Family – Week 3 – Pt. 3

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How can we become who we wish to be?

Dear Creatrix,

I hope you had some fun and some revelations thinking about the different roles you (wish to) embody as an adult.

As I mentioned in the last lesson, I had a quite mind-blowing experience when I wrote down what came up for me, thinking about what it means to be a mother, father or grandparent for the first time last year.

(I didn’t have a zaza in my life, so all I thought about that then, I wrote down in the explanation of what a zaza is, in the last lesson.)

I did do this exercise again this year, and very different things came up, which shows how much has changed for me as a result of doing this exercise last year, becoming aware of my subconscious ideas about these roles, and beginning to change them.

And because I’d love for you to be able to look back at this, next year, and see how much life will have changed for you, we will be looking at these subconscious believes and what to do with them in more detail, today.

After that, I will show you a very beautiful tool, that I learned when I was still working as a web designer and helping people to build their (authentic) brands – because the easiest way to make others believe that we are something  – is by being that.

If we want to be known for being eco-friendly as a company, we have to do things that are eco-friendly, and share about that publicly, so that other people can recognize us for that.

And this is no different in our personal lives.

If we want our children to remember us as great mothers, fathers, zazas, or grandparents, we have to be that. And to be able to be that, we have to know what that means for us.

Once we do, and when we do our best to live up to that every day, add a little humour and grace, knowing we will fail and mess up, and acknowledge that, to learn from our mistakes and do better next time – we become confident in our roles and what we do – because we know why we do what we do.

And then from here, it matters less what others think about us – as believing in ourselves and knowing that even if we don’t live up to our ideals, we’re still doing our best every day, is how we grow our trust in ourselves, show our children how to trust themselves, and build the confidence and inner strength we need to live and enjoy life fully.

So after we found some more clarity in who we would like to be and how, I will share some examples and resources with you of people who have inspired me when it comes to thinking about family, parenthood and growing up ;), so you can deepen your research and find more inspiration from these people and resources as well.

But before we go there, I’d like to share a bit about my life and how I got here.

As I’ve mentioned before, I grew up quite close to my extended family, and I loved taking care of my younger cousins when I was a child.

And as a teenager, I also started volunteering and leading children’s groups and later youth groups.

I was babysitting and tutoring other children from age 12 onward, so even before I was twenty I had plenty of opportunities to see and experience all kinds of different family constellations, some Christian, some not, some with many children, some with only one child, some German, some not, and I was always super curious about developmental psychology and how things came about – so I had lots to explore there.

But when I was twenty and moved to Ukraine, to work at a pre-school for children who had never been in a school setting before, I was really surprised at what was different and what was the same.

I was always a very keen observer and relatively judgement free (magical child), and looking at my diary from those times, I was already quite wise in many ways, but that’s not the point I want to make here.

While I had a hard time understanding what was going on at first (not knowing the language, everything being so different from everything I had known until them), I soon came to realize that I would much rather see my children grow up there, than in the west, where I was born and raised.

Because there, no one was ever left alone.

There was always someone there to kiss the children, to feed them, to hold them, older siblings, cousins, and they lived in a relatively safe environment where the kids could just go out and play and discover their worlds.

No one had to worry, when a child just ran out of the house, as there was always someone around who watched out for whoever was there.

There was also lots of poverty, devastation and hardship, but on a social level, the attention that was given to children, the love that was always present for everyone, the ability to feel and process feelings, to feel into something and to allow for it to pass through with time, was incredibly beautiful to witness.

Another thing that has really impressed me there, was seeing how things worked completely contrary to what I knew when it came to expectations.

Where I grew up, most people had one or two children and very high expectations of them, often to be all the things that the parents weren’t themselves.

There, people had many children and watched them develop. They would be like: This one is interested in this, and that one is interested in that, and then those natural tendencies would be nourished. It was so beautiful to see.

And as I loved what I saw and the people I met there so much, we always stayed in touch, and I had a chance to see that whole village grow up over the last twenty-four years.

It is really something else to see the way people are OK with themselves there because they were loved for who they were, and not who other people wanted them to be.

Especially when you see the mothers smile there, so full of love for their body, their children, their existence – grounded, strong, knowing that they are and who they are – is so incredibly beautiful.

And I feel incredibly privileged to know about this now as well, and to have them and their lives as an inspiration for who I want to become and how I want to live.

At the same time, the people I lived with in Ukraine, live in a horrible situation, experiencing racism, segregation, exclusion and as I’ve translated for some people who came passing through ‘to help’, I saw how they looked down on my friends and could not see the beauty and complexity I saw and experienced and lived with every day there.

And this is due to colonialism and the way that the majority of people in the west still think that our developed world is more advanced – when in fact, while we might have more economic power, and might be richer when it comes to money or material goods, we are really impoverished when it comes to being a loving human in this world or even to know who we really are, as people.

So, maybe, hopefully, when we think of our futures, and who we wish to become and how we wish to be in this world, we can also see how much we can learn from each other when we open up to seeing beauty wherever we go – and no matter how different it looks from what we know or expect.

Me with one of my godchildren in Ukraine.

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🌈 You have the power to create your reality.

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