I see you now

Posted By on April 22, 2010

Here is a personal story about learning to see another human being.

My partner, cameron, and I were having some real issues around creating intimacy in the midst of being parents, working professionals and two souls on a journey of self discovery. When he brought to my attention that he didn’t feel connected anymore, I was devastated. Something inside of me quieted down and all I could say was okay, I guess there is no need for us to be together anymore.

Close friends were shocked to hear this because we have always been so supportive of each other and nurtured such a loving relationship for over 10 years.

Here is what I discovered after some Family Constellation work on myself.

Fifty two years ago, when my grandfather was first imprisoned by the Communist Party, my grandmother had to raise 6 children by herself with some help from relatives. This tragedy was beyond my grandmother or grandfather. It was fate, you can call it what you want, whatever that is beyond our control. My grandmother had to move on and survive.

In the next generation, my father immigrated to the United States with his family. They experienced a lot of hardship due to poverty, lack of community and unable to communicate in English. In order to make money and still maintain his dignity, he chose to take a job with his sister in another state.  In Family Constellation work this would be called an entanglement. He had a choice, he had some control but he chose the path that echoed his father’s. When my mom was faced with raising two children in a foreign country, she had to move on and survive.

In the third generation, when my relationship with cameron was under pressure and the thought enters in my mind where he may not stay or we may not be together, I say to myself: I can move on, I can survive. My entanglement with the story of my family of origin, or morphic field, that I could not see the issue at hand. When my husband asked for connection, I instantly saw, heard, felt and experienced something much more than the situation warranted. Essentially, I didn’t see him, I wasn’t present, I was living an echo of the past.

I had been fitting him into a space that my family created for my grandfather, a space that represented leaving. I stood in the space of the women, moving on and surviving. When I realized this through Family Constellations, I looked at him again for the first time and said, “I see you now. I want to connect, too.” Imagine his relief. Now we come from a space of “we can do this together”.

We still have lots of details to work on, we still have kids and responsibilities. Many elders I speak to who have lived it say, without a doubt, maintaining a healthy relationship while raising children is one of the greatest challenges. Families who, like us, are raising children say their relationship suffers. Most don’t understand why. When we are stressed and anxious, we tend to live in an unconscious state, patterns and habits that were familiar, though it does not serve us holistically, we fall back into. Our journey is to live as consciously as we can and when we slip, to give ourselves grace and learn from it. Perhaps even asking, who’s pattern was that? I want to give it back.

There are parts of life that are beyond our control but there are some that are within our control. How can we be present and act upon our own will rather than act out the fate of someone else?

This question can be posed for all human relationships: at home, work or school. This is my journey as much as anyone’s.

About The Author

I am a Chinese-American mother of three boys, parenting with the traditions worth keeping from the East and West. I continue to learn new ways of raising a family and myself.

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