To Become Comfortable Sharing Who You Really Are
I am the only one in my family with dreadlocks. My daughter and I were ridiculed by my mother initially. Her thoughts haven’t changed though people love them, and stop us in stores, on the street, standing in long lines to admire them – and sometimes to request information on hair care regime.
Our hair may not freshly tightened and they are still called beautiful, but not from my mother. I’m sure it has taken her years to stop saying things and it took me years not to care. We all have something unique about us that is discriminated against. In families however, these discriminations cause broken relationships that often have difficulty healing.
People don’t want to be like you, they want to be like themselves. You and I both have walked in our own shoes, and it is very uncomfortable to walk in someone else’s worn shoes. Some people have a promiscuous lifestyle, in a religious family. I’m not promoting unrighteousness here but I am advocating compassion instead of judgment.
Part of being comfortable in your skin, during your daily activities is being able to be yourself at home. In the event that you do need to adjust your thinking, behavior or actions because you’re harming others, attending counseling can offer conviction and not condemnation so that you can self-select the life choices that work best for you.
Being who you are is vitally important to any person’s overall health and prosperity. I am not saying that anyone should accept your life choices, but I am saying that no one should be expected to. On the other hand, you don’t have to accept someone else’s choices. Let me offer one other example.
Brent (your brother) lives a homosexual lifestyle. You believe homosexuality to be a lifestyle of sin. You and Brent have been estranged ever since he “came out of the closet”. You and Brent used to get along well. You were more than siblings, you were friends. But now, you don’t want Brent around your children, and you are overall uncomfortable with this lifestyle that you feel he should change before he goes to damnation with gasoline draws on.
Brent is not going to be heterosexual for you. However, you both have to reach a mutual understanding that he will not expect you to change your mind, and you will not expect him to change his. What you choose to pray for concerning him is your business, in your prayer closet but this should not be thrown in Brent’s face.
If you both approach your relationship with no expectation for the other to change, and you continue to love and admire each other in other ways – there is no need for separation. Perhaps you set certain boundaries for example you are unwilling to double-date or give relationship advice. These are all options that you must explore.
My point here is that every person has the right to feel comfortable being themselves. Now, if you are amazing, a person can be around you and desire to improve their lives in different ways but it will not come by force, and you should not hold your breath that the things that you feel they should change, are the same things that they feel influenced by you to change.
Remember this: If someone cannot be themselves around you the relationship is unhealthy. If you cannot be yourself around someone, that relationship is unhealthy.
The truth is, there may be some relationships that you forfeit along the way, not because you believe the person to be a bad person but because you have different lifestyles. Sometimes we struggle with letting go of relationships when that is exactly what we are supposed to do so that someone better (for you) can come along.
In family counseling, examine your differences and your sameness. Look for commonalities. Counseling can help you to work through all of your personality and character constraints so that while others may never accept your choices, they can accept you.
I have had my dreadlocks since 1999, and my mother still doesn’t like them. I’m not cutting them, she doesn’t think there attractive, I will not cut them and there is no need for us to spend time convincing each other to meet each other’s expectations. Instead, we don’t talk about my hair.
Sometimes people learn from you sharing and shift their decisions about your subject matter, and other times what you share only confirm their first convictions. If you focus on hanging their mind about you, you will totally miss out on your family relationships that have an assignment in your life.
Ressurrection Graves is a child sexual abuse expert and relationship mentor. She is available for speaking engagements and interviews via telephone or nationwide. Please subscribe to her blog —>
RECAP: So here are my ten reasons that you may want to initiate and/or attend family counseling:
- To forgive yourself
- To forgive others
- To learn the heart of your siblings
- To get questions answered
- To become comfortable sharing who you really are
- To create a family vision
- To break generational curses
- To change roles
- To win souls
- To re-engage in family traditions
Each numbered reason above represent why you should or would consider family counseling, even if you feel that your family is functional and intact. There is a tremendous amount of healing and liberty that happen when you choose to have a courageous conversation with family.