Pathways SU24 Digital Magazine


No Regrets: Liberation from Family Ferment


The night my uncle died, he came to me in a dream, urgent and loving, saying only, “No regrets!” No regrets. Such great advice, and so hard to embrace! Just as it’s hard to embrace the more difficult relationships in our families, the circles we’re born into. They’re often our greatest challenges, and sometimes our greatest teachers. No regrets means thriving, not just surviving, through those lessons, which form our foundational identi- ties, and can, with conscious choices, become a solid base for a great life. The lessons of our birth family shape us in profound ways. They seep into our beliefs, expectations, reactions, and decisions. They frame our chosen family relationships, too. Being present to the re - lationships that teach us so profoundly helps us love and learn within and beyond their challenging gifts. Some people believe we choose these challenges as soul-paths; oth- ers simply acknowledge they must be navigated to reach full adult- hood. But no one can deny family relationships are inevitable and formative. I was lucky my uncle haunted me with such love and care, reminding me to strive and thrive and dive into celebration and con- nection, not regret and denial. His visit began a decade of healing for me, one family relationship at a time. Step by step, and in typical imperfect human experimen- tation, I got help dislodging stuck places in my family constellation. The immediate result was we had more authentic (read hard, good, powerful) conversations. The unexpected side-effect was I was able to lead a more authentic life in general. And the rattling regrets in my head diminished and faded. I learned to thrive by awakening my abilities to see my family re- lationships more clearly, healing what I could resolve, and building

healthy connections where I could. (I know you know this, but I’ll say it anyway: if a relationship is toxic or dangerous, get out! You can’t thrive without safety and freedom.) Simultaneously, we have our own lives to lead, our own work in the world. As I opened my heart, mind, body and soul to the world’s call - ing, I was able to be more present everywhere, from my family to my workplace. (I hope you know this, too: if a family pattern oppresses you, release it and find your own unique path! It takes courage to thrive, and if you live with courage, you will only grow stronger.) Before I share some great tools to transform family relationships and get to the energizing work of living our best lives, I want to ad -

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PATHWAYS—Summer 24—27

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