We spent a lot of years in our childhood homes, from newborn to young adult and everything in between. We learn so much from our parents and siblings. All these years are wiring us. Sometimes, what we learned will last a lifetime. That is our heritage. That heritage influences our lives so much more than the money or the houses left by our families.
A few days ago, I wrote the article: How to Bring Back Eroticism Home (Book Highlights), which is based on the book: Mating in Captivity: Unlocking Erotic Intelligence. While I was listening to the audiobook again today, the author speaks about a couple and she asks the woman:
“What Family means to you?”
In the context of the audiobook, the woman rarely had her needs fulfilled by her family. Her family was a place where she wouldn’t ask for anything. So when her relationship turned into a family after a marriage and a kid, then fulfilling her (sexual) needs through her husband was hard, because he’s family. And the family wasn’t somewhere she would turn towards. That part of her heritage was running in the background for years, leaving her clueless until asked in that therapy session. That how strong is our heritage.
While this is a highly condensed way to look at the situation from the book, it should give you a bit of understanding of what I mean by heritage. I want to move away from the book, and I want us to ask ourselves the same question the author asked the lady. When I listened to the audiobook, it struck me and yet, a few days ago, during the first listening of it, it did not. But this time, it intrigued me. It made me think about my own situation.
I have married my wife for a year now, and both of us slowly we feel more and more like a family. Even if it is only the two of us, that feeling of creating our family is growing. As that feeling keeps growing, what would it change? Which part of my family patterns will be running in my own background? Would it be the same for my wife? The next question is: What were my family patterns?
Here are my first thoughts on the patterns I would like to break:
- Love is expressed in limited ways, often by “sacrificing” or doing actions: cooking, cleaning, helping someone else. While that isn’t all bad, Love is more than that. It can be words, it can be hugs or compassion. Expressing Love can be done in many ways and we used a limited amount of languages of Love.
- What other people think is more important. I grew up with a lot of shame because of the opinions of other parents, teachers or neighbours had more weight than my own emotions and struggles. I felt “wrong” for having these.
- Certain emotions are not expressed and (at times) not allowed. Emotional Intelligence wasn’t a thing yet and our parents had such a harder life than our so it makes a lot of sense. I want to create space and acceptance for all kind of emotions.
Just to be clear, it isn’t about blaming our families. All families gave good and bad and everything in between too. It is about deciding what is stopping with us and how we want to replace it.
It’s your turn now, what part of your heritage will you bring to your grown-up family? What part of that heritage are you willing to let go? What do you claim the ownership of, that your loved ones won’t have to suffer from?
Yesterday’s article might actually be fitting well here. “If you would change… Everything would change for you”.
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