Family Dynamics And Going Off Course

Today I want to write about the inner struggle of when our heart guides us to what is true and the need for the ego to be right.  This differentiation is important but often disguised with the logic/rationalization of our mind.   One of my clients has struggled and her family has struggled because of her addiction.  Families are often troubled deeply be the addictions of family members. 

Addictions often arise out of the dysfunction of the family.  The addict is often unconsciously placed into the role of the Identified Patient (IP) by the family members.  This lets the other members of the family place blame on the IP and not examine their own part in the situation.   This is a familiar pattern in most trouble families but a serious question goes unanswered.  Is the IP the only one who needs help?

These families are usually made up of members who each have their own level of dysfunction.  Some may have blocked off their hearts, others hide their issues better, anger and impatience may spill out of the interactions, and some may even enter into full denial that they too have issues.  The ego-mind wants to blame others, wants to avoid looking at self and will push others away to keep in the safety of its own rationalizations. 

Back to the opening statement, the ego that pushes away the IP does so to be right and in control.  The rationalizing mind often does lots of closing down to keep protected from feelings what may be uncomfortable.  The heart knows the truth and this truth complicates relationships because all the logic won’t get past a knowing heart. 

As I am writing this I realize I am trying to explain something that most of us don’t want to look at.  A key question: Is the situation I find myself in because I am living the truth of my heart or is the ego rationalizing the situation and keeping me blind or blocked to what is right?  The right thing to do is to listen to the heart and to remain compassionate even when the ego is feed up, impatient or mad.  Compassion for the person in need is always a healthy and better strategy than impatience and anger. 

Signs that we have gone off course:

We need to be right

We are blaming others for how we feel

We are angry at being disappointed

We lose patience with the struggles of others

We have lost touch with our compassionate heart

We find ourselves judging others who aren’t doing what we think they should

We think we understand what is going on inside of another

We put expectations on others that are unrealistic

We feel powerless so we give up trying or push people away

We rationalize our pulling away because we feel out of control

We let our ego mind dictate our life and focus on what is wrong instead of what is going right

 We all do the above at times, the key is to notice when we are off course and to take the time to acknowledge we now must head ourselves in the right (compassionate) direction. The wisdom of the heart is an excellent guide for this process.