Family & Healing
In adversity, everything that surrounds you is a kind of medicine that helps you refine your conduct, yet you are unaware of it. In pleasant situations, you are faced with weapons that will tear you apart, yet you do not realize it.
~ Huanchu Daoren, 16th Century Taoist
We have found it most beneficial to invite the entire family unit to participate in the process of whomever is seeking treatment. This is an opportunity for a more authentic and compassionate form of communication to develop.
Rather than identifying problem traits in others, or polarizing into roles as caretaker/addict or victim/perpetrator, it is more beneficial to understand that everyone experiences addiction to some degree. Whether to chemicals, food, television, telephones, work, money, or negative thought patterns, what we share as humans is habituation, and the point at which it turns into an addiction is unclear. The most pervasive addiction is to judgment itself, and family members often use one another as projection screens for their own unconscious or shadow material.
Subtle, seemingly innocuous, addictions are very common, such as a to the disease/wellness cycle, where one is continually seeking purification and healing or the frequently observed “hero” personality whose identity is based on the happiness and wellbeing of another. Often these obsessions are perceived as healthy, as the individual seems to be trying to help themselves or another, but they serve the same escapist, numbing role as more obvious substance abuse.
True healing and peace are a result of internal work, and each individual must take personal responsibility for the wellbeing of the whole family, abandoning blame and guilt, and cultivating compassion, gratitude, and forgiveness.
Participating as a family can take on many forms.
In some cases, this is as simple as a decision to release stories and beliefs about situations or people. Some of our clients have experienced this naturally with relatives, both living and passed. We have seen others reconnect with family members who they haven’t spoken with for years, or sometimes decades, either during or after treatment.
In these cases, whether appearances or attitudes seem to have changed or not, having the freedom to engage in the experience without expectation or attachment can be very liberating.
Occasionally close family members choose to go through our program together, or individually at different times. In this process we have seen couples, parents and children, and siblings, go through the transformative process of redefining relationships on a basis of trust, compassion and self-love.
This work is by no means easier than undergoing treatment alone and requires a great deal of patience and commitment. Whether or not this is a viable path is something that we can explore in conversation with our team and everyone involved. In certain cases we are able to offer a discount.
All things are connected and interdependent. If one thing is changed, the entire system is altered.
In large forests, massive underground networks of fungi transfer carbon and other nutrients from the roots of older mother trees that make up the canopy to the smaller trees and bushes in the understory. Each plays a distinct role in the greater organism of the forest.
On a microscopic level, the 100 trillion intestinal bacteria that inhabit our guts affect everything from our predisposition to disease, to our mood and personal preferences.
Everywhere we look, we see the threads that connect each tiny element to the grander tapestry of the cosmos, and how weaving love and consciousness into our lives will bring benefit to the whole web of being.
As a race, humanity is in the process of waking up to our place in all of these various systems, and how to live in symbiosis with them.
The following passage is an excerpt from A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle.
If you have young children, give them help, guidance, and protection to the best of your ability, but even more important, give them space – space to be. They come into this world through you, but they are not “yours.” The belief “I know what’s best for you” may be true when they are very young, but the older they get, the less true it becomes. The more expectations you have of how their life should unfold, the more you are in your mind instead of being present for them. Eventually, they will make mistakes, and they will experience some form of suffering, as all humans do. In fact, they may be mistakes only from your perspective. What to you is a mistake may be exactly what your children need to do or experience. Give them as much help and guidance as you can, but realize that you may also at times have to allow them to make mistakes, especially as they begin to reach adulthood. At times, you may also have to allow them to suffer. Suffering may come to them out of the blue or it may come as a consequence of their own mistakes.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could spare them from all suffering? No, it wouldn’t. They would not evolve as human beings and would remain shallow, identified with the external form of things. Suffering drives you deeper. The paradox is that suffering is caused by identification with form and erodes identification with form. A lot of it is caused by the ego, although eventually suffering destroys the ego – but not until you suffer consciously.
Humanity is destined to go beyond suffering, but not in the way the ego thinks. One of the ego’s many erroneous assumptions, one of its many deluded thoughts is ‘I should not have to suffer.’ Sometimes the thought gets transferred to someone close to you: ‘My child should not have to suffer.’ That thought itself lies at the root of suffering. Suffering has a noble purpose: the evolution of consciousness and the burning up of the ego…
When you accept suffering, however, there is an acceleration of that process which is brought about by the fact that you suffer consciously. You can accept suffering for yourself, or you can accept it for someone else, such as your child or parent. In the midst of conscious suffering there is already a transmutation. The fire of suffering becomes the light of consciousness.