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Family dymamics–new ways to shift old patterns

You’re sitting around the table, or you’re talking on the phone, and the old family patterns are right there, repeating themselves again and again. You wish you could escape them, but they keep reappearing like the proverbial fruit cake. Can you relate?

I know from working with people on this–and personal experience –that it is not always easy to escape old relational habits. Either you fall into how everyone expects you to be–and how you expect yourself to be– or you step out of the mold and create discomfort.

A gentle way is to introduce a shift is to 1) change the dynamic within yourself and 2) introduce a new activity to gently shake things up. At a gathering recently, a friend introduced a fun game: if you’d be a superhero and could contribute one great gift to humankind, what kind of superhero would you be? Answers ranged from feeding the world to offering stillness. Each person could feel, for a moment, their highest intent and potential.

Imagine doing this game with your family. Imagine each person–what is their highest intent in life? What moves them? What motivates them? Instead of focusing on what is annoying, or repetitive, or taxing, focus on this intent within each family member or person you find yourself with. Hold them in the same regard you wish to be held.

Almost everyone wants to love and connect, but sometimes a host of inner stories and outer habits create ways of relating that bring anything but that connection. Look for the intent, and you will see a being with a hungering heart, waiting for a superhero to come and give it food.

A way to nourish each other while also shifting the dynamic is to find an activity to do together, where you feel that connection, without the weight of old habit. Baking cookies together, having a family game night, taking a nature walk, going to see a show, these are just a few ideas. When novelty is introduced, it provides an opening for new ways of relating.

Don’t wait for love to come from the outside. Find that place within you that will love another (no matter what!) and allow yourself to become the hero, rising above any dynamic that comes your way.