Working with some wonderful men here in my Anger Management classes, I'm so encouraged to see that even though apples don't fall far from trees, they can get up and crawl far away. And, being their travel guide warms my heart!
Whatever our parents showed us by their lifestyle, or told us by their words and actions towards us, does not have to be the pattern for our lives.
Imagine a lineage of grandparents and parents who made their living selling drugs. Are you likely to do that? Yes, because it is what you know. Do you have to be a pusher? No. You definitely don't. I've walked with people as they reconstruct their values and re-assess their goals to create the lives they really want. And, it doesn't involve drugs, taking them or selling them.
What if your background is being beaten, yelled at and put down by various family members? One person doing that is more than enough, but some families see every child as a target. Do you have to pass on the threats and assaults? No, you don't. You can the hero or heroine and let that behavior stop with you. Yes, it takes some intensive work, time and attention, but it is worth it to have the quality of life that you want to enjoy and feel proud of.
Maybe your family tree has every branch going through prison. Maybe, you've been to prison. That's not who you are, it's who you are choosing to be. You can change that. Sure, it takes that same work, time and attention, but you can do it.
What if you're a Rager and see everyone as living only to annoy you. You learned that somewhere. How about learning another way of being in the world that brings you peace and draws people to you rather than pushing them away? You can.
Apples may not fall far from trees, but the ones who put their hands up and say,"Get me out of here!" can start their own tree elsewhere!
The common denominator in all this is learning to recognize and manage our anger.
Anger lets us know our boundaries have been crossed and that we ourselves, or our needs, have been discounted, disrespected or belittled. Anger is healthy, but what we do with it is often not. Many people think they have no anger, yet they get sick and anxious from harboring resentments. That's anger turned inwards! So, the first important step is an inventory of our anger and help to walk through and find appropriate ways to express it.
Whether or not we've been hurt, frustrated or afraid, whether we've been raised in a family that hurts or hurts others, we have the power to get up and walk away from that tree. You do not have to live in the shade of your family tree. Get the help to get up and walk away!
If you want relationship help getting out from under the pain of your family tree, you can get it through our counseling and classes, held at the Optimize Center in Escondido, CA or online through our Skype video conferencing calls from wherever you live or work. Optimize Center - 760.593.4604