Families remind me of a delightful candy assortment. Some are smooth and sweet, there may be a few salty ones, one or two brittle ones, a few that are hard to swallow, and surely there’s more than one nut cluster in that package wrapped in a bow.
You may have started out life with siblings, parents, cousins, your offbeat, black sheep aunt, and some grandparents. You learned about family dynamics from them, and perhaps even what it is like to love someone without liking them all that much.
When Family Doesn’t Measure Up
For some people, a lack of any family at all was a reality growing up. This may have been you, or you may have had an abusive or seriously dysfunctional situation. In these cases, not learning about the connection between families from a young age can have left more than a few scars, or a longing to understand how it all should work.
Those early experiences impact how we develop emotionally and how we view family in adulthood. If we don’t really learn the lessons from those experiences, we are at risk of repeating the mistakes of others to try to subconsciously gain power over those experiences.
Gaining Strength From Experience
Still, some people gain strength even from difficult experiences. They take the good and the bad from their family (or lack thereof) experiences to truly learn about who they do not want to be and the legacy they don’t want to pass on to the next generation. They choose to be the person they needed someone to be for them. This is a great rule of thumb and something to aspire to when you’ve been through the worst. Using that to be the best version of yourself can be very healing and cathartic.
No matter your past, you are indeed in control of your future, how much joy you allow yourself to feel and how you grow your own family.