I was recently reading an item on LinkedIn referencing a term we sometimes call people that might be considered derogatory. I was scanning the comments and saw one that suggested that the use of this term should end with the last of the baby boomers.
My first reaction was fairly strong (and less than positive), possibly because I am a baby boomer. The statement felt like a generalization and on some level a dis-honoring of a generation. As I continued to sit with it, I wondered why would we want to wait that long – the youngest of the baby boomers is in his/her early 50’s which would mean about 40 years until that term was out of usage. My next thought was… is there really no one under 53 who uses that expression in any part of the world.
As I sat with the generational comment, I was drawn to experiences in the different family constellation trainings I attended that created a profound change in people, including myself. Part of that process included honoring the previous generations for the positive they gave to us, the life they gave to us.
In the workshops I attended offered by Jamy and Peter Faust (https://www.faustfamilyconstellations.com/seminars/), we learned about bowing down to our parents. For some people, the act of bowing is difficult given the challenges and less than optimal relationship they have with their parents. However, we would not be here without them and while we may have experienced a lack of support, negative patterning or even abuse from them, they did give us life. If we cannot bow down to our parents, we can remain stuck in the resentments, grudges and anger we feel towards them.
In another constellation training program I attended, Judy Wilkins-Smith (https://judywilkins-smith.com/workshops/) would support us in shifting a family dynamic by asking “what good can you take from your parent”. It is similar to shadow work, where we look at what is the gift or lesson in every experience, even the negative ones. When we only look at the negative, we again can remain stuck. Focusing on the good or the lesson we take from a parent, allows us to hold them in a different way, stay connected to the flow of life and also bring the positive forward.
What if we took this same experience and brought it into organizations? How many times does someone leave a role without anyone talking about the good that they had done? This would especially be true when someone left suddenly or was laid off. When the ownership of a family business is transitioned to the next generation, do we honor those who “parented it”?
In addition, to honoring those who went before us, how can we support those who come next? I hear people labeling the younger generation as lazy, yet those I see are incredibly busy, focused, and successful.
What would happen if we honored those who went before us for all they experienced and all they gave to us and at the same time honored the generation that comes after us acknowledging all they will experience and give us? If you find yourself challenged in honoring members of your family, consider contacting me for a free 30 minute clarity call at www.systemsofchange.com
© 2018 Systems of Change, LLC