Shapes – One of the most important truth to understand when raising kids.
Considering that family is the foundation of our society I think it’s crazy that there is so little support and help, so little valuable teaching found on how to create a healthy family.
If you are like me, there are very few areas where you can simply imitate your parents in how they did it. However, in this article I want to talk about something that has been a big revelation in my own life, something I am still learning to apply…. something I am eager to apply within my family – with my husband and kids.
Let’s talk about shapes.
In 2003 while I had weekly meetings with my supervisor, we talked about relationship. Or rather…she talked to me and I tried to get what she was saying. But even though it was in French, and I do understand French pretty well, it sounded like Arab to me (or any language I have no clue about). I understood the words. However these words didn’t make any sense to me.
It was like hearing the words, understanding the singular words, but not having any capacity in me to grasp the meaning of what she was really saying.
She then took a sheet of paper and drew the following picture:
Explaining to me that in “normal” life, every person is a shape. There are circles, triangles, squares, rectangles, etc. And these shapes interact, but they stay the same – and they don’t cover each other completely. They are different. And that’s OK. That’s the individual personality of every person. It may be in a family, in a job, in school, with friends… That’s the healthy and constructive way of socializing.
1. Then it hit me! I suddenly got it very clear inside me: In my upbringing, being different was not allowed. My parents felt threatened by it. I felt like my father was a circle and I was one too. But he wanted me to stay “inside” of him. That the part that didn’t fit “inside” of his circle, was “bad” and “rebellious” and “impossible to love”.
2. Leaving home, I left as well the circle of my father… but only in that shape he did allow me to be. On from this point in life, I was desperately looking for a guy I could hide my not-so complete self into again. For that, I did agree to make many sacrifices, because I just wanted to feel “save”, to hide, to be “loved”…
By the time I started to understand this, I was already 24 years old.
And to be honest, I was terribly scared to discover the “other” part of me, the one labelled “bad, rebellious and impossible to love” by my parents.
Looking back today, I have mixed feelings about that matter.
4. On the one hand, I am just so grateful.
I’ve gone much further on my journey to grow into who I really am, as a whole circle. The hidden parts are not hidden any more, and I very much enjoy to be that part… this extrovert, adventurous, challenging person, able to put my inner world into words.
5. I have the amazing gift of being married to a man I can NOT hide into – but to one that challenges me to be whole and to discover who I am, loving me for every part of it. I’m so grateful for having a wonderful family with him.
On the other hand, I realize that there are many things I’ve missed and a lot of things I’ve lost.
By not knowing what this other part of me was, being scared to discover it, and just wanting to hide inside someone else… I definitely lost many adventures, thrilling experiences, I lost the opportunity to live my years as young adult in freedom. I lost the opportunity to embrace what was there for me – I even missed out a big deal on my journey with God – not being able to hear him properly with my messed up perception of myself and therefore of him.
As a result, today as a family, we are eager to discover how to truly let everyone grow into who they truly are. This is true for our relationship as husband and wife – and for us as parents toward our children.
We want to discover who the other person is meant to be. We want to provide the freedom for them to express what’s deep within. The space to exist and to communicate what really matters to them. With this we are coming back to the title of this article:
One of the most important truth to understand when raising kids.
In next weeks post, I will go more into how we do that in our family, what are the things we learned about that matter. For this week, there is just the following facts I want to point out: