What is “family”?

To many the question sounds rather absurd… of course everyone knows what family is… and what it isnt… but what if… what if our changing and evolving times are redefining family. What if what we thought we knew about ourselves is being dismantled and cleared to a basic foundational level? What if we dont know what we dont know about what actually defines us?

On our journey as we discussed in the book, Fumbling Through the Light so many dynamics around family came to the surface to be examined and questioned. Ideas of what it means to be a “good” adult child, loyalty, tradition, expectations and roles. There were so many paradigms that had to shift it felt in order to survive. In order to create something new we had to let go of the old, even if the old was all we had known… even if the old wasnt even that bad.

In recent weeks, I have found myself in conversations with many friends about the intense energies we feel shifting us collectively into something new. Many have talked about family or personal crisis which are leading them to re-examine where they are placing their focus and whom it is they are trying to make happy. This inevitably leads back to our family of origin.

Let’s dig a little deeper…

You see, I dont think you will find anyone that will argue the point that things are shifting and changing almost at a rate that boggles the mind. We are losing track of time as we have understood it, a week might feel like a day and a day may feel like a year. Things dont make the same kind of sense as they used to. So if you are feeling that way, know you are not alone.

There are much bigger things playing out in the cosmos that those that understand astrology can sort of wrap their heads around… but only a bit Those that are familiar with the idea of “ascension” can understand things on the esoteric levels, but in practical terms everything seems to be falling apart… not coming together.

As humans, we have a belief that when things are moving in the right direction everything is fine. Meaning, if it is good where we are going, then we dont have to give anything up. But, we can look back on our own lives and see this isnt the case. It is quite logical in fact to see… in order to go to college, you have to leave high school, and this often means leaving friends and family. In order to move into a new house, you have to leave the old one and all of the emotional attachments that you made there. In order to pursue a new career, you have to leave your old job. In order to become a mother, you have to let go of what your life looked like before kids. All of the things we had “before” were in many cases pretty good. We may have felt like we were doing ok. But we let go because we KNEW we were getting something better. We may have felt a bit trepidatious but we had a dream that was clear and our motivation was positively charged.

Now, there are only two forces in this world that move us… only two… fear and love. Fear moves forward because it is scared of staying the same ~ which arguably can set us on the path to moving forward in love. But still not the best motivator. Then there is love… love is expansive and all encompassing and free. It says… something wonderful is coming if I just keep going. Fear holds on… love lets go.

Now we assume (getting back to families) that today’s traditionally accepted construct of a nuclear family is the way it has always been. We see it being redefined and challenged and we freak out… ok… so not all of us… but there is a collective freak out that you see playing out in the media… “War on families” or whatever… and it is totally based in fear! And lies. There is no war… in fact there is a movement towards peace and love and allowing.

Historically, there is overwhelming evidence that family has been for thousands of years a very fluid concept. Every culture has a way that has worked for them, based on their particular needs, roles and definitions. There isnt enough time, and I dont want to bore you with the details, but it is a very fascinating research topic if you are interested. But I am going to focus on one.

In ancient matriarchal societies where priestess traditions were followed. ALL children were wanted. ALL children were loved equally by all adults. The basic tenets of the society were “WE” based as opposed to “ME” based. The concept was much more than it takes a village to raise a child, it was more all children are our children. Every child knew he or she was loved by everyone, cared for, fed and clothed by the collective strength that came from the combined love (as opposed to divided love). Wealth was shared proportionally according to needs and everyone contributed to the welfare of the society because it was never about getting ahead of one another it was about getting ahead together. No one was left behind because they lifted each other, recognizing that strength comes from connection not competition. Families were fluid. There were marriages and partnerships children born and raised within a setting that we would recognize, but there was gentle movement between society. There was a recognition that growth and needs occur and change and the society supported this as a natural sign of how love works. It doesnt confine a person, but sets them free.

Now, we may wonder why we dont hear about these societies… it is quite simple… where is the woman’s voice throughout history?

With the advent of the patriarchal paradigm in some emerging cultures about 6000 years ago, a new idea evolved. This idea was that the me is more important that the we. That possessions were representative of power and power equalled right to rule. It entitled one to tell others what was theirs and what wasnt. This paradigm created institutions, governments, systems… with one goal. Separation. You see when one is separate from the collective, by power, popularity or wealth then one is special. One can have control. But in order to maintain that control and specialness (which is likened unto being like god) one has to exert control over others. The quickest way to do so is through fear. The greatest fear tool one can use is the threat of being alone.

Now, where would the threat of being alone be the most intimidating? The place where we are conditioned to believe we should receive the most love. The family.

The family is the keystone to patriarchal rule and governance. The family is the key to controlling society with fear. When one is not afraid of being alone because they recognize their infinite connection and support from the whole there is no loss of love.

Shaming, threats, withdrawal of attention, abandonment, etc… the list is endless of the tactics used to keep family members in line with the rules of the patriarchy. This was important traditionally speaking because wealth and power were passed down through the family, you couldnt have people just running around loving everyone… they might give your kingdom away. This is also where marriage contracts developed and women and subsequent daughters became property of the patriarchal head of the household. Men needed to know that any offspring from the woman was actually theirs. It was all about me, my and mine.

In the use of the term patriarchal, let us not confuse ourselves, this is not a gender issue. There are many women in our shared experience that use these conditioned practices to carry on the societal order… out of fear. They may have been taught that this is the only way to get “love” by controlling and intimidating those around her. It isnt anyone’s fault… but when we know better we have a responsibility to do better. If not for ourselves, then those we truly seek to love without condition. Patriarchal love can never ever be unconditional love, because by its very definition… it comes with all sorts of conditions. Love is defined by if/then. If you are this, then you get that.

Secrets, lies, manipulation, violence, and war naturally arose as a result of trying to control people by cutting them off from their hearts desire to be free. Loyalty above truth. Family before stranger. Blood is thicker than water… but at what price? Roles and rules had to be followed precisely to maintain order. It has only been a few decades where the regular practice of families “arranging” marriages, or at a minimum HIGHLY influencing them seemed to wane. In a patriarchal construct, few women have a real say about the direction of their familial life. Many women married for political or financial reasons… ie fear instead of love. How many loveless marriages exist today because it was simply easier to stay than risk being alone or in financial difficulties?

Now let me be clear… I am not judging what was or is. ALL of it has served to help us evolve as a collective. We are waking up and looking at our daughters and seeing their amazing light and wanting them to shine unapologetically as they are. We are seeing our sons and willing them to be free from societal demands and false constructs. We want them to have passions that they are free to pursue. We wish to encourage all children to BE who they are, even if it is different from what society expects… at least we feel something within us stirring pushing us towards those desires for those that are coming after us.

This means re=examining the principle definitions of what family is, and what it is becoming. We have to make some choices about what is important to us. Tradition or exploration? Secrets or transparency? Being who someone else wants you to be or being yourself? Chaining ourselves to the expectations of others or setting ourselves free? Power or vulnerability? Being closed or open? Forcing or allowing? Being an agent of fear…or an agent of love?

I suggest that we are all on some level, being pushed to look at who and what we are willing to do and be in order to continue to live a life that is incongruent with where we say we want to go. Are we willing to put our family before our soul? Are we willing to lie about who we are to make someone else happy? NOTE: Chances are… if you have tried to do this you will notice… they still arent happy… and you have to keep trying to bend yourself into a pretzel to meet their expectations… which happen to be their own judgments about themselves…

What are you willing to do to be free? Assuming, you are wishing to live as a sovereign member of a collective. What if family was less to do with dna and more to do with soul connection? What if it was your heart that decided your tribe, not the blood running through it? What if in order to be welcomed into the family of your soul, you had to release the family of condition?

What would you be willing to let go of in order to never feel alone or be threatened with abandonment?

Things are shifting and evolving. I believe the patriarchy is done. I do not think we are going BACK to matriarchal rule, but I do believe there is a balance wherein the divine feminine and divine masculine in ALL beings are honored. The key to this transition is quite simple… at least on the surface… the experience may come with growth pains. But, I believe the key to this transition into something better is transparency.

I feel that as we stand in our truth, those that feel and think like us will gravitate, if not run towards us, seeking to share the same thing. This is our new tribe… our new family. We no longer need to live in fear of loss. We are free to love without condition those that wish to be with us. We can collectively support one another in the stewardship of our own children, recognizing that we dont wish to exert control, but rather foster an environment where they are free to be transparent themselves.

So to the question, “What is family?” I believe we are in the exciting process of discovery… our soul’s know… and we are playing it out down here… it may be messy, but we can dance through this with our heads held high.

Blessings,
Jenn

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