My family lied to me.
My friends. Many others. All lies
People I was certain I could trust. Outright lied.
People who I relied on to guide me as a child. To teach me how to grow up and live a great life.
They all lied.
And when I finally realized it, the shock was overwhelming.
I was betrayed.
Thoughts ran through my mind. This isn’t possible. No way.
Then, when the truth became obvious, a numb sense of anger set in.
Revenge? What good would that do. Many of these people were dead. Others long gone.
And to tell you the truth, I don’t really think any of them knew what they were doing.
They had just passed on what they had learned. All the promises of a happy, exciting life. All the dreams of being an Astronaut or President. All the images of beautiful people and wonderful things. A glamorous life. Like on TV.
Where is it? Why didn’t that happen to me? And what now?
Is this all there is?
Instead it seems that my graduation presents from the school of life were disappointment, sorrow, anger, and ultimately, resignation to a sort of living death.
Practically everything that you and I learned while growing up was wrong. Some of it dangerously wrong.
The verbal lessons about how to live, and how to treat people, some of those were OK. Like the Golden Rule.
But those weren’t the true lessons we received. Nobody seemed to believe in them. The stuff that stuck with us was the stuff that we saw. The lives we watched unfolding in front of our youthful eyes.
These were the lives that we were bound to repeat. And if we dared veer from those well-worn paths, we would hear about it.
You see, the way that “everyone” lives is the culture of a place. And culture defines people. And family. Whether the rules of a culture are functional or not, to reject the way of a place is seen by many as a rejection of its heart – its family traditions. It is like spitting on the ancestors.
So daring to create your own family way of life, to take your own road less traveled, is a daunting task. It is more than a family journey. It is a very public statement that your family refuses to be a part of the old culture.
You have discovered that many of the promises of the old family culture were lies. Or at least they are now.
Perhaps once these old ways made sense. But to follow them now would be to deny who you really are. And you are daring to put your family happiness ahead of the cultural tradition of your community.
One of two things can result from this.
1.) You make such a big impact on others in your community, through your magnetic personality and charisma, that the culture itself changes to fit more with your new ways. The group now sees you as a leader, your family as a model of the ideal; or
2.) Your family is rejected (sometimes violently) from the cultural community. If you are unlucky you are made an example of. How dare you disrespect “your” community.
It is important to realize that you are a part of many communities, whether you know it or not. Your family, nuclear and extended. Your neighborhood. Your ethnic background. All of these may make claims on you as a “member” of their communities.
Whenever you decide to embark on your own creative family lifestyle adventure, you are potentially signaling your willingness to break some of the rules of those communities.
Be ready for this.
Remember, many of those other community “members” who today reject you loudly are themselves unhappy with the way things are. You may be surprised how many of them seek you out privately after the noise settles down for your guidance into how they, too, can embark their family on a creative family lifestyle adventure. But this will only happen if you stand your ground. If you dare to be you, no matter what.
It can be hard to accept disappointment with the past. But it is one of the first steps to creating a new and glorious future for your family.
It can be hard to be the real you, no matter what. But it is the only way to discover your life’s true purpose.
I hope you will steel yourself to this process and move forward with me. In fact, I can’t wait!
All the best,