A family tree forever changed
By: Cindee Johnson, Encompass Relationship Facilitator
DNA testing to build family history has gained tremendous popularity in recent years. From finding long lost relatives to discovering paths taken by ancestors of long ago, it can reveal volumes. I found an ancestor who was on the Mayflower. My history buff husband thinks that is really cool. Me? I get more excited knowing about people still living I had no clue were my relatives. Whether we like who shares a branch on the tree with us or not, DNA helps us understand unchangeable family facts. But what about understanding a family tree in a way that takes the very best into your relationships while breaking destructive patterns that may negatively impact generations? Is that even possible?
It’s not only possible. It’s POWERFUL.
Nature and nurture both significantly influence each of us. So that lovingly structured style your parent(s) used to help you grow and thrive? Intentionally take that with you as you begin to parent. Addiction and abuse? With the same intentionality of the positive, you can choose to end those unhealthy cycles.
Like many couples, my husband and I were raised very differently. From faith to parenting to entertainment to finances to holidays to shopping, there wasn’t much in common. Naturally, from those individual family experiences, we brought into our marriage some expectations. And, that created opportunities for conflict. A simple, but meaningful tool during the RINGS Experience changed that.
Want to try it, too? Think about your grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles and siblings. List for each person the positive traits and characteristics you most appreciate. Also list for each anything you know about addictions, abuse, mental health concerns, divorce or negative habits.
Now, choose. What are the positives traits you will continue? What are the negative trends you will stop?
This new perspective for our family tree helped us realize the control and the responsibility we had to determine the course of our own. Most importantly, it’s been powerful to choose together to end negative trends and a joy to celebrate the positive we have carried forward!
Are you ready to change your family tree FOREVER? Encompass Connection Center helps couples learn how to start fresh and create fulfilling, productive relationships for years to come. We offer a free relationship assessment to determine your relationship’s strengths and potential threats. For additional help, look into our RINGS Experience, which includes marriage strengthening exercises and a coaching model to help build real intimacy and growth skills. We'll also help you to break those destructive patterns that may negatively impact generations.
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Lavern & Ronda Nissley are co-directors of Encompass. Married since 1978, both enjoy coffee, riding their tandem bicycle and working together to build strong relationships.