The soul cannot forgive until it
is restored to wholeness and health.
In the absence of love - how can one forgive?

With an abundance of love, starting with one's self,
forgiveness becomes a viable opportunity.
-Nancy Richards

Sunday, September 7, 2014

When Healthy Looks Crazy

Although we are reconciled, I'm still the black sheep in my family. I've always been "different."

Growing up I often heard, "Why do I always have this trouble with you Nancy? Only you- never the boys? The boys never complain about fill in the blank (being hit by your step-father, etc)."

The majority is always right - right? In civilized society this is generally true; there is a consensus on appropriate behavior.  But who decides in families? Unfortunately for those growing up in dysfunctional family systems - it is the dysfunctional  majority who decides what is appropriate - a crazy making scenario for the healthy few.

In other words, if a family as a group is only familiar with an unhealthy behavior - healthy looks "crazy."  I call this "Island Thinking" - thinking that only holds true on the family island.

For example, a big part of adulthood is being able to take care of oneself.  In order to take care of ourselves and maintain our self-esteem, we must keep good boundaries.  But what if you grow up in a family without healthy boundaries?  If parents don't model healthy boundaries, their children don't even know healthy boundaries exist let alone how to exercise or honor this basic measure of self care.

If and when one family member does learn about self-care and begins exercising boundaries, this healthy behavior looks so foreign to the family who has never seen family boundaries that they all agree that the boundary setter is behaving "crazy."

Being punished for healthy behavior can feel "crazy making," especially as a child.  But understanding "why" healthy can look crazy can make the experience feel less crazy making. 

I still choose to set healthy boundaries even when my family thinks I'm crazy. I am constantly striving to balance receiving the good that comes with family with rejecting that which is harmful to me.

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