As mentioned in other posts, this month we had our Genogram paper due, which consisted of synthesizing a reflection based on in-depth interviews we have been doing with our family members.
My family members displayed a wide variety of attitudes toward this exercise of being interviewed and forced to reflect on their childhood. Some were really happy to spill all, some were wary and even irritated.
The experience of interviewing them has prompted me to think about the value of reflecting on the past and reflecting on experiences that were hurtful, harmful, or in other ways, generally negative. When my parents were growing up, emotional expression and vulnerability were not valued. Now, in many situations, feelings and expressions are held up as truth.
Many seem to feel one way or the other about it, and I think this genogram project gave me a fresh insight on the value of emotional expression, self reflection, etc. I observed that there were emotions, experiences, and memories that desperately needed to be flooded with light. They needed to be brought out in an environment of love and trust to help gain understanding, perspective, and healing. At the same time though, people told me throughout the process to look back and be grateful, not focusing on wrongs and hurts and becoming a victim to everything, and I think there is truth in that as well, to a certain degree.
I can speak with such confidence about this because I have done both. For a long time, I subconsciously believed that feelings weren't truth and I just needed to get over it. Then I started to learn to feel the hard things and kind of got sucked into feeling like a victim to a lot of things.
I am learning to live by grace and gratitude. To give myself grace to feel, to give grace to others who may sometimes treat me less than ideal (as I most certainly do to them), and to have a spirit of gratitude, choosing to focus on the blessings from my Heavenly Father and from my earthly pals- even if they don't do what I want them to do or treat me the way I think I deserve.