Honouring the Purpose of Family

Does the well-known saying “You can choose your friends but not your family,” reveal the fact that from the get go we believe we are hapless victims of circumstance and simply have to put up with what life has handed us? What if there is actually no accident in terms of who we end up with in family; that we in fact choose our family for the learning and experience we need this time around?

If we can accept and embrace the family we are born into, then this forms the foundation of our relationship with family and we are more likely to be open to the learning on offer, knowing we are blessed by everything that unfolds, even if it does not look pretty. This understanding frees us from the belief system that has us as victims of circumstance in our families, caught up in blaming others and feeling like we are haplessly trapped in some kind of enduring punishment.

Bringing more awareness to all our pictures and beliefs about family and all the expectations and ‘rules’ in our societies means that we can start to unpack them and live free from them. There are many rules, ideals and expectations about what a family ‘should’ look like that we are forever trying to live up to, and from this comes the crippling way that we compare and compete with others: a mean judgement of ourselves alongside what we see everyone else doing.

We work so hard at keeping everything looking alright on the surface, no matter what is going on behind closed doors. The key point of devastation here is the simple fact that we are living beholden to external rules, rather than the innate qualities and standards that we hold within which make us who we are and aware of the true potential of all our relationships and what they offer.

One of the many ills of living with pictures is that they keep us in the isolated, arm’s length disconnection from one another as we all collude in the pretence of ‘keeping up appearances.’

  • What if the true purpose of family is to learn and grow, and that sometimes this may not look pretty at all? That our learning is so much richer when our attention and energy is not focussed on maintaining a status quo that can be labeled ‘acceptable’ and/or ‘good.’
  • What if we all have the responsibility and wherewithal to hold our own and stay steady to what we know is of true value, whatever the world or others might be saying?
  • What if some relationships need to ‘break’ for there to be true learning and development?
  • What if blaming our adult behaviour on experiences from childhood is a futile and irresponsible indulgence? At what stage do we take responsibility for our lives, heal our past hurts, move on from blame and stand on our own two feet, laying the path ahead with the choices we make?
  • What if as parents we stay in dysfunctional and unhappy relationships ‘for the children’ because the world says that two parents together are better? And from the adult role models in their lives, what does this teach children about relationships, integrity, truth and love?

Suspending disbelief for a moment or two and allowing ourselves to explore these ‘what ifs’ opens up the possibility of a whole new way of relating to life, family, relationships and the beautiful, significant and responsible part we can play in all of the above.

By Mary-Louise Myers, age 60, carer for our elderly, health practitioner, mother of 2, Australia & Matilda Bathurst, age 51, midwife, primary school teacher, mother of 3, cook and writer, UK

Related Reading:
A true family model for the 21st century
Building true relationships and positive parenting
True Family

544 thoughts on “Honouring the Purpose of Family

  1. Recently I became open to meet a member of my extended family for the first time. It was a meeting that healed a separation and cleared previous misconceptions and we related to each other as the true brothers we already are. It was beautiful and divinely constellated to be that way.

  2. Our families offer us the opportunity to rise above the current imposition of ideas and beliefs of what families are ‘meant’ to be about and embrace the deeper potential of what the constellation is offering each and every family member, and live the power of what true family means.

  3. We can get stuck in our family issues, and they stop us from moving on if we hold any anger, frustration or resentment against a family member. Our role instead can be to hold onto how we know ourselves to be, and accept it is as it is for a bigger reason so that everyone can feel a loving reflection.

  4. Much evil has been disseminated under the guise of ‘family’. It is a crippling consciousness that will not let you know you are owned by it and will not let you form true connections and relationships with others thereby leaving you bereft of any true family when you are under its spell.

  5. Working from the natural openness and love that is our ‘within’ and natural way, we can learn so much from every interaction, relationship and apparently challenging situation we find ourselves in.

  6. So often we have chosen the family we have (as it is we who chose it) in order to hide from our true light and power and expression in this world.

  7. It is very easy to play nice to not disrupt the status quo. Family has a tendency to bring up all kinds of things that need looking at which can be very, ‘not nice’ at times. These moments need to be embraced for the learning that comes from them, if we are willing to go there.

    1. The ‘nice game’ is just that a game and sooner or later all the tension we carry unresolved comes to the surface. When we are willing to learn and observe when the games begin and choose not to play, we are offering another true family and the evolution that is there for ALL.

  8. I am absolutely here to learn and feel that family is much more than blood – and that it is not about treating family as anymore than how you would treat friends. I am receiving this learning each day and it is about the choice I make to respond to this in full and in truth.

