W: Hello again, Divine Father.
DF: Hello again, Wayne.
W: I wondered, Father, if we have more to talk about regarding cults.
DF: I’ll bet we do.
W: Okay, let’s go there then.
DF: What about the family cult, Wayne?
W: The family cult is the first cult we join and as such is so engrossing, that we are so embedded in it, within our larger cult of society.
DF: I think maybe you need to lead this on a personal note, Wayne, to make it more real for anyone reading this. Tell a bit of your story around family if you feel okay doing that.
W: Okay. I think I can do that. For a number of years now, I have had almost no interaction with any family. It was not the typical ‘we don’t see eye to eye on things’ that led us apart. It was me advocating for change within the family dynamic, while letting go of the faith I was raised in. My mother tried to keep that together by suggesting we all could get along in the midst of our differences. Which essentially meant, still being apart of family gatherings and just not talking about any of the differences. With me leaving the Christian faith, and in their judgments of me, and me being in judgment of them for being so unwilling to look beyond their borders, it left us only in clash, covered over with a polite, but toxic pleasantness.
DF: What’s been the difficult part of your choices?
W: I chose to leave the family cult, but I didn’t want to leave any one of them. I was attached to them, and largely couldn’t imagine my life without them. I raised my daughters into their late teens with the hope and desire that these would be two treasured women enriching my life into my mid life and golden years. The family connection spread through parents, grandparents, sons and daughters, aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews was and is a potent connection with many nourishing things that I to this day miss, but also with a huge toxic element that I am relieved to no longer be a part of. The difficult part of my choices has been knowing that in all likelihood, most wouldn’t be able to join me on my journey, and with me not willing to be any longer in any kind of falseness with them, that this meant parting paths. This means lovingly letting them go, and letting my bond with them go, but with an open door.
DF: Say more about the open door.
W: The door is open in that I would welcome contact from any family member if there were genuine curiosity and respect for me, including my choices and values. This is the same condition that I wish that they would hold for themselves in every relationship they have.
DF: Can you say more about what it’s like now for you to be in life without the family connection?
W: I feel a peacefulness inside of myself, as well as a love for each one of them. There isn’t the conflictual tugging on each other.
DF: So why is family rated so highly, Wayne, when admittedly most find it so hard to tolerate, and even dislike with a passion?
W: This feels like an interview, Father, I think I feel your tack here and I’m really enjoying your interested questions, and your desire I feel to put this out there for anyone ready to embrace it.
DF: Nothing like the learning that occurs in the university of true curiosity in relationality.
W: I feel the death grip we have on the family cult and why it is so pervasive has to do with the deepest vulnerability of being human. We are clearly meant to be in family. It’s just that if we settle for the current working definition of family, that only ensures that we will never be a part of true family.
DF: Why’s that?
W: It’s interesting that the word family and familiar are so close in origin, yet the energy of family is conformity to belong rather inquiry into individual uniqueness, which would lead to real familiarity with oneself. For the individual to grow, they must chose to become familiar with themselves outside of the family. I feel why family as we know it today is so praised and so valued and revered in and across our many cultures is that it serves as the perfect excuse for the individual not to grow, to not risk, to stay safe where they are.
DF: Wayne, okay, now you’re tweaking me so much I have to jump in.
W: Good, I was feeling a bit wordy.
DF: What I wanted to add was that only as an individual is in exploration with themself, or as you and I like to say, with themselves, as in getting to know their parts, are they out of the flat line existence where they have something alive to bring to relationship.
W: …where they could be valued as interesting and meaningful because they are contributing to something alive instead of cosigning a pact to stay dead as is the case of what we agreed is family today.
DF: Co-signing a pact to stay in deadness. Is it really that stark, Wayne, to you?
W: From my experience, and inside of me, it is nothing less than that. All wounding and all healing happens inside of relationship, and as we said yesterday, all relationships are in fact a cult unto themselves. It will take new cults and new relationships to take us out of the old and into the new. I feel I have inhabited that and lived my way into that to prove it to myself, and offer a landing place to anyone else who feels this is also their truth and who’d like to live into this reality for themselves. And you know what, Father?
W: Christopher has prepared dinner, and I’m hungry.
DF: This was perfect, Wayne, go eat. We’ll pick up soon.
W: Thank you, Father, for the interview.
DF: You’re welcome.
Raphael Awen is co-creator and facilitator of the SoulFullHeart Way Of Life. Visit the SoulFullHeart website for more information about virtual sessions with him.