This is a label, a judgment that does not reflect the highest reality of what's really going on in any family.
Dysfunctional implies that there is "some way" families should function, and that if they don't, well, you didn't get a good one.
What if something else was going on in the family we grew up within, and that in fact, all families are indeed, highly functional? What if the only reason people say their families were dysfunctional, was to label them as separate from themselves, and to avoid acknowledging the lessons that were either learned from them, or more importantly, still need to be learned from them? What if the common "wisdom" (and I use that highly oxymoronic term very lightly) was being used as a way to block these further lessons that need to be learned? And that this blockage is what is in the way of our success in relationship, with money, and with community? And more importantly, that this blockage causes needless pain and suffering, and in turn, a distress that inflicts dis-ease within our bodies.
How do I know this? Because in the shamanistic healing work I do with people, the minute these specific energetic blocks are broken up through working with clients, their minds first, and then their bodies, begin to heal.
And not in some small ways either.
I have seen heart attacks, irritable bowel syndrome, cancer, bleeding gums, gout, and much, much, more clear up directly as a result of this healing process that takes people from labeling to loving.
With the term "lessons" being simply that which needs to be learned in order for any of us to reach our highest and greatest potential as the totality of ourselves.
Nothing more, nothing less than that.
No being "schooled" here, no hierarchy, no one being more or less further along on any path, because there is only one path, and that is yours, and no one and no thing can be ahead of or behind you, on your path, because you and you alone are the single determinant of what that path entails.
And that totality of ourselves includes robust and vital health, loving families, a satisfying career, and fulfilling lives of great contribution, ones that truly make a difference in the world.
A loving, and positive difference at that! There is one more further concern about using the label "dysfunctional.
" If you grew up in that family, and it was as you say, dysfunctional, then you would have had to, by association alone, taken on many, if not all of the aspects of that family.
Yes, it hurt.
Yet, they did that to you.
Yes, it happened.
No one is denying you your experience.
But that's the thing.
If it was your experience, then as a child you were immersed within that energy, and it's impossible for children not to take on the energy that exists around them, in some way, in some form.
That would be you, taking on the energy of your "dysfunctional" family.
You can even say that because of them, you are opposite of them, and you may in fact be opposite of them, but that again, is you simply taking on that energy, but in a different form than that energy was thrown at you with.
Maybe you are kind, when they were not.
Maybe you are generous, when they certainly were not.
Yet regardless of what they were, in this way of being like them or unlike them, in such a clear and reactionary way, you and who you are being is still being guided by that original energy.
And if it is in your terms, something "bad" such as "dysfunctional" is that really the energy you want to be guiding your life choices? Even if you are good, when it was bad? And with one further irony being that when people I work with in healing themselves, throw off the shackles of dysfunction, and whatever other labels they are burdened by, what happens is nothing short of astounding.
It's as if this great permission slip for "having it all" whatever their all is, gets written inside of them.
Instead of being generous in reaction to the non-generosity of those they grew up with, an action that surely produces more reactionary guilt than is worth the demonstrations of giving, because they feel so obligatory to "be different" than those greedy people, instead, what happens is that clients after freeing themselves, simply give when they choose to, out of the true goodness of being the totality of themselves.
This is when they give not out of need, and not out of a reaction to events that happened many, many, years ago.
This is to give without hooks, and without expectations of return, or accolades; the highest and most satisfying way to give of all.
True generosity! And this is you, living as a natural and spontaneous human being, once you allow yourself to be this free! What if, the function of that original family energy, functioned perfectly, and the lessons you were to learn did not entail being like them, or unlike them, but rather, in toto, being yourself.
Ah, but with such seething and deep anger for the hurts and pains of childhood, how is it possible to even focus on being yourself, when you have so much justification for being either like them or unlike them? What I have noticed is, that when I embrace whatever energy within me, or within any other person in my life, with the energy of unconditional love, the effect that energy I am embracing has on me, instantly disappears.
What once "made me" angry, no longer has that effect on me, even when I still don't like that thing, or in regard to circumstances, I still don't like what happened.
I have even seen fit to give up my expectations of others changing, because for this to work they don't have to.
I also know that my embracing of their energy does not change them, it does something infinitely more important to me: it changes me.
And "me" is what has a relationship to every other thing in my life, like that thing or not.
That's why to generate unconditional love changes me and my relationship to everything, regardless of whether anything else changes, because in truth, it may or may not, because again, it doesn't have to.
Not for me to feel great! What appears then, is this overwhelmingly effusive experience of inner peace that bubbles up every time, the true indicator of me, being me, as my true self.
When this energy is not there, I am a different person.
More ego oriented, more lost within fantasy thoughts of anger and revenge, and distracted for certain, from the one moment my awareness can exist within where I am the most powerful: here and now.
By way of disclaimer, I have to say that this perspective is one that is deliberately designed to bring out the best in you (the totality of yourself) regardless of whatever your life circumstances are, or ever were.
Having this perspective frees you and allows you to be the most powerful person you can be, while at the same time it does not justify anything, anywhere, and neither does it say that anything that hurt, did not.
What this perspective does say, is that you and you alone, are the one person who has the power to say what the effects of what happened were on you.
I grew up in a ghetto where I was often beaten severely, and also chased by antagonists on a daily basis, fearing for my life while I was growing up until I turned seventeen and was able to get out of there.
Did that ruin my life? No way! Why? Because: I say so.
In fact, I say it made me far stronger and far more compassionate for the pain and suffering of others, than I might have ever turned out to be, had this in toto, yes, every single bit of it, not happened.
I do not profess to know what your lessons were, because everyone is different, and the forms our lives take on are so varied, that no one schematic fits them all by way of explanation.
I would rather go by way of practice, and by practice what I know is that when someone, anyone, quiets their mind enough, all that dysfunctional stuff disappears, and what appears are all the manifestations of inner fulfillment and power that come out of them when they get all their judgments and labels out of the way, and allow their true selves to come forth.
(You can go on YouTube and watch "How To Quiet The Mind" for free, a video I recorded as "TB Wright" on the One Penny Millionaire channel, that is very powerful in supporting you in reaching inner silence very quickly.
) This allowing process isn't a matter of adding anything to your already existent inner self, this isn't a matter of learning anything either, and this isn't a matter of having some guru or "teacher" do it for you.
It's a matter of you, being yourself, something that you and only you can do.
And by the way, not only can only you do that, but you are as well, the best you anyone could ever be! Tom Wright