The family system knows three “laws” as I like to call them, because these are firm and not flexible. Pretty much everything else are “guidelines”, but these three laws rule.
Today, I’m going to talk about the first and most important one: Belonging.
It’s actually quite simple: Everyone born into a family belongs to the family.
That includes stillborn babies, aborted babies, children given away for adoption, as well as any and all black sheep. A family simply can’t go and declare someone outcast.
There is one and only one reason why someone might lose membership of a family system and that is the brutal murder of another member. (And no, that does not include abortion. No discussion about this.)
Now, I’ve seen a few family systems where a member has been outcast – vehemently outcast – and I’ve also seen the results of that decision. They were not pretty.
You see, a family system protects itself. Not the members.
And if there is a missing member, unrecognized by the others, it tries to bring that member back. Alternatively, it “makes” someone else represent that member. The system cannot tolerate a “hole”, and usually someone jumps in to fill that hole.
Someone else represents that missing member.
By representing the energy of that missing member.
That’s not very hard in the case of stillborn or aborted babies. All they need is to be acknowledged and given their place (I’ll talk about the places in family systems next week).
It’s much more troublesome and disruptive if an adult member is missing or has been actively cast out. Actually, it’s worse if he or she has been cast out, because those who cast them out have made themselves guilty – and that’s another energy inside the family system causing problems.
Frederik was cast out of his family because he betrayed them. As it happens often, his actions didn’t serve him well, and he eventually lived out his life in poverty.
His original family was shattered by his actions, with half taking his side and the other half vowing that Frederik is no longer a member. But Frederik’s energy must still be represented in his family, and so one of his children who loathes their father – has begun to display Frederik type behavior. That person is being just as manipulative and selfish as Frederik, and refuses to see any connection.
That particular family broke the family system law #1.
And they have to live with the consequences. Most of them are not happy. That child will live a very twisted life, representing their father and not themselves. And children further down the line will also have to deal with this twisted, missing, ill energy.
How could this be solved?
This family would have to acknowledge that Frederik is a member of their family, albeit a bad one. They would have to give him back his place in it.
And that’s all.
They wouldn’t be required to love him. Or talk to him. Or even remember his birthday. But they would have to reinstate him in his spot in the family system. And the moment they do that – possibly with a little ceremony – that child could stop representing Frederik’s energy and begin to live their life.
That does sound like something straight out of a novel, doesn’t it?
But the thing is, this is real. This affects families. This could affect you.
How many writers are black sheep? Because they don’t meet the family expectations of having a big career or taking over the family business?
If this happens in your family, always remember: You belong.
Nobody can take that away from you. Take your place in the family as first, second or third son or daughter, and be aware of it. That’s all it takes – no need for big displays of affection, no need to twist yourself into something you aren’t because of Thanksgiving, no need to break into big declarations of love… you just belong.
I know from experience how much relief that knowledge can bring.
Here’s some tapping to reaffirm this belonging.
Even though I never thought about family systems, and I have this sense of not belonging anywhere, I’m okay the way I am, and I now give myself permission to see that maybe I do belong to a family, after all.
Even though this whole family system stuff seems weird, I’m okay the way I am, and I can accept being part of a family with no special obligations.
Even though it feels weird to think of my family now, and to realize I’m part of it no matter what, I’m totally okay the way I am, and I choose to accept this idea and get used to it.
Are you happy to belong to your family?
Does it feel like a burden?
What happened while you were tapping?
And finally – what are you creating right now?
Please share in a comment.
Image Source: F. Moebius
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