I’d like to talk about looking at one’s self in relation to a system. We are not just one person alone interacting with other individuals. In fact, we are many microsystems interacting with each other in the big cosmos. It starts with each family unit.
When growing up in a family system each of us fall into a role. Whether it’s a traditional or non-traditional family system doesn’t matter. We all have our part to play. Like a great Shakespearian actor we own our part in the story except there is no curtain. This story, this role, if unexplored can stay unconscious and may never end. It can and usually does follow us from the theatre of our childhood family onto the stage of our adult lives. And that is how we continue our family legacy.
As individuals we are trying to figure out who we are. And we learn who we are early on by mirroring. We need people to reflect back to us so we have a sense of self. (This may or may not be healthy mirroring.) On top of that there is a system. A group. In this case a family. So we as individuals are also part of this group energy. It is bigger then us. It has it’s own structure in order to sustain itself and know itself. Much like an individual.
All of this can make it really difficult to know oneself authentically. And I’ll venture to say that the role you took on is not always congruent with who you truly are. Without realizing this point, it can cause a fair amount of helpless feelings and suffering in your life.
So what was your role in the family? Were you the good one, the protector, the mediator, the black sheep, the rebel, the caretaker, the victim, the martyr and so on? Who were you and are you still playing out that role in some way? Think about who you are now, at work, with friends, in your relationships. Are there similarities in your behavior now? If so are others reinforcing your role? For example, if you were the victim in the family growing up then you needed perpetrators. So whom are you recruiting out there to be perpetrators in your life now? If you are the hero to everyone then whom are you grooming to be saved by you?
See if you can pull back the lens and take a big look at your life. What might you discover from the place of family dynamics or by seeing your family as a system? What is the story of your life? What was your role and do you want to change it?