The third story of this series is not an easy one to write. It is deeply personal and talks about a tabou which I am willing to break. It is a story about family, about healing intergenerational patterns and about radical self care.
And again, Malaga has been the backdrop where the past, present and future met. This city served as a crossroad where I was given a choice.
Am I willing to heal what is holding me back? Or will I continue carrying ballast that could potentially cause massive regret?
For many, family can be painful. It’s insane what we are accepting under the flag of “family”. I hear stories every day through traumas of my clients. No family is perfect, I know. Because I help them, I guide them, I heal them. And I am pretty good at it because I had to undergo some massive healing myself.
Family serves as an anchor. It is your benchmark from which you go and explore the world. What you see, feel and experience while growing-up is setting the tone for what you consider as “normal” when you are older.
The way you develop relationships starts with your family.
When you are born into this world, family has the role as your safe haven. But even though we consider family as “sacred” we must not forget that it is made up of individuals. And when the individual parts are out of balance, so will be the system aka family. This is why ‘doing the work’ is ALWAYS a good idea.
My generation has been raised by a generation that does not believe in self development. The generation that was born in the 50s looks at psychology as something for the ‘mentally ill’. Going to therapy is admitting there is something wrong with them. It is admitting they are broken.
When you are raised by a generation that is not investing in introspection, a generation that is trained to follow the rules, to live life according to expectations, to chase and to secure, it is normal that those ways no longer match the current context of today’s society.
This is one of the reasons why we feel out of touch and out of balance. This is why we see an increase in anxiety and depressing amongst the younger generation. We were never taught how to manage emotions because our parents didn’t know either. Emotions are very powerful. They can make and break you.
You can only meet people where they are.
My parents were part of that generation. Self development, healing family wounds and intergenerational trauma is not something we discussed over dinner. But then again, who did?
Unfortunately for them, they gave birth to 3 highly sensitive children who felt a lot, all the time. And one of them dropped out of law school to pursue a career in healthcare.
Given my academic background, my hunger for knowledge and my drive to do better, I was on a path that my family did not understand. Until this day I can not share my true thoughts and feelings with them. I have accepted that in my family some things are better left unsaid. Because some topics are too disruptive and would do more damage than good. I have learned you can only meet people where they are.
However, Malaga changed this trend and opened a whole new world. Baby steps and a fragile process. But the intention is there. The willingness to reconnect and to find a way is there.
When we experience pain it leads us to seeking help and therefore help us grow.
Even though I love my family, our relationship has never been without friction. Three years ago it hit a high that made me stop all communication for more than 2 years. Yes, I blocked my family because I needed space.
It was a big thing, choosing to no longer communicate with your family. Something that is frowned upon. Something I have been judged for. Who do you think you are? Are you that selfish to turn your back on your own family? What kind of person are you to choose to no longer communicate with your own flesh and blood? To cut-off the person who gave birth to you. Someone who suffered for you. A person that sacrificed for you. Who does that?
I DID! And I also cut ties with that version of me who was triggered. I healed and therefore I grew.
Relationships are so powerful. To me, they are the most powerful medium to heal. Because people who you allow close to you will trigger you. You will feel all the feels. And where you can make a difference is in the way you deal with those feelings. But in order to do so you first need to understand what they mean. And you can not sit and reflect in an environment where you are constantly being triggered.
When you feel safe in a relationship, whether it is romantic, family or with friends, you learn a lot. But the relationship that needs to be the strongest is the one you build with yourself. And this is why, for the past two years, I have invested a lot of time and money and energy in making that relationship the most loving I have.
I invested in inner child work, horse coaching, regression analysis, therapy, coaching, spiritual guidance, Akashic healing, energy healing, all kinds of bodywork, movement therapy, family constellations … and the list goes on. You name it, I most probably have done it.
When in Malaga I reunited with my mother again. The last time we had intense one-on-one- time was 12 years ago. So you can only imagine how nervous I was.
This was it. This could be the beginning or this could mean the end. It was that simple.
I arrived with an open heart, an open mind and feeling so much love. Because I wanted these days to be honest, transparent and healthy. I had grown so much. I had learned so much. Not only about myself but also about intergenerational patterns. Something I was excited to share with the woman who did not understand why I “left”.
We spent 4 days together and it was so very powerful. I learned that my wounds where her wounds. I learned that by sharing how I felt, she understood where it all went wrong. I felt safe again, but it is a work in progress.
Writing this brings tears to my eyes because it confirms that love truly does conquer all. You just need to be very clear on the meaning you give to love. Love is freedom and not attachment. Love is unconditional. It surpasses rules. Love is the ultimate energy that can heal all wounds.
We are often looking for love in relationships. But that is not the place where you will find love. When you look for love outside of yourself, you will grow dependency. You will trigger a situation where other people no longer can be themselves. Love becomes a transaction because you need them to love you.
Love is something you have within. It is a force you choose to share with others. It is not something you can claim.
There is so much I can write about family dynamics, love and healing parental wounds. So to anyone who has a difficult relationship with family, let this story inspire you to do the work on yourself. Go all in. Invest. Learn what the previous generations could not. And when you feel ready, you can go back and teach them about your lessons that you learned through pain. You deserve to be loved. You deserve happiness. And most of all, you deserve to become your best self.
And as always, happy to help you with that process.