As movers, shakers, and doers, we desire to live and leave a legacy that we’re confident in, knowing it will leave a significant imprint on the generational family lines coming up.
Oftentimes, the deepest pains we experience are based off of the things we can’t control.
Not all family generations have made the same choices or share the same values or morals that we do, and it can become burdensome on how we choose to move forward with creating our own beauty. While both positive and influential habits can be passed down through our family line, some negative and destructive ones can as well. What we have the power to do now, in this moment, is to create our own habits, decisions, and uniqueness that we desire to pass down through our line.
Throughout my family work and research, studies have shown that families often reproduce their own culture and negative habits for generations. Children are like sponges. So when, for example, one grows up in a family culture that may yell/scream, be stressed constantly, and have negative social issues, it’s shown that a child will easily begin to pick up those bad behaviors.
A research study on the correlation between parenting and child behaviors found that children who grew up with parents who were involved and authoritative repeated their parents’ positive behaviors in their lives. Conversely, children with overly authoritarian or permissive parents expressed more negative behavior. What’s so encouraging is that we have the power to change the stigma no matter what our family line may look like, and face these generational issues rather than turning a cheek. Below are three practices that will empower you to bloom into your unique legacy.
Root Out Weaknesses and Inhibiting Patterns
We must have the courage to sit down and face ourselves, and our family. It’s not always easy looking at where we’ve come from because of pain, hurt, or suffering. Because of these kinds of experiences, there could be moments where we feel like we don’t have the capability to express joy, love, and strength in the day-to-day.
But wherever you’ve come from doesn’t have the power to define your today or tomorrow. You get to define it. With boldness and courage.
Take some time to sit down and look into your life and your families lives, so that YOU can take charge of your own, unique path. Acknowledge the aches, define your areas of healthy discipline, and receive growth. Watch as you gain vulnerability, deeper insight, and greater steps of action to create good, life-giving habits.
Forgive and Love Well
Are there relationships in your life that may be holding you back from your full potential? Which relationships are helping you thrive; where you leave feeling empowered, capable, worthy? Now look into the areas of your life where there are individuals who make you feel unsafe, incapable, and inhibited. Those are the places I want you to really dive deep and take a look into.
Perhaps take the time to write a letter to this person that will help prepare what needs to be spoken. If it’s a story from your family history that is inhibiting you, write it out, forgive that season, and then rip it up. Once we let go and allow what we feel is “significant” fall off of us, it becomes of no significance to us at all. We can breathe, forgive, and move forward loving well.
None of us are perfect people, but it’s in our imperfections where we grow, become stronger, and truly live a life designed to impact this world. I speak this “grace, grace” when I feel like there are mountains in front of me, when fear begins to creep in, or when self-doubt becomes too overbearing. Beginning and walking through the process of turning a new leaf in our lives can be difficult, but with tenderness towards ourselves, support from our communities, and healthy aspirations, we begin to walk in our best days. The days that are set before us to change, impact, and live a sweet life.
Your best days, your legacy, and your impact are right in front of you, dear friend. You’re free to start this new chapter in life to create what you desire to pass down in the ones to follow.
Art by Koselig Creative Co for Yellow Co.
A note on the artwork from Laura of Koselig: It can be easy for old generational patterns to linger, leaving individuals outside of the family norm feeling alienated due to their differences. Slowly, the perceived outcast begins to individuate oneself, becoming more confident in their being. As this new person emerges, the family recognizes the beauty in the individual’s differences and welcomes them. The individual’s traits which at one time seemed disjointed now aid in the family’s collective development, revealing a richer dynamic.