Familial Stories

I’ve been delving into familial stories as of late to see where there have been boundaries placed through necessity or fear.

Familial Stories of Necessity

It’s like that story of the woman teaching her daughter how to cook the holiday turkey. She instructs that she must cut off certain portions of the bird. The daughter asks her why, she says “Tradition” but doesn’t really know the answer. So, they go to the grandmother and grandma responds with, “Oh! I did that so that it would fit into the pan.”

This is an example of necessity. The grandmother didn’t have a big enough pan to cook the bird, so she removed certain pieces in order to have the holiday meal. She never told her daughter the “why” and the daughter never knew to ask. It was just “Tradition” and got passed on until someone got curious and realized they didn’t have to do it that way anymore because they had a bigger “pan”.

Familial Stories of Fear

It’s the boundaries that were made out of fear that intrigue me the most. Those are the ones where dreams are crushed, and hope is lost. The fear gets passed on from generation to generation without being realized.

It’s also a part of trying to “fit in” with your social norm. The Tall Poppy Syndrome. Where moving forward and gaining status, knowledge, accolades, or just simply becoming successful paints a target on one’s back.

The arrows are made of derision, condescension, and people looking to find where you’re not “all that” and show it off to the world…

  • “See? She’s making money! She’s the EVIL RICH.”
  • “He must be compensating, look at that fancy car!”
  • “Who do they think they are, God? See? They did <insert some horrible thing>”
  • “They’re getting too big for their britches!”

This last one has troubled me for some time… “getting too big for their britches”. Then I started to really think about it.

Familial Stories about “Britches”?

What do we do when our children are growing, and their pants get too small? We buy bigger pants!

When we see a larger person in pants that we have deemed “too tight”, we turn to each other and wonder how they could wear those? “Buy some clothes that fit.”

So, why don’t we do the same when someone is growing up and out of their current environment? If someone is getting “too big for their britches” why not give them a bigger pair?

It came to me that it’s because the proverbial “britches” are a symbol of people growing beyond the familial or societal norm. This means that people think they will be left behind and will no longer be important to the person who is growing.

It also shows where people are NOT growing. It shows where hope has been lost. It’s painful to watch where someone is going if you can’t get there yourself (for whatever reason).

I’m trying to figure out how to change these boundaries for myself. To grow beyond the set borders of my life and get bigger britches.

Pushing the Boundaries

By pushing these boundaries I’m setting off SO MANY warning signals and pushing SO MANY buttons within myself that just SCREAM “NO! Stay SAFE!”

It’s not an easy journey and some folks cannot come along for the ride simply because they have a quiver full of arrows. They will try and walk alongside you, but take their shots when they can. Some will hit and hurt. And you will heal.

Eventually, if you’re looking, you will begin to notice when they reach for an arrow. You will start to see where they’re aiming. And you’ll learn how to maneuver so the arrow doesn’t hit anymore.

Some distance will happen as you keep walking forward and they keep stopping to grab arrows and aim. Eventually that distance will become so far that there is no chance for the arrows to hit you.

They may still be able to see you and you can hear their shouts in the distance, but they have become so faint that they are just the buzzing of flies.

“Through dangers untold and hardships unnumbered,
I have fought my way here to the castle beyond the Goblin City,
to take back the child that you have stolen.
For my will is as strong as yours, and my kingdom is as great.
You have no power over me.

~Sarah, Labyrinth

If you’re ready to step into the Shift-Storm™, grab this guide to help you navigate through the stories and find what is “tradition” or “fear”. Become curious about what you can change in your life. You are not alone. We can do this together.

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