The bond between you and your family is for life, for better or worse. It’s incredibly special because the bond comes with built-in life lessons designed for you to heal and evolve; 5 of these lessons flash like neon signs right in front of us.
1. Life will give us challenges when we’re ready for them.
Life always takes you where you’re supposed to go. I forget about that, often. So I remind myself. Often. Especially when it takes me into a challenge that I sure as hell would rather not deal with or take on responsibility for. So, I remind myself: if I’m facing a challenge, that means I’m ready for it.
One of my biggest life challenges, often brought to me through family and people I love, is learning how to help others without fixing them.
My whole life is made up by a string of broken things I have tried to make whole, mostly people. I almost always fail because other people are not ours to fix. Not our parents or our siblings or our spouses or our friends.
Not even our children--but we can do everything in our might to keep them whole and safe along the way.
Truth is, we can’t fix anyone else.
We can only fix ourselves.
And when life sends me a reminder that the world is not mine to save, that all is well and to trust and to breathe, I pause. Step back from the whole scene. Look at the situation as a life challenge here to help me grow. For all I know, my efforts to fix their challenge could be cutting them off from the lessons they are here to learn, too. Then I step back in, let them know how much I love them, and I let them be.
So, let your family challenge you. And know that challenge is giving both of you opportunities to grow and evolve into the people you’re here to become.
2. The people closest to us show us the way to heal and grow by triggering the old, the unconscious and the pain.
Whatever wounds we have inside will continue to create more of the same triggers in our lives until we’ve had a chance to heal them. It’s part of the genius that is this universe and the intelligence of our souls.
Everything can be traced back to our childhood and moments of trauma and loss we’ve experienced in our lives, large or small.
If the wound is big, we lead with it. We show up in the world standing in that pain and unconsciously, we create situations that trigger it--which we them blame on a family member or loved one who may or may not have had anything to do with it.
We perpetuate the endless cycle of separation, and time and again we find ourselves faced with things that resemble the struggles we have had so many times before.
Leave people before they leave us.
Shut ourselves off from others.
Pretend that we’re okay when we’re everything but.
Family triggers us. It happens. But it happens by our own doing--by choosing to cling to a past memory that has something or nothing to do with them. Instead, we need to look at why we’ve set ourselves up for that trigger through that person, and what we can learn from it.
Pause, notice, learn and let it go so our heart can stay open--the most important task of all.
3. Daydreams turn to nightmares, and nightmares turn to daydreams; round and round it goes until we make peace with where we are and who we are here with.
My biggest fear, aside from something happening to Lea Luna (always in the back of my mind), is that I won't be a good mom. Even after walking this earth for years with her, I still find that fear creep into my thoughts.
I'm terrified of putting any weight on her shoulders, of unconsciously passing on my pain to her. A part of me knows that timing is divine, that everything I've ever been through has brought me to where I am and how I am and that I can do this. I can shower her with unconditional love without anything old clouding our bond. I can give and receive this love. I can be a mom.
A part of me knows this.
Another part is scared shitless of doing everything wrong, of making all the mistakes, of being unprepared for the force of power that she already is.
She's a warrior, this one. She’s changed all of our lives and I know it’ll only continue.
But I know, holding onto our nightmares is no way to live. So, while sitting in front of a bonfire during one of our retreats, I picked up a piece of paper and a pen and put the fear into words. Then, I threw the paper into the fire.
I released my fears into the fire and surrendered to trust.
I trust that I'm here because I'm meant to be here. It's all meant to be.
Her. I. Us.
Know that the nightmares you face round and round about not being good enough for your family is keeping you from experiencing the most special kind of love there is--the love between family.
Write all your fears down and burn them. Shout them to the ocean or the mountains. Find a way to release them from your mind and body so you can make peace with your life. Replace that little voice with trust, and with love.
4. Running from difficulty because it’s challenging is missing out on the greatest learning.
Real life isn’t always easy.
Real life is paying bills, waking up grumpy for no reason, having a sore throat, feeling pressure around the holidays, fighting with your spouse, being too tired to walk the dogs, making half-assed meals because finding inspiration to cook is hard, sending so many emails and having to do things you don’t want to do (like be an adult).
Real life is trying hard to stay reasonable, take responsibility and embrace the mundane and the boring and the hard.
Real life is facing a difficulty head on.
The days I get to spend with my daughter chasing crabs along the beach and swimming in the ocean as the sun sets are so blissful, so easy, that I find myself wishing they’ll last forever--that these are the only days we’ll ever have for the rest of our lives. I want to protect her from days of heartache or moments of fear, keeping her in this safe, happy place forever.
But that wouldn’t be fair to her. If I keep her in a safe little bubble, how will she grow? Isn’t she on her own journey of learning? It isn’t my job to keep her from what she’s ultimately here to experience, even if some of those moments are painful. What I can do is give her as many of these blissful, sunny days as I can, and make sure she knows I’ll always be there to remind her of her warrior goddess power if she ever forgets.
The beautiful thing about each of our journeys is this: blissful moments or hard as fuck moments, none of them last forever. That’s what makes each and every one of them valuable and precious and worthy of your complete attention and gratitude.
So, pay attention.
Don’t rush through the moment--hard or easy--until you’ve gathered its lessons.
Soak it all in with gratitude.
5. At the end of the day... It’s all love.
Becoming a mother was equally the most terrifying and magical thing I’ve ever done. I’m learning more about myself and all of life through watching her than I’d ever hope to know.
She's my teacher, full of timeless wisdom that she shares with me through a wink or gentle touch every single day.
In moments of stress, I move quickly. On one such evening of a fast-paced bedtime routine, Little Moon crawled onto my lap and placed her tiny hand on my heart.
“Mamma. Vila. Vila Mamma,” she says.
(Mommy. Rest. Rest, Mommy)
And then she put her little head on my chest. For the longest time, we just lay there. She hasn’t been still for over a year. She’s constantly in motion, running, exploring, playing--she can’t even sit still to eat a full meal. But we stayed like this, her head resting against my heart until time felt like it stood still. After 15 minutes or so I was convinced she was asleep but she wasn’t; I could feel her eyelashes batting against my skin. It was almost like she was listening to my heartbeat, waiting for it to slow down.
Suddenly she sat up and looked at me.
“Sova nu. Natt natt.”
(Sleep now. Night-night.)
So I put her to bed and kissed her forehead. When I walked outside, I was grounded and calm and all of life was peaceful.
Being a mother is hard. Being a human is hard! But that’s why we have loved ones to remind us what matters most...
Family is a gift of divine messengers here to show us opportunities to become our best selves. They help us walk our paths in every way we need so we can serve the world and make it a better and better place.
Opportunities for you to heal and grow are everywhere, flashing like neon lights. Don’t miss out by looking the other way.
What neon lights are your family showing you? Will you turn to face them...and grow? Share the signs you’re seeing with me below!