You can choose your family

Wednesday, December 23, 2009 Leave a Comment

The holidays are all about family. Sometimes that can be stressful. It's all too easy to fall into the old familiar patterns with our families; the same buttons get pushed, and we react with the same patterned responses. Now that I'm a mom, I like to think I've managed to scratch some of those old records.

I liked this newsletter from GOOP asking: "Why is it so hard to accept our parents for who they are? What can we do to be better children to our parents?"

I especially liked the kabbalah interpretation of this question. Part of that answer is:

"Our parents are one of our greatest catalysts for change... All the good and bad things we experienced growing up are meant to lead us towards a change that each of our souls needs to go through in order to achieve the purpose for which it came into this world.

"We are meant to change the way we react to our parents’ behaviors. If we are responding now, as we did as children, clearly we are not growing from the situation – and we are missing an opportunity. The goal with our family is to get to a point where we can deactivate the buttons that our parents and family know all too well how to push.

"This is a great way to gauge how much of a correction we have made. How diminished is my reaction? How much kinder can I be, even in the face of those old patterns and habits that our parents have? If our reaction changes in small or even great ways, then we can know we are achieving our correction."

I learned a lot about family from my group of gay friends in San Francisco. In addition to their biological families, they had the attitude that they could, in fact, choose their family -- and they chose each other. I'm honored to have spent some holidays with them.

And this Christmas Eve, I'm looking forward to spending time with some chosen family members in this neighborhood. Merry Christmas!

Read on here...