  9. For much of my life I used to believe that “we are hapless victims of circumstance and simply have to put up with what life has handed us?”, including family, but there were moments when I would question if in fact this was the truth. And now, thanks to the shared wisdom of Serge Benhayon and finally reconnecting to who I truly am, I know there is no way I am a victim of life, that I actually have created this life by the choices I have made, and that I do have a choice as to what life presents me with next.

  10. We need to wake up and become aware of where we are in, which energy we are living and what else is there for us to life, to not accept the way things are in this loveless state and to bring back the love that we are.

  11. “What if some relationships need to ‘break’ for there to be true learning and development”? The belief that a good relationship is one that stays together no matter what is one that harms us individually and as a society. It’s not that we give up on the relationship as soon as there is an issue, but we need to feel that some relationship have a certain purpose/lifespan and once we have learnt and healed what was needed, we are in disharmony to stay together.

  12. I love how you say it is an honouring of the purpose of family. The word honour and its quality is so sorely missed in our living ways nowadays. We have made everything about have do’s and must do’s and with that have completely forgotten what it means to live in unison with our innate beingness that does not make life a must but simply an honouring of who we are.

  13. The true understanding and purpose of family is beautifully offered here for us all and brings a new light and opportunity to our lives with awareness love and evolution from the acceptance of all we are offered to learn from.

  14. It’s so important to look past pictures and ideals and consider what we are choosing in our lives, in terms of our relationships, jobs, daily choices and so forth. Having a great or successful job is one thing, but do we feel great within the role and feel fully empowered to make change and provide an excellent service? One of the worst things we can do is settle for things looking good on the surface but feeling empty underneath.

  15. ‘…knowing we are blessed by everything that unfolds, even if it does not look pretty. …’ This is such a beautiful way of being. I can reflect on every aspect of family life and see what I’ve been offered to grow. When it’s not looked pretty I’ve had a big part in that which is great to see and take responsibility for. When I’ve been able to observe what’s not been pretty there’s been great learning too. Knowing everyone we meet, not just family, is never random but divinely constellated I can start noticing what is there for me to learn and grow from. The more I’ve denied this in the past, the more I can now see how spot on the constellation was.

  16. Most of us try to avoid tension within relationships in any way as there is a perception that tension is not a good thing. But it is important we learn to express and deal with whatever tension arises for when it is undealt with it festers and leads to greater conflict and dynamic later on often.

    1. Yes, learning that tension is a part of life and can be used as a guide for us to feel our way – not in avoidance but what there is to take note of and respond to; to bring a truth and transparency that avoiding tension doesn’t do. Like you say avoiding tension creates far more problems in life! but being understanding of this and supporting oneself to stay present in the tension is key for me.

  17. Maybe there are many things where we don’t truly honour the true purpose of, as well as family. A stranger is simply a friend we haven’t met yet, and so forth, and there is a reason for meeting everyone.

    1. “By placing people in a special category we expose them to a horde of unsaid demands and beliefs” And may I add abuse. Most family cultures thrive on differentiation, elders, youth, father, mother, aunts, uncles, many labels. This comes with a pecking order. I always offer my nieces and nephews the choice to call me by my first name without ‘aunty,’ but tradition and habit makes it difficult for them to do so and I accept their choice. The whole idea that elders are equal and no different from the young or a child is still a consciousness many people are resistant to.

  18. I agree with what has been written
    “What if there is actually no accident in terms of who we end up with in family; that we in fact choose our family for the learning and experience we need this time around?”
    My family has been a huge learning curve for me, I have gained so much wisdom and I adore my elder sisters and we are having so much fun and enjoy each other’s company which wasn’t the case when we were growing up.

  19. The true purpose of family is an very worthwhile sharing and knowing for us to live and is super supportive bringing a depth of understanding , purpose and harmony to our lives wherever we go and are that is so beautiful when felt and lived .

  20. How much abuse do we accept under the umbrella of family? Why is it that ŵe feel we can treat our family in ways that we would never treat others? I love the question you ask ‘What if some relationships need to ‘break’ for their to be true learning and development? This is such a great question to ask as there are so many relationships that continue which hold both people in the relationship back.

  21. We have so many adopted beliefs and ideals related to what is family and friends when all our relationships are an opportunity to learn how we are equal in essence in the inner heart.

