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Because relationships are so important in life, we have created a unique Aquarian spiritual Path of Relationships in our Living Spirit community. Regardless of which spiritual Path we choose to utilize as our spiritual guide, we all must transform the relationships we have in life. Naturally, this is why so many of us struggle with relationships. Unfortunately, we all learn a lot about relationships through our early conditioning and the subconscious influence from our parents and their conditioning. This conditioning naturally influences how we later create individual relationships in our life. Until we turn the corner on key relationships from our past, it will be very difficult to live spiritually in current relationships. So let's begin with our key family relationships as a source of our spiritual growth. First, how well do your intimate family relationships fulfill your emotional needs and your need for time together with them? There is no right answer on how much your family should fulfill these needs. Some of the best family relationships exist with little time spent together. And for many of us, day to day emotional needs are fulfilled through a partner, friends and children of our own. So the key here is to define which emotional needs you have that can be shared and supported from key family members.
From Life Struggles....to Living by Spirit
Transforming Family Relationships
By Jef Bartow
A major spiritual issue regarding family is the degree to which parents insist on remaining parents throughout life. A typical comment is: "I'll always be a parent." Each one of us at some point on the spiritual Path must internalize what was provided from our parents during childhood. A simple way I like to put it is that we must make God our parent. Therefore, we must insist that our parents relinquish their role from the past and become supportive spiritual friends for the future. Not an easy task, but a critical one for spiritual growth. An obvious question is: how do I do it? A good way to begin is with our self. Stop continuing to rely dependently on our parents. A typical way this continues in adulthood is through money and finances. Do you rely on gifts and/or loans from them periodically? If you're financially involved with your parents in some venture, is it handled in a traditional business manner? Further, does your parents’ financial involvement with your children (their grandchildren) include expectations and/or influence on you? Beyond money, how do you take advantage of your parents to either do things for you or take some of your responsibility for your children? Even though your parents may be glad to be involved in this way, it is extremely difficult not to have expectations and/or reciprocal demands from you. Also, with any of these questions you can easily replace parents with siblings or other key members of your biological family as opportunities to help transform your family relationships. Beyond looking at ourselves, it is also good to evaluate and transform the way key family members seek to continue to influence and control our lives. Typical expectations are how often we call, e-mail or visit them. Although mostly unconscious, these kinds of expectations are generated based on continuing the power and control that the family entity exerts on all family members. An entity is an autonomous psychic presence that continues to live, grow and exert power by living off of the life energies of those in the entity. You can observe this in how many businesses, governments, etc. continue to operate the same way even if all the key management is replaced. The new managers become influenced and controlled by the greater psychic entity. Another key expectation is how much we children assume that we will take care of our parents in their old age. Just because our parents decided to have us does not mean that we're committed to taking care of them later in life. Ultimately, each individual must take responsibility for their own life and their own death. To do this, we must all plan well ahead and be willing to take responsibility for how our life plays out. If this sounds harsh, realize that our soul and Spirit planned our life's destiny before we were born. For some of us, it may very well include close involvement with one or both of our parents later in their life. Making this spiritual decision should be just that, not based on a conditioned assumption. An obvious area for review is how well our key family members support our spiritual aspirations. Sometimes spiritual aspirations are consistent with religious beliefs, many times not. For many of us today, pursuing our spirituality isn't always consistent with current religious dogma. If you do not feel supportive freedom from your family in creating and living your life in Spirit, you will need to create that freedom one way or another. Ultimately, you can't serve two Masters, one inwardly in one outwardly. An excellent means of transforming key family relationships is by creating a way of communicating and resolving issues as they come to the surface. Usually, our parents have their way of dealing with us from childhood. We need to create a way of making issue resolution a process based on mutual respect (integrity), supportive love and as I call it: win-win solutions. And the biggest key here is: upfront, honest and loving communication. Frankly, we need to be the ones that initiate and drive this spiritual process without letting past roles control. Once you've taken active steps to resolve your dependencies, eliminate behavior based on expectations and create a loving issue resolution process, you will be amazed at how the difficulty on the front end leads to more loving supportive family relationships based on individual freedom and responsibility.