“If You Think You’re Enlightened Go Spend a Week With Your Family”
I have long loved the quote, “If you think you’re enlightened go spend a week with your family” by Ram Dass.
The reason I whole heartedly agree with Ram Dass’ quote is because I believe that as souls we choose to come here (earth) for our greatest learning and spiritual growth, and with that in mind our soul chooses the family we will enter so that we receive what we need in order to gain the greatest learning and growth. What that usually means is that our family can be our biggest support, but at the same time also our biggest challenge…and in some cases heartache.
I know I have grown into a very different person then I was when living with my family, and going back home has definitely been a bench mark for me in how much I have been able to learn and let go. Each time I return it shows me where I’ve grown, and along with that usually comes a new level of letting go and learning.
Without a doubt I always end up learning something else about myself…as well as end up having a greater understanding and compassion for my family. Granted, the understanding and compassion doesn’t happen immediately…there’s typically a prelude of drama and tension that precedes it. BUT after taking a step back clarity surfaces.
I have always had a great family and feel very blessed and appreciative that we are close knit, but that’s not to say that it has not come with its ups and downs. Over the years there have been many occurrences of head-butting going on.
Being the oldest of four siblings I most definitely fell into the stereotype of the oldest sibling syndorome, commonly referred to as Type A personality. Whether it truly was because of the order of my birth or not, fact is I now consider myself a “recovering” people-pleaser, perfectionist, over-analyzer, and over-achiever. It was about 6 or 7 years ago that I set out on a journey of recovery of my true self, and I credit my up-bringing with helping me become who I am now; trials and tribulations included. I love and embrace who I am now.
I now live in Calgary, Alberta, but grew up on a farm in Saskatchewan. Yep, true farm girl here! As a child I had severe asthma which often resulted with me ending up in the hospital. I am a believer in Louise Hay’s work which talks about the connection between our health and our emotions. Louise Hay has studied this for many, many years and found that certain ailments equate to certain emotional states. Understanding that there is a connection, I was curious what the connection was to asthma.
Upon reading that asthma meant “feeling stifled or suffocated by family” I absolutely could see the truth in this. In stories my mom has told me, she’s the first to admit that she was a nervous wreak when I was born, and would often cry when I cried. When put into my aunt’s arms as a baby, I would immediately calm. We are all sensitive to energy, but as children we are even more so, and as an infant I was obviously able to pick up on the distress my mom was sending out.
Over the years I did begin to outgrow my asthma to the point that it would only be aggravated if I had a cold. Once having moved to Calgary the only times my asthma acted up was when I was back home in Saskatchewan. I always equated that to the fact there were more things I was allergic to on the farm. However, once I was aware that there is a connection between our health and our emotions, I began to question that, and wondered if there was more to the story.
Truth is that when at home I never did feel like I could come home, relax, and go with the flow. I come from a family of “doers, ” and there was an expectation that things needed to get done, and they needed to get done now. I myself had been a “doer”, BUT being on my own, as well as changing a lot of my beliefs, I had come to understand that being in a state of “being” is as equally important. So many times when returning home I had an inner struggle of doing what I wanted to do versus doing what I grew up feeling I should do.
Over the last several years, not only have I been going through a lot of changes and learning to let go of the beliefs and ways of life that no longer work for me, but the same has also happened with my family. They have been going through their own journey as well, and at times this has led to some miscommunication and misunderstandings since we are all trying to manoeuvre around and understand each other as we grow and change.
I have come to understand myself better, and now know that I need my own space at times. I enjoy being around people, but after a certain point I hit an “energetic” wall and I then require some space and time to myself. I never used to honour that, but certainly do now. In coming to understand myself better, I now have been able to let my family know what I need. Admittedly the initial delivery of this message was very heated on both sides, but once calming down I believe we both came to a better understanding.
We teach others, including our family, how they are able to treat us, and this usually does entail a conversation. In my case, because we didn’t have a lot of these types of conversations growing up, it was unfamiliar territory and instead of having a reasonable conversation about our needs, it often started as an argument. To our credit, this usually eventually led to a conversation and coming to a deeper understanding.
In the process of beginning to honour my needs, I noticed a shift in my asthma when I would return home. I no longer have been having issues with my asthma when in Saskatchewan! HOWEVER, this does not mean that there is not still growth to be had.
Although my asthma has no longer been an issue, triggers still occur with family since our growth is never ending, and I continue to learn something about myself every time I am around my family…some lessons being gentler than others.
Trisha Savoia is founder/owner of Absolute Awareness, and creator of the Best Mom You Can Be Program. Through her programs, writing, and speaking she uses her skills and experience as a mother, teacher, & Clinical Hypnotherapist to mentor moms who want to become the best mom they can be by beginning to focus on themselves first.
She teaches moms how to slow down, understand their true values & priorities, implement self-care & self-awareness, thereby opening up to their intuition to create their own fulfilment, meaning, purpose, and happiness. …which of course, all gets passed down to the children who can then retain their intuitive sense, and grow from a place of knowing the truth of who they are.