The Tapestry They Weave

March 5, 2012

JoAnnOur lives are all different in the fact that everyone experiences different things each and every day.  Even if we go to the same event, each of us will respond to the experience differently based on our history, values and beliefs. We are also conditioned to respond to patterns that we have developed due to our family history, culture and upbringing. Because of this conditioning, these patterns are automatic and work on autopilot in most of our lives.

Recently, I went to the East Coast to visit my extended family. For years, my husband and sons have told me that I like to direct what they do.  I have also heard this from many other people that I have met. Although not everyone has seen it as a negative, I resisted such a notion and would get angry anytime the topic was brought up.  When I was with my extended family, however, it became very obvious to me.  Each one of us, who included my siblings and other relations, directed to a certain extent.  It was interesting to observe, especially since I have become very aware and conscious of this pattern within the last year.

When my oldest son got into some troubles this year, my “directing” pattern took center stage.  I wanted him to do exactly what I thought was best to get him out of the messy situation.  It was he who made me realize what I was doing and stopped me in my tracks.  I became very aware of the fact that each and every time I directed and took over, I dis-empowered him and assisted him in feeling more shame, guilt and insecurity.  The experience was a “wake up” call for me. When I stopped resisting this conditioned pattern that had been passed down to me, my choices and perspective changed.

By accepting this pattern, I began to transform it into something that is beneficial to me as well as others in my life.  I do not believe an old pattern can completely go away.  It is engrained within us just as much as our history is.  What I do know is that it can be improved in a way that works.  My directing will benefit, but only when it is requested and in situations where it is helpful to all.  Because I have stepped back in my directing where it is not needed or called for, I have developed a better relationship with each and every member of my family.  They now want my directing, but only when it can be of assistance to them or, at those times when they don’t want to be involved in mundane everyday decisions of life.

I have also become aware of the patterns that are instilled within my children from their own family histories.  I know that I can only help them to become aware of them and to stop resisting them.  Only then, will my children begin to transform them and make them work positively.  Although all of our patterns will continue to exist in some form, they are being woven into a new tapestry that works for all and are now creating a beautiful work of art.

Joann DiStefano

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