The reason you feel stuck...
The reason you carry guilt...
The reason you beat yourself up...
The reason you feel like an actor playing versions of yourself (none of which are truly you)...
The reason you can't live up to the expectations you carry around in your head...
...is because you were born into a family and culture that had already established certain expectations and rules by which to live.
I was born into this too. Just like you.
And I've lived a little dysfunctional at times. And a lotta dysfunctional at other times. Just like you.
Virginia Satir, a family therapist spotlighted in John Bradshaw's classic book, Bradshaw On: The Family, coined the five freedoms of a functioning family. Here they are:
- The freedom to see and hear what is here and now, rather than what was, will be or should be.
- The freedom to think what one thinks, rather than what one should think.
- The freedom to feel what one feels, rather than what one should feel.
- The freedom to ask for what one wants instead of waiting for permission.
- The freedom to take risks in one's own behalf instead of choosing to be secure and always play it safe.
Now, read those five freedoms again. Did you grow up in a family and community culture that practiced those five freedoms?
And therein lies the problem. You and I were taught to get stuck. We were conditioned for it.
It's not our fault.
If you were denied any of these freedoms...
If you still deny yourself any of these freedoms...
If you deny your spouse and children these freedoms...
...STOP! Stop living stuck.
You were probably not given or taught these freedoms. So, what you don't know is not your fault.
But now you do.
And the responsibility now lies with you.
Then go free others.
(photo by Gabriela Camerotti on Flickr)
I want to thank Erin for triggering this post. Her beautiful comment on my post, "Resolutions: How Not to Get Stuck This Year," triggered the five freedoms, which led to this post.
See, your comments matter! And I always appreciate them.
Questions: Are you familiar with the five freedoms? How did reading these freedoms make you feel?
Keitharsis is a blog about getting and staying unstuck in your personal, creative and professional life. I hope you will sign up to read future posts. And I hope you will share favorite posts with your friends (both real and virtual).
Happy New Year!