Our ability to enjoy our lives and relationships reflect our habits — habits that reflect our personal history, family and cultural traditions and our entanglements.
Family background plays a key role in shaping future family relationships, as typically, those who are easily entangled come from families that are chaotic and not skilled at emotional communications, so they tend to repeat the cycle.
Getting caught up in the tangle of emotions inherent in family relationships and trying to control outcomes can harm us and the people we love. Entanglements in the present rooted in resentment and anger over past events can trigger irrational emotions appropriate to another time, another place, another person. The person that was, not the person who is.
When we are in the midst of a family relationship drama, we replay the past; we fantasize about the future. In reality, problems do not exist outside the mind, and most of our emotional problems are nothing more than a failure to accept things as they are. Our family members have been in our past, are in our present, and will be in our future.
Some life lessons I have been learning are:
- I don’t have to live my life the way other people expect me to.
- I must decide what I want from life before others decide for me.
- I don’t have to like everyone and they don’t have to like me.
- Detachment is required to maintain healthy relationships.
- The one thing I can control is my attitude.
- I can use skillful means to heal myself and help others at the same time.
Healthy family relationships are characterized by a degree of detachment that allows us freedom to thrive and grow independently. Healthy detachment is keeping a safe, emotional distance from those you have previously given power to affect your emotional outlook on life. Healthy detachment and happiness are possible when we commit to self-love as a skilful means for conscious living.