I remember the first time I realized that maybe the way I was seeing things was not the way things were. It was about twenty years ago and I was in counseling to deal with secondary infertility. My therapist said something about my mom — I don’t remember what, I have no idea what we were discussing — and I suddenly realized that if I took the conversation any further I’d have to confront some things I had no interest in confronting. I backed right up. I consciously said to myself, “Oh no, not now. Later maybe.” And I changed the subject.

But I knew I’d have to face it eventually.

When I was finally ready to dig in to the work it was as terrifying as I thought it would be. I told a friend (also then in therapy for family of origin issues) that I felt lost in space, that I didn’t know which way was up. That I didn’t understand the rules without gravity to guide me.

It was lonely work, too. I realized that I’d replicated patterns in other areas of my life and I had to shed those relationships that didn’t have room for me to grow.

I had to rebuild my whole world, reassess my values and beliefs, piece together what I knew to be true about myself and what things meant. It was kinda like college when I first learned that gender was a social construct, which blew my mind. Wait a minute, we make things up as a collective society and then tell each other that they’re true and they’re not actually objectively true?!? Only now I was realizing, wait a minute, my idea of myself and the world is a family construct and not based on unbiased reality?!?

Once I got used to life without gravity I wasn’t lost in space, I was flying. The rules that I thought were keeping me safe were actually suffocating me. I no longer felt the need to be sure, to grasp onto things and defend them. I could question. I could discover. I could be curious. I was lighter in mind and spirit and I realized that I’d spent most of my life unhappy and never even knew it.

I invite you to consider what family constructs you’d like to set down. What has you tied to the earth that you no longer need? What do you need to put aside so that you can fly unfettered?

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