continue to work toward absolute love and acceptance because there is always room for improvement.

No matter how much we think we love and accept, it’s something to always work on. I see that with clients I’ve counseled, with myself, and with friends and family. We think we’re ready to move on and be our true selves, but we’re still holding on to so much that belongs to other people. If we don’t let go, we can’t move on. We need to look within to love and accept ourselves, and then look without to love and accept others. And in that order.

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