The third and final rule that governs a family system – and in fact, any systems that have humans in it – is the rule that giving and receiving have to be balanced. Yes, it’s a bit like energetic bookkeeping, except that it is okay to give just a little bit more than you receive.
Very poetically, there is one thing that can never be balanced: Parents giving birth. The gift of life is so huge, it can only be passed on to the next generation. And if you don’t have children, you can still pass it on by helping with other kids, or breathing life into your passion.
Everything else, however, has to be balanced.
Here’s the story of two of my friends to show the results of severe imbalance: They were both university students when they met and fell in love. He decided to get a job to support her until she got her exam. Then, that was the plan, she would support him with her job while he finished his studies. Except that the second part never happened. As soon as she got her exam, she left him, moved far away and founded a family with another man.
How could she do this to him?
The imbalance had become too great. She was too indebted to him on moral grounds and it became overwhelming after all the years. They had neglected to create little ways of letting him receive something from her. So in the end, she could only run.
I still feel sad about it.
So if you give and give and give, expecting to get something in return – don’t. Just take a close look at how you feel when you give. Resentment is an indicator that there is an imbalance and that you are doing too much giving.
The great thing about family dynamics is that everyone shifts when you shift. When you reduce your constant giving, you create space for the others to give to you. Maybe they’ll even surprise you.
You might actually have to learn how to receive if you haven’t practiced it. Receiving can be difficult – especially receiving with grace and appreciation. However, it’s important that you learn how to do it.
And then the family system can shift.
Here’s some tapping to help you restore the balance of giving and receiving:
Even though I was taught as a kid that giving was holier than taking, I’m okay the way I am, and I now allow myself to receive more than I have been.
Even though I always thought it was my fault that I feel resentful when I give so much, and tried to give even more out of shame, I’m okay the way I am, and I now allow myself to find a much better balance between giving and receiving.
Even though I thought I was a good mom / human being / family member because I was giving so much, all the time, I’m still okay the way I am, and I now realize that too much giving can actually make people run. I’m ready to receive more now.
Did this resonate with you? Did this feel weird? Do you have a question? Write a comment!
Image source: F. Moebius
PS: If you want some support around this topic, or with unpleasant family dynamics, just click HERE and send me an email. We’ll connect and talk about how I can support you best. I work internationally through Skype.