In an emotionally mature family, we each take responsibility for our feelings – we express them in a way that we take ownership, and we ask others to do the same. When everyone is responsible for their own feelings, it creates the space for individual and family growth.
No Judging or Criticizing
Judgement is the quickest way to disconnect from others. Often we confuse caring with judgement, but the judgement is not caring. We always know when we are being judged, even if no words are spoken. This also means that others know when we judge them as well. There is really no room for judgement or criticism in healthy family dynamics.
If a family member is having a challenging time, it is also not okay to belittle him or her or to say such things as, suck it up, put on your big girl panties or boys don’t cry.
In a conscious and awake family, we allow each other to be who they are without judgement or criticism. Yes, we hold each other accountable to a higher way of living and relating within the family, but we do not judge each other’s personal decisions or how someone chooses to live their life.
No Shifting Responsibility
Shifting responsibility is very common in most families. We are practically born pointing the finger at each other. When we accuse someone of causing us to do something (or not do something), we lack the emotional maturity to take responsibility for ourselves and for our lives. If someone is trying to make you responsible for their actions or experience, you do not have to take on that responsibility – it is not yours. Just because someone throws you a dirty rag, doesn’t mean you have to catch it. At the highest state of being, we accept complete responsibility for every aspect of our lives without being responsible for others.
There is a direct correlation between how awake you are and the amount of responsibility that you take for your life.
Often people don’t even know when they are complaining, but everyone in earshot sure does. Repetitive complaining is draining and exhausting to the complainer and the complainee. When we complain, we focus on what we don’t want, and we add to the negative energy of the unwanted. There is a big difference between complaining and asking for what you want. In an emotionally healthy family, we give each other feedback in a positive and respectful way. We ask for what we want and we are willing to be part of creative problem-solving.
No Using Emotions to Control
It is never okay to intimidate others with anger or to use any emotions to control family members. It is also dysfunctional to manipulate with guilt in order to get your own way. It is true that many of us grew up in families where this was the norm, but normal does not make it right. If your family is walking on eggshells because you don’t want to make a particular family member upset, that is also not a healthy dynamic.
If your intention is to be conscious in your family, it is never appropriate to use emotions to get your way, or to allow anyone to do this to you. Emotions have enormous power with equal consequence.