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© Source: Anke Sommer
Wir werden in eine Familie hinein geboren und sind unterschiedlich glücklich damit. Wie aus einer anstrengenden Familie, eine gute wird!

How a difficult family turns into a good one!

We are all born into a family – some happy, some less so. Some people feel secure in their families, while others feel the need to distance themselves in order to survive. And still others put together their own families – good friends, acquaintances, their partner, a dog… all of them members of a new family.
But just imagine for a moment that you accept your birth family as it is and embrace it – but be careful: only in a positive sense! What happens then?

Everyone has the right to a good family

Basically, I assume that most people are good at the core. Let’s call this core the positive element. Now examine your family in your thoughts. You may find things that you think are good, but also things that you consider unacceptable. The unacceptable things may be behaviour that fails to respect boundaries, or events that took place years ago that hurt you and made you suffer. Let’s call these events the negative element.

My work as a consultant reveals again and again that everyone, whatever their rank, carries events like this within themselves: directors just as much as managers, doctors, private individuals and people in the public eye. If we examine these negative experiences, the negative feelings unfold instantly. By working through and processing these experiences, part of the feelings can be neutralised while part of them remains. In the following, I make this remaining part responsible for the fact that there is no chance of having a harmonious atmosphere in our family. So it is this part that deprives us of our right to have a good family.

It doesn’t have to be like this. Everyone has the right to a good family, because basically a family is the thing that protects us and gives us security. A family – seen in systemic terms – means having a foothold in society, being anchored in a system of mutual support. Having or not having this feeling makes a difference; if we have this feeling it gives us strength, a strength that we should not be willing to do without.

Our own attitude is the key

Now imagine for a moment that you have a good family like that. You feel protected by them. You yourself know what aspects of your parents’ behaviour are good for you and what are bad. From now on, you should encounter your parents and siblings only and exclusively in the aspects that are good for you, cordoning off the other aspects.

This cordoning off occurs by keeping your distance from the problem rather than by putting a name to it. Distance in this context means that you remove yourself from the situation whenever the behaviour you see as negative occurs. You distance yourself from everything that you don’t like and reinforce all the things you do like by responding to them. No more conversations about past hurts; no endless dialogues about the deficits; from now on, only encounters with the side that you like.

This practice, derived from LEADERSHIP consultations, places change entirely in your own hands. That really does you good, because the power of change now originates in you, from you alone. From now on, you lead in the situation. LEADERSHIP entails management and guidance.

Generally, even the most difficult parents yearn for an ideal world, for a close family and integration in a community. Age itself generates these needs. You can reach everyone who has these needs in the way described.

No more words: only actions

Words carry us into the negative system, into the environment that concentrates on problems and the experience of never being able to solve them. They entangle us in the unpleasant experience. Because we are only ever capable of doing one thing at a time – seeing the world positively or negatively; feeling good or bad when we are with our families – I invite you to primarily encounter the good in them.

The decision to practise distance from what we neither consider good nor want to speak well of, puts us in the position of finding a good family within our own family. To achieve this, we don’t need to hope for processes of change in people who are absolutely incapable of changing because it doesn’t fit into their thought patterns. This step makes us independent of change in other people. We don’t need to hope that they will change; we ourselves change.

That, dear reader, is an important key to your own happiness. With this key, happiness is no longer just a superficial term; it becomes feasible. We feel this happiness in the form of strength in our work, as an anchor in lonely times, and as a support for our own joy.

I wish you a great deal of happiness and the experience of having a great family.

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