It is ingrained at a very young age that family is the most important thing. That family, above all, should be valued and respected. But what does this belief system mean to all the individuals who are neglected or abused? How can they make sense of giving loyalty to someone that causes them so much pain?
The struggle of family gatherings
I pace around my house, glancing around for any last minute adjustments. I move with restless energy to the table, rearranging plates and cups for the upcoming party. I should enjoy this. I’m supposed to enjoy spending time with the family. But a tightness forms in my stomach and I ignore the truth. Soon the family arrives and it is a gust of individuals greeting one another. I attempt to smile and be accommodating. As the adults and children settle in, I try to find my place here. But like all the other times, I end up watching the others as an outsider. A familiar habit when I was a child, a wallflower to the mayhem.
Suddenly, a commotion draws my attention from my thoughts. A sister is aggressively opening kitchen cabinets, complaining loudly about her home and comparing hers to mine. This frequent occurrence is irritating, but I bite back my retort and keep my patience. However, I am tested again. Another sister begins belittling my mother. My face warms and the anger rushes to the surface. I immediately shout out words of, “Back off and leave her alone!” My sister deflects this and states she didn’t mean anything by it. My mother tries to placate the situation and tells me to calm down and that it’s fine. That only makes me more enraged. I turn to the pile of dishes in the sink and begin cleaning to work the irritation out. Thoughts come to my mind of, “Why does it have to be so painful around my family? And I wish this gathering would end.” Finally, the party does end and I am left in the peaceful quiet of my home, a shocking contrast to the once chaotic noise from earlier. I try to calm myself down, but agitation overwhelms me. I’m disappointed at the family, but also of myself. Why do I allow this torture to keep happening to me? Why do I delude myself into thinking that the next time with the family will be better? But the truth will always reveal itself, painfully, if that is what it takes to get your attention.
Confronting emotional triggers in family settings
From a very young age, I held my family on a high pedestal. I believed the common programming that family is number one and that you need to always be there for them. That blood is thicker than water. I took this very seriously. I had so much love to give and it felt right to give it to the people that were closest to me. But all too soon I began to see that something was not right. Competitive siblings, especially one sister who would physically attack me out of jealousy were common occurrences. A father and mother who were also emotionally detached led to further feelings of unease and a lack of feeling safe. But what was a four-year child to do? I kept giving everything of myself in order to feel loved. I felt that if I continued giving them love, then I would be worthy of their love in return.
This pattern led to the habit of putting others feelings above my own. One particular incident happened when I was four or five years old. A friend from the neighborhood and her mother took me to the movie theaters. This was very exciting for me because growing up we didn’t have a lot of money and going to the theater was a treat. After the movie, I rushed into my house eager to tell my mom about the movie. She was sitting at the kitchen table, writing a list. I assume it was a grocery list. I beamed at my mother, talking animatedly about the movie. But my mother was acting strange. She wouldn’t look at me. She was unhappy and she wanted me to know it. I confusedly asked her, “Mommy what’s wrong?” She replied in a huffy tone, “I wanted to take you to that movie.” The joy inside me deflated. I didn’t understand why she was upset and treating me coldly. I had enjoyed myself, why wasn’t she happy for me? I instantly regretted going to the movie. It hurt me incredibly to think I had hurt my mother’s feelings. I needed to make her feel better. I said, “Mommy it’s okay. You can take me to see the movie, too.” I smiled at her tentatively hoping this would help. She finally looked at me with a small smile and simply replied, “It’s okay.”
As I reached adulthood, I chose to forgive past doings. My siblings and I began to communicate more openly about our childhood. I reasoned that we were children and due to our upbringing we didn’t behave the best, as we should have. I was ready to turn over a new leaf and begin anew with my parents and siblings. Unfortunately, the behaviors from the past were still there and I chose to ignore them. After all these years I just wanted to be loved by the family and have that feeling of safety that a child should have.
After having my own children, behaviors from my parents escalated. Being controlling, judgmental and giving unsolicited advice began to come at me from all sides. I felt trapped trying to please others, but also trying to follow my heart. I brought this concern to Jen Ward during a private session. During it, karmic past life dynamics between the family members and myself were revealed. The rose colored glasses were removed and the veil of illusion ripped away. I could not ignore the feelings of betrayal and being used that were brought to light. In the years of giving everything to them, I had lost all identity of myself.
In past lives the family and I have played our roles in being the perpetrator and the victim. And in doing the taps from the session, I intend to free not only myself, but also them. Now that I have this realization it is what I choose to do with it in this life. I have this chance to discover who I am. To realize that I am worthy and that I always was. I choose to love myself and know I am worthy to be loved. Instead of neglecting my own needs, I choose to nurture them and voice them to others. I choose to protect my children and encourage their own self-worth.
Setting boundaries and seeking true happiness
Recently I communicated my feelings, needs and boundaries to the family despite the fear of backlash. Making the decision to distance myself from them, I feel the freedom and space that is opened with endless possibilities for my children and myself in this life I am creating. If you are reading this and have experienced difficult family members, getting a private session with Jen Ward will help free you from lifetimes of karmic relationships. In the meantime please do these taps. And remember, you are worthy to choose your own happiness.
Say each of these statements three times while continuously tapping on the top of your head, a fourth time while continuously tapping on your chest, and a fifth time while continuously tapping on your abdomen.
We remove all blockages to feeling worthy; in all moments.
We remove all blockages of feeling worthy to be loved; in all moments.
We release being told that we are unworthy; in all moments.
We remove all programming and conditioning that we are unworthy; in all moments.
We release the belief that we are unworthy; in all moments.
We are centered and empowered in our worthiness; in all moments.
We release losing ourselves to karmic relationships; in all moments.
We release feeling guilty for speaking our needs; in all moments.
We release valuing our worthiness based on the opinions of others; in all moments.