Troubled Family Relationships -
Amanda Answers #1

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September 10, 2011

This first question that I am going to feature in “Amanda Answers” comes from Carol in Kenya, and is about troubled family relationships. Carol wrote to me in response to my recent article Giving Up On Love.

Carol says, “Thank you so much for you are much inspiring my life. For sure to me I have already given up on love between me and my family members. It’s like I have natural hatred between my uncle and his family we never communicate. I try to forgive and forget but every time I feel burdened. Please advise me on what to do.”



Dear Carol,

There are a couple of aspects of your question that I would like to address. The first is your reference to a ‘natural hatred’ between you and your uncle’s family. There is no such thing as natural hatred; our natural state is one of love, and that is why we feel so awful when we are experiencing feelings of hatred. When we feel hate or rage, we are literally fighting against the essence of who we are - extensions of pure, loving Divine source energy.

The key to releasing these feelings of hatred and returning to a natural state of unconditional love is to work on releasing the idea that love is something that we can only experience in response to the conditions and behavior of those around us. We do not have to accept the behavior of others that is unacceptable to us, but we can refuse to be pulled out of our natural state of love by what other people are doing.

We can love without expectations, and expectations are the things that often cause us to feel negative emotion ranging from mild disappointment all the way to intense rage and hatred. By giving up on the expectation that your family members should be different to the way they are, or that things in the past should have been better than they were can create freedom from the burden of attachment.

Your uncle and his family may or may not ever behave the way you would like them to; there may or may not be an actual physical healing of the relationships, but the thing that is absolutely and totally possible, and within your control, is to heal the relationships within yourself. I know from personal experience – my own and that of people I have worked with - that healing troubled relationships takes time and effort, but as you are aware, the alternative is continuing to feel the way you do now which is painful. I believe that you are also aware, or at least hopeful on some level, that there is a better way to feel.

A healing method that can be very effective, and that I would recommend you try is called hoʻoponopono. This is an ancient Hawaiian practice of reconciliation and forgiveness, and very simply consists of repeating to yourself over and over, while holding the subject that requires healing in your mind and heart, “I love you. I’m sorry. Thank you. Forgive me.” To do this can feel very strange and uncomfortable if you are feeling hurt and wronged, but the practice works on the part of any relationship that you hold within yourself, and has been proven to make dramatic improvements both internally, and often even in the external circumstances.

Aside from working on healing the pain, another very important thing you can do is to begin visualizing the relationships the way you would like them to be. The more vividly and often you can create the healed and positive relationships in your mind, the more powerful positive energy surrounds you, and the stronger the attraction you hold to the relationships you desire. There is, of course, no guarantee that these particular relationships will evolve in the way you would like them to; sometimes the resolution will only be within yourself.

At times, there must be a letting go, and an acceptance that the other person is not ready to meet you in the positive space you are creating for yourself and all your relationships. Perhaps they will be ready at some time in the future; perhaps it will not happen in this lifetime. You can still take pleasure from your vision of what you would like to experience and experience it in the freedom and privacy of your own mind, regardless of the external reality. As you work towards being able to send unconditional love and true forgiveness, you begin to free yourself from the suffering that holding on to negative emotion causes.

I am holding you in my mind and my heart as I write, and seeing you freed from the unnatural feelings of hate and burden, and restored to your true loving self, with a heart that is open to everything good, and attached to nothing.

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