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I had a conversation with my husband very early this morning, at the crack of dawn again, since we are still under the influence of the European time zone and probably for the first time I fully accepted that I cannot change anything to the status quo.

I have been on a journey of transformation for most of my life it seems and certainly on a deliberate and conscious one for close to thirty years. How would you not want to change what pains you? Searching for solutions, healing, growing, changing, transforming myself has been my daily lot. I am like a fish in water when it comes to this stuff! This is my universe and I project that outside of myself, thinking other people in pain around me would also like to heal and change. Accepting that not everybody is up to that kind of a challenge has been difficult for me to accept.

In my profession, as a counselor,  I have been privileged to work with people in pain chosing to look at their patterns honestly and seeking expert help to transform themselves and then flying off on their own, equipped with tools to create their lives beyond their early family conditionning.

So when I abruptly left my life in Saudi Arabia 5 years ago, where I was living and working, after I had finally  subcombed to the ambiant level of fear triggered by repeated terrorist incidents, to temporarily settle in my mother’s apartment in Strasbourg,  France with our daughter, it was like stepping back into time.

I grew up in that apartment, she had never moved. The apartment, her surroundings created her stability, but it was all coming from the outside structure, familiar faces and places. But for me it was triggering so many reactions, judgments, I was an outsider, worth than a foreigner in my home land returning to live there  after 35 years abroad. But that is a whole other topic I will investigate further at another time.

For now I am interested to investigate the origins of  similar conditionning from diverse social structures and cultures.

My in laws’ family are first generation immigrants to Canada from the Indian Subcontinent and myself am a first generation immigrant from the Alsace region in France,  Europe, a region that had been faught over and changed hand a number of times during the last two centuries, depending who from France or Germany had won the wars.

My own grand mothers were born under German tutelage and went through the German school system. My paternal grand mother actually never learned to speak French, hence my fluency in Alsacien, a local dialect and German.

My mother in law’s family chose to leave India at the time of partition and settled in Karachi, Pakistan, experiencing the hardships of refugee life and wars for a number of years. It just dawned on me that I felt like a refugee when we left Saudi Arabia and have been wandering around between France, Canada and KSA, not knowing where to plant my roots again.

So wars, refugee type of situations run in the family background on both sides with its side effects of fear and clinging to stuff, objects, food, since ancestry experienced repeatedly the lack of it. I still recall my mother telling her stories from the last world war, when she would go and visit distant family living in the country side by bicycle, sawing clothes in exchange of eggs and butter, unavailable in the stores.

In the Western world today the stores are full of stuff, overflowing of surplus even, but those early conditionning can only be transformed by conscious choice. When you add on top of that religious conditionning, you have a sure receipe for remaining stifled for ever. But that is still another topic, I will eventually dare to speak out about!…at another time….

In countries like India and Pakistan where no social structures like welfare, unemployment etc… existed, it was the family structure that organized life in little microcosms, the ones earning taking care of the others disabled or unemployed, an organized co-dependence needed in the cultural context. Some of those patterns still strong and alive, despite the new cultural context of life as an immigrant in a rich country.

I finally accepted this morning that part of that pattern for my in-laws is to buy 10 of everything, because it can then be given out to the needy ones of the family, even if nobody is in that type of a situation anymore….

The archetype of cultural social conditionning is a powerful one and you cannot go against it. You will never win. The only life saving solution is to change the environment and create new structures in consciousness that are more adapted to the current needs of the person, unhappy with the status quo. It is a matter of choice. And that is what I did last year when I chose to settle back in France, isolated from all, to self reflect.

Today my perspective has changed once again and this daily writing helps me sort things through…

One Response to “Social structures and family conditionning”

  1. Lin says:

    Thought provoking and your words are so needed for those who want to change…