I am learning deeply, yet it feels like familiar territory.
For years, I have been writing about family and family life. My blog www.raisinghappystrongkids.com led to the publication of a book on my style of parenting, and a few years later, an e-book which got to #3 on Kindle Parenting.
In actual fact, it is my life’s journey, which started from my fractured early childhood. I am blessed that my adopted family, especially my Ma, had given me all the tools I needed to fix the net. And those tools are all crafted with Love.
Thus, I am a great believer of Love.
My magnum opus, Catching Infinity, is about the greatness of Love, the unseen hand guiding all that exists. I arrived at that belief after my postgraduate studies at Oxford, where, after years of contemplation, I began to see that there is an overwhelming reason for things to be born, created, including our universe. Change the physical constants by a few fractions of a unit, and the whole infrastructure will fall apart. Atoms would be completely destroyed if the proton-electron ratios were not ‘just so’. That ‘just so’s are frighteningly precise. Like Fibonacci’s sequence underlying this seemingly chaotic universe which is driven towards greater disorder (entropy).
Since my Oxford days, I have often looked at the stars and wondered as my mind wandered outwards. We are representations of the universe, with our own very constitution and construction.
Touch yourself. You feel your soft but solid flesh. That flesh is made out of atoms and molecules, which are in effect just empty spaces with a few tiny particles buzzing around in its great emptiness. Our whole material reality is like this too. Everything you touch is nothing but empty space. The only currency that is universally valid in our universe is energy. E = mc2, the most famous equation of them all, gifted to humanity by Albert Einstein. And suddenly, we began to understand more.
I sat in a weekend family constellation session as a ‘Representative’ (some sort of facilitator) rather than the Client. To my surprise, I found that scientific beliefs and my philosophy of the family came together in this framework.
WE ARE CONNECTED
In Sir Isaac Newton’s time, we believe what we can see, touch and hear, like billiard balls colliding. Einstein and his successors such as Penrose and Hawking showed us an unseen world full of crazy, magical things where energy plays a very huge role, if not THE role.
Thus, we are connected not only to the people we can see, touch and hear, but there exists some sort of an invisible energy net that binds us to others, including people we have never met in our lives but who had, in their time, touched the lives of those we interact with today.
I was surprised to see with my own eyes how a mother’s unborn first child affected the second child during the session, or in my personal life, how a father’s previous wife’s suicide affects his current generation with tragic consequences. It is nothing to do with ‘curse’ but all about the energy the event had created, like ripples when a stone has been thrown into a lake. That event created an energy that had to go somewhere – it just travelled down the line.
All that has happened before is part of us. The Waldorf education system that I brought my older children up in subscribes to this belief, in that children are taught about their own family histories to establish who they are at a young age.
WE HAVE TO BE BRAVE
We can’t run away from our past. We have to do “loving surgery on it”. All other methodologies are just painkillers or plasters which do not treat the wound at all.
Many of us don’t even realise that we are running away, or are brave enough to admit it. I certainly didn’t realise I was running away. My avoidance tactic: I had 5 children, starting as soon as I could (at 16) and built a happy life to erase my early childhood, but with my youngest child leaving home, that protective layer of excuse is about to be peeled away after 32 years.
My adopted mother said having my eldest son at 17 was the making of me. I stopped being a tearaway, I stopped being rebellious, I stopped being destructive. Why? Because I had put a plaster on that wound, and the minute I stopped hurting, I began achieving.
But you can’t run away forever, however good the exile is. So the wound had to be opened up and treated.
It shocked my partner a great deal, when, lying in each other’s arms watching the rain, I suddenly said, ‘I wish we have a baby. So that this could go on for at least another 18 years.”
He had jumped out of bed like a shot, and grabbed a towel to wrap around his waist. It was almost comical. “Jac,” he said deeply. “You need to see a proper shrink.”
I had a distrust of psychologists (yeah, I know, prejudice).
But I agreed, no more children, no more busy world of being a mummy, no more green smoothies or organic food. My partner had been telling me that in his unprofessional clumsy way for quite a while, which caused lots of fights between us.
“Stop fussing!” he would snarl as I waited for him at the door with a big glass of green smoothie and healthy organic food on the table. I used to get terribly hurt. I still am hurt, so I have to work on it.
The hardest mirror to look at is one that goes beneath the skin, but I don’t want to live through life without looking at myself ever. It’s like not reading the early pages of a book – however good the story, you would have closed the book missing out on something very important.
So I woke up alone, the only person on the whole floor of an apartment block. I am back to being an unwanted little girl and I have to be OK (happy even) with that.
I am learning to be.
AT PEACE WITH “WHAT IS”
Injustices had been done to me twice in my life, once in childhood and another time when I was 45-46. Instead of being furious with the perpetrators, I should be grateful that there had only been two shit events in my entire life and those two shit events gave me greater opportunities to move on to a better, richer place each time. Everything that had happened had brought me to where I am today, this beautiful mountain run, the people who love me, the good health, and the long, happy, rich and prosperous (in terms of love) years behind me.
I ran for miles each day (sometimes in and out of three countries in one day), really opened my eyes to the world around me, and I thought to myself one day, “Wow.” Children or no children, this is an amazing life. Thank you to All, seen or unseen, who had brought me here: an important part of family constellation is acknowledging the right of people to be present in your life. You don’t cut anybody off who doesn’t fit your picture.
Interestingly, my psychologist friend told me that it is NOT about forgiving – which implies “I am holier than thou” – but simply to acknowledged the bad things had happened without blame and to accept them with equanimity. It is part of the fabric, no more.
HAVE THAT DEEP CONVERSATION THAT NEEDED TO HAPPEN
We talk incessantly to stop the birth of a painful object from our past. So we keep on talking inanely to create a story to detract from the real subject, that really needed to be born.
I once tried to open a conversation with someone about his relationship with his mother as we were driving towards his family home, and with tears in his eyes, he asked me to leave it alone. That talk needed to happen, perhaps not with me, but with the right people. But it never would, and funnily enough, this person is a great talker. He never stops talking.
For me, that deep conversation started when I was sitting on the beach in Phuket with a relative stranger who happened to be a medical doctor and a psychologist specialising in family work, in particular, children with special needs. I felt as if I could trust him immediately. He understood a part of me that nobody else could reach, not even my partner, who is my soulmate, my greatest love.
I trust him, because as in any man-woman interaction, there often is the sexual energy vibe going on (fact of life), and he had said to me, right from the start, “You are drawn to me because you needed to have this conversation.”
Yes, I talked to him deeply, like I was 8 years old again.
In my deep subconscious, I believed that if I built happy families (mine and helping other people to achieve that), then I can somehow fix my birth family to make life better for the young me. In actual fact, there is nothing that needs fixing. Knowing that sets me free.
Over the weeks and months, we talked, by Skype and emails when his holiday was over. Through him, I talked to the people who had hurt me and cut my heart to ribbons, until finally, I was able to lay down side by side with “them” (their roles played by ‘Representatives”) with no feelings, not even the desire to talk to them. I did that in Stockholm one magical summer night when the sun did not set, and it felt like a beautiful rebirth.
Watch this space for my latest children’s book about a boy who turns into a monster when he gets mad. The illustrator is part of my family constellation group and he understands 🙂
Main photo: the t-shirt that started me on this healing journey. It is the best gift that I could give myself.
Follow my journey as I learn and apply all that I believe in …… slowly. It makes perfect sense ❤
Wikipedia’s definition of Family Constellation is here.
Related post: What’s stopping you? Unravelling the family ties