  22. For too long we have simply accepted the societal belief that we are stuck with our family, that we have to put up with their behaviours no matter what and that we are supposed to love them without question. When you look at it from this belief it makes it sound like we are all the victims of some random event and therefore there is nothing we can do about it. But once you come to understand that we in fact choose our family for the purpose of lessons to be learned or to heal issues from previous lives, we take the power back into our own hands and with it the choice to accept what our family situation is offering us, or not.

  23. “Bringing more awareness to all our pictures and beliefs about family and all the expectations and ‘rules’ in our societies means that we can start to unpack them and live free from them.” Beautiful and a much needed understanding of the purpose of family and the reflections for us all to evolve from.

  24. It’s true that the level of abuse we accept from our family is not what we would allow from friends, work colleagues or strangers. So there is something about our ideals, beliefs and pictures of what families are about that allows us to do this.

  25. ” What if there is actually no accident in terms of who we end up with in family; that we in fact choose our family for the learning and experience we need this time around?…” Love this, as it completely turns upside down the notion that we are hapless recipients of some random lottery of who and how we land in a family group… Rather, where we have landed is a consequence of many lifetime energetic choices as well as an offering to advance from these energetic choices.

  26. We get so wounded by our family of origin that we then tend to hold everyone else on the planet at arms length in case they hurt us. This way of protecting ourselves from hurt does not work and in fact limits us.

  27. If we were to believe in reincarnation as a way to evolve up and out of a dense plane of life that we as beings descended into to experience creation, it then makes complete sense to me that we chose the families we reincarnate into so that we can learn the lessons of life which is to renounce creation, so that we can all eventually ascend out of this plane of life back to where we are meant to be.

  28. “What if the true purpose of family is to learn and grow, and that sometimes this may not look pretty at all?” This is a powerful question or statement and wipes out perfectionism and trying to keep up appearances. Over many years I’ve been peeling away the ‘keeping the status quo’ and trying to hide all the not so pretty things to reveal what is really going on.

  29. The fact that we choose our own families before we reincarnate for the purpose of learning and evolving is one that changes the foundation of counseling and the approach to healing our childhood hurts.

  30. This is all part of the “you only live once” fallacy. When we accept that re-incarnation is a fact and that life does in fact have a purpose, we may be more open to seeing that nothing is random and that everything is there to support us to evolve. To evolve back to who we really are. Including the family we are with in each life.

  31. This is really important to remember; ‘What if there is actually no accident in terms of who we end up with in family; that we in fact choose our family for the learning and experience we need this time around?’ This takes away any blame and judgment of our family and instead can bring an understanding and acceptance.

  32. We may not overtly blame our behaviour as adults on what happened in our childhood but we can certainly use it as an excuse not to change, as if we can’t change because we are held in this dynamic, or that it is difficult to get out of and therefore we need sympathy in order to get by. We say we understand and we want others to understand but we have no true desire to move beyond where we have chosen to position ourselves. There is a comfort and sense of security in staying where we are.

  33. When both sides remain open and honest to communicate, any misunderstandings can be expressed clearly and sorted out. This is a brilliant reflection we can take to all relationships

  34. Reading the words: “living beholden to external rules, rather than the innate qualities and standards that we hold within” I could see clearly how often we defer to the rules and beliefs we have been raised to live by, instead of learning to trust what we indelibly know to be true. And to do so we have to call in a force to override this truth. What an exhausting and confusing way to live.

  35. It is so clear the true purpose of families is to sort out our relationships with each other in the blood family, and to do it without the picture of what the end result may be. It may not look great but it will feel complete when we work our side out with clarity.

    1. True Gill, whatever issues and problems emerge within birth or adopted families, wise to keep our attention firmly with the quality of reflection we offer others. To be steady, loving, clear and without expectations frees us from the ‘wishing things were different” tree and drops us into the pool of accepting things and people as they are. When we have corrected our relationship with self, new constellations appear and the possibility to heal relationships with others we may have separated from or they from us is offered to us.

  36. Even though I never felt as I belonged to my family deep down I know it was my choice to be with them to learn and to teach, to understand and love, to see the abuse and care, to make my own choices and embrace the humanity as my extended family.

    1. This has been my expereince as well Elena. It is very empowering to understand the deeper purpose of why we have the families we do, and to learn to hold ourselves in our own truth within that group, with whatever may come our way.

  37. We can see families wherever we go in life, in our work colleagues, neighbours, shop owners and our communities (online or locally).

    1. We are part of a universal family and to understand life in this way gives new meaning and purpose to all relationships , Even when we meet someone briefly on a rail or boat journey we relate and communicate with them as if they are part of us,, which of course they are.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.