Updated: Mar 22, 2022
LIFE is hard all on its own. If you've ever been handed down a homemade quilt in the family, you would know there is Laughter, there are Tears, most of all there is history, ALL so intricately sewn together, stitch by stitch, pattern by pattern, memory after memory all made up from what helps build a family.
Understanding the lineage of our ancestors and what challenges they faced, what quirks were picked up, and what we all learned along the way, can all be beneficial in building YOUR family tree. But what happens when you don't know where your lineage began? These days, there are websites for that, but what happens when you just don't know because one of the traditions of the family was to just sit quietly and keep your business behind closed doors.
I believe the values of life are ingrained in us. Some, almost as soon as we come out of the womb. From the outcome of birthing plans to the way you dress your child in your baby's "first" outfit. Some traits are part of our DNA. But family values are both learned and seen, hence the saying "Some habits are hard to break". The things we know, the way we speak, the way we cook, the way we even conduct ourselves in our daily lives, are all things we are taught.
Growing up in a Mexican-American family, the traditions are strong but so are the opinions of others. Everyone in every family has this, but, with those who have older parents, or if you're lucky enough to still have living grandparents, all understand that the ways of the past, even though long gone, are still expected of you. We've all had to learn to adapt to certain traditions within the family and sometimes, the way we do things these days are just not what certain, older generation family members come to expect of you. Even though old and outdated thinking was the norm back then, it's definitely not the way things roll now.
Back in the day kids were spanked and taught manners. In some households, including mine, just the tone of voice your parents had, you just knew you were in trouble, you knew you had it coming. You were just expecting and waiting for that chancla (the Mexican flip flop) to come flying at your head. Harsh discipline like that, was normal back then when you stepped out of line. These days, parents even risk getting in trouble for spanking their child, and it shows. Some kids are totally out of line and just plain disrespectful. I think a lot of this is due to the "kids having kids" era. Although I am older now, some parents are just really young, when they have their kids and have no idea how to raise a child because basically, they are still kids themselves. I mean, kids don't come with an "Owner's Manual" although it would be nice, but every child is different, there's just no way, one book could cover it all.
This is where the dynamics can change. Sometimes LIFE gives us No choice in what and how we are taught, but we can choose how we move forward. We have the choice to either remain the same as the old, outdated thinking patterns we've been taught, or we can RISE up and BE the change we want to see in our children. This is how our future will be determined for you and your children. Everything is changeable but it all begins with a CHOICE.
I have endured lots of hardship in my life. From medical issues, cancer, near-death experiences, to my latest trial, the separation from my ex-husband. Everyone goes through their own trials. No one is exempt from this. I learned that it is very important to BE the change you are wanting to see. How can you ask of someone something that you yourself haven't set the example of?
Breaking the generations of family teachings that we find ourselves tethered to, is difficult to overcome because we all want to honor the generations before us (our Mothers, Fathers, Grandparents, Aunts, and Uncles). We all want our families, or who you see as family, to be proud of us. In our family, we just didn't talk about these things. It was an unspoken expectation for you to just carry on the way things were done for generations back. You just did not break those patterns. As women in our family, you were expected to keep quiet and "play your role" or "Just do your job, and I'll do mine" kind of pattern.
That is why I've decided to speak out about this. I am currently changing the way family values are built in our family. It takes just one person to make an impression on the next family member or anyone else to carry on the new patterns. I am not saying my grandmother and mother were not strong women, I learned many many things from them, BUT, as in the video above, they just did what they were taught to do, which was to sit back, run the household, raise the kids, stand behind the man, and leave the working and big decisions to the males in the family. My mother did try to break out of those patterns and she did work a full-time job, and still ran the household, so because I saw her do it, I did the same. I started working at the age of 15. I had a part-time job that I fulfilled as part of a school work program. I also held a full-time job outside of school that I would work full-time hours on evenings and weekends. I was still expected to keep my grades up, pay my truck payment and vehicle insurance while still going to high school all day. Once I graduated I worked 3 jobs, two part-time jobs and one full-time. That's just how my life played out.
Now as I'm older and have two children of my own, I'm making it a point to teach them differently. There's still the same drive to teach them to work hard, but I am also teaching them that they have a say in their life also. They can choose to follow their spouse but yet not lose themselves in the process, as in the above video. I don't let them get every single thing that they want, but what I have done differently is show them how to work for it and how to express their needs and wants. Their discipline is the major change I've made compared to my past. Yes, they get in trouble A LOT but I also make it a point that I explain to them why they are getting disciplined and why their punishment is what it is and how to do better next time, and I definitely tell them how much I love them and that I want them to know the difference from the way I grew up. It all begins with the choice to BE the change.
Perception is what creates the reality around you. So take inventory of the patterns of the generations that came before you. Claim your role in choosing what patterns you learn from and "clean them up". Stay open to the possibility that those tethered patterns can be broken and revamped for the future generations of your family.
I am wishing you all love, light, and many blessings.