Family Ties

Image by Tim Marshall
A cousin of mine called me the other day and she was clearly upset with an aunt of ours. She needed to vent about the aunt’s negative behavior. And as I listened, it’s always interesting to me when I find more pieces to the women in my family’s emotional instability, especially when they all live closely together. When you’re so far removed like me, that what you hear and see is otherworldly.
Who am I without this part of family? I could only answer this question after years of personal growth and past therapy.  I will say that I am currently independent from the women’s drama because I chose to heal myself. I chose to live more consciously through looking at myself closely, in the light and the shadow. It’s about personal responsibility too. But also, my visceral experience of being submerged in the drama enabled me to see the reality of the family dynamic. Family ties are really that: ties/bonds/shackles. For better, or worse.
Hearing the lies. Witnessing the manipulations. The exaggerations. The gossip.
My recent conversation with my cousin provided more reflection about how the younger generation repressed a lot.  It was unsafe and dangerous actually to be authentic. To be different in our way of thinking.  Even though our mother’s and aunts “spoke” that it was good to be different, yet punished us if we dared to venture a little outside.  How did they punish, you may ask? By shaming and marginalize us. Temporarily annihilating our very essence. Then when they felt in their self-righteous eyes, we were in good standing. We were brought back from the dead…. for only the cycle to repeat itself.
The daughters and nieces were never good enough in our mother and aunt’s eyes. They had demeaning labels for us sometimes, attacking our femininity or trying to dominate us through having us feel guilt for not sacrificing our lives for them; for not obeying their tribal laws.
I am the only one who came out alive- healthier, authentic and free. I SURVIVED. My cousins and their daughters didn’t. They perpetuate the sickness. And as much as I have tried in the past to bring closeness between my female cousins and me, I have been unsuccessful. Closeness between the women in our family means coming out betrayed. The compassion and loyalty never lasts. So, I had to make a choice. The choice to accept what is, and move forward with my life in a “better different”.
The highly dysfunctional women bonds on my maternal side weren’t brought to a greater awareness in prior years because the behavioral conditioning was such that it blinded: it feeds fear and insecurity. It feeds fears of ABANDONMENT, especially by the mother. Who wants to experience that?
“One Wise woman said, fuck this shit”- Unknown
Today, a couple of the elder women are deceased and the others remaining are elderly too. I learned how and when to engage with them remotely. The relationship with my mother was a painful one because of her own lack of self-love and consciousness. I have deliberately freed myself from that bond. But also freed her from me, energetically speaking.
On a deeper and unconscious level, our DNA holds memories of fear of being ostracized. By reading history you may already know that individuals belonging to a tribe couldn’t survive alone. They literally needed the tribe for shelter, food and security. You’d die without the tribe. As you can read, this plays a role in keeping us within the confinement of negative family behaviors.
This is how PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT empowers you. It helps you see what you are not, and what beliefs need to change, among other empowering insights that personal development gifts you. We are not here to fix anyone because we cannot fix or change anyone. We can ONLY change ourselves, regardless of unfairness, abuse or any maltreatment. We in the west are fortunate because we have the potential mental construct of: CHOICE.
Sometimes it may feel like we don’t have choices, but we do have them. Choice is very powerful. The hindrance that many of my clients encounter is that they don’t BELIEVE they have a choice because they are so bogged down in the drama and negative patterns, thus lacking the courage to make the lifestyle change necessary to live psychologically well.
Another reason why people feel they don’t have a choice is because they are afraid of confrontation. However, confronting a situation and someone doesn’t have to be ugly or demeaning, as so many times confrontation is portrayed in our society. We all can learn a healthy confrontational behavior that involves stepping into integrity, honor, respect and self-love. It doesn’t guarantee you that the other will return the same behavior, but it will make you brave and certainly over time help you realize that you are better off in your authentic healthy life than to remain in any relationship that is unwilling to improve itself.
Here is a mantra I have created below that may help you:
I chose to walk a different path, than remain in the precipice of denial; darkness at it’s core.
I chose to be unshackled from ancestral conditioning keeping me “safe” when it truly is not.
No matter how abandoned I may feel, I chose to remove the blindfolds and see WHAT IS and create health, wellness and peace from emptiness.

​Sandra Rojo is the founder of Journey to Authentic Living and a Health, Wellness and Personal Development Coach. For more information on how you can live a more rewarding and fulfilling life or to schedule a free 15-minute consultation, please contact her at 

#Authenticliving #coaching #personalgrowth #personaldevelopment #psychology #thrive #goals #success #parents #family #healing #therapy #counseling #mindfulness


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