The Family Fantasy

The Family Fantasy

by Jackie Woods


Did you have siblings when you were growing up or did you give birth to children of your own? If so, then you will understand me when I say coming from the same bloodline does not create same personalities. A bloodline does hand down similar physical characteristics, but no two people are ever alike. Even with identical twins, you will find very different personalities. There may be common preferences, but each person is a unique spark of the Divine.

Even though most people will agree with everything I have just stated about differences in people of the same family, they may very well fall victim to the “family fantasy.” In families where this fantasy has occurred, each member is expected to maintain certain family patterns. These patterns must carry on the family life style, belief system, and illusion that the family is a close-knit unit. It doesn’t matter whether the patterns fit the individuality of the person or not. Family tradition must reign.

I remember well the time I told my Mother that I had voted against our family tradition. She cried for a whole week and told me repeatedly that I had let the family down. But did I stop there? Oh, no! Two years later I told her that I had joined a church that was a different denomination from the one to which our family had always belonged. She cried again, and wailed long and loud about how she had failed me as a Mother. Yet I still tried to maintain the illusion that we were a close-knit family. I pretended to laugh at my brother’s humor, which was not the least bit like mine. I made routine phone calls to stay in touch with everyone in my family, even though our life paths had parted years before.

It wasn’t until I became part of a spiritual community where differences were part of the definition, that I finally realized no fantasy was needed in order to be part of a family. I no longer have to laugh when my humor doesn’t match theirs. I can vote differently with no tears or recriminations. I can have my own truths, choose my own life style, and touch base when I feel like it, without guilt.

I have discovered that it is only by giving up the “family fantasy” you inherited from your blood family that you can begin to learn what the heart energy of family really looks like. This does not mean that you have to disown your blood family. It only means that once you are free of the bonds created by the “family fantasy,” you can begin to appreciate the full spectrum of differences present in your family. And once freed from the invisible film of illusion that covered you, the world can become a potential family. You will begin to discover parts of yourself that heretofore had been bound by tradition – parts that can now be shared with many people. It is important that all this freedom take place under the tutelage of the heart energy of family because the heart can then draw other people to you who are redefining family by the code of the heart. This new and enlarged sense of a heart family will not only be a step towards freedom, but the beginning of your path to oneness.

© 2008, Jackie Woods

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Jackie Woods is the founder and director of Adawehi Institute and Healing Center in Columbus, NC. Jackie offers her Awareness Courses at the Healing Center, taking people beyond the basic teachings of metaphysics to an awareness and appreciation of living from their heart essence. This in-depth study is intended to give students tools for lasting change and fulfillment in life. She is the author of “Soulmate or Cell Mate,” “Journey to Ultimate Spirituality” and “Spiritual Energy Cycles” along with numerous audio productions, including Energetic Parenting. Jackie’s teachings and courses are available via the Internet at

~ by indigolifecenter on February 17, 2008.

2 Responses to “The Family Fantasy”

  1. I agree in that a person should be free to choose spiritual paths regardless of family convictions, but speaking as a sibling and a father, there is a bond to my siblings and children that no path will break. I’ve found that spiritual groups are great for synergy and support, but they tend to fail when in comes to unconditional love. I would leave my mortal coil without hesitation for my blood family, but I’ve yet to feel this level of unconditional commitment outside my family. I also have noticed that spiritual “families” are more apt to abandon you if your path takes a different direction than theirs. We are creatures of change and growth, and blood family in my experience are actually more accepting of change than a spiritual “family”. Whether my siblings and kids become Buddhists, Christians, homeless drunks, doctors, live near me or far away, or even take a path that makes them excommunicate me…they are always going to be in my heart and always welcome in my home. That bond will never fail. It is not a fantasy… it is real.

    I work in healthcare, and have seen plenty of people go through horrendous diseases and conditions, without fail it’s their blood families spending countless nights or years dealing with the conditions… and the last ones holding their hands as they move on from this life. Blood bonds remain through thick and thin. Spiritual brothers can decide to not be your brother anymore. My blood brother will always be my brother no matter what he does or who he becomes. My kids will always be my kids regardless what they do with their lives or how they treat me. I will always love them as my parents love me.

  2. This essay is deeply contradictory.

    Ms. Woods proffers that it’s the flaw of the family that they don’t accept you for having different views, and then she goes on to say it’s best to not accept that same family if their views are not in line with yours.

    She says it’s ok to reject or distance yourself from others for having differing views, but only if your view is better than theirs, by your definition.

    Where is the learning in that? Where is the understanding, the sharing, the growth, or the unconditional love? This is a selfish and destructive mindset. How can you become better by hurting others? How does it improve you to become judgemental and narrow minded? How does it widen your worldview to reject dissent and consideration of opposing or new ideas?

    Frankly this sounds like cultish exclusionary diatribe. Imagine what a world it would be if we all simply avoided each other and only interacted with those who believe exactly as we do.

    Isn’t it that same type of blind intolerance that causes wars? Isn’t that the root of racism? Of religious persecution? Of hatred?

    Honor everyone. You will learn more from your enemies than you will from your friends. Be open, not closed.